The Republic Grille founder brings local focus, themes to The Woodlands restaurant

The Grogan salad consists of grilled chicken, pecan-smoked bacon, avocado, tomatoes, shredded cheese and corn tortilla strips. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Grogan salad consists of grilled chicken, pecan-smoked bacon, avocado, tomatoes, shredded cheese and corn tortilla strips. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Grogan salad consists of grilled chicken, pecan-smoked bacon, avocado, tomatoes, shredded cheese and corn tortilla strips. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The Chicken Woodlands is a grilled chicken breast topped with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The chicken-fried steak is made with American wagyu beef and topped with signature gravy. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
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From left: Director of Operations Jair Galloso and Terry McBurney opened the restaurant together. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Republic Grille owner Terry McBurney points out a replica of the napkin on which The Woodlands founder George Mitchell drew his vision for the community. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
Founder and owner Terry McBurney opened the first location of Republic Grille seven years ago because he wanted to provide a truly local restaurant to The Woodlands community, he said.

“The mom and pops were getting squeezed out, so this was sort of my way to develop a concept for locals,” McBurney said.

But he said he could not have done it without Director of Operations Jair Galloso. Since 2014, they have opened additional locations in Magnolia in 2016 and Spring in 2020.

“Seven years later, here we are,” McBurney said.

Fine dining, casual setting


McBurney wanted to make the concept of the restaurant a fine dining experience but with a business-casual atmosphere. The restaurant boasts a Woodlands motif that invites locals to learn more about their community.

“I wanted to make this restaurant about the history of The Woodlands,” said McBurney, who has lived in the township for 21 years. “There was nothing out there that really portrayed what The Woodlands was and the vision put forth by George Mitchell.

”The walls of Republic Grille are adorned with The Woodlands memorabilia, including images and maps, custom Woodlands decor and even a replica of the 1972 napkin on which George Mitchell drew his vision of The Woodlands.

“[McBurney] actually made me read a book [about The Woodlands] before I started. ... I learned so much,” Galloso said.

The bar seats bear name plates of regulars such as Wayne Walker, retired deputy chief of The Woodlands Fire Department.

“You’d be surprised at the number of regulars that come in here three, four, five, six days a week,” McBurney said. “They feel at home. And that’s the key.”Texas cuisine with a Southern twist

The Republic Grille menu hosts a variety of food ranging from award-winning American wagyu chicken-fried steak to 11 different salads to fish and poultry options.

“Growing up in Georgia, it was shrimp and grits and a lot of Southern-type food,” McBurney said. “And in Texas; it’s chicken-fried steak and things like that. So, our menu is a mesh of all of that.”

Republic Grille builds recipes from suggestions and passed-down family recipes. The cobbler, bread pudding and pecan pie are McBurney’s grandmother’s original recipes.

“Everyone kind of put their two cents in, and everybody got together,” Galloso said.

Republic Grille has The Woodlands-themed menu items, such as the Grogan salad, Chicken Woodlands and a Woodlands wrap.

McBurney said despite being in the restaurant industry for years, Republic Grille is the only restaurant he would open.

“[We] just do one thing and do it very well,” McBurney said.

The Republic Grille

4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Ste. 490, The Woodlands

281-719-5895

www.therepublicgrille.com

Hours: Sun.-Tue. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.,

Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
By Ally Bolender

Reporter, The Woodlands

Ally joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Texas State University. Ally covers education, local government, transportation, business, and real estate development in The Woodlands. Prior to CI, Ally served as news content manager of KTSW FM-89.9 in San Marcos, Texas.



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