Company Description

PORTERS will be a 6,000 square foot dining destination located in the heart of Bryan-College Station (the home of Texas A&M University, approximately one and half hours northwest of Houston).

The approachable, upscale restaurant will feature Executive Chef Bill Greenwood’s masterfully prepared American cuisine. The menu will have a southern accent to be enhanced through the expert use of oak, pecan, and hickory woods. The to-be-developed eatery will also feature a walk-up butchery providing to-order hand-cut steaks and chops. Patrons will be able to choose from classic cocktails and a robust wine list created by an in-house sommelier, complementing its contemporary fare in a modern, welcoming environment.

Construction on PORTERS, The George, and the rest of Century Square's center complex is already underway

PORTERS is being created as a partnership between a team of experienced restaurant operators and an esteemed team of real estate investors and developers – Midway and Chill Restaurant Group (Charles Criswell and Bill Greenwood). The restaurant will be located in Midway’s Century Square, an exciting mixed-use destination adjacent to Texas A&M University’s campus. Century Square will be a 55-acre development that will be a dynamic, walkable, urban destination. PORTERS will be positioned between neighboring upscale hotels, adjacent to a 9,000 square foot green plaza that will be the anchor of the development.

Midway is a real estate investment, development and management firm that is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The Midway leadership team is heavily comprised of former students of Texas A&M who are deeply engaged in the university's culture and its vision for the growth of College Station. The company has developed and/or currently owns a portfolio of approximately 45 million square feet of properties in 23 states and Northern Mexico. Their projects range from mixed-use developments, hospitality, business and industrial parks, and master-planned communities.

Its marquee project, CITYCENTRE in Houston, was recently recognized as "The People’s Choice" by Houston’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) for the top project of the past decade (2007-2017). Specifically, the development was recognized as having "successfully brought an urban setting to the Energy Corridor and created a pedestrian-friendly district where Houstonians can live, work and play." This is the model that the team has taken to Century Square in College Station.

Midway’s iconic CITYCENTRE in Houston is a model for Century Square in College Station

Chill Restaurant Group will manage the day-to-day operations for the restaurant with Charles "Chuck" Criswell serving as the restaurant’s General Manager. Criswell is a native Houstonian, a graduate of the University of Houston, and a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry who has devoted his life to hospitality. He has worked with multiple renowned Texan restauranteurs such as Damian Mandola, Johnny Carrabba, Larry Foles, and Guy Villavosa in multiple successful concepts including: Vallone’s, Añejo, Eddie V’s, and The Tasting Room. Criswell brings the same unrivaled level of passion and experience to PORTERS that he brought to Eddie V’s CITYCENTRE.

PORTERS’ Executive Chef will be the distinguished Bill Greenwood. Beyond working alongside Criswell at Eddie V’s CITYCENTRE, Greenwood’s philosophy of farm-to-table, sustainable, upscale cuisine has been honed at multiple well-known restaurants in Texas, California, and Colorado – including Hotel Jerome, The Little Nell Hotel, and Conundrum.

The Restaurant is nearing the end of the design phase and construction is expected to commence in March 2017. The grand opening is expected July 2017.

Business Model

PORTERS is launching an approachable, contemporary, and upscale eatery that will play a central role in Midway’s Century Square development. Century Square will include multifamily, office, retail, restaurants, entertainment and hospitality uses with several components already open and the balance to open alongside PORTERS. PORTERS will complement Century Square by providing a uniquely Texas dining experience that will integrate well with the event-programmed The Green, a central green space on the property. The restaurant will also support the dining needs of two full-service, Valencia Group-operated hotels (Cavalry Court and The George) and their 9,000 square feet of conference space.

The restaurant’s capacity will be 156 seats which includes two 50-seat dining areas, a smaller private dining room, an outdoor patio, and additional bar area seating. The layout is designed to maximize capacity and create intimate dining experiences in each beautifully crafted section.

The distribution of rooms also allows for the flexibility to serve private groups of various sizes without disturbing the regular flow of guests. Along with an evolving local customer base, visitors to Texas A&M University will find PORTERS to be a special dining destination.

PORTERS will be centered around a unique, wood-centric grill and a craft butcher providing hand-cut, to-order steaks and chops.

The beverage options will feature a carefully curated wine list and cocktail menu. The restaurant also plans to offer wine and whiskey lockers to allow regulars and VIP members to indulge in the purchase of full bottles.

The team anticipates that 60% of revenue will be generated from food and 40% through alcohol sales. The average ticket price at PORTERS is anticipated to be $25 for lunch and $75 for dinner. The options for upscale dining are currently very limited in the area, and this price point is in line with comparable restaurants in the area (The Republic and Christopher’s World Grille).

Location Analysis

PORTERS will be located adjacent to Texas A&M University in Bryan-College Station, Texas.

