As we slowly move out of the winter doldrums, restaurant news is getting much more exciting -- and coming at us much more quickly.
On Tuesday, two big announcements got the food community all atwitter: The Burger Guys announced they'd be opening a second location downtown on February 1. And Uchi Houston announced that their long-awaited opening would take place the very next day on February 2.
Molina's has also finally opened another location, one which the popular Tex-Mex chain has been hard at work on, at 3801 Bellaire Boulevard. And as seen above, former president and first lady George and Barbara Bush stopped by the new Molina's to pay their respects to the new Bellaire location of Houston's oldest Tex-Mex chain earlier this week.
Food-blogger-on-the-street Misha noticed this sign up at a former carwash on Westheimer and Yorktown, indicating that the Galleria-area spot will soon be the recipient of its very own gastropub. The West End, according to its website, will be open in March 2012.
Meanwhile, Barcadia closed unexpectedly over the weekend after opening a little over a year ago. Employees were initially told that the closure was temporary, and that the bar/vintage arcade would be expanding. An anonymous tipster sent along this email about what allegedly took place:
Was just told from one of the staff that worked saturday that they were to be closed sunday & monday for expansion. That person went by on monday to find it gutted. Apparently they bounced on the landlord. there is a lawsuit now. I doubt the employees will get paid now. The staff at barcadia had no idea they were closing.
Although Barcadia's website still lists its Houston location, all signs point to the Dallas-based company having given up on our market. A call placed to Barcadia's Dallas location confirmed that the Houston location is closed permanently. And this may be why: Its owners just inked a deal to open a "fine dining" comfort food restaurant in Dallas called Acme F&B along with the owners of Good 2 Go Taco. Let us know how that partnership works out, ladies who own Good 2 Go Taco.
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Over at CultureMap, Sarah Rufca reports that Georgia's Farm to Market is busy putting up the sign at its soon-to-be-open downtown location. And at Eater, Amber Ambrose has a report on the newly opened "Ruggles" Bistro -- scare quotes theirs -- that's enhanced by the hilarious addition of some clearly biased comments down below.
In closings, B4-U-Eat reports the loss of several notable eateries: Cahill's on Durham, which had been open yet quiet for years; Fat Mike's at the Market, a charming (but, apparently, not charming enough) farmer's market-cum-restaurant in Spring; Maggie Rita's Mexican, downtown Galveston's enormous Tex-Mex restaurant bankrolled by comedian Carlos Mencia; and Trios Downunder, one of the few "Australian" restaurants in town. G'day, mate, indeed.