Tasteful new Upper Kirby crepe and coffee shop in familiar dive bar space celebrates sweet grand opening
An Upper Kirby space that once served as a late-night dive has been given new life. Coco Crepes & Coffee has claimed the former Velvet Melvin (3303 Richmond Ave.) for its newest location.
Founded by chef Youssef Nafaa, the local chef behind restaurants such as Mia Bella Trattoria and Zoa Moroccan Kitchen, Coco serves sweet and savory crepes along with a full coffee bar, gelato, smoothies, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Popular menu items include the S’Mores (marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce); La Galette (roasted vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, cheddar cheese, etc.); and the one Nafaa cites as his personal favorite, the white chocolate raspberry (raspberry compote, bananas, white chocolate mousse).
All that eating and drinking happens in an approximately 2,600-square-foot space that seats 99 inside, plus a few more on a patio that runs along Richmond. Designed by Nafaa and local designer Amy Vonderau, the space includes floor-to-ceiling windows, lots of greenery, and an Instagrammable neon sign that read “oh crepe that’s good.”
Part of the space will also be allocated to a new location of Zoa. Details about when it will be opened will be released in the coming weeks.
Coco celebrates its grand opening Monday, July 24 with giveaways from 7-11 am and 5-9 pm. Going forward, the restaurant will be open daily beginning at 7 am.
“We are so excited to open the ninth Houston-area location of Coco Crepes & Coffee,” Nafaa said in a statement. “Since we opened Houston’s first creperie in 2004, we have been focused on providing high-quality dishes in a family-friendly environment, and adding a location in the Upper Kirby area was the perfect fit.”
Known for its better than expected pizza and spacious patio, the Velvet Melvin served as a reliable neighborhood watering hole for residents and office workers in the Upper Kirby and Greenway Plaza areas. It closed in May 2022.