60 Degrees Mastercrafted served its last meal on Sunday, March 8. This falls in the "damn shame" category of restaurant closings. Road construction has plagued restaurants and other businesses in the area on Westheimer as well as on Shepherd. Helmed by chef Friz Gitschner , it earned an overall positive review from the Houston Press, two stars from Alison Cook at the Houston Chronicle and was No. 51 on her Top 100 Restaurants list.
It's worth noting that the Houston Press restaurant critic at the time, Kaitlin Steinberg, mentioned the construction issues in her review way back in July 2014. We have no idea what is taking so long, but it would be a challenge for any retail establishment to survive such a long slog.
Gitschner said in a mass email that he's continuing on with Gitschner's Productions, his catering and consulting company, regrouping and thinking about what he'll do next.
Johnny's Gold Brick is now open. The bar replaces the former Boom Boom Room at 2518 Yale. It's a joint venture between Treadsack (the group behind Down House, D & T Drive Inn and more) and Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse, who also own The Honeymoon, Moving Sidewalk and Grand Prize Bar. (That's a nice list of businesses right there.) It's helmed by Leslie Ross, who left newly opened Sanctuari for the opportunity.
The second Dish Society location is opening in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch at 23501 Cinco Ranch in Katy on Tuesday, March 17. The space was previously Otto's Deluxe Grille, and it's now been renovated. The restaurant specializes in seasonal and local fare, with the initial menu featuring items such as beet salad, stuffed avocado with citrus quinoa relish and baked sweet potato with Texas grass-fed brisket.
The Woodlands is getting its own Crisp Wine Bar Eatery. It's opening in early April, 2015. General Manager Dave Dobbins was quoted in a press release as saying, "This is a coming home for us since many of our team have lived in the neighborhood for many years. While this location will be very similar to our Bevis Street location in the Heights, it will be unique as well. We will be serving our very popular Hand Tossed Stone Deck Fired 14" Specialty Pizzas, Beer Can Chicken, and our XL Meatballs, and several new dishes created by our culinary director Jared M. Estes." The new wine bar will be located at 2520 Research Forest Drive.
Bartender Chris Frankel has built a following over the years after working at places such as Anvil Bar & Refuge, Bad News Bar and RDG + Bar Annie. He's talked for years, too, about opening his own bar. Well, thanks to a partnership with Cook & Collins in Midtown at 2614 Brazos, it's finally happening.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the new bar will be named Spare Key and it will be located in the upstairs area of Cook & Collins. Frankel has told Houston Press that no opening date has been set yet, since there's some light remodeling planned for the existing space. It seems like a good match for both Frankel and Cook & Collins, which has been flying under the radar since it opened in January of 2014.
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A definite opening date of March 24 has been set for Añejo, the new Tex-Mex endeavor from Lasco Enterprises, the group behind Max's Wine Dive and The Tasting Room. It will be in the old Artuo's Uptown Italiano space at 1180 Uptown Park. Añejo has a notable general manager on-board now, too -- Charles Criswell, a noted hospitality professional with experience at Eddie V's and others.
Eater Houston picked up from Cleverley's radio show that Del Frisco's Grille, the more casual version of Del Frisco's, has set an opening date for May 29. It joins several other restaurants that have signed on for a spot in Restaurant Row at Hughes Landing. The address is 1900 Hughes Landing in The Woodlands.
Tomball is getting a Potbelly sandwich shop at 14215 FM 2920 Road (at the intersection of Texas 249 and FM 2920). The owner is someone who's familiar with that area. Ralph Baig is a Cypress native with "an extensive background in business management and operations." Potbelly is best known for its hearty sandwiches and milkshakes.
Whew. That's it for this week and that's enough! Do you know of more openings and closings that we missed here, or do you have a tip? Leave a comment here