Haidar Barbouti is an American original. The Houston-based real estate mogul has reshaped the retail and commercial face of cities across this country.
Barbouti, educated at Columbia University, purchased historic Highland Village shopping center in 1990. Since that time, the shopping center has become one of the most iconic, high-end retail centers in Houston, with over 150 million dollars’ worth of property. Barbouti is personally responsible for overseeing all management aspects of Highland Village.
The Highland Village shopping center became a retail location of firsts: the first Starbucks in Houston opened there in 1994; Quality Life Fitness is the first environmentally friendly fitness center in town; and the Apple Store opened in 2012 on the same date that the newest iPad was released.
Of special note is a pet adoption center, opened in Highland Village in 2008,which really speaks to the heart and character of Barbouti. Haidar donated the space, and even covered the costs of utilities for the facility.
The brainchild of Mr. Barbouti is Up Restaurant. Located on the third level of Highland Village, overlooking the Galleria area, Up is one of the finest restaurants in Houston, and caters to the upper crust of society. When he decided a restaurant was the perfect tenant for the prime retail space, he looked for a dining experience he could enjoy. When Haidar couldn’t find a tenant he wanted, he opened the restaurant himself.
Although Barbouti had absolutely no restaurant experience, he knew what he wanted. Up serves “real” food, with generous portions and fabulous flavors. He selects each dish and eats at Up Restaurant daily. The white-cloth restaurant is always full, and the clientele is loyal.
Haidur Barbouti is a one-of-a-kind entrepreneur, with over 20 years’ experience in real estate and marketing. His leadership has led to a successful empire that stretches from Texas to New York, and he improves every project he touches. Well done, Mr. Barbouti.