The Ion Announces a Trio of Local Restaurants
The Ion and the surrounding District today unveiled plans for three local culinary favorites slated to open in early summer 2021: Late August – a new concept by celebrated Chef Chris Williams of Lucille’s fame in partnership with Chef Dawn Burrell; STUFF’d Wings – the first brick-and-mortar location of Jarrod Rector’s eponymous food truck; and Common Bond – the newest on-the-go iteration of the popular bistro and bakery.
“The new restaurants coming to The Ion and District showcase Houston’s deep culinary culture and local flare that Houstonians identify and connect with. We’re excited for The Ion and District to be a place that celebrates and supports Houston’s diverse entrepreneurial community,” noted Sam Dike, Manager of Strategic Initiatives at Rice Management Company, which is leading the development of The Ion and surrounding District.
Late August – a concept from the newly-formed Lucille’s Hospitality Group – represents a culinary collaboration between LHG chefs Chris Williams and Dawn Burrell. Seeking to honor the past while feeding the future, the restaurant pays heartfelt homage to the dissolving department store era; namely, The Ion’s iconic former tenant, SEARS.
With the indelible legacy of SEARS in mind, the name Late August is directly tied to the seminal catalog annually released by SEARS in “late August” prior to the holiday shopping season. The restaurant will also channel the wonderment of the department store’s heyday through its whimsical menu. It is the brainchild of 2021 Top Chef cast member and 2020 James Beard Semifinalist Chef Dawn Burrell, who will explore the soul of Afro-Asian flavors through a selection of innovative lunch, dinner, and brunch offerings.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to introduce this original concept in such a historic space, which has been given new life as Houston’s heart of innovation. Our goal with Late August is to honor the origins of the property, while also tapping into its future,” says Williams. “Under Chef Dawn’s leadership, I’m confident that the food will not only match the ethos of its surroundings, but also bring a fresh take to Houston’s immensely talented culinary scene. It’s been a pleasure to see Chef Dawn breathe life into this development with her flavors of global comfort.”
Local owner and operator Jarrod Rector will launch the first brick-and-mortar outpost of his wildly-popular STUFF’d Wings – an award-winning Third Ward-area food truck – in the immediate vicinity of The Ion. STUFF’d at The Ion will boast a chef-driven menu combined with a fast-casual atmosphere. Rector – who developed the concept after spending over a decade as an electrical designer in the oil and gas industry – along with his wife and co-owner, Prisoria, have built a rabid following via the STUFF’d Wings food truck’s delectable bone-in chicken wings, which are fused with a variety of side cuisines – including chicken boudain, mac-n-cheese, pork boudain, beef boudain, dirty rice, and seafood boudain. The Ion-adjacent location of STUFF’d will additionally debut smoked STUFF’d wings, STUFF’d milkshakes, loaded fries, and additional new menu items not found at the food truck. Its 2,400-square-foot blueprint includes an outdoor patio and will use recycled and sustainable materials in its construction.
Fast-growing local bakery and bistro Common Bond will add a new on-the-go offering to its portfolio when it launches Common Bond On-the-Go Ion, which represents Common Bond’s fourth on-the-go-style concept across Greater Houston. Common Bond’s iconic baked goods display bar will be a familiar feature in The Ion, and Common Bond On-the-Go Ion will offer both indoor and outdoor seating.
Additionally, the menu will showcase Common Bond’s signature cookies, pastries, and croissants – as well as a grab n’ go-style menu of breakfast, cold sandwiches, and salads. “We look forward to bonding over good food, extraordinary pastries, and great coffee with Houston’s entrepreneurial community — as well as all Houstonians who visit and utilize The Ion’s resources — within its state-of-the-art collaborative environment,” emphasized Common Bond CEO George Joseph.
Late August, STUFF’d Wings, and Common Bond will set the stage for future retail announcements in the coming months that will further enhance the burgeoning Ion and District sector. Burdette Huffman of The Blue Ox Group represented Rice Management Company in the leasing transactions.
About the Ion
Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.