Coal Vines operated at 616 Ward Parkway for six years. File photo |

Plaza Coal Vines will have a new name and Houston’s chef

The former Coal Vines on the Country Club Plaza will be known as Parkway: Social Kitchen when it reopens in late summer.

Zach Marten and Bret Springs were Coal Vines licensees when they opened the restaurant in early 2011. They shut it down in early March and are doing a complete renovation of the space at 616 Ward Parkway so “now it can be our own and not a licensed concept,” Marten said.

The event space in the lower level also will be open to the public.

They named it Parkway: Social Kitchen — after Ward Parkway and in reference to the parklike views of Brush Creek — and said it will be a classic American grill.

“We have a strong commitment to the Plaza and it has been extremely easy dealing with the new owners,” Marten said.

Marten and Springs opened Westport Ale House in March 2014 and then in 2016, they formed Back Napkin Restaurant Group to develop their own concepts. They have since opened The Rockhill Grille in the Crossroads. But they recently sold their interest in their RND Corner Grille, which opened in Lawrence in late 2015.

In February, they hired former Houston’s executive chef, Sam Hefter, for Rockhill Grille. He also will be executive chef of the new Parkway while still overseeing the kitchen of Rockhill.

Houston’s shut down on the Plaza on Jan. 31.

Coal Vines had about 30 employees, but Parkway will have about 50.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC