Culture / Restaurants

An Ambitious New Houston Restaurant Puts the Gulf Coast Center Stage

Sibling Entrepreneurs Go Mid Lane

BY // 08.29.16

The Adair Family specializes in neighborhood restaurants — quaint places that pair casual fare with a relaxed ambience. Twenty-eight years ago, Gary Adair opened Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill, serving wood-fired burgers to the West University hood. The casual burger joint led to three additional Skeeter’s outposts, the acquisition of Los Tios Mexican Restaurant (four locations), and the 2012 debut of Adair Kitchen on San Felipe Street.

With nine restaurants in tow, the Adair Family Restaurant Group continues its expansion, this time with siblings Nick Adair and Katie Adair Barnhart leading the charge. On September 19, the duo will unveil Eloise Nichols Grill and Liquors, an American eatery named for Katie and Nick’s Texas-bred grandmother, Eloise. Situated between River Oaks District and Highland Village in the new Westheimer Oaks development at 2400 Mid Lane, neighbors include the new 6,000-plus square-foot Tenenbaum Classic Jewelers location and Newport Beach-based whiskey bar Bosscat Kitchen, both of which debut this fall.

“In conceptualizing Eloise Nichols, we were hoping to fill a much-needed hole in the River Oaks area; a classic neighborhood spot,” Barnhart says. “Nothing over the top or fancy. Just a comfortable place for neighbors to meet, eat, or get a drink and enjoy themselves.” 

“The concept behind the space is simple,” adds Adair. “To create the kind of place we crave ourselves, an easy, any-night-of-the week destination that our neighbors can embrace as their own. We hope they will come in to find a place where comfort and fun is as much a priority as the menu and service.”

The Gulf Coast takes center stage on the Eloise Nichols menu, which was created by chef Joseph Staysich. Locally culled ingredients feature in dishes such as chicken confit in dumplings; snapper sashimi with Texas citrus; pickled and deviled eggs; coffee-roasted beets with Texas pecans and blue cheese; the avocado and crab salad; beer-brined chicken served with smoked potatoes, greens, and sun-dried tomato sambal; and sweet tea-brined pork chops with creamed hominy, kale, and apricot jam. An expansive raw bar is also featured on the dinner menu.

Once Eloise Nichols opens it doors, Adair and Barnhart will set their sights on a second September opening — Bebidas, a juice bar concept set to open at 2606 Edloe Street.

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