Located 95 miles northwest of Houston, Bryan-College Station is home to more than 63,000 students and the total population is approximately 229,000 (2014). An estimated 1.6 million visitors are drawn to Texas A&M annually (2015).

Bryan-College Station permanent residents have a median household income of $88,984, and the average student family median household income is $96,134 (the top 25% reaching $127,337).

Century Square is a mixed-use development that sits on a 55-acre site situated on the northeast corner of College Avenue and University Drive adjacent to the University. Phase I of Century Square is currently under construction and occupies 32 of the total 55 acres.

Traffic counts on University Drive total in excess of 67,000 cars daily.

Century Square will offer its patrons a wide range of amenities including a luxury 21-and-older multifamily community, multiple retail and restaurant options, a dine-in movie theater, two full-service Valencia Group-operated hotels, 60,000 SF of Class A office, and a two-acre, event-filled plaza.

Century Square – Phase 1 summary

  • 249 luxury, 21 -and-older multifamily units
  • 162 full-service, “refined rustic” hotel rooms at The George
  • 141 full-service hotel rooms at Cavalry Court, inspired by Brazos Valley’s history of military, agriculture, and engineering
  • 60,000 SF of Class A office
  • 155,000 SF of retail, restaurants and entertainment
  • Two-acre, urban-style green plaza, “The Green”

Meet the Team

Charles "Chuck" Criswell
General Manager

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Chuck Criswell has devoted his life to hospitality. After graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in finance, he accepted his first management position at Houston’s, the renowned restaurant chain created by George Biel.

After several years at Houston’s, he accepted a General Manager position with Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba. Over the next decade, Criswell opened and operated a number of restaurants for the two throughout Texas. Upon leaving Carrabba’s, he served as the president of a restaurant group based in San Antonio, Texas, leading and inspiring his team to open and operate restaurants in all of the major cities in Texas. Most recently, Criswell has spent five years operating fine dining concepts for Larry Foles and Guy Villavosa at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.

Criswell first worked with Midway when he and Chef Greenwood opened CITYCENTRE’s Eddie V’s. Chuck will utilize his 30-years of hospitality experience to serve as PORTERS’ General Manager.

"Providing hospitality is an authentic, genuine, and enduring profession," says Criswell. With this authenticity-centered approach to hospitality, he strives to develop motivated, winning teams and to maximize guest engagement through truly memorable dining experiences. Criswell grew up in a family that loved great food, cooking, cocktails, and hosting grand dinner parties. For over 30 years, his mother Ann Criswell wrote for the award-winning food section of the Houston Chronicle and is also the author of several books featuring Houston’s finest restaurants. Drawn to the energy of the restaurant business early on, Criswell got his first job as a busboy at the age of 15. After rising through the ranks, he devoted his life to hospitality.

Criswell is also a certified sommelier who spends his free time studying wine, cocktails, and fine whiskeys. On his days off you can find him enjoying the great outdoors.

Bill Greenwood
Executive Chef

Bill Greenwood’s restaurant experience began at age nine when he began work at his father’s restaurants outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Greenwood’s on Green Street, owned and operated by Bill’s father, William, since 1986, is an Atlanta institution and a pioneering restaurant in the farm-to-table movement. “Growing up Kitchen,” as Bill refers to his unique upbringing, has resulted in Bill’s profound interest in sustainability, vertical farming, and innovative restaurant supply techniques, while maintaining a passion for straightforward cooking and simple-yet-sophisticated preparations.

Chef Greenwood and Chuck Criswell worked together to open CITYCENTRE’s Eddie V’s. During his three years as Executive Chef, Greenwood and Criswell built their relationship with the Midway team.

Prior to his time with Eddie V’s, Bill worked as the Executive Chef of AP Stumps Chop House in San Jose, California, but he gained his love for the Rocky Mountains and Colorado cuisine while working in Aspen. He first worked at the storied Little Nell Hotel under the guidance of his mentor and James Beard Award winner, Chef George Mahaffey. Bill also worked in the culinary departments of the Hotel Jerome, Cache Cache Bistro, Grana Bread Company, and Conundrum Restaurant.

Real Estate Investment & Development Firm

Houston-based Midway is a privately owned, fully integrated real estate investment and development firm that has provided the highest level of quality, service and value to its clients and investors for nearly 50 years. Since its inception in 1968, Midway has created projects of distinction, aesthetic relevance and enduring value for its investors, clients and local communities. Midway’s purpose is to create enduring investments and remarkable places that enrich people’s lives.

The Midway portfolio of projects completed and/or underway consists of approximately 45 million square feet of properties in 23 states and Northern Mexico. Their projects range from mixed-use developments, hospitality, business and industrial parks, and master-planned communities.

The Midway leadership team is heavily comprised of former students of Texas A&M who are deeply engaged in the university's culture and its vision for the growth of College Station.

For more information, please see the Disclosure Statement.