Ronald Perez is no stranger to the food industry.

He owns Sharky’s Waterfront Grill and Chimichurri’s South American Grill in Kingwood as well as a new Sharky’s location in the Spring area with his wife, Rosa.

When Perez was given the opportunity to take over running J. Christopher’s Italian Bistro in Kingwood in December, he said the decision was a no-brainer.

“The space has been here for such a long time,” Perez said. “I always wanted to open an Italian restaurant. My idea is to grow the brand.”

Perez said the new-look J. Christopher’s offers a number of Italian dishes, including lasagna, Alfredo tortellini, salmon pesto, chicken Marsala and a variety of pizzas.

According to Perez, both the restaurant’s menu and interior have undergone extensive renovations, although the pizza has remained largely unchanged outside of improved ingredients.

“We upgraded everything,” Perez said, noting the interior renovations included new flooring, walls and tables. “I saw the bad quality of food that was being provided, and I thought, ‘This is an opportunity.’ I got excited because it’s an opportunity to do something great.”

Perez said the aim has been to offer more high-scale, authentic Italian dishes at an affordable price, pointing to dishes such as the Filetto Di Maiale, which consists of a pan-seared pork chop in a red wine reduction sauce served with herb-roasted potatoes.

Perez said that while he knew it was going to be difficult for longtime customers to accept some of these changes, he thinks the patrons who have tried the new dishes have been pleased.

Looking to the future, Perez said he is excited to continue the tradition that has been established by J. Christopher’s since it first opened in 1980.

“We want [the customers] to be happy,” Perez said. “I think what I would like to make sure that people understand is that we’re not coming here to destroy. We’re coming here to build and to grow.”

Build-your-own pizza

J. Christopher’s Italian Bistro offers patrons the chance to build their own pizzas using an assortment of ingredients to create something that is truly their own.

Step 1

Choice of crusts include:
  • Thin crust cheese (12, 14 and 16 inches)
  • Deep dish (12 and 14 inches)
  • Cauliflower crust (12 inches)
  • Wheat crust (12 inches)
Step 2

Choice of sauces include:
  • Pizza sauce
  • Alfredo sauce pesto
  • Olive oil and garlic sauce
Step 3

Choice of toppings include:
  • Anchovy
  • Artichoke
  • Bacon
  • Black olives
  • Canadian bacon
  • Extra cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Green olives
  • Green peppers
  • Italian sausage
  • Jalapenos
  • Meatballs
  • Mushrooms
  • Pepperoncini
  • Pepperoni
  • Pineapple
  • Red onions
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow onions
J. Christopher’s Italian Bistro

2245 Northpark Drive, Kingwood


Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.