If you google Sam Fox, you’ll first read about Samantha Fox, the British pin-up model who parlayed her popularity into a (minor) singing career in the late 1980s.
That auto-correct seems unfair for an 11-time James Beard semifinalist for outstanding restaurateur, who currently has 13 concepts in his portfolio, opening them primarily across the Arizona desert, and is about to drop a few more pins right here in Houston. Sure, he’s not known for drawing baby boomers out to the dance floor, but who’s to say he hasn’t?
Fox’s company, Fox Restaurant Concepts—which operates the Post Oak casual pizza, pasta and wine spot North Italia—is opening three locations in the Houston area between now and spring 2019, according to a release. It’s part of an attempt to more deeply saturate Texas, with seven total openings in the Lone Star State through spring (the Austin and Dallas areas are already home to several of Fox’s restaurants).
“This year, we’ve got our sights set on continued expansion in Texas in particular because it epitomizes the energy and mood of so many of our concepts,” Fox said in the release. “Our growth here feels as exciting as it does organic, since we’ve been part of the community for over a decade.”
Two of Fox’s Flower Child restaurants are coming, one slated for summer on Uptown Park Boulevard and another set for spring 2019 in The Woodlands. If you haven’t yet tried Flower Child, think fast-casual Woodstock on a plate: current locations boast a salad called Strawberry Fields, a handful of dishes that either include quinoa or avocado (one dish has them both!), and some killer vegan bowls, including Forbidden Rice, with black pearl and red japonica.
He’s also bringing one of his Blanco Tacos + Tequila to the Galleria, with a fall opening scheduled. This will be his first Blanco to hit Texas, and while it enters a crowded Mexican field, its Arizona locations are known for robust tequila lists. Pass the salt.
The other upcoming Texas openings include four Dallas-area locations: A North Italia in Uptown Dallas (fall), his millennial-hangout bistro The Henry in Uptown Dallas (winter) and two Flower Child additions, one in Addison (early 2019) and another in Preston Royal (spring 2019).
Keeping with the Flower Child aesthetic of sustainability, the release also notes that Fox is doing away with plastic straws at all of his restaurants. Only folks who need straws for health reasons will be able to use eco-friendly straws.
Now this tidbit may not be enough to push Fox above an ‘80s pop singer in the SEO ranks, but opening more restaurants will definitely help.