Rice Village's popular Baker St. Pub & Grill, 5510 Morningside, has closed. The owners of the Village Arcade, where Baker St. was located for 15 years, decided not to renew the eatery's lease. Hospitality USA, the restaurant group that owns the pub, is searching for a location to open a new Baker St., although nothing can replace the lost neighborhood favorite.
Shake Shack has confirmed to CultureMap that it will be opening a Galleria-area restaurant late this year, and it is expected to appear in the new section of the mall near Saks Fifth Avenue. The rest of the details about the new restaurant are still foggy, so stay tuned.
The Heights Candy Bar, 833 Studewood, is now closed, according to Katharine Shilcutt of Houstonia. It's not exactly clear why the shop is closing its doors, although owner Tanita Gumney was renting the space for the candy bar in a building owned by her mother-in-law (owner of Oolala boutique), who recently decided to retire.
The Second Ward's prized taco shop, Villa Arcos at 3009 Navigation, has announced an expansion plan for a new sister restaurant, to be called Texas Tacos and Barbecue. The new eatery is a fusion with Oak Leaf Barbecue at 1000 Telephone in the East End, and it will boast Oak Leaf's barbecue menu and the taco menu from Villa Arcos. Many of the original staff from Oak Leaf were maintained during the transition, so if you're a fan, don't fear; you'll see the same friendly faces and tasty barbecue you're used to, but, come February, you can get a few tacos to go with your brisket.
East Downtown will be welcoming a new British and Indian restaurant this year called King's Court at 903 Hutchins. The restaurant has a Facebook page, but no details about a menu or an opening date have been shared yet. We'll let you know when it's set to open as soon as it's announced.
Yet a third restaurant is coming to the Eastwood area; Invasion Ice House is coming to 823 Dumble. Not only has a TABC beer and wine license been applied for, but Swamplot's John Nova Lomax says that the Taco Box food truck will also be found outside the restaurant when it opens.
There's a new Russo's New York Pizzeria opening on January 11 at 1708 Spring Green in Katy. At this pizzeria, you'll only find fresh, all-natural ingredients with no preservatives and no additives, and, to make things even sweeter, this worldwide franchise is based right here in the Bayou City.
The Pollo Bravo at 5440 Memorial is now closed, according to Swamplot's Christine Gerbode, who says that the other two locations are still in full swing, and the owner is on the prowl for a new third location.
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Gerbode also reports that Austin-based Tacodeli is appearing in renderings for 1902 Washington, alongside a ramen bar, a brewpub and a barber shop. The taco eatery announced plans last year to move into the Houston market, and, although the taco options in Houston are becoming overwhelming, you won't see us complaining.
Six Ping, the whimsical Chinese bakery, has opened a fourth location at 10613 Bellaire. You'll find the same delicious breads and cartoonish cakes at this one as the other three; our own Mai Pham says that the biggest difference is that this location is aimed at Vietnamese clientele, as all of the employees are native Vietnamese speakers.
Two new Asian restaurants have opened in Alief; the first is Crown Seafood Restaurant, 10796 Bellaire, which serves up classic dim sum dishes. Although it's struggling with long cooking times, many Yelp reviewers say that it's got potential, once the kitchen gets into full swing. The second restaurant is Wing Kee at 6938 Wilcrest, a more fast-casual Cantonese eatery.
Those are all of this week's Houston-area restaurant openings and closings for this week– that we know of. Did we miss something? Leave us a comment or send us an email.