Restaurant News

Openings & Closings in Houston: Bramble Bows Out

Chef Randy Rucker's popular Southern restaurant Bramble, 2231 South Voss, closed abruptly this week, despite the eatery's commitment to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks. In a statement, Rucker said that the economic downturn in recent months, which has particularly affected Houston and other oil-based economies, made the concept unviable. It seems as though Bramble will remain open for private events. Rucker also said, "I have plans for sure but need the dust to settle and time to tie up loose ends before anything is announced," so we expect to be seeing him in a new restaurant very soon.

Kris Bistro, the restaurant at 7070 Allensby inside of the Culinary Institute LeNôtre, has rebranded into Le Bistro, which features an all-new menu to go along with the new name. Honestly, we can't say that we're very surprised, since chef Kris Jakob left the bistro in December. Don't forget to take advantage of the Houston Restaurant Weeks offerings at the bistro; it's still participating, despite the name change.

Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti has plans to open a new burger joint at 1112 Shepherd later this year. FM Burger will feature burgers made from a blend of brisket, chuck and sirloin, as well as brined chicken sandwiches, chicken pot pie sandwiches, loaded milkshakes and personal-sized pies. Triniti pastry chef Caroline Ramirez will supervise the dessert menu, so you'll know it'll be good. Can't wait to try an FM Burger? Visit Triniti to get a sneak peek off of the happy hour menu.

When Greek concept Myth Kafe moved into a spot in Conservatory earlier this year, owner John Virden temporarily closed the restaurant's original location at 1730 Jefferson. Now that things are running smoothly at the food hall, he's decided to reopen Myth Kafe's original location for lunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning on Monday, August 22.

What could be a better location for a bar than a former governor's mansion? That's the thought behind Sterling House, 3015 Bagby, which housed Ross Sterling, Texas's governor from 1931 to 1933. The bar opens this Saturday, August 6, with live music starting at 6 p.m., plus plenty of food and drink specials.

Bowl & Barrel
, the new beer hall and bowling alley at 797 Sorella in CityCentre, opens to the public on Monday, August 8. It's the first Houston-area location of the restaurant and recreation concept, which also sports a full cocktail bar.

Popular bubble tea concept Gong Cha opened its first Houston store this week at 9889 Bellaire, which features its signature milk tea, or freshly-brewed tea topped with milk foam, plus a variety of teas, tapiocas and more.

On Saturday, August 6, Houston's first bike-thru eatery will open at 5647 West Little York. Raspado Xperts specializes in smoothies and raspas, or snow cones, and the grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday will feature free raspas for attendees, as well as live music, food trucks, games and more. Not only that, but the concept strives to make Houston a safer, better place to bike through creating bike lanes, bike racks and other bike-friendly amenities in its shopping center, which is along the White Oak Bayou bike trail.

We got a reader tip last week saying that Little Jimmy's Deli at 3837 Richmond has closed; we reached out to the restaurant for confirmation, but we haven't heard back in over a week, so it seems like it's gone for good. 

Two-year-old gelato eatery Dolce Neve has announced that its second location will open early next year at 4721 North Main. The Austin-based concept specializes in a seasonal menu of gourmet gelato created from Texas-sourced ingredients.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings! Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know if we missed something.

Now, let's take a look at July's openings and closings in review.

ALDI, 8650 Barker Cypress
Alma Latina, 2203 North Shepherd (re-opened after fire)
Arthur Ave Italian American, 1111 Studewood
Bar Bleu, 2506 Robinhood
Brasserie 1895, 607 South Friendswood
buldogies, 14543 Highway 105
The Cajun Stop, 24230 Kuykendahl
City Acre Brewing, 3418 Topping
Cork & Tap, 1035 North Shepherd inside of Kroger
Creamistry, 5000 Westheimer
Daiquiri Time Out (DTO), 2701 Market in Galveston
Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant, 1320 West 34th
Grazia Italian Kitchen, 1001 Pineloch
Kroger, 1920 West League City Parkway
Love Buzz, 408 Westheimer
Luv Me Tenders, 4400 Yale
MELT Gourmet Grilled Cheese, 14030 Telge
my Bakery Cafe, 822 West Little York
Nice Slice, 408 Westheimer
Oui Banh Mi, 1601 Richmond
Persona Wood-Fired Pizzeria, 9635 North Sam Houston Parkway
Rise No. 2, 1700 Post Oak
Snooze, 3217 Montrose
Steel City Pops, 420 East 20th
Rookie’s Seafood, 1106 Bayport
Tout Suite, 303 Memorial City Mall
Trader Joe’s, 11683 Westheimer
Wsup Cafe, 9889 Bellaire

Au Petit Paris, 2048 Colquitt
Brasserie Max & Julie, 4315 Montrose (to be rebranded)
Byzantio, 403 West Gray
The Corkscrew Wine Bar, 1308 West 20th
The Durham House, 1200 Durham
Edloe St. Cafe, 6119 Edloe
Gratifi Kitchen + Bar, 302 Fairview
Hans Bier Haus, 2523 Quenby
Pepino’s Italian Restaurant, 1421 Richmond
Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 6401 Woodway (closed temporarily due to fire)
Tarakaan, 2301 Main

Maria Selma Mexican Restaurant, 1617 Richmond, has become Texas Shrimp Shack
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Alexandra Doyle