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Openings and Closings

Of course, no upscale mixed-use center would be complete without a wine bar, so Cru will be moving in (you can check out the concept for yourself in The Woodlands, where Cru has been anchoring the Market Street development for a few years). And another Houston outpost of seafood restaurant Eddie V's will move in (the first is over at another pre-fab mixed-development location, CityCentre -- are we noticing a trend here?). Something that the River Oaks Examiner refers to as "a new concept by Ad West, an upscale restaurant and lounge from brothers Jeff and Darren Van Delden, known for creating, designing and operating sought-after destinations in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, such as The Drake and Red Door" is also planned, as is the one thing we're actually exicted about: Zaika, a new restaurant from Indika's amazing Anita Jaisinghani. We'll swallow our pride and valet for anything that Jainsinghani decides to do.

In other wine bar news, the Houston Business Journal had an insightful article this week on the closure of Washington Avenue wine bar The Corkscrew (1919 Washington). Owner Andrew Adams elaborated on his decision to close the popular bar, saying that the Houston market had become too saturated with similar concepts (at the same time as The Wine Bucket and the Midtown location of The Tasting Room decided to close), and saying that he was more interested in pioneering a "new" concept that involved fresh fruit-infused liquors and hand-crafted cocktails. To which the men at Anvil Bar & Refuge and Beaver's Ice House most likely responded with a confused, "Huh?"

And just as more wine bars close, other bars open to take their place -- especially in Midtown. The newest bar on the scene is the Nouveau Antique Art Bar (2913 Main), an odd name for a bar until you see the interior. Inside is a gleaming mahogany bar surrounded by hundreds of reproduction Tiffany lamps. Once we check it out for ourselves, expect a full report on what beers they pour and what cocktails they shake. It's open seven days a week unti 2 a.m. and conveniently located right on the light rail.

In closings, our friends at B4-U-Eat reported a massacre this week, with seven places closing in the past seven days. Among them were Chinese Garden and Santorini in Katy, Dulles Diner in Stafford and the Italian Grille Ristorante in Conroe.

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