Influential Houston comfort food and cocktail restaurant suddenly shutters
The end of the year always seems to bring an unexpected restaurant closing or two. This year, it's Beaver's; the comfort food restaurant announced it has served its last meal.
Owners Jon Deal and Todd Johnson released the following statement about the decision.
Beaver’s played an integral part in building farm-to-table food culture and inspiring a progressive cocktail movement in Houston. It has been our pleasure to serve some of Houston’s best food and drinks for the past twelve years. Our group is extremely proud to have had a small hand in helping launch the careers of Bobby Heugel, Kevin Floyd, Claire Sprouse, Jonathan Jones and the newest rising star in Houston, chef Arash Kharat.
These former Beavers continue to change the way Houstonians eat and drink. Monica Pope is a legend, and the community of creative food and beverage stars that she helped foster through opening Beaver’s will live on for years to come.
As the statement notes, the original location of Beaver's served as an important training ground for a number of culinary talents. Bobby Heugel worked there prior to opening Anvil; his replacement, bartender Ryan Rouse, would go on to open Grand Prize and several other bars across Houston.
On the culinary side, the restaurant opened under the direction of Monica Pope, and she applied the same farm-to-table ethos that guided her cuisine at t'afia to the restaurant's take on comfort food. Chefs such as Jonathan Jones and Arash Kharat expanded the brand's reputation.
The original location spawned a spin off that opened in 2017 with an expanded patio, an adults-only bar called the "Beaver Den," and plenty of space for private events. Powered by Kharat's barbecue chops, the new location earned significant acclaim.
Unfortunately, the brand has suffered a series of setbacks prior to today's announcement. An attempt to relaunch the original location as a keto-friendly spot only lasted a few months before it closed and reopened as the short-lived Decatur Bar and Pop-Up Factory. Earlier this year, Kharat departed to lead the kitchen at Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company.
Through a representative, Deal and Johnson declined to comment on the specific reasons for the decision, but it's apparent that Beaver's lacked the same appeal it had in 2008. Still, many will be disappointed they didn't get one last order of chicken fried steak, Knocked Up Queso, or Beaver Balls.