The old Gulf Coast Oil gas station on West Alabama at La Branch is getting a makeover into the aptly-named Retrospect Coffee Bar, which should open this fall, according to Emily Bond at Eater Houston. Plans for open-mic nights and drag queen bingo (yes, drag queen bingo) are in the works, plus other events catered to the young (at heart) and adventurous. The space itself was built in 1925 and is surrounded by rumors and a new landmark status, and the new owners are hoping to get it LEED certified.
We love pizza, and it must not be a secret, because pizza franchises are pouring into Houston. Blast Fast- Fire'd Pizza at 16100 Kensington in Sugar Land is now open and celebrating its grand opening on Friday, July 31 with free pizza for customers who like or follow one of the chain's social media accounts, says Syd Kearney at the Houston Chronicle. It's a Chipotle-style, build-your-own pizza experience that boasts of three-minute cook times for its pizza and low costs, and there's another location set to open in Woodlake Square in August.
MOD Pizza, another create-your-own style pizza parlor, has decided to jump into the Houston market with both feet after its four local locations have done well. There's a Sugar Land location at 19820 Southwest Freeway that should open in September, as well as four more newly-announced locations that you can check out on this Houston Chronicle article by Katherine Feser.
According to Eric Sandler at CultureMap, Woodrows Heights at 1200 Durham, which has been closed for renovations since June, will soon reopen as The Durham House Cajun & Craft, a swanky Cajun and South Texas seafood house, complete with steaks and locally-sourced ingredients. Chef Don Schoenburg is aiming to please the beer crowd with the new concept, which includes eighteen taps (one nitro) and frequent beer dinners and events.
Don't confuse the above with Big Woodrows, which is closed for renovations it has sorely needed since Hurricane Ike, and will be back to its same concept when it also reopens in August.
Finally, there's a new CRAVE cupcakes location coming to The Woodlands at 2501 Research Forest, and there will be a grand opening celebration on Thursday, August 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. featuring cupcakes, coffee and cocktails— oh, my! You can try a latte flavored with CRAVE's own icing or an ice-cold toddy, plus stronger drinks for the occasion. There will also be a DJ to help set the mood.
That's it for this week's openings and closings! Know of something we missed? Leave us a comment or send us an email.