Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: The Stayin' Alive Edition [UPDATED]

Local Group Brewing has added four more beers to try.
Local Group Brewing has added four more beers to try. Photo by Carla Gomez

Every week, we list Houston's newest restaurants opening and the occasional shutter in the Openings and Closings. For now, we are focused on keeping Houston's existing restaurants open. There are a number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs that have suspended operations temporarily because of the coronavirus. When noted, please remember that these closings are just for the duration of restrictions. Many restaurants, however, have switched to take-out, curbside and delivery service to keep afloat during the shutdown.

As for this writer, I am seriously jonesing for a frozen margarita and some restaurant chips and salsa. While it may be a while before we can visit our favorite places to chill out and have a cocktail, Governor Abbott's recent lifting of restrictions on alcohol sales is allowing restaurants to sell wine, beer, liquor and cocktail mixes for pick-up along with food. Some are even offering delivery. Just remember, the food purchase is required by law. Don't get huffy with the businesses themselves.

Here's a list to get you started. As we mentioned last week, there is a multitude of restaurants and bars in Houston that need our patronage and we cannot even begin to make a dent in them. You know your favorite places so check them out and see what they have to offer. Call ahead for hours and details. Also, you can save yourself and the businesses delivery fees by picking up your order at the restaurant, pub or brewery.

Brighten up your taste buds with Ambriza's street corn.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

Ambriza Social Mexican Kitchen
9945 Barker Cypress
10115 Louetta

This locally owned Mexican restaurant has garnered awards such as The People's Choice Award at the Houston Press Menu of Menus 2018. During the current conditions, it is offering a smaller menu of favorites such as Pastor Tacos ($14), Empanadas ($10) and Short Ribs ($22). The street corn ($5) is a popular snack, too. It is also offering margaritas to-go.

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Right now, every morning is a Bloody Mary morning.
Photo by Paula Murphy

Backstreet Cafe
1103 S. Shepherd

Hugo Ortega's restaurant is offering its menu for curbside pick up but also special cocktail kits that patrons can take away to enjoy in the safety of their own homes. For Bloody Mary enthusiasts, Backstreet's Bloody Mary Kits ($35) offer a Grey Goose vodka and its housemade Mary mix.  For something a little lighter, the Mimosa Kits ($15) include a bottle of bubbles and a choice of either orange juice or wild berry mix.

Be More Pacific will return soon.
Photo by Rochelle Abante

Be More Pacific
506 Yale

This Filipino restaurant, out of Austin, opened its first Houston location at the beginning of March 2020. Due to the coronavirus crisis and restrictions, the company has decided to close both its Houston Heights and Austin locations until further notice. It is temporary so you can go try out this new hot spot (and its karaoke) when restrictions are lifted and life gets back to normal.

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Chef Drake Leonards is offering seriously fresh crawfish at Eunice.
Photo by Duc Hoang
3737 Buffalo Speedway

Chef Drake Leonards has a crawfish farm in Eunice, Louisiana, his hometown, and we lucky Houstonians get to enjoy the benefuts. While his restaurant Eunice is closed for dine-in , customers can take advantage of the Chef's Crawdaddy Catch menu for pick up. Starting today, the crawfish package is available for an amazing price of $25 for five pounds of crawdads, two ears of corn and four potatoes. Of course, a cold beer is the perfect beverage for pinching and sucking and Eunice can fix you up with a sixer of Lone Star for $6 or domestic beer for $7. Craft beer is $8 or get a mixed bag for $10.

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Eat your daily requirements in one salad.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Flower Child
1101 Uptown Park
1900 Lake Woodlands

If you are craving some fresh vegetables, grains and proteins in your confinement, Sam Fox's Flower Child is offering curbside pick up and contact-free delivery.  And the bonus is that online food orders receive a 35 percent discount when using the promo code FLOWER35.  For now, the service is available daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Being healthy deserves a little treat and Flower Child is offering 50 percent off select beers and wines as well. Through March 31, the company has free delivery through DoorDash on orders over fifteen dollars.

The Heights location was set to debut this month but has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jean-Philippe Guy, owner of French Country Wines, takes a break amid the craziness.
Photo by Genevieve Guy

French Country Wines

2433 Bartlett

This locally-owned wine shop is now offering free delivery to addresses within the 610 Loop between noon and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The minimum order has been dropped from 12 bottles to six. However, we may be quarantined for a while, so you might want to treat yourself to a full case of French wines. You deserve it.

Due to interest, the wine shop is also offering delivery service outside the Loop for $12. Orders can be made and paid online. Give the order code goodjuice15 to take advantage of a 15 percent discount.

