Photo: Courtesy Photo By Alex Montoya
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Delicious French food and warm hospitality are specialties at Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café. The fast-casual restaurant company is set to open its 10th Texas location at Sugar Land Town Square in November.
Husband and wife co-founders Ivan and Allison Chavez opened the first Sweet Paris store in Rice Village in 2012, fashioning it from Ivan’s memories of visiting crêpe carts when he was a student in Paris. Their concept took off across the Houston area, and now they also have locations in Austin, San Antonio, College Station and even in Mexico.
The Town Square location will be the third Sweet Paris café to open since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Allison said she is proud of the way her team members have stepped up and adapted well. The Baybrook store opened just days before the pandemic lockdown, and the Austin store opened a couple of weeks ago.
“We just feel extremely lucky that our team members are so loyal, so happy to be in their jobs that without missing a beat, I mean, we opened when we could, in the safest way,” Allison said.
The 2,257-square-foot Sugar Land store will be located at 15911 City Walk, just inside the Town Square’s eastern gateway. It was selected for its high visibility. The restaurant will seat 74 people inside, and a large patio will seat 42.
Allison said she and Ivan had wanted to expand into Sugar Land for several years because of the great community but had waited because they specifically wanted to be in the Town Square. They had visited years ago and saw the development and its walkability as forward thinking. But there was no availability in the square at that time, so Allison and Ivan waited for the right space to open.
Most people are not traveling a lot during the pandemic, so Allison explained that a visit to Sweet Paris can be an exposure to another place, if only in their minds. With a variety of sweet and savory crêpes, salads, paninis, milkshakes and more, she said the food is the main draw. But the ambiance and atmosphere of European marble features, antique mirrors and chandeliers and French music add to the experience. “And we have an open kitchen as well. So you can really not only smell the delicious food being cooked, but you can see it being made in front of you as you’re waiting to order,” Allison said.
The restaurants have been using a point of sale system that allows them to take orders from outside using tablets and taking advantage of patio space for those that want to dine outdoors.
“I think kind of our open, airy stores have allowed us to still maintain the distance and respect the occupancy rules and utilize our outdoor spaces to continue to serve our customers and our fans that still feel comfortable eating in the restaurant or on the patio,” Allison said. “And then those that still need to satisfy their crêpe craving, we’re available on an online platform.”
Matt Ragan of Rebees said he is looking forward to the crêperie addition to Sugar Land Town Square.
“It will create a wonderful asset for visitors, residents and office tenants as both a full-fledged dining experience, as well as a spot to grab a coffee and snack while shopping or cap off an evening with a dessert and glass of champagne,” he said in a news release.
Allison said some people might view opening three restaurants during a pandemic as crazy, but she believes that the pandemic will eventually pass and when it does, people will return to the “simple pleasures” like their favorite eateries that they may have taken for granted six months ago. She said she is thrilled to bring that experience to Sugar Land.
“So we’re excited. I mean people, our customers have been asking for a location in Sugar Land for a long time because they’ll come to our stores in Rice Village or CityCentre, even Katy because they’re elsewhere in the city, but they want something closer to home. So we’re hoping to be able to deliver that.”
For locations and more information, visit www.sweetparis.com.