Skanska Announces Flip ‘n Patties as Newest Restaurant Tenant in Understory at Capitol Tower

Press release 3/13/2019 5:00 AM EST

Skanska, a leading global development and construction firm, announced today that it has signed a long-term lease with Flip ‘n Patties for Understory, the 35,000-square-foot community hub and culinary market at Capitol Tower. Flip ‘n Patties, an acclaimed Houston food truck turned brick-and-mortar concept serving Filipino street food and Filipino-inspired Akaushi burgers, will occupy 629 square feet of the 9,000-square-foot culinary market. Understory is now 68 percent leased, with two of seven restaurant stalls and the cocktail bar remaining.

“We are thrilled to welcome Flip ‘n Patties and their exciting lineup of signature, Filipino-inspired burgers to Understory, the vibrant community hub and culinary market at Capitol Tower,” said Matt Damborsky, executive vice president for Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston. “We believe that Flip ‘n Patties’ one-of-a-kind menu and commitment to utilizing fresh, locally-sourced ingredients will have wide appeal for all who frequent Downtown Houston, whether for business or leisure, and look forward to unveiling their new location to the public when Understory opens later this year.”

Established in 2012 as a mobile food truck business, Flip ‘n Patties is best known for serving fresh, handcrafted Filipino street food and gourmet in-house ground Akaushi burgers, which feature house made steamed buns. This opening at Understory marks Flip ‘n Patties’ second area location and first inside Houston’s Inner Loop, after the opening of their flagship restaurant in the Energy Corridor at 1809 Eldridge Pkwy in December 2017. Unlike their flagship outpost, Flip ‘n Patties’ Understory menu will focus exclusively on their signature burgers and hand-cut, double fried French fries.

“Born and raised in Houston by Filipino immigrants, we wanted to share the flavors from our roots and marry it with the flavors we grew up with here in America. We are using the burger as a bridge between the American palate and Filipino cuisine,” said Michael Jante, co-owner of Flip ‘n Patties. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity to expand into Understory at Capitol Tower and are looking forward to sharing what we have with another part of our city. Our streamlined menu at Understory will consist of our all-time favorites and will mostly feature our locally-sourced, high-quality handmade burgers, meats, bread, sauces and fries.”

Flip ‘n Patties joins East Hampton Sandwich Co., Boomtown Coffee, Mama Ninfa’s Tacos y Tortas and MONA Fresh Italian Food as the first five tenants at Understory. The opening at Understory marks the third Houston location for East Hampton Sandwich Co. and Boomtown Coffee, and MONA’s second location. Mama Ninfa’s Tacos y Tortas will debut at Understory, after announcing the new concept in 2018.

Designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Understory will be a dynamic experience-based destination that brings the community together through culture, commerce and cuisine. In addition to an abundance of naturally lit community space and a full-service restaurant, Understory will include a culinary market with seven chef-driven concepts and a cocktail bar. A central feature of Understory is the open-air blending of the street and tunnel levels, facilitated by the “Great Steps,” a 30-foot-wide monumental staircase and gathering place that will create the first true street level gateway to the tunnel network. This gateway will be highlighted by a large hanging art installation that will be visible from Capitol, Rusk, and Milam streets.

Situated at 800 Capitol St. on a prime block in Houston’s Central Business District, Understory’s location near cultural landmarks such as Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, the Alley Theatre, Revention Music Center, Market Square Park and Wortham ideally positions the space to become part of downtown’s vibrant cultural life. Upon its opening in 2019, Understory will be the first space in the tunnel network to be active seven days a week, from morning to night, with a wide variety of culinary, retail, and cultural offerings. The community will enjoy access to high-speed Wi-Fi, mobile device charging stations, engaging art, games and thoughtful furniture arrangements, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center for the exclusive use of building tenants.

With a distinctive design that was inspired by the craft of food, Understory will feature approachable, open cooking concepts with high-end finishes to create an inviting space with sweeping views of the street, tunnel entries and market hall. Kitchens will have a warm, handcrafted look, with artist murals, copper clad kitchen hoods, wood butcher block counter tops and white marble. A wide variety of soft furnishings will create a cohesive, yet layered, experience.

When Capitol Tower lights up Houston’s skyline in 2019, it will be the most sustainable office tower in Houston, using 25 percent less energy than typical baseline facilities. Pre-certified under LEED v4 Platinum, one of only four core-and-shell projects nationwide, the 754,000-square-foot sustainable office development will feature a number of green amenities, including SkyPark, the first and largest green roof in Downtown Houston to be open to all building tenants.

Nick Hernandez, Crystal Allen and Lacee Wilke from Transwestern represented Skanska in the transaction. Clint Hankla and Robert LaCoure from Lee & Associates represented Flip ‘n Patties.

Skanska’s other developments in Houston include the first LEED Platinum campus in the Energy Corridor – the two-building West Memorial Place project - which offers direct access to the Terry Hershey Park hike and bike trails. Skanska also developed 3009 Post Oak, a 302,000- square-foot office building in the premier Uptown Houston location at Post Oak Blvd and Hidalgo.