First Bite

Katz's Comes to the Heights with a New Look

The always-open New York-style restaurant doesn't just have Reubens and bagels.

By Timothy Malcolm September 15, 2020

Remember, Katz's is open at night, too. And early morning. 

Sure, people call it Katz's Deli, but if you look at the website URL and logo of the popular all-day eatery, you'll notice it's called Katz's Never Kloses.

"We've been redefining our brand," says Barry Katz, owner and operator of the small local chain. "Now we're more like a New York eatery."

Tuesday's opening of the newest Katz's location at 2200 N Shepherd Dr in the Heights—following in the footsteps of the eatery's locations in Montrose and The Woodlands—marks a milestone in that 18-month brand redefinition effort. For Katz, the Heights eatery is the ideal example of his concept going forward.

"The premise to all this is: It's a mix of the old and new," says Katz. "When I was younger, I ran from everything old."

Sure enough, through the work of the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, touches of an old-school New York diner or deli are apparent. There's white subway tile everywhere, plus custom-made green booths (the restaurant is 80-percent booth seating, Katz says). There's also ample natural light cast from tall windows and a dominating skylight near the entrance, but at night, custom-made lighting, including a beautiful chandelier hanging from the skylight, will set the mood.

But you'll be hard-pressed to find an East Coast dining car with such a dramatic U-shaped bar, and there's no way those old-school delis have Katz's patio space—60 seats, plus a play area for outdoor games.

The menu also has a blend of old and new. Yes, you can tuck into all-day omelets and bagels with lox, plus Reubens, hot open-faced roast beef sandwiches, and cups of French onion soup. But you can also opt for a tasty pan-seared Australian sea bass with quinoa and red pepper almond vinaigrette. Or maybe you'd like a Texas brisket, turkey, and jalapeño cheese sandwich. A New York cheesecake and a black-and-white cookie sound nice, but what about a slice of terrific strawberry jubilee cake?

Australian sea bass at Katz's.

Plus, there's a host of new cocktails, Texas wines, and non-alcoholic fruit drinks. You can still get the egg cream, though.

The result is a restaurant for all times and for all kinds of palates. That also makes Katz's a good fit for the Heights, home to kids and families, young professionals, and night owls looking for that 1:30 a.m. egg plate. All they have to do is read the logo.

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