The Palacios Murphy hospitality group, owned by husband-and-wife team Cinda and Armando Palacios, will open Mandito’s, a 165-seat Tex-Mex restaurant, boasting elevated cuisine set against a casual backdrop in the storied Bellaire neighborhood in early 2023. Mandito’s – “little Armando” in Spanish – an affectionate childhood nickname used by Armando’s parents growing up, will be located at 5101 Bellaire Blvd. The second location will build on the first iteration of the concept that debuted in Round Top, TX in 2017.
Designed by New York-based architect Rocco DiLeo in collaboration with the Palacios’, the space will boast a 42-seat patio – complete with temperature control for both warm and cold seasons – and custom interior design flourishes. Guests will be greeted and entertained by a state-of-the-art BE&SCO Press and Oven, which is commonly known in the industry as the Ferrari of tortilla machines and makes 900 tortillas an hour.
On the food and beverage side, Mandito’s Bellaire will seek to quickly establish itself as a restaurant that delivers Tex-Mex staples with some new surprise dishes and flavors along the way. Fans of the restaurant in Round Top will be happy to know Mandito’s ‘World Famous’ Burrito Bowl will be on the Houston menu. Guests can expect a reimagined bar program with a variety of high-end and classic margaritas – as well as original cocktails – a creative kids menu, plant-based options and a robust take-away program. Mandito’s, as with every Palacios Murphy concept, will prioritize ensuring the ultimate guest experience while providing its staff with top-of-the-line technological elements designed to streamline operations and allow the team to focus on each individual guest.
“The opportunity to bring Mandito’s to Bellaire and surrounding communities proved to be one that aligned with our goal to elevate the Tex-Mex experience,” says Alex Curley, Palacios Murphy’s Chief Operating Officer. He added, “We are incredibly grateful to have amassed a team of top tier talent from around the country with the goal of placing guests first and building on the legacy of our flagship restaurant, ARMANDOS.”
Armando Palacios, a well-known entity in the Houston restaurant scene, opened iconic Tex-Mex establishment ARMANDOS in River Oaks in 1978. Following years of building up a dedicated patronage in the Upper Kirby district of Houston, the prominent “see and be seen” locale will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2023. ARMANDOS has earned the reputation as being one of Houston’s most iconic eateries, where Tex-Mex is served on a white tablecloth to local and out-of-town celebrities, socialites, and Houston business and civic leaders. In addition to ARMANDOS and the aforementioned Round Top Mandito’s, Palacios Murphy owns and operates Italian-restaurant Lulu’s in River Oaks along with a second location of Lulu’s, Popi Burger and Hotel Lulu in Round Top.
“We believe food is one of the most important ways to tell a story, and Tex-Mex has a lot to say,” said Chief Executive Officer and Co-owner Cinda Palacios. She adds, “For over 50 years, the stories of Tex-Mex cuisine have been largely disregarded – much like the people who have made the food iconic – and we want to preserve those stories and tell them to the world. Bringing Mandito’s to Bellaire is one further step toward achieving that ambitious goal. We look forward to the community taking this journey with us and cannot wait to debut early next year.”
The Palacios Murphy team worked with Simon Ha, Director of Leasing and Brokerage at Braun Enterprises, to facilitate the Mandito’s lease in Bellaire.