Agnes Cafe & Provisions, 2132 Bissonet, will open June 8 for breakfast and lunch with dinner service to come later in the month. The Mediterranean-inspired concept comes from Molly Voorhees, President of Beck's Prime and The Chocolate Bar, and longtime friend, Carolyn Dorros, Executive Vice-President of Wolff Companies. The two friends are both graduates of St. John's School in Houston followed by Stanford Business School for Voorhees and Harvard Business School for Dorros. Now they are opening a casual, elegant cafe together.
Dorros, a passionate home cook says that she loves cooking and traveling and was missing some of the foods she enjoyed in her travels. Her culinary skills have resulted in a menu influenced heavily by the Mediterranean cuisine of countries like Spain, France and Turkey. She and Voorhees felt that the Boulevard Oaks area could use a neighborhood restaurant. Dorros said in a press release." With only a few restaurant options in the area, we wanted a relaxed yet elegant gathering place, walkable for neighbors to catch up with friends over a fantastic meal, coffee or a glass of wine."
The 2,225-square-foot restaurant will have indoor tables plus a 500-square-foot patio for al fresco dining. There will also be a grocery retail space with hostess gifts, grab and go items, baked goods, cookies and provisions.
The restaurant was designed by Sean Garrison and Levi Lemaster of Garrison Design Office. Guests can relax in the tan leather banquettes amid an interior of natural tones, oak table tops and brass light fixtures plus an expansive marble bar. There will be counter service for pastries, breakfast and lunch with table service at dinner.
Brandon Fetzer will serve as general manager while John Mason, currently the wine and beverage manager at River Oaks Country Club, consulted on the wine list. There will also be cocktails like the rosemary paloma, blood orange mezcal margarita and the tomato martini made with fresh tomatoes.
Soto, 224 Westheimer, opened May 29. This is the third location of the upscale sushi concept for chef and owner Andy Chen. The first opened in Cedar Park, followed by the second in Austin.
Chen has been doing sushi for the past twenty-two years. At Soto, guests have an option of doing the omakase ($150 per person), the premium omakase ($250 per person), or ordering off the daily specials list, Japan Express, with fish like sakura masu (cherry trout), kinmedai (golden eye snapper) and buri toro (fatty king yellowtail) that is brought in from the Tsukiji market in Japan. There's also a full menu of items such as nigiri, sashimi, makimono rolls, chili hamachi, uni pasta and much more. A creative list of cocktails, wine and Japanese whiskies plus a wide variety of sake mean there's something for every taste and every dish.
Angel Share HTX, 924 Congress, will open June 11 in the same spot that previously housed OKRA Charity Saloon. OKRA, an acronym for Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs, was founded by industry professionals Bobby Huegel, Miriam Carrillo and Paulie Petronella in 2012. The proceeds from the bar went to various local non-profits which were voted upon each month by patrons. In 2020 OKRA went through the roller coaster of mandated bar closings, reopening briefly and doing to-go orders to keep afloat.
Now, OKRA's longtime general manager, Mary Ellen Angel, will take charge having bought the bar for $10, according to CultureMap Houston. It will continue the charitable efforts with a portion of the bar's proceeds going to local charities. It will begin with two winners from OKRA that were already in the pipeline. As with OKRA, Angel Share HTX will also allow patrons to vote for a new non-profit to benefit each month.
Besides cocktails, wine and craft beers, Angel Share HTX will have a late night snacks menu created with help from Dax McAnear of Shoot the Moon.
Though thus far nameless, the concept will take up 5,500 square feet of space in Montrose with a 225-seat Italian restaurant, expected to open in Spring 2022.
Atlas is owned by brothers Alex and Eric Smith. The restaurateurs first made their Houston debut with side-by-side concepts Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar in 2019. The success of those two ventures has increased their commitment to growing their Houston portfolio. Alex Smith says, "Frankly, we love Houston and plan to continue creating new brands here under the Atlas umbrella wherever it makes sense. And Montrose Collective made absolute perfect sense."
Local architect Tim Cisneros has been brought in for the design build-out of the new concept. Cisneros will work in tandem with Maryland-based designer Patrick Sutton to create a restaurant that brings handmade pastas, charcuterie and prime steaks to the Montrose neighborhood.
Sof Hospitality, made up of owners Itai Ben Eli, Sash Kurgan and Itamar Levy, was established as the restaurateurs began to form new brands. Badolina Bakery & Cafe is a spin-off of Doris Metropolitan’s much-praised bread service and custom cakes from partner and executive pastry chef Michal Michaeli. Badolina will showcase her passion for the craft of baking.
The new bakery will offer freshly baked breads, sweet and savory pastries, custom cakes, desserts, and house-ground coffee.
Michaeli and culinary director Sash Kurgan, also a partner, have been testing recipes for more than a year, getting feedback from family and friends. The two chefs are excited to be able to share their unique offerings and tasty pastries with the community.
The cozy, European-style patio in the front of the bakery will eventually be shared with its sister restaurant, Hamsa. There are two designated parking spots in front for customers picking up cakes, pastries and breads to-go.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, 801 Town and Country Boulevard, is now open at CITYCENTRE. The 889-square-foot shop, designed by 505 Design, overlooks the green park plaza which often hosts community events. This is the second Jeni's to open in Houston. The first location opened at 375 W.19th in January 2020.
Jeni's is not only known for its fresh ingredients, sourced from family-owned dairies and farms, but also it's status as a Certified B Corporation meaning it is recognized for its social, environmental and business leadership. In 2019, it was a best for the world honoree for being in the top ten percent of B corporations for community impact.
While that may be important to those who seek to use their dollars wisely, it's the unique flavors that have contributed to its popularity. Brown butter almond brittle is a bestseller while the dairy-free dark chocolate truffle gives lactose-intolerant folks a delicious option. Jeni's has recently made news with its collaboration flavor with everyone' s favorite country music queen Dolly Parton and also its everything bagel choice complete with onion and garlic.
Its brand new cake-inspired flavors include its buttercream birthday cake and its wedding cake, made with buttercream ice cream, sponge cake crumbles and swirls of lemon sauce and sweet-tart blackberry jam.
The Houston Heights location will host a first day of summer event June 21 with free scoops of ice cream and some Jeni's swag. Though we would argue that Houston's summer has already begun.
Joe's Crab Shack opened its first restaurant in Houston in 1991 selling steam pots, fried seafood platters and crab buckets. It has changed hands over the years with bankruptcy proceedings and was reacquired by Landry's Restaurants Inc. in 2017.
The Kemah location offers a casual, upbeat ambiance that appeals to tourists enjoying the ocean breezes coming off of Galveston Bay. Not everyone is a seafood fan and the addition of Joe’s Burger Bar offers a laid-back, family-friendly place to enjoy burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads and more. Menu items include Joe’s Broiler Burger, Joe’s Dog and a fried chicken sandwich. The specialty “Betcha Can't" burger is a triple-patty burger topped with a fried egg, fried onion rings, lettuce, fresh tomato and cheese. Visitors can cool off from the sun with a tasty milkshake or a cold beer. Joe’s Burger Bar provides walk up window service with separate dining areas including an outdoor patio with beautiful views of Kemah.
"We are thrilled to re-open Joe’s Crab Shack and introduce the first Joe’s Burger Bar to the Boardwalk," said Rio Gueli, Sr. VP & COO of Joe’s Crab Shack. "Kemah is the perfect spot for high energy, fun dining experiences, and Joe’s seamlessly complements our existing lineup of family-friendly restaurants."
Paris Baguette, 1400 Blalock, is currently under construction in Spring Branch. The bakery first opened in Korea in 1988 and has locations worldwide. In the U.S. the company is hoping to open its 100th location by the end of 2021 with 1,000 domestic units planned by 2030. While the Spring Branch location will be the very first in Houston, the corporate team is excited to say that it is the first of many.
The shops sell a variety of sweet and savory pastries including croissants, fruit tarts, hot dog rolls, sandwiches, macarons and donuts. While the pastry is French-inspired, some of the fillings are more influenced by Asian flavors such as matcha cream and red bean spread. It's also popular for its pretty cakes.
The opening date has not been set but we're keeping watch.
as we reported here in the Houston Press. The new burger concept from Chris Shepherd will be located at Houston Farmers Market, next to another upcoming Underbelly Hospitality concept, Wild Oats.
Shepherd's penchant for locally sourced ingredients will even be more local as the beef for the small restaurant will come from RC Ranch next door as well as longtime supplier, 44 Farms. There will be seasonal burgers on the menu and the standard burger will be an updated version of the Cease and Desist Burger at Hay Merchant.
There will be sides like its sidewinder fries, crispy on the outside and soft within, and Shepherd's bacon sausage will be available for a burger add-on as well as in hot dog form. Chicken sandwiches will also be on the menu. Victoria Dearmond, pastry director for Underbelly, will create a selection of milkshakes with classic flavors as well as seasonal options such as peach and strawberry.
The burger spot will only have twelve seats but there will be a pick-up window for customers who wish to take their orders to enjoy at one of the outdoor tables throughout the market.
as we reported here in the Press. It will join two other restaurant concepts, Rakkan Ramen, which opened May 3, followed by Da Gama Canteen May 15. Homestead will serve a menu of Southern, Cajun and Tex-Mex favorites.
The restaurant is currently hiring for a number of positions, including bartender, server, line cook, hostess, barback and more. Interested applicants may apply online and inquire about its $500 sign-on bonus.
It ticks all the boxes for watching televised sports with friends and family. There's a full bar, cold beer and sports memorabilia on the walls.
Jinya Ramen was founded in 2010 by Tomo Takahashi. There are forty restaurants systemwide with more planned for the future.