Openings and Closings: Slainte Jack and Ginger's, Klaus and Fire Ant Brew

Irish Coffee weather is here.
Irish Coffee weather is here. Photo courtesy of Union Venture Group

Jack and Ginger's Irish Pub, 2416 Brazos, is slated to open October 25.This will be the second location of the Irish-American sports bar and restaurant from the Union Venture Group owned by Jeff and Darren Van Delden . The original location is in Austin.

The space will be a modern take on the traditional Irish pub, with 80 beers on tap, including a number of local Houston favorites plus global offerings as well. The food menu features Irish and American comfort foods like Guinness-battered fish and chips and an Irish-style burger with Irish cheddar. There will be appetizers such as Reuben potato skins and jumbo shrimp corn dogs. The corn dogs will be served with malt vinegar, so there's your bit of Eire for you.

click to enlarge Would you like some waffle fries with your waffles? - PHOTO COURTESY OF UNION VENTURE GROUP
Would you like some waffle fries with your waffles?
Photo courtesy of Union Venture Group
The Sunday Irish Brunch Buffet will feature a Bloody Mary bar and and Irish coffee bar, so bring your acushla and settle in for a lazy day.

The pub's happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $7 beer flights and $5 appetizer specials. It will also open early on certain days for British Premier League Soccer.

The duo will open a Houston location of their 77 Degrees Rooftop Bar later this year.

Bisou, 4444 Westheimer, will be opening in October. This continental restaurant will have chef Frederic Perrier at the helm, creating dishes like arancini-wrapped escargots and whole roasted chicken, along with an array of shareable plates. 

Perrier, a native of Lyon, France has operated and owned several French eateries in the Houston area, including AURA Brasserie and 5115 Grille.

The new French-inspired restaurant will take over the space formerly housing Taverna, which shuttered in June.The new restaurant comes from the Cle group who own and operate  Cle and Spire, two Houston nightclubs that cater to younger and more fashionable people than we. Bisous, mes cheres.

click to enlarge Have a burger for breakfast at Buff Burger. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BUFF BURGER
Have a burger for breakfast at Buff Burger.
Photo courtesy of Buff Burger
Buff Burger, 10550 Westheimer, is expected to open late this fall.This will be the third location for the burger restaurant which first opened in 2015.

Meanwhile, the current locations at 1540 W. Alabama and 1014 Wirt began serving breakfast on September 24, Breakfast will run seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Diners can expect  sandwiches such as sous vide pork belly on a challah bun or fried chicken on a biscuit. The buns and biscuits are all made in-house, as are the tater tots which accompany the breakfast sandwiches. If you're a person who can't resist the pull of a burger, even in the morning, there is a breakfast burger made with 44 Farms beef and topped with a sunny side up egg and bacon.

Katz Coffee is available along with mimosas, or as I like to call them, my-mosas.

Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood and Steaks
, 4611 Montrose, will be vacating its Chelsea Market building by December 31, as reported by Eater Houston. The date was confirmed by general manager, Louis Borowski. The restaurant will move to 1985 Welch, which formerly housed Mockingbird Bistro.

There is speculation that the attractive Chelsea Market structure will be razed to make way for mid-rise apartments. Wooh. Just what Montrose needs more of. 

Krisp Bird and Batter, 2400 N. Shepherd, appears to be permanently closed as reported by CultureMap Houston. There was a sign posted saying it was closed for construction, but one phone number goes straight to voicemail, and another is no longer in service. The website has been taken down, also.

The original Krisp Bird and Batter opened at 5922 Richmond in February 2017 with the Heights location opening a few months later. The Richmond location closed in late May, as reported here in the Houston Press. Chef Ben McPherson was behind the openings of the chicken restaurants but has not been affiliated with it since September 2017.

click to enlarge The Yellow House gets a new cafe. - PHOTO COURTESY OF EVELYN'S PARK
The Yellow House gets a new cafe.
Photo courtesy of Evelyn's Park

Betsy's at Evelyn's Park, 4400 Bellaire Boulevard, is planned for fall 2018. Adair Concepts is behind the upcoming cafe at Evelyn's Park, which will be located in its yellow house, taking the place of The Ivy and James which closed at the end of June 2018.

The new cafe will serve smoothies and breakfast tacos for early birds and wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches and salads in the afternoons and evenings. There will be a beer and wine program, plus outdoor grill nights, movies on the lawn, and pop-up events.

Adair Concepts is owned by siblings Katie Adair Barnhart and Nick Adair, who took over their father's operations of Skeeter's Mesquite Grills and Los Tios Mexican Restaurants. The company also operate BEBIDAS, Adair Kitchen and Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors. The new cafe is named for their mother, Betsy Adair.

click to enlarge Cacao and Cardamom has a fountain of chocolate dreams. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CACAO AND CARDAMOM
Cacao and Cardamom has a fountain of chocolate dreams.
Photo courtesy of Cacao and Cardamom
Cacao and Cardamom, 2013 West Gray, will celebrate its grand opening September 29 with a Grand Opening Farmer's Market, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. This is the second location of owner Annie Rupani's chocolate boutique. The jewel-like colors and unique flavor combinations created by Rupani and chocolatier, Lizeth Navarro look like precious gems at a jeweler's.

The chocolate fountain stands like a Parisian steampunk fantasy in the shop's window. On September 29, you can indulge the fantasy by splurging with some other local businesses such as Houston Dairymaids, Nice Winery, The Bread Man Baking Company, Java Pura Coffee Roasters and more. And who needs more if there's wine, cheese, bread, caffeine and chocolate available?

click to enlarge Houston, we have a chocolate collection. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CACAO AND CARDAMOM
Houston, we have a chocolate collection.
Photo courtesy of Cacao and Cardamom
The vendors who will be present have also partnered with Rupani to create an exclusive Houston collection of chocolates, using their respective products. Try the Fig and Malbec, created with Nice Winery or the Old Fashioned Bon-bon, created with Yellow Rose Distillery.

Rupani has also created The Mango Lassi chocolate, inspired by the popular Indian drink. It will be available for a year and all proceeds from its sales will go to The Rupani Foundation, which funds early childhood development in impoverished Houston communities.

click to enlarge Walk-On's will land in Spring next year. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WALK-ON'S
Walk-On's will land in Spring next year.
Photo courtesy of Walk-On's

Walk-On's Bistreaux and Bar
, 21930 Kuykendahl, will have a ground breaking celebration for its first Houston-area location on October 3, hosted by representatives of Walk-On's and franchisee Brandon Hargrave. The public is invited to come out and see what the family-friendly sports bar and restaurant will be offering when it opens in the spring of 2019. The event begins at 11 a.m.

The restaurant is based out of Baton Rouge and most of its locations are located around Louisiana. The new Spring, Texas location will have 8,500 square feet of indoor space and a large outdoor patio.

Menu items run the gamut from burgers and boom-boom shrimp to dishes with a Cajun twist like Pasta Alfredeaux and Cajun Queseaux.

click to enlarge Brandon Landry and Drew Brees are bring a bistreaux to Houston. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WALK-ON'S
Brandon Landry and Drew Brees are bring a bistreaux to Houston.
Photo courtesy of Walk-On's
The chain comes from two friends, Brandon Landry and Jack Warner, who met as "walk-on" athletes for Louisiana State University. In 2003 they opened the first Walk-On's Bistreaux and in 2012, ESPN named it the No. 1 sports bar in America. In 2015, superstar New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who enjoyed their blend of Cajun and American food, joined as co-owner. (Last week Brees, with an 80 percent completion rate, was named the FedEx Air Player of the Week as well as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week as he continues to perform at the highest levels of his sport.)

click to enlarge Chicken and waffle, steak and eggs, and Monte Cristo in taco form. - PHOTO COURTESY OF VELVET TACO
Chicken and waffle, steak and eggs, and Monte Cristo in taco form.
Photo courtesy of Velvet Taco
Velvet Taco, 4819 Washington and  907 Westheimer, introduced four new brunch tacos September 24. If you have missed Bennigan's Monte Cristo for years, you can try Velvet Taco's version and see if that scratches your itch. The other new concoctions are the chicken and waffle, bacon and eggs and steak and eggs. The new brunch tacos are available all day, every day, so more like munch than brunch.

click to enlarge Klaus's sleek and shiny beer taps await your pleasure. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KLAUS BREWING COMPANY
Klaus's sleek and shiny beer taps await your pleasure.
Photo courtesy of Klaus Brewing Company

Klaus Brewing Company, 10142 Jones, celebrated its kick-off weekend, September 22. The new brewery in the 'burbs is brewing German beers such as Kolsch, Munich Helles, Alt.Hefeweizen, plus a seasonal Oktoberfest, just in time for, you guessed it, Oktoberfest. There is also an English IPA as part of the Tour of Europe series.

The new brewery and tap room is a family and friends affair with Thomas Lemke as head brewer. There is a large German-themed tap room, plus an outdoor beer garden that is pup-friendly. The tap room will be open Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. There will be occasional food trucks, so check the Facebook for the schedule of events.

click to enlarge Lederhosen and jeans are all welcome at Klaus's taproom. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KLAUS BREWING COMPANY
Lederhosen and jeans are all welcome at Klaus's taproom.
Photo courtesy of Klaus Brewing Company

Klaus means " The People's Victory" in German and was also baby Santa's name in "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town".

Fire Ant Brew Pub, 308 Market Street, is opening October 5 in Tomball. It has been serving from its taps since September 22 for sneak peeks, including opening the outdoor, pooch-friendly patio during Tomball's Groovefest.

The brewery has a signature series with beers like Market St, Brown, Fire Ant Bock and 2920 IPA. There will be seasonal offerings as well.

The restaurant side is still being worked out, but a preview on its Facebook page shows beer-friendly foods like spicy wings, juicy cheeseburgers and pork carnitas tacos.

click to enlarge What the world needs now is wings, more wings. - PHOTO BY MELISSA SKORPIL
What the world needs now is wings, more wings.
Photo by Melissa Skorpil

Pluckers Wing Bar, Highway 59 between Kirkwood and Airport, will open in Stafford in 2019. The lease has been signed for the fifth Houston-area location which will be in the former Texas Instruments campus.

Pluckers Wing Bar was founded in Austin in 1995 and has increased to 23 locations around Texas and even into our Cajun neighbor, Louisiana. The sports bar/wing joint has a choice of twenty sauces for chicken lovin', so try them all.

In-N-Out Burger is also coming to the former Texas Instruments campus, which will be transformed into a giant mixed development complex, with a hotel, residential apartments and a number of new restaurants, including Luma Grove, Whiskey Cake, Chipotle, and Outback Steak house, according to the Houston Chronicle.

We aren't even going to tread into the waters in regards to the Whataburger/In-N-Out debate. Personally, this writer thinks people should have more important issues to dwell on than which burger joint is better. Fast-food joints are not like relationships. You don't have to remain faithful to one. You can explore your beefy side. Plus, burgers are like sex. A good burger is great, but a bad burger is still pretty good.

Openings Reported for September:

Bluefin Poke, 20702 Katy Freeway, opened August 15
Chicago's Famous Fried Chicken and Fish, 12303 Westheimer, opened September 3
Diana American Grill, 800 Bagby, open for September shows
Dough Life, Baybrook Mall, opened September 7
Egghaus Gourmet, 2042 E. TC Jester, opened September 21
Flower Child, 1101 Uptown Park,Boulevard, opened September 12
H-Mart, 23119 Colonial Parkway, opened September 21
Island Flavorz, 11051 Fuqua, grand opening June 29
Jonathan's the Rub, 12505 Memorial
Kanaloa, 311 Travis, opened September 5
La Lucha, 1801 N. Shepherd, opened September 17
Marq'e Coffee and Donuts, 7613 Katy Freeway, opened September 1
Neo Baguette, 201 E. 20th, opened September
Rhotey Rotisserie, 9296 Westheimer, opened August 16
Russo's New York Pizzeria, 11200 Broadway, grand opening September 6
Shabu Zone, 11201 Bellaire Boulevard, opened September 1
SMOOSH, 718 W. 18th, grand opening September 15
Spring Branch Burger Shack, 1415 Murray Bay, opened August 23
Superica, 1801 N. Shepherd, opened September 17
Sweet Bribery, 250 W. 19th, opened September 14
The Pho Shack, 23523 Katy Freeway, opened August 17
The Toasted Yolk, 2711 Fountainview, opened September 24
Urban Harvest Saturday Farmers Market, opened at new location, September 22
Walker Street Kitchen, 1777 Walker, began dinner service September 17

Closings Reported for September:

Del Frisco's Grille, 2800 Kirby, closed September 16
Maba Pan-Asian Diner, 510 Gray, closed September 16
The Original Beaver's, 2310 Decatur, closed September 1
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.