Petronella said the two discovered a shared vision for a restaurant shortly after meeting and started to work toward co-owning a business during the two years leading up to their opening date for Scholars and Scoundrels on Dec. 5, 2018.
“We were tired of working at the cookie-cutter places where everything is scripted,” Craig said. “We didn’t want to come to work and be bored. We want people to laugh, have a good time, enjoy themselves. Otherwise, what’s the point of being here?”
The eatery offers what Craig and Petronella describe as Americana, or a fine-dining twist on everyday food.
“We wanted the food to be something you recognize, but we take it up a notch,” Petronella said.
He added the name Scholars and Scoundrels was inspired by their idea of creating an atmosphere where everyone could be themselves.
“Either a janitor or a CEO could come in here, and they can both have a drink,” he said.
Craig said his deep interest in culinary arts comes from his mother and grandmother, which is why he has continued to prioritize it, including during the time he served in the U.S. Navy.
“I was a private chef for the captain, did everything for officers and those enlisted,” he said. “ I love food and making people happy.”
Petronella said he loves the controlled chaos that comes with running a restaurant.
“It gets to the point where the two of us are standing around entertaining 20 people at once,” he added.
Craig and Petronella will open a second location in Sugar Land before 2020. Scholars and Scoundrels celebrated its one-year anniversary Dec. 5, the same day Prohibition ended in 1933.
Scholars and Scoundrels
1251 Pin Oak Road, Ste. 141, Katy
Hours: Mon-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-midnight