Goode Co. BBQ
8911 Katy Freeway
5109 Kirby
Goode Co. Kitchen and Cantina
9005 Katy Freeway
Goode Co. Taqueria
4902 Kirby

The family of Goode Co. restaurants are offering liquor, beer and wine to-go with food orders. It has created a Damn Goode Margarita Kit which include its mix and fresh juice. It also has tips and recipes to mix it up. It's $40 with tequila on the side or $15 without tequila if you have your own stash at home.

Goode Co. Taqueria is also offering a crawfish drive-thru special March 27 and March 28 from noon till sell-out. For $20, you can feast on 2 1/2 pounds of mudbugs with corn and potatoes.

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Good Dog has a small market for pick-up supplies.
Photo by Broderick Hildebrandt

Good Dog Houston
1312 W. Alabama
903 Studewood

This casual hot dog eatery is offering a Family Hot Dog Pack for $30. It includes a one pound pack of its Texas-made hot dogs, 1 pack of Slow Dough buns, 3 condiments, four ounces of house butter and a gallon of Cruiser Tea or four beers. Guests can choose veggie or tofu dogs as well.

Good Dog has also set up a mini-bodega with items like singly-wrapped toilet paper rolls for 99 cents, a small selection of fresh produce and prepared items such as its curried chicken salad and house-made pickles.

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Get your red wine and vitamin C with Hugo's Sangria.
Photo by Paula Murphy
1600 Westheimer

Another Ortega restaurant has created several drink kits to keep Houstonians going through this crisis. The Hugorita Kit includes 375 ml. El Jimador Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, housemade orange-agave nectar cordial and Gran Gala orange liqueur. It's $44 and serves eight. The Mezcal Margarita Kit ($28) has a sealed 250 ml. bottle of Silencio Mezcal, also with fresh lime juice and orange-agave cordial liqueur. Hugo's says the fresh lime juice has a shelf life of four days. The Sangria kit includes a bottle of robust red wine, aged Mexican brandy and fresh fruit juice. Again, the fresh juice has a shelf life of four days so plan accordingly.

There is online ordering and delivery service through UberEast, GrubHub, Favor and Postmates. If you live withing a two mile radius, the restaurant can delivery directly through its employees.

Hugo's is serving breakfast tacos daily from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and lunch and dinner orders from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are a couple of kids meal choices on the online menu plus Family Meals like the carnitas or the Falda de Res ($25) which consists of one pound of slow-cooked brisket, mole Guerrerense and a dozen tortillas. There are also desserts and large sides available.

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Duck Confit Poutine is a thing at Local Group Brewing.
Photo by Carla Gomez

Local Group Brewing
1504 Chapman

This recently opened brewery and gastropub is offering its full menu for pickup including its eight beers on tap. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, customers can order online or by phone for pick up at the "Hey, Neighbor" window. All of the tips received will be distributed equally among its hourly employees.

It recently introduced four new beers to its line up so you can order the 16 ounce crowlers and try the new brews for yourself. Trust us when we say the food here is way above your average brewery grub thanks to executive chef Jeff Samoska, formerly of The Post Oak Hotel.  Though you cannot dine at the restaurant, you can order to go and enjoy a picnic at the park across the street with an amazing view. Just keep your distance from other folks.

Monkey's Tail
5802 Fulton

Monkey's Tail has increased its to go menu with items like the Family Wing Box which is 24 wings with dipping sauces, chopped veggies and two orders of French fries for $34. It also has DIY cocktail kits for purchase like the Margarita with Milagro Tequila, Moscow Mules with Deep Eddy vodka and Old Fashioned with Makers Mark. Each kit serves six and is $25.

Monkey's Tail is also running a donation program called On My Tab. Companies and individuals can put meals on their tabs to help those in need in the hospitality world. For each $6 donated, the restaurant can produce and package one meal, usually burgers and fries, for the restaurant to distribute for pick up at the restaurant to those who need it.

For more information on how you can help, contact the restaurant at

Niko Niko's
301 Milam
2520 Montrose
1040 W. Sam Houston Parkway N.

One of Houston's favorite Greek family-owned restaurants, Niko Niko's is offering curbside pick-up at its three locations (more like parkside at the Market Square kiosk) and delivery through DoorDash, Postmates and Favor. Call or order online. In addition to its regular menu, there is a Hunker Down menu which offers larger quantities such as half pans of pastichio or moussaka for $72 and appetizers like dolamathes and spanakopita for $12 for a half dozen. There are soups by the quart ($13.90) and customers can order a fresh loaf of tsoureki bread ahead of time for $6.

2048 Colquitt

Nobie's is offering pick-up service for items like its "Don't Worry, Brie Happy" starter for $14 and bigger plates such as Nonno's Pasta for $19. Wines are 20 percent off during this time but all wine orders must include a food purchase.

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What the world needs now is wings, more wings.
Photo by Melissa Skorpil

Pluckers Wing Bar
20821 Gulf Freeway
10407 Katy Freeway
25310 Northwest Freeway
1400 N. Shepherd
12469 Southwest Freeway

If you're craving wings and other snacky foods, Pluckers can hook you up with online ordering, delivery and pick up. Along with its food, it is now able to offer select beers, White Claw and Truly plus a few of its signature cocktails by the gallon. The vodka Pluckers Lemonade is $60 a gallon as is the Psychedelic Frog, a gallon of four liquors and three mixers. For fancier folks, the Patron Margarita is $80 per gallon.

Pluckers Club Specials are not available for delivery or take-out but those who belong to the Pluckers Club or Pluckers Club Lite get double points for take-out and delivery orders during the current crisis. Pluckers has also launched a Live Stream Trivia game on Facebook Live every Wednesday night while the dining rooms are closed. Check out its Facebook page for details about participating.

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Postino Wine Bar has wine packs to-go.
Photo by Becca Wright

Postino Heights
642 Yale

Along with its menu for curbside pick up and free delivery through UberEats, the Heights location of Postino is offering special wine packs to go. Single bottles are $15 while a two-pack is $30 and a four-pack is $55. It's going to be a while; get the four-pack.

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DIY cocktail kits are the current way to enjoy cocktail hour from the Rainbow Lodge.
Photo by Paula Murphy
Rainbow Lodge
2011 Ella

The Rainbow Lodge is always a special place to dine, but for now, it is offering a curbside take-away service daily. It is usually closed on Monday but for now, it will be open seven days a week. Monday through Friday, orders can be placed from10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for pick up from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For Saturday and Sunday, order and pick up is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Patrons should pull through the valet entrance and food will be brought to your vehicle along with a complimentary $20 food gift card for your next dine-in visit. A ten percent service fee will be added to each order.

Rainbow Lodge also has cocktail kits to-go from $35 to $40 and a select number of wines are 50 percent off.

Pick up some of La Lucha's fried chicken to get you through these days.
Photo by Jessica Matos

Superica and La Lucha
1801 N. Shepherd

Along with its famous fried chicken and tasty Tex-Mex, customers can order The O.G. Margarita  by the pint or quart for delivery. It's a classic margarita on the rocks made with El Jimador Reposado tequila, Stirrings Triple Sec and fresh lime. The pint ($31.50) serves five and a quart ($63) serves seven. I am not sure how they figured out the serving size on those, so you do the math at home.
 All of Ford Fry's Rocket Farms restaurants will be closed temporarily for the health and safety of its customers until further notice. They hope to reopen by April 13.

The Toasted Coconut
1617 Richmond

Martin and Sara Stayer's tiki-inspired hang-out is offering a limited take-out menu of snacks such as its Mop Tots ($9) and Sichuan Eggplant ($7) or more substantial items like Grandma Hot Chicken ($17). Of course, there are drink packs as well like the Quiote Michelada Pack ($30) and the If You Like Pina Coladas for Two ($10). To add a little ambiance to your at-home experience, order a two-pack of The Toasted Coconut custom glasses for $10.

Update: The Toasted Coconut will have its last take-out service Sunday, March 29 and will close until further notice, according to its Facebook page. Please support them this weekend, if you can.

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The Toasted Yolk has Bloody Marys to get toasted at home.
Photo by Fulton Davenport-PWL Studio

The Toasted Yolk
Locations around Houston, Conroe, The Woodlands and Sugar Land

Customers can order the full menu for take-out and delivery through UberEats along with Bloody Marys and Mimosas to-go.

Co-founders Chris Milton and Mathew DeMott are giving each employee up to four meals a day to take home for themselves and their families. So far, the small company has been able to retain all of its salaried staff and 90 percent of its hourly employees.

Walk On's Sports Bistreaux
21930 Kuykendahl

This sports bar and restaurant is offering its menu for curbside pick up with 20 percent off to-geaux (sic) orders.There's also free delivery through WAITR with purchases over $30 if you use the promo code Walkons.
Along with its Louisiana-style fare, there are bottles of wine available for $12 to $19, 20 ounce sodas ($2), Build-Your-Own six packs of beer ($9) or single serve beers and wine for $3. The Family-style Meals are $35 after the 20 percent discount is applied.

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Stay strong, Houston.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.