Openings and Closings in Houston: Morningstar Coffee, or Blacksmith With Donuts

Aquiles Chavez, pictured here with an octopus, is expanding his restaurant, La Fisheria.
Aquiles Chavez, pictured here with an octopus, is expanding his restaurant, La Fisheria.
Photo by Mai Pham

The masterminds behind Blacksmith and Greenway Coffee have announced a new coffeehouse called Morningstar, which will be located at 4721 North Main. It will be a hideout not only for coffee lovers but doughnut lovers— Morningstar will feature the creations of co-owner Sam Pahn, the doughnut genius of Donald's Donuts in Webster. The breakfast and lunch menus will be curated by Priscilla Nguyen, who does the same at Blacksmith.

Minuti Coffee at 8821 Westheimer is now open and serving Italian-style coffee drinks, as well as gelato and pastries. Check out the Yelp reviews for some unusual recommendations, such as coffee with the strawberry ice-o and authentic doppio espresso.

Eric Sandler of CultureMap reports that Brick & Spoon, the two-year-old Cajun brunch spot at 1312 West Alabama near the Menil, has shut its doors for good, although the reason isn't clear. The company that owns the chain of restaurants is looking for a new Houston location, but there's no word as to where it will be.

Southern Goods, a collaboration between Lyle Bento, formerly chef at Underbelly, and Charles Bishop, a partner at Liberty Station, has had its soft opening; current menu items include drinks, burgers, bar food and barbecue from sous chef Patrick Feges. The offerings are traditional Southern food with a modern foodie twist, and you can keep an eye on the Facebook page for news of the upcoming grand opening.

There may be another Bernie's Burger brick-and-mortar location in the works; Christopher Andrews posted on his website that he'd discovered a diagram showing the burger joint as a tenant in the soon-to-be redeveloped Alabama Furniture building at 2200 Yale. The lease is up for the furniture business, and it will be moving to a new location by March, so the Heights may have its own Bernie's sometime next year.

La Fisheria, 4705 Inker, is expanding to a new location at 213 Milam, which hopefully will be open by November. Chef Vidal Elias Murillo is moving to Houston from Mexico to run the new kitchen, according to Greg Morago at the Houston Chronicle. The restaurant had plans to open a location in The Woodlands earlier this year, and it appears that those plans have been put on hold indefinitely. The current location will remain open at least until the new one opens.

Sandler also reports that The Bird and The Bear at 2810 Westheimer has been closed and sold to Relish, which has plans to open a new restaurant called Relish Fine Foods in its location as early as spring 2016. Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe, is a sister restaurant of The Bird and The Bear and will still continue on as it always has.

There's exciting fast-food news— The Halal Guys are coming to Houston at 3821 Farnham near Shepherd Square. Get ready for gyro and falafel plates, plus a mysterious white sauce that hooks in all who taste it. Keep an eye on the Houston location's Facebook page for updates.

Axelrad Beer Garden at the corner of Alabama and Almeda will be the first place in Houston with a hammock garden when it opens, and, while lying in those hammocks, you can enjoy one of its 25 craft brew offerings or a pizza from Luigi's, which will have a partnership with Axelrad. The building itself is more than a century old, and the owners are excited to turn it into a venue and lounge while preserving the historic elements of the structure. Check out Syd Kearney's Chronicle article about the new establishment.

Eater Houston says that two new restaurants have signed leases for The Boardwalk at Towne Lake, 9945 Barker Cypress. One is Jaxton's, an upscale American restaurant with French and Italian elements, brought to you by Jason Howard, the former maître d' at Tony's on RIchmond. Taisho is the other newcomer to the boardwalk, and will feature traditional Japanese cooking, such as hibachi and teppan yaki.

Finally, there's a new Corner Bakery Cafe opening at 19355 Katy Freeway at 6:30 a.m. on August 17, and the grand opening festivities include freebies. The first 100 guests will receive a travel mug and free daily coffee pours for a year; a few other winners will get free paninis for a year or a free catering order.

Know of an opening or closing that we missed? Let us know by leaving a comment or sending us an email.

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Brick & Spoon
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Bernie's Burger Bus

5407 Bellaire Blvd
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