Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Dirk's Coffee Ceases to Brew After 15 Years in Business

It's always sad to see a long-standing restaurant shutter, but, after 15 years, Dirk's Coffee, formerly Diedrich Coffee, has decided to close its doors. The coffee shop on Montrose Boulevard closed on Tuesday, April 8, according to Eater. Back in 2012, Katharine Shilcutt ranked the Mayan Mocha at Dirk's Coffee as the no. 6 best iced coffee drink in Houston, and in 2011 it was awarded the no. 10 spot on the list of top 10 coffee houses in Houston. On the day of closing, an employee of the coffee shop told Eater that Dirk's was shutting its doors, but didn't provide any additional information. The idea of the coffee shop reopening at a different location is still up in the air.

In case you missed the breaking news last week, House of Pies on Kirby FINALLY reopened after a fire forced its closure in November 2013. Go get your late-night pie, everyone, because House of Pies on Kirby is finally back in business.

The Austin-based fast-food restaurant chain VERTS will open on Saturday, April 12, at 107 Yale Street. VERTS specializes in döner kebap, which Eater Houston describes as "a panino packed with roasted meat, veggies and yogurt-based sauces," and you get all of that in fewer than 550 calories. This is the first VERTS to open in Houston; more VERTS locations will open in River Oaks, Cypress, Spring, Vintage Park and on Westheimer later this spring and in the summer.

Though a few Washington Avenue bars have closed recently, that hasn't stopped Alba Huerta from opening her bar, Julep, at 1919 Washington Avenue, the space previously occupied by The Corkscrew. According to Eater, Huerta is the former general manager of Anvil and partner in The Pastry War, and her bar will serve drinks from the American South. Julep is planning a May opening. CultureMap's Eric Sandler reports that Adam Garcia, former chef at Revival Market and The Pass & Provisions, has been hired at Julep.

You can now get your doughnuts from a food truck. Doughmaker Doughnuts serves gourmet creations like baked blueberry cake doughnuts with lemon zest, honey orange blossom doughnuts with a pistachio crumble, and caramel doughnuts with toasted coconut.

Town & Country Boulevard will get a new South American restaurant, Sal y Pimienta South American Kitchen, which means "salt and pepper" in Spanish. According to a press release, owner Gianfranco Percovich was part of the Cordúa Restaurant Group for several years, and opened Tango & Malbec in the Galleria area. He will open Sal y Pimienta in May. The restaurant will offer a variety of South American dishes, as well as a selection of top South American wines.

As he announced at the Houston Press Menu of Menus Extravaganza during the Iron Fork Chef Competition (which he won for the third straight time), Naderi is opening a new restaurant, Lillo & Ella, in the space previously occupied by El Gran Malo, 2307 Ella Boulevard. According to The Leader, this new restaurant won't be similar to Roost, and it is scheduled to open by May 1.

The second TopGolf in Houston opened on Tuesday, April 8, and it's not just a place to go hit golf balls off of three levels. The Houston Chronicle reports that guests can feast on a variety of bar-food items (with a contemporary twist), such as pickled fried chicken and a Thanksgiving Burger, complete with bacon-wrapped sage, cranberry stuffing, pear relish and Brussels sprouts slaw. The new location opened at 560 Spring Park Center Boulevard off of I-45.

These two restaurants are already open, but they are adding new dining services. Triniti will begin a Saturday brunch on April 12. The Chronicle writes that Triniti's pastry chef, Samantha Mendoza, will end her Saturday morning bakery pop-ups, but will include her baked goods on the brunch menu; the bakery products will also be available to-go.

Coltivare opened in January, but the new restaurant from Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber of Revival Market is now open for weekend lunch from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The lunch menu, according to Eater, consists of items like brunch-friendly pizzas and the Coltivare Burger. The lunch menu also includes cocktails.

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.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn