Openings & Closings: Renovated Restaurants and Born-Again Bars
It was a busy week for openings, so we'll kick things off this Friday with some happy news.
Eleven XI, the new restaurant helmed by chef Kevin Bryant, opened this past Tuesday night...and it already has three Yelp reviews. The location at 607 West Gray had to be extensively renovated to turn the former diner into an upscale seafood restaurant -- but fish isn't all that's on the menu. Also look for dishes like Texas quail with smoked Gouda grits and a daily fried pie.
The new tacos and tequila joint that replaced Nabi in Montrose is now open, too. Pistolero's -- from owner Shawn Bermudez, who also runs the nearby Boondocks, Royal Oak and Koagie Hots -- has totally revamped the old Nabi space, turning it into a posh taqueria with an inviting bar and patio. In addition to tacos, look for tortas, burritos, hot dogs and more.
Meanwhile in the Heights, another renovated spot has opened: D&T Drive Inn, which was recently taken over by the same crew that runs nearby Down House. The craft beer-focused watering hole may look modern and sleek in that wholesome, airy Nordic way now, but it still has the soul (and garage doors) of an icehouse. Check out the bar top and communal table inside: Both were made from a felled tree on the property.
Wondering what would eventually take over the old Billy Blues spot on the Richmond Strip? Wonder no more. B4-U-Eat reports that Diablo Loco Wings y Mas Sports Bar has moved in. It's open every night for dinner, but lunch is only served on the weekends. The giant blue saxophone out front is gone, but not forgotten. "The 70-foot sax made of an inverted VW Beetle has been moved to the Orange Show," notes B4-U-Eat.
And while Montrose residents wait with bated breath for a Dunkin Donuts to move into the old Arby's space at Shepherd and Fairview, Westchase residents will be able to thumb their noses with one hand and pound some donuts with the other. The Westhchase location opened this week at 10705 Westheimer. The Montrose location will open this coming Monday.
Fair warning that this coming Sunday is your last chance to visit the classic Cafe Adobe location at Shepherd and Westheimer. The two-story Tex-Mex joint famous for its patio and party atmosphere is closing for good this weekend.
On the bright side, Houston will be getting another two-story Tex-Mex party palace soon enough: The second location of El Gran Malo is set to open inside the old Cabo location downtown in just a few months. The king is dead; long live the king.
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