Hawaiian Poke Company opened inside Howie's Tiki Bar on March 27.EXPAND
Hawaiian Poke Company opened inside Howie's Tiki Bar on March 27.
Photo by Jamie Alvear

Openings & Closings: Hello Hawaiian Poke Company, Cali Is Moving

Local food and drink blogger and fellow Houston Press contributor, Jamie Alvear, previewed a new poke spot in her neck of the woods in Spring. Hawaiian Poke Company opened March 27 at 4334 FM 2920, suite 100, inside Howie’s Tiki Bar.

The grand opening between March 23 and 25 included a special offer of half-priced menu items. Alvear noted that the Poke Company uses grade one fresh ahi tuna that is flown in daily and features eight different signature bowls with add-ons that include avocado, candied bacon and tempura crunchies. Along with poke, the menu offers Hawaiian fusion items like ahi tacos, bao, gyoza, burgers and chicken sandwiches.

“This was actually my first time eating poke so I don’t know what to compare it to, but it was delicious,” said Alvear.

Chef-driven neighborhood wine bar Nancy's Hustle is expected to open at 2704 Polk this fall. Houston natives Jason Vaughan (formerly of now-closed Daily Review Café on Lamar and L20 in Chicago) and Sean Jensen (of Public Services Wine & Whisky in Downtown Houston) told the Houston Business Journal that the “Nancy's portion of the name comes from Fat Nancy's diner in the movie "Mad Max," and hustle is a reference to Houston's ‘Hustle Town’ nickname.”

Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar at 1031 East 24th in the Heights is being resurrected after closing a year ago since being opened since the 1980s. The Leader News reported that four loyal patrons of the old bar, Jennifer Caldwell, Scott Fix, and John and April King, have decided to revive the establish, which reopened on March 25.

Hours of operation are seven days a week, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cali Sandwich is moving across the street and will open by April's end.
Cali Sandwich is moving across the street and will open by April's end.
Photo by Jeff Balke

Cali Sandwich, 3030 Travis, is getting new digs at the end of April. The popular Midtown banh mi joint is making a move across the street into the space formerly occupied by Crave Sushi at 2900 Travis. On March 28, Houston Press reported that Cali’s owner Nga Chung told her customers that the restaurant would be closing temporarily starting March 29.

Expect a kitchen remodel and a revamp of the interior space. Beer and wine may be added to the menu, but the food items will remain the same.

An eight-acre public green space called Deep Cypress Gardens is coming to Cypress off Kathy Lane, near Grant and Louetta. Local nonprofit conservancy, Deep Cypress Alliance plans to break ground in late April and hopes to open to the public by early 2018.

According to the Houston Business Journal, the community garden will include a welcome center with staff offices, edible gardens, green spaces, walking paths, a farm-to-table restaurant and event center with a conference room and meeting spaces for rent.

160ft Beerworks is a nano-brewery opens on April 1 at 1310 Nance.EXPAND
160ft Beerworks is a nano-brewery opens on April 1 at 1310 Nance.
Photo by Rebekah Matamoros

On April 1, a new brewery will open its doors to the public at 1310 Nance, just a few steps away from former Oxheart’s home. 160ft Beerworks dubs itself a nanobrewery, creating small batches of various beers in house. 160ft Beerworks announced on its Facebook page that the grand opening will be celebrated on April 1 and 2 with four beers on tap and food vendors.

House of Pies will be opening its third location at 11311 Fuqua where a Black-Eyed Pea once stood. The Chron reported that remodeling has already begun in the existing structure and the restaurant is currently accepting applications and hiring staff in time to open doors in a matter of weeks.

BuffBurger is coming to 1540 West Alabama in Montrose.
BuffBurger is coming to 1540 West Alabama in Montrose.
Photo courtesy of Buffburger

A second location of BuffBurger is coming to 1540 West Alabama in Montrose. According to an exclusive given to Houston Food Finder, owners Paul and Sara Burden are teaming up with Cisneros Design Studio to design a “2,500 square foot, open concept space that sports high ceilings and rustic Texas charm.”

Buffburger’s original location at 1014 Wirt opened two years ago and has been popular with West Houston families because of its dedication to locally sourced goods from companies such as 44 Farms, Slow Dough Bread Co. and Houston Dairy Maids. The Montrose location expects to be open by fall of this year.

4D Gelateria is expanding into Texas at Katy Mills Mall. A NewCor release announced that the international company plans to open in late April or early May.

The Italian gelato and gourmet shop currently operates in several countries around the world, including South America, Europe, Caribbean, Middle East and more recently in Central America. Along with gelato, the shop will offer salads, paninis, pizza, pasta and appetizers.

Moku opens where Samurai Noodle used to stand inside the Conservatory Downtown.EXPAND
Moku opens where Samurai Noodle used to stand inside the Conservatory Downtown.
Photo by Moku Bar

The Conservatory food hall downtown is making some cool changes. Samurai Noodle has closed and a new poke and tempura spot called Moku Bar will open in its place. The poke concept is from local Casian King food truck’s owner Tuan Tran.

Conservatory owner Anh Mai told CultureMap Houston that Tran’s poke pop-ups in that space had been very successful and lucrative, earning “almost $4,000 in four hours.”

Other changes to the food hall include the addition of Noble Rot Wine Bar in the space beneath the stairs and a Mars Bakery that will offer doughnuts and kolaches for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch.

Chic, new Post Lounge Bar & Grill premieres on March 31 at 9003 Westheimer Road with a grand opening party from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. According to a press release, the kitchen is helmed by chef Shay Atkins, owner of My Creative Cuisine, who has been featured on several media outlets including Black Enterprise, Tom Joyner and Fox 26.

Post will offer appetizers, happy hour cocktails and local DJ music for the grand opening event. The first 200 guests to arrive will receive a complimentary gift bag to mark the occasion. To RSVP for this event as well as reserve sections please visit Eventbrite, or call 832-276-6847 for more information.

CultureMap Houston reported that a new source for pastries and charcuterie is now available in Houston. Jeff Weinstock (Brennan's, Siphon Coffee, Black Hill Meats) and baker Max Torres (Slow Dough Bread Co., Weights + Measures) started Cake & Bacon, which operates out of a commercial kitchen space in Southwest Houston on Fondren.

Weinstock and Torres already have their product in local restaurants such as Dandelion Café and Southside Espresso and will be in more shops in the coming weeks.

Blockhouse Coffee & Kitchen celebrates its grand opening on April 2.
Blockhouse Coffee & Kitchen celebrates its grand opening on April 2.
Photo courtesy of Blockhouse Coffee & Kitchen

Blockhouse Coffee & Kitchen is celebrating its grand opening on April 2 at 611 Jackson, suite C, in Richmond. The event includes a crawfish boil benefitting Parks Youth Ranch, a local nonprofit serving at-risk and homeless youths, activities for kids, live music and do-it-yourself crafts.

Mascalzone at 1500 Shepherd served its last dinner on the evening of March 26, Houston Food Finder reported after receiving a tip from an anonymous employee about the sudden closure of the classic Italian restaurant. The second location on Shepherd opened just a little more than two years ago in January of 2015.

The original location at 12126 Westheimer is still up and running in Westchase.

A leading fast casual cafe celebrates its grand opening on Friday, March 31 at 19075 I-45 South, suite 116C, north of The Woodlands, in Shenandoah. A press release noted that Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers a variety of fresh fruit smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads and salads. The café has been inspiring healthy lifestyles with over 545 locations nationwide.

The all-day grand opening event promises fun for the whole family and community.

Construction on the Katy Boardwalk District, a mixed-use project to include residential and commercial and retail spaces has started directly south of Katy Mills and centered around a large lake with a boardwalk and nature trails. Community Impact Katy reported that upon completion the Boardwalk will house 650 loft residences, 145,000-square-feet of mixed-use commercial space and approximately 60,000-square-feet of retail space.

Burgerim's mini burgers have "remarkable flavor," said Lechman.EXPAND
Burgerim's mini burgers have "remarkable flavor," said Lechman.
Photo by John Nechman

The Chronicle reported that Burgerim celebrated its official ribbon cutting in Cypress on March 22. The company opened its first store of five planned for the Houston area at 9945 Barker Cypress, at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake back in December of last year.

Last month, local food lover John Nechmen posted that he was thrilled with his selection of regular beef, the dry aged beef, and most delicious of all, the merguez. He added that the burger patties had “remarkable flavor.”

The 2.8 ounce patties are hand-formed and sold as a duo, trio or a party box of 16 mini burgers. Other items on the menu include salads, wings, sandwiches and desserts like cheesecake and something called a “Marshmallow Dream.”

Fire-grilled chicken chain El Pollo Loco opened its newest location at 2825 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring on March 28. This store marks the 10th El Pollo Loco owned and operated by franchisees Anil Yadav and Atour Eyvazian, and will be Spring’s second location.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings! Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know if we missed something.

Now, here’s a review of the Openings and Closings that were reported in March:

Reported open or plans to open:

160ft Beerworks, 1310 Nance - April 1, 2017
4D Gelateria, Katy Mills Mall - late April or early May
85C Bakery, 9750 Bellaire - unknown date at this time
a’Bouzy, 2300 Westheimer - June 2017
AGU Ramen, 1360 Nasa Parkway - early April 2017
AGU Ramen, 2130 Lone Star Drive - mid March 2017
AGU Ramen, 514 South Mason Road - mid march 2017
Apogee Brewing, 905 Hawthorne - mid to late 2018
Asiatown, northeast corner of I-10 and the Grand Parkway - unknown date at this time
Avalon Diner, 11611 Katy Freeway - March 8, 2017
Bacon Bros. Public House, 2110 Town Square Place - March 8, 2017
Bambu, The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch - unknown date at this time
Beer Market Co., 1239 West 19th - sometime in 2018
Blockhouse Coffee & Kitchen, 611 Jackson, suite C - April 2, 2017
BuffBurger, 1540 West Alabama - fall 2017
CAKE Fine Pastry, 13010 FM 529 - March 20, 2017
Calliope's, 12225 Westheimer - unknown date at this time
Chuy’s, Pasadena Pavilion, Beltway 8 & Vista - end of 2017
Coco Crepes, Waflles & Coffee, t 6777 Woodlands Parkway, suite 214 - April 2017
Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar, 1031 East 24th Street - March 25, 2017
Deep Cypress Gardens, Kathy Lane, near Grant and Louetta - early 2018
Dolce Neve, 4721 North Main - March 31, 2017
Dosey Doe's Breakfast & BBQ, 2626 Research Forest Boulevard - March 18, 2017
El Pollo Loco, 2825 Riley Fuzzel Road - March 28, 2017
First Watch, A Daytime Café, 5503 FM 1960 - March 13, 2017
Fuddruckers, 8510 Creekside Forest - April 2017
Fuji Ramen King, 2518 West Holcombe - late January 2017
Goodnight Charlie's, 2531 Kuester - early fall 2017
Govinda’s, 1320 West 34th Street - March 11, 2017
Habanera and the Guero, 9902 Gulf Freeway - February 28, 2017
Handle bar Houston, 5219 Washington Avenue - March 31, 2017
Hawaiian Poke Company, 4334 FM 2920, suite 100 - March 27, 2017
House of Pies, 11311 Fuqua - April 2017
Island Grill, 2365 Rice - May 1, 2017
King's Bierhaus, 2044 East T.C. Jester - end of April, 2017
Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly A Kite Lounge, 823 Dumble - mid March 2017
MOD Pizza, Westheimer & City West - May 1, 2017
Moku Bar, Conservatory - end of March, 2017
Nancy's Hustle, 2704 Polk - fall 2017
Ohn Korean Eatery, 9630 Clarewood Drive Suite A-16 - mid to late April 2017
Outback Steakhouse, Pasadena Pavilion, Beltway 8 & Vista - end of 2017
Peli Deli, 808 Travis, Esperson Building - March 27, 2017
Pop + Pan, 34th & Ella - fall 2017
Post Lounge Bar & Grill, 9003 Westheimer Road - March 31, 2017
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, 9530 Main Street - March 21, 2017
Razzoo’s, Pasadena Pavilion, Beltway 8 & Vista - end of 2017
Red Robin, Pasadena Pavilion, Beltway 8 & Vista - end of 2017
Retrospect Coffee Bar, 3704 La Branch - April 2017
Russo's, 28610 Highway 290 - April 2017
Salata, 3091 College Park Drive, suite 290 - March 20, 2017
Salata, The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch - unknown date at this time
Salmontin, 2736 Virginia - mid March 2017
Starfish, 191 Heights Boulevard - late March or early April 2017
Super H-Mart, northeast corner of I-10 and the Grand Parkway - unknown date at this time
Super Yummy Mongolian Stir-Fry & Sushi, The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch - unknown date at this time
The Hot Bagel Shop, 2015 South Shepherd Drive, suite 900 - March 17, 2017
The Ivy & James, 4400 Bellaire, Evelyn Park Conservancy - May 1, 2017
The Oyster Bar at Prohibition, 1008 Prairie - rebranded mid March 2017
The Refuge Steakhouse & Bourbon Bar, 8540 Creekside Forest, suite C800 - March 18, 2017
Torchy's Tacos, Boardwalk at Towne Lake at 9945 Barker Cypress - unknown date at this time
Tropical Smoothies Café, 19075 I-45 South, suite 116C - March 31, 2017
Von’s Chicken, 10020 Long Point Road - late summer or early fall 2017
Wokker at Craft Beer Cellar, 907 Franklin - March 31, 2017
Woodson’s Local Tap + Kitchen, 2330 FM 1488 - March 11, 2017
Yauatcha, 5045 Westheimer - March 29, 2017
Yogurtland, Westheimer & City West - May 1, 2017
Zoës Kitchen, Westheimer & City West - May 1, 2017

Reported Closed or plans to close:

Arthur Ave, 1111 Studewood - March 19, 2017
Bonefish Grill, 2643 Commercial Center in LaCenterra - mid February 2017
Café Pita, 10852 Westheimer - mid March 2017
Cali Sandwich, 3030 Travis - temporarily closing on March 29, 2017
Davis Street at Hermann Park, 5925 Almeda - March 2017
Houston Panini & Provisions, 1727 West 34th - March 8, 2017
Little Liberty, 2365 Rice - mid March 2017
Mascalzone, 1500 Shepherd - March 26, 2017
Nelore Brazilian Steakhouse, 4412 Montrose - mid March 2017
Oxheart, 1302 Nance - March 15, 2017

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