Underbelly 86'd: James Beard Award-winning chef changes format to steakhouse

Say goodbye to Underbelly


HOUSTON – James Beard award winner Chris Shepherd is keeping Houston foodies on their toes, making more changes.

Shepherd and his business partner Kevin Floyd are saying "goodbye" to Underbelly and "hello" to a new steakhouse. 

They will open Georgia James at 1100 Westheimer. That is where their Underbelly restaurant has been open for nearly six years.

Underbelly as we know it is going away. But as Shepherd and Floyd put it: The acclaimed restaurant is not closing; it's evolving. 

“When we opened Underbelly six years ago, we did so with the mission of telling the story of Houston food," said Shepherd. "We built this restaurant to support the Houston food community and its suppliers by buying local, selling local and drawing our inspiration from the people and cultures that live here. And we believe Underbelly, in its own small way, helped change the landscape of the Houston culinary scene.“

The last meals at Underbelly will be served in March. It will then become UB Preserv, opening in April down the street at 1609 Westheimer. 

“This isn’t Underbelly 2.0,” said Shepherd. “This restaurant is my interpretation of how Houston is evolving. It’s becoming more global, with flavors and spices and products from around the world. Underbelly was founded on a very strict philosophy of what we could and could not serve. No more. Houston doesn’t limit itself, and neither do I.” 

Georgia James, which is named after Shepherd's parents, is slated to open open mid-to-late 2018.