Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable openings and closings of the week.
The big news this week was, of course, the impending closure of Nara Sushi & Korean Kitchen, chef Donald Chang's acclaimed Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant in West Ave. Nara's last day of service is tomorrow, January 31, at which point Chang will close its doors for good to focus on reopening elsewhere.
Also closing and reopening elsewhere is El Tiempo Cantina 1308, which the Houston Chronicle reports is in the final stages of its move to the former location of La Casa del Caballo at Westheimer and Taft. But the address isn't all that's changing: the restaurant's name will become El Tiempo Cantina Annex, chef Domenic Laurenzo tells the Chron's Greg Morago. Given its customers' tendency to simply call this El Tiempo by its nickname, 1308, it's only a matter of time before a new nickname—we're predicting The Annex—sticks.
In openings, Eater Houston has the scoop on two additional locations of Houstonia favorite Pluckers. The Austin-based wing chain serves its wings tossed in spicy Ranch, Dr Pepper, and—most recently—a spicy-sweet gochujang sauce and offers macaroni 'n' cheese two ways: traditional and fried into sticks that you dip into strawberry jam. So, yeah—Pluckers is ridiculous and we love it, so we were stoked to hear that it's now expanding outside the Loop from its sole Heights-adjacent location into Memorial and Pasadena.
"According to this job posting on Craigslist, Pluckers is opening a location near Memorial City at 10407 Katy Freeway which last housed 59 Diner," writes Jakeisha Wilmore at Eater Houston. "Another restaurant is set to open in Pasadena at 3367 East Sam Houston Parkway South too." Though neither location will be open in time for Super Bowl weekend, the Pluckers at 1400 Shepherd Dr. is taking reservations for Super Bowl Sunday for $10 a person.