Openings & Closings: Goodbye, Goldfish and Hello, Caballo

As our own Josh Justice hinted at in last week's round-up of jinxed restaurant locations, there is indeed a steakhouse moving into the old La Strada spot on Westheimer.

According to a press release that went out this week, La Casa del Caballo -- the second location of "the most internationally popular steak restaurant in Saltillo, Mexico" -- is opening in January or February 2013. It plans to offer both steakhouse and Mexican fare, with everything from "fire-seared beef" to enchiladas on the menu. The location at 302 Westheimer has already shown that it can't support Italian (Cafe Bello) or Tex-Mex (Don Julio), so perhaps a hybrid of two of Houston's most popular cuisines can finally make this spot succeed.

And filed under "O" for Obvious this week were two closings in Upper Kirby that could be seen coming a mile away: The struggling Maggie Rita's at the corner of Richmond and Kirby closed its doors, having taken over Ninfa's this past summer.

And although owner Lonnie Schiller has claimed to Eater Houston that Alto -- the sister restaurant to the also-closed Ava, which shut in June -- is only temporarily closed, a sign in the window indicates otherwise. Despite a cracking location in the popular West Ave development, neither Ava nor Alto ever quite found the audience that neighboring restaurants such as Pondicheri have. A Del Frisco's Grille is currently being built inside the old Ava space.

Wondering what ever happened to homebrewer Daniel Naumko's plans to open The Sybarite Pig in Houston? Wonder no longer; Naumko has moved back to Florida, where our sister paper the Broward-Palm Beach New Times is reporting that the Sybarite Pig is opening this week in Boca Raton.

"Naumko had intended to turn his cooking prowess into an entrepreneurial career in Houston," writes New Times' Tricia Woolfenden, "but the high cost of doing business there kept stalling the project."

Fans of Delaware-based Capriotti's Sandwich Shop will be happy to know that they'll soon be able to get the 30-year-old sandwich chain's offerings -- including The Bobbie -- here in Houston. Capriotti's currently has 83 locations nationwide, including two in Dallas, and expects to open its first Houston-area restaurant by April, in Fort Bend County.

Elsewhere, B4-U-Eat reports that H-Town Bar & Grill on Washington Avenue has closed, as has Goldfish Garden Chinese -- a restaurant for which we don't even have a Voice Places page for and which I'd never heard of until this week, but which I'm sad I never got to visit. Was there really a garden of goldfish there? I"ll never know.

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