Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Set, Spike, Play at Sideout VolleyBar

Sideout VolleyBar features three sand courts.
Sideout VolleyBar features three sand courts. Photo courtesy of Sideout VolleyBar

Bound to become the best new outdoor dive in North Houston, Sideout Volleybar is digging in at 2623 Keene near the White Oak Music Hall. Houston Business Journal reported that Sideout features three sand courts and a large game area with a 1,200-square-foot bar on about three acres of land.

Sideout grand opened on June 1 with 70 crafts brew cans, 18 craft brew taps from Texas and a full-service bar.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, along with his wife Alexis are joining forces with David Buehrer (of Greenway Coffee Company), Ming Chen (star of Comic Book Men), and barista/gamer Sanford Bledsoe III to open a coffee shop, Coral Sword: CCG, that will combine java, gaming, comics and e-sports at 1318 Telephone, near University of Houston, by this September.

According to SportTechie, guests of CCG will have access to newly released games and a unique podcast booth for live-streaming. Members will have opportunities to rent out the co-gaming space for private events, tournaments and workshops.

In the Houston Press’s May 12 Openings & Closings, we first reported that signage for Chengdu Taste made its first appearance in the former Banana Leaf space in the H-Mart Shopping Center at 9896 Bellaire, suite A, in Chinatown.

The California-based Szechuan restaurant actually soft-opened at the beginning of May. So far, spice-loving fans are raving about the authenticity and heat of dishes on the menu. The boiled fish in spicy broth, dried pepper chicken and mung bean noodle dish are standouts, according to Yelpers.

Expect a wait, reservations are not accepted. Hours are Monday through Friday, lunch service between 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner service between 5 to 9 p.m.

click to enlarge Chef Buchanan's fried green tomatoes are paired with a delicious gulf shrimp salad. - PHOTO BY NICK DE LA TORRE
Chef Buchanan's fried green tomatoes are paired with a delicious gulf shrimp salad.
Photo by Nick de la Torre

Third Coast
debuted its summer menu this week with fresh, new dishes by executive Chef Jon Buchanan. The beautifully elegant restaurant and bar is located on the sixth floor inside the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons Building at 6550 Bertner.

New starters like the fried green tomatoes with gulf shrimp salad and Crystal hot sauce aioli are a must-try for the summer. Two new soups are offered: The chilled watercress soup with cucumber and melon and the chicken tortilla with avocado, queso fresco and tortilla strips are both light and flavorful.

New entrée additions include Chef Buchanan’s buffalo burger on brioche bun and wood-grilled Gulf shrimp presented with rice grits, poblano and corn rajas, cojita cheese and poblano cream.

America Gardens, a bar and restaurant from Dallas-based Syn Hospitality Group is coming to the Midtown Common Development on Caroline, just north of McGowen. Swamplot reported that early renderings show the group plans stick along the Caroline street-side with partial frontage on Austin Street.

The article also mentions a few other Dallas-Fort-Worth-based establishments moving into the development. There will be Don Chingon, a Tex-Mex joint, The Social House, a gastro-pub and Wishful Drinking, which sounds like a fabulous name for a neighborhood watering hole.

click to enlarge National chain Yong Kang Street is opening rink-side in the Galleria. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYMEL (@BOOZEANDBUTTER)
National chain Yong Kang Street is opening rink-side in the Galleria.
Photo by Michael Hymel (@boozeandbutter)

Food blogger Michael Hymel (@boozeandbutter) sent us a tip about changes near the ice rink inside the Galleria. Yong Kang Street will open on the rink level at center court on June 6, 2017. The chain operates several locations including one inside the Paris casino and hotel in Las Vegas.

Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Chinese flavors are featured on the menu including dim sum, noodle soups and wok-fried dishes. Best access to Yong Kang is through the Orange Parking Garage, located at 5135 West Alabama Street.

Also coming rink-side is Sushigami, a Japanese kaitan-style restaurant that is expected to open on June 30. Items will be available to diners via a moving conveyor belt. Color-coated dishes will deliver sushi, sashimi and popular rolls in a fun, bright atmosphere.

The restaurant will be accessible through the Blue Parking garage.

After 30 years, Le Peep in the Galleria area is relocating to a new address, just down the street at 4340 Westheimer. According to Houston Business Journal, the new space, at about 4,000-square-foot, is a bit smaller than its current home. Expect an opening in late August or early September of this year.

Former whiskey and burger joint The Refinery, 702 West Dallas, is undergoing some cosmetic changes and signage for South Bank Seafood Bar is up at the space in Fourth Ward. Swamplot reported that the rebranding includes a menu change that will reflect Asian and Cajun-Creole inspired dishes.

click to enlarge Chapman & Kirby opened its doors to the public on June 1 in East Village. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAPMAN & KIRBY
Chapman & Kirby opened its doors to the public on June 1 in East Village.
Photo courtesy of Chapman & Kirby

Chapman and Kirby
, at 2118 Lamar, finally opened its doors to the public on June 1. The new East Village gastro-pub and event space has been open only a handful of times since the Super Bowl came to town for private gatherings and previews.

The venue is named after the founders of Houston (brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen). The design, concept and menu were inspired by the rich history of Houston.

Family-owned Lopez Mexican Restaurant announced plans to open a second location in Richmond at the 7200 block of the West Grand Parkway next to Gallery Furniture.

The family has operated a restaurant since 1978, with a Southwest Houston location at 11606 Wilcrest (which opened in 2000) that has expanded to over five times its original size.

The second location will feature a full-service bar, outdoor patio and a dining room that’s nearly 3,500-square-feet and is scheduled to open this coming fall.

The Houston Chronicle’s retail wrap included tidbits about a few upcoming restaurants. A new Zaxby’s is opening in Cypress at 28030 US Highway 290 near Mason Road. The chicken fingers and wings joint is the sixth store for franchisee Shawn Taylor.

Several Bombshells are planned for the Houston area. The first bar and restaurant is slated for 14191 Northwest Freeway with a second location to open in August in Pearland and a third scheduled for a space along Interstate 10 by early 2018.

A 2,181-square-foot space in Chambers Town Center in Baytown has been leased by Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. The spot, near Interstate 10 and State Highway 146 is anchored by a Walmart and near a Showbiz Cinema movie theater.

Sam’s Boat is opening in Katy in the Stableside at Falcon Landing commercial development. According to Community Impact, the seafood-themed sports bar is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018.
The menu will be similar to other Sam’s Boats in the Houston area and offer burgers, tacos, seafood and Cajun dishes.

The new location is 7,000-square-feet with an additional 3,000-square-feet of outdoor patio space. A Kingwood location could be next on the horizon. The first Sam’s Boat opened in 1981, but did not start franchising until 2014.

The two remaining Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers in Houston have closed over the weekend. The Memorial City location at 10403 Katy Freeway has only been open for about a year and the West University location at 3501 West Holcombe had operated for five years (the store in The Woodlands had shuttered back in February).

In a 2012 Press article, co-owner S. Jerry Glauser said that his dream was to one day have dozens of Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers spread across the city and perhaps even the nation. The Houston-based chain supported local bakers, food producers and charities and prided itself on the use of quality ingredients.

The Press reached out for more details about the abrupt closure and will update when we hear back.

click to enlarge The West U Special is made with Deep Eddy Orange, real coconut, lime juice and soda. - PHOTO COURTESY OF D'AMICO'S
The West U Special is made with Deep Eddy Orange, real coconut, lime juice and soda.
Photo courtesy of D'Amico's

D’Amico’s Italian Market Café
, 5510 Morningside, in Rice Village is celebrating its 21st anniversary with an exciting new menu of refreshing summer-inspired cocktails. The restaurant added full-bar service just six months ago and now diners can enjoy an excellent variety of adult beverages on the breezy outdoor covered patio.

The new drinks include the Lemoncello Collins and Rice Village Cosmo or the Expat (made with Knob Creek bourbon, lime juice, bitters and fresh mint).

Humble became home to a couple of new restaurants in May. Jambalaya King opened on May 19 at 16430 West Lake Houston Parkway, suite 800. The Cajun-themed eatery features a five-meat jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo, red beans and rice, boudin and crawfish in season.

Fans of Akashi Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar in Lake Houston can now dine at a second location in the area. The chain opened at 12230 West Lake Houston Parkway, suite 200, this spring.

A small kolache shop with lots of name-troubles lately announced plans to open a second Cy-fair location at 14502 Spring Cypress, suite 300. The original Koala Kolache located at 17415 FM 529, suite 300, just recently changed its name to Karma Kolache following a rumored separation or divorce between its owners (who are/were married).

