An upscale-polished restaurant feeds off the daily volume of some 5,000 customers visiting the adjacent furniture showroom.
Brick & Mortar Kitchen offers guests what few other restaurants can—the option to buy the tables, chairs, bar stools, or patio furniture while feasting on Momma’s Meatloaf.
Located in Richmond, Texas, adjacent to the newest and third unit of Gallery Furniture, the restaurant features refined “Texas-Southern” cuisine, an adventurous wine list, and private dining for up to 200 people.
Owned by Chef Phil Brown and his wife, Laura McIngvale Brown, daughter of the furniture store’s owner, Brick & Mortar is making a mark with more than its bar stools.
“There is not really a restaurant of this caliber outside of Houston’s Loop,” Chef Brown says. “We wanted an inside-the-Loop restaurant in the [suburbs], and Brick & Mortar has achieved that. It has been really well-received. Some people eat here three or four times a week.”
Seasoned restaurateurs, the Browns also own the highly rated Vince Young Steakhouse in Austin, Texas, in partnership with former pro quarterback Vince Young.
In regard to their Brick & Mortar Kitchen concept, it was clear early on that the multi-use location wasn’t going to lack for foot traffic. The restaurant is accessible through the massive, 200,000-square-foot furniture showroom that averages 5,000 customers daily, and it also has a separate entrance.
Chef Brown says 60 percent of restaurant traffic enters through the furniture store, which, like Brick & Mortar Kitchen, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
There are other synergies between the restaurant and store. Any customer who spends $3,000 or more on furniture automatically receives a $100 gift card for Brick & Mortar Kitchen. Additionally, all of the furniture and décor featured in the restaurant’s design are available for purchase next door.
“People just don’t expect to go to a furniture store and have a great meal, so they often come back,” the chef says. “The big challenge is getting people to come in that are not going to Gallery Furniture.”
Originally approached about opening a restaurant by his father-in-law, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, after visiting ABC Carpet’s restaurant, ABC Kitchen by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York City, Brown says he and his wife were given free rein to create the restaurant.