Tilman J. Fertitta and company
Tilman J. Fertitta and company
Photo courtesy of Landry's

Openings & Closings: Brenner's and Tin Roof BBQ Return

Hurricane Harvey has taken its terrible toll on restaurants and businesses throughout Houston, whether it be from flood damage or lost revenue. So, it is always a delight to see restaurants reopen, ready to serve loyal customers who are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to support their favorite eateries.

Brenner’s on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall, has been closed since late August due to Hurricane Harvey flooding because of its location on Buffalo Bayou. This is not the first time Brenner’s has seen flood damage. The Memorial Day flood in 2015 also caused the restaurant to close temporarily for repairs, as reported here in the Houston Press. Now, as of November 27, the upscale rustic steakhouse is back to serving dinner to its well-heeled clientele. The restaurant opened in the former Rainbow Lodge space in 2007 and still retains the romantic lodge vibe with its lush gardens and wooden beams. Part of the Landry’s restaurant empire, its CEO, Tilman J. Fertitta, said in a Facebook post that it was the final Landry’s restaurant to reopen after Hurricane Harvey.

Tin Roof BBQ,18918 Town Center Boulevard, reopened November 10 after a fire damaged much of the kitchen and other areas of the restaurant. The popular Humble barbecue joint finished repairs and renovations and had a grand opening celebration on December 2 with live music, including country star, Doug Supernaw. Tin Roof BBQ’s owners and staff helped to feed a number of first responders and hungry folks during Hurricane Harvey. They also have a line of bottled barbecue sauces.

And while there is good news for some restaurants, others have not been so lucky. Peska Seafood and Steaks, 1700 Post Oak, has closed its doors for good, citing loss of revenue from Hurricane Harvey and ongoing construction, according to the Houston Chronicle. Formerly called Peska Seafood Culture, the restaurant, which opened in April 2015, was the first American restaurant from the La Trainera group. Omar Pereney, the Venezuelan chef who helped to open the restaurant, left in February 2017. Despite rebranding efforts, a new menu and chef, the restaurant could not overcome its losses.

Another casualty, Lowbrow, 1601 W. Main, has closed after losing its executive chef last month, as reported by the Chronicle. John Sheely, formerly of Mockingbird Bistro fame, sold his shares to partner Chris Ray’s financial backer, Carolyn Simpson. According to Lowbrow’s Facebook page, the “I Love You This Much” light-up sign is up for auction.

Le Peep, 4340 Westheimer, is now open. The previous location in the Galleria area at 4702 Westheimer had its last service on December 3. 

Houston’s venerated diner and pie paradise, House of Pies, will open its fourth location in The Woodlands, according to Swamplot. Slated for June 2018, it will be a free-standing building located in the space previously occupied by a shuttered Black Eyed Pea restaurant, across the street from the Woodlands Mall. The design will be identical to the third location which opened at Beltway 8 and I-45 in March of this year.

The Sweet Dreams waffle at Nectar takes it over the top.
The Sweet Dreams waffle at Nectar takes it over the top.
Photo courtesy of Nectar

Nectar, 7560 FM 1960 E., had a grand opening Christmas party December 2. The coffee shop and waffle bar sells nitro-infused cold brew on tap and nitrogen-created ice cream. It offers traditional waffles with toppings like bbq beef, fried chicken, and even escargot. There is also a gluten-free waffle option that is similar to Brazilian cheese bread, another trend we are seeing.

SusieCakes Bakery, 2563 Amherst, is having its grand opening December 9, according to Eater Houston. Starting at 10 a.m., the first 50 customers will get a free SusieCakes mug with purchase (one offer per family). Founder Susan Sarich started the business in Los Angeles and there are now more than 20 stores in California and Texas. The Rice Village store is the first in Houston. Sarich based many of the recipes on her grandmothers’ cake and cookie recipes and uses no artificial preservatives, trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup. From December 11 through December 15, look for grand opening specials.

