The Ion announces three restaurants for its Midtown innovation hub

Rendering of Stuff'd Wings restaurant that will be among the culinary offerings at The Ion and surrounding Innovation District, the Rice University project being developed at the former Sears in Midtown and surrounding blocks as part of the university’s Ion innovation hub.

Photo: Courtesy of Stuff'd Wings

Photo: Courtesy of Stuff'd Wings

Black chefs and operators will figure prominently in culinary offerings planned for The Ion and the innovation district redevelopment of the former Sears in Midtown.

The Ion announced three restaurant projects Thursday, including Late August, a new concept from chefs Chris Williams of Lucille’s and his James Beard Award semifinalist partner chef Dawn Burrell, and a brick-and-mortar location for Third Ward food truck Stuff’d Wings. Both are Black-owned businesses.

Late August, one of the culinary and lifestyle projects under the recently launched Lucille’s Hospitality Group, will feature an Afro-Asian menu from Burrell, serving lunch, dinner and brunch. The restaurant’s name is inspired by Sears whose catalog was traditionally released in late August prior to the holiday shopping season.

Stuff’d Wings, which will be located adjacent to Ion, is the first stand-alone restaurant from food truck operators Jarrod and Prisoria Rector whose food truck at 6402 Tierwester has developed a loyal following. Their restaurant will feature their signature wings, chicken and pork boudin, seafood boudin, macaroni and chese, dirty rice, loaded fries, and milkshakes. The 2,400-square-foot restaurant will include an outdoor patio.

The Ion’s third culinary partner announced Thursday will be a Common Bond Café project, the bakery and bistro brand that already enjoys a strong footprint in Houston. The Common Bond On-the-Go Ion will feature a grab-and-go menu of baked goods, breakfast, cold sandwiches, salads, and coffee drinks. The restaurant will offer both indoor and outdoor seating.

All three projects are expected to open early summer as part of the transformation of the former Sears at 4201 Main and the surrounding Innovation District, part of Rice University’s Ion innovation hub.

“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,” said Sam Dike, manager of strategic initiatives at Rice Management Company, which is leading the development of The Ion and surrounding District.

Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Send him news tips at greg.morago@chron.com. Hear him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn about Houston and Texas barbecue culture.

  • Greg Morago

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    Greg Morago was a features editor and reporter for The Hartford Courant for 25 years before joining the Houston Chronicle as food editor in 2009. He writes about food, restaurants, spirits, travel, fashion and beauty. He is a native Arizonan and member of the Pima tribe of the Gila River Indian Community.