Openings & Closings: Bye-Bye, Montrose Berryhill

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It's yet another restaurant closing in the Montrose area, and there are no plans for resurrection. On January 14, Syd Kearney at Houston Chronicle reported that Berryhill Baja Grill at 3407 Montrose has shuttered. A statement issued by a representative of Berryhill Corporation says that particular location was ran by a franchisee and the closing doesn't have anything to do with other locations held by the company. There are eight Berryhill locations in the Houston area, including Memorial City Mall, Champions Forest and the Galleria.

It was a good run, but was inevitable that it wouldn't last. Fried chicken shack The Bird House has been staying alive thanks to a temporary arrangement with Boil House. Well, crawfish season is almost back, so the fried chicken operation had to shut down. Its last hoo-rah was on January 14. Thanks to the upcoming Hugs & Donuts by the same owners, this might not be the last you see of The Bird House fried chicken. Houstonia's food blog, Gastronaut, has more details.

A reader had some sage advice after reading about Dua's closing in last week's Openings & Closings. It's too good to not share. "Flibbergibbet" wrote, "When re-concepting and remodeling, it is important to reach your market and let them know why they ought to try you. Otherwise don't waste your time and money with the changes."

With those closings aside, the rampant march of new restaurant openings goes on and some are additional locations of those that started inside the 610 Loop. Sweet Paris Crêperie and Café has added its second Houston location. It's in CityCentre at 797 Sorella. The original is at 2420 Rice. (Fun fact: Sweet Paris opened a location in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico this past December.)

Fans of Italian chef Alberto Baffoni can finally find him again. He's re-emerged at the second location of Mazcalzone at 1500 Shepherd. Baffoni has some past praise, thanks to his prior work at Simposio and Sappori. His recently worked at Mezzanotte in Cypress, but it turned out to be a short-lived gig. Mazcalzone's namesake dish is a half-calzone/half-pizza invented by the owner, former Italian Olympic boxer Andrea Magi. You can see a photo of it at the Houston Chronicle web site.

The intriguingly named Oporto Fooding House & Wine is now officially open at 125 West Gray. They've been in soft opening since the beginning of January to get the kinks out. If you're looking for a great introduction to Portuguese wine, this is the place to go. It's the second concept to evolve from the humble beginnings of the original Oporto Café, located in the strip mall at the corner of 3833 Richmond and Weslayan. After owner Richard Di Virgilio met and married Shiva Patel, the duo opened Queen Vic Pub in 2011.

Eater Houston reports that a "lounge + kitchen" concept called Henke & Pillot is in its soft-opening phase. It's located in the old ERA space at 809 Congress.

If you happen to be at Liberty Station (as we were for the Saint Arnold Bishop's Barrel 8 release on January 11), gaze across the street to where Alice's Café and Lounge used to be. A new restaurant called Big Eyed Fish now stands at 908 Henderson. Located in a big, blue, two-story house, the restaurant is serving up Southern standards like chicken pot pie, meatloaf, fried chicken and mac and cheese to which you can add additional ingredients, like sausage, bacon, truffle oil or mushrooms.

As we suspected was happening soon, Ruggles Green in The Woodlands is indeed now open. It's located at 2501 Research Forest.

There are a slew of new suburban restaurant openings from the past few weeks listed on Yelp. See if any of these are in your neighborhood.

  • Ruggles Green, 2501 Research Forest, The Woodlands
  • Akasaka Japanese Restaurant & Lounge, 6833 W Sam Houston Pkwy. S.
  • Gringo's Mexican Kitchen, 19330 I-45 N.
  • Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 12407 FM 1960 W.
  • Frenchy's Chicken, 7903 Beechnut
  • Rice & Spice Indian Restaurant, 2402 Bay Area Blvd.
  • Wing Zone, 2811 Business Center, Pearland
  • Hot Breads, 8401 Westheimer
  • El Pollo Loco 390 South Mason, Katy
  • Cabo Baja & Mexican Grill 544 Sawdust
  • 41 Degree Sake 17513 State Highway 249
  • Osaka, 3149 Hwy 6 South, Sugar Land
  • Pinkberry, 1700 Post Oak

Whew. That's it for this week. Do you know of more openings and closings that we missed here, or do you have a tip? Leave a comment here or email us at dish@houstonpress.com.

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