Underbelly and the Hay Merchant Going Whole Hog Together

UNDERBELLY AND THE HAY MERCHANT GOING WHOLE HOG TOGETHER Co-owner Bobby Heugel tells Amber Ambrose the craft beer bar he’s been carving out of the former Chances space at the corner of Westheimer and Waugh and the meat palace built from scratch next door for former Catalan chef Chris Shepherd will be attached but operate separately: “For the sake of efficiency and competitive pricing, the one area shared by both Underbelly and the Hay Merchant is the butchering room, with its massive double doors that can accommodate an entire cow, pig or other large animal. Certain cuts suited more for the restaurant’s menu will go into the kitchen at Underbelly and the remaining trim that make up the creative pub menu of dishes like burgers, sweetbread po’boys and crispy sweet and sour pig’s ears inside The Hay Merchant will go next door, although we suspect there will be plenty of sweetbreads and pig’s ears on Underbelly’s menu at times too. Otherwise, the two businesses are taking great pains to keep their identities separate, even going as far as banning employees of each from stepping foot into the other while they’re on the clock.” [Eater Houston] Photo: Candace Garcia