Restaurant News

Openings & Closings in Houston: A New Tacos A Go Go Concept [UPDATED]

The story of Tarakaan is wrought with twists and turns; just a month after announcing the permanent closure of the restaurant's food service, it's back at it again and serving meals. We're glad to see the acclaimed restaurant and club curing the munchies again, but we can't help but wonder what exactly is going on here.

Sharon Haynes, founder of Tacos A Go Go, has teamed up with Jeff Black, a Washington, D.C.-based restaurateur, to create Fajitas A Go Go, a mostly takeout fajita establishment. Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle reports that the new Mexican food eatery will open in mid-April, and it will be complete with beer and margarita mix delivery in addition to the fajitas and fixin's.

River Oaks District newcomer Toulouse Cafe and Bar opens for dinner on Monday, April 4 at 4444 Westheimer. Houston favorite Philippe Schmit, known as the "French Cowboy," is the executive chef at this first Houston outpost of the popular Dallas-based French eatery.

SnowBlock Shavery shaved ice at 2518 Rice in the Village has closed its doors just as the temperature has begun to climb; Yelpers report that the locks on the ribbon ice establishment were suddenly changed a few weeks ago.

Fans of Ronnie Killen's work will be pleased to know that his latest venture, Killen's Burger, is set to open on May 28 at 2804 South Main in Pearland, according to Eric Sandler of CultureMap.

Sandler also has a tidbit from the rumor mill to share; a company owned by Tatsu Aikawa of Austin's admired Ramen Tatsu-Ya purchased a lot at 1714 California in Montrose, so we can only hope that another excellent restaurant will join the ranks of Houston's top ramen joints.

Two more rumors have been circulating: one is that acclaimed concept PIZZA domenica has been scouting for a Houston location, as has Lüke, a French restaurant that has one owner in common with the former establishment.

As you may have heard, a food truck owner in Channelview had her truck stolen this week; Cynthia Gonzales was devastated to find her beloved Los Dos Vaqueros gone on Monday morning. Needless to say, the taco truck isn't open for business, but there is a Go Fund Me page where you can pitch in a few bucks to help Gonzales, and the family members she employs, get back to making delicious tacos very soon.

Whole Foods Market will be relocating the Wilcrest location, 11145 Westheimer, to a brand-new store at 11041 Westheimer in Westchase on June 1. The grocery is looking to hire friendly faces for the massive location, and you can fill out an application through May 4.

We've got two pizza parlor closures to tell you about this week:

D'marcos Pizzeria has closed its location at 14624 Memorial after only five months due to the owner's concern that he wasn't spending enough time with his two young children. To ease his workload, he closed one location, but the Sugar Land location at 11102 South Highway 6 will remain open.

Also, Pie Five at 107 Yale is closed without any word from management as to why or if another nearby location will be replacing it. The restaurant has several other Houston-area locations, and the others all seem to be slinging pizzas as they usually do.

Amy McCarthy of Eater reports that Platypus Brewing, an Australian-style brewpub based in Washington, will be joining the cool kids on Washington Avenue very soon. You'll find the pub at 1902 Washington by about the middle of this year, as well as the beers that Platypus makes in house.

Grocery chain H-E-B has announced that it will be replacing its current Bellaire location at 5130 Cedar with a brand-new, two-story location at the same address. The opening will hopefully be in fall 2017, according to the Houston Chronicle.

In other grocery news, Seiwa Market is now open at 1801 South Dairy Ashford, and there are plenty of promotions and giveaways to be had on opening day, which is Friday, April 1. The Japanese grocery will also have a food court, including a sushi bar and Ichi Ramen Bar. Updated 4/3/16, 3:505 p.m.: It turns out that Seiwa's very ambiguous opening announcement was for its L.A. location, which we only learned after a tip from a disappointed reader. The grocery said that it anticipates a July opening for the Houston store.

The Woodlands' Café Express failed to renew its lease at 9595 Six Pines and is now closed; however, management has expressed its desire to open another location in the same neighborhood soon.

Mels' Seafood Shack is open just in time for crawfish season; you can find the freshly boiled mudbugs in the stationary food trailer at 2521 North Durham. The truck is open until the seafood sells out, so get there if you really need a seafood fix.

Malaysian restaurant Malay Malay is open at 2508 Gulf Freeway South in Clear Lake; the website describes the food as authentic Malaysian, brought to you by folks who have been serving up the cuisine for over 10 years, and a tweet notes that this is the sister restaurant to Mamak, another Malaysian concept located at 9889 Bellaire.

That's it for this week's openings and closings! Did we miss something? Leave us a comment or send us an email if we did.
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Alexandra Doyle