As the next generation of the food hall, Bravery Chef Hall will be the first of its kind venue, providing chef-driven concepts with the structure and environment to experiment and develop a business through a leading-edge model.
Bravery’s 9,000 square foot space will be a curated platform with five restaurant concepts under one roof, each with their own chef-owners and dining experiences. Like the food hall model, each curated concept will be separately owned and will sign a lease for space within the chef hall. The food will be complemented by Bravery’s own extensive beverage operations which will include a wine bar, molecular cocktail bar, and a patio bar that will serve both an evening crowd and weekend brunch.
Bravery's recent announcement was met with a great deal of media coverage and excitement from Houston Chronicle, Eater, Houston Business Journal, CultureMap, Houstonia and Houston Press.
The concept is being launched by the pioneers of Houston’s burgeoning food hall movement (owners of Conservatory Underground Beer Garden & Food Hall, Prohibition Supper Club) in partnership with restaurateur Shepard Ross (Pax Americana) who will serve as General Manager and sommelier for the chef hall.
The restaurant industry is experiencing a reboot. Inspired by the team’s decades of experience, Bravery is designed to flip the way chefs engage the community and roll out new concepts.
Fundamentally, the chef hall model will bring down the wall between chefs and their concepts. Each concept will be operated and owned by chefs, employing only cooks. The complete “back of house” creates the center of each space, and guests are brought into the immersive experience with counter seating. Chefs and cooks take meal orders directly from their guests, make the dishes, interact directly, and even pitch in with bussing.
The biggest challenge that chefs have when stepping out on their own is the business-side of running a restaurant. Their focus on kitchen operations and the art of food itself is what makes them shine. Bravery allows chefs to focus on what matters to them while providing the infrastructure and other business considerations (permitting, build out, flexible lease terms, beverage service, marketing and traffic) that make it easy for the chefs to make the transition.
The concept also provides several other benefits:
- Chefs can guide guests through a culinary journey.
- Direct communication and feedback from clients. Allows for a more customized experience with faster iteration of dishes.
- Immersive experience for diners. Open kitchen on full display with chefs as the center of attraction.
- Incredible energy and guest interaction. Engaged kitchen staff who get to interact with customers the way a bartender would.
- Streamlined food service. Fine dining quality food with the speed of counter service.
- Better pay. Kitchen staff is able to receive tips directly from diners, which will attract and ensure a steady stream of the best culinary talent.
Of the five concepts launching, four chefs have already been chosen.
Ben McPherson (Founder of Krisp Bird & Batter)
Ben has nearly 20 years of experience in the restaurant business with a wide range of styles. Formerly the Culinary Director at Prohibition Supper Club and Conservatory, Ben launched a fast casual restaurant concept Krisp Bird & Batter in 2016. He also served as Executive Chef at Batanga Houston, a Latin American restaurant bringing a "modern twist to traditional tapas."
At Bravery, Ben will be unveiling a new pasta concept, BOH Pasta.
David Guerrero (Owner of Andes Café)
David opened Andes Café in EaDo in 2014, serving a variety of South American specialties. He had a successful run as the Executive Chef at Samba Grille prior, and his South American dishes became well-known within the community. After finding it to be a challenge to develop his passion within other restaurants, David stepped out on his own and launched Andes Cafe in 2014 in the East End.
David’s Bravery showcase, Nuna, will be featuring coastal Latin and market seafoods.
Felix Florez (Owner of Black Hill Ranch)
A former well-regarded sommelier, Felix developed a unique passion for ranching that took him down a path to becoming one of the most progressive leaders in sustainable ranching practices in the region. In 2011, Felix founded Black Hill Ranch. The ranch humanely raises heritage breed hogs, giving them space to roam and enjoy high-quality feed. Over the past few years, he has created a network of local farms and ranches operating under the same practices to add beef, goat and lamb to Black Hill Ranch's offerings. Renowned restaurants such as Emeril's, Café Boulud and Underbelly are among its clients in the region. Felix is also a partner at the popular local eatery and bar Ritual in the Heights, launched in early 2017.
With Bravery, Felix is introducing Cherry Block Craft Butcher & Kitchen. It will be a truly unique ranch-to-restaurant, wood-burning steakhouse.
Christine Ha (MasterChef Winner and Author)
Christine Ha, known as "The Blind Chef," won the third season of MasterChef on Fox in 2012. She released her first cookbook, Recipes from my Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food, the following year. In the five years since winning MasterChef, Ha has opened small pop-up restaurants around the world and appeared on multiple additional television shows. She was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and completely her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
Christine will open her first restaurant, The Blind Goat, at Bravery Chef Hall. The menu will be inspired by Nhau cuisine, a category of Vietnamese food that is consumed while drinking.
The final spot is being curated with specific, complementary concepts in mind.
Bravery is set to open in summer 2018 as the anchor retail tenant at the new Aris Market Square. The 32-story luxury high-rise is located directly across from Market Square Park in downtown Houston.