Casual dining restaurants operator J Alexander’s Holdings is set to expand its portfolio with the opening of a new upscale restaurant concept, Merus Grill, in Houston, Texas, US.

To be located at 1180 Uptown Park Boulevard in Uptown Park, the new restaurant is scheduled to open this year and will be owned by Edens.

According to J Alexander’s Holdings president and chief executive officer Mark A Parkey, it will be the company’s first Merus Grill restaurant.

The new restaurant will occupy 7,900ft² of space and can accommodate 200 guests.

The restaurant will create 90 full-time and part-time jobs. J Alexander’s Holdings is currently in the process of hiring new employees.

Parkey said: “Our extensive research indicates that Houston is an excellent market in which to launch our newest upscale restaurant.

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“We’re excited to open our initial Merus Grill in Uptown Park, one of the most attractive sites in greater Houston.”

The company is yet to finalise the restaurant’s menu, which will be revealed before the opening.

The menu is expected to feature items such as seafood, aged beef cut in house and other made-to-order dishes.

It will also offer handcrafted cocktails and martinis, as well as a range of wines served by the glass and bottle.

Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, the casual dining chain currently operates 46 restaurants in 16 US states.

Last month, the board of directors of J Alexander’s confirmed that the company would consider strategic alternatives, including a possible merger or sale option.