AUSTIN — It’s a new trend.
And the restaurant owners and restaurateurs who are embracing the change say it’s helping to boost their business and boost their image.
The trend has been gaining steam since the Houston Galleria opened its doors in the early 2000s, but for now, most restaurants are staying the same.
“We’re just trying to keep our heads down and keep our spirits up,” said Tom Nesbitt, owner of the new Houston Grill & Barbecue, which opened this month in downtown Houston.
“We’ve been waiting for it for awhile.”
The restaurant opened with an eye toward keeping up with the times, Nesditt said.
“If we’re going to change the name, we’ve got to make sure we’re keeping our image,” he said.
“Our name is what we’re known for, and we have a strong name.”
The name change has helped the Houston Grill to gain a lot of buzz since opening.
Its first two months have seen the restaurant grow by more than 70 percent compared to the same time period last year.
For instance, the restaurant doubled in number of customers per month.
Nesbits wife is also a chef and his business partner, Amy Oltman, owns the new restaurant, which she opened on Nov. 13.
They have started serving barbecue and beef brisket.
Amy Oltmans husband is also chef, and Amy has been a part of the Houston Food Truck Series for years.
At the end of each month, the Houston Tavern hosts the first annual Houston Grill and Barbecue Fest, featuring a food truck, live music and other activities.
It also hosts events for businesses, charities and other organizations.
After the new name, Houston Grill is also adding a new logo.
And the restaurant is still keeping the same name, the owners said.
“We have a name that we’re very proud of,” Amy Ollmans said.
“But we also want to stay true to what makes Houston so special.”
The Houston Grill, located at 1520 Market St., is open every day except Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
For more information about Houston Grill Restaurants and the restaurants on their menu, visit www.houstongrill.com.