The Woodlands resident Terry McBurney exemplifies the definition of “entrepreneur.” His latest conceptual creation, the ever-popular eatery The Republic Grille, has recently grown into a successful multi-unit operation with three locations in Montgomery County.
Known for its Texas cuisine with a Southern twist, Terry acknowledges while being a seasoned small business owner, he had limited experience in conceptualizing and opening a restaurant. But his desire outweighed the lack of tactical experience, and so the vision became a reality.
“Although I did not have extensive restaurant experience, my vision was to create a concept which focused on great cuisine and exceptional service,” Terry shared. “The cuisine was born out of personal experiences from my childhood in Georgia and my adult life in Texas. Hence our Texas cuisine with a Southern twist was born. Sprinkle in a few dishes created ’by committee’ and you have what is today a very well-rounded menu even the most discerning guest can enjoy.”
Terry wasn’t exactly a stranger to the food and beverage industry. His initial debut was an impromptu bar he opened and operated with two ex-pats in Moscow, Russia in the mid-‘90s. Upon his return to Houston, he served as VP of Sales for an online restaurant gift certificate company through the mid-2000s. In 2005, he created Republic Payment Systems, a small business credit card processing company that today focuses on a heavy restaurant customer base. In 2013, he served as president of the Greater Montgomery County Restaurant Association. “It was these affiliations which afforded me a unique insight into the restaurant industry as my network became rich with experts in various and complementing arenas in terms of chefs, suppliers, architects, consultants, and local consumers”, he said. This tapestry of experience laid the grounded observation of what to do … and what not to do, and fueled Terry’s ability to serve as the conceptual designer (chic Hill Country ambiance), general contractor, licensed commercial real estate agent and operator for his new endeavor.
His first location of The Republic Grille opened in 2014 in The Woodlands Panther Creek Shopping Center. A spot which had been previously occupied by a long-standing Chinese restaurant, so local folks were already very aware of the location.
As the patronage and popularity grew, Terry began searching for a second location and in 2016 found it on the west side of The Woodlands where Woodlands Parkway meets FM 2978. The West Woodlands location was a strategic opportunity as the area was lacking in terms of full-service dining.
In early September of this year, The Republic Grille opened its third location, which unlike its sister locations, is a stand-alone building in Spring at Rayford Road and the Grand Parkway. “With the completion of the Grand Parkway, there has been a tremendous amount of single and multi-family growth in the Harmony Commons / Benders Landing area resulting in a robust market that was significantly underserved for high-end, full-service lunch and dinner,” said Terry. “Since opening, even with the looming cloud of COVID-19, our Spring location continues to exceed our expectations. Feedback from locals has been wonderful.”
The Republic Grille is acclaimed for serving high-quality cuisine at reasonable prices, such as their award-winning Wagyu Chicken Fried Steak. Other menu items include the popular Chicken Woodlands, Carolina-style Shrimp & Grits, TRG Top Chop, and Certified Angus Burgers, as well as dozens of light but satisfying salads, appetizers and mouth-watering scratch-made desserts.
Accented by rustic wood, natural stone, and embellished iron, each location yields a laid-back, Hill Country ambiance with a nod of elegance.
Solidifying its well-established reputation, The Republic Grille has recently been selected by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 25 Everyday Dining destinations in the USA.