Openings & Closings: Farewell to a 50-Year-Old Classic

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It's a mixed bag, isn't it? On one hand, it's wonderful to see so many new restaurants putting Houston on the culinary map, but on the other, it's sad to see doors of reliable favorites close, one by one.

Texas Cafeteria is the latest one to say goodbye, but thankfully, it's all by the owners' choice. As we reported first on Wednesday, February 4, the Koumonduros' have decided to sell after 50 years in the business. Pauline Koumonduros says, "We've been open for 50 years. We've owned it for 25 and I'm just tired."

It will be missed, even by the other restaurateurs in the area. Josh Martinez of The Chicken Shack wrote on Facebook, "So sad. I ate there last week. Fried shrimp platter for the win one last time. Bummed."

Fort Bend Brewing Company, at 13370 South Gessner Road in Missouri City, has shuttered as well due to lack of a sufficient level of sales to sustain the business, leading Eric Sandler at Culturemap Houston to hypothesize that it lacked support from the craft beer enthusiast community. Some of its better-known beers were Texas Thunderstout and Texas Farmhouse Ale.

However, a new local brewery is about to join the marketplace. We noticed an item in the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact News that 11 Below Brewing is opening at 6820 Bourgeois. The owners plan to brew, package and distribute beer from the facility and offer tours to the public on Saturdays. It should be open in a matter of weeks.

Community Impact News also reported that a second location of burger haven The Shack is coming soon. It's taking over the old P.O. Burgers space at 12710 Telge. The Shack's over-the-top burgers are regularly cited as some of the best in the area. Owner Joe Duong was originally noted for his burgers at Rockwell Tavern before moving on to opening the original The Shack location in 2011.

The deal is still in the works, but there's a good possibility that Arturo's Upscale Italiano at 1180 Uptown Park Boulevard may close and relocate. A Facebook post by My Table magazine noted that possibility. Eric Sandler at Culturemap pieced together that information with job ads posted by Lasco Enterprises (Max's Wine Dive, The Tasting Room) for a new, upscale, Tex-Mex venture. While nothing is finalized, negotiations are definitely proceeding. Arturo's says the decision has nothing to do with the level of business and they are not in trouble.

Updated 4:30 p.m., 2/5/2015: After deadline, we received a press release from Lasco Enterprises confirming that the deal is complete and they are indeed taking over the Arturo's space. The new restaurant will be called Añejo. More details will be available in next week's Openings & Closings.

Jakeisha Wilmore at Eater Houston says that Krispy Kreme's return to Houston has been delayed thanks to the permitting process. The chain's first store opening is now expected to happen in April or May.

Eater Houston also reports that there are two new locations of chicken wing specialty restaurant Pluckers on the way. One will be near Memorial City Mall at 10407 Katy Freeway in the former 59 Diner location and the other will be at 3367 East Sam Houston Parkway South.

Yelp's new restaurant listings reveal the following are now open and waiting for your business:

  • BB's Cafe, 406 W Grand Pkwy S., Katy
  • Mo's Irish Pub, 138 Vintage Park
  • Berryhill Baja Grill, 1201 W 43rd
  • Pura Coffee, 7925 Katy Fwy
  • Cousins Maine Lobster, 4790 Calhoun
  • Saldivia's South American Grill, 10850 Westheimer

That's it for Openings & Closings this week. What did we miss? Send your info to dish@houstonpress.com or leave it in the comments below.

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