Our Story

Located in Houston's Energy Corridor, B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar offers a fresh take on classic, Italian-American food in an approachable atmosphere with first-class service. A traditional, family-owned and operated restaurant, Proprietor Benjamin Berg is committed to sourcing only the best Italian products and local ingredients, and everything is made from scratch, including the pasta!

Benjamin Berg

Benjamin Berg

Founder & CEO

Born in New York City, Berg has been in the hospitality business for over 19 years working for upscale hotels and steakhouses in key markets including Las Vegas, Mexico City and his hometown. 

In June 2015, Benjamin Berg opened his first concept, B&B Butchers & Restaurant, an upscale steakhouse and traditional butcher shop on Washington Avenue, to rave reviews from critics, celebrities and Houstonians. After successfully opening a second location of B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas in January 2018, he formed Berg Hospitality Group, which conceives, launches and operates restaurants in Texas with a commitment to giving back to the local communities. Around the same time, he purchased Carmelo's Ristorante Italiano, a traditional, family-owned and operated restaurant located in Houston's Energy Corridor since 1981. After closing for renovations, Berg reopened the space as two new concepts, B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar and B.B. Pizza To Go, which serve fresh, Italian-American food in an approachable, neighborhood setting with first-class service. The budding culinary group is also responsible for creating B.B. Lemon, an elevated eatery and bar serving classic, straightforward food and cocktails, which opened in November 2018 across the street from B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Houston. In May 2019, Berg Hospitality Group announced its plans to revamp the legendary restaurant, Cafe Annie, through a new partnership with James Beard award-winning Chef Robert Del Grande. The reimagined restaurant reopened as The Annie Café & Bar in September 2019, offering a fresh take on Texas-influenced American cuisine with a well-rounded, approachable menu in a vibrant, sophisticated atmosphere. Turner's, the latest concept from Berg and Del Grande which opened underneath The Annie in March 2020, is an exclusive dining and social establishment with old-world charm and service offering a blend of timeless American and continental dishes.

With a true passion for the hospitality industry, all of Berg's concepts focus on offering excellent service, unique atmospheres and unparalleled experiences for their guests while also giving back to the local community. All the restaurants have given countless in-kind donations to various Houston and Fort Worth charities by hosting fundraising events, donating food and staff for charity events and gift certificates for raffles and silent and live auctions. B&B Butchers & Restaurant has participated in Houston Restaurant Weeks every year since opening and has been the number one donor to the Houston Food Bank for the past three years. Berg, who has rightfully distinguished himself as a philanthropic leader in Houston, founded his annual "First Responder Appreciation Week" in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey. Offered at all the restaurants the week after Labor Day, all on duty First Responders receive a complimentary three-course meal during lunch and dinner. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Greater Houston Restaurant Association and Cherish Our Children Inc. 

Prior to his career in restaurants, Berg worked for two luxury hotels, The Point, which was voted the number one small hotel in the country at the time, and Lake Placid Lodge. He began as a bellman and worked his way up, learning every detail of the different facets of the hospitality business. He brings this same, service-oriented mindset to his restaurants. Berg received a Master of Hospitality Management from Cornell University and a B.A. in Art History from Tulane University.

Joe Malheiro

Joe Malheiro

General Manager

As general manager of B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar and B.B. Pizza To Go, Joe Malheiro brings years of restaurant experience and a true passion for hospitality to his role. Born in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, his parents owned a seafood restaurant by the coast where he began helping in the kitchen at just seven years old.

After moving to New York City at the age of 16, Malheiro got his first taste of formal service working for an upscale Italian restaurant. The staff could not pronounce his last name, which quickly earned him the eternal, loving nickname "Joey Parmigiana" or "Joey Parm." Shortly after, he was recruited to be a server for The Palm Restaurant in 1978 where he worked his way to general manager, playing a vital role in the restaurant's expansion in Houston, San Francisco and Beverley Hills. In 1997, he returned to Houston where he spent the majority of his 37 years with the company.

Before joining the B.B. Italia and B.B. Pizza team, Malheiro did a short stint at Smith & Wollensky where he first met Benjamin Berg, founder of Berg Hospitality Group. Two years later, Malheiro came out of retirement to work for two years at Berg's first concept, B&B Butchers & Restaurant. He loves being a part of Berg's team for his unique and innovative ideas and intense focus on quality and hospitality.

Berg Hospitality Group

Based in Houston, Berg Hospitality Group conceives, launches and operates restaurants in Texas with a commitment to giving back to the local communities.

Based in Houston, Berg Hospitality Group conceives, launches and operates restaurants in Texas with a commitment to giving back to the local communities. Founded by restaurateur, Benjamin Berg, the budding culinary group is responsible for creating B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Houston and Fort Worth, B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar and B.B. Pizza, B.B. Lemon, The Annie Café & Bar and Turner's.

With a true passion for the hospitality industry, all of Berg's restaurants focus on offering excellent service, unique atmospheres and unparalleled experiences for their guests. For more information, visit: www.berghospitality.com. Follow us on social media: @berghospitality