Openings & Closings in Houston: A Cat Café & Nobu Coming To Town

A popular Vietnamese restaurant opened its second Houston location this week; unfortunately, this one's outside of the Loop, too.
A popular Vietnamese restaurant opened its second Houston location this week; unfortunately, this one's outside of the Loop, too.
Photo by Mai Pham

Brace yourselves– a cat café is finally coming to Houston. According to Alice Levitt at Houstonia , Renée Reed, a CPA, is teaming up with her boyfriend Josh Cormier, a restaurant manager and bartender, to create El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Café. Confused about cat cafés? They're places that serve light café fare and drinks with a side of cats– as in, you can play with the cats that roam around the café while you sip a latte. Reed is forming a partnership with the Houston Humane Society so that the cats in her café will be available for adoption; the only thing that's still up in the air is a location. Keep an eye out for a Kickstarter campaign, too, if you'd like to help Reed get the café off the ground.

The concept at 602 Studewood formerly known as El Cantina Superior has finished its transformation into Ritual, a taproom-oriented eatery with a seasonal menu that features Black Hill Meats' products. Chef Jordan Asher, formerly of Dosi, is the man behind the food, in conjunction with Felix Florez of Black Hill Meats; needless to say, we can't wait to check out the charcuterie program at this one.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, a cult-classic chicken joint from Memphis, has a Houston location in the works. The location's owner, Brad Blodgett, confirmed to Eric Sandler of CultureMap that a Gus's will open at 1815 Washington, the former home of Throne, next spring.

In The Know Houston says that Nobu is coming to The Galleria at 5085 Westheimer as part of the mall's ongoing renovations. It's one of the most popular Japanese fusion restaurants in the country, and chef Nobuyuki Matshuhisa trained Adison Lee of Kuu, a stand-out Houston chef. Rumor has it that the restaurant will open sometime next year.

Beloved restaurant Liberty Kitchen opened a Garden Oaks outpost this week at 3715 Alba, which features similar offerings as its sister restaurants, Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette and Little Liberty. Another favorite eatery, Piada Italian Street Food, also expanded this week by opening its third Houston-area location at 10420 Louetta.

Sub-Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt, 15810 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land, opens Friday, June 17– just in time to help you cool off as the temperature starts to really climb. Sub-Zero uses liquid nitrogen to create made-to-order ice cream that freezes before your very eyes, which means that you can get a variety of ice creams in all the best flavors, even if you're lactose intolerant or vegan.

Yelp reviewers say that the newly-opened Fix Coffeebar at 415 Westheimer is a perfect hang-out spot with quality coffee, baked goods and beer, plus happy hour specials from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The second location of Pho & Crab, a Vietnamese eatery, opened at 11660 Westheimer this week. The original has been open just two years; peek at our First Look article on the original location to get a feel for what to expect at the new outpost.

A reader tip tells us that Daily Juice opened its third Houston location this week in Two Shells Plaza, 811 Louisiana in downtown. The juice bar serves not only fresh juice drinks but also grab-and-go light bites like salads and snacks. Speaking of smoothies, national smoothie chain Tropical Smoothie Café announced plans this week to open three more Houston locations in the next year– one each in Shenandoah, Katy and Pearland.

Juan Parrilla, a Colombian grill, opened this week at 6134 Richmond, and, by the looks of the Facebook page, you can probably catch every Colombian soccer match on its big screen televisions.

Indian cafeteria-style restaurant Mayuri Express is open at 21145 Tomball Parkway, as is the second location of La Argentina Gelato, 3750 South Mason in Katy.

That's our look at this week's restaurant openings and closings in Houston! Did we miss something? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us the latest scoop.

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