In and Out

The Opening and Closing of the Week: Sep. 13-19

Drinking in high cotton

By Katharine Shilcutt September 19, 2014

Justin Vann, left, and general manager Sean Jensen in the newly opened Public Services Wine & Whisky.

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

A few months after announcing their upcoming joint project, Public Services Wine & Whisky, Justin Vann (the former sommelier at Oxheart) and Justin Yu (still Oxheart's chef and owner) have opened the new bar as of today at noon. Occupying the ground floor bar of downtown's old Cotton Exchange, built in 1884, Public Services will serve both wine and whiskey, as its name would imply, as well as a limited food menu.

Public Services Wine & Whisky
202 Travis St.

"First and foremost, Public Services is a wine bar, including old world esoteric selections, and new world classics," writes Vann in an email. "Secondarily, we pay close attention to European whisky styles with a further concentration on single malt scotch whisky and wine cask-finished bottlings." In addition, Vann writes, the bar will serve a "very limited selection of cocktails" and, from Yu, "three core dishes: housemade rag bologney with smoked cheese, salted snacks, and fresh vegetables."

Public Services will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily except for Sundays (we recommend heading to 13 Celsius on Caroline St. for your wine needs that day, when all open bottles are 50 percent off).

In closings news, the Houston Chronicle reports that Sorrel Urban Bistro on West Alabama St. will be closing on December 31, at which point Ziggy Gruber will open a new concept in its place. No, it's not a long-awaited second location of his popular Galleria area deli Kenny & Ziggy's, but rather something called Dubrow's New York Grill. Writes the Chronicle's Greg Morago:

Dubrow’s, Gruber noted, was the name of cafeteria-style restaurants popular in New York and later in Miami. The last remaining Dubrow’s closed in 1985, but Gruber acquired the rights to Dubrow’s and is “retooling” the concept as a full-service restaurant with a full cocktail bar.

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