The beginning of a new year is usually a time for optimism, but in the restaurant world, it also means a rash of closings.
Recently, we reported the end for mainstay Beaver's and upscale dim sum restaurant Yauatcha. A few more high-profile restaurants and eateries are joining that list, led by Andes Cafe. Chef/owner David Guerrero announced Friday on Facebook that his South American eatery would close Sunday.
"We are looking for a better and new location and will see you soon," wrote Guerrero. He opened Andes Cafe in 2014 on Canal Street in the East End; recently, per the Chronicle, he announced he was close to opening an upscale Highland Village restaurant called Alma.
Hubcap Grill owner Ricky Craig announced on Twitter last week that he closed the downtown location of his burger spot, which was located at 1111 Prairie St. Craig said the shuttering was due to a new lease that "was not feasible for lunch time trade only," but continued with news that franchising opportunities should be available in 2020. Plus, Hubcap will open a Pearland location this year at 5627 Broadway.
Also, Greek-plus-random-American-grub stalwart Theo's in Montrose had its last day of service Sunday. The announcement came in an advertisement for a public auction set for Tuesday. According to the ad, owner Ted Mousoudakis is closing the restaurant "due to the demolition of the strip center for building of a high rise." The Chronicle first reported Theo's impending closing.
While the closings outweigh the openings for the moment, there is a launch to watch for this week. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, a chain that started in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002, is hosting the grand opening of its first Houston location at 7 p.m. Thursday at 375 W. 19th St. in the Heights. Look for flavors like brown butter almond brittle and roasted peanut butter and strawberry jam inside the 1,484-square-foot shop. The first 50 in line will get a swag bag, while everyone will get free ice cream.
Meanwhile, one of the food calendar's biggest events is fast approaching. Truffle Masters 2020 is scheduled for Jan. 27 at the C. Baldwin Hotel downtown. Twenty-seven chefs from across the city will attempt to create the finest dish using truffles, and guests will have the opportunity to taste each one while sipping on cocktails and wine. The fun starts at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. for those with VIP tickets), and tickets start at $195. Visit thetrufflemasters.com for more.