Houston’s Eleven XI salutes superstition as its namesake

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HOUSTON -Broke a mirror? Black cat cross your path? Don’t worry; we don’t think you’re crazy. And odds are the guys at Eleven XI don’t either.

“It’s a little bit superstitious, and a little bit luck,’ says co-owner Joseph Welborn.

Whether it’s karma you’re running from, or something a little darker, it’s one place in town you can pull up a chair and make yourself home.

“It started with a time on a clock,’ Welborn explains, ‘and then turned into a thought of ‘what is this time on the clock and why is this number prevalent in our lives all the time.`”

Anyone who’s heard of the 11:11 prompt knows what we’re talking about.

“There’s a reason I’m seeing this. Why am I seeing this? There’s got to be a reason behind it and there’s got to be something we need to do. And that was the project that is Eleven XI for us.”

For Welborn and Executive Chef Kevin Bryant, there was little to be superstitious about once they put their minds to the puzzle. When you’ve spent your life in the restaurant business it can only mean one thing:

“A friend of the family told me to find something that I loved doing because I was going to be working for my entire life,’ Bryant says, ‘and I found it. Every day is playing for me, never really working.”

But there’s more to this Houston hotspot than superstition. Chew on This: when the guys decided to open their own spot it wasn’t enough to plop it down in a strip center, they wanted to give something back by revitalizing an old home in Houston’s historic Montrose district.

“You know, in 1940 it was the belle of the block, it was one of the most beautiful homes in Houston,’ Welborn says. ‘It probably took us twice the investment in funds and twice the time to bring this building back to life but, to honor the structure and to bring it back to life after so many years of being disrespected, that was a big part of the motivation for us.”

There’s no garlic above the door or lucky rabbit’s feet hung from the lampshades, but if you’re feeling karma creeping up from behind, and need a place to shake it off your path, the folks at Eleven XI have made sure there’s no ladders to walk under on the way in. No fingers crossed.