This Month's Restaurant Rumors and Farewells
Planning to grab a Jerry Built Burger or have dinner at Glass Wall? Think again. Here are the most recent closures in greater Houston, as well as some reliable rumors of what's to come.
Bernadine’s and Hunky Dory, Treadsack’s high-profiled Gulf Coast restaurant and British American-inspired tavern concepts at 1801 North Shepherd, have closed. The closures comes after months of ongoing issues stemming from last year’s abrupt shutter of critically-acclaimed Thai-focused Foreign Correspondents, to the recent departures of both restaurants’ executive chefs Richard Knight and Graham Laborde.
Smoked meat house Charlie’s BBQ has closed following extensive fire damage in early May. At present, it’s unclear if owners of the longtime fixture at 8220 Airline Drive will rebuild.
Desi Express, an Indo-Pak restaurant at 5838 New Territory Boulevard in Sugar Land, recently closed its doors.
Glass Wall, a Studewood Hospitality eatery in the Heights, has shuttered. The restaurant group is planning to open a more casual concept in the 933 Studewood Street space soon.
Comfort food spot Grafitti's at Union St. closed its 2003 Union Street storefront in late May. The eatery plans to open in an as-yet-undisclosed location in the coming months, a welcome relief for fans of the restaurant’s Texas-sized chicken fried steaks, piled-high burgers and homemade milkshakes.
Hot Toppings, a local build-it-yourself pizza joint from David Petty, has closed its doors at 7705 Westheimer Road. The eatery, which specialized in one-price pies with unlimited fresh toppings, also halted plans for a downtown tunnel location.
After closing its Woodlands outpost in February, the remaining locations of Houston-based Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers have also closed. The original West University area restaurant opened five years ago at 3501 West Holcombe Boulevard opened five years ago, while the mini-chain newest addition at 10403 Katy Freeway opened last year.
La Macro, a trompo haven from owner Saul Obregon, closed its 5111 Washington Avenue storefront in mid-May. The restaurant was previously located at 1822 North Main before closing its doors in 2014. Obregon is reportedly looking for another permanent spot for his concept with the Heights and EaDo as strong contenders. In the meantime, trompo lovers can get their fix at La Macro’s food truck stationed at Raven Tower most evenings.
Mike Tran and Rikesh Patel’s Night Market Curry & Grill is temporarily closed. The southeast Asian spot at 9630 Clarewood Drive, Suite A12, is expected to reopen this summer with a revised menu and other kitchen changes. (Wondering what it was like before? Read our recent restaurant review of both Night Market and Maba Pan-Asian Diner.)
Pho Line, a spot for soup and Vietnamese fare, closed its doors in early May at 13711 Westheimer, Suite A, in the West Oaks Place Shopping Center. The restaurant hopes to reopen soon in another location.
Once a lively go-to spot on the River Oaks scene, Sullivan’s Steakhouse has shuttered at 4608 Westheimer Road. The Texas-based chain’s sister restaurant Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House remains open in the Galleria.
After a two-and-a-half-year run in Pearland, Niko Niko's closed that outpost in late May. The Greek restaurant was a mini version of its legendary Montrose flagship, situated inside H-E-B Plus at 2805 Business Center Drive. The space won’t stay empty for long, however. The Simple Greek, a fast-casual, Mediterranean-inspired chain based in Pittsburgh, is moving in as early as this summer possibly. Expect build-your-own bowls and pita-filled options in a counter-service setting.
A third Fox Restaurant Concepts eatery may be bound for Houston. The restaurant group behind health-focused True Food Kitchen and casual Italian spot North Italia in BLVD Place has another concept in mind for the Uptown area. This time around, the Scottsdale-based company is rumored to be bringing Blanco Tacos + Tequila to the Galleria. Offering Mexican fare and plenty of agave-based spirits, this modern south-of-the-border eatery could arrive some time in 2018.
Construction is currently underway for Sbarro's fast-casual, Neapolitan-inspired spinoff Cucinova at 10535 Fry Road in the Cypress area Lakeland Village Center, but could there be another outlet in the works nearby? There is talk that the Ohio import has its eyes set on Katy, with a possible location in retail center The Shoppes at Grand Crossing at the Grand Parkway. A representative for the restaurant declined to comment.
