Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable opening and closing of the week.
If you find the rave-inspired glow-in-the-dark lanes at Bowlmor a little too clubby and the 90s-era movie theatre carpet and hard plastic chairs at Palace Bowling Lanes a little too authentic, two dudes from Dallas are hoping you'll find their new venture just right, if we're staying with this whole Golidlocks-goes-bowling analogy. Bowl & Barrel is the brainchild of two SMU grads and restaurateurs, Josh Sepkowitz and Kyle Noonan, whose "boutique bowling alley and modern American tavern" opened in Dallas two years ago and drew rave reviews for both its atmosphere and its food, in particular a giant hot pretzel that Dallas food bloggers have gone crazy over. Needless to say, we have to try this pretzel.
Bowl & Barrel opened its second location in San Antonio last month and is now on the verge of opening its third location here in Houston at CityCentre this fall at the corner of Queensbury Ln. and Beltway 8. The bowling won't come cheap—prices go up to $50 per hour on the weekends, with a $5 shoe rental per person—but it's a solid bet that Bowl & Barrel will nevertheless pack in the crowds at CityCentre, which is becoming as much an entertainment destination as it is a shopping and dining destination with live music on the weekends and the perennially popular Studio Movie Grill. As for the food, look for upscale salads, sandwiches and burgers, including a $19 Wagyu burger with ale-glazed shallots that can easily go over $20 if you add a fried egg or bacon. Luckily, that famous pretzel is only $5.
Bowl & Barrel is far from the only opening coming to the ever-growing CityCentre this fall: Grimaldi's Pizzeria will finally open its first location within the Houston city limits, taking over a 3,500-square-foot space directly across the street from Bowl & Barrel. The New York-based pizza chain first expanded into the Houston area with locations in The Woodlands, Sugar Land and Katy and is known for its coal oven-fired pizzas (we suggest the white sauce with garlic) and its Rat Pack soundtrack in a nod to one of Grimaldi's most famous fans, Frank Sinatra.
Two doors down from Grimaldi's on Sorella Ct., look for the second location of Fellini Gelato & Caffé to open September 10. The original location in Rice Village opened in the fall of 2013 and immediately attracted attention for its old-school Italian coffee and ambience. Owner Salvatore Abelice has partnered up with fellow Italian and Rice Village restaurateur Nash D'Amico (of D'Amico's) to open this second spot, which will also offer authentic gelato—hence the name—in addition to coffee. It's exactly the sort of spot the area has been missing since the sadly premature shuttering of Cafe Rose, which also served the same Lavazza beans and espressos Fellini plans to when it opens in a couple of weeks.