Vance Martin finalized deals this week that mean good news for fans of his Lili's Bistro on Magnolia.
He sold his interest in Cat City Grill to former restaurant partner Martin Thompson, a former Del Frisco's man. Martin and Thompson opened Cat City Grill together nearly a year ago, taking over a storefront a few blocks east on Magnolia from Lili's. Thompson is sole proprietor of Cat City Grill now.
"In doing this, I've freed myself up to devote more attention to Lili's and things we want to do there," says Martin of his neighbor. "It's hard but I know Martin [Thompson] will do great things with Cat City going forward. I wish him only the best."
At Lili's, Martin and managing partner-chef Heather Hogan are excited about expansion. Martin purchased the space immediately east of Lili's, formerly occupied by a bicycle shop, and will create access through the dividing wall to give Lili's additional room. Building a bar area is the first order of business, giving customers a place to sip wine and beer while waiting for a table in the crowded restaurant - something that patrons have longed for.
For the present, Lili's will offer beer and wine and not hard spirits, but that may change down the road, Martin says.
At the moment, Martin and Hogan are working on a new menu, which they aim to roll out in time for Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 4-6.