Restaurant News

Openings & Closings

Another quiet week around the city, as even B4-U-Eat had only two restaurant closures to report and not a single, solitary opening aside from the long-awaited grand re-opening of Mai's on April 9. Have you been back yet?

The two closures reported by B4-U-Eat were Pete & Shorty's Kitchen & Tap (17790 Katy Freeway) and SouthStreet Dining (24914 Kuykendahl, Tomball).

But the relatively quiet week doesn't mean there isn't a surfeit of interest around restaurants with openings on the horizon, however. Especially when those restaurants involve hot dogs and tacos.

Over at 29-95, former Houston Press writer Paul Galvani reports that James Coney Island is in the process of opening its own food truck, joining other big-name Houston restaurants such as Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen and Hubcap Grill in entering the fast-growing food truck market. The truck will sell -- what else? -- hot dogs and will be a whopping 24 feet long. But that's not the best part. Come up with a name for the new food truck and you could win old-school JCI Combos (two chili cheese Coneys, fries and a drink) every week for a year.

Amber Ambrose writing for Houston Entree has an interview with celebrity chef Paul Petersen, who'll soon be opening a second location of Vivo, a "sexy" Tex-Mex restaurant that's already immensely popular in its hometown of Austin. Ambrose raises the pertinent question, however, that with a Tex-Mex scene that's stronger than it's been in years, does Houston really need an Austin import?

Finally, news of Greatfull Taco's now trademark quirkiness has spread far and wide. CultureMap's Sarah Rufca reports on some of the more eccentric items that owner Paul West has planned for his Torchy's Tacos-inspired restaurant on Shepherd: "When it opens on April 17, Greatfull Taco will also boast a premium sound system on the patio (West often seems as excited about the restaurant's music as the menu), a Skype phone in the bathroom vestibule and an eVgo electric car charging station, perhaps the first in the city."

If you want to be among the first to get the Greatfull Taco experience, West is selling tickets to his grand opening/Earth Day Festival that will take place this Sunday, April 17. Tickets are $10 and include live music from songstress Brandi Carlile and Seattle band Fences. The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased through Warehouse Live.

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Katharine Shilcutt