Two of our favorite late-night destinations have been split apart from one another, thanks to the sale of the strip center at Westheimer and Locke Lee Lane: Genji and Friends Pizzeria. Genji moved a few weeks back to a new location at 11124 Westheimer (near Wilcrest) and is still the destination for Japanese karaoke and omelets covered in ketchup.
Friends Pizzeria, reports B4-U-Eat, is moving to 2825 South Kirkwood (between Richmond and Westheimer) and is changing its name. The newly christened Copacabana Pizzeria will still serve owner Ronaldo Gomes's excellent Brazilian burgers and pizzas, but will now have a full bar and table service.
In other news, lots of new chain locations are descending upon the city...
Zoe's Kitchen is opening its 70th location across 12 states in Houston. The new River Oaks spot at 3838 Westheimer will open its doors on November 1.
Grimaldi's Pizzeria is continuing its expansion into Texas and will open its third Houston location in La Centerra at Cinco Ranch. The coal-fired pizza place will feature 3,600 square feet of indoor dining and patio space.
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And finally, Smashburger will celebrate the opening of its 13th Houston location (and the third inside the Loop) when the new Heights location at 174 Yale Street opens this Monday, October 22.
And in closings, sad news from Alvin, where Coastal Crossing Grill has already shut its doors after replacing the Barbed Rose Steakhouse in July. We never got to try those Creole grilled oysters, and for that we are bummed. At least Gordon Street Tavern -- from the same Alvin restaurant group -- remains open.