Openings & Closings: Hello to Hops Meet Barley, Farewell to Champps

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Hops Meet Barley,
2245 West Alabama, officially opened its doors on August 29 at the site of the old Mission Burrito. According to a press release, one of the partners, Steve Long of Reserve 101, is excited about bringing a bar where people can "kick back with their dog on the patio and watch a game in the Upper Kirby neighborhood." More than 150 beers are on the menu, with 40 taps on the wall and a rotating menu of new and seasonal brews. The grand opening party is scheduled for Saturday, September 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Regular hours of operation are seven days a week for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

On the heels of a recent Houston Press report about Logan's Roadhouse filing for bankruptcy and the imminent closure of 18 locations, we learn that another restaurant chain bit the dust. Eric Sandler of CultureMap Houston reported that Dallas-based restaurant group, Last Call Guarantor LLC, permanently closed Champps, 1121 Uptown Park, and Fox & Hound, 12802 Gulf Freeway in south Houston.  The company originally did not have plans to close any restaurants; however, a report that was published in the Dallas Business Journal on August 30 announced that the company is indeed shutting down a total of 25 locations.  Jonathan Maze of Nation's Restaurant News reported that going into the bankruptcy, Fox and Hound had 48 locations; Bailey’s, also owned by Last Call, had nine; and Champps had 23. He added that a company spokeswoman confirmed that Last Call now operates 37 Fox & Hound locations, four Bailey’s and 14 Champps. 

The New York City darlings of gyros are opening a second location of The Halal Guys in Vintage Marketplace. An Instagram post late last night said that the new location will be at 10111 Louetta Road in northwest Houston. The Halal Guys urged followers to stay connected to its social media for more information about the grand opening.

A reader sent a tip that a new concept from The Cooking Girl in Montrose is set to open in a few weeks. Pepper Twins , will serve Chinese food and will be opening where Nam Noodles & More was at 1915 West Gray, Suite A, in River Oaks.  It's not clear when Nam closed its doors. Calls to the restaurant were not answered, but the Yelp business page is marked "closed" by Yelpers.

Eureka Heights, a new brewery, is coming to 941 West 18th in the Heights. Eric Sandler of CultureMap Houston attended a Saturday taproom session and wrote a first-glance article about the not-yet-opened brewery. The Press followed up with Casey Motes, one of the six brewpub owners, who told us that their tap room is now open two days a week, every week, with food trucks usually there. Hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. A party is planned for October 15. Samples of Eureka Heights' beer also can be enjoyed in Galveston this coming weekend at the Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival.

Swamplot reports that the Willowbrook location of the former 59 Diner is destined to become a new Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet. There's a sign hung on the shuttered building at 17695 Tomball Parkway across from Highway 249 that reads "Coming Soon." The Press spoke to the general manager, Mike Khader, who says the new Dimassi's will be ready to open its doors in three to four weeks.

Just a week after popular Sunday funday spot Royal Oak closed its doors, the Rosemont, 910 Westheimer, is back on the brunch scene (after a July closure) with a brand-new entrance that allows patrons to climb the staircase directly up to the posh, redesigned rooftop bar and lounge area.  In a conversation with Eric Sandler of CultureMap Houston, new owner Carson Hager shared his vision for the Rosemont as being "a more elegant, grown-up destination that’s a fit for both a happy hour or a Sunday funday spot." The rooftop lounge is now decorated in bright orange, with big, cushioned seating areas abounding.  

Alice Levitt of Houstonia wrote in June that a new gelato place was coming to River Oaks. This Thursday, Amorino Gelato opens its doors at 4444 Westheimer next to the iPic Theater. The Houston location is one of more than 150 Parisian dessert spots around the country.  According to CultureMap Houston, the franchisee owners, Nathalie and Sebastien Debbouzzi, are a French couple who chose River Oaks for their new restaurant because "it reminded them of Paris’s pedestrian-friendly shopping plazas." Amorino is known for its rose-petal shaped gelato presented in cones. The shop will also offer sorbet, espresso drinks and eventually crepes and waffles.

A popular southern dessert chain, Frios Gourmet Pops, 18318 University, quietly made its debut in Sugar Land. This is the second of a few locations to pop up in the Houston area. There is one in Galveston, at 6302 Seawall, that opened earlier this summer and another is scheduled to open in Katy, at 2717 Commercial Center, in a few weeks.  According to Eater Houston, the chain is known for its fun flavor profiles and use of fresh ingredients. The Facebook page is adorned with colorful popsicle pictures and a menu that boasts off-the-wall flavors like "Cap N' Crunch," "Avocado Lime" and "Coffee & Donut."  

Swamplot reported that the La Tapatia, 1749 Richmond at Woodhead, reopened after a small fire in late July.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings. Do you know of something we missed? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us about it.

Here's a round-up of all openings and closings covered in August:

Amorino Gelato, 4444 Westheimer
Bebidas, Juice, Coffee & Bites, 2606 Edloe
Bowl & Barrel, 797 Sorella
FIX Coffee Bar, 415 Westheimer
FRIOS Gourmet Pops, 18318 University, Sugar Land
Gong Cha, 9889 Bellaire
Hops Meet Barley, 2245 West Alabama
La Tapatia, 1749 Richmond (reopened after fire)
Maggiano's Little Italy, 602 Memorial City Way
Myth Kafe, 1730 Jefferson (reopened the original location)
Oui Banh Mi, 1601 Richmond
Pepper Twins, 1915 West Gray, Suite A
Raspado Xperts, 5647 West Little York
Rosemont, 910 Westheimer
Sahara Tales, 11138 Westheimer
Sterling House, 3015 Bagby
Sunshine's Health Food Store & Vegetarian Deli, 3102 Old Spanish Trail
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, 6401 Woodway (reopened after a fire)
Taja Indian, 2510 Smith Ranch Road, suite 108
The Blind Pig, 11920 Westheimer
The Cheese Course Bistro & Cheese Market, 1001 McKinney
The General Public, 797 Sorella Court, Suite 118
The Pit Room, 1201 Richmond
Torchy's Tacos, 19431 Gatebrook Drive near Baybrook Mall
Überrito, 700 Baybrook Mall, Suite F162

Aunt Bea's, 5422 North Freeway
Beaucoup Bar & Grill, 3102 Old Spanish Trail
Beaucoup Bar & Grill, 6356 Richmond Avenue
Bombay Brasserie, 2414 University
Bombay Indian Grill, 706 Main
Bramble, 2231 South Voss
BRC, 519 Shepherd
Champps, 1121 Uptown Park
Fajita Willie's, 14960 Northwest Freeway
Fox & Hound, 12802 Gulf Freeway
Harborside Mercantile, 2021 Strand, Galveston
Kay's Lounge, 2324 Bissonnet
La Bikina, 4223 Research Forest
Little Jimmy's Deli, 3837 Richmond
Logan's Roadhouse, 2200 South Highway 6
Nam Noodles & More, 1915 West Gray, suite A
Pradaria Steaks & Churrascaria, 10694 Westheimer
Relish Fine Foods, 3951 San Felipe
Rioja, 11920 Westheimer
Royal Oak Bar & Grill, 1318 Westheimer

Kris Bistro, 7070 Allensby has become Le Bistro

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