The shop is known for its boudin kolaches, gourmet donuts and specialty kolaches like the mac ‘n cheese and cheeseburger and taco flavored pastries.

Community Impact reported lots of changes at Pearland Town Center this month. National chain Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery of Cupcake Wars fame is opening at 11200 West Broadway, suite 655, by late summer.

A new Krispy Kreme will open this summer next to Zoe’s Kitchen at 1470 West Broadway.

Swirll Frozen Yogurt will close its Pearland location after six years at 11200 West Broadway, suite 430, in June.

click to enlarge Celebrate Father's Day with a complimentary burger and beer for Dad. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LIBERTY KITCHEN
Celebrate Father's Day with a complimentary burger and beer for Dad.
Photo courtesy of Liberty Kitchen

There’s a new cocktail menu just in time for summer at Liberty Kitchen at the Treehouse. The Memorial area location at 963 Bunker Hill is offering a citrus-forward selection of crafted cocktails like the Sunset Punch (Bombay Sapphire East, Rosé, fresh lemon juice, cucumber, raspberries) and Cantaritos (Pura Vida Reposado, Chango Logo Espadin, fresh orange and grapefruit juice).

Happy hour at all locations are Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. and Sundays, 5 to 9 p.m. Everything on the happy hour menu is $6 or less.

All Liberty Kitchen locations are also celebrating Father’s Day with a complimentary burger and beer. All dads dining with their families will be treated to a complimentary Liberty burger and a craft draft beer.

Austin-based Tarka Indian Kitchen is opening at the Market in Springwoods Village in September. The restaurant serves curries, kabobs, naan and a selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings! Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know if we missed something.

Now, here’s a review of the Openings and Closings that were reported in May:

Reported open or plans to open:

