Openings & Closings: Closures & Confusion in The Heights

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The Heights just couldn't catch a break this week. City Oven, located at 2802 White Oak, took down its signage and began clearing out the restaurant on Sunday, July 20. City Oven was owned by HUSA Management, Inc., who also owns Local Pour, Baker Street Pub & Grill in Rice Village, Watson's House of Ales and Sherlock's. HUSA co-owner Edgar Carlson released this statement to the Houston Press: "After opening City Oven last September at the White Oak location, we regretfully have decided to permanently close. We would like to thank all of our customers and the Heights community for their support, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Houston community at our numerous other concepts, including the new Local Pour opening in The Woodlands later this year."

It wouldn't be a surprise if the space in the Heights is snatched up quickly by another restaurant owner, as it is in a prime location near other restaurants and bars, such as Christian's Tailgate, Onion Creek and BB's Cafe. Or, it could be turned into another concept from HUSA.

It was a very confusing day on Tuesday, July 22, when a "For Lease" sign was spotted outside Zelko Bistro's front door. The Heights Life posted this photograph and discovered that owner and chef Jamie Zelko has been in negotiations for six months with the realtor who represents the property owners. Later that Tuesday afternoon, Zelko posted this statement on Facebook,

"Hello Everyone!!!!! We are not going anywhere!!! Currently in process of renewing our lease. Thank you all so much for all of your support!!!!! Sending love to all of you! -Dalia & Jamie"

The sign has been taken down from the front yard, and Zelko Bistro continues to serve its customers. We will keep you updated with more information.

True Food Kitchen opens in Phase II of BLVD Place at 1700 Post Oak on Tuesday, July 29, serving brunch, lunch and dinner. Start the weekend morning off during brunch with a breakfast burrito filled with egg, turkey sausage, Provolone cheese, Anasazi bean and salsa, or a blueberry and olive oil muffin. Fill up on a healthy shaved turkey, provolone, tomato, onion, grape and yogurt dressing pita sandwich for lunch, or miso-glazed black cod with bok choy and Asian mushrooms for dinner. True Food Kitchen's menu is structured around dishes that uphold an anti-inflammatory diet.

Another restaurant is currently in the works to open in Phase II of BLVD Place this November. Peska is a fresh market seafood restaurant from the Mexico-based Ysita family, and this location will be the first Peska in the United States. Diego and Maite Ysita, siblings in the Ysita family, said in a statement, "Houston is our second home, and we have been waiting patiently for the ideal location to introduce Peska here. Drawing on the international diversity of this neighborhood and its appeal to both business and leisure travelers from around the world, the menu will focus on the best globally sourced seafood and cuisine that blends the cooking styles of the Mediterranean, Europe and South America."

Revelry on Richmond is a new sports bar that opened next door to the now closed Lucky Burger. Eater Houston's Darla Guillen says the bar opened on Monday, July 21, and serves frozen vodka Red Bulls along with a beer menu featuring 40 craft beers on tap, plus a food menu created by chef Michael Sanguinetti of Artisans; the food offerings include Saint Arnold's braised beef short ribs paired with mashed potatoes and tomato confit, and a pork "Badass Brat" topped with a caramelized onion jam and Dijon mustard on a pretzel bun.

Son Nam Restaurant is a new Vietnamese restaurant located at 130 Gulfgate Mall Drive. Son Nam serves a variety of pho bowls, in fact the menu features 17 different types, from pho tai gan (beef noodle soup with steak and tendon) to an over-the-top bowl of pho dac biet (steak, flank, brisket, tendon, trip and meat balls). The restaurant also serves a selection of juices (coconut, lemonade and pink lemonade) plus traditional café sua da.

D'Marcos Pizzeria, located at 11102 South Highway 6 in Sugar Land, held its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 24. For the next 30 days, the restaurant will serve special deep-dish pizzas, appetizers, pasta dishes, sandwiches and desserts featuring recipes given to owner Demarco Jenkins from the owners of his favorite Chicago pizzeria, Mama Rigetta's.

Glazed the Doughnut Cafe (1333 Old Spanish Trail) will hold its soft opening on Saturday, July 26, at 6 a.m., and as promised, it will remain open around the clock, giving residents and visitors in the Medical Center a place they can always go to relax and sit down with hot doughnuts, coffee and tea. Savor a turkey bacon or pork bacon maple doughnut, or enjoy a classic vanilla glaze doughnut. The grand opening is slated for August 29.

Pax Americana from co-chefs Adam Dorris and Plinio Sandalio, is gearing up for an end of summer opening at 4319 Montrose Boulevard. The menu will feature modern American cuisine using local ingredients found throughout the country, including the wine and spirits. Dorris tells Eater Houston that the chefs want to challenge themselves to constantly create new dishes, so guests can expect the menu to change often. Some of the offerings will feature smoked brisket, fish from the Gulf of Mexico, house-made cheeses and house-cured meats, something Dorris (formerly of Revival Market) knows a thing or two about. The exact opening date has yet to be announced, but Pax Americana should be open during the summer.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Valentino Restaurant inside Hotel Derek has been transformed into Revolve Kitchen + Bar at 2525 West South Loop. Executive chef Shannen Tune has created a menu of upscale American comfort foods, such as deviled eggs with bacon, chicken-fried short ribs and loaded waffle fries for appetizers; he has also added burgers like the Hangover Burger featuring hash browns, Cheddar cheese, brown sugar and chile bacon, plus a fried egg. The Chronicle's Alison Cook informs readers that despite the restaurant's website stating the opening date is August 14, it is currently open for customers.

The fifth Churrascos location will open in the Champions area in the fall of this year. This location marks the ninth Cordua restaurant in the greater Houston area. Churrascos will open at 7877 Willow Creek Boulevard near FM 1960 and Highway 249, and will occupy 5,100 square feet to seat nearly 200 customers inside and 50 guests outside on a covered patio.

Commenter HtownCheapEats fills us in on a few more openings from the previous week, including three food trucks. Gyro King food truck sets up shop at 2424 Old Spanish Trail in the Medical Center serving Mediterranean fare, such as falafels, lamb with rice and, of course, a variety of gyros. Quite A Stir food truck serves Asian stir fry bowls, like a surf and turf combo of beef and shrimp with noodles. The Bird Food Truck specializes in chicken wings, chicken sandwiches and wraps. The Luther Chicken Sandwich features fried chicken with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and smoked tomato jalapeno aioli between two toasted Shipley's Donuts. Yeah, you read that right.

Hick's House Cajun Cafe & Catering opened at 5400 Pinemont; customers can feast on all of the Louisiana classics, like crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, shrimp po'boys and blackened shrimp with grits.

Moderno Tacos & Tex-Mex soft opened last week at 10455 Briar Forest off of Beltway 8. The casual Tex-Mex eatery offers street tacos, enchiladas and breakfast tacos in the morning.

It seems more and more bubble tea shops are opening in the greater Houston area. I Heart Boba opened at 4935 Highway 6 North on Monday, July 21. The bubble tea shop not only offers a menu of smoothies, slushies, coffees and teas, but also sandwiches stuffed with butter, cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, jalapenos and your choice of meat or veggies.

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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