State of Grace owner Ford Fry wants you to know that when discussing his new Heights Tex-Mex restaurant, Superica, you should pronounce it the Spanish way (soo-pair-REE-ca), stupid. But you're probably just excited that he's opening the restaurant at all. Rumors have flown that Fry would take over the roughly 9,000-square-foot collective space that was filled until May 24 by Treadsack's Hunky Dory and Bernadine's. But today, the Atlanta-based, Houston-native chef confirmed that he will open the third location of his micro chain of Tex-Mex restaurants at 1801 North Shepherd Drive.
"We weren't necessarily looking in the Heights," Fry recalls. "It was more the opportunity." And he says the space, divided into two 4,500-square-foot restaurants, presents challenges. The solution is that the area from Bernadine's through the central private dining area will be filled with Superica. What was once Hunky Dory will be a new concept that Fry hasn't yet named, though he says it will exist essentially as an annex of Superica. However, it won't follow suit with a fully Tex-Mex menu.
Fry says that he hopes the smaller, more casual restaurant will capture his fond memories of dining at the San Jacinto Inn as a kid. "It’s just going to be a spin-off more of Texas Gulf cuisine with a little element of Tex-Mex because that’s what happens in Texas," he says. Hunky Dory's hearth will be reborn as an "epic seafood roasting hearth" devoted to wood-roasted oysters. And those oysters will all come from the Gulf.
Superica itself is named for one of Fry's favorite taquerias when he worked in Santa Barbara. He says that the feel will conjure Austin Tex-Mex parlors complete with live music, but the menu will be similar to the existing Superica locations. Tex-Mex fans will be pleasantly surprised to see that that means prices in line with the Pappasito's of the world. Diners can expect all the basics, from several different varieties of queso and nachos to tamales to enchiladas and fajitas. There are puffy and hard-shelled taco dinners, as well as tacos crafted from homemade tortillas.
Fry says to expect the Tex-Mex fun to begin in early 2018.