Sesame Hut, 6615 Long Point, had its grand opening November 9. For nearly 40 years, the family-owned business has served Houston casual pan-Asian cuisine. With the closing of Northwest Mall last year, the restaurant had to find a new location. There is also a location at Almeda Mall. The inexpensive Bulgogi beef and tempura-style onion rings are popular dishes.

Build your own pho at The Pho Spot.
Build your own pho at The Pho Spot.
Photo by Mai Pham

The Pho Spot, 1010 Prairie, has been in its soft opening stage in the Conservatory since October, as reported here in the Press, but recently celebrated its grand opening December 3 with Pho specials and dragon dances. Phil Nguyen, owner of The Waffle Bus, and self-taught chef, Danny Pham whose Vietnamese refugee parents operated multiple restaurants in Mississippi, are bringing Vietnamese-southern soul food to a counter-style, fast casual concept in the underground food hall.

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company,2560 Pearland Parkway, had its grand opening December 2. This is the third Houston area location for the quickly expanding pizza company.

Openings & Closings: Brenner's and Tin Roof BBQ ReturnEXPAND
Photo rendering courtesy of BCK Kitchen and Cocktail Adventures

BCK Kitchen and Cocktail Adventures, 933 Studewood, will host a sneak peek pop up December 9, during the Lights in the Heights festivities, starting at 5:30 p.m. The restaurant is slated to open in January 2018, but will be available for private events starting December 14.

The menu will reflect the diverse backgrounds and styles of its owners with American, Italian, and Vietnamese influences.

Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe is bringing three new restaurants to Texas in the spring of 2018. The Katy store will be located in La Centerra at Cinco Ranch, while the College Station location will be at Century Square, adjacent to Texas A&M. The Woodlands restaurant is still in the works. The Houston-based company was founded by Allison and Ivan Chavez in 2012 with the first creperie located in Rice Village at 2420 Rice Boulevard. Two others followed, one in Houston CityCentre and another in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

Who could ask for more than S'mores in crepe form?
Who could ask for more than S'mores in crepe form?
Photo by Julie Soefer Photography

There are sweet and savory crepes on offer, plus waffles, salads, and hot drinks. For the kids, there is a variety of milkshakes. If Paris is not in your budget this year, you can savor the Croque Madame crepe with a glass of wine at Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe instead.

A taste of Paris in Houston.EXPAND
A taste of Paris in Houston.
Photo by Julie Soefer Photography

Salata, 4523 Kingwood, will reopen December 14 with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. and will donate one-hundred percent of the day's sales to the Houston Food Bank and its Hurricane Harvey disaster relief programs. A victim of Harvey itself, the Kingwood Salata was only open for six weeks before the unprecedented flooding closed the location down for repairs. Its reopening marks the second location for franchisee, Grafton Way Restaurant Group, and is the thirty-eighth Salata in the Greater Houston area.

Salata is known for its customizable salad items, house-made dressings and a variety of proteins, including vegan options. It is also gluten-free certified.

Here's our Openings and Closings list for the month of November:

Reported as Open in November:
Ashay’s Pizza, 16044 West, opened late August
Bansuri, 10625 Brighton, opened
Baskin-Robbins,1354 W. 43rd, reopened November 18
Bellagreen, 10111 Louetta, opened November 2
Beltway Burgers and Bites, 8111 N. Sam Houston Parkway West, opened October 21
Bonchon, 1525 Lake Pointe Parkway, opened November 7
Brick Shavers, 6176 Highway 6 North, opened September 28
Cactus Cove, 3333 W. 11th, opened October 22
Cancun Snow,10792 Grant, grand opening November 4
Casa Vera, 1420 Katy Fort Bend, opened October 4
Cavatore Italian Restaurant, 2120 Ella, reopened September 20
Chipotle, 11150 Northwest Freeway, slated to open end of November
Delta Blues Smokehouse, 19901 Gulf Freeway, opened November 1
DOCO Grill and Bar, 25551 Kingsland, opened September 12
Duck Donuts, 3157 West Holcombe, slated for December 2017
85C Bakery Cafe, Sugar Land, opened November 3
The Empanada Company, 2925 W. T.C. Jester, opened late October
Fabian’s Latin Flavors,301 Main, opened November 10
Fajita Pete’s, 8552 Highway 6, opened November 11
Firehouse Subs, 25551Kingsland, opened October 23
Flipping Pizza, 30340 FM 2978, grand opening September 21
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, 8238 Kirby, opened November 28
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, 8366 Westheimer, opened November 14
Gourmand Kitchen, 9818 Fry, November 25
Henderson and Kane General Store, 715 Henderson, slated to open January 2018
International Smoke,797 Sorella, slated for January 2018
Jin Korean BBQ,8338 West Sam Houston Parkway, opened November 6
JJIGAE, 990 Rayford, opened October 12
Joy Love Burgers, 22625 Highway 249, opened October 10
Kabob Korner,10201 Katy Freeway, grand opening October 20
Kay’s Tea Parlor, 5617 Second Street Katy, reopened November 10
Kolaches and Donut Express, 11808 Barker Cypress, reopened October 15
La Baguette Bakery and Bistro, 21821 Katy Freeway, opened late October
La Michoacana Meat Market, 16215 Stuebner Airline, grand opening November 5
Main Squeeze Juice Co., 6825 South Fry, slated for December
Maison Pucha Bistro,1001 Studewood, opened November 22
MOD Pizza,4537 Kingwood, grand reopening November 10
Palette Indian Kitchen,3559 Rayford, opened October 5
Pastel Gourmet, 6944 Cypresswood, reopened
Pena’s Donuts & Diner, 10555 Pearland Parkway, slated to reopen December 2017
Pholicious,4521 Kingwood, reopened November 17
Pluckers Wing Bar, 20821 Gulf Freeway, November 21
Poke Now, 17758 Katy Freeway, opened November 2
Quench Lounge, 25282 Northwest Freeway, opened November 3
Red Lobster, 20414 U.S. Highway 59 North, reopened December 4
Raising Cane’s, 1740 Fry, opened November 14
Raising Cane’s, 21017 Kuykendahl, November 14
Ronny G’s, 1027 Sawdust, opened November 12
Slim Chicken’s, 9850 Louetta, grand opening November 13
Spicy Girl, 917 Winbern, soft opening November
Starbucks, 1801 Richmond, opened
Sushi Monster, 4225 Sienna Parkway, opened early November
Sushi Neato, 2944 S. Mason, opened early November
TaD’s Bar and Grill, 13215 Grant, opened September 1
Tarka Indian Kitchen, 2168 Spring Stuebner, opened October 15
Teahouse Tapioca and Tea, 12343 Barker Cypress, opened October 28
Teahouse Tapioca and Tea, 840 Gulfgate Center Mall, opened November 4
Teahouse Tapioca and Tea, 9664 Westheimer, opened November 7
Three B’s Grill,4590 Kingwood, reopened September 19
Torchy’s Tacos, 2156 Spring Stuebner, grand opening October 10
TruIndia, 2431 Bay Area Boulevard, opened
Union Kitchen, 6011 Washington, opened November 20
Yokohamaya Japanese, 27200 U.S. 290, opened October 10
Zayed’s Mediterranean Grill, 797 Sorella, grand opening November 13

Reported as Closed in November:
Carmelo’s, 14795 Memorial, closing December 25
Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, 8383 Westheimer, closed
Happy Fatz, 3510 White Oak, closed November 1
Le Peep, 4702 Westheimer, relocating to 4340 Westheimer, December 3
Liberty Kitchen, 3715 Alba, closed November 19
160ft Beerworks, 1310 Nance, closed
Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill, 4747 Research Forest, closed November 19
Southern Goods, 623 West 19th, closed temporarily November 5, due to fire

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