Openings & Closings: Welcome to the Heights, King's BierHaus

King's BierHaus opened to the public on May 8.EXPAND
King's BierHaus opened to the public on May 8.
Photo courtesy of King's BierHaus
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It’s been a year since news about the second location of King’s was released. On May 8, the wait was over, as much anticipated King’s BierHaus opened at 2044 East T.C. Jester in the Heights.

Classic German food including gourmet sausages, goulash and pretzels, along with new items such as burgers and fried chicken, are on the menu, as are loads of beers, 31 taps to be exact, with an extensive variety of German and German Monastery brews.

The restaurant will offer dinner-only until May 15 when lunch service becomes available.

On May 8, sommelier Evan Turner resigned from Helen Greek Food and Wine. Houston Food Finder reported that Turner phoned about his departure, saying: “I am simply notifying you . . . I have nothing else to say right now and nothing lined up yet for the future.”

The James Beard nominated restaurant in Rice Village is home to the second largest collection of Greek wine in the nation and Turner won last year’s Iron Sommelier competition, a contest and gala tasting event in Houston organized each year by the charitable Periwinkle Foundation.

Just last month, the company announced the closure of its Italian concept, Arthur Ave and shortly reopened the restaurant as Helen in the Heights.

America’s largest food bank, the Houston Food Bank at 535 Portwall, will host a ceremony on May 11 to dedicate Keegan’s Kitchen to Mary Barden Keegan, founder of the End Hunger Network which built the original Keegan’s Kitchen. According to the release, construction of the 10,000-square-foot space was recently completed and it was “custom-designed to reach a capacity of 20,000 nutritious meals per day.” The demand for feeding at-risk children increases in the summertime.

The event will take place at the headquarters/warehouse east of downtown from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Special guests will include Mayor Sylvester Turner.

A report on Bloomberg announced that the owner of Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern restaurant chains may be filing for bankruptcy this week. Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc. has seen drops in customer traffic and declining sales in the most recent quarter and shares have dropped more than 95 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the Houston area, Ignite operates 112 Crab Shacks and 25 Brick House Taverns.

A Facebook post announced that Arlo’s Ballroom at 2119 Leeland would close its doors for the last time on May 6. The statement read:

“After Saturday we are closed forever. So come on out, and thanks — at our best, we've been a place where EVERYONE feels welcome to dance.”

Back in November 2015, owner Ryan Supak described his about-to-be-opend club as having the vibe of a “dance dive in an old grandma’s house.”

Former Dickey’s Barbecue Pit spot in Tomball will see a new barbecue restaurant in its place. Ribmasters BBQ is expected to open this month at 28155 Highway 249. The family-owned restaurant has two other locations in East Texas.

The Branch will finally open on May 23 in Spring Branch.
The Branch will finally open on May 23 in Spring Branch.
Photo courtesy of The Branch

Spring Branch will finally see the opening of The Branch Craft Beer & Foodery this month. In a Facebook post, The Branch announced that the celebration of its grand opening will be May 23 at 7710 Long Point. Kyle Pierson (bar manager of Hay Merchant) along with his wife, Amanda Mixon (also a bar industry veteran) wanted a place that served beer near their home in Spring Branch.

The restaurant is located in the space of former Mexican favorite, Otilia’s. The Branch will have ten taps dedicated to easy-drinking American craft brews. The kitchen team will be helmed by chef Madeline Cabezut and will feature Mexican-influenced bar food.

Swamplot reported that Peruvian-Latin eatery Pollo Bravo has moved into former Express Rolls space at 5801 Memorial, just down the road from its prior location at 5440 Memorial, which was demolished in July of last year.

Going up at 5440 Memorial is a brand new 3,000-square-foot restaurant and retail building. In September 2016, the Houston Chronicle reported that local firm, Ramos Cos., led by Amir Taghdisi, did not yet have any tenants on the books, but construction was to begin by early 2017. A quick search on Loopnet (updated on April 12, 2017) showed the property was still under construction.

Another Sammy’s Sports Grill will open later this year at 18121 Tuckerton Road in Cypress. There are currently five locations with five more listed as coming soon on its website. The chain is known for wings, burgers and bar food and is family-friendly.

Island Grill offers Mediterranean-American dishes like chicken pitas, gyros, hummus and an extensive vegetarian-friendly menu.EXPAND
Island Grill offers Mediterranean-American dishes like chicken pitas, gyros, hummus and an extensive vegetarian-friendly menu.
Photo courtesy of Island Grill

A fourth Island Grill is set to open later this month in Rice Village at 2365A Rice Boulevard, where Little Liberty was located. The menu will be similar to the other locations featuring Mediterranean-American cuisine, smoothies and fruit juices.

Owners Faysal Haddad and wife Maria, opened the original location in 2000 at 5709 Woodway. Multiple gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly items are offered. According to the press release, the Rice Village location is 4,000-square-feet. The space is designed by Margaret Ann McEver of MALI, Inc. and has seating for 85 guests inside and 25 on the covered outdoor patio.

Snappy Salads will open June 1 near Fountain View and San Felipe.
Snappy Salads will open June 1 near Fountain View and San Felipe.
Photo courtesy of Snappy Salads

Dallas-based Snappy Salads is opening soon at 1920 Fountain View. This will be the first store to open in the Houston market. The chain has 11 locations in North Texas with expansion plans slated for Houston and Austin.

A press release noted that Snappy Salads “sources wild-caught Alaskan salmon, grass-fed beef, sustainably grown tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and EDTA-free products.” Dressings, soups and produce are prepared fresh daily on site.

The opening is scheduled for June 1. Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and until 8 p.m. on Sunday.