AGU Ramen, 2130 Lone Star Drive - end of April, 2017
Aji Ramen, 1645 Winding Hollow, Suite 206 - mid-April 2017
Alice Blue, 250 West 19th - June 2017
Banh Mi ETC, 9211 West Road, Suite 145 - April 19, 2017
Beer Nation, 11681 Westheimer - April 27, 2017
Benjamin, 1111 Rusk - unknown date at this time
Better Luck Tomorrow, 544 Yale - April 27, 2017
Black Bear Diner, 24600 Katy Freeway - first half of 2018
Brewingz, 2850 Highway 290 - summer 2017
Cali Sandwich, 2900 Travis - May 22, 2017
Cane Island Bar & Grill, 4747 FM 1463, suite 100 - May 19, 2017
Cazadores Mexican Grill, 1251 Pin Oak, suite 141 - relocated mid May 2017
Center Court Pizza & Brew, 2111 West Parkwood - Spring 2017
Che Gaucho, 611 West Main - April 29, 2017
Chengdu Taste, 9896 Bellaire, suite A - early May 2017
China Star Buffet, 10009 West Broadway - late April or early May 2017
Chipotle, 8035 Spencer Highway - May 11, 2017
Cousins Maine Lobster, 403 EATS Food Truck Park - June 1, 2017
Craft Eats, 12904 Fry, Suite 600 - late April 2017
Crafthouse Grill, 12910 Malcomson - early June 2017
Dish Society, 12525 Memorial - August 2017
Dish Society, Heights Central Station - fall 2018
Dot Coffee Shop, 12010 East Freeway - early June 2017
El Tropical Sports Bar, 2054 Wirt, suite B - unknown date at this time
Fielding's Rooster, 4223 Research Forest Drive - unknown date at this time
Floyd's Cajun Seafood, 27126 Highway 290 - June 2017
FM Kitchen & Bar, 1112 Shepherd - May 19, 2017
Food Hall at Main & Rusk, 712 Main - 2018
Fu Belly Asian Cuisine & Bubble Tea Bar, 5727 Westheimer - May 13, 2017
Galeda Wines, 8311 Ginger - July 2017
Giant Leap Coffee, 3302 Canal Street - end of summer 2017
Gumbo Jeaux’s, 14185 Northwest Freeway - early May 2017
Hoggbirds, 1121 Walker, 22nd floor of Le Méridien Hotel - unknown date at this time
House of Pies, 11311 Fuqua, May 2017
Island Grill, 2365A Rice Boulevard - late may 2017
Karma Kolache, 17415 Farm to Market 529 - May 2017 (formerly Koala Kolache)
King’s BierHaus, 2044 East T.C. Jester - May 8, 2017
Kome Don 9938 Bellaire, suite B1 - late May 2017
Lucky Dog Sports Bar & Grill, 9440 Louetta, suite 14A - unknown date at this time
Lucky's Lodge, 2024 Rusk - unknown date at this time
Micheladas Tres Hermanos, 7732 Airline - unknown date at this time
Moonlight Bar-B-Q Company, 24930 Budde - late May 2017
N² Ice Cream Café, 9788 Bellaire, suite C - May 2017
Our House Throwback Candy Shack, 419 Gentry in suites 105 and 106 - April 22, 2017
Oxbow 7, 1121 Walker, Le Méridien Hotel - July 18, 2017
Perfect Latte, 7417 West Grand Parkway South, suite 130 - early May 2017
Pizza Cucinova, Bridgeland’s Lakeland Village Center - second quarter 2017
Pizza Zone, 4660 Louetta, suite 130 - relocated May 16, 2017
Pollo Bravo, 5801 Memorial - relocated in May 2017
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, 2105 Shepherd - early August 2017
Ribmasters BBQ, 28155 Highway 249 - May 2017
Roostar Vietnamese Grill, 5551 Richmond - May 1, 2017
Salata, 4523 Kingwood Drive - June 20, 2017
Sammy’s Sports Grill, 18121 Tuckerton Road - sometime in 2017
Silk Road Grill, 9211 West Road, Suite 135 - April 15, 2017
Simit and Poacha, 12315 Westheimer, suite D - May 19, 2017
Smoke’n Honey House, 8801 North Loop East - mid-May 2017
Snappy Salads, 1920 Fountain View - June 1, 2017
Steve's Kitchen, 12405 Westheimer - late April 2017
Studio 809, 809 Congress - May 18, 2017
T4 Tea For U, 9888 Bellaire, suite 126 - May 26, 2017
Tahini Plus Mediterranean Kitchen, 6180 North Highway 6 - May 12, 2017
Texadelphia, 8383 Westheimer - unknown date at this time
The Branch Craft Beer & Foodery, 7710 Long Point - May 23, 2017
The Bread Man Baking Company, - April 2017
The Hub Bistro, 8540 Creekside Forest, suite C100 - mid-June 2017
The Ivy & James, 4400 Bellaire in Evelyn’s Park Conservancy - mid-May 2017
The Lost Cajun, 7042 FM 1960 East - May 1
The Upper Crust, 6061 West Broadway - May 2017
Tian Lu Chuaner, 9888 Bellaire, suite 102 - late May 2017
Torchy’s Tacos, 4529 Kingwood - May 31, 2017
Two Bowls Bun Bo Hue, 13080 Bellaire, suite A - June 1, 2017
Vallenson’s Brewing Company, 4081 Rice Drier - May 27, 2017
Whenever Bar & Grill, 8670 Highway 6 - early April 2017
Yama S Fusion Sushi Bar & Hibachi, 23940 Highway 59 North - unknown date at this time
Yogurtland, 10115 Louetta - April 2017
Yogurtland, 28404 Highway 290, suite G15 - April 2017

Reported closed or plans to close:

Arlo’s Ballroom, 2119 Leeland - May 6, 2017
Bernadine's, 1801-B N Shepherd - May 24, 2017
Breakfast brunch Café, 12904 Fry, Suite 600 - late April 2017
Charlie’s BBQ, 8220 Airline - May 4, 2017
Cousins Maine Lobster, Deacon Baldy's Food Truck Park - late May 2017
Dionisio Winery, 2635 Miller Ranch - April 2017
Donafe’s Café, 126 Vintage Park - April 29, 2017
Glass Wall, 933 Studewood - May 14, 2017
Hunky Dory, 1801-A N Shepherd - May 24, 2017
Kimy’s Kitchen Food Truck, H-E-B at Barker Cypress and Highway 290 - April 23, 2017
Midtown Drinkery, 2400 Bagby - end of July 2017
Night Market Curry & Grill, 9630 Clarewood Drive Suite A12 - end of April 2017
Shade, 250 West 19th - May 14, 2017
Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 4608 Westheimer - May 23, 2017
Taja Indian, 2510 Smith Ranch - mid May 2017
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.
Cuc Lam is a freelance food writer for the Houston Press and local pop-up chef. She enjoys teaching cooking classes and hosting dinner parties when she is not writing.