A large restaurant space near Houston’s upscale Galleria shopping center—one that has changed concepts, chefs and management teams twice in the last five years—has reopened with a new management company, a new look and a new strategy.
What started as chef Philippe Schmit’s Philippe Restaurant and Lounge in 2011 became Table in 2014, switching from a French menu to a broader American lineup. It closed last year to be recreated as La Table under the direction of three-year old management company Invest Hospitality, based in New York. Invest Hospitality owns the U.S. licensing rights to Joël Robuchon’s restaurants and has opened four L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon concepts in the U.S. Founder and c.e.o. Alex Gaudelet says the previous iterations’ difficulties stemmed from a lack of menu focus and space problems.
Gaudelet says revisiting to a French concept made sense for the market. “We thought French was a good choice because it has experienced such a renaissance in New York and other larger restaurant markets,” says Gaudelet. “Also, there was no upscale French restaurant in the Galleria area, so there was room for it in the market.”
The second change Invest Hospitality made was dividing the 11,000 square foot space into five smaller concepts. “The dining room would seem empty if there weren’t a lot of guests,” at any given time, explains Gaudelet. Having four distinct concepts also allowed Invest Hospitality to maximize all dayparts and guest occasions.
Designed by Dolores Suarez and Caroline Grant of New York City-based Dekar Design (whose portfolio includes New York City’s Rosemary’s and Claudette), La Table takes its elegant and intimate design inspiration from the homes of Provence.