Next up at Trinity Groves: ‘permanent pop-up’ Kitchen LTO

There’s a lot already going on at Trinity Groves, the 15-acre development at the foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that’s devoted in large part to incubating and supporting new restaurant concepts.Sharon Van Meter opened 3015 at Trinity Groves, a space for culinary team building, parties and cooking classes, back in September. Since then, Babb Brothers BBQ and BluesFour Corners Brewing Co. and Hofmann Hots have opened, too.

But there’s much more to look forward to, some of which — at the moment, anyway — is expected to debut this summer. That’s when Jonn Baudoin and Omar Flores, the owner and chef respectively ofDriftwood, plan to open Casa Rubia, a Spanish tapas place. Yaser Khalaf (BaboushMedina Oven and Bar) hopes to open Souk, a Middle Eastern spot, in August. LUCK — Local Urban Craft Kitchen, a “craft-beer-inspired” kitchen and bar — is slated for September. DJ Quintanilla plans to open Resto Gastro Bistro, featuring American, French and Asian-inspired cooking, in October, which is also whenUno Immanivong is slated to open Chino, with a fusion of Chinese and Latin cooking.

But first up will probably be Kitchen LTO — a “permanent pop-up” restaurant. The clever idea — a space that will feature a new pop-up restaurant every four months — belongs to Casie Caldwell, founder ofGreenz Salads. The idea is up-and-coming chefs and designers apply for each project, a panel of judges selects finalists based on applications and tastings, then the public is invited to come and taste their dishes and participate in online voting, which decides which chef and designer will be responsible for the next 4-month pop-up.

Back in February, Kitchen LTO started to take applications for the first one. “We had about a dozen chef applications,” says Casio, and “about 15 or 16 design applications.” The judges have since narrowed it down to four chef-finalists and five designer-finalists, who will be announced probably in late May. The plan at the moment is for the winning chef and designer’s pop-up to start its four-month run on July 15.  “It’ll be fun to go to a new restaurant every four months,” says Caldwell.

You can say that again!

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