Cafe Express, 1422 W. Gray, reopens October 4 with a brand new look and some new menu items. Calling its service "craft-casual", the upscale cafe has been completely renovated with a vibrant interior that is a blend of European elegance and relaxed American eatery. Taking its inspiration from the art house cafes in Europe, it is an homage of sorts to Cafe Express founders, friends and restaurateurs Lonnie Schiller and Robert Del Grande who first conceived the brand while on a trip to Europe. The first Cafe Express opened in 1984 on Post Oak Lane. Its restaurant at River Oaks Plaza first opened in 1991 as the third location for Cafe Express.
The renovations to the River Oaks spot also include curbside pickup and shelving for fast, contactless retrieval of online orders. While the takeout experience has been streamlined for convenience, the dine-in experience has been elevated with orders now being delivered to tables.
The menu still includes many longtime favorites such as Tuscan Amore Pasta, Mediterranean Grilled Salmon and Basil Pesto Chicken but there are new European-inspired dishes such as Amalfi Chicken, Tuna Nicoise Salad, Steak Bavette and Spanish Romesco Chicken. Its signature condiment bar includes imported goodies like mixed olives, capers, cornichons and Italian grissini breadsticks.
There is a beer and wine menu and its happy hour will draw the cafe crowds in for its $5 glasses of wine. For now the happy hour is available daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with plans to expand the program.
Cafe Express is also making renovations to its Town & Country and Meyerland locations while preparing to open a new restaurant in The Woodlands at 9595 Six Pines this fall. The expansion is part of the company's plans to open 30 more locations by 2030. Houston will be home to 15 of the future restaurants while another 15 are planned for the Dallas area.
Sarah McAloon, President at Cafe Express, said in a press release, "We are thrilled to breathe new energy into this pioneering restaurant concept and introduce it to a whole new generation of future Cafe Express lovers all while honoring our past, by keeping the fresh, flavorful and delicious food at affordable prices longtime fans know and love."
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