Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Farmers Market Returns, Taco Takeover & More

It was a slow week for openings and closings. Let's take a quick look at which restaurants closed before we dive into the openings.

Hollister on Washington suddenly closed after being open for a brief six months. Owner Chuck Pritchett says the BYOB concept wasn't enough to attract new customers for the restaurant to compete with neighbors including El Tiempo and Coppa. CultureMap's Eric Sandler reports that the original Spring Branch location is still open.

CultureMap reported this week that La Fendee Mediterranean Grill on Westheimer announced it will soon be closing. And before La Fendee even has time to shut its doors for good, Jeff Roeske of Tacos A Go-Go already has plans to open a third Tacos A Go-Go location where the Mediterranean eatery currently resides. We aren't sure when the switcheroo will take place, but with all of the changes happening on Lower Westheimer, as noted by Eater, it will be interesting to see how Tacos A Go-Go does in its newest location.

Speaking of switcheroos, Executive Chef Philippe Schmit has left his namesake restaurant after just two years at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge. Thanks to a statement from the restaurant's general manager, Dallas Easterly, we know that Chef de Cuisine Manuel Pucha will take over as executive chef. He has worked with Schmit for 15 years, as reported by CultureMap's Eric Sandler. Now the question is, when will the restaurant's name be changed?

Eater reports that Aaron Webster, owner of the Highland Village Tasti D-Lite, has decided to close the frozen yogurt shop and open a completely new concept, Drexel House, in October. Webster will serve pizza, soups, salads, wines and dessert at Drexel House.

That's it for this week's closings and disappointing news. Here are the openings.

We reported last week that Fielding's Wood Grill opened in The Woodlands; B4-U-Eat says in its weekly newsletter that starting on Monday, September 23, the restaurant will serve breakfast. The breakfast menu hasn't been released yet, but from the current all-American offerings of burgers, fries, shakes, salads and chili, we can't help but think lots of bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes and hash browns will be on that menu.

City Hall Farmers Market is finally back after being closed during the summer. Now that the fall season is just around the corner, it's time to stock up on in-season produce and prepared goods from a variety of vendors. This year's market will be open every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and eight new vendors are ready for your business.

It's always interesting when ice cream parlors open at the end of the summer, but ice cream is good any time of the year, especially in Houston. B4-U-Eat's newsletter states that SnowBlock Shavery opened in Rice Village this week. SnowBlock offers a variety of cool desserts, like shaved ice, ribbon ice cream, snow ice and regular ice cream. Even though we are transitioning into fall, it still feels like summer.

B4-U-Eat also reports that Conroe Coffee opened in downtown Conroe (what would give you that idea?) on Wednesday, September 18. It's a typical coffee shop that serves all the classics and a few specialty items with catchy and cute names, including the Polar Bear (Ghirardelli chocolate, frosted peppermint syrup, espresso, steamed milk and crushed peppermint) or the Milky Way (espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup, caramel, whipped cream and chocolate shavings). Conroe Coffee also serves bagels, cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants and seasonal desserts.

We thought Worhals Midtown would open on September 5, but, alas, they did not. The bar did open on Thursday, September 19 at 5 p.m. Eater reports that Worhals Midtown will be open for regular hours beginning on Monday, September 23.

In brick-and-mortar news, Brooks' Place BBQ posted on Facebook last week that the barbecue trailer is opening a permanent location at 17045 FM 529, just a mile down the road from the trailer's current location. Judging from the reactions and comments of the trailer's Facebook followers, it's safe to say that everyone is excited about the expansion into a permanent location. Construction should begin soon, and Trent Brooks has high hopes for being open in a couple of months, as reported by Eric Sandler. Thankfully, the trailer isn't going anywhere; it will be used as the pit behind the brick-and-mortar.

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