This was our second visit to Via Emilia in The Woodlands; the (Northern) Italian restaurant has undergone a complete transformation as well as more than doubled in size since the last time we were here. The service is prompt, informed, courteous, and on the spot. No longer are the servers hiding away - the managers are on the floor, the environment is inviting and the aroma is intoxicating. And we had only just arrived. We had reservations "but we went anyway" as I like to jokingly say. And as it turned out, making reservations was a good thing, even with the additional seating and larger bar, the restaurant was seated near capacity when we left; not bad for a Saturday night.
It's been about two years since The Republic Grille opened in the Panther Creek Shopping Center, and business couldn't be any better. In fact, it's so good that Terry McBurney has opened a second location in the far west end of The Woodlands, on the FM2978 facing side of Terramont Retail Center (corner of Woodlands Parkway and FM 2978). Many other would-be restaurateurs should take notice, this is how you do it; with great service and excellent food cooked right, the first time and every time. These of course aren't the only ingredients for a prosperous restaurant, but they are certainly very important. And many restaurants, both Mom & Pop as well as the chains have tried and failed in The Woodlands by not adhering to this kind of business model.
Today (June 6) was opening day, and as we arrived, everyone has a smile on their face and seemed genuinely happy to see guests approach as they open the door upon entry.
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