Twenty years ago, Christopher’s World Grille opened its doors in Bryan with owner and chef Christopher Lampo in the kitchen, serving cultural cuisine from around the world.
On Friday, the restaurant will host its “Dine Around the World in One Night” event in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Guests will receive a six-course meal, including dishes from Indonesia, France, Alaska and more.
The restaurant is located in the historic Andrews House on Boonville Road. Lampo credits his father for the idea to restore the old ranch home that has since become a staple for guests visiting the restaurant.
“I received a call from my dad, and he asked me on my next break to Texas if I would take time to look at this beautiful old ranch house he found that he thought would make a good restaurant,” Lampo said. “I came home and worked all the numbers. At the end, I told him it just wouldn’t work, but we went ahead and did it anyway, and 20 years later Dad still reminds me he was right.”
Although the food is what the staff continuously focuses on, Lampo said it is the character and appeal of the old house that keeps many customers coming back for more.
“You have to basically drive out of town to come find us and when you get here, you see this beautiful old house sitting in the grass field with a big front porch,” Lampo said. “You just feel like you’re out of town.”
As a Brazos Valley native, opening Christopher’s World Grille gave Lampo the opportunity to bring his experiences from around the world to his own community, he said.
“This is my home, my community,” Lampo said. “I wanted to share with them some of my travel experiences by bringing some of the things I had tasted from around the world back to my friends and family.”
With dishes from many different countries on the menu, Lampo said there is nothing like his restaurant in the area.
“The community has embraced us from the beginning,” Lampo said. “It was something different and something people could bring their friends from out of town and say, ‘Look at this little gem of a restaurant that we have in Bryan-College Station that you didn’t think we would have.’”
Over the last two decades, the restaurant has developed a devoted following of customers who share some of their own anniversaries at the venue. Lampo said he enjoys getting to be a part of the community’s memories.
“I have guests that are still coming and have come for the last 20 years,” Lampo said. “People got engaged and celebrated anniversaries here all these years. We became a part of their memories, and they are a part of ours.”
Christopher’s World Grille has also served notable world leaders and their guests in the heart of Bryan.
“Christopher’s World Grille is the preferred caterer to The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Foundation,” marketing manager Brittany Baysinger said. “Chef Lampo has personally served George and Barbara Bush and their guests as they entertained political and industry leaders from around the world.”
The restaurant and its staff have worked continuously over the last two months, cultivating a menu, décor and entertainment fit for a 20th anniversary experience.
“We are doing the theme of dining around the world because this was the purpose of naming the restaurant ‘Christopher’s World Grille’ 20 years ago,” Lampo said. “It was all about bringing those flavors home. We will have music from the South Pacific and elaborate décor for this event, but as always, this event is all about the food.”
Although the environment and neighborhood surrounding the restaurant has grown and changed throughout the last 20 years, Lampo said he is confident that he and his staff have done well in adapting to these changes. New additions to the venue include a banquet room fit for 140 people, an outdoor terrace, two fire pits and a rainproof pergola.
“Everything in our community is growing, so there is a physical change where we almost don’t seem out of town anymore, but we have changed too,” Lampo said. “We are growing into our new neighborhood.”
Even with all of the changes of the Brazos Valley, Lampo said one thing has always remained the same with the values the restaurant upholds.
“When you visit us, it takes you away from the world you’re coming from,” Lampo said. “You come into our world to escape your crazy world. We still love what we do and love to see people enjoying themselves.”