In 2017, Justin and Bobby joined forces and opened Better Luck Tomorrow. “BLT” was subsequently named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Restaurants of 2017 and one of Bon Appetit Magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants of 2017. More importantly, it established a new hospitality partnership. Despite investing in each other’s businesses for over a decade, Better Luck Tomorrow formed a new path forward as partners with equal interest and contributions in a collective company.
Following BLT’s success, the duo opened Squable, a progressive neighborhood restaurant in Houston’s Heights neighborhood, in 2019. It earned a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant in the country in 2020. The duo also started a real estate company, Montrose Realty, in 2019. Currently, their tenants range from a fresh juice shop to a two-decades old dive bar.
MEET THE TEAM
Prior to partnering with Justin Yu, Bobby’s career started by changing cocktail culture in Houston with Anvil Bar & Refuge in 2009, Houston’s first bar dedicated to classic cocktails, but he has since emerged as one of the country’s most celebrated young restauranteurs. His commitment to training, quality, and hospitality in various endeavors has earned nearly 20 James Beard Award nominations, among the most of any hospitality professional in the country.
In 2011, Bobby established a new company intent on building independent restaurants and bars for ambitious Houston restaurant and bar professionals. Through this company, Bobby was a founding partner in craft beer bar Hay Merchant, James Beard Award-winning restaurant Underbelly and Blacksmith coffee shop before selling his shares in each during late 2016. Additionally, Bobby also helped build bars Julep and the Nightingale Room, owned and operated by colleagues who worked for him previously. Bobby also established an independent restaurant and bar advocacy group, O.K.R.A. in 2012 and lead the team in opening the Charity Saloon in 2012, which donated over $1.3 million to local charity organizations.
After working in celebrated kitchens around the world, Justin returned to Houston and opened Oxheart, a tasting menu restaurant to much acclaim. It received Chief Critic, Pete Well’s first ever review outside of New York for the New York Times, as well as a place in Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants list. Justin himself received a semifinalist nomination for Rising Star Chef from the James Beard Awards, as well as being tapped a Food and Wine Best New Chef in 2014. In 2016 Justin earned the honor of being named the James Beard award winner for Best Chef: Southwest, only the third Houstonian to have earned this award. Justin is an avid traveler and loves to experience both new and classic food and beverage experiences. His travels have taken him to Asia, Europe and Central America in search of great cuisine and hospitality.
An industry veteran and MBA Graduate from Texas A&M’s Mays School of Business, Reina has overseen project and development for Thorough Fare since the opening of Squable and has a sharp understanding of hospitality budgeting, human resources, marketing, and oversees all operational margins and profitability for our company. Refining each of these areas of our business since joining our team.