Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: El Tiempo Cantina Opens Sixth Location

In quick turn-around time, El Gallo Rojo, which opened just a few months ago downtown at 917 Franklin, has closed. But, a new restaurant is taking its place. Macondo Latin Bistro, previously located at 208 Travis, closed on Sunday, August 3, and revealed on Facebook that it will be reopening somewhere else; that new spot could be at 917 Franklin. According to a tipster for Swamplot, "It looks like Macondo will be opening in that space, although I have no idea if they are keeping the name."

El Tiempo Cantina will open its sixth location at 2605 Gessner on Monday, August 25. The same fajitas and margaritas will be served at this location, as well as the weekend breakfast and brunch items, such as the popular crepe-style pecan pancakes.

Bruce Molzan left Corner Table in June, but has opened Ruggles Black with co-owner Neera Patidar, in which Patidar describes as Indian/Asian cuisine meets French American. Ruggles Black has opened in the former spot of Nosh Bistro, Patidar's former restaurant. The Houston Chronicle shared information about the menu, which includes chicken tandoori pizza, fried oysters with caviar, Asian chicken wings, lamb tacos and curried ribs; it is definitely a diverse menu.

Sylvia Casares opens her third restaurant, Sylvia's, on Sunday, August 17; the new establishment, located at 1140 Eldridge Parkway in the Houston Energy Corridor, features more than just Sylvia's enchiladas, hence the reason why the "Enchilada Kitchen" portion of the restaurant's name has been dropped. Sylvia's will serve pork chops, quail, sea bass and fajitas. But don't worry, you can still feast on her famous enchiladas.

In fast-food news, Panda Express opened the first location in Lake Jackson on Friday, August 8. The fast-casual Chinese restaurant is located at 102 East Highway 332.

Chick-fil-A recently opened two new locations, one in The Woodlands and the other in Cypress. The first opened at 3425 College Park Drive in The Woodlands on August 7, and the second opened at 28644 Highway 290 in Cypress's Fairfield Towne Center on Wednesday, August 14. Customers camped outside both locations the night before the grand openings in hopes of being the first 100 customers to receive a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals.

Cinnabon does not serve the healthiest of treats, but the chain is opening a cinnamon roll store in the Willowbrook Mall this September that will offer smaller versions of the indulgent desserts. Bon Bake Shop, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, will serve "smaller rolls with frostings such as Smores, Maple Bacon, Wild Berries & Cream, or a yellow Birthday Cake icing with sprinkles on top." Sure, the toppings sound high in calories, but the miniature versions come in at just 90 calories each. Looks like you've got your new 100-calorie snack. Bon Bake Shop will also offer Whoopie Pies along with savory cheese rolls and twists.

If you're in the Baybrook Shopping Center, you might want to check out the newest Luby's/Fuddruckers restaurant combo. The new side-by-side concept opened on Thursday, August 14, at 20001 Gulf Freeway. With two restaurants next door to each other, your family has even more options.

After Solea closed several months ago, the 12126 Westheimer location will reopen as Mascalzone, a London-based restaurant from former Italian Olympic boxer Andrea Magi. This location of Mascalzone opens on Monday, August 18, and will be the first in the United States, and it will not serve British cuisine, but rather Italian pizzas, pastas and other plated meals. The namesake dish, the Mascalzone, features a half-pizza and half-calzone - you might want to consider sharing. There are future plans to open a second location at 1500 Shepherd in October.

GAGE Lounge in Midtown held its soft opening Wednesday, August 13, and Thursday, August 14. GAGE, located at 2600 Travis in Suite 104, is described as "an upscale mid-century modern bar and lounge." A business casual dress code is mandatory. The name stands for Grape, Agave, Grain and Earth, which describes what the bar offers: Wines (grape), spirits (agave and grain), and savory dishes (earth). The menu is split into these four categories. Sip on a Blue Night in Moscow, a Moscow Mule featuring blueberries, or a traditional Greyhound Cocktail dubbed the "Twist and Shout," while snacking on a Texas Brisket Panini, a selection of cheeses and crostinis from the seasonal cheese platter, or a plate of smoked salmon.

Sprouts Farmers Market will open the fifth Houston store on Wednesday, August 20, at 20708 Kuykendahl in Spring. Sprouts is known for serving a variety of healthy grocery store items, from fresh produce to vitamins and supplements. During the grand opening at 7 a.m., those in line will be offered muffin and coffee samples, and the first 200 shoppers will receive 20 percent off of their purchase that day. Each customer will also receive a free reusable grocery shopping bag with their purchase on the opening day.

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