Mel Johnson Professional Employer Consultant and Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Owner, Brian Fasthoff. Brian previously owned several restaurants in Atlanta and now owns Batanga located at 908 Congress @ Travis Houston TX, 77002

 Give me a brief history of your company

Batanga opened on April 1st 2013. It is a concept that was crafted through 20 years of owning and operating similar restaurants. We are passionate about delivering great food, service, and an escape from the ordinary in Houston. We offer Latin American inspired tapas, exotic drinks and live Latin music. We also have the best and biggest patio in Downtown which offers a getaway to Houstonians, even if it is just for a little bit.

What are the biggest differences between opening a restaurant in Houston then Atlanta?

The biggest difference of opening places here or Atlanta is twofold. One is the City of Houston being very proactive and helpful in ushering owners through all the processes. Atlanta is very hard to navigate through, even for someone who knows the ins and outs of that city. Second, the community in Houston is willing to help out. Everyone here tries to reach out and create a great environment for business, whereas Atlanta is more about competing with your neighbor.

The main contributors as to why Batanga stands apart from other bar/restaurants in downtown Houston?

Downtown is really going through some major growth right now. There’s a lot of options people can choose from but our patio and live music set us apart as well as the fact that we share many different countries cuisines on our menu. Most tapas places are strictly Spanish.

What part of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

I really enjoy people having fun! It can be as simple as tasting something new and exciting for the first time, or a peaceful look on their face when on the patio on a lazy sunny day or the pure joy of laughter over a dinner with old friends. It’s those smiles that make our work worth it.

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