Openings & Closings: A Bennigan's Bites the Dust...Again

This week welcomes pizza, pasta and a whole lot of comfort food. But as we welcome these new establishments, we say good-bye to a couple of others.

A little birdie told us that on either Monday or Tuesday of this week a "For Lease" sign appeared at Chopping Block Gourmet Burgers on Washington Avenue. We can confirm that Chopping Block's location is definitely for lease, after seeing nearly four signs hanging on and around the building. While no formal closing announcements have been made, it's likely that the less-than-a-year-old restaurant is no more.

In "shocking" news, Bennigan's on Westheimer has closed and according to B4-U-Eat a 59 Diner will take its place. This makes one wonder what will happen to the second revived Bennigan's location in Shenandoah?

Spike TV's "Bar Rescue" lent a helping hand to The End Zone Sports Bar & Grill on Westheimer this past week. The bar has been renamed Houston Sports Hub and is completely renovated.

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Another restaurant rescue show, Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible," renovated Gratifi Kitchen + Bar this past week. Gratifi reopened on Thursday, January 23, after two days of renovations from Robert Irvine and his crew.

While crawfish season isn't here just yet, LA Crawfish opened its second location on Wednesday, January 15, in the previous home of Kobecue on Richmond. Eater's Darla Guillen explains that this location is much larger than the original spot, inside the food court at Spring Branch's 99 Ranch Market. We can only imagine how packed it will be once crawfish season begins.

If you love the food doled out by Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera of Revival Market, then you're going to love their new casual Italian restaurant, Coltivare, which just opened in The Heights on White Oak. Christina Uticone took a first look at the new establishment, which opened on Wednesday, January 22. She explains that Coltivare offers a comfortable and relaxing dining experience accompanied with simple and approachable dishes -- not to mention that it's affordable. You'll find a variety of pasta and pizza selections at this restaurant -- and BYOB is encouraged. Out of all the dishes, Uticone's favorite was the Cacio e Pepe and the sweetbreads.

Houston fans of the Luigi's Ristorante Italiano in Galveston, rejoice! The Italian restaurant has moved into the city, at 3030 Audley Street, and will open on Saturday, January 25, according to the Houston Chronicle.

On Tuesday, January 28, Max's Wine Dive will debut its second Houston location, in the Montrose neighborhood on Fairview. The newest Max's Wine Dive will open next-door to Cuchara, according to Syd Kearney of the Chronicle. Now there are two places to get the RVP, Southern Fried Chicken and Max 'n Cheese in Houston.

Back in September, a fire broke out inside the kitchen of MF Sushi. Since then, our Best New Restaurant of 2013 has been closed and under renovations. According to the Atlanta Business Journal, the owners, Chris and Alex Kinjo, have plans to open an MF Sushi in Atlanta by 2015. Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook asked the brothers what their plans for the Houston MF Sushi reopening were and what their plans were for Atlanta. They assured Cook that they "will be staying mainly in Houston," and that construction on the restaurant has been delayed, so they are shooting for a February opening. Fingers crossed for these two brothers; we want MF Sushi back.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section and we will be sure to include them in next week's report.

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