Company Description

The Sugar Refinery Grub & Grogs will embody the warmth of southern hospitality and the charm of the historic Sugar Land community.

Behind the facade of a sugar processing plant, the doors to The Sugar Refinery will open to a 1920’s era bar and lounge. Themed as a modern rendition of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the bar will be fashioned in décor and furniture that’s styled in the era with bartenders and servers dressed in period attire. Local drink connoisseurs will enjoy a menu that ranges from craft beer to wine and whiskies from around the world, and creative cocktails will be concocted by expert mixologists. The food menu will feature a mix of comfort food dishes, with our award-winning chef’s unique take on original 19th century food trends.

The Sugar Refinery will be located in Sugar Land Town Square, a large mixed retail, office and residential complex in a booming suburb in Southwest Houston. The complex includes luxury condominiums, a Marriott Hotel, premier Class A office space, and shopping and dining options that draw significant traffic. The Town Square also hosts free music events each week for the community. This mix of options has made Town Square the central hub of Sugar Land over the past decade. 

The team behind The Sugar Refinery also owns and operates Songkran Thai Kitchen (two locations: Thai Kitchen and Thai Grill). The food has been described as "delightful" and "an eye-opening excursion" that is "elegant, yet unfussy." Upon its opening in 2014, it was heralded by Houston Press as one of the best new restaurants during a "banner year." In 2016, Songkran Thai Grill was opened in Sugar Land Town Park, immediately next to the new home for The Sugar Refinery. 

The team also founded and managed BLU Restaurant and Lounge, a successful bar and restaurant, since 2011. BLU operates in the same space that The Sugar Refinery is taking over. After 5 years of successful operations, the team is developing The Sugar Refinery as a new business, completely renovating and re-conceptualizing the interior and the business.


While the "neo-speakeasy" has been a popular trend that’s taken off across the country, most businesses reflecting this theme and experience in Houston are located in Downtown and Midtown. The 20-mile distance to these locations makes them inconvenient to the growing population of Sugar Land.

The Sugar Refinery is dedicated to advancing the art and practice of Sugar Land hospitality, as it was understood in the past and as it’s understood now for all residents of and visitors to Sugar Land. Our goal is to provide an accurate depiction of Sugar Land’s rich history and uncover pictures from the city archives to adorn our walls. Our menu exemplifies the local culture through its various "comfort-food" dishes and unique takes on original nineteenth century food trends.

This is the neighborhood bar where guests can kick-back, relax and enjoy a drink with buddies, feel a sense of community, and claim The Sugar Refinery as their home away from home.

Business Model

The Sugar Refinery will be open seven days a week to serve the surrounding community.

The concept will feature dated decor with innovative cocktails that attempt to recreate an age where mixed drinks could be made from a few fresh & simple ingredients. In addition to a great selection of beer, wine and cocktails, experienced mixologists will craft adventurous concoctions with a variety of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables.

The menu will feature American-style bar and pub food mixed with southern cooking, including items such as chicken pot pies, lamb chops, burgers and sliders. 

Preliminary sample menu

The Sugar Refinery will provide live entertainment for patrons, featuring live bands multiple nights a week and a live DJ on weekends. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, the venue will stay open until 2 AM to provide a relaxing and fun environment for patrons to enjoy the evening. 


Liquor lockers for regulars and an off-menu list of secret drinks will be additional highlights to the experience.

Location Analysis

The Sugar Refinery will be located at 2248 Texas Drive, Sugar Land, TX 77479 in a bustling town square. Founded as a sugar plantation in the mid-1800s and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land is considered one of the most affluent suburban neighborhoods of Houston, TX.

Numerous high-profile regional and international corporations have chosen Sugar Land as their corporate headquarters, including Minute Maid, Schlumberger, Fluor Corporation, Bechtel Equipment Operations, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna. Other major corporations with expansions in Sugar Land include MD Anderson Hospital, Texas Instruments, Noble Drilling, Baker Hughes and GE Oil & Gas.

Sugar Land Town Square

The Sugar Land Town Square is a 32-acre mixed use, public-private partnership. It is considered the central business district for the city of Sugar Land and has Class A office space, condominiums, retail stores, wellness studios and clinics, restaurants and the Marriott Hotel. Festivals and important events take place in the town square.

This thriving city center is easily accessible due to its prime location at the intersection of US-59 and Highway-6. It is located approximately 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston.

Conveniently located at the intersection of the US-59 and Highway-6

Within a one-mile radius, average household income is approximately 165% of the national average with a population density double the national average.

The Sugar Refinery will be located on square 35 in the map of Town Square. Other notable restaurants include Songkran Thai Grill, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, Shiva Indian Restaurant, and Japaneiro’s Sushi Bistro & Latin Grill. Other bars in the square include Flying Saucer, Baker Street Bar & Grill, and Ginger Mule Tonics & Meals. Retail stores cover fashion, health & beauty, and other specialty stores.

Sugar Land Town Park offers a wide variety of shopping and dining attractions 

Meet the Team

Junnajet "Jett" Hurapan
Partner & Executive Chef

Jett Hurapan is an award-winning chef whose bold, satisfying dishes reflect strong ties to his culture. With a diverse culinary background that includes Thai, Italian, French Vietnamese, New American and Mediterranean cuisines, Jett brings an innovative approach to his role as Executive Chef of The Sugar Refinery.

As the co-founder and co-creator of Songkran Thai Kitchen and Songkran Thai Grill, Jett has over 20 years of experience working in some of the leading restaurants in the country.

His career developed, as he joined the team at BR Guest (Isabella’s, Blue Water Grill) and eventually worked alongside famed New York restaurateur Stephen Hanson as the Executive Chef of West Side Ruby Foo’s. He served as Executive Chef at Rain in New York. Rain received New York’s Best Pan Asian Award and was recognized by the James Beard Foundation. He continued on with the SRO Group, where he worked at the Meatpacking District’s famed Buddakan, gearing up for the Executive Chef role at Buddakan’s Atlanticy City launch. Jett moved to Houston to serve as Executive Chef at Gigi’s Asian Bistro before opening his first endeavor, BLU Restaurant & Lounge in 2011.

Jett has received several industry awards (“Best of the Best” Chef Award from American Culinary Institute, recognized with a Best Chef’s American Award in multiple years) and continues to develop his passion for creating unique culinary experiences for his clientele.

Jira Hurapan
Pastry Chef

Blending fresh and exotic ingredients to create magnificent and unexpected flavor profiles, Jira Hurapan brings more than 14 years of experience to her role as Pastry Chef.

A Bangkok-native, she first traveled to New York City to study English at Baruch College. She went on to complete the Pastry and Baking Arts program and earn a diploma from the world-renowned Institute of Culinary Education. Jira refined her palate with an internship at Sarabeth’s Bakery in Chelsea Market, one of New York City’s beloved brunch spots. She further developed her expertise in the intricate details of pastry making and presentation, moving on to join the acclaimed team at Rain in New York.

Jira and Chef Jett moved to Houston in 2008, consulting for Gigi’s Asian Bistro. After 3 years there, the Hurapans opened BLU Restaurant & Lounge in Sugar Land and have since added Songkran Thai Kitchen in Uptown Park and Songkran Thai Grill in Sugar Land Town Square to their portfolio. Known for preparing everything in-house from scratch, Jira is continuously experimenting. She works alongside and collaborates with Chef Jett so that the meal progression from savory to sweet is harmonious in technique and style.

Amrita "Amy" Karnani
Partner & President

With a background in real estate development, textiles and catering, Amy Karnani serves as the dynamic visionary behind BLU, Songkran Thai Kitchen in Uptown Park and Songkran Thai Grill in Sugar Land Town Square.

She worked in the family catering business for 6 years at the start of her career, handling customer service, sales, inventory management and purchasing. Amy then owned a textile business where she ran manufacturing facilities and managed hundreds of employees. Amy’s passion in decorating and designing led her to train in interior design as well.

Amy first partnered with the Hurapans in 2011, when they created BLU Restaurant & Lounge in Sugar Land Town Square, and they have continued the expansion of the group with Songkran Thai. A critical part of the operating team, Amy has blended her extensive hospitality experience and interior design background to conceptualize the layout, design and décor of each location. She has handled the hiring of all personnel, monitored daily operations, and created internal systems for controlling costs and managing inventory and payroll.