In and Out

The Opening and Closing of the Week: August 18-22

A sandwich shop shutters while a German joint goes gangbusters.

By Katharine Shilcutt August 22, 2014

Döner kebap for all: a fifth Verts has opened in Westchase.

Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable opening and closing of the week.

After experimenting with Cajun burritos ahogados to tacos (served just this past Tuesday) and everything in between [two slices of bread], notable late-night sandwich shop Sandy Witch closed its doors yesterday after a year spent serving meatball subs and Frito pies from the kitchen inside Grand Prize Bar. Sandy Witch was conceived after chef/owner Anthony Calleo saw a lack of late-night dining options around Houston. "I’d love to see Houston have more late-night dining options," Calleo told Houstonia in October last year when asked what the city's food scene was lacking. And for a brief time, Sandy Witch filled that niche nobly.

The closure, however, will ensure that Calleo has more time to focus on his food truck, Pi Pizza, and—more importantly—opening its eventual bricks-and-mortar location. After all, as Calleo told Houstonia earlier this year: "I’m not in the food truck business. I’m in the getting-a-pizza-restaurant-open business." Meanwhile, those still in search of late-night comfort food can still find sandwiches inside another dive bar; Second Water watering hole Voodoo Queen serves burgers and po-boys until 2 a.m. every night.

In other sandwich-related news, the fifth—and final, for now—location of Verts opened at 11700 Westheimer Rd. in the Westchase district. An additional Houston-area location is planned to open soon in Spring, while spots in River Oaks, the Heights, Champions Forest, and Cypress are already doing a brisk business since the initial Verts location opened in April.

Verts owners Michael Heyne and Dominik Stein have modeled their döner kebap chain—conceived in Germany and born in Austin—after Chipotle, and one day hope to expand the operations outside of Texas. "We were so unimpressed with the fast-food options," Heyne told Houstonia earlier this year of his experiences eating out in Austin as a graduate student at the University of Texas, "and wanted to create something nicer." Verts serves craft beer and coffee on tap in addition to made-to-order döner kebap, fresh french fries, and addictive LovePuppies Brownies—also from Austin.



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