Lucky number 13
Houston Rockets star James Harden is getting into the restaurant business. The NBA's MVP posted a hiring announcement to Instagram for a new establishment called Thirteen by James Harden, ABC13 first reported.
A countdown clock on the restaurant's website suggests a January 1 opening, but details on Thirteen are otherwise pretty light. The website doesn't offer any hints about its chef or menu, but the concept appears to have upscale aspirations.
An about section states: "At Thirteen Houston, we aspire to create the finest experience for our guests by combining the highest quality food and entertainment, with exceptional service in a cosmopolitan and entertaining atmosphere."
Similarly, the hiring announcement doesn't include the restaurant's location, Eater Houston reports that it could occupy the former Mr. Peeples space in Midtown. City of Houston permit records indicate that "Thirteen Hospitality LLC" has applied for permits to remodel the property at 1911 Bagby St. Mr. Peeples, a glitzy, two-story steakhouse from Hearsay Gastro Lounge owner Landmark Hospitality, closed in 2016.
If nothing else, Harden is known for his eclectic fashion sense, so here's hoping Thirteen has an appropriately stylish design.
The announcement comes at an uncertain moment in Harden's career. The star has been the subject of trade rumors after the departure of fellow superstar Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards, as well as head coach Mike D'Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey. Regardless of whether he finds a way out of Toyota Center, it seems he'll maintain ties to the Bayou City.
Other Houston athletes have taken the plunge into the restaurant business. Former Rocket Yao Ming owns a Chinese restaurant in west Houston, and Astros legend Craig Biggio lent his name to a sports bar in downtown's Marriott Marquis hotel. Former Dynamo star Brian Ching co-owns two bars, Pitch 25 and East End Backyard.