Restaurant News

Openings and Closings in Houston: Hello Canard, Good-bye Fig & Wasp (Again?)

Fig & Wasp Test Kitchen at 4105 Washington has apparently led a tumultuous and short life; Yelp reviewers report that the location is closed, and the general manager noted on that website that the restaurant is relocating only three months after it transformed from Beirut Fine Lebanese Cuisine to Fig & Wasp Test Kitchen. The eatery's social media accounts are completely useless on this issue, and one Yelper says that she never received notice that the restaurant had abruptly closed and could no longer host her party of more than 65 guests! Oops indeed.

Treadsack has another trick up its sleeve: Canard, a bar with an extensive cocktail program headed by Leslie Ross. It will be right next to Foreign Correspondents, another Treadsack concept at 4721 North Main in The Heights. Canard will also serve as a space for those who are about to enjoy Foreign Correspondents and want a quality cocktail. Read Eric Sandler's full report on CultureMap to find out more about the concept and the unique cocktails it will offer.

Sandler also reports that Galveston's Pelican Club, 3828 Avenue T, will cease daily operations at the end of January following the loss of chef Ross Warhol, who relocated to his hometown of Buffalo, New York. The restaurant will still open for private events, and regular hours will resume once the restaurant hires a new chef. Owner Nick Gaido says that the once private eatery will transition into an upscale, public restaurant with a progressive, American seafood menu.

In April, Hungry's Cafe and Bistro will be opening a sister restaurant at 22764 Westheimer in Katy, which will be called Local Table. It will have a menu similar to Hungry's, but the American-style cafe fare will include more locally sourced fresh fruits and veggies. Check out Sandler's interview with Shervin Sharifi, part of the family that owns the two restaurants.

A reader tip tells us that the Heights Bier Garden project has been reignited after a two-and-a-half-year-long struggle with TABC. Architects Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum have been commissioned to construct the bar on the lot of a former used car dealership at 1433 North Shepherd – you might recognize their names from The Raven Tower and White Oak Music Hall. The project is still in its very early stages, so there's no word yet on a projected opening date.

Delicious Concepts has released its plans for the former EL Cantina Superior at 602 Studewood. Although the original announcements said that a brewpub would take the cantina's place, the restaurant group has decided to install a restaurant and tap room called Ritual. It will feature a rotating, