The Town & Country location of Skeeter's Mesquite Grill also closed over the Labor Day weekend. The Houston Chronicle reports that the restaurant closed because a new commercial development is being built at the restaurant's site. Skeeter's also plans to reopen in a different location.
After one of our commenters in last week's report informed us about a sign on the door of the Memorial Drive location of Candelari's Pizzeria that said, "Sorry," we did some digging to find out what the deal was. According to one of the employees at the Washington Avenue location, Candelari's on Memorial Drive closed about four weeks ago due to a lack of business.
Due to the inaccessibility of parking and getting into the yogurt shop, as well as increases in rent, Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar will be closing at the end of the month. The Midtown yogurt shop plans to open in a different location sometime next year.
Now for the good news of the week!
Eater sat down with Bernie's Burger Bus owner Justin Turner, who revealed plans to open three brick-and-mortar locations of his burger food truck over the next five years. The first permanent location should open next spring somewhere on Bellaire west of 610. During the interview with Eater, Turner explained what the menu will be like at the new locations.
"We'll expand the menu and do a few more burgers, throw in some different types of proteins. So I might have some wild game burgers, a chicken burger as far as the patties, but the burger and theme will stay the same," Turner says.
Turner currently has three trucks working a total of 28 shifts throughout the week, and the BBB pickles should hit grocery store shelves in October. The second permanent location is expected to open in fall 2014 in Katy.
In more coming-soon news, the guys behind Hunky Dory have announced plans for another concept that will share the lot with the future restaurant. Foreign Correspondents will be a "farm-to-table Thai" restaurant seating nearly 200 in the bar, main dining area and covered outdoor area, as well as a 40-seat private dining room that will be shared with Hunky Dory. Treadsack spoke with the owner, Chris Cusack, the culinary director, Benjy Mason, and the head chef, PJ Stoops, about Foreign Correspondents' concept.
Asked about the meaning of "farm-to-table Thai," PJ Stoops says, "Houston is not tropical, but it's not so far away from it, either. Northern parts of Thailand are tropical, but really not that far from the Tropic of Cancer. Both areas are ridiculously hot (though we do have a winter that sometimes lasts a whole week). In other words, agricultural products, cooking methods and preservation techniques from over there tend to be quite successful here...These gardeners and farmers grow everything there is to grow in our climate. We intend to utilize this network...While some items (like pla daek and soy sauce) will be imported, our goal is to source 100 percent of fresh ingredients locally."
Foreign Correspondents and Hunky Dory will be located at 1819 North Shepherd.
The highly anticipated Osteria Mazzantini opened at 2200 Post Oak Boulevard on Labor Day, as did Coppa Osteria.
In bar news, CultureMap reported that Worhals Midtown, an Andy Warhol tribute craft beer bar, opened September 5. The bar offers more than 150 craft beer selections and typical bar food, like burgers and wings, as well as healthier options, like salads, grilled chicken and fish, and paninis.
Voodoo Queen also opened at 322 Milby last week. The owners of Moon Tower Inn bring this newest New Orleans-style bar where you can expect a large stock of premium liquor. Eater reports that the drinks will come big and small; expect shareable bowls or smaller (and quite strong) cocktails finished with a neon fleur-de-lis skewer. Co-owner Brandon Young tells Eater that the East End bar will offer a variety of things to do, like pinball machines, dartboards and a pool table. Voodoo Queen will also serve its customers whatever they want to drink, even if it isn't on the menu.
Swamplot reports that the former Blockbuster location at 8001 South Main will open as a Filipino fast-food restaurant named Jollibee Chicken & Burgers. The next Trader Joe's will open in Cinco Ranch some time next year, according to Swamplot, making that the fourth Trader Joe's location in the Houston area.
In other news, Morton's Grille opened September 10 in The Woodlands as the first Morton's spin-off concept. The restaurant is directly across the street from Hubbell & Hudson, and is offering menu items similar to those at Morton's, like the steaks and chops, oysters on the half shell, prime rib French dip sandwich and the Morton's prime burger, according to the Chronicle. What sets this spin-off apart from Morton's are the shareable appetizers, such as buffalo chicken meatballs, and several dishes incorporating Texas flavors, like blackened Texas redfish with dirty rice and bacon fat braised baby back ribs with matchstick fries. Prices should also be lower than those at Morton's. Morton's Grille is serving only dinner for now, and will offer lunch at a later date.