Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: The Hurricane Harvey Edition

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen took in 18 inches of water.
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen took in 18 inches of water. Photo by Doogie Roux
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen on Eldridge remains closed at this time due to flooding. The restaurant got about 18 inches of water inside, but expects to start cleaning up by the weekend with a contractor lined up. The Woodway location is already back open for business.

Owner Phillip Sitter of King's Bierhaus told the Houston Press that, despite severe chest-deep flooding from the White Oak bayou and surrounding devastation, the restaurant only received about four to six inches of water and could reopen by end of week, and he did, offering the community one free beer per person on the evening of Monday, August 28. However, with the greater concern being the number of his 200 employees who have lost everything in the storm, the restaurant's attention now turns to fundraising.

Both King’s BierHaus and King’s Biergarten (in Pearland) will be hosting a fundraiser on Labor Day, September 4, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with 100 percent of proceeds going back to employees and their families. Sitter is also attempting to get more restaurants to band together to start an industry-wide fundraising effort..

Justin Yu's upcoming restaurant Theodore Rex has sustained flooding, according to Eater Houston. Chef and owner Justin Yu posted to his Instagram account about a potential delay in opening the upcoming restaurant.

Also reported by Eater Houston, celebrity chef Jose Andres, owner of numerous restaurants in D.C. and founder of disaster relief nonprofit World Central Kitchen, is in Houston cooking for those in need. Andres has planned to open a Dallas-based restaurant by end of year.

Severe flooding at Lucky's Pub in the Heights.
Photo courtesy of Lucky's Pub
Very sad news for Lucky's Pub, located at 2520 Houston Avenue, which flooded up to the second story during Harvey. In addition, a semi truck floated off the road and into the building.

Lucky's Pub had planned to reopen as White Oak Biergarten on the Saturday that Harvey rolled in, with an anticipated new barbecue outpost attached, Buck's BBQ, from pit master and U.S. Army vet, Jim Buchanan, formerly of Pappa Charlie’s Barbecue. Obviously those plans have been delayed, but owners Anthony Wegmann and Travis Adair at least has a sense of humor about the ordeal.

A semi floated into Lucky's Pub during Harvey flooding.
Photo courtesy of Lucky's Pub
The restaurant, which also flooded two times in 2016, perhaps making it the most unlucky of establishments ever to be called Lucky's, posted this message to its Facebook followers:

Well renovations were coming along swimmingly (pun intended), then Harvey showed up! We hope and pray everyone is safe and dry and we look forward to see ya'll soon for some ice cold beers and delicious BBQ.

Despite extensive damage, which will require a total gutting including a new kitchen ceiling, air conditioning system, siding and more, Adair told the Press this week that he hopes it will only take 30 to 40 days.

The eatery’s sister establishments includes Lucky's Downtown, Lucky’s West in Katy, Lucky’s Lodge, the craft cocktail bar across the street from Lucky’s Downtown, and Cypress eatery Frio Grill are also all open, and some of Lucky’s Pub staff have temporarily moved into roles at these restaurants until the remodel is finished.

Baileson Brewery will softly open this weekend, but celebrate its grand opening event on September 9.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
 Brenner's on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall, suffered extensive damages from Harvey. The eatery told its Facebook followers: "We expect it will take about 30 days to reopen."

West U's upcoming nano brew hub Baileson Brewing Co., 2322 Bissonnet, has decided to push its grand opening to Saturday, September 9, due to the devastation of Harvey.  Owners Adam Cryer and Sarah Pope noted in an email newsletter that the brewery will still softly open on September 2: "If weather permits, we still will plan to open our doors this coming weekend for anyone that wants to take a break from this madness, and has time to do so."

8th Wonder Brewing used its own vintage military truck, an M35 Deuce, to rescue and relocate residents from flooding in the Fifth Ward and Meyerland on Sunday, August 27, according to the Houston Chronicle.

One of the owners of Axelrad aided in boat rescue on Monday and Tuesday, helping over fifty people and pets get relocated to dry ground, according to the Midtown bar's Facebook page.

Two area H-E-B locations and one of its convenience stores were "flooded subsantially" in the storm, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Meyerland store on Braeswood at Chimney Rock, which only recently reopened after the Tax Day Floods, along with a new store in Kingwood and a Joe V's Smart Shop near Timberwood. The stores will likely take months to reopen between repairs and new refrigeration systems.
Chef Ronnie Killen
Photo by Kimberly Park
After contributing $50,000 to provide about 3,500 meals for hurricane evacuees, chef Ronnie Killen, owner of Killen's Barbecue, Killen's STQ and more of Houston's finest, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise more funds to continue his restaurants' efforts to feed those in need and those on the front lines of hurricane recovery efforts. The goal is to raise $200,000 to provide 30,000 meals total. As of the morning of August 31, $70,000 had already been raised.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association, Brennan’s of Houston’s sister restaurant Commander’s Palace, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation have started a Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund, which will donate individual grants to area restaurant and hotel workers in need. Donations can be made at

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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.