Star Houston pitmaster unveils new fried chicken + seafood restaurant

The pitmaster-owner of one of Houston’s best barbecues will soon be unveiling a new concept all about comfort food. Gatlin Grill Owner Greg Gatlin will open Gatlin fins and feathers in Independence Heights next month.

Located in a former Mexican restaurant at 302 W. Crosstimbers St., Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers will offer fried chicken, Gulf Coast seafood and other comfort food. Expect dishes such as okra, grilled oysters and blackened fish to join buckets of fried chicken on the menu. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

“It’s a neighborhood place, and we wanted it to be that way: rustic, cozy and historic,” Gatlin said in a statement. “It’s part of Independence Heights, and we accept that. I hope people enjoy really good food in a really good atmosphere — a place that will connect them to a childhood experience or even an uplifting of that childhood memory, like in “It’s So Good” .

Gatlin and executive chef Michelle Wallace talked about the concept on a June 2021 episode of CultureMap’s “What’s Eric Eating” podcast. Wallace noted that the restaurant will provide a permanent home for the fried chicken that Gatlin began serving after Hurricane Harvey, as well as specialties such as its seafood gumbo.

“This won’t be your stuffy seafood place,” Wallace said during the interview. “It’s going to be a fun place. Come and have a cocktail, maybe chicken, seafood, a fish sandwich. It’s going to be amazing.”

Craig Schuster, principal architect for H3D Hospitality Group, designed the 3,000 square foot space. It should accommodate about 80 people.

A standout football player at both St. Thomas High School and Rice University, Greg Gatlin opened the Gatlin BBQ in 2010. It moved to its current location on Ella Boulevard. in 2015. Known for its well-executed brisket and ribs, Creole-inspired sides like dirty rice, and Wallace’s creative sandwiches, the restaurant earned honorable mention status on Texas Monthly 2021 list of the 50 best barbecues in the state.

Gatlin’s has featured prominently on a number of TV shows, including Netflix High on the pork documentary series and the current season of Excellent chef, in which Gatlin served as a guest judge for the chest challenge. Wallace is a current season contestant of Food Network’s BARBECUE BARBECUE cooking competition show.


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