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Houston's whiskey-fueled American restaurant plots new downtown location
Houston’s next Federal American Grill will be located downtown. The steak and seafood restaurant has leased a ground floor space at at Houston Center’s LyondellBasell Tower (1221 McKinney St.).
Slated to open in summer 2023, Federal Grill will occupy approximately 7,000 square feet with an additional 1,500-square-foot patio along Houston Center’s greenspace. Downtown will be Federal Grill’s fifth Houston-area location, joining its original outpost on Shepherd Dr., Memorial Villages, Katy, and The Woodlands. The restaurant also plans to open in Scottsdale, AZ next year.
Founded by Matt Brice in 2013, Federal Grill serves an wide-ranging menu of comfort food that includes steaks, salads, shareable items, and seafood. Signature dishes include cheeseburger egg rolls, bacon-wrapped scallops, Janice’s Meatloaf, and braised short rib with bacon and mushroom risotto.
In addition to its food, Federal Grill is known for its extensive whiskey list that includes more than 500 selections, including exclusive barrel picks. Its cocktail and wine offerings are similarly lengthy.
“We’re really excited to become part of the energy and vitality of downtown Houston and expand our genuine hospitality, scratch cooking and fun relaxed, atmosphere to Houston Center,” Brice said in a statement. “With this location, we will be just a short walk away from the major sports and entertainment complexes downtown. Our staff looks forward to utilizing our unique outdoor dining along McKinney Street, offering pre-and post-game dining, as well as catering to the visitors and tenants of Houston Center on a daily basis for lunch, happy hour and dinner.”
Some may recall that Brice sparked a minor controversy in April 2020 when he reopened his Memorial location for in-person dining a week before Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted restrictions prohibiting it. He did so with the support of officials from Hedwig Village, the tiny city where the restaurant is located.
Houston Center developed Brookfield Properties has other plans for the development. It also recently signed Immersive Gamebox, an interactive concept devoted to puzzle solving and other group games, for the food court at The Highlight, the shopping center formerly known as The Shops at Houston Center. Puttshack, an upscale minigolf course, will open there next spring.
“The decision to bring Federal American Grill to Houston Center speaks to their desire to join the renewed energy and bustle of downtown and aligns with our focus of bringing retail and amenities to our office spaces that create a welcoming work-life balance,” Brookfield executive vice president Travis Overall added. “We are excited to offer our tenants and the Houston community this excellent dining experience at the heart of Houston’s downtown entertainment centers.”