Fielding's Local Kitchen + Bar is now open at 26400 Kuykendahl in The Woodlands. It's from the same folks who brought you Fielding's Wood Grill, also in The Woodlands, at 1699 Research Forest. Fielding's Local sports dry-aged steaks, house-cured meats, a wood-fire oven and its own bar, The Watering Hole, which has 22 rotating beer taps, plus a cask wine tap and a cocktail tap.
It's "arrivederci" to the Cafe Express at 5601 Main in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and "salve" to MFACafe, according to Laura Furr of the Houston Business Journal. MFACafe is a creation of the two former owners of Rice Village's Fellini Cafe, Paola Fronza and Matteo Alessandri, who have already begun a pop-up cafe in the lobby of MFAH's Beck Building serving lunch until the renovations to the former Cafe Express are complete. The new MFACafe will serve North Italian fare and is complete with a European-style coffee bar.
If you like sweets and the Rockets, you'll love this one — there's a new Dunkin' Donuts opening at 13423 Westheimer, and not only will delicious coffee and donuts be present at the grand opening on Saturday, August 15, but the Rockets Road Jam Team
will be there, too, [Editor's note: We received word on August 8 that the Rockets Road Jam has been rescheduled to September 26 at another not yet announced location] in celebration of Dunkin's new coffee partnership with the Houston Rockets. Translation: You can run on Dunkin' while you watch the Rockets run up the score at the Toyota Center.
Smashburger is expanding into three airports nationally, and we're lucky enough to get one of them. Ben Miller of the Houston Business Journal says that George Bush Intercontinental will have its very own location, hopefully by December; no word yet on which terminal will be getting smashed.
Sorry, downtowners — Mia Bella Trattoria at 320 Main is indeed closed, but only for renovations, says Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle. An operating partner says the restaurant should reopen in two or three months, and when it does, there will be a freshness-oriented menu to come with it.
In better news for the downtown scene, Leon's Lounge, 1006 McGowen, will soon be back in business under the careful guidance of Duane Bradley of The Davenport Lounge and Jin DeFoyd. They have plans to retro-fy the lounge and bring it back to the simple cool of its days under Leon himself; it will serve traditional cocktails and no food, and service will hopefully begin on September 1.
The awkwardly double-named Chuanr/ Tree Tree Grill, 9889 Bellaire, is now closed, according to Katharine Shilcutt at Houstonia magazine, who cites an eviction notice on the door of the establishment in July. She also says that Golden Panda in the same shopping center is temporarily closed for renovations, with no public knowledge of its return date.
In addition to all of that, Shilcutt says (and a reader tip corroborates) that Cafe Hélène at 3101 Main is temporarily closed and morphing into Saigon House, which will boast some familiar menu options for its regular diners and some new ones. The estimated reopening is mid-August.
On August 10, Noodles & Company will open at 5174 Richmond to bring you everything noodles, from Asian-style to American mac 'n' cheese, also according to Furr at HBJ. It's the tenth location in Texas, and somewhere around the 470th franchise in the country. Bonus for gluten-phobes: Noodles & Company has gluten-free pasta options, so dig in.
PDQ, or People Dedicated to Quality, opened its first Houston-area restaurant at 25686 Northwest Freeway in Cypress, which is number 43 in the nationwide franchise. It's part of the fresh-food-fast movement and features an open kitchen where diners can see exactly what is happening to their food. PDQ has signed deals for three additional Houston locations to open later this year, and more may be on the way.
There's a new Potbelly Sandwich Shop now open in Tomball at 14215 FM 2920, where you can find the franchise's ever-popular sandwiches and hand-spun milkshakes, plus live music featuring local performers.
Also, an update on Big Woodrow's at 3111 Chimney Rock: the website still says that the eatery plans to reopen in August, but there are no events listed on the calendar. The Yelp listing says that it will open on September 1. Several readers have written to tell us that the place looks more abandoned than renovated, and the phone line is no longer in service.
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Here's your comprehensive list of the openings and closings in July:
BBQ Godfather, 22318 I-45 North
Blast Fast- Fire'd Pizza, 16100 Kensington
Bizkit Junkie, 2925 West T.C. Jester
Bramble, 2231 South Voss
Brenner's on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall (previously undergoing flood repairs)
EaDo's, 2024 Rusk
Flo Paris, 5757 Westheimer
Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice
Izakaya, 318 Gray
Jersey Mike's, 3091 College Park
MF Sushi, 1401 Binz
The Moonshiners Southern Table and Bar, 1000 Prairie
Nourish Juice Bar, 1000 West Gray
Pappas Bar-B-Q, 8560 Gulf Freeway
The Rolling Kitchen, mobile
Salata, 2810 Business Center Drive (Pearland)
Salata, 1201 Fannin
Saltair Seafood Kitchen, 3029 Kirby
The Shack, 12170 Telge
Vinoteca Poscól, 608 Westheimer
The Chicken Ranch, 6500 North Main
Spring Water Cafe, 14520 Memorial