Brennan's to Reopen; 125 Jobs and One New Tree to be Added to Midtown

Categories: Leftovers
Photo by Ed Schipul
Brennan's, the morning after the fire that ravaged it on September 21, 2008.

One of the more visible and poignant victims of Hurricane Ike's wrath last year was Brennan's, the family-run restaurant that had served turtle soup and Bananas Foster to Houstonians from their Smith Street location for over 40 years.  Originally an import from New Orleans, the Houston incarnation of Brennan's quickly endeared itself to local residents and eventually became a landmark in its own right.

When Hurricane Ike barrelled through Houston in September of last year, Brennan's took a direct hit in the form of a ravenous fire that nearly destroyed the restaurant and seriously injured three people inside.  The destruction led people to worry that the beloved restaurant would never reopen.

But good news finally came from a press conference this morning, held by owner Alex Brennan Martin and Mayor Bill White: Brennan's will reopen in October.  And there's even more good news!

According to the press release, the restaurant will be adding 125 jobs into the economy, ranging from service to managerial positions.  And not only will jobs be added, a mature oak tree is being transplanted from Hermann Park to replace the beautiful old oak that shaded the courtyard at Brennan's, and which was sadly lost in the fire.

Additionally, eighty percent of Brennan's building -- a historic structure that was built by famous Houston architecht John Staub in 1930 -- will be restored.  The building originally housed Houston's Junior League and is evocative of the French Quarter, an appropriate setting for the New Orleans transplant.

Alex Brennan Martin is excited to be making progress towards the reopening of his restaurant, and not just for himself:

We didn't burn down, we burned up.  We are honored and humbled by the outpouring of support we have received over the past year and are looking forward to opening our doors this fall and welcoming back our guests.

The entire press release can be viewed here.

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