Restaurant News

Openings and Closings in Houston: Brenner's Is Back, Alright!

There's some fantastic news from Brenner's on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall— they've reopened! Cue the Backstreet Boys parody songs. The massive floods of late May forced the restaurant to close for repairs, but the Facebook page says that they are ready to prepare some succulent, wet-aged, USDA Prime steak for you this very day.

A new Japanese gastropub (you read that correctly) is opening in Midtown by August 1; Izakaya at 318 Gray is the brainchild of Chefs Manabu Horiuchi and Jean-Philippe Gaston, whom you may know from Kata Robata. The name references a kind of tapas and drinks establishment popular in Japan, and the restaurant will follow a similar model, with Asian street style fare and traditional drink offerings, as well as globally-inspired dishes and crafted cocktails from Claire Sprouse and Chad Arnholt of the Tin Roof Community.

EaDo's, the Tex-Mex and barbecue fusion restaurant at 2024 Rusk that we mentioned nearly a month ago, has set its grand opening celebration for July 31. From the website, it looks like the eatery will also host local artists' exhibitions; first up is Laryssa Adame. A short menu is also posted which boasts of standard Tex Mex dips and six varieties of street taco.

The mysterious closure of Beirut Fine Lebanese Cuisine at 4105 Washington a mere six months after its birth is actually a story of rebranding: the restaurant's Facebook page is now called Fig & Wasp, and it's got some very swanky logos, along with photos of dishes that the "NEW MYSTERY CHEF" will be offering. Perhaps a familiar Houston chef will find a home at the newly-wrought Fig & Wasp... No hints yet on when the eatery will reopen. 

Vinoteca Poscól has moved from its former location to 608 Westheimer and is now open, according to Emily Bond at Eater Houston, who says that the owners seized the opportunity to move when their former lease for a space down the street expired.

In the same post, Emily Bond writes that Pour Society will be opening at 947 North Gessner on September 1, and the Facebook page is calling for applications. Also on the Facebook page? Photos of glorious-looking menu items, including Mexican fried chicken with a puffed potato quesadilla and fried egg. Is it September 1 yet?

Olivia Pulsinelli of the Houston Business Journal reports that there's a new restaurant coming to the Sweeney Coombs & Fredericks building downtown at 301 Main. The Salt N Pepper Group signed the lease, specifically Blini Hoxha, who, according to a press release, wants to open a restaurant on the first floor. This is the same group that brought us the Beer Market Co.Crisp and The Moonshiners Southern Table and Bar, so please forgive us for having pretty high hopes for the new concept. 

Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt is coming to Houston with an unusual business concept— ice cream that's frozen while you wait! Talk about fresh, never frozen; you choose what you want in the dish, then it's frozen in about 15 seconds using liquid nitrogen. Supposedly, this method leads to a creamier frozen treat that has less air that traditional packaged ice cream. The first Houston store is set to open in August in Vintage Marketplace at Louetta and Cutten, and, if all goes well, there will be many more Houston locations in the years to come.

What's the salad joint that now has 24 Houston-area locations? It's Salata, and there's a newly opened Downtown GreenStreet location at 1201 Fannin. The chain has plans for 10 more locations to open in the Houston area by the end of 2015. Hopefully this location will also have the much-lusted-after iced tea taps. 

Yet another taco chain is expanding; Torchy's Taco will soon have a location in The Woodlands at 4747 Research Forest. The new location is set to open in November, according to The Woodlands Monocle, and management is already looking to hire enthusiastic taco makers. Don't forget to check out Torchy's secret menu, Woodlandsians!

Mike Smith of the Houston Chronicle says that there's another Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers scheduled to open in October at 1601 Broadway in Pearland. It's the 19th Houston-area location and 238th in the country. Don't forget the Cane's Sauce!

Finally, Houston transplant Mike Proia is trying to get started on his new restaurant concept, The Barbell Grill, a haven for food and fitness lovers. His proposed opening is in October, and he's taking an unusual step by crowdfunding the capital for the restaurant. Check out the Facebook page for more on the concept, to buy in and to keep an eye on the crowdfunding progress.

That's it for this week's Openings and Closings— if you know of something we missed, leave a comment or send us an email.
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Alexandra Doyle