Restaurant News

Openings & Closings in Houston: Bye Harborside, Hello Hubcap Grill

After only four months of operation, Harborside Mercantile, 2021 Strand in Galveston, will be converted into a Hubcap Grill. Galveston will be home to the fifth location of the award-winning burger joint, as a fourth one is already under construction at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In a recent interview with the Houston Press, owner Ricky Craig cites staffing challenges and the need for "hands-on literally every single day" as the reasons for setting his "plan B" into motion. Harborside Mercantile closed its doors at 9 p.m. on August 6. No specific date has been set for the opening of the Hubcap Grill in Galveston, but Craig estimates it will take 30 to 45 days. Unlike the other Hubcap Grill locations, this one will also offer cocktails under a program helmed by manager and bartender Cedomil "Chedda" Slokar.

On Saturday, August 6, The Blind Pig, 11920 Westheimer, officially opened its gastropub doors in west Houston. Chef Scott Welle's menu features gourmet sandwiches such as the Boss Hogg and the Big Joe P, both stacked with in-house smoked meats, and the bar offers local craft beers on tap from Karbach, 8th Wonder, Saint Arnold and Brash. Currently, only beer and wine are offered.

Rioja, 11920 Westheimer, quietly said good-bye back in March for reasons unknown. This Spanish restaurant was the only place that offered tapas in the West Houston area.

Both locations of New Orleans comfort food favorite Beaucoup Bar & Grill, 3102 Old Spanish Trail and 6356 Richmond Avenue, have been reported closed by Yelpers. Calls to both locations were answered with a "disconnected" automated response. A reader says that the Old Spanish Trail location closed in 2015 and relocated to the Richmond Avenue address, which in turn closed sometime this past June. Sunshine's Health Food Store & Vegetarian Deli is now at the former Old Spanish Trail location.

Another Southern restaurant has been reported as closed by YelpersAunt Bea's, 5422 North Freeway, suffered tremendous damage from a fire back in January and has not recovered. Its line has been disconnected.

The General Public
, 797 Sorella Court, Suite 118, is opening in CityCentre on August 12. According to a press release sent by the firm's publicist, this place is "an upscale, spirited neighborhood restaurant and bar with a gourmet menu stocked with various cocktails, beer, wine and whiskey." Chef Daniel Menchaca has crafted his take on classics, and the menu includes Mama's tamale pie, jumbo lump crab cakes and green chile grilled cheese sandwiches.

FIX Coffee Bar, located at 415 Westheimer in Montrose, has been open since June but as of August 1, is boasting the addition of Nitro coffee on tap. According to the press release, having coffee this way "simply elevates the beverage." Nitro coffee is cold-brewed coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas, thus making it creamier and richer. 

Southern California whiskey bar and American comfort food restaurant Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is slated to open a Houston location this fall at 4310 Westheimer in the new Westheimer Oaks mixed-use development at Mid Lane. According to a press release, the restaurant will use locally sourced produce, proteins and other ingredients from purveyors that include 44 Farms, Black Hill Meats and Kraftsmen Baking. The restaurant will also feature a signature glass-enclosed room that houses more than 350 whiskeys, 40 whiskey lockers for VIP guests and a 12-seat table for private dining.  

Keep an eye out for a new juice joint opening in River Oaks later this summer. Eric Sandler of CultureMap reports that Bebidas Juice, Coffee & Bites, 2606 Edloe, is a "passion project" for the owners of the popular Adair Kitchen. Nick Adair and Katie Adair Barnhart have teamed up with local chef Joseph Stayshich (formerly of Benjy’s and Karbach Brewing Co.) to develop a menu that features a full range of beverages, including juice, coffee, milks and light bites. 

According to Swamplot, Hops Meet Barley, 2245 West Alabama, has finally opened its doors where the old Überrito used to stand. A post from Beer Advocate reveals that the bar features 40 rotating taps, more than 100 varieties of bottled and canned beers, original beer cocktails and a full-service kitchen. Operating hours are seven days a week from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m.

On August 8, a new Überrito opened its doors at Baybrook Mall, 700 Baybrook Mall, Suite F162. To celebrate the new opening now through September customers at all six Überrito locations who register for the loyalty program will receive a free burrito. Customers who already have a loyalty card will earn double points. Special $5 chicken burritos and bowls are offered every Monday, while double loyalty points are awarded on Wednesdays.

After six years, Pradaria Steaks & Churrascaria, 10694 Westheimer, shuttered its doors back in mid-April. This Brazilian steakhouse had a bustling lunch hour and with Groupon coupons for dinner, became a favorite destination in West Houston. The building remains empty and the windows and doors are boarded up.

Readers have reported that the Fajita Willie's at 14960 Northwest Freeway in Jersey Village closed on July 31. The location at 15650 FM 529 in Copperfield is still open. Calls to the West Little York restaurant reached a disconnection automated message.

Swamplot reports that the Exxon Station with a McDonald's inside, 11035 Katy Freeway, is scheduled for demolition and a new Exxon station with a new McDonald's sporting the "next generation" design will be up and running by November of this year. The new incarnation will offer free Wi-Fi for customers.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings! Do you know of something we missed? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us about it.
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Cuc Lam is a freelance food writer for the Houston Press and local pop-up chef. She enjoys teaching cooking classes and hosting dinner parties when she is not writing.