The roast duck curry at Night Market Thai.
The roast duck curry at Night Market Thai.
Photo courtesy of Night Market Thai

Openings & Closings: Welcome Back to Chinatown, Night Market Thai

Night Market Thai, 9630 Clarewood, opened on October 3, according to Houston CultureMap. Mike Tran and chef Rikesh Patel have revamped the previous concept, Night Market Curry and Grill, into a Thai restaurant with an ultra-cool interior and colorful dishes that bring the heat.

Melange Creperie will open its first brick and mortar cafe October 16 at 714 Yale, according to the Houston Chronicle. Now patrons will have an elegant and pretty seating area for enjoying their sweet and savory crepes.

Goodnight Charlie’s, 2531 Kuester, is slated to open in early December. Master Sommelier David Keck and businessman Peter McCarthy are behind the upcoming Houston honky-tonk. The venue will have live music and a focus on craft beers and simple mixed drinks. Keck was named one of Food and Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year 2016.

Houston chef and former Master Chef contestant Alvin Schultz is consulting on the small, Mexican-inspired menu. This is the first concept of Keck and McCarthy’s Goodnight Hospitality, with plans to possibly open more wine oriented businesses in the future.

Master Sommelier David Keck is opening a honky tonk.
Master Sommelier David Keck is opening a honky tonk.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam

Those on the Northside in Humble can get their honky-tonk on at the new White Lightning Dancehall and Saloon, 9522 North Sam Houston Parkway. The 21,000-square-foot bar and lounge features live music, a dancehall, craft beers, whiskey and moonshine. October 11 was the grand opening.

Bosta Kitchen, the Museum District cafe and wine bar known for relaxed coffee shop style breakfast service, fried chicken dinners and vino aplenty, is shuttering after three years in business, CultureMap reports, and will be replaced with Fadi's Kitchen from the Mediterranean buffet empire Fadi's Grill. There are currently eight Fadi's locations between Houston and Dallas, with another planned to open in Katy next month as well.

Heading to the Heights's Mercantile development —  also home to a new Cloud 10 Creamery and the relocated Melange Creperie — is Phoenix-based wine cafe Postino, also according to CultureMap. The cafe will offer $5 pours in the day time, room to camp out with a laptop, and a menu including a large selection of bruschetta, which seems to be the main draw for fans of its seven locations in Arizona and Colorado, at least according to Yelp.

A sneak peek into the new Cleburne's Cafeteria building.EXPAND
A sneak peek into the new Cleburne's Cafeteria building.
Photo courtesy of Cleburne's Cafeteria

A Houston landmark, Cleburne’s Cafeteria, is reopening soon after a fire destroyed its building last year. Owner George Mickelis told the Houston Press that he hopes to reopen in a newly rebuilt structure by mid-November. The restaurant, at 3606 Bissonnet, is popular for its home-cooking and daily specials. Though it’s been in business since 1941, the cafeteria was bought by Nick Mickelis, a Greek immigrant, in 1952 and moved to its present location in 1969. This is the second fire the eatery has endured in 27 years.

Cleburne's Cafeteria will return.EXPAND
Cleburne's Cafeteria will return.
Photo courtesy of Cleburne's Cafeteria

Krisp Bird and Batter is opening a second outpost at 2400 Shepherd. The new location in the Heights does not have a definite opening date, but they are hiring staff, so it should be soon. The eatery is known for its fried chicken and waffles. The chicken is pasture-raised and sourced from Crystal Lake Farms.

Burger Libre, a new burger concept from the team behind Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, is on track to open next January in La Porte, according to CultureMap . Look for Tacos Dorado to be on the menu. We are told they are similar to Jack In the Box’s notorious fried tacos, but likely made with higher quality ingredients.

The Boardwalk at Towne Lake in Cypress is finally getting a Mexican restaurant. Community Impact reports that Sammy’s Ritas and Fajitas is currently being built out and will open January 2018. This is the first Mexican cuisine concept for the Sammy’s Restaurant family, which includes Sammy’s Sports Grill and Sammy’s Steakhouse in Richmond.

Artesano Coffee Shop and Panini, 25115 Gosling, opened August 11. The Spring area bakery offers coffee drinks, teas, panini, doughnuts and other baked goods.

Houston breakfast staple The Toasted Yolk Cafe is opening a new location in early December, according to Community Impact. Founded in 2010 by Chris Milton and Mathew DeMott, the Spring-based company has expanded to several new locations this year.

Have a boozy breakfast at Snooze.
Have a boozy breakfast at Snooze.
Photo by Ashley Davis

Snooze, another breakfast fave, is opening at 23501 Cinco Ranch on October 25. As reported by the Press, it serves morning cocktails, an all-day breakfast menu, and a variety of pancakes. There is also a selection of local beers. We are seeing a trend here with the boozy breakfasts.

Maison Pucha Bistro, 1001 Studewood, is expected to open in November. Veteran chef, Manuel Pucha and his brothers, pastry chef Victor Pucha and sommelier Cristian Pucha, plan to wow diners with a mix of French and Ecuadorian cuisine. Look for souffles made with Ecuadorian chocolate and Pucha’s take on bouillabaisse. According to the restaurant’s website, “The Heights is about to get a little bit Frenchier.”

Chuy’s, 3525 E. Sam Houston Parkway South, had a grand opening for its Pasadena location on October 10, according to the Houston Chronicle. This is the ninth Houston area location of the Austin-based Tex-Mex chain.

Can you order a bucket of Chuy's green salsa?
Can you order a bucket of Chuy's green salsa?
Photo courtesy of Chuy's

Eunice, 3737 Buffalo Speedway, is expected to open late this fall. The brasserie from New Orleans chef and restaurateur, John Besh and his partner, chef Drake Leonards, was slated to open this past summer, but we suspect that Besh’s disaster relief efforts with his organization, The Besh Foundation, may be the cause for delay. The foundation has been concentrating on the hurricane damaged areas of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Leonards, former chef at Besh’s renowned New Orleans restaurant, Luke, will be at the helm. Eunice is named for Leonards’s Louisiana hometown.

Wicklow Heights, 1027 W.19th, opened in August, but its grand opening is happening November 4. The self-styled “bungalow and garden bar” has a newly finished, large patio that’s dog friendly. With the fall temperatures finally upon us, it’s time to take the pups out for a beer.

Holman Draft Hall, 820 Holman, is finishing construction and expected to open in November. The newest venture from the Kirby Group will have indoor seating, an outdoor pavilion and a large patio, as reported by the Press. The beer hall will also have a full food menu from Brandon Silva.

It’s A Grind Coffee House, a popular coffee chain headquartered in California is planning to bring more caffeine to Houston. The company is looking to open three to five stores in the Houston area.

Mia Bella Trattoria celebrated the grand opening of its new Greenway Plaza location, 3773 Richmond, with a fundraiser for the Theater District Houston Hurricane Harvey Fund on October 12. According to the Chronicle, chef and owner Youssef Nafaa wanted a “total refreshment” after 20 years, with a lighter, locally sourced menu. Many original dishes remain, but new menu items will be rolled out at the eatery and its two other locations, 1201 Caroline and 110 Vintage Park.

The original store at 320 Main remains closed as site issues are addressed, but Nafaa hopes to reopen in 2018.

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