3300 Smith Street | Houston, TX 77006 | (713) 522-9711

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Uncovering our past…one layer at a time

Posted on: June 3rd, 2009 by fcasio 4 Comments

Every day it’s something new…or old that is!  With each new day comes a glimpse of our past like uncovering a diary lost long ago.  For every board that comes down a treasure is revealed.  Some leave us questioning its origin, others bring a little tear.     

A building so filled with history & memories should be brimming with gems, but we were surprised with what was unearthed.  These finds have taken place over these long months; some only have meaning to us whilst others conjure up reflections from your past.

The first to be unveiled was the wall fabric that graced the newly crowned Brennan’s of Houston Main Dining room walls back in 1967.  This fabric was exposed when the crew started pulling down the fabric that we knew was there.  As it turns out the botanical and fowl design is coming back into style and was used as inspiration for our new decor.

The following months brought more discoveries that are from before our time here, back when the Junior League was residing at 3300 Smith Street.  We are vastly dumbfounded by the exposure of seemingly random bells around the building up on the second story floor joists. 

Another piece of history we came across was what they used for a sound barrier in the ballroom floor.  I think we were all shocked when the demo crew reveled tons of shredded newspaper.  Yes, newspaper!  What is most surprising is that it was unharmed by the flames.

The conclusion of last week brought a touching find.  The demo crew pulled down the coating surrounding the water station & uncovered the autograph walls of the Original Kitchen Table.  Unfortunately, some pieces of autographs came off with wall covering.  However, enough was left intact to get a glimpse of the many memories that filled this intimate space. 

As we get closer to being whole again we are reminded daily of where we have been and to never forget our roots.  Alex always says that the mortar of this building is filled with memories; this must be why it is so tenacious!    

Brennan’s of Houston to Re-Emerge this Fall One Year After Hurrican Ike

Posted on: March 3rd, 2009 by fcasio 10 Comments

Eighty Percent of Original John Staub Structure to be Restored; Brings 125 Jobs to Midtown

Houston Mayor Bill White and restaurateur Alex Brennan Martin announced at a press conference today that the esteemed Brennan’s of Houston would re-emerge at its long-standing Smith Street address this fall, just 13 months after having been damaged by fire as a result of Hurricane Ike. Slated to open in October 2009, the restored Brennan’s is expected to bring an additional 125 jobs back to Midtown.

“Adding jobs and welcoming back a Houston institution like Brennan’s to Midtown is all great for Houston,” said Mayor White. “Rebuilding this historic structure in the process is like extra sugar on our Banana’s Foster.”

Particularly in a downturn economy, the Houston community looks forward to the creation of 125 new jobs that range from service employees to managerial positions.

Eighty percent of the historic building, designed by the great Houston architect John Staub in 1930, will be restored. Houston-based Linbeck Construction – whose portfolio includes the Omni and St. Regis hotels in Houston – will oversee the project alongside Pin Oak Interests and Studio Red Architects whose architects have participated in such notable projects as Moody Gardens, Wortham Theater Center, and Texas Heart Institute.

“We didn’t burn down, we burned up,” said Brennan Martin. “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.”

Long before the Brennan’s put their name on the building in 1967, it was a Houston landmark. Designed by architect John F. Staub to house the Houston Junior League, the building’s façade was intended to evoke an image of the Vieux Carré. Today, the building is recognized as one of Houston’s most beautiful structures, having inspired the neighboring development of an area that is often touted as Houston’s French Quarter.

Additionally, Brennan-Martin is in dialogue with the City of Houston and Houston Parks and Recreation Department to relocate a mature tree from the Museum of Natural Science at Hermann Park. The tree will replace the historic Oak that shaded Brennan’s courtyard for over 40 years, which was lost in Hurricane Ike.

Forty-two years ago, the Brennan’s family of New Orleans opened the doors of Brennan’s of Houston, one of America’s most beloved dining destinations and the forerunner in serving Texas Creole cuisine. Led by Commander’s Palace Family of Restaurants co-owners Alex Brennan-Martin, his sister, Ti Adelaide Martin, and their cousin, Lally Brennan, Brennan’s remained on top by constantly innovating while remaining connected to its Creole roots and maintaining a familial level of warmth and hospitality. The Brennan family’s restaurants also include Commander’s Palace and Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar in New Orleans and Commander’s Palace in Destin, Fla.

The Brennan’s kitchen has explored the vast spectrum of Creole’s evolution in the “Bayou City.” Cultural influences in South Texas and an abundance of fresh produce unique to the region have provided more than a few opportunities for delicious Texas variations on time-honored Louisiana themes. Along the way, the passionate Brennan’s team has received accolades establishing the restaurant as one of the finest in the city. Awards such as Exxon Mobil’s Four-Star designation beginning in 2000 and a nod from restaurant critic John Mariani in 1997 to former Executive Chef and General Manager, Carl Walker, as “one of America’s most influential chefs” are just a few of the accomplishments Brennan’s counts on its list of accolades. Brennan’s has also been regularly rated among Houston’s “Best” and “Most Popular” restaurants in the Zagat Survey.

Brennan’s of Houston
3300 Smith St.
Houston, TX 77006

Wagstaff Worldwide, Inc.
Amber Holst
(312) 943-6900

Mayor Bill White to Help Alex Announce the Restoration

Posted on: March 2nd, 2009 by fcasio No Comments

Finally! Some News…

Mayor Bill White has called a press conference to help Alex announce the restoration of our building.

We will be joining the media in a Turtle Soup Toast and giving out bags of pralines for the road.

10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

The Press may be interested in hearing about your favorite memory of an event at Brennan’s!

We’re Going to Build it Back

Posted on: March 2nd, 2009 by fcasio 1 Comment


“We’re going to build it back.”

“I’ve already started working on it.”

“I’m already in the process. I don’t have an opening day. But, yes,
we’ll be back.” ~ Alex Brennan-Martin

Excerpts from “Brennan’s to rebuild
Tropical Weather Blog for the Houston Chronicle