Landry’s Inc. will build a $60 million food and amusement development on the historic Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas, the company said Monday.
Houston-based Landry’s will make the 1,130-foot-long Pleasure Pier home to a 450-seat Bubba Gump Seafood Co. restaurant, the first in Texas, and a new quick-service extension of that 33-unit concept called Gump on the Run.
Landry’s bought the Bubba Gump brand in November 2010, adding to its portfolio of restaurant, gambling and hospitality properties. Landry’s also expects to add to that portfolio this week with the scheduled closing on the $116.6 million purchase of the 77-unit Morton’s Restaurant Group of Chicago.
“This will be a project that will totally change the Seawall Boulevard,” Landry’s chairman and chief executive Tilman J. Fertitta said Monday at a press conference at the company’s headquarters. “Not only because of the way it will light up the boulevard, but the economic impact it is going to have at the same time.”
The pier, which was originally built into the Gulf of Mexico as a recreational facility for the U.S. military in the 1940s, was heavily damaged by Hurricane Carla in 1961 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Fertitta said the renovation, expected to open in May, “will be similar to the Chicago Navy Pier and the Santa Monica [Calif.] Pier, which will also have a Bubba Gump on it.” A Bubba Gump restaurant is currently located on the Santa Monica Pier.
The Galveston project will mark the debut of Gump on the Run, said Keith Beitler, senior vice president and chief operating office of Landry’s specialty restaurant division.
Gump on the Run will have 75 amenity seats, with guests expected to take food away to eat on the Galveston Island beaches. The pier will also offer seven other quick-service food and beverage options, ranging from smoked legs and hamburgers to an ice cream shop, Landry’s officials said.
“The City of Galveston just got a lot better,” said Mayor Joe Jaworski, who attended Monday’s press conference. Jaworski expects the Pleasure Pier to become a major tourist destination for Galveston, as well as attract cruise tourists who depart from the island.
The pier will also offer rides, including a 36-foot diameter, double-decker carousel, a 100-foot tall Ferris wheel, and a steel roller coaster with a 100-foot vertical climb.
In addition to Bubba Gump, privately owned Landry’s owns a number of restaurant concepts, including Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steak House, Landry’s Seafood House, Claim Jumper and The Chart House, as well fine-dining restaurants Vic & Anthony’s, Brenner’s Steakhouse, Grotto, LaGriglia, Willie G’s, Oceanaire and the recently acquired McCormick and Schmick’s. Landry’s also owns the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada, the Kemah Boardwalk, the San Luis Resort, Inn at the Ballpark and the Downtown Aquarium in Denver and Houston.
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the project's total investment figure. The article has been updated with corrected information.
Contact Ron Ruggless at email@example.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless