Openings & Closings: Hungry's Is Expanding

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Hungry’s announced plans for an extensive expansion of its Rice Village location scheduled to open in phases in fall 2016. According to a press release, the new two-story building will triple the size of its current space at 2356 Rice Boulevard. The existing Hungry’s building is scheduled for demolition and will be converted into a large parking lot.

Restaurant and kitchen operations will occupy the ground floor, while a new bar and lounge, Upstairs will offer cocktails, wine and beer on the second floor. The "Garden Room" and "Treehouse" will serve as private areas designed for special events and elegant gatherings.

Husband and wife, Ashkan and Sue Nowamooz will manage the Rice location with Sue as the executive chef. The menu “will continue to offer a diverse array of globally-inspired, affordably-priced, healthy comfort food options including seasonal lunch and dinner specials, a plentiful brunch menu and bar bites all made fresh to order.” A new “Express Lunch” counter service option will be introduced for busy, on-the-go guests.

On September 21, Ronnie Killen announced that he will be opening a new restaurant in Houston. The award-winning barbeque chef talked to Eric Sandler of CultureMap Houston about STQ (abbreviation for steak and barbeque), opening in the space vacated by Bramble at 2231 Voss. Killen hopes to open by the end of October and tells Sandler that “the closest analogies in Texas are restaurants like The Granary in San Antonio and Smoke in Dallas, but the restaurant also takes some inspiration from California’s Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch where everything is cooked over wood coals.”

Alice Levitt of Houstonia reported that Austin-based, Tärka Indian Kitchen has plans to open in the Heights by early next year. CEO and co-founder, Tinku Saini told Levitt that as soon as late February, he hopes to unveil the restaurant at 721 West 19th in the Heights with plans to follow with a second location at Springwoods Village in Spring.

Katherine Feser of the Houston Chronicle reported that Pinstripes, which features Italian and American cuisine along with bowling and bocce, is the first to join the Kirby Collection (3200 Kirby) in River Oaks and plans to open by late 2017. According to the Kirby Collection website, the space is described as a “vertical mixed-use development” that will be home to “the ultimate live-work-play community that meets 21st century demands and elevates the standard of urban living in Houston.” Keep an eye out for more announcements of trendy restaurant and bar tenants in the 61,600 square foot retail portion on this space.

According to a Community Impact Newspaper, Down the Road Burgers & Brews will open in mid-October in Magnolia. In the article, Jose Velasquez, who also owns La Magnolia Trattoria Italiana says the new bar and grill going into the former Magnolia Smokehouse space at 41902 FM 1774 will feature “burgers, fish, shrimp, wraps, fish tacos, appetizers and a selection of more than 30 beers. The restaurant will also feature dartboards, a jukebox, live music and a drive-thru.”

In the Know Houston reported that the highly anticipated AGU Ramen is coming to the Washington neighborhood. According to its website, AGU will open in December at 7340 Washington, where Christian’s Tailgate used to reside. Updates on the website say that “a second location on Westheimer Road is scheduled to open shortly after.” 

A Facebook tip noted that Fadi’s Kitchen, 10403 Katy Freeway, suite 150, near Memorial City Mall, in the shopping center next to Pappasito’s is open. Regional Manager Fred Mankarious told the Houston Press that it soft-opened on September 23 and shared the differences between this location and others in Houston. “The restaurant is a more contemporary style of dining versus the cafeteria-style of other locations,” he said. He added that this restaurant, although a Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, will be known as Fadi’s Kitchen. Expect the same menu items with additional chef specials available every day.

A new El Rey is opening at 219 West 28th in the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area. Swamplot reported that the Cuban and Mexican eatery will have storefronts on both West 28th and the 610 feeder.

Swamplot also says that the El Rey location that currently stands at 3330 Ella will be knocked down once the building’s lease expires at the end of this year to make room for a new shopping center.

A reader’s tip mentioned a new Cajun restaurant that opened quietly back in June in southeast Houston. Little Cajun Kitchen, located at 12805 Cullen, suite B-A offers traditional Cajun dishes, fried seafood and fried chicken. Owner Danielle Malveaux told the Press that the bestselling items on the menu are the “smothered fries (with Kobe beef, cheddar cheese and homemade creole seasoning)” and the “Whole-Shebang gumbo.”

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.

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