Haven, Houston’s First-of-Its-Kind Green Restaurant, Offers

From: Haven
Published: Wed Oct 21 2009

Houston foodies and environmentally responsible diners alike are buzzing about Haven, a restaurant concept that’s a first-of-its-kind for the nation’s fourth largest city. Owners Randy Evans, former executive chef at Brennan’s, Cory Graff, former opening managing partner with Capital Grille, and restaurateurs Debbie Jaramillo and Rhea Wheeler are eagerly putting the final touches on plans for their forthcoming green restaurant, set to open in November 2009. The environmentally friendly design created by Collaborative Projects’ Jim Herd, Geoffrey Brune and Melanie Pereira will be one-of-a-kind, as will Evans’ “Modern Texas Cuisine” menu, influenced by favorite Texas foods Evans grew up with.

“When you sit down to dine at Haven, you’ll ‘get’ why we’re so excited and passionate about what we’re doing,” said Evans, who plans to update Haven’s ingredient-driven menu weekly, based on what’s best in the fields at the time. “Local, seasonal foods taste better, they’re packed with nutrients and they leave a smaller carbon footprint. It’s a win-win for everyone ??" the farmer, the chef and the diner.” Evans says everything will be housemade and prepared with farm fresh ingredients, including Haven’s signature cocktails.

The 5,200 square foot build out will incorporate as many green concepts in construction and design as possible, from building materials to interior finishes, kitchen equipment, lighting and more, according to Herd, who is known for his environmentally conscious spaces.

“An amazing amount of thought went into what seems very unassuming.” said Herd. “Randy, Cory, Rhea and Debbie are dedicated to providing a great ‘farm to plate’ experience. We are doing our best to design and build a space that supports this in every way feasible. We are using our proven expertise in not only restaurant design and construction, but in selecting appropriate green building solutions to provide a pleasant, healthy and sustainable neighborhood project.”

Green initiatives include open ceilings, minimal finishes, and energy-efficient lighting. During warm months the restaurant’s overhangs, floor-to-ceiling green screens and fast-growing shade trees will help reduce air conditioning use. Rather than hauling in bottled water, Haven will use as a specially-designed filtered water system for still and sparking waters. For the kitchen, Evans is purchasing used, scratch-and-dent and refurbished restaurant equipment, items that might otherwise be sent to landfills. The restaurant will also use recycled glass and paper products and will compost kitchen scraps to cut down on garbage pickups.

Haven will feature a raised bed chef’s garden on site, tended to daily by Evans and his kitchen staff. “I want to teach my staff to have respect for the food and ingredients they serve. It’s all about how the earth links to the food, and the food to the dining room,” he said. Cisterns will collect untreated water for the natural, sustainable garden.

For wine, the Haven team will go the extra mile to focus on boutique, hard-to-find bottles from around the world, as well as those more familiar labels popular with wine-savvy Houstonians. According to Graff, “wines will be priced aggressively to encourage diners to take advantage of tasting opportunities.”

“I think we have a home run, something the whole city will enjoy,” said Wheeler. “In creating Haven we’ve considered the environment along with the cuisine, because it’s something we believe in. We hope Houstonians will embrace Haven as much as we have.”

Haven will be located at 2502 Algerian Way, near the Kirby Drive/Highway 59 interchange in Houston. It will only be the beginning for the team’s green restaurant endeavors.
Company: Haven
Contact Name: kimberlypark
Contact Email: kpark@kimberlypark.com
Contact Phone: 713-660-9567

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