Chris Williams and Dawn Burrell are looking to shake up Houston's culinary scene.

Image: Jenn Duncan

Chris Williams, the chef/owner of Lucille's in the Museum District, announced Wednesday the formation of a Lucille's Hospitality Group, with four new dining and lifestyle concepts to be opened in 2021 and '22.

"It’s been a long road to get to this point, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by a work family that not only shares LHG’s vision for the future, but fully understands the work required to make it happen," said Williams in a press release. "The LHG perspective to the work is unique as nearly every single member comes from restaurant kitchens. We know how to grind!"

Williams has tapped free-agent chef and 2020 James Beard award Best Chef Texas semifinalist Dawn Burrell, formerly of Kulture, to run one of the new restaurants. Burrell, as chef and concept partner, will helm Late August, which will be focused on Afro-Asian flavors and is scheduled to open in late 2021.

"Being a part of this team is really a dream come true for me," said Burrell in a release. "I get to do what I love to do with food creatively while also meeting the needs of so many people through Lucille’s 1913. I'm excited to be apart of it."

Also coming is Emile's Black Point Bistro, which was Williams's first restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that has since closed. Here, he'll fuse Nova Scotian cuisine with Lebanese flavors. It is slated to open this spring.

Also, Rado Cafe, a Third Ward all-day café with coffee and cocktails, will come in 2022, and a sister concept focusing on African American art, called Hogan Brown Gallery, will open in spring 2022.

Williams will turn his attention to expansion while handing over day-to-day operations of Lucille's to chef de cuisine Khang Hoang. Josh Lopez will be the general manager at Lucille's. All of this is happening after Williams spent much of 2020 building his nonprofit Lucille's 1913, which has fed people in under-resourced neighborhoods.

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