Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Marigold Club Soon, Granger's Now

Goodnight Hospitality is set to debut its grandest concept yet.
Goodnight Hospitality is set to debut its grandest concept yet. Photo by Arturo Olmos

The Marigold Club
, 2531 Kuester, opens June 25 in Montrose, taking over the space that once housed Goodnight Charlie's. Inspired by London's posh Mayfair neighborhood and French classic cuisine, the concept comes from Goodnight Hospitality, a group of veteran hospitality professionals who also operate acclaimed Houston restaurants MARCH and Rosie Cannonball plus Montrose Cheese & Wine. Led by CEO June Rodil and chef Felipe Riccio, Goodnight Hospitality also has partners Bailey and Pete McCarthy bringing their version of Southern Hospitality to the mix. Rodil is one of only 24 female Master Sommeliers and Riccio is a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas 2022.

While Houston's Montrose district may still lack some of the polish of London's Mayfair, it certainly has changed from the sometimes seedy and always funky area that was once filled with unique locals. Upscale restaurants and chic cocktail lounges, along with luxury apartments and high-end retailers have definitely altered the landscape.
click to enlarge
Austin Waiter is bringing his London travels home.
Photo by Andrew Hemingway
The Marigold Club will be one of those posh arrivals. Not only will it be the grandest of GH's restaurants to date, it will also have chef Austin Waiter helping to develop the concept. Waiter brings experience as a former executive chef at the tony Tony's, a longtime Houston fine dining destination. Waiter replaced Tony's first-ever female executive chef Kate McClean in 2017 only to return the reins back to McClean in 2022 as he left to pursue staging opportunities in London to prepare for The Marigold Club.

With his stints at Mayfair establishments such as Core by Clare Smyth, The Five Fields and Frog by Adam Handling, Waiter has returned to Houston with a menu that includes Kaluga Caviar Sandwich, Fish "Not" Chips, Crescent Island Duck Wellington and Roasted Lamb Loin with a caraway lamb jus. Guests can expect the oh-so-trendy raw bar offerings like Grand Seafood Towers, Osetra Caviar Service and East Coast Oysters.

There will also be bespoke sundae carts, Baba Rum Cake and a Texas take on Banoffe pie, a British "pud' favorite.
click to enlarge
The Marigold Club has a bar for wannabe 1940s-style starlets.
Photo by Arturo Olmos
The beverage program is curated by Rodil and wine director Ryan Cooper, who previously served in the position at Montrose Cheese & Wine. While the wine list features global varietals, French wine will have a particularly strong presence on the list.

The transformation of Good Night Charlie's, a former Goodnight concept, was undertaken by Texas-based FoxFox Studios in collaboration with Goodnight Hospitality. Green velvet upholstered ceilings, plush banquettes, custom artwork and a wrap-around Bemelmans-inspired mural by Pauline de Roussy de Sales add to the opulence along with bespoke Murano chandeliers and handcrafted floral wallpaper.
click to enlarge
Granger's is casual and upscale at the same time.
Photo by Marco Torres
Granger's,1200 Binz, opened June 17 in the Museum District. The classic American concept comes from Ryan and Josephine Granger. The couple own and operate HTX Restaurant Group which Ryan Granger began as Park Grill nearly 20 years ago. The deli was joined by Bodegas Taco Shop in 2009 then the grangers followed with Fia's Pizzeria in 2019. The three Museum District eateries are located at 1200 Binz along with the company's HTX Catering.
click to enlarge
These Jalapeno Shooters are for the brave.
Photo by Becca Wright
The new concept is a neighborhood restaurant welcoming museum-goers as well as local residents. With the nearby attractions of Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo and the Miller Outdoor Theatre, its location is perfect for visitors while also offering plenty of dining space for larger groups with three  private rooms of varying size in the 7,000 square-foot restaurant.
click to enlarge
An attractive and shady patio greets guests at Granger's.
Photo by Becca Wright
The clubby bistro feel is enhanced by the warm woods and brown and green leather sofas and banquettes. One private dining area offers the ambiance of a members-only club while a large front patio invites guests to linger under 100-year-old oak trees, the arboral queens of the Museum District.
click to enlarge
A thick pork chop and a whiskey cocktail are a classic American combination.
Photo by Becca Wright
The menu at Granger's begins with a raw bar with decadent offerings like Seafood Towers, Oysters Rockefeller, Spicy Tuna Crudo and Campechana. Crab Hushpuppies and Crispy Squid, along with shareable Jalapeno Shooters are fun for the whole table while heartier fare such as Prime steaks,  Rosemary Chicken and Granger's Cowboy Burger make for a delicious evening meal. There's also plenty of seafood choices such as Texas Redfish Pontchartrain, Shrimp Scampi and Mussels with fries. There's also a Tuna Poke Bowl for summer refreshment.

A buzzy bar offers craft cocktails and a thoughtfully-curated champagne and wine list.
click to enlarge
Chef Bryan Caswell has plans for the future.
Photo by Alex Montoya
Latuli, 8900 Gaylord, is coming to Houston in early 2025 and its co-founders are Houston area natives Chef Bryan Caswell and Allison Knight. Caswell is a well-known Houston chef whose restaurant Reef put him in the culinary sights of critics and food writers. In 2009, he was named as one of Food and Wine's Best New Chefs. Reef has since closed but Caswell most recently served as chef consultant for the glamorous and girlie dining hotspot Postscript HTX.

Knight, however, came to the culinary world more recently after a career in business, commercial real estate and finance. She enrolled in Houston's Culinary Institute LeNotre in order to further her vision of opening a restaurant. Her family moved to the Memorial area five years ago and the restaurant's name comes from the first letters of her children's names; Lawson, Tucker and Lillie.
click to enlarge
Allison Knight ventures into the restaurant world.
Photo by Gensler
The restaurant's cuisine will take the duo's Texas food experiences and elevate them with international inspirations. With Caswell's championing of Gulf Coast fare, the menu will feature the oysters and seafood Houston diners expect.

The interior of the restaurant will be designed by Knight's friend, Alfredo Paredes, founder and creative director of Alfredo Paredes Studio. Inspired by Spanish ranch architecture and the style of California coastal resorts, Paredes also made trips to Houston to understand the lifestyles and experiences of the city's diverse residents. He said in a press release, "Drawing from my numerous trips to the city, I crafted the interiors to reflect a luxurious Texas lifestyle with earth-toned color palettes that pair harmoniously alongside the wood and stone materials throughout."

Damian's Cucina Italiana, 3011 Smith, will close its venerable doors August 17, after 41 years. In a Facebook post, the owners (Bubba Butera, Nancy Butera, Judy Mandola and Johnny B. Mandola) said, "We would like to thank our loyal customers for your outpouring of support and comradery. we would like to thank our amazing staff, which is also like family, for all of their hard work and dedication. It's been a great ride. We will miss you all dearly."
Comalito is seeking new digs.
Photo by Mary Ann Mason
Comalito, 2520 Airline, closed at Houston Farmers Market June 16. The Central Mexico-inspired taqueria opened at the multi-concept market in November 2023 from Houston's Underbelly Hospitality and Nixt, a CDMX-based restaurant group. Led by chefs Luis Robledo Richards and Atzin Santos, the venue was known for its authentic al pastor and its homemade nixtamalized tortillas.

However, it's not the end of the road for the concept. New sites are being explored for a reopening and Robledo Richards said in a press release, " The space was bigger than what we hoped for our concept, but are looking forward to seeing Alamo Tamales thrive in their new home."

Alamo Tamales, 2520 Airline, is shooting to open later this summer in the former Comalito spot. It's the second outpost, in addition to its Berry Road store, for the longtime family taqueria and bakery which was founded in 1960 in San Antonio. Their tamales are consistently named the city's favorites by Houston publications including this one. Alamo is also well-known for its baked goods, menudo and barbacoa.

When it opens, the new location will feature 8 varieties of handmade tamales. Along with a cafeteria-style setting, the space will offer a full-service bar with traditional Mexican coffee and beverages. In addition, it will have trompo tacos similar to the ones found at Comalito. And loyal fans will also find some of its baked goods.
click to enlarge
Attractive landscaping takes this beer garden up a notch.
Photo by Katy Beer Garden
Katy Beer Garden, 5345 E. 3rd, opened softly June 17. Located at The Dryer, a mixed-use development, it sits in the shadow of the historic Cardiff Rice Dryer and offers plenty of indoor and outdoor space for socializing, mingling and enjoying a beer from the 100 taps. There are 20 varieties of wine by the glass plus craft cocktail created for the mixology program by Steven Salazar whose food and beverage background includes Kata Robata and the Kirby Group. He also helped lead Diversion Cocktails to be named as one of the Best New Bars of 2022 by Esquire magazine.

While guests inside can enjoy the comforts of cozy booths for watching games on the multiple 85-inch screens and the 18-foot wide LED mega screen, outdoors there is a Bavarian-style beer garden with dedicated board gaming areas plus two bocce ball courts. There will also be a Thursday night bocce league.

For food, the venue will host two to three food trucks along with its own menu of Bavarian pretzels from the kitchen.

Hungry's, 5750 Woodway, is coming this summer as the first expansion for the Hungry's brand in 40 years. It has two locations currently in Rice Village and Memorial. Founded in 1975, the family-owned business is heading toward its 50th anniversary.

Chef and co-owner Sue Nowamooz is working to create a menu for the new location that includes Hungry's most popular dishes as well as some new items.

Good Vibes Coastal Cantina, 3500 W. Main, is planning its debut for late July/early August 2024. It comes from the owners of Good Vibes Coastal Kitchen in Pearland. The League City restaurant will offer Mexican seafood dishes such as Tuna Pastor Gorditas plus tacos with options like Smoked Carnitas and Spicy Confit Duck. There are also starters like Birria Nachos and entrees such as Dr. Pepper Ancho Baby Back Ribs and fajitas.
click to enlarge
Slowpokes has flatbreads on the menu as well as coffee.
Photo by Becca Wright
Slowpokes, 1505 Deerwood, is expected to open this August at The Rowan, a development from McNair Real Estate. Located along Hershey Park in the Walnut Bend subdivision, it will be the 6th location for the coffee shop which offers carefully-sourced beans which are roasted in-house. It also serves cold brew, tea, beer and wine.

Its food options include pastries breakfast tacos, flatbreads and sandwiches.
click to enlarge
De Fortune's stylish interior is a lush backdrop for lounging and socializing.
Rendering by Gin Design Group
De Fortune, 3515 Dallas will open at Regent Square late 2024. The bar/lounge will focus on the art of mixology taking its cue from international cocktail concepts such as The Clumsies in Athens, Greece and Atlas Bar in Singapore. While it is primarily dedicated to craft drinks, there will a small menu of snacks.
click to enlarge
Soon this bar will be filled with Houston's most chic and sophisticated denizens.
Rendering by Gin Design Group
Its site at Regent Square puts it in the company of other stylish businesses such as Georgia James steakhouse, Flower & Cream boutique ice cream and Flight Club social darts venue. De Fortune is the first concept for MAKE Investments hospitality group whose co-founders are Mayur Desai, Atik Mistry, Kinjai Desai and Emish Patel. The first letter of each co-founder's name has been used to create the name MAKE Investments.
click to enlarge
Mayur Desai is the 'M' in MAKE Investments.
Photo by Alex Montoya
All of the partners are cocktail aficionados and they've brought in Unfiltered Hospitality out of Miami to design the beverage menu which will utilize seasonal ingredients, exotic spices and a vast array of global spirits and liquors. The interiors are being created by Houston's go-to restaurant designer, Gin Design Group, to create a luxurious and moody ambiance in the space.
click to enlarge
Buffalo Grille will still be its comfortable self.
Photo by Alex Montoya
Buffalo Grille, 4080 Bissonnet and 1301 S. Voss, have been acquired by Houston's family-owned Adair Concepts. It will join the Adair portfolio along with Skeeter's Mesquite Grill, Los Tios Mexican Restaurants, Adair Kitchen and others.

The Adair family have fond memories of visiting Buffalo Grille's Inner Loop flagship location when it was a few blocks from their childhood home. Its reputation as a neighborhood eatery for the past 40 years will be further grounded as the new owners make simple tweaks to the interiors and exteriors and subtle upgrades to some of the fresh ingredients. The menu will still offer the same breakfast items that it is known for as well as its lunch and dinner plates.
click to enlarge
The breakfast specials will remain.
Photo by Alex Montoya
Adair Concepts also plans to add a bakery component to the Bissonnet location using the kitchen as a commissary for artisan breads, sandwich buns and an assortment of pastries for Buffalo Grille and its other Adair restaurants.

Meanwhile, the family are planning a third location for Adair Kitchen in San Antonio.
click to enlarge
The Katy team are ready for a grand opening at Bruster's.
Photo by Jennifer and John Golden
Bruster's Real Ice Cream, 3210 FM 1463, is having its grand opening weekend June 21 through June 23. There will be free ice cream samples including its June limited time offerings Mango Dragon Fruit Sorbet and Key Lime Pie. There will be family-friendly activities along with $4 small waffle cones and $3 small cake cones. For a chance to win free ice cream for a year, go to Brusters.com/KatySweeps.

There will be a ribbon cutting is June 21 at 11 a.m. with The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. There are giveaways at noon June 22 followed by a DJ and Glow Party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The following day, June 23, will also have a Spin to Win giveaway at noon plus balloons and face painting from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Pennsylvania-based  ice cream brand was founded in 1989 by Bruce Reed and now has almost 200 independently-owned locations in 22 states and Guyana. The Katy shop is owned by Jennifer and John Golden.

Each day, at least 24 flavors are hand-crafted by its Certified Ice Cream Makers from its proprietary home-style mix delivered fresh from its dairy. There are also non-dairy oat milk flavors, sherbet, Italian ice and sorbet.

Traveler's Cart, 1401 Montrose Boulevard, is looking to debut in September 2024. The global street food concept is from Thy and Matthew Mitchell, the owners behind the popular around-the-world eatery and cocktail bar, Traveler's Table. The counter-service restaurant will offer street food items from around the world including India, Japan, Morocco, Israel, Mexico and Jamaica.

SpeakEasy Comedy Lounge
, 1480 Wilcrest, launched June 20 at Empire State Jazz Cafe. The comedy performances will run every Thursday evening through June and July. The live entertainment venue also offers Cajun/Creole cuisine and unique cocktails for a true 'dinner and a show' experience.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Comedy Lounge with performances beginning at 8:30 p.m. Check out Empire State Jazz Club's website for the line-up. 
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.