Openings & Closings: El Gran Malo Announces Move & Killen's BBQ Finally Opens

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The popular tequila bar and gastrocantina El Gran Malo held its final day of food service on Sunday, February 23, after its National Margarita Day celebration on Saturday. However, according to Houstonia's food blog, Gastronaut, El Gran Malo is not gone for good. It's just moving. Kevin Naderi of Roost has purchased the El Gran Malo building and plans to open another restaurant there. A Facebook event was created for the moving of El Gran Malo and reads: "We are currently searching for a new home so remember, 'this is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning,'" We'll just have to wait and see what the future holds for El Gran Malo and for Naderi's new restaurant.

Another "closing, but looking for a new place" announcement was made this week, this one by The Usual. Amy Chien of CultureMap reports that the lesbian pub and bar has closed after unsuccessful attempts to remodel. The owners are currently seeking another location in which to reopen.

Thanks to a comment from last week's openings and closings report, we know that Denis' Seafood House has closed, but only for construction, as stated on the home page of the restaurant's website.

If you haven't heard, Killen's Barbecue in Pearland is FINALLY open. After months of getting to taste chef Ronnie Killen's beef ribs and brisket only during his Saturday pop-ups outside the restaurant under construction, customers can now sit down inside the Pearland destination. Mai Pham broke the news that Killen's Barbecue would officially open on Saturday, February 22. She reminisced about the previous weekend's pop-up, where she enjoyed tender, juicy brisket and crispy, crusted beef ribs. Word to the wise: get to Pearland early -- service starts at 11 a.m. -- because once the last piece of barbecue is served, there won't be anymore until the next day.

Eater reports that Lei Low Bar was schedule to open today, Friday, February 28. You'll feel as if you're in the tropics at this Tiki bar, where everyone will get to sip on rum cocktails in coconut cups. Lei Low Bar is brought to you by Elizabeth and Russell Thoede of Down House and Ryan Rouse and Brad Moore of Goro & Gun, Grand Prize Bar and Big Star Bar. They tell Eater that they would like to bring the "Tiki culture" to Houston as it is being revived in places like New York and California.

You won't be able to get a burrito at Mission Burrito anymore. But, before you freak out, Mission Burrito is not closing. It just has to change its name. CultureMap's Eric Sandler reports that it's due to a trademark infringement debate between Gruma Corp.'s line of Mexican food products and Mexican Restaurants, Inc., owner of Mission Burrito. An announcement will be made soon about the restaurant's new name.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill opened in the West Oaks Mall on Friday, February 21. According to a press release, the restaurant is a full 27,500 square feet in size and includes not only a restaurant and a bar, but also a stage for live music performances and a dance floor. The menu consists of typical Southern grill items like chicken fried steak, platters of potato skins, nachos, quesadillas and wings, as well as a multitude of burgers, sandwiches and steaks.

Taco Milagro's giant sign may still be up on the building, but the smaller sign listing the restaurants and businesses in the shopping center now reads "Local Foods." Taco Milagro, which closed last summer, is currently being transformed into a new Local Foods from Benjy Levit, owner of both benjy's locations and the original Local Foods. The newest location, at 2555 Kirby Drive, is set to open soon, and Eater has photos of the interior of the restaurant revealing its transformation.

Salata has opened its second location in Memorial City. The new restaurant is located in the CityCentre shopping center at 840 W. Sam Houston Pkwy in Suite 101.

Chick-fil-A will open on El Dorado Boulevard in Webster on March 6, and just as with every Chick-fil-A grand opening, customers are invited to set up camp outside the restaurant in hopes of being one of the first 100 customers. Those fortunate few will be awarded 52 Chick-fil-A meal tickets, good for a year's worth of food! (If more than 100 customers are lined up outside a drawing to determine the 100 winners will be held). Everyone is invited to wait outside Webster's new Chick-fil-A 24 hours before the 6 a.m. grand opening on March 6.

Head to the next page for a complete list of February's openings and closings... February Openings:

Corner Bakery Cafe, 9311 Katy Freeway, 713-973-2037 Crawfish Cafe, 811 S. Mason Road, Katy, 281-575-1746 Dua, 1201 Westheimer, 713-524-5664 Dunkin' Donuts, 814 FM 1960, 281-444-7858 Fish & The Knife, 7801 Westheimer Rd., 713-677-0220 Flow Juice Bar, 214 Fairview, Ste. 2, 713-528-9206 Grace's, 3111 Kirby Dr., 713-728-6410 Killen's BBQ, 3613 E Broadway, Pearland, 281-485-2272 Kuu, 947 Gessner Rd., 713-461-1688 Lei Low Bar, 6142 N Main, 713-380-2968 Luna Pizzeria, 3435 Kirby, 832-767-6338 Nothing Bundt Cakes, 11041 Shadow Creek Pkwy, Ste. 131, Pearland, 713-340-2220 Oui Desserts, 3411 Kirby, 713-487-9788 Prince's Hamburgers, 9535 Katy Frwy, 713-722-8822 Ranch Bakery, 13802 Fleur De Lis, Cypress, 281-469-3485 Salata, 840 W. Sam Houston Pkwy, Ste. 101, 832-538-0170 The Modular, food truck Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, 1000 West Oaks Mall, Ste. 429, 281-404-2387

February Closings:

1252 Tapas Bar, 1101 Uptown Park Blvd. Denis' Seafood House, 9777 Katy Frwy El Gran Malo, 2307 Ella Gigi's Asian Bistro and Dumpling Bar, 5085 Westheimer Mary Lee Donuts, 6150 Gulf Frwy Thai Sticks, 4319 Montrose The Usual, 5519 Allen

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