Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: CorkScrew BBQ Is Getting a New Pit

Before you freak out, CorkScrew BBQ is not closing for good, just for a few weeks to install a new pit. The Spring barbecue spot made the announcement via Facebook on July 8: "We will be closing August 3rd to start rebuilding the pit room, adding a awning, removing the old pit by crane, putting in the new pit by crane, seasoning it, seasoning it and seasoning it." It's going to be a lot of work, so CorkScrew BBQ will reopen on August 26 at 11 a.m. with a brand-spanking-new pit.

Florida-based Pollo Tropical opens its first Houston location today at 11400 Broadway in Pearland. The grand-opening begins at 10:30 a.m. for the public, featuring games, contests and prizes. Enjoy fried yuca or sweet plantains with a guava BBQ pork sandwich or a TropiChop bowl composed of your choice of meat, vegetables, rice, toppings and sauce.

Say hello to another ramen spot coming to the Durham Shopping Center. Swamplot reports that Samurai Noodle (originally from Seattle) will open at 1801 Durham soon. This will be the first Samurai Noodle location outside of Seattle.

In more coming soon news, the Houston Chronicle announced on July 8 that Checkers burger chain is returning to Houston; the first location is expected to open in December of this year or January of 2015. The specific location has not been revealed, but Jennifer Durham, vice president of franchise development for Tampa, Fla.-based Checkers & Rally's Restaurants says the five locations planned for Houston will all be in and around the 610 Loop in southwest Houston.

Impress your friends and family with the beautiful artistic chocolates from Cacao & Cardamom's storefront at 5000 Westheimer. Kaitlin Steinberg spoke with owner and chocolatier Annie Rupani about her storefront; Rupani launched her business 18 months ago; she used her parents' kitchen and other kitchens around town to create masterfully designed chocolates featuring exotic flavors, such as guava tamarind and cardamom rose. Her sweets not only look gorgeous, but each are approximately 45 calories (some fewer!).

Some may believe that the 706 Main Street location is cursed for restaurants as four establishments have come and gone in the past seven years, including Burger Guys, which closed nearly a year ago. But, Swamplot posted a picture of a coming soon banner outside the building for Bombay Indian Grill. Interestingly enough, as noted by a few commenters on the Swamplot post, Bombay Indian Grill is opening just a few blocks down the street from Bombay Pizza Co.

Houstonia's Katharine Shilcutt broke the news that The El Cantina Superior, located at 602 Studewood, opened for dinner service on Friday, July 4. Currently the Tex-Mex spot in the Heights is in a soft opening stage as it only opens for dinner service. Patrons can begin with queso con carne, then fill up on plates of tacos filled with tempura-fried Mezcal rock shrimp or guajillo-rubbed pork with grilled pineapple and onion cilantro. Sip on a watermelon margarita or an ancho chile old fashioned with your meal, too.

Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, located at 3201 Louisiana, is also in a soft opening phase. Chef and owner Mark Holley, former executive chef of the closed Pesce, combines flavors from New Orleans, the Texas Gulf, the Carolinas and the Atlantic Coast.

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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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn