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?
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.