Openings & Closings: Green Grocers Come to Katy and Hooters Enhances Its Seats

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Congratulations, Katy -- your grocers have officially gone green.

Two new grocery stores are opening this week in Houston's far west suburbs, starting with the Whole Foods Market that's opening this coming Wednesday, January 30. The newest Whole Foods will feature 34,000 square feet of organic goods at its location on 6601 South Fry Road. The Katy community is invited to a "bread breaking" at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday as the store opens is doors for the first time. Look for more on the new store (including a slideshow) from Eating...Our Words blogger Joshua Justice on Monday.

Coming in March is the first Houston-area location of fellow feel-goody grocer Sprouts Farmers Market, which is busy building a 25,000 square foot store at 23105 Cinco Ranch Boulevard. It's the 24th store for Sprouts in Texas, with three more planned for Houston and one planned for Spring. Like Whole Foods, Sprouts offers a wide selection of organic foods, supports local non-profits and will employ 100 people at its new location.

What sets Sprouts Farmers Market apart, however, is that the Arizona-based chain is known for offering a more low-cost alternative to what many people term "Whole Paycheck." Sprouts also claims to design its stores with the "feel of an old-fashioned farmers market, featuring prominently displayed mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables, barrels of wholesome grains, nuts and sweets, full-service deli, meat and seafood counters -- complete with beef and sausages ground in-store." Personally, however, I always thought Sprouts looked like a cross between Trader Joe's and Whole Foods -- not that I'm complaining.

Heading south, Houston will be getting another "first" when Bone Daddy's House of Smoke opens this Monday, January 28 at Baybrook Shopping Center in Webster. And although it's a chain, at least Bone Daddy's has Texan roots: Mike Leatherwood opened the first Bone Daddy's in Dallas in 2000 and has since opened four additional locations in Arlington, Grapevine, Plano and Austin.

It also appears to be --- from what I can tell -- the barbecue version of Hooters or Twin Peaks (whichever floats your boat), "known for its mouthwatering barbeque, ice cold beer and, of course, the gorgeous and friendly wait staff," according to a press release. (Emphasis mine.) This makes the whole "Bone Daddy" moniker just slightly unsettling...

Not to worry, Bone Daddy's assures us in a curiously lengthy segment of the press release: "The leaders at Bone Daddy's have created an environment that encourages personal growth and provides opportunities for all members of the team. They are committed to a culture of integrity and mutual respect. Members of the team enjoy freedoms they don't have at other restaurants. Bone Daddy's enjoys one of the lowest employee turnover rates in the industry by listening to and meeting the needs of its employees." Okay, then.

Bone Daddy's Webster will be open for dinner for a limited time from 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, with plans to open for lunch within the next few weeks.

Speaking of Hooters, the restaurant responsible for proving that neon orange can be used in applications other than traffic cones is ready to prove itself once again: The wings chain is unveiling a "brand-new contemporary restaurant design" at the Hooters on Kirby and Highway 59. This remodeling will eventually be deployed at the 435 Hooters restaurants worldwide. It includes, according to a press release, "many large, high-definition televisions,...a more centrally located and prominently placed bar and...new booth seating and high-back chairs at all tables with an enhanced seat size and added padding."

Intrepid reporter Joshua Justice will have a full report on the brand-new Hooters later today. If he wasn't swallowed up by the "enhanced" seats, that is.

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