James Harden's Midtown restaurant rebounds after closing with new look, menu, and more
Change is a staple of James Harden’s professional career. The NBA All-Star is playing for his third team since the Rockets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets in 2021.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that major changes have come to Thirteen, Harden’s Midtown restaurant. Quietly closed since October, the restaurant will reopen in February with a new chef and general manager, a new menu, and an updated interior. Harden and Thirteen COO John Ricks picked the new hires, general manager Sean Knight and chef Siddartha Cadena, according to a representative.
“James has been wanting to bring something fresh and new to the city. He has been traveling a lot and has been able to taste and experience food from different countries and multiple cultures within the same country. This brought about the idea to get out of the steakhouse box and really push the envelope on innovation in the kitchen at Thirteen,” Knight said in response to CultureMap’s request for comment about the decision to make these changes.
Cadena’s menu blends Japanese and American influences, according to a release. Specific dishes will be released closer to the reopening.
A Texas native, chef Cadena boasts an impressive resume that includes time working as a line at one of Joel Robuchcon’s restaurants in Paris, eight years as a group chef for The Apartment in Shanghai, and two years at Gaggand Anand, the Bangkok restaurant currently ranked 17th in the world by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Taken together, the changes are designed to put Thirteen in a position to expand to other cities.
“The idea is to create something very unique for Houston that can easily travel across state lines and expand in the future,” Knight added. “He brought in a team that has experience in this type of hospitality and restaurant style.”
The new general manager brings a lot of experience to Thirteen, including time at Vic & Anthony’s, Steak 48, and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Most recently, Knight worked as operations manager for ALife Hospitality, the local group behind Bungalow Downtown Dining, FRNDS Restaurant & Lounge, Kamp, and others.
Adel Sadek, co-founder of Houston’s Studio Five Design, brings experience from Ciel and Albi to redesigning Thirteen’s dining room. As illustrated in the rendering above, changes include new lighting, decor, and furniture.
“Absolutely everything is new, from the fixtures to the flatware,” Knight said. “The entire new team at Thirteen couldn’t be more excited to present Houston with a fresh, completely reimagined dining experience filled with international flavors and the finest hospitality, in a warm, artistic new ambiance.”