Once again, this week's big restaurant news takes us to downtown, where -- as mentioned yesterday -- Ziggy's Healthy Grill at 702 Main has closed. Owner Kevin Strickland has decided to take a completely different approach with the 18-year-old restaurant and is rebranding the remaining Montrose location to gratifi (pronounced "gratify").
But when one door closes, another one opens. Such is the case next door to Ziggy's, where The Burger Guys opened their new downtown location at 706 Main. Their grand opening was this past Wednesday, serving an estimated 350 hungry customers at lunch. "Well, we no doubt made a ton of mistakes, but we are still alive and so very grateful for customers' patience today!" Tweeted owner Jake Mazzu afterwards.
Speaking of new locations, Union Kitchen is on the verge of signing a lease that would give the restaurant a spot in the Heights. Its first two locations in Bellaire and Memorial are already doing well, and now the locally owned mini-chain hopes to conquer the popular Heights restaurant corridor. Swamplot reports that Union Kitchen will open in the ground floor of a new six-story apartment/condo building at 1111 Studewood.
Three restaurants/coffee houses opened very quietly in the past week, but that didn't stop Eater Houston from getting a first look at two of them: Nosh Bistro at Kirby and Highway 59, which is being billed as a pan-Asian cafe with both East Asian and South Asian influences. Nosh has a community table and a cocktail program, two aspects which have apparently become essentials when opening any new restaurant. Etoile Cuisine et Bar, meanwhile, opened in Uptown Park this week and is serving small dishes such as mussels and escargots as well as well-priced entrees like wild boar linguine and lemon sole meunière.
And after much anticipation, CultureMap reports that Montrose coffee house Southside Espresso from coffee roaster Sean Marshall is finally open. "Marshall tells CultureMap that Southside will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight beginning on Saturday," writes Whitney Radley, "and that he's expecting to receive a license to begin selling wine within the next few weeks."
Over at Haven, sous chef Jean-Philippe Gaston has opened his own in-house raw bar that's housed inside Haven but serves an entirely different menu. Cove was built out of Haven's bar area, with lovely glass walls separating it from the rest of the restaurant. And although it will still serve Haven's classic cocktails, the greatly expanded bar will now also do double duty as Gaston's spot from which to experiment with raw preparations (of both fish and meat) from across the world. Look for a First Look at Cove later today on the blog.
The hidden Italian compound off West Dallas that houses Nino's, Vincent's and Grappino's has a new addition to la famiglia: La Gelateria, which -- as its name would imply -- is a gelato bar. Located in the landscaped courtyard between Nino's and Vincent's, La Gelateria offers a variety of gelato flavors to eat on the go or at one of the tables on the well-manicured patio. It will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 5 until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Finally, a reader has alerted us to a new pho restaurant she likes in the Champions Forest area off FM 1960. The family-owned Ba Mien Bistro at 5102 FM 1960 West has "a very modern, chic look to it," according to our tipster.
For the entire month in openings and closings, head to the next page...
Adriatic Cafe & Italian Grill, 17402 Northwest Freeway, 713-983-6565 Ba Mien Bistro, 5102 FM 1960 West, 281-781-8138 Biryani Pot Indian Cuisine, 6509 Westheimer, 713-278-8085 Copacabana Pizzeria, 2825 Kirkwood, 281-496-9922 Cottonwood, 3422 North Shepherd, 713-802-0410 Dhaka Cafe, 7200 Eldridge Parkway, 281-988-6232 Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101 Uptown Park Boulevard, 832-668-5808 Flamingo Steak & Seafood, 6028 Heards Lane, 409-515-7800 Ganache Dessert Bar, 9305 Spring Cypress, 281-257-6550 Houston By Nite, 6200 Wilcrest, 832-328-1808 Katy Cajun, 406 West Grand Parkway, 832-437-2716 Medicinal Purposes Bar & Grill, 712 7th Street, Galveston, 409-974-4365 Pappa Geno's Steak & Cheese, 5313 Bellaire Boulevard, 713-432-0729 Pesto Italian Bistro, 11720 West Airport Boulevard, 281-879-5525 Pollo Campero, 557 South Mason Road, Katy, 281-392-0030 Sapori Ristorante, 7611 Stewart, Galveston, 409-497-2424 Soup & Salad House, 1260 League City Parkway, League City, 281-724-9265 Southside Espresso, 904 Westheimer, 832-758-7904 Smashburger, 174 Yale, 713-568-4619 Ruggles Green, 15903 City Walk, Sugar Land, 281-565-1175 U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt, 25621 Nelson Way, 281-394-2653 Yummy Mpanadas, 12925 FM 1960, 281-469-8669 Zoe's Kitchen, 3838 Westheimer, 713-621-5597
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Cabos Grill, 3474 Palmer Highway, Texas City Chicago Hot Dog Shack, 954 FM 1960 Coastal Crossing Grill, 113 E Sealy, Alvin Coffee Oasis, 4650 NASA Parkway, Seabrook Durango's Restaurante & Cantina, 8445 Gulf Freeway Yao Restaurant & Bar, 1201 Fannin Ziggy's Healthy Grill, 702 Main