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January 2013 in Openings & Closings: The Heights Heats Up

The sun sets on Le Peep.
The sun sets on Le Peep.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

The eerily silent Shepherd Plaza near Highway 59 is now even dimmer this week after longtime tenant Le Peep closed up shop and vacated its space next to Amy's Ice Cream. Branches of the brunch spot are still open in Rice Village and the Galleria, according to a sign out front. Amy's and its other neighbor, Freebird's, are now the only remaining big-name tenants in the once bustling shopping center. A Tuesday Morning (not great for brunch) and the Stag's Head Pub occupy parts of the rear portion, but Shepherd Plaza simply ain't what it used to be anymore.

Meanwhile, another strip of land is quickly being vacated as well: the Dessert Gallery on Post Oak has closed, months after the neighboring Maggie Rita's (which took over an old Ninfa's location) shut its doors. The Dessert Gallery on Kirby remains in business.

And in barbecue news, Thelma's appears to have closed its doors for good. In its place is a trailer called Abdel's BBQ, which is self-described on Twitter as "a small black owned bbq bussiness thats hopefully gonna blow up...God willing" [sic]. Guess where we're headed this weekend...

Look for more Pink's Pizzas cropping up soon.
Look for more Pink's Pizzas cropping up soon.
Photo by Stephanie Meza

In more openings news, look for a slate of new restaurants headed to the Heights soon. In addition to his upcoming cantina on White Oak and Studewood, Ken Bridge tells CultureMap that he also plans to expand his Pink's Pizza chain into Bellaire and the University of Houston area. But that's not all.

Eater Houston reports that Bradley Ogden, the James Beard Award-winning "genius" chef with at least 15 other restaurants under his belt, is bringing two more to Houston: Funky Chicken and Bradley's Fine Diner. Both will be located just south of I-10 near the new Walmart (duh-duh-duh!). As its name would indicate, Funky Chicken will serve chicken -- and a lot of it -- while Bradley's Fine Diner aims to offer upscale comfort food.

And in more happy news, look for a new restaurant coming to Montrose from the talented chef Kevin Bryant -- formerly of The Capitol at St. Germain -- who's busy renovating the old Bibas Diner/Bibas Kit-Bar on West Gray. Eleven Eleven (as it's tentatively spelled) will feature "a seafood-centric menu," according to Greg Morago at the Houston Chronicle, incorporating "an oyster bar, a raw bar program (sourcing East Coast bivalves), sashimi, lobsters, and a ceviche of the day."

For the full month in openings and closings, head to the next page.

Openings:

Blacksmith Bone Daddy's House of Smoke BullChicks Corner Table Fat Bao Frutto Frozen Yogurt & Smoothies Nobi Public House Pesca World Seafood Pho Tai, Galveston Rasoi Schlotzsky's, Galveston Simply Pho Pizza L'Vino Sugar Thai Fine Cuisine Table 24, Lake Jackson Trader Joe's The Wine Cellar Houston Whole Foods Market, Katy

Closings:

Burger Nation City Cafe, Texas City La Magia Cafe & Pizza Louisiana Homestyle Kitchen Lunchbox Cafe, Galveston Tintos V21 Vodka & Vino



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