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Food News: Local Design Agency Nominated for James Beard Award

A Heights-based house is up for the branding of a Louisiana restaurant, plus other news.

By Timothy Malcolm May 8, 2020

Some of the design work by Flywheel Co.

We missed another local James Beard award nominee. Flywheel Co., a creative design agency on 19th Street in the Heights, is up for an Outstanding Restaurant Design Award for establishments with 75 seats and under. 

Flywheel is responsible for the branding and menu design, among other aspects of Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana. The restaurant is set at a former Conoco filling station; its architect, also named in the nomination, is Vermillion Architects, LLC, of Lafayette.

You've seen Flywheel's work around town. It's responsible for the signature branding of Slow Dough Bread Co., plus it helped design former Heights restaurants Southern Goods and Presidio.

James Beard award winners this year will find out their fate Sept 25 in Chicago.

One Fifth is back for curbside pick-up, but it won't be Vietnamese, and it won't be the "lightning round" that was previously promised by chef Chris Shepherd. Instead, because comfort is king and just getting a restaurant operating smoothly is a tall task right now, One Fifth is turning to arguably its most beloved featured cuisine: Mediterranean.

Not only that, but once Shepherd and the Underbelly Hospitality team feel it's time to re-open the dining room and go back to full service, One Fifth Mediterranean will stay. That is to say One Fifth will end with Mediterranean. It opens today and will operate 11 a.m.–8 p.m. daily.

The Houston branch of Get Shift Done, an effort to help hospitality workers affected by COVID-19, has launched and has already put people to work. Originating out of Dallas, Get Shift Done expanded to Houston in the last few weeks with a push from the Greater Houston Community Foundation, through its Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund, and the Houston Food Bank. Thanks to initial gifts, Get Shift Done Houston offered $15 per hour shifts to 50 jobless hospitality workers starting April 29. To learn more, visit

In more Food Bank news, it recently secured a $1,601 donation from Houston-based business GlobalSpeak Translations, with the money raised determined by just how much its members pedaled. GlobalSpeak CEO Flor Dimassi and President Thomas Lacombe offered to raise a dollar for every mile rode from March 23 through April. The 1,601 miles pedaled translated to 4,803 meals offered through the Food Bank.

Downtown steakhouse Guard and Grace is reopening today for curbside pick-up and dining in at 25 percent maximum capacity. It's also unveiling a new team. George Malek, previously of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Morton's, is the new general manager at Guard and Grace, while Steven Haug, previously of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, the former Vallone's Steakhouse and more, will take over as executive chef. 

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