Dig Inn, a fast-casual eatery from New York with a farm-to-table focus, could possibly have its eyes on Houston. The NYC-based mini-chain is known for its grain bowls and seasonally driven menu, which utilizes locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms and producers.
While Roka Akor readies for the June debut of its River Oaks Japanese concept at 2929 Weslayan Street, parent company JNK Concepts is already thinking of other restaurants to roll out in Houston. Marigold Maison, an Indian eatery, and Enolo Wine Café could possibly pop up on the dining scene down the road.
Hakkasan, the hospitality giant behind Yauatcha, is exploring even more restaurant options in Houston. Reportedly, So-Cal coastal-inspired Herringbone and restaurant/lounge hybrid Ling Ling are possible concepts. Herringbone, which along with Hakkasan’s Searsucker, has been rumored for the Bayou City for several years, is a “fish meats field” restaurant from Top Chef also-ran Brian Malarkey (think surf and turf with a heavy Southern California bent). Ling Ling on the other hand, features small Cantonese plates.
A franchised location of Missouri-based Hurt Donut is rumored for Katy. The breakfast-friendly spot boasts over two dozens doughnut varieties on a rotating menu, which includes cereal-bedecked and maple glazed circular treats. Other items featured are giant cinnamon rolls, kolaches, and doughnut blended milkshakes topped with—what else?—a doughnut adorned straw. No word yet on the location or its estimated arrival time.
After relocating to Cypress, Koala Kolache is actively seeking to expand its presence with sights set on Houston’s inner loop. The popular bakery known for its ice-cream-stuffed doughnuts and kolaches, is planning a flagship store in one of Houston’s hottest neighborhoods. Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, River Oaks, the Heights and West University are possible contenders.
A popular West University Vietnamese hub may be expanding to Montrose. Miss Saigon Café is rumored to be opening in the Braun Enterprise-acquired strip center at 1415 Richmond Avenue. The eatery could replace shuttered Pepino’s Italian Restaurant at 1421 Richmond Avenue.
The group behind casual Vietnamese spots Les Givral’s Kahve and Oui Banh Mi reportedly have plans for a new concept in partnership with the White Oak Music Hall development. Oui Eats, the tentative name for the forthcoming eatery situated across the bayou from the entertainment venue at 2645 North Main, will feature a set-up inspired by Austin’s Mozart Coffee. Despite multiple requests, Les Givral’s owners remain tight-lipped on the project, including rumored plans for a Oui Eats concept in the Galleria.
Soul-stirring bowls of Pho Binh’s rice noodle soup could soon fill the bellies of Vietnamese food-loving Montrose residents. Considered to be among Houston’s premiere spots for pho, the family-owned mini-chain, with locations spanning the city, is rumored to have plans for a branch at 2011 Waugh Street in Montrose. Look for vermicelli bowls and rice plates to possibly arrive later this year.
Punch Bowl Social, a food-and-cocktail-forward entertainment emporium from Denver, is rumored to be planning a Houston outpost—that is once a location is locked down. The retro spot serves as an adult playground complete with games of all kinds (think vintage arcade games, a bowling alley, ping pong, shuffleboard and more merriment). In addition to craft beverages and punch bowl creations, there’s a Southern-inspired dining menu designed by Top Chef judge and James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Hugh Acheson.
Having nabbed a coveted top 10 spot on Texas Monthly’s “50 Best BBQ Joints” in the state, owner-pitmaster Leonard Botello IV of Truth BBQ in Brenham may have big plans in store for his booming smoked meat sanctuary. Rumors are swirling of a Houston outpost for Truth Barbecue in the near future. It’s not far-fetched to think Botello would have Houston in mind as a possible location for expansion. Before moving to Brenham and opening Truth last year, the young pitmaster, along with his family, operated now-shuttered Café Annice in neighboring Brazoria County.
Last year, Baton Rouge-based Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar announced plans to bring its sports bar concept to the Houston area, complete with waitresses donning cheerleading uniforms. The Drew Brees-backed hangout is expected to open several location across the city, the first of which is reportedly set to arrive by the summer of 2018. Though no official word has been released regarding specific locations, there are speculations that one may land in MetroNational Memorial City at 10100 Katy Freeway.