Openings & Closings: Guess What Women Don't Care About? Food.

Openings & Closings: Guess What Women Don't Care About? Food.
Photo by Natalie Valenkova

As we mentioned a few weeks back, Roots Bistro has been planning to open up a little sister spot next door. That spot -- a juice bar -- is now open. Roots Juice is a fast-casual juice bar as well as a cafe, offering a small vegan menu that partner Rebecca O'Brien calls "the crunchy little sister" to the bistro next door.

That menu includes items such as vegan zucchini muffins; a selection of gluten-free and grain-free pastries; granola with coconut yogurt and seasonal fruit, raw "squashta" with shredded carrot, cilantro, tomato, pumpkin seeds and almond sauce; cold soba salad with cashew, sweet corn, cucumber and Korean BBQ dressing; fresh vegetable nori rolls; chevre, avocado and sprout sandwiches on house-made foccacia, plus chocolate fig mousse.

As for the juices, look for selections like the Alchemy with carrot and ginger; Green Age Dreams with spinach, celery, parsley, cilantro, lime, fennel and cucumber; Beet It with carrot, jalapeno, cucumber, celery, spinach and beet; Kale Take with kale, cucumber, spinach, pear, apple and lime; and Elixir #1 with orange, apple, ginger and cilantro. There are even smoothies available, such as the Up with peach, strawberry, orange, ginger, agave and maca; Kombu-cha-cha with banana, ginger, vanilla, cherry and kombucha; and OMGoji with Goji berry, strawberry, agave, coconut oil, vanilla and almond butter.

Roots Juice is currently open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours to come.

You can now get LBBB's burgers at Crazy J's Icehouse.
You can now get LBBB's burgers at Crazy J's Icehouse.
Photo by Batli Joselevitz

Only a few blocks away down Westheimer, look for Rosemont Social Club to open soon. According to CultureMap, the old Prive space will now host a lounge intended to cater to the crowds streaming in and out of Uchi each night (and, soon, Southside Espresso and Brande). Says Sarah Rufca, Rosemont is "planning a menu of light bites and a cocktail program," but is still looking for a head mixologist to bring it all together.

Meanwhile, Bayou Place's restaurant row is whole once again: Little Napoli has opened in the old Mingalone space downtown, between Samba Grille and The Blue Fish.

Elsewhere downtown, the Chronicle reports that a new location of Houston chain Barnaby's will be moving into the old Convey space on Market Square. If any restaurant has a chance of making it at the tough location, it's Barnaby's, which plans to open in August.

More details have emerged about 024 Grille, the steakhouse that recently replaced Trattoria Il Mulino in Memorial. A press release calls it a "classic steakhouse with an intimate bistro feel" that will be offering "28-day wet-aged steaks, ocean-fresh seafood, Colorado lamb and lighter local favorites" from executive chef Dagan Lynn.

The new restaurant plans to be open breakfast, lunch and dinner -- a smart move if you're located in the lobby of a busy hotel -- and is also offering something it calls "SuperFoodsRx items" at breakfast, which include dishes made from "powerhouse ingredients and antioxidants, including berry, apple and granola muesli, organic egg white and all-natural turkey omelet, steel-cut cinnamon-scented oatmeal and blueberry and orange granola pancakes." But that's not all: Head next door and you'll find 024 Lounge, which will have "spirited libations and light bites until late into the night."

If you love Little Bitty Burger Barn but were always disappointed you couldn't get a beer with your burger, prepare to rejoice. Owner Ricardo Luna has opened a companion bar for his burger joint: Crazy J's Icehouse. The bar is located two short blocks away from LBBB on Pinemont and is currently open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to midnight.

The best thing about Crazy J's isn't the fact that the neighborhood now has an awesome little icehouse nor the fact that it has a daily happy hour from 2 to 7 p.m. The best thing about Crazy J's is that you'll be able to order from LBBB's menu while you drink, which means some of the best burgers and wings in town with your craft beer.  

Randy Rucker aims to open Briar and Bramble soon.
Randy Rucker aims to open Briar and Bramble soon.
Photo by Kimberly Park

In restaurant takeover news, three items have set tongues wagging in the past week...

First is word from Randy Rucker himself via Twitter that he'll be opening another restaurant -- this one to be called Briar and Bramble -- after plans for his Museum District restaurant, conāt, fell through. As other publications have noted, this is Rucker's third attempt at opening a restaurant in the last couple of years after a planned companion restaurant to Bootsie's never materialized either.

What's the planned location for his new restaurant? Rucker is mum for now, but sources indicate that the now-closed Tart Cafe at 4411 Montrose will be eventual home of Briar and Bramble. The very wee space seems as though it would lend itself well to an almost omakase-style eating experience, or perhaps the intimate service seen at Oxheart.

In other news, Frank's Chop House was put on the chopping block recently -- so to speak -- and was purchased by father-and-son restaurateur team Michael and Chris Shine, who bought it off Frank Crapitto himself. As reported by Cleverley Stone, the chef at Frank's Chop House -- Albert Estrada -- will stay on, although the menu will see a few new additions. Crapitto's itself, Frank Crapitto's other restaurant, is absolutely not for sale, however it does plan to expand soon.

It's been nice knowing you, Ninfa's.
It's been nice knowing you, Ninfa's.

The last and worst news of the week was reported by Eater Houston, which got the scoop that Maggie Rita's -- partly owned by comedian Carlos Mencia -- will be taking over three Ninfa's locations around town. Eric Sandler spoke with Maggie Rita's other owner, Santiago Moreno, about the planned changes for the three locations (1650 Post Oak, 3601 Kirby and 8553 Gulf Freeway).

Moreno rather mystifyingly explained that the Maggie Rita's would be placing more emphasis on its cocktails than its food, as "consumer decisions are made by women." And that "what makes a woman decide where to eat Mexican food, it has to do with margaritas. It has nothing to do with food."

And here I thought that women cared more about shoes.

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

Samba Grille - Closed
The Blue Fish

550 Texas St.
Houston, TX 77002



1701 Shepherd
Houston, TX 77019


Little Bitty Burger Barn

5503 Pinemont Drive
Houston, TX 77092


Frank's Americana Revival & White Star Bar

3736 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77027


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