By: Brian Kendall
Tim Love with his twin daughters, Ella and Anna
A few weeks ago, there was a rumor that Chef Tim Love had designs for a resuscitation of the former Thurber Mingus located at 4400 White Settlement Road. Turns out the rumors are true.
Love announced Tuesday that he plans to open an Italian eatery named Gemelle, which is Italian for "twin girls" — Love has twin daughters of his own, Ella and Anna, who are 16 years old. Gemelle will open sometime this spring.
Love plans for Gemelle to serve as a casual gathering place, serving from 11 a.m. into the evening. Expect lighter fare such as grilled spring onions with lemon zest, and a unique Caesar salad interpretation with escarole and bok choy. Heartier offerings will include baked lamb with sun-dried tomato and tomato-water orzo pasta, along with other handmade pastas like Bavette cacio e pepe.
The menu will also feature Love's Detroit-style pizza (including a barbecue brisket version), as well as sandwiches and an assortment of seasonal snacks, which will all be available to-go as well. Dishes will incorporate hand-picked ingredients from the restaurant's 10,000-square-foot garden, which will be overseen by a staff horticulturalist.
Love plans to update the former Thurber Mingus location, which has been vacant since 2016. He has a penchant for indoor/outdoor spaces, seen in the design of his Woodshed Smokehouse on Riverfront Drive; likewise, the layout of Gemelle's cinderblock bungalow includes an upper patio that overlooks a large sunken lawn where guests can unwind over a game of bocce ball and sip a frozen Aperol spritz or house-made amaro (a bittersweet, herbal Italian liqueur) from the custom-made garden bar.
The location, on a sleepy stretch of White Settlement, has a storied history of dive bars, like the Hare n’ Hounds Inn and Froggy’s Boat House. Love is a sucker for dive bars — take his ownership of the historic White Elephant Saloon in Northside and his brief ownership of the Oui Lounge on Bluebonnet Circle (which has since become Fred’s Texas) for example.
His vision for Gemelle is much different — and it explains those Italian-themed pop-ups he hosted beginning in 2016, that he called Ufficio.
Notably, Travis and Emma Heim originally announced plans to open their second Heim Barbecue location in the spot, back in December of 2016, but they ultimately took a pass on it and set their sights on the VFW Hall instead — a bit farther down White Settlement Road. Heim Barbeque is expected to open this March.
By: Brian Kendall