Via 313/Facebook

The Memorial City area will soon be home to two rapidly expanding restaurant brands. Austin-based pizzeria Via 313 and and Miami-based burger and kebab concept Pincho will join Velvet Taco and Goode Co. Seafood in the shopping center at 10201 Katy Fwy.

Houstonians who travel to Austin will recognize Via 313, which has earned wide acclaim for its Detroit-style pizzas. The rectangular-shaped, deep dish pies feature a rim of a crispy cheese along the crust. Originally founded as a food trailer by brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt, Via 313 has grown to seven Texas locations as well as outposts in Colorado and Utah. In August, it opened its first San Antonio location.

Pincho has achieved similar success in south Florida with its Latin American-inspired kebabs, which are called pinchos. Five different proteins, including chicken, shrimp, and steak, are paired with sides such as rice and beans or tostones and served as platters. The restaurant also serves well-regarded burgers along with bowls and salads. Founded in 2010, it has eight locations in the greater Miami area.

Slated to open in spring 2023, both restaurant come to Houston via their partnerships with Savory, the food and beverage arm of Utah-based investment firm Mercato Partners. Savory partnered with Via 313 in 2020 and with Pincho in 2021. Earlier this year, the private equity firm selected Houston Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Hustle as the winner of its Million Dollar Restaurant Launch competition.

“Memorial City is a great spot for the hottest developments, and we can’t wait to add Via 313 and PINCHO to the mix,” Savory vice president of brand development and strategy Alonso Castañeda said in a statement. “The standout community is a dining destination and a clear choice for our expansion. We know locals and visitors alike will fall in love with our vibrant spaces, bold flavors, and addictive menus. From Via 313’s Detroit-style pizza to Pincho's Miami-born burgers, we’re bringing the heat to Houston.”

The Memorial City area has been on an upswing as a dining destination. In addition to the recent opening of Velvet Taco, the area will soon see additions such as Common Bond and Montrose-based barbecue joint The Pit Room.

“We are excited that Memorial City will be first to bring both of these award-winning restaurants to our city,” Danna Diamond, vice president of retail leasing for Memorial City owner MetroNational added. “The fact that Food & Wine Magazine has touted Via 313 as ‘one of the best pizzas’ and Pincho is considered by Miami News Times as ‘one of the top 10 best burgers’ is a testament of how much Houstonians are going to love experiencing these new flavors.”

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

2 local booming 'burbs rank as top destination for movers, plus, why Houston isn't a great place to visit

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. 2 Houston suburbs roll onto top-15 spots on U-Haul’s list of growing cities. They're the 13th and 19th most popular destinations for movers.

2. 2 smokin' Houston-area barbecue names fire up new restaurants in bustling 'burbs. Both restaurants are ranked among the state's 50 best barbecue joints by Texas Monthly.

3. Ken Hoffman chides New York Times' Houston travel guide and explains why our city isn't a great place to visit. Our columnist explains why 36 hours doesn't do Houston justice.

4. 10 Houston restaurants score coveted James Beard Award nominations. Perhaps one of them will follow up Julep's big win last year.

5. Houston Olympic superstar Simone Biles shares new Wheaties box cover with her legion of fans. It's the second time Biles has been featured on the cereal box.

Wildly popular Nashville hot chicken chain cancels plans for first Houston location

No Hattie B's for now

Looks like Houstonians will have to wait a little longer than expected to try one of the most famous suppliers of Nashville hot chicken. Hattie B’s has canceled its plans to open a location in the Heights, a representative tells CultureMap.

The representative cited “construction costs for the ground-up build and other issues with this particular site” as reasons for the decision not to move forward. An eagle-eyed user on the Houston Architecture Info forum spotted a leasing notice for the property at 1808 N. Shepherd Dr. that had been scheduled for Hattie B’s.

In response to CultureMap’s request for comment about the property being for lease, Hattie B’s supplied a statement from co-founder Nick Bishop, Jr.

“While we have made the very difficult decision not to move forward with the project in the Heights, our commitment to finding a home in Houston remains strong. We love this city and have always imagined a Hattie B's here.”

First announced in 2021, Hattie B’s intended to open a 3,800-square-foot restaurant designed by Texas’s acclaimed Michael Hsu Office of Architecture that would have had seating for 175 people. Potentially, the design could be utilized for a new location.

Founded in Nashville in 2012, Hattie B’s serves tenders, sandwiches, and bone-in chicken at five different spice levels: Southern (no heat), mild, medium, hot, and the signature Shut the Cluck Up. The restaurant has four locations in Nashville along with locations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Memphis. It has plans to open in Austin next year.

Texas-based Cinemark theater chain hosts Oscars-themed movie marathon

big-screen moves

The Cinemark movie chain is giving movie buffs an opportunity to brush up on the Oscars.

Plano-based Cinemark Holdings, Inc. will host its annual Oscar Movie Week festival, this year running from Monday, March 6 through Sunday, March 12, in anticipation of the 95th Oscars ceremony, which airs on March 12 on ABC.

The theater chain will air all of this year’s Best Picture and Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees, at more than 120 participating Cinemark theaters nationwide.

According to a release, passes are now on sale now at Cinemark.com/movieweek.

A full Digital Festival Pass is $40 and includes showings for all Best Picture and Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees. There's a perk! If you purchase a festival pass, you get 50 percent off any size popcorn during Oscar Movie Week.

Individual showtime tickets will be available starting January 27 at standard pricing, with showtimes beginning March 6.

All Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees are bundled into one viewing for just $10 from March 10-12.

For other brushing up, take a look back at what CultureMap’s film critic, Alex Bentley, had to say about each of the nominees (listed in alphabetical order) when they were originally released.

Cinemark has been hosting other similar marathon events such its collaboration with ESPN to bring college football games to the big screen.

The event takes place at these theaters across the U.S., including the following locations in Texas:

  • Houston: Cinemark Memorial City
  • The Woodlands: Cinemark 17
  • Austin: Cinemark Southpark Meadows
  • Denton: Cinemark 14
  • Fort Worth: Ridgmar Mall
  • Grapevine: Cinemark Tinseltown
  • Plano: Cinemark Legacy
  • Plano: Cinemark West Plano
  • San Antonio: Cinemark San Antonio 16