Ben Berg's downtown clambake
Ben Berg serves up a New England-style seafood restaurant for downtown office tower
Ben Berg’s quest to put his spin on every possible cuisine shows no signs of slowing down. The veteran Houston restaurateur will soon add seafood to his repertoire.
Called Dune Road, the new restaurant takes inspiration from classic New England seafood shacks. The restaurant is slated to open this fall in the Texas Tower, the 47-story office building at 845 Texas Ave.
Berg Hospitality turned to New York-based ICRAVE to design the approximately 5,400-square-foot restaurant. Expect nautical elements such as polished metals, lacquered wood, and shiplap-inspired elements. A raw bar will be incorporated into the large, 56-seat bar area. The space will also include a private dining room and a westward-facing patio.
Turning to the food, the menu will center around New England favorites such as chowder (both clam and seafood), lobster bakes, fried clams, and lobster rolls. Beverage selections will pair well with seafood and be “fit for partaking in on a vintage Chris Craft docked off a coastal town,” according to a release.
“With Dune Road, we aim to elevate the flavor of seafood by keeping it clean, simple and mostly grilled, sourced from only the finest suppliers around the country,” Berg said in a statement. “Can you get a steak? Of course. But seafood is the star here.”
Of course, Berg Hospitality is known for steaks, stemming from its ownership of prominent Houston steakhouse B&B Butchers. The company operates seven other concepts, including The Annie Cafe, Turner’s, Trattoria Sofia, and B.B. Lemon.
In the coming months, it will open several more, including Buttermilk Baby, a retro-style diner; Benny Chows, a Cantonese-style Chinese restaurant that will be located next to B&B Butchers; Canopy Social, a British Caribbean-inspired patio bar above Benny Chows; La Table, a reimagined take on the Galleria-area French fine dining restaurant; Tavola, an Italian restaurant below La Table; Annabelle Brasserie, a restaurant in the Autry Park mixed-use development that will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Turner's Cut, a fine dining steakhouse in the Autry Park mixed-use development; and Prime 131, a wood-fired steakhouse in the Docks at Timbergrove mixed-use development.
Dune Road will occupy a space on the west side of the Texas Tower. Developed by real estate development firm Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge, the building offers more than 1 million square feet of office space. Previously, Chicago-based Italian restaurant Etta announced it will open a location on the east side of the tower.
“Dune Road will be a key addition to the hospitality-driven experience at Texas Tower,” says John Mooz, senior managing director at Hines. “With the goal of providing a curated F&B offering to the north side of downtown, this new concept from Ben Berg’s powerhouse team will offer our tenants and the surrounding community the perfect setting to dine, recharge, and exchange.”
Seafood seems to be having a moment in Houston. Golfstrommen, a restaurant in the Post HTX food hall from Norwegian chef Christopher Haatuft and Top Chef winner Paul Qui, has earned raves since it opened in 2021. Navy Blue, a seafood restaurant in Rice Village from the team behind Bludorn, topped Texas Monthly's recent list of the state's best new restaurants. They'll be joined by a number of newcomers, including Little's Oyster Bar, a new concept from Pappas Restaurants; Balboa Surf Club, a new restaurant from the owners of Italian restaurant il Bracco; and Katami, a new restaurant from Kata Robata chef Manabu Horiuchi.