Openings & Closings: A Pair of Fire Closures, Refuge in The Woodlands & More

The week began with a couple of fires; one forced a renowned sushi restaurant to close its doors, and the other took a brand-new creperie food truck off the road. Let's start with the badnews before taking a look at all of the new restaurants that opened this week.

On Sunday, September 29, around 1 a.m., a fire broke out inside MF Sushi, causing the popular spot to close. Chef and owner Chris Kinjo told CultureMap that he was in shock, but confirmed that no one was injured in the fire. The Houston Fire Department told Kinjo that they believe a soup warmer was the cause of the fire. MF Sushi will reopen, but Kinjo says he doesn't know when that will happen.

That wasn't the only closure caused by fire this week. Food truck Lulu Blues: A Creperie was put out of business after the truck's engine caught on fire during its first official day of service on Saturday, September 28. CultureMap's Eric Sandler reports that Laura Duffey and her husband realized the truck's engine was smoking and immediately pulled over to the shoulder of I610. Duffey says flames consumed the truck shortly thereafter. The engine was reportedly brand new, and the cause of the fire is unknown. The couple are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar officially closed this past weekend. After selling its frozen yogurt for half the original price during its final week of service, the Midtown yogurt bar has shut its doors. We will just have to wait to see what Lola's next plans will be.

Now let's take a look at which restaurants opened their doors this week and which ones you can expect to begin service in the coming weeks. The list is large.

The Dosa Factory, an Indian creperie, opened at 5959 Richmond this week. Eater reports that the restaurant serves traditional Indian dishes, American meals and the namesake dosas, which are fermented crepes made from black lentils and rice batter.

The Refuge Bar and Bistro opened along The Woodlands Waterway on Wednesday, October 2. The new Woodlands bar serves hand-crafted cocktails, micro-brewed beers, wine and a variety of flatbreads, sliders, charcuterie and other shareable appetizers, such as curry-spiced mix nuts, blue crab cakes, and blue cheese and smoked-chicken artichoke dip.

Both Fellini Caffè and Cloud 10 Creamery have finished their soft openings and are open for regular business hours. Fellini Caffè held its grand opening on Monday, September 30; the café serves espresso, cocktails and small dishes -- it also has a custom bar imported from Italy to enhance the authentic Italian lifestyle the owners want to showcase.

Cloud 10 Creamery opened for regular business hours on Wednesday, October 2; the Rice Village creamery has finally unveiled the complete menu of frozen treats and ice cream flavors. Even though it is technically the fall season, we know it won't be cold anytime soon, so a scoop (or two) of ice cream is perfectly acceptable.

In coming-soon news, the Hughes Hangar team announced that they are working on a new concept, The de Gaulle. The new restaurant will pay homage to the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. CultureMap reports that The de Gaulle will be next-door to Hughes Hangar and will make guests feel as though they've stepped into a Parisian restaurant from yesteryear. It will be a café and bistro during the day, and a bar at night; the owners are hoping for a Halloween grand opening with a VIP soft opening the week before.

MAM'S House of Ice Snoballs is going brick-and-mortar. The snoball stand announced on Facebook that they have signed a lease and will begin construction on the new storefront as soon as possible. The new Heights location should open in about four to six weeks. Expect new winter menu items, and longer hours, too. MAM's House of Ice Snoballs will be open year-round.

Swamplot reports that Big Eyed Fish will join the bar and club scene of Washington Avenue soon. The restaurant posted pictures on Facebook this past weekend showing the amount of construction that is going on at the location. The upscale Southern restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, as well as brunch on Sundays.

D'Amico's Italian Market Café opened on Tuesday, October 1, in Katy. Work on the new location had been going on for months.

Thanks to fellow commenter Chic_Chick-Eats in last week's report, we know that the original China-based Chuan's Chinese Restaurant opened a couple of weeks ago. This is the first U.S. location for the restaurant. American Deli on Bissonnet and Pho LN Sushi Bar & Grill, located off of the Katy Freeway, joined the Houston restaurant scene last week as well.

In ramen news, Carl Rosa of the Sushi Club of Houston and the only ramen group in Houston, Ramen in Common, gave us insight into the first ramen-only restaurant in Houston, Ramen Jin. The restaurant is located at 18111 Westheimer, and according to owner Brian Chen will serve five ramens: tonkotsu, shoyu, shio, curry-flavor and vegetarian. Chen tells CultureMap that he will not treat ramen merely as a side dish, as other area restaurants do; ramen will be the main focus, and he will make stock for it every day.

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.

Head to the next page to see the openings and closings from the entire month of September...

Openings: Conroe Coffee, 206 N. Main St., Conroe, 932-266-7632 Coppa Osteria, 5210 Morningside Dr., 713-522-3535 Cork Cafe Wine & Beer, 12810 Telge Road, Cypress, 281-746-3005 Chuan's Chinese Restaurant, 5901 Westheimer Rd., 713-953-9999 Cloud 10 Creamery, 5216 Morningside Dr., 713-434-6129 D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe, 2643 Commercial Center Blvd., Katy, 713-468-1787 Fellini Caffè, 5211 Kelvin Dr., 281-888-6654 Fielding's Wood Grill, 1699 Research Forest Dr., Suite 130, The Woodlands, 832-616-3275 Jollibee Chicken & Burgers, 8001 S. Main St., 650-296-9398 Jus' Mac, 106 Westheimer Rd., 713-622-8646 Lagniappe Seafood Sports Lounge, 2395 Highway 6 S, Mercantile, 5407 Morningside Dr., 832-740-4494 Morton's Grille, 25 Waterway Ave., The Woodlands, 281-362-2860 Noodles & Company, 1555 Lake Woodlands Dr., 281-298-5642 Osteria Mazzantini, 2200 Post Oak Blvd., 713-993-9898 Pho LN Sushi Bar & Grill, 8408 Katy Freeway, 713-973-2003 Ramen Jin, 11181 Westheimer Rd., COMING SOON SnowBlock Shavery, 2518 Rice Blvd., 713-528-2063 The Dosa Factory, 5959 Richmond Ave., 713-781-3672 The Refuge Bar and Bistro, 24 Waterway Ave., The Woodlands, 713-389-5674 Torchy's Tacos, 350 W. 19th St., 713-595-8229 Voodoo Queen, 322 Milby, 713-223-0545 Worhals Midtown, 2016 Main St., 832-804-6110

Closings: Candelari's Pizzeria, 14545 Memorial Dr. CHA Champagne & Wine Bar, 810 Waugh Hollister Grill, 5555 Washington Ave. Landry's Seafood House, 8816 Westheimer Rd. Lulu Blues: A Creperie, 8121 Castleford St. MF Sushi, temporarily closed, 5887 Westheimer Rd. Nosh Bistro, temporarily closed, 3983 Kirby Dr. Pesca World Seafood, 2015 W. Gray St. Scott Gertner's Sports Bar Live, 3100 Fountainview Skeeter's Mesquite Grill, 700 Town & Country Blvd. Solea, 1500 Shepherd Dr. Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar, 304 Gray Tasti D-Lite, 3974 Westheimer Rd. The Burger Guys, 706 Main St. The Chili Shak, 9600 Fondren Rd.

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