Openings & Closings

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It's been a week of good news, which is a rare and precious thing around here. No real closings to report, only a few openings and some chef shuffles, which makes for a happy Friday around these parts.

News that San Antonio's Freetail Brewing Co. is planning a three-story brewpub in downtown Houston made a big splash this past Wednesday, adding to excitement for the ongoing revitalization of the area. Now if only Phoenicia can hurry up and open...

Meanwhile, Tyson Cole talked to Eater Austin about his upcoming Houston location of Uchi, the sushi restaurant in Austin that recently won him a James Beard Foundation Award. Over at Swamplot, photographer Candace Garcia had some great shots of the demolition that's currently taking place at the old Felix restaurant along lower Westheimer in preparation for the sushi joint to move in.

CultureMap's Caroline Gallay reported on Bacchus, a wine bar that quietly opened further up Westheimer at 2502 Dunlavy last week. We first reported on the wine bar back on April 1, except that it wasn't an April Fool's Day joke, like our other restaurant news from the day.

Just as The Buffalo Grille has opened its new spot in West University Place, so has Molina's decamped to a new location just down the street in Braes Heights. The cantina -- the oldest family-owned and operated Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston, it should be noted -- will soon open a third location at 3801 Bellaire Boulevard near Weslayan.

And way down south, Galveston has a new place to throw one back that's not the Poop Deck: the Brick House Tavern opened at at 35th and Seawall Boulevard this past Monday. It's the third Brick House Tavern in the Houston area, this one complete with a "Rec Room" outfitted with leather recliners and a covered patio with fire pit. And I'm imagining it's going to be packed day and night.

Speaking of Taverns, Evan Turner -- formerly front-of-house man and whiskey expert at Branch Water Tavern -- is now at another tavern entirely: Fox Hollow Gastro Tavern. I admit to not being the biggest fan of the place when it first opened, mostly because I was confused about its direction and overall concept, but bringing Turner on can only be a move in the right direction for the little bar off Washington Avenue.

In other shuffles, Steve Marques has left Yelapa after a short stint there as pastry chef for a sous chef position at Max's Wine Dive. Marques was one of the founders of acclaimed burger joint The Burger Guys and he'll now be working alongside Chef Michael Pellegrino.

Last but not least, rave reviews are rolling in for the new summer food menu at Anvil, which was developed by the bar's future neighbor, Chef Chris Shepherd. And along with those new small plates? A dozen new Southern-inspired cocktails, too, of course. Drink up.

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