Union Kitchen number five is open.EXPAND
Union Kitchen number five is open.
Photo courtesy of Union Kitchen

Openings & Closings: Hello Union Kitchen Washington, Goodbye Liberty Kitchen Garden Oaks

Union Kitchen, 6011 Washington, opened November 20. This is the fifth location, with four others in Bellaire, Kingwood, Memorial City, and Garden Oaks. The restaurant concept from Gr8 Hospitality will have a large outdoor patio and a private dining room available for events. There will be a limited menu to start as the team continues to build on it. Brunch will begin on November 25. Happy Hour will be a generous 2 to 6:30 p.m., extending to 7 p.m. for loyalty members, with drink specials and half-price appetizers.

Liberty Kitchen, 3715 Alba, closed permanently on November 19, as reported here in the Houston Press. Much of the blame is being placed on road construction and lower revenue after Hurricane Harvey, despite a new menu and beer garden. The other three locations, Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar, Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette, and Liberty Kitchen at the Treehouse will still be open. Some of the Garden Oaks staff is expected to transfer to the remaining locations. We want to know what will happen to the giant chicken painted in Astros colors.

Another popular Houston hot spot has closed. Zimm’s, 4321 Montrose, was a classy lounge with overstuffed furniture and a European vibe before new copycats came along. Many young Houstonians cut their cocktail teeth at this martini bar, making them feel sophisticated and urbane.

A new club on the Northside, Quench Lounge, 25282 Northwest Freeway, opened November 3 and a grand opening is planned for December 9. The bar offers an eclectic and bohemian style with an interior that will make you feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. There is live music and karaoke during the week, with resident DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. There will be a food menu soon, but at the moment, hungry customers can get a slice from Brothers Pizza next door.

There's music and dancing and ultra- cool decor at Quench.
There's music and dancing and ultra- cool decor at Quench.
Photo courtesy of Quench Lounge

Fajita Pete’s opened a new store November 11 at 8552 Highway 6, according to Community Impact. Founded by Pedro ‘Pete’ Mora, a University of Houston graduate, this makes the company’s eighth Fajita Pete’s store, with three more planned, including a Midtown location for Houston. There is one location in Dallas, with another set to open soon in Carrollton. Delivery and catering are available, along with dine-in. Some locations serve margaritas.

Ashay’s Pizza, 16044 West, opened its relocated pizza place late August, as reported by Community Impact. The owners closed the location near the Galleria in order to move into the Cy-Fair school district for their son. The restaurant serves inexpensive pizza and likes to be involved with the surrounding schools.

Torchy’s Tacos, 2156 Spring Stuebner, had its grand opening October 10, according to ABC13.com. This is the fiftieth store for the Austin-based taco restaurant. With a few local beers on tap and turkey mole as November’s taco of the month, it makes a good escape from the relatives after Thanksgiving.

La Baguette Bakery and Bistro, 21821 Katy Freeway, opened late October. The restaurant serves a mix of Venezuelan specialties, along with coffees and pastries.

Pena’s Donuts & Diner at 10555 Pearland Parkway has announced it will reopen in early December. It has been closed since Hurricane Harvey.

Bacon and maple glaze make evrything better.
Bacon and maple glaze make evrything better.
Photo by Houston Press

Sushi Monster, 4225 Sienna Parkway, opened the first week of November. They have a variety of lunch combos and bento boxes available.

Sushi Neato, 2944 S. Mason, also opened in early November. Along with sushi, they serve an Asian tapas menu that includes dishes such as Tako Yaki- Japanese octopus balls and Kushi Katsu- deep fried skewers of meat and seafood.

Red Lobster, 20414 U.S. Highway 59 North, is reopening in Humble. The restaurant was damaged by Hurricane Harvey, but is now repaired with a new look and feel. The ribbon cutting will be December 4 at 10:45 a.m. with a free entree from a special menu for first responders in uniform with an appropriate identification. You know you are craving those cheddar biscuits.

Texas country artist Pat Green, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and co-owners Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz will all be on hand at the groundbreaking for The Rustic,1836 Polk, November 30 at 10:30 a.m. As reported here in the Press, the third location of The Rustic is slated to open in the spring of 2018, next to the Toyota Center. The 25,000 square-foot live music venue and mixed-use restaurant will have a Texas-inspired menu and a variety of Texas beers on tap. It will offer live music seven days a week, with a large outdoor patio and stage for free and ticketed events. The Rustic’s first location opened in Dallas in 2013. If you are visiting relatives in San Antonio for Thanksgiving, you can get a taste of what to expect at the newest location, 17619 La Cantera Parkway, which had its grand opening September 28.

Go local at Gourmand Kitchen in Cypress.
Go local at Gourmand Kitchen in Cypress.
Photo courtesy of Gourmand Kitchen

Gourmand Kitchen, 9818 Fry, had its soft opening this month. This is the first restaurant for co-owner and manager Christian, and his partner, Chef Solange, who are Cypress residents. They have created a menu with dishes like cevichana, shrimp and grits, a veggie tower, and their signature Gourmandwich. They describe their restaurant as " a new American concept with a passionate commitment to the freshest locally-grown ingredients possible". Gourmand Kitchen will start serving dinner November 25.

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