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Openings & Closings: November 2011

El Rey closed this week -- but which one?
El Rey closed this week -- but which one?
Photo by Amber Ambrose

Remember how busy of a month October was for openings and closings? November was a little slower, but not by much.

In upcoming restaurants, one of our favorite bloggers reports that Calliope's is opening a second location of its popular po-boy shop. This one will be located in far southwest Houston at 7950 West Bellfort. The location formerly housed a Frenchy's Chicken and a Cajun-Made Cafe.

Meanwhile, another spot with a slew of former occupants (Dharma Cafe, Ray's Franks, Latin Bites) looks like it might finally be getting a long-term tenant: Justin Yu and his wife Karen Man are opening their much-anticipated restaurant, Oxheart, at 1302 Nance in downtown's warehouse district next year. Yu told the Chronicle's Alison Cook that the 26-seat restaurant will emphasize his own modern Gulf Coast style and incorporate a large amount of seasonal vegetables into each dish on the nightly tasting menu, while Man's pastry skills will be showcased as well.

Latin Bites, for its part, is moving to the former Rockwood Room location in Tanglewood. Owner Roberto Castro told CultureMap's Sarah Rufca that the new space will not only offer much more seating, it will also give him the opportunity to provide two items the old Latin Bites space never had: alcohol and a ceviche bar.

In other openings news, Triniti is finally very near to completion and hopes to open before the year's end. Chef Ryan Hildebrand has been hosting "Snapshot Dinners" to give fans previews of the cuisine they can expect at the restaurant, which Hildebrand is describing as "progressive, regional American cuisine with California/West Coast sensibilities." People who miss Hildebrand's cooking from his time at Textile will be pleased to see that same style again at Triniti, with menu items such as an appetizer of leeks, king trumpet mushrooms, shaved Wagyu and a foie gras dumpling in veal broth or an entree of salmon with mushrooms, welks, tarragon and chestnuts.

In closings, one of downtown's most reliable lunch spots, El Rey on Main Street, shuttered this week. This leaves the Mexi-Cuban chain with only three locations in Houston and one in Copperfield.

And the brand new Brownstone Cafe has already closed after only a few short months in business. On its website, a message from the owner reads: "Thank you everyone that helped make the last year eventful but we regret to inform you we have decided to closes our doors. Hopefully soon there will be a new and exciting venue to explore at 2736 Virginia but until then goodnight..."

Read on for a wrap-up of the entire month in openings and closings. 

Openings:

Beyond Burger BlackFinn American Grille Blu Water Fish Market Brews Brothers, Galveston The Capitol at St. Germain Diego's Cantina Fattoush Mediterranean Cuisine Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Sugar Land Houston Texans Grille It's Ribs Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar Local Foods Louisiana Homestyle Kitchen Mi Cocina Mia Bella Trattoria, Sugar Land Molto Bene Nabi Rotondo's Giant Hoagies Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Downtown Pinewood Cafe Portugallia Santa Barbara French Bistro Sharky's American Grill Sundance Cinemas Turkish Kitchen, Sugar Land Weng's Wok Wine Down Bistro, Kemah Wingaritas

Closings:

Burger Girl, Katy Fwy Cafe Bretagne (scouting for new location) Cafe Moustache Cafesitos Restaurant Bar & Grill Chanterelle Bistro and Wine Bar El Rey Taqueria, Main Street The Fruit Pallette (scouting for new location) Jack's Place Laurier Cafe & Wine Mongolian Cafe Steak & Grill Buffet Moriah Kafe (formerly known as Aroma Classique) Pierson & Company Bar-B-Que (closed temporarily) Renegade Chicken Smokin' Mike's Real BBQ Tomo Japanese Restaurant



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