Openings & Closings: Fish & The Knife Finally Opens; Gigi's Closes

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The week was filled with openings and upcoming restaurant announcements, as well as one notable closing. Gigi's Asian Bistro and Dumpling Bar has closed after serving customers classic Asian dishes and dumplings for six years inside the Galleria. Houston Chronicle's Greg Morago reported that the restaurant closed on Wednesday, February 12, due to economic issues. But, Morago writes that this might not be the last time we see Gigi Huang in the Houston restaurant scene, as she told customers to "stay tuned on news of the 'Return of the Phoenix.'"

Many of you have been waiting for Pico's Mex-Mex to open on Kirby, and you won't have to wait much longer. According to Eater Houston, Pico's will open on Wednesday, February 19. Despite the fact that Pico's is directly across the street from Pappasito's, chef and owner Arnaldo Richards tells Eater that it is "completely different" than the food served at Pappasito's because Pico's doesn't serve Tex-Mex. Yes, you'll find staple Tex-Mex items such as fajitas, but for the most part it's authentic Mexican cuisine.

Stick around Kirby and visit Oui Desserts, a new French bakery serving a variety of macarons, eclairs, and fruit tarts, as well as American classics such as shortbread cookies and Red Velvet Cake. The bakery opened on Monday, February 3, and already has a following among French-dessert enthusiasts in Houston, including Houston bloggers Patty and David.

Looking for another place to grab a slice of pizza in Houston? Look no further than Luna Pizzeria. CultureMap Houston's Eric Sandler spoke with the chef and owner of the new restaurant, which occupies the previous location of Brown Bag Deli at 3435 Kirby. Luna's owner, Jeff Gale, decided to open a restaurant for diners to frequent during the evenings, which wasn't possible at Brown Bag, since it closed at 4 p.m. The menu includes pizzas made with sourdough crust provided by Angela's Oven, as well as the Barnaby's Caesar salad.

According to Houston Business Journal, Corner Bakery Cafe will open another location in Katy on Monday, February 17. This will make for the fifth location in Houston, but it won't be the final one. The local franchise owners, Adam Beasley and Steve Whiddon, are working on expanding the franchise to The Woodlands and hope to open 16 more Corner Bakery Cafes in the next five years.

But, that's not the only franchise expanding throughout Houston. We all know that Dunkin' Donuts is spreading throughout the city like wildfire, and on Thursday, February 13, Dunkin' Donuts held a grand re-opening of the doughnut shop at 814 FM 1960. This northwest Houston location has been completely remodeled, and according to a press release, it's more modern, has more seating for customers and "a more efficient drive-thru" -- no one wants to wait for their doughnuts!

Flow Juice Bar opened nextdoor to Max's Wine Dive on February 3. Flow offers juices for just about everything you can think of -- mental health, weight loss, flu-fighting, detoxing and mixtures for the body and skin. Along with a multitude of juices, Flow also serves vegan and gluten-free snacks, such as choco-coconut truffles, carrot cake bars and a kale salad.

This story continues on the next page. Last week we reported that the previous location of Red Lantern would be replaced by a Creole, Cuban and Caribbean restaurant. This week, Eater reports that this fusion restaurant's name is El Gallo Rojo, which will have its soft opening today, February 14. The restaurant, located at 917 Franklin, will hold its grand opening on March 2.

If you didn't know by now, opening a restaurant can be tricky and difficult. Fish & The Knife has proven this to us several times with delayed opening dates and speculations about construction coming to a halt after the restaurant's Facebook page disappeared. But, on Monday, February 10, Fish & The Knife held a media preview event (which was supposed to be the opening day) and according to Mai Pham, the restaurant opened for business (for real this time) on Thursday, February 13.

Mo Mong closed at the beginning of the year for renovations and has emerged with a new interior, new food offerings and a new name, Dua. The 1201 Westheimer restaurant reopened on Friday, February 7, and is currently open for dinner from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Another Prince's Hamburgers opened on the Katy Freeway; this one is located between Dairy Ashford and Kirkwood. This I-10 location will serve all the classics, including the old-fashioned hamburgers, root beer floats (with homemade root beer), soda fountain concoctions and your favorite diner food: chicken fried steak, cobbler and stuffed French toast.

Crawfish Cafe will open its second location soon. The Cajun and seafood restaurant will open this location at 811 S. Mason Road in Katy. With crawfish season right around the corner it doesn't hurt to have another place to grab some Louisiana crawfish, along with a cup of seafood gumbo and oysters.

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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