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Modern Israeli Restaurant To Open In Rice Village

Houston Retail
Hamsa rendering, 5555 Morningside Drive

Rice Village, one of Houston's most walkable shopping and dining districts, on the western edge of Rice University's campus, will welcome Hamsa, a modern Israeli eatery debuting this summer. Hamsa, meaning “five” in Arabic, will operate at 5555 Morningside Drive, former home of the Irish pub the Galway Hooker.

The concept is the latest from the team behind Doris Metropolitan, an upscale chophouse that started in New Orleans in 2013, with expansions in Costa Rica and Houston. The team behind the restaurant group, Itai Ben Eli, Itamar Levy and Sash Kurgan, will be serving up food and wine from their native Israel. 

“Hamsa is a prime example of the pivotal shift happening in Rice Village,” Rice Management Co. Senior Investment Associate Morgan Lera said. “Its future arrival reflects the originality and uniqueness we’re targeting, while perfectly complementing the other concepts already in the district.”

New York-based landscape design firm Future Green Studio will design the patio area into a lush, tree-shaded dining terrace as part of the multimillion-dollar rebuild.

The deal comes shortly after leasing activities in Rice Village were handed over to Edge Realty Partners earlier this year. Edge's Josh Jacobs, Burdette Huffman and Brooks Shanklin have been active in the few months since taking over the assignments in September.  

“When we began talks with Itai, Itamar and Sash back in April, they didn’t have any expansion plans in the works,” Huffman said. “However, after several conversations about our vision for the future of the district, it was evident that they were going to be a part of that future.”