Houston's Sean Jensen and Jason Vaughan plan to make the East End even hipper.EXPAND
Houston's Sean Jensen and Jason Vaughan plan to make the East End even hipper.
Photo by Aaron Casey

Openings and Closings: EaDo Welcomes Nancy’s Hustle

Houston’s increasingly hip historic East End is about to get a new wine bar and bistro. Nancy’s Hustle, 2704 Polk, is set to open later this month. With reclaimed bowling lane counters and a vintage reel-to-reel tape deck playing blues and funk, partners Jason Vaughan and Sean Jensen hope to draw in crowds looking for a unique dining experience or just a burger and beer after work.

Jason Vaughan, who returned to Houston after a busy career in Chicago with Hogsalt Hospitality, and was most recently consulting chef at Alice Blue, will head up the kitchen. His medium plates menu will include dishes such as johnny cakes with smoked salmon caviar, while sourdough pasta with pistachios, burrata and brussel sprouts gives an idea of what to expect on the large plates side.

Julia Doran, formerly of Bernadine’s, will spearhead the bread and pastry program with offerings like dark chocolate marquise with orange creme fraiche.

Rounding out the team, Kristine Nguyen will curate the cocktail menu and Sean Jensen will manage the front of house while crafting a beverage program with organic and naturally-fermented wines and cider. “We are big fans of cider and feel that it pairs well with food,” Jensen told the Houston Press.

The open kitchen will have a wood-burning grill. According to Vaughan, the space will allow people to engage with the kitchen and allow the cooks to be in on the action in the dining room,“ like a dinner party where everybody ends up hanging out in the kitchen”.

Nancy’s Hustle will be open Tuesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Le Peep, 4702 Westheimer, is relocating at the end of November, according to the Houston Chronicle. The new location at 4340 Westheimer will be serving alcohol for the first time since Le Peep was started in 1987. The wine and spirits menu will eventually be introduced to the other four locations. Le Peep serves breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Slim Chickens, 9850 Louetta, will have a grand opening event on November 13. The chain is known for its chicken tenders and variety of sauces, from the original Slim Sauce to the new Korean BBQ. With more than 60 locations in 13 states, the restaurant has finally expanded to Houston. Besides their famous chicken tenders, they serve sandwiches and fried appetizers like okra and pickles. If that doesn’t bust your gut, there is dessert-in-a-jar to complete the indulgence.

Another popular chicken chain, Raising Cane’s is opening two new locations in the greater Houston area. On Tuesday, November 14, the Louisiana-based company will debut two new stores at 1740 Fry and 21017 Kuykendahl. The One Love chicken finger meals have been around since 1996, when the restaurant was founded by Todd Graves, who named it after his yellow Labrador.

Zayed’s Mediterranean Grill, 797 Sorella Court, had its grand opening November 13, though the soft opening started in late October. The fast casual Mediterranean restaurant serves build-your-own meals based around proteins such as lamb, beef and chicken. There are plenty of vegetarian options available, along with a diverse appetizer and sides menu. Former Houston mayor, Annise Parker, has already made a visit, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Pho-get about Hurricane Harvey. Fall is perfect for Vietnamese noodle soup.
Pho-get about Hurricane Harvey. Fall is perfect for Vietnamese noodle soup.
Photo courtesy of Pholicious.

The Kingwood area was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Harvey and many of those businesses had barely been open a month before the extensive flooding destroyed much of their kitchens and dining rooms. Slowly, some of them are coming back. Pholicious, 4521 Kingwood, plans to reopen November 17. The owner admits that it was difficult to rebuild after having so recently opened, but plans to push on with a good attitude to reopen and be great again. Pholicious’ beginnings started in Saigon in 1965 with a family business. Besides the Kingwood location, there are ten stores in California.

MOD Pizza, 4537 Kingwood, had its grand opening on November 10. The restaurant originally opened on August 4, so the paint was barely dry before Harvey wreaked its havoc. Pizza lovers have a choice between an 11” MOD pizza or a 6” mini pizza and can choose toppings and sauces for one price.

Kingwood neighborhood joint, Three B’s Grill, reopened September 19, as reported by Community Impact. The bar and grill, located at 4590 Kingwood, serves burgers, salads, and the usual bar appetizers like wings and nachos. There is a mac n’ cheese burger for diners who can afford the extra carbs.

Cancun Snow, 10792 Grant, celebrated its grand opening November 4 with Snappy Salsa-The Happy Clown, face painting and family-friendly treats. The business describes itself as a take on Mexican street food, serving dishes like tortas and tostadas. It also serves ice cream, fruit-covered waffles, and other sweet snacks.

Pumpkin pie-where pumpkin spice really belongs.
Pumpkin pie-where pumpkin spice really belongs.
Photo courtesy of Fluff Bake Bar

Though Fluff Bake Bar, 314 Gray, has closed temporarily from water damage, as reported by Houston Culture Map, the kitchen has survived and the bakery is still filling online orders at fluffbakebar.com for Thanksgiving pies until November 19. There will also be purchases and pick-ups available at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. Traditional pumpkin and pecan pies are $26. There are other pie flavors available as well as party trays of Rebecca Masson’s popular treats. You can find information on pop-up events on its Facebook page.

Kabob Korner, 10201 Katy Freeway, opened its third location. The Memorial area store is an express version of its original restaurants. The grand opening was October 20. The family-run business serves favorites such as Tandoori chicken, kabobs, and gyros and chicken Shawarma.

Bonchon Sugarland, 1525 Lake Pointe Parkway, had its soft opening November 7. The New York-based chain started in South Korea in 2002 and expanded to the United States in 2006. The company now has 236 corporate and franchised restaurants in nine countries, serving their famous Korean-style fried chicken and Asian fusion cuisine.

Kay’s Tea Parlor, 5617 Second Street Katy, reopened November 10, according to Community Impact. The tea shop closed in early September because of flood damage. There are a variety of teas on offer, as well as sandwiches, desserts, and quiche. The locals go for the homemade chicken pot pie.

Chipotle, 11150 Northwest Freeway, plans to open by the end of November. There will be a soft opening event before opening to the public.

Openings and Closings: EaDo Welcomes Nancy’s Hustle
Photo courtesy of MidiCi

MidiCi, 2560 Pearland, is planning a grand opening for December 2. The Neopolitan-style pizza chain has been rapidly expanding in the Houston area, with the Pearland location being its third this year.

Baskin-Robbins, 1354 W. 43rd, will celebrate its grand reopening this Saturday, November 18. The family-friendly event is from noon to 4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. There will be a D.J., live entertainment and a prize wheel. There will also be ice cream for $1.50 a scoop.

Openings and Closings: EaDo Welcomes Nancy’s Hustle
Photo courtesy of Skeeter's Mesquite Grill

Skeeter's Mesquite Grill, 4747 Research Forest, is closing for good this Sunday, November 19. The Adair Family Restaurants group has decided not to renew the lease for The Woodlands location.  The first Skeeter's restaurant was opened in 1988 and six other locations followed suit. The Houston-based company also acquired the Los Tios Mexican restaurants in 2000.

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