Don James and Nita Miller first met in 2000 as coworkers at Compaq, a computer hardware and software company that would be acquired by Hewlett Packard two years later. James and Miller’s shared love for running brought them together at the Cypress Creek YMCA on Hwy. 249 near their workplace, where they trained for half marathons.
During their runs Miller said the duo conversed about everything, including what would ultimately become the cornerstone of their business—wine.
One topic they frequently discussed was the lack of places to enjoy a glass of wine, a nice meal and a laid-back atmosphere in the area, Miller said. This inspired Miller and James to launch BRIX Wine Cellars and Restaurant in 2008 in Vintage Park, she said.
The restaurant serves gourmet dishes as well as 5,000 bottles of wine from 500 different labels, which are stored in a climate-controlled vault. The interior of the restaurant is designed with bricks to look like a winery’s tasting room, she said.
“We wanted those nice boutique wines at a great price with great service, and that was the whole premise … when we opened,” James said.
Since then, James said BRIX has evolved from primarily serving wine and daintier bites, such as cheese platters, to full-course meals including pizzas, salads and burgers. This change was partly driven by consumers who were looking for full entrees, he said.
On the other hand, wine sellers are increasingly having to contend with chain grocery stores, which have greatly expanded their selections, James said.
To differentiate themselves, the pair said BRIX Wine Cellars and Restaurant offers a much broader selection, including red and white wine flights.
“[We say], ‘Hey I know you like this wine you found at Kroger but let me show you a couple things we’ve found … in other parts of the world you may like better,’” he said.
BRIX Wine Cellars and Restaurant
110 Vintage Park Blvd., Ste T, Houston
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fri., 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sat., closed Sun.