Chef Philip Speer, previously of Uchi Restaurant Group (now Hai Hospitality), is opening a new restaurant along Burnet Road. While there is no name or concept yet, he is partnering with Sean McCusker, who opened Sylvain and Barrel Proof in New Orleans. Speer announced his intentions during a pastry pop-up dinner at Juniper last night.
The unnamed restaurant will have a neighborhood focus with full service. It will combine two currently undisclosed sites into one space. The duo plan on unveiling the new venture sometime in late summer or early fall this year.
Speer opened up to ChefsFeed last fall about how his life changed since the DWI crash and charge in 2014. "There’s no more ego-driven Philip," he said in the video. He resigned as the former-Uchi Restaurant Group's director of culinary operations the following summer. Most recently, he was attached to Fork & Taco, the fusion taco joint on Burnet which shuttered in December. Picnik's brick and mortar is taking over the building.
Uchi’s restaurant group has undergone its own changes, too. The company is now known as Hai Hospitality, and there is a new restaurant on the way for South Lamar, opening sometime late this year or in early 2017.
Burnet Road's restaurant scene has exploded within the past year, with the relocation of Barley Swine, the expansion of Bufalina Due, and other establishments like Chi'Lantro, Lick Ice Creams, Twisted Root Burger, and forthcoming Flyrite Chicken's second spot.