David Cordua is returning to the kitchen. The chef and restauranteur will open The Lymbar at The Ion, Rice University’s innovation-focused mixed-use development in Midtown.


Slated to open this fall, the Lymbar will occupy The Ion’s “jewel-box” corner suite. Described as a bar forward, small plates concepts devoted to both Latin and Mediterranean flavors, the 120-seat restaurant will feature meats prepared on a vertical roaster that will be visible from an open kitchen. Gin Braverman of Houston’s Gin Design Group (Axelard, Eunice) will design the restaurant.


Cordua’s name is well known to Houston diners. The chef worked with his father, legendary Houston restaurateur Michael Cordua, at Cordua Restaurants — the hospitality group behind Churrascos, Americas, and Amazon Grill — before the duo parted ways with the company in 2018. They’re teaming up again on this new project.


While the father-son duo is known for their South American fare inspired by the family’s Nicaraguan heritage, the Lymbar will take a broader approach. The restaurant’s name is taken from Lymbar Drive, the street in Southwest Houston where the family once lived; the area’s diverse community and the French training Cordua received at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris will guide the menu.


“If Churrascos and Americas were our family story in Central America, The Lymbar is our first opportunity to tell our family story in Houston,” David Cordua said in a statement. “We’re really excited to be a place where people meet, think, eat, and drink in The Ion, and we look forward to being a part of the heartbeat of Houston’s new innovation district.”


In addition to its food offerings, the Lymbar will feature a craft cocktail program built around barrel-aged spirits. Like the food, the drinks will showcase Latin American, South American, and Mediterranean influences.


The Lymbar is just one of four new restaurants under development at The Ion. Previously announced concepts include: Late August, a new restaurant from Top Chef contestant Dawn Burrell (Kulture) and Lucille’s owner Chris Williams that will “explore the soul of Afro-Asian flavors;” a new location of Common Bond On-The-Go; and STUFF’d Wings, a brick and mortar home of the popular Third Ward-based food truck.

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