In a couple of short months, Houston’s downtown will feature a new full-service restaurant that will also have nightclub facilities.
But when it opens in July, the Sidestreet Grill will bring something more to the table: the resurrection of a hamburger that was for years a favorite among many Texas County residents.
Located on Steffens Street in the old Crowley’s Furniture building, the grill project is being tackled by Chance and Tammi Drake of Solo. The couple originally set out to open more of a tavern-like establishment, but that idea was prevented from getting off the ground by a city ordinance that limits on the number of bars based on population. Still wanting to push ahead, the Drakes were able to do so by adding the restaurant aspect.
The end result is an establishment that will combine food and a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with recreational amenities, including three pool tables and a dance floor.
The Sidestreet Grill’s 5,000-square-foot space will feature table seating for about 70-to-80 people and bar seating for about another 40, including around the perimeter of the dance floor. Plans include presenting a live band at least a time or two per month, and that patrons can expect to hear all types of popular music.
“We want to cater to everybody,” Tammi said. “We want to have different kinds of bands that play some country stuff and some younger stuff, and DJ’s that do the same thing. Once we get going, we’ll definitely have karaoke, too. But I have some big, big plans for bands.”
The Grill will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday). Tammi said young people will be welcome to stop in to play pool in the afternoon, and other family-oriented activities like birthday parties will be encouraged.
But when the sun goes down, the nightclub atmosphere will reign.
“It will liven up quite a bit at night, especially on Friday and Saturday,” Tammi said. “We’ve got all the flashing lights and strobes and all that stuff. But we don’t want to be just a bar, we want to be a place with full-range entertainment, like line dancing and kids playing pool after school. If someone wants to come and have beer with their dinner, that’s great, but we definitely want people who don’t drink alcohol to also feel welcome.”
In addition to bringing back the iconic, locally famous burger, the Sidestreet Grill will have several choices, like steaks, chicken wings, customized hot dogs, and fries with Tammi’s special cheese sauce. Nothing on the menu will be prepared ahead of time or canned; everything will be made from scratch.
“We’re going for classic bar and grill food, and we know people are excited about the burgers,” Tammi said. “But we’re going to actually cut potatoes and patty hamburgers; nothing will be pre-prepared.”
One of the Drakes’ motivations in opening the restaurant was the fact that there’s nothing similar within a large geographic area.
“I don’t know if everybody really realizes how many people leave here every weekend,” Tammi said. “If you want to go to a place where you can eat, dance and play pool, you’re going to Springfield, Waynesville, Salem or somewhere else that’s pretty far away. We’ve felt for a long time like we needed something to keep people here.
“This won’t just benefit us, it will benefit the town to have something that keeps people here.”
The target date for the Sidestreet Grill’s opening is the week of July 4 or the following week.
“We’re really excited to be doing this,” Tammi said. “So far, we’ve heard some good feedback. We hope it works out.”