In what might be a surprise, a press release sent out Wednesday announced the launch of a new food-and-beverage operations company called Night Moves Hospitality. The reason for the surprise is that Night Moves is the combination of chef Lyle Bento (Underbelly Hospitality, Riel) and beverage professional Greg Perez, who had been co-operating Monkey's Tail in Northside with plans to open a second concept.
According to a representative for Monkey's Tail, both Perez and co-operator Sharif Al-Amin have left the bar. Much of the staff under Perez and Al-Amin left the bar to work under Perez at Night Moves, but ownership at Monkey's Tail will be announcing changes soon and will also, within the next few months, open Grease Monkey, its second concept located at the former Petrol Station in Garden Oaks.
Back to Night Moves: The hospitality group's early mission is to operate fun, high-character bars with high-quality food. The press release makes note of the ages of nearly everyone involved in the company, with most staff members younger than 30.
"This is a collective effort," said Perez, who is 30. "I'm really excited about the team we have in place. Lyle is leading the charge on the food, and the kids are doing a lot of the work on the drink side, creating the menus, picking out décor and fixtures and matching the concepts to their personalities. It’s a talented and hungry group. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Night Moves will make its presence felt with four scheduled openings in 2021. The first, according to the announcement, is Space Cowboy. This island-style bar and restaurant will open in April at the renovated Heights House Hotel (100 W Cavalcade St), where Toucan's Swim Club was originally slated to go. Inspired by Bento's Hawaiian roots, Space Cowboy will feature a Polynesian and Yucatan comfort menu, and its bar with tropical drinks will be overseen by Samantha Ruiz and Karen Cervantes.
After that, the Night Moves team will open Trash Panda Drinking Club at the former Edison & Patton space at 4203 Edison St. Chris Manriquez of Edison & Patton is partnering with the group on the concept, an indoor-outdoor bar with Southern comfort food (calling back Southern Goods) and a wild drink menu.
Both Space Cowboy and Trash Panda Drinking Club will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Space Cowboy will be operating daily, while Trash Panda will be closed on Tuesdays. The third and fourth concepts are still in the works, but Perez hopes to open both before the end of 2021.