Common Bond On-The-Go, 3210 N. Shepherd, opened March 4 in Garden Oaks. It's the second location for the brand's more casual, trimmed down version of its popular Common Bond Bistro and Bakery. The first offshoot opened in the Heights in May 2020.
Common Bond's success lies in its fresh baked bread and beautiful pastries which offer Houstonians a taste of European-style delicacies. The pastries, though not inexpensive, are delicious pieces of art and the breads are reminiscent of a Parisian boulangerie. While the full-on Common Bond Bistro offers a place to unwind and linger, the On-The-Go version offers a limited menu of grab n' go salads, sandwiches and breakfast treats. However, there's a full pastry case and a small selection of loaves is available. The Country Sourdough is a particular favorite among Houstonians. Its croissants are also a big draw with butter, Nutella, pistachio and chocolate iterations.
The Garden Oaks location is set in a former service station with one of the service bays transformed into a drive-thru. Patrons picking up orders can admire the mural done by local artist Shelbi Nicole who also designed the artwork for Alto Ride Share vehicles, a ride-sharing app that hit Houston streets in October 2020.
Fegen's, 1050 Studewood, is set to open this spring. It comes from F.E.E.D. TX Restaurant Group, with partners, Lance Fegen Carl Eaves, Will Davis and Jim Jard. F.E.E.D. TX founded Liberty Kitchen in 2010. The group sold the brand last summer. The new restaurant will focus on American cuisine and classic cocktails as it takes over the space which formerly house Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar.
Chef and owner Lance Fegen (FEE-gehn) is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Over the years, he's had stints at Brennan's of Houston, served as executive sous chef at The Houstonian Hotel Club & Spa and worked at Zula and Trevisio before opening Glass Wall, also on Studewood, in 2005. In 2010, he and his partners founded F.E.E.D. TX, after leaving Glass Wall. It shuttered in 2017 and the space is now occupied by BCK.
For the menu, Fegen says to expect solid seafood salads and refined American food plus pastas and pizzas that are a nod to his Southern Italian-American roots. Dishes like Chicken Schnitzel, Neapolitan-style pizza, Blue Mussels in tomato-garlic butter and a special Surrago's Sunday Meatball, Veal and Pork Tomato Gravy and Macaroni give an idea of the fare on offer.
The space no longer has the coastal vibes and bright colors of Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar. Instead, Fegen's partner, Carl Eaves, owner of Eaves Construction and Design Service, has redone the space to be more sophisticated using dark greens and reds and rich-colored paneling with cozy booths, brass accents and sepia-toned artwork giving a nostalgic feel. The dropped-down ceiling features glazed, emerald ceramic tiles.
Fegen's will open for dinner only in the beginning, adding lunch and brunch service a few weeks after opening. However, it will offer to-go and online ordering from the start.
as reported by Eater Houston. This will make the sixth location for the storied restaurant which first opened in the French Quarter of New Orleans as the Acme Cafe in 1910. After a fire destroyed the restaurant, it relocated to another French Quarter address, 724 Iberville, in 1924. Subsequent locations in the 21st century include Louisiana locations in Baton Rouge and Metairie plus Destin, Florida and Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The Houston location takes over the Tower Theatre spot which most recently housed El Real, Brian Caswell's Tex-Mex restaurant which shuttered in October 2019. A spokesperson told the Press that the restaurant does not have any interior photos to share as there is still some ongoing construction but that the opening looks to be mid-April.
Parma Restaurant and Lounge, 6003 Richmond, opened March 4. If the address seems familiar, it's because Parma has taken over the space which once housed Barry's Pizza, the family-owned pizza parlor that had served pies for 37 years on Richmond. While the new restaurant is offering pizza by the slice and pie, it also offers a far different atmosphere than the previous tenant.
Owner Michael Collins purchased Detroit-style steel pizza pans necessary to get the crispy edges for Detroit-style pizza, according to CultureMap Houston. The new venture comes from Eighty-Six'd Bar and Restaurant Group which also operates Bovine and Barley and The Fish Restaurant and Sushi in Midtown. The group also owned South Bank Seafood Bar which closed in 2019.
Houston Farmers Market, 2520 Airline, may be just weeks from opening its produce market. In the meantime, it was announced that Trong Nyguen will join as a tenant with a second location of his Crawfish and Noodles, as reported by CultureMap. Nguyen, a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef three times, will join with another JBA alumnus, chef/restaurateur Chris Shepherd, whose Underbelly Hospitality has two concepts in the works for the market including Wild Oats by chef Nick Fine.
Nguyen is considered by many to be the pioneer of Vietnamese and Cajun fusion cuisine, perfecting the Viet-Cajun crawfish boil that has become ubiquitous at almost every Houston establishment selling the freshwater crustaceans.
House of Pies, 25686 Northwest Freeway, is shooting to open in the fall of 2021. The Cypress store will make the fifth location for the diner and bakery which has been a go-to standard for Houston pie fanatics for decades. It was founded in 1967 as a chain out of California but it was the Kirby and Westheimer stores in Houston that survived through changes in ownership. The remaining restaurants have been a workers' lunch stop and a late-night hangout in the Houston area for years. In the 1980s, HOP was the place to go after clubbing and enjoy watching the customers, many who brought to mind characters from Lou Reed's " Walk on the Wild Side".
Now, with a new direction, the House of Pies has expanded to the suburbs with the Lake Woodlands location and the upcoming Cypress restaurant. While this writer is happy to have House of Pies closer, the temptation of its Monte Cristo sandwich is dangerous.
Pacific Coast Tacos, 6329 Washington, softly opened February 26. This is the second location for the Baja-inspired fast-casual restaurant which opened its first store in Sugar Land in late 2017. Guests can start off with botanas like Baja Queso, Ceviche Tostadas, Pacific Pig Skins and Tahitian-Style Sticky Wings. Pacific Coast also offers fare that you wouldn't expect to find at a Baja joint including Tom Kha Soup and a Pork Bahn Mi taco. There are also bowls including its Poke and build-your-own Baja Bowls or Burritos. Loaded fries like Tsunami, Wasted Rage and Cheesy Hot are made with twice-fried fries as is the PCT Original version.
However, it's the wide variety of tacos that make its name. Customers can choose from fish and shrimp, both grilled and fried, beef, chicken, pulled pork, jerk chicken, Korean beef, fried octopus, veggie and Hawaiian carnitas. The restaurant also has breakfast tacos and online ordering for pick-up.
There's a full bar with frozen cocktails, a variety of margaritas, sangria and plenty of beer options.
W Kitchen Chinese Restaurant, 10928 Westheimer, opened February 15 but like many restaurants in Houston, it suffered some power outages over the next few days which affected its service. However, it got back in the running February 18 with its very reasonable weekday lunch and dinner specials for dine-in with counter service. Guests pay in advance and the food is brought to the table. However, it also offers pick-up and delivery through online ordering, by phone, or through UberEats, GrubHub and DoorDash. Unlike many Chinese restaurants in Houston, it is open late night Sunday through Thursday till 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday till 2 a.m., for pick-up only after 10 p.m.
The Dickinson store also offers a daiquiri bar where guests can create their own flavors or try one of the signature daiquiris such as Miami Vice (pina colada and strawberry) and Pink Starburst (margarita and watermelon). The drive-thru service also makes it easy to take daquiris to-go. Arriaga told the Houston Press that he is currently working to get the patio area ready by the end of March.
For now, the mariscos on offer include items like ceviche, aquachile (verde and rojo) plus snacks like elote, hot cheetos and cheese and the carne seca. The Vasito Loco (Crazy Cup) is a 16-ounce cup filled with mixed fruit, chamoy, chili powder, candy, cacahuates, chips and lime juice. Arriaga plans to add more options like street-style Mexican hot dogs, carnitas and Baja-style fish tacos in the future.
Juanita's Mexican Kitchen, 29110 US 290 Frontage Road, is currently hiring. We have reached out for an opening date and were told the restaurant is shooting for a soft opening the first week of April but it could be as early as the last week of March, if things move a bit quicker. Juanita's is a family-owned Mexican restaurant from the Nunez family who use recipes from their Guanajuato, Mexico heritage. They originally opened Juanita's on TC Jester in 2000 but as of 2015, that location is no longer part of the family's current restaurant operations which includes a location on Louetta and the upcoming 290 spot.