Restaurant News

Openings & Closings

We broke the news earlier this week about the Anvil boys -- Bobby Heugel and Kevin Floyd -- opening a new bar, Hay Merchant (1100 Westheimer), which will focus entirely on beer. Mostly craft beer. And that super fancy stuff in casks. Look for the place to open much later this year, in the fall at the earliest, which should give everyone plenty of time to mourn the space in which Hay Merchant will be located: Chances.

Speaking of oddly named places doing their own thing, The Love Shack (16602 Cypress Rosehill, 281-256-1575) made its debut this week in Cypress, the brainchild of Joe Duong, former owner and chef at the nearby Rockwell Tavern and Grill. There's never a quiet moment in our comments sections, of course, and it wasn't long before commenter Jack Reynolds pitched in his own two cents about his prediction for the Shack's future:

They serve fries topped with garlic and bacon. They have a donut burger. They have a fatty melt (a burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches for a bun, it's called The Bad Decision). They have a funky Asian brisket burger/sandwich "crunchified" (fuck you Bobby Flay) with Cheetos.

I hope they become a Cypress staple, but I have no faith in Cypress when it comes to patronizing mom'n'pop restaurants that serve good food. Cypress just starved Mama's Cajun Cuisine to death. Salina's Steakhouse/churrascaria experienced a rapid death and is being replaced by a probably generic hibachi grill which, though it will fail and be replaced by a CiCi's or something, will still live long enough to put the final nail in Edojin's coffin.

With menu items like that, I hope they stick around too.

And in closings this week, Polk Street Pub (1201 San Jacinto) in the ill-conceived Houston Pavilions bit the dust. No surprise there, as the Pavilions recently lost one of their largest anchor tenants -- Books a Million -- and the reviews, while good, weren't enough to convince Houstonians that what the city needed was another place serving pub food and burgers.

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Katharine Shilcutt