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Openings & Closings

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Pearland is really moving up in the world, home to greats like Killen's Steakhouse and hole-in-the-wall gems like Thanh Phunog that serve wild boar pho. In addition to its own recently opened version of House of Pies, a new biergarten/carwash called King's Biergarten has opened on Broadway. According to the Chron's Syd Kearney, King's has all manner of German and Austrian cuisine on the menu along with a huge selection of German beers. Guess who'll be driving south on 288 this weekend...

Next door to Pondicheri in West Ave, Cru has finally opened its doors. It's the second location for the wine bar, the first having been open successfully for several years in The Woodlands. Unlike Pondicheri, it has outdoor seating, although I'm not sure how popular that will be until Fall gets here.

Further west, a new location of Zoe's Kitchen has opened in the Town & Country area -- but not in CityCentre, as one might expect. Instead, Zoe's is striking out on its own in the nearby Town & Country Village shopping center. It's the restaurant's fourth location in Houston, and this incarnation is moving into the space formerly occupied by Chocolate Soup (which isn't what you think; it's a longtime children's clothing retailer).

In moves, B4-U-Eat reports that Casa Dominguez is closing...but not for good:

Casa Dominguez was told early last year they'd have to vacate the 4548 Bissonnet spot they'd held for 27 years. It's happened but the big news is they'll open in the former Tio Pepe's location at 5213 Cedar in about a week.

And yet another chef at Brasserie 19 has already quit, giving serious pause to the way that owners Grant Cooper and Charles Clark are running their new River Oaks operation. Initial executive chef Michael Gaspard left three weeks after the restaurant opened, and now his replacement -- the equally talented Antoine Ware -- has quit as well. In a now-deleted Tweet, Ware seemed to cite the same reasons as Gaspard for his departure: a perceived lack of respect for the chefs and the food from Cooper and Clark.

In better news, one of our favorite sommeliers has found a new home: Marc Borel is now heading up the wine program at the newly opened Bacchus on Dunlavy after leaving Samba Grille. If you haven't tried the new wine bar yet, here's even more incentive: It's offering a complimentary cup of Illy coffee or a piece of baklava with each bottle of wine.


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