Inside T Rex.EXPAND
Inside T Rex.
Photos by Jenn Duncan

Openings and Closings: Theodore Rex Opens in Former Oxheart Space

Theodore Rex, the much anticipated new restaurant from chef Justin Yu, opened October 5 with a completely-filled reservations list. Yu, the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Southwest, was set to open the restaurant in August, but Hurricane Harvey wreaked its havoc and flooded the building, located at 1302 Nance. The space was formerly home to Yu’s highly-lauded tasting menu establishment, Oxheart.

With Theodore Rex, Yu is focusing more on an a la carte menu, according to Eater Houston. Chef de cuisine, Jason White, will be leading the kitchen, while beverage director, Justin Vann, has compiled an extensive list of affordable wines.

Pappas Bar-B-Q is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this month with some daily specials, starting off with a half-price beef and turkey plate for $6.97 on Monday, October 9. The specials will continue through October 30. Launched in 1967 as Brisket House, the name was changed to Pappas Bar-B-Q in 1996.

Even more Pappas restaurants are coming to Webster as well, according to Connection . Pappas Steakhouse and Barbecue will be taking over the former Bone Daddy’s site at 19901 Interstate 45 and should open within a couple of months. Also in The Centre at Baybrook, next to Pappas Seafood House, the new Pappas Delta Blues Smokehouse is slated for a mid-October debut. That’s a lot of Pappas.

RIP H-E-B in Meyerland.
RIP H-E-B in Meyerland.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

The H-E-B store at 5417 South Braeswood at Chimney Rock, which sustained significant damage from the floods following Hurricane Harvey, is now closed for good. The grocery announced that after careful consideration, the location is just not feasible to repair and reopen. Instead, a new H-E-B store at Bissonnet and Rice will open in spring 2018.

Hurricane Harvey was the second time the store flooded in two years. After the Memorial Day floods of 2015, the store was completely remodeled.

What’s Cookin’, a Kemah eatery popular for its sandwiches, is set to reopen in early October. Owner Kristine Garbo closed the spot at 926 FM 518 in 2012 to focus on home and health, as reported by Connection. The original opening date was planned for Labor Day weekend, but was delayed due to Hurricane Harvey.

Fresco Cafe Italiano, 3277 Southwest Freeway, opened August 8 under the direction of Italian chef, Roberto Crescini. After entering the Instituto Gastronomico Caterina de Medici at the age of 14, Crescini was a chef for 40 years in Italy. Now, he has brought his experience and fresh, daily-made pasta to Houston. The restaurant is BYOB, so pick up your favorite bottle of vino to enjoy with the grilled octopus or homemade linguine frutti di mare.

This first permanent storefront for Melange Creperie departs Downtown for the Heights.
This first permanent storefront for Melange Creperie departs Downtown for the Heights.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

Melange Creperie is moving out of Conservatory, downtown Houston’s underground food hall, and into a Heights area bungalow at 714 Yale Street, according to Eater Houston. The last day at the old location was September 30. There is no official opening date yet for the new Heights location.

Mellow Mushroom, 16000 Stuebner Airline, was flooded badly during Hurricane Harvey, and is temporarily closed, as reported by the Houston Press. The damage was extensive and according to its Facebook page, the projected opening is late November to early December, due to the fact that local contractors are stretched thin from all the restoration work needed.

Chef Mark Holley at Holley's in 2014.
Chef Mark Holley at Holley's in 2014.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

Holley’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, 3201 Louisiana, is permanently closed, as reported here by the Press. The upscale Midtown restaurant, owned by Mark Holley, formerly of Brennan’s of Houston and Pesce, opened in 2014. The cuisine was a mix of Southern and global influences. According to Culture Map, Holley says damage from Hurricane Harvey was a contributing factor.

Nick’s Pub, 1448 Wilcrest, was badly damaged in a fire on September 29. Its Facebook page says it hopes to rebuild in due time. A local hotspot since 1995, it has been the meeting place for the Cheddarhead Pack of Houston’s Headquarters since 1999. The rabid Green Bay Packers fans have found a new home in the meantime at Biggles Lounge, Sports Cafe and Players Room (whew!) at 6150 Wilcrest.

Flying Pho will soon take over the Toasted space.
Flying Pho will soon take over the Toasted space.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

Ninja Ramen owner, Christopher Huang, has signed a lease with the Ella Plaza shopping center in Garden Oaks for a new restaurant, Flying Pho. The space at 3434 Ella was formerly occupied by bagel shop, Toasted. As reported by CultureMap, the eatery will feature northern Hanoi-style pho which is lighter and less heavily spiced as the more common Saigon-style pho.

Pappy’s Cafe, 9041 Katy Freeway, is closing after more than 34 years as a Memorial area institution. Owners, Paul and Lydia Braden cited lease concerns, according to the Houston Chronicle. They expect to move in early 2018 with plans to reopen elsewhere.

Maribelli Italian Ristorante, 12620 FM 1960, opened September 12, as reported by Community Impact. There is no website as of yet, but the entire menu can be viewed on Yelp.

Nekter Juice Bar, 4747 Research Forest, had its grand opening on September 30, according to the Chronicle.This is the third Houston area location of the Southern California based juice bar. Franchise owner, Andrea Young, who is also president of Sam Houston Race Park, plans to open up to 15 locations, with a Bellaire location coming in October. Besides healthy offerings of juices, smoothies and acai bowls, Nekter also provides a cleanse program.

Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse and Bar opened its third location at 9814 Fry in mid-September. It is still offering a grand opening hibachi special for $16.95 at the new location only.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers is opening its 2620 Pearland Parkway store by the end of October.

Graziana’s Pizza and Pasta, 10730 Barker Cypress, had its grand opening on September 9. As the name suggests, they serve pizza and pasta, but they also offer nachos as well. It is Texas, after all.

Roadhouse 2920 Restaurant, Bar and Grill opened on August 16 at 21835 FM 2920. Dispel yourself of the notion that this establishment has any resemblance to a Patrick Swayze film. The restaurant is more of a fancy country house, so leave your daisy dukes and sleeveless Metallica T-shirts for a more fitting venue. The Texas-centric decor and steakhouse menu require your fancy pair of boots.

Old Kentucky Cosmo and the Roadhouse Mule at 2920 Roadhouse.
Old Kentucky Cosmo and the Roadhouse Mule at 2920 Roadhouse.
Photo by Nina Novicio

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