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Houston Restaurateur Takes Year’s Biggest F&B Lease For New Upscale Concept

A Houston restaurateur leased the ground floor of a renovated skyscraper between the West Loop and River Oaks for a new upscale dining concept, marking the region’s largest restaurant lease this year.

Mack McDonald will open a 16K SF restaurant called Mack Allen’s at 5POP, the 28-story building on Post Oak Parkway formerly known as Five Post Oak Park, a news release states. 

5POP at 4400 Post Oak Parkway in Houston.

This will be the second Mack Allen’s location from McDonald, owner of New Orleans-inspired local chain The Rouxpour. The first is under construction in The Woodlands. Both are expected to open in 2025. 

“We are very excited to introduce Mack Allen’s to the River Oaks, Uptown neighborhoods,” McDonald said in the news release. “We will feature a large variety of unique char-grilled oyster recipes, a wide selection of fresh Gulf seafood, premium steaks, a lively bar highlighted by a city-leader selection of whiskeys, and private dining capable of hosting parties as large as 75 people.”

David Littwitz with Littwitz Investments represented McDonald, and Crystal Allen of Transwestern Real Estate Services represented the landlord, CP Group. CP Group and Rialto Capital launched a $12M capital improvements program for the 1982 building after acquiring it in 2021, the release states.

A gym, a title company, a bank and “a small little sandwich shop like you would have in the old days of an office building” were previously on the first floor in the space that will soon house Mack Allen’s, Littwitz said.

Littwitz and McDonald were originally looking for a space of between 7K SF and 8K SF, Littwitz said. That’s big by restaurant standards, but nowhere near the doubled space they ended up with, he said.

“I said ‘Where do you want to be?’” Littwitz said. “He said ‘Well it’s very simple. I want to be in an area where there is the kind of income and the kind of employment that will support this restaurant to be successful.’”

Littwitz discovered 5POP via discussions with Transwestern. With the location being half a mile from River Oaks, right across the freeway from Uptown and The Galleria, and across the street from The St. Regis Houston, it hit all the marks, he said.

This deal has been in the works since last summer. It took about six weeks to get a drawing from John Montgomery, principal of Montgomery Roth Architecture & Interior Design, to show how the space could fit the concept’s needs, Littwitz said.

“[Montgomery] is an architect very experienced in designing high-end restaurants,” he said. 

The restaurant will be adjacent to a landscaped private park and will have a bakery/to-go section in addition to a total of 4K SF of private dining space to accommodate meetings and events, the news release states.

The private dining spaces, the largest of which will include a private bar, will be an amenity to the companies in the building, Littwitz said. Those include financial firm UBS, which just extended its 55K SF lease for another 10 years; accounting and advisory firm Weaver, which leased 60K SF in 2021; and Houston litigation firm Thompson Coe, which leased 61K SF in 2023, the release states.

“It will be a huge plus for their business to be able to entertain at this level in their building with their customers,” Littwitz said. “The restaurant will work hard to attract customers from the adjacent zip codes, which represent some of the highest incomes in Metro Houston.” 

Transwestern Real Estate Services’ Eric Anderson and Evelyn Ward served as the leasing agents for 5POP in the UBS renewal. UBS has occupied space in the building since 1995. 

Recently completed renovations to 5POP include upgrades to the lobby and common areas, the addition of a grab-and-go coffee bar by Blackwater Roasting called 5CUP Café, a concierge desk and the construction of a floor of seven spec suites as part of CP Group’s worCPlaces program. Four of the suites have been leased in the past six months, the release states.