The Owl Bar at 3200 Kirby will close after the weekend of July 26. The Upper Kirby bar won't be gone for long though; there are plans to reopen The Owl Bar at 2221 West Alabama sometime during the fall of this year. For three days (July 24-26), The Owl Bar will have a "closeout" weekend to get rid of all the booze.
In a surprising (or not so surprising, depending on your outlook) turn of events, Susie Jimenez announced on Friday, July 11, that her Upper Kirby restaurant, Trenza, would close the following day after dinner service. The Houston Press profiled Jimenez in a chef chat that same week where she gave no hint or indication that she would be shutting down her restaurant. In fact, she proclaimed plans of sticking around for a while and not giving up, despite rumors of Trenza failing financially.
But, that same day, July 11, Fluff Bake Bar owner and pastry chef Rebecca Masson announced her plans to open a storefront in Midtown. Masson received $53,000 from Houstonians through her Kickstarter campaign in December 2013; she will use these funds to open her brick-and-mortar bakery at 304 Gray, where Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar used to reside. In addition to her insanely-good Fluffernutters, cookies and cupcakes, Masson will also serve fancier dessert plates like a grade "A" maple syrup crème brulee topped with lardons and walnuts. Fluff Bake Bar might also feature savory cheese and charcuterie plates with beer and wine. Masson hopes to open her bakery in the fall of this year.
The Springbok has been open for a few weeks, but only serving drinks; as of July 21, lunch and dinner will be available. The menu includes South African dishes, such as oxtail with red curry, glazed carrots and Yorkshire pudding; lamb sausage with a farm egg, harissa butter and fries; and Bunny Chow, a lamb curry tossed with mango chutney in a bread bowl.
Lucky Burger closed just a few weeks ago, but Swamplot noticed a new restaurant might be moving in, and it might be serving banh mi sandwiches. A new Twitter account for "Oui BanhMi," a concept associated with Les Givral's Kahve, lists its location at 1601 Richmond, which was the previous address of Lucky Burger. The teaser Twitter account describes itself as "Banh Mi - Drive Thru - Coming Soon..." We'll just have to wait and see if this Twitter account is real.
Rita's Italian Ice opened in Sugar Land at 1226 Museum Square Drive. The Italian Ice and frozen custard chain will hold its grand opening on August 15, but before the big event, you can grab a cup of Italian Ice and gelati, or swirl frozen custard onto a waffle cone during normal business hours. For the entire month of July, buy two quarts of Italian Ice between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and get one for free. This story continues on the next page.