4

Openings and Closings

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According to My Table, Philippe Schmit has finally inked a deal for his new restaurant's new digs...outside Loop 610. You'll remember that Schmit himself had originally said he'd be moving to an inner loop location and would aim to be open in August. Instead, he's signed a lease in the same center on Post Oak Boulevard that houses RDG + Bar Annie and is looking at a September opening, with construction on the new place starting this spring. Inner loopers shouldn't be too put out though; the restaurant will be a mere stone's throw away from River Oaks (which, judging by its ritzy location, seems to be where the restaurant is hoping to draw its demographic from -- expect high prices, folks).

Even further outside the Loop, renegade chef Randy Rucker is putting the finishing touches on Bootsie's Heritage Cafe (so named for his mother), which is expected to open its doors on Friday, February 19 in Tomball. The restaurant will admirably be pulling herbs and vegetables from its own gardens and meat from its own animals, hence the far-out and decidedly rural location. Rucker has already made it clear, however, that no food bloggers or critics are welcome at his down-home digs. Add the long drive to that attitude, and it looks like Rucker is well on his way to alienating his core audience of die-hard food lovers before he even opens.

And outside the Beltway, another restaurant has fallen. Dimassi's on the Katy Freeway finally closed its doors after being a ghost town for what seems like years. The former location of King Fish Market was always packed before Chris King decided to throw in the proverbial towel and close his restaurants. When Dimassi's moved in around 2006, there was little done by way of renovation to the space except for ripping out the gorgeous bar area, stained glass and fish tanks and replacing it with a dingy buffet and dark walls. Despite the above-average food, we're frankly surprised it lasted this long.

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