Soundbites: Chris Shepherd Thinks Montrose is the “Heart of the City”

By | July 24, 2014
Credit: Julie Soefer

In a recent interview, we asked Chris Shepherd all about his journey to the James Beard Award. What didn’t make it into the story were some of the reasons why he chose Montrose for Underbelly’s location:

“I worked in Houston for a long time and there was no other spot in the city that I wanted to open up a restaurant more than Montrose. It’s the heartbeat of the city in my opinion. Just the amazing heart. When I was working back in ’97 and ’98 I realized that. It’s where I want to be. When the opportunity arose, I thought, ‘This is perfect.’ I get a lot of people that come in from the neighborhood and tell me, ‘Thank you so much, this is awesome.’ I hope that the majority of people feel that way, because we want to give back to the community, we want to be a part of Montrose. I don’t think it’d work as well in any other neighborhood. It wasn’t about just making money. It was about finding a home and being in the right place.”

He also told us some of the places where he enjoys hanging out when not traveling or working in Underbelly’s kitchen:

“I actually really love to eat at El Real. I love to eat at Aladdin. I love Catbirds, Anvil of course, Niko Niko’s. I just like the smaller little restaurants. Where do I eat the most? It’s probably Aladdin. That pita bread? C’mon. You talk about the South and restaurants in the South, it’s like the classic meat and threes. That is a Houston version of a meat and three.”

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District provided services such as safety patrols by off-duty HPD officers, graffiti abatement, trash pick-up, maintenance of esplanades, among other services outlined in the Districts’ Assessment Plan, that are supplemental to services provided by the City of Houston, had been reduced in Mid-November and ceased completely as of December 11. The District had to cease the services due to unpaid assessments from some of the commercial property owners within the District. Please direct questions regarding the cessation of services to Executive Director, Ben Brewer at We are committed to helping our neighborhood remain the safe, vibrant and attractive place to live and do business and would like to hear from you on how we can continue to work together in this effort.