Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Coffee Shops Galore, Goodbye Chili & More

Two weeks into the month of September and only a few restaurants have shut their doors, but lots of places have opened. Let's get the bad news over with first.

As reported on Swamplot and The Food Chronicles from The Houston Chronicle (anyone else notice the name change?), Landry's Seafood House on Westheimer will serve its final meal on Sunday, September 15. The reason? They lost their lease. The building's landlord said it was sold to an apartment builder. The restaurant has been in the same location for the past 20 years. According to franchise spokespeople, that location, as well as other buildings on the same 4.5-acre site, will be demolished. Landry's is looking for another space, and employees of the soon-to-be closed restaurant will be relocated to other Landry's concepts.

B4-U-Eat mentions that a few restaurants have closed over the week. CHA Champagne & Wine Bar on Waugh closed and B4-U-Eat reported that a an Irish pub will soon occupy that space. Golden Sea Restaurant Seafood in Kemah also closed, but B4-U-Eat reports that the related retail/wholesale operation called Golden Seafood remains open.

The Chili Shak on Fondren also appears to be closed. While there is nothing on the Facebook page or the restaurant's web page to indicate its operating status, the restaurant's phone number is no longer in service.

It seems that Nosh Bistro is temporarily closed for renovations and, possibly, menu alterations. As noted by the Chronicle, the restaurant's windows are covered with brown paper and a note has been placed on the door stating that the restaurant will soon announce new hours. It also urges patrons to have patience, because the owners "are bringing about the exciting new session." More news to come on Nosh Bistro.

That's it for closings; let's get to the exciting news.

Fielding's Wood Grille, located in The Woodlands, officially opened on Thursday, September 12. The restaurant will serve wood-grilled and rotisserie foods, along with "innovative" milkshakes and "progressive" salads. There's no menu online, but from the vague descriptions one can't help but be intrigued about what a "progressive" salad actually is.

Morton's Grille, also in The Woodlands, officially opened this week. Check out what Kaitlin Steinberg had to say about her first experience in the Morton's spin-off restaurant. Hint: steak is still on the menu, and it is quite good.

Mai Pham also checked out the newest Amazon Grill on Kirby Drive. This family-friendly counter-service concept offers an affordable menu filled with "Cordua Signature Entrees" such as a chimichurri grilled steak with spicy black bean sauce and pico de gallo. Mai notes that it is $14.95. The concept also features a few new items, such as the guacumami, which is a different take on guacamole made with roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, Parmesan and toasted pepitas.

Coffee shops seem to be popping up all over the place lately. Rice Village will have two more by the middle of September. CultureMap's Eric Sandler visited the most recent opening, Mercantile, and explains that customers can not only get a cup of Joe, but can also purchase groceries from local producers. Mercantile will sell beer and wine once it receives its license.

Sometime between September 16 and 18, Fellini Cafe, a "true" Italian coffee shop, will open in Rice Village. Co-owners Paolo Fronza and Salvatore Albelice told Eater's Darla Guillen that they decided to open because they "missed the atmosphere of an Italian coffee shop." They said Rice Village was the perfect location, "because it's the only area in Houston where people actually walk." The coffee bar will offer an aperitivo menu from 4 to 8 p.m., which will include a complimentary rosticceria (small bites) with every glass of wine or beer. Fellini Cafe will serve other items including pastries, paninis and salads.

Keep an eye out for another coffee and wine bar in Rice Village; according to one of our commenters in last week's report, Cheap Eats In Houston, Rosinka should be opening in a few months.

Cork Cafe Wine & Beer opened last week in Cypress, as noted by commenter BrandyGraesser, who happens to be the executive chef there. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, and will serve dinner on Saturdays. The wine bar carries more than 40 wines by the glass and 150 by the bottle.

Last week, Coppa Osteria opened for a media dinner, but on Wednesday, September 11, the laid-back yet fancy Italian restaurant welcomed the public.

Thanks to Cheap Eats In Houston's comments on last week's report, we have information about a few new restaurants. Lagniappe Seafood Sports Lounge opened on Highway 6 South on Friday, September 6. According to our commenter, the sports bar is open until 1 or 2 a.m. most nights of the week and offers a multitude of fried seafood dishes, as well as daily lunch specials.

In comfort food news, Jus' Mac opened its third location, in Montrose, after a soft opening on September 5. The Westheimer location is now officially open, serving a variety of macaroni and cheese dishes.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section so we can include them in next week's report.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn