In one of the most surprising, yet epic, ways for a restaurant to close, Flora & Muse informed its customers it would no longer be open for business ... and did so during a Greek Wine Dinner.
On Monday, October 28, general manager Evan Turner told guests at the dinner that the restaurant would be shutting its doors forever after the evening's service. The Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook reports that the sudden closure came as a shock to everyone in the crowd and that the restaurant wanted to go out with a bang, so this dinner was its "last hurrah."
B4-U-Eat's newsletter also informed us that Triola's Italian American Grill on FM 1960 closed this week. No news as to why the eatery (which opened only in February of 2013) shut its doors -- their phone has been disconnected, though.
That's it for closings; let's get to the happy news of what opened this week.
Last week we announced that Little Dipper would open at the end of October, and the bar concept from those behind Poison Girl, Black Hole Coffee House and Antidote Coffee officially opened on Tuesday, October 29. Eater reports that the bar opened with a Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m., during which wells were $2.50 and wines were $4. The owners also bought the first 50 Lone Stars for 50 lucky guests. The establishment focuses on bourbon, and like the owners' other establishments, Little Dipper will serve a variety of libations.
Eater's Darla Guillen announced on Monday, October 28, that Dean's Credit Clothing would reopen on Halloween. Guillen reports that Chris Morris, who has experience at The Pass & Provisions and Morton's: The Steakhouse, will be the bar's beverage man -- he will choose the cocktail selections and beer list.
A few new sports bars have recently opened or will open soon outside the loop. We reported a few weeks ago that MasterChef Season 4 contestant James Nelson consulted with the owners and chefs at Revolver in the Willowbrook area. The sub-bourban social restaurant held a soft opening on Friday, October 25, according to Eater. The Locker Room also opened in Sugar Land. Eater explains that this sports bar will serve Canadian beers and food. Hockey fans now have a place to follow the puck - The Locker Room hosts NHL game-watch parties. They also show college football and NFL games.
Scott Gertner looks to be making a comeback after both of his establishments closed just months apart. Prospect Park will take over the recently closed Scott Gertner's Sports Bar, as reported by CultureMap's Eric Sandler. Maybe Gertner will have better luck this time. Update: Gertner is not involved in this project. The owners of the Sugar Hill Lounge have taken over the location that formerly housed Scott Gertner's Sports Bar.
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt opens on Saturday, November 2, at 11 a.m. The grand-opening celebrations at both locations (Westheimer and W. Gray) last until 2 p.m. Remember that ten people from each location will be chosen during the events and awarded free frozen yogurt for a whole year. You read that right - a whole year of free frozen yogurt. It's a dream come true ... for me at least.
Commenter Chic_Chick_Eats states in last week's report that Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt opened another location in Pearland on Saturday, October 26, and that the winner from Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," Cupcake Cowgirls, opened a second location, on College Park Drive in The Woodlands on Monday, October 28. The cupcakery's other location is in Spring. Both stores are now serving a daily rotating lineup of cupcakes, including special fall flavors: apple pie and pumpkin spice.
The Crawfish Pot & Oyster Bar opened in the Hong Kong Food Market shopping center, as noted by Chic_Chick_Eats. The restaurant will focus on Cajun-seasoned seafood and will serve fresh oysters from the Gulf -- just in time for oyster season!
The Union Kitchen will open in Kingwood on Tuesday, November 5. B4-U-Eat's weekly newsletter says that a $12 ticket for the grand opening will get you wine and hors d'oeuvres. You must purchase the tickets in advance if you want to enjoy the grand opening celebration, which begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.; no tickets will be sold at the door. The other two Union Kitchen locations will also serve half-price appetizers throughout the day to celebrate the opening.
Unfortunately, Tiger Den will not be officially open until November 12, as reported by Eater. The Chinatown ramen shop opened last week and Mai Pham filled us in on her first meal there. While we were all excited to have a ramen shop and izakaya restaurant in Houston, we will have to wait a little bit longer until it reopens.
El Big Bad is close to opening - Mai Pham takes a sneak peek at what the Tex-Mex restaurant will offer. "We're talking fresh and fruity pink-colored Herradura tequila margaritas made with blueberry, jalapeño and cilantro; peanut flips that tasted like spiked liquid Nutter Butters; gorgeously concocted Acapulco Slims of pineapple-infused Herradura Reposado with fresh pineapple, lime juice and sparkling wine; and even a French press Amaya Roasting coffee served with a "churro" shot of cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla-infused Herradura Anejo," Pham writes. "The drinks, developed by the El Gran Malo team, were all expertly crafted, right down to the glass or vessel that was chosen for each one." El Big Bad needs to hurry it up because we can't wait for them to open. However, patience is a virtue, my friends.
Max's Wine Dive is expanding to a few more cities over the next few years (Atlanta, Chicago and Denver), but they are also opening another location in Houston. The new local Max's is setting up shop on Fairview, next to Cuchara, according to Eater, and is expected to open its doors in January.
Thanks to a Swamplot reader's attentiveness, we now know that the building next to the Washington Avenue Fire Station will be a bar and market establishment, Lucky's Urban Eats. Swamplot published a photo of the building's exterior and its TABC notice hanging in a window. The restaurant's website says it will open in the spring of 2014.
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.
Head to the next page for a listing of the restaurants that opened and closed in October.
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Allo French Rotisserie, 126 Vintage Park Blvd, 832-843-7422 Big & Juicy Juice Bar, 3115 Allen Pkwy, 832-291-0977 Brick House Tavern + Tap, 17111 Tomball Pkwy, 832-912-1094 Chocolat Du Monde, 2428 Times Blvd, 713-520-5600 Cupcake Cowgirls, 3091 College Park Dr, The Woodlands, 281-251-0840 Dean's Credit Clothing, 316 Main St, 713-227-3326 Fat Bao, 3355 S Hwy 6, Ste A, Sugar Land, 281-313-1069 Izakaya-Wa, 12665 Memorial Dr, 713-461-0155 Liberty Kitchen Bar & Oysterette, 4224 San Felipe, 713-622-1010 Little Dipper, 304 Main St. Lulu Blues: A Creperie, 8121 Castleford St. Maggie Rita's, 600 Travis St., 713-229-8596 Magnum Food Park, 2924 Magnum Rd, 281-687-2351 Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, 1944 W. Gray, Ste A, 713-853-9695 Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, 5000 Westheimer, Ste 608, 713-853-9594 Muscle Maker Grill, 6415 San Felipe, 713-627-0915 My Food Park HTX, 800 Hwy 6 S, 713-373-9521 Revolver, 17776 State Hwy 249, 832-604-7281 Salata, 185 Heights Blvd, 713-865-3515 The Crawfish Pot & Oyster Bar, 9820 Gulf Fwy Ste B-7, 228-238-8540 The Hidden Cellar, 16518 House Hahl Rd, Cypress, 713-401-8539 Tiger Den, 915 Oakgrove Dr, 281-480-2222 Trenza, 2800 Kirby Drive, 713-526-1414 Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, 1635 Broadway Ste 111, 832-569-4712 Yashoda Chat Express, 11248 Wilcrest Dr.
El Corral Mexican Restaurant, 22432 Tomball Pkwy Flora & Muse, 12860 Queensbury Ln #143 Lucky Village, 1111 Dairy Ashford St. Sonic Drive-In, 7001 Harrisburg Swirll Frozen Yogurt, 1944 W. Gray, Ste A; 5000 Westheimer, Ste 608 Triola's Italian American Grill, 8790 FM 1960 Bypass Rd W, Ste 100A Yummy Yummy for my Tummy, 6965 Barker Cypress Rd Zushi, 5900 Memorial Drive