Five years. Five concepts. One historic building.
Chris Shepherd likes a challenge. He frequently tells people that he opened Underbelly five years ago “the hardest way possible” as a whole animal restaurant working directly with farmers. So when he and his business partners, Kevin Floyd, Whitney Mercilus and Steve Flippo, were approached about the possibility of taking over the building at 1658 Westheimer for only five years, his first response was to walk away.
“But then I started thinking about all the ideas I’ve had in my head about my next concept,” said Chris. “I know it’s unconventional, but I realized this short-term lease could give me the freedom to execute all the concepts I want to do.”
And so One Fifth was born. One Fifth is Chris’s five-year project featuring five different restaurant concepts. Each concept will be open Sept. 1 until July 31 and will close each August for renovations. The building décor will change, the menu and wine list will change, staff uniforms will change. On September 1, it will re-open as an entirely new restaurant, giving Chris and his staff the ability to exhaust their creativity in a short window of time.