Midtown Asian spot embraces nightclub vibe, ditch food service

Midtown may be adding more restaurants to complement its thriving bar scene, but it’s still the neighborhood where Houstonians go to party. Now a concept that has tried to be both a nightclub and a restaurant has decided that its customers prefer to drink and dance rather than dine.

Tarakaan, the Buddakan-inspired pan-Asian hotspot in New York City, has suspended culinary operations and will continue to function as a nightclub and lounge. Executive chef Micah Rideout is no longer involved in the concept.

“With our experience in commercial real estate, as well as established operators with many years of experience opening and managing restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the Houston area, we are constantly reviewing business performance and the best use of space, ”writes owner Piran Esfahani. in an email. “As we celebrate Tarakaan’s successes over the past six months, as the venue has received acclaim and a fan base for its creative Pan-Asian menu, it has become evident through customer interactions and sales. alcohol that the concept’s main draw is that of an upscale and upbeat lounge and nightclub that complements its particular Midtown location. “

Thanks to his proximity to the Key Midtown hotspot, Esfahani told CultureMap that he and his partners have observed that more and more of their customers simply come to drink and enjoy the atmosphere of the space. Rather than fighting the trend, they chose to capitalize on synergy. In the future, the space will only be open from Thursday to Saturday and the kitchen will be closed, except for private events.

“The block got very busy late at night. I hope it stays the same,” Esfahani said. “As a neighbor, I don’t see (Clé) as a competition. I see it as an opportunity to make him more energetic and give people different choices.”

With Tarakaan’s time as a restaurant over, Esfahani says he still believes in the concept and thinks it would work in a more restaurant-oriented place. It just won’t be in Houston’s party district.

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