Tipping in Restaurants Reaches a Tipping Point

Will 2014 be the year it's abolished?

La Guadalupana did not reopen after the holidays, but have no fear, Mexican-pastry lovers, ­because the quaint bakery and cafe is not per­manently closed. Eater reports that La Guadalupana was scheduled to reopen on Saturday, ­January 11, and it did. While the reason for the temporary closure has yet to be determined, Eater ­explains that owner Trancito Diaz has plans to open a shopping center in Pasadena, where he would likely open his second cafe.

Although Brian O'Neill's had a "Farewell Brian O'Neill's New Year's Eve Party," the Irish bar and pub is not closed and won't be closing anytime soon. On January 2, Brian O'Neill's posted on Facebook, "Despite all the rumors Brian O'Neill's is still open and is not closing soon, so come in tonight for $3 Irish Car Bombs, $2 red snappers, and $2 buttery nipples all night long! Specials on all Texas drafts and liquors as well."

We received word that LOLA Catering + Events, LLC has opened a new storefront, at 2280 West Holcombe. The catering and events service moved there in the fall and is now serving takeout lunch and dinner; LOLA will still offer catering services from that location. Chef Richard Hendry will serve staple LOLA dishes, such as the apple gorgonzola salad and the LOLA burger, as well as a variety of new sides, soups and desserts.

Tipping after meals is no longer as universally accepted as it once was.
Tipping after meals is no longer as universally accepted as it once was.
The cheese sticks at Lucky Burger are top-notch.
Joanna Leary
The cheese sticks at Lucky Burger are top-notch.

B4-U-Eat's newsletter cleared up some confusion with the Fish & The Knife last week. According to the owner, the restaurant will open in about three weeks. Rumors had spread that it might be far from opening, based on the disappearance of its Facebook page and because its opening had been delayed for quite some time. However, the Facebook page was removed because a former employee had created the page.

Remember that makeout bar with the blue door? Well, it's coming back — for real this time. Swamplot reports that Marfreless should reopen on Friday, January 17. From the looks of the renovation photos on Facebook, it will still be dimly lit, so you know...

Anyway...Help out a good cause and get a free meal at Another Broken Egg Cafe, opening in Vintage Park on January 20. On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the grand opening, the cafe will offer a free meal to every customer, as well as an opportunity to make donations to a specific charity and nonprofit. On Thursday, January 16, diners may donate to the Houston Food Bank from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.; on Friday, January 17, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m., donations may be made to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and on Saturday, January 18, customers can make donations to the Houston SPCA from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. During each of these times, the cafe will serve a variety of Southern brunch dishes, including biscuit beignets, French toast, burgers, sandwiches and omelettes. Try out Houston's first Another Broken Egg Cafe and decide for yourself if you want to visit again for a not-free meal.

The Chronicle's Morago reports that the space in Midtown where El Patio used to be has been redesigned and remodeled for its new occupant, Cook & Collins, which will open on Monday, January 20. The bar will be upstairs and the restaurant downstairs. The menu will include American comfort-food dishes. Cook & Collins will initially be open for dinner only, but brunch and lunch service will soon be added.

Another bar is joining the downtown nightlife scene. The Chronicle's Morago reports that Snake Oil Company will open at 410 Main, Suite B, between Preston and Prairie, by the end of January. The cocktail bar will resemble a speakeasy with a "secret" staircase entrance. It's headed by K.C. Gifford, owner of a residential and commercial construction company, Double G, and Robby Cook, who will be the bar consultant. Morago writes that Cook worked at El Big Bad.

Eater reports that a new bakery is coming to the East End part of town. Tout Suite is the sister bakery to CityCentre bakery Sweet and is set to open at 2001 Commerce. Owners Thuy-my ­Luong and Sandy Tran will open Tout Suite some time near the end of February; the bakery will not only serve the same macarons and cupcakes sold at Sweet, but will also offer soups, salads, sandwiches made with bread from Slow Dough, and coffee from Greenway Coffee.

According to Amber Ambrose of Zagat Houston, Hubcap Grill will open a third location, this one in Kemah, off Highway 146. Owner Ricky Craig announced the expansion via Twitter, stating, "Hubcap Breaking News: Hubcap #3 coming soon. Hello 146 Kemah." Ambrose reports that the third restaurant location might open in March or April of this year — beer garden, jukebox and those insanely great burgers included.

Punk's Simple Southern Food will open by the middle or end of February next door to another Clark Cooper Concept, Coppa Osteria. Chef Brandi Key will head the kitchen at Punk's, serving true Southern classic dishes with a twist, such as fried green tomatoes with a crab salad, sweet corn hush puppies and buttermilk fried chicken.

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