Montrose’s 93′ Til restaurant plans to blend 90s hip hop, great food

By Matt Young, Houston Chronicle Published 1:49 pm CDT, Friday, September 18, 2020 PHOTOS: A look at all the hip hop lyrics that reference Houston sports 93′ Til is a new restaurant planning to open in the Montrose area in mid-November. PHOTOS: A look at all the hip hop lyrics that […]


When Gary Ly and Lung Ly used to roam around New York, they talked about returning to Houston one day and opening a restaurant together. They both agreed they’d only do it if it was the type of chill spot where they enjoyed hanging out with friends.

That meant a restaurant focused on the food they enjoy cooking surrounded by the sounds of the music they love.

Thus, the idea of 93’ Til was born.

The restaurant, which will be located in the Montrose area at 1601 West Main and scheduled to open in mid-November, gets its name from underground hip hop song “93 ‘Til Infinity” by Oakland group Souls of Mischief.

The song may have never reached crossover smash hit status, peaking at No. 72 on the Billboard charts in 1993, but it’s a single most hip hop fans agree is a classic.

(Full disclosure: My groomsman and I entered to the “93 ‘Til Infinity” instrumental at my wedding, and I choose which strangers I talk to at the bar by who recognizes my prized 93 ‘Til T-shirt.)

“I think a lot of people do know the song ‘93 ‘Til’, but don’t know they know it,” Lung said. “When you play it, they’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, I know that song.’”

The chefs are hoping a blend of fresh food and nostalgic music will have people – to quote Souls of Mischief’s Tajai – “stepping to the cool spots where crews flock.”

93’ Til diners will spend their meals being treated to nothing but vinyl records, as the sounds of 1990s hip hop and other genres the pair grew up loving plays.

“It will be strictly vinyl,” Gary said, as Lung mentioned that he was hitting up record shops to add to his vinyl collection before he moved back to Houston from Los Angeles. “It won’t be exclusively hip hop. It will be music that we love, like blues and soul, some old R&B. We may have certain nights for certain music, we haven’t crossed that bridge yet, but it definitely will be music that we grew up on and that we listen to.”

The chefs’ connection to Souls of Mischief makes perfect sense because, although they’re not related, they’re both West Coast transplants who moved to Houston as kids.

“Me and my family moved to Houston in ’93, and now we’re moving back to Houston ’til infinity, right?,” the  36-year-old Lung said.

Both Gary and Lung are high-level chefs. Gary was a sous chef at Underbelly, before moving on to work at David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants in New York City and Wasington, D.C., as well as opening his own pop-up in Los Angeles. Lung is a charcuterie expert, working at places like Portland’s Laurelhurst Market before relocating to hip spots in Los Angeles.

They plan to have a seasonal menu at 93’ Til with a menu that features shareable items that will vary depending on what’s in season.

“Lung is really into curing meats and charcuterie, and I’m really into vegetables,” Gary said. “It’ll be food that people would want to sit around and pick at while they have a good night out, listening to good music and having good food.”

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