After two short months, Cypress-area food truck, Kimy’s Kitchen has called it quits on April 23. Owner Kimberly Fuentes announced on Facebook that her family-owned and operated business is “being called in a different direction.”

The truck had been parked at the H-E-B at Barker Cypress and Highway 290.

A fire has destroyed Charlie’s BBQ at 8220 Airline in North Houston. On May 4, Click2Houston reported between 50 to 60 firefighters worked in the early morning hours to control the fire at the restaurant.

Charlie’s had been serving homestyle barbecue since 1979. No additional information is available about the cause of the destructive blaze.

A reader spotted grand-opening signage for Fu Belly Asian Cuisine & Bubble Tea Bar at 5727 Westheimer near Chimney Rock. Menu items include everything from Chinese food to Vietnamese pho, banh mi and boba teas.

The grand opening is scheduled for May 13 with a lot of customer specials. The first ten guests will receive a free meal and boba drink. The second ten customers will receive a complimentary boba drink.
Happy Hour will last between 3 and 5 p.m. and features a buy two, get one free deal.

Spring will be home to a new wine bar come July. Owners Franco and Brenda Knoepffler plan to open Galeda Wines at 8311 Ginger. The bar will purchase juice from around the world and finish the wine-process on site. Plans are to start with production of white wines, including an ice wine, and move into reds. A comfortable tasting environment will be provided along with a menu of finger foods.

A peek at this week’s daily court review of foreclosures and public notices revealed plans for a few new restaurants and bars in the works.

Lucky’s Lodge has filed an application for a Mixed Beverage Permit and a Mixed Beverage Late Hours Permit to operate at 2024 Rusk in Downtown Houston.

Micheladas Tres Hermanos has filed an application for a Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit to operate at 7732 Airline.

Lucky Dog Sports Bar & Grill has filed application for Mixed Beverage Permit, Mixed Beverage Late Hours Permit and Food and Beverage Certificate to operate at 9440 Louetta, suite 14A.

El Tropical Sports Bar has filed an application for a Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit and Retail Dealer’s On-Premise Late Hours License to operate at 2054 Wirt, suite B.

Community Impact reported that Moonlight Bar-B-Q Company will open at 24930 Budde in Spring later this month. The restaurant had planned to be ready to open by January 2017, but judging from posts on social media, the build-out has taken longer than scheduled.

The menu features traditional Southern barbecue fare including sliced brisket, chopped beef, sausage and sides such as baked beans and potatoes.

On May 5, Austin-based Tacodeli salsas are now available inside Whole Foods Market. The mild Salsa Verde, medium-heat Salsa Roja, and fiery hot Salsa Dona can be found at Whole Foods Markets all over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. The 12-ounce container of sauce costs $6.99 each.

Yogurtland has opened two new stores in the Greater Houston area. A release announced that Vintage Market Place and Fairfield Town Center in Cypress just opened locations last month.

The Vintage Market Place location is at 10115 Louetta and in Cypress, the store is located at 28404 Highway 290, suite G15.

The frozen yogurt chain operates more than 320 stores worldwide, including Australia, Singapore, Venezuela and Dubai.

Nobie's Freakin' Weekend Tower of bagels, lox and schmears is stacked and only available for Sunday brunch.EXPAND
Nobie's Freakin' Weekend Tower of bagels, lox and schmears is stacked and only available for Sunday brunch.
Photo courtesy of Nobie's

Everybody’s got brunch on the brain these days. Nobie’s, located at 2048 Colquitt will launch brunch service starting May 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Martin Stayer will feature items like colossal cinnamon rolls served in an iron skillet, peanut butter banana French toast, and the Freakin’ Weekend Tower, a shareable bagel presentation served with a variety of schmears and toppings.

At Brasserie du Parc, chef Philippe Verpiand and beverage director Kimberly Paul have created a menu of Parisian-inspired dishes and crafted cocktails for brunch. The enclosed terrace overlooking Discovery Green makes for a beautiful place to spend Sunday.

Brunch service is available at Nobie’s and Brasserie du Parc every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A third House of Pies opened at 11311 Fuqua in the space of former Black Eyed Pea near Interstate 45 South. Currently, this location is only open until midnight but will be open 24 hours soon.

A reader spotted signage above the space where the former Banana Leaf was at 9896 Bellaire, suite A, near H Mart. A quick search revealed no social media connected with Chengdu Taste here in Houston, but the font on the sign matches a Los Angeles-based Szechuan restaurant with the same name.

The spicy Chinese eatery has lots of fans. Los Angeles Times’ Jonathan Gold noted in his review that this restaurant’s Chengdu-style cooking is “lighter, cleaner and less likely to wake you up in the middle of the night with chile-oil induced nightmares,” adding that, “the food is still quite spicy.” Let’s hope this is the same Chengdu Taste born on the West Coast.

There was some chef shuffling this week as chef Joe Cervantez will return to Brennan’s as executive chef after two years at the helm at Killen’s Steakhouse. Cervantez served as a sous chef at Brennan’s from 2010 to 2014 before taking the executive chef role at Killen’s.

"Brennan’s of Houston has always felt like home to me and I look forward to what’s to come in this new role,” said Cervantez. “I have watched Ella Brennan's ‘Commanding the Table’ documentary three times now, and each time I get more excited.”

Chef Steve Haug (formerly of Peska Seafood & Steaks, Grazia and most recently Del Frisco’s) will be joining the team at Killen’s Steakhouse. Haug will bring more than 18 years of experience and a corporate restaurant background with him.

A Facebook post announced a second Dot Coffee Shop to open on the east side of town. On May 8, the restaurant posted the following:

“Dot Coffee Shop is movin' on out to the East Side!! Our second location will be located at 12010 East Freeway and opening in early June. We can't wait to see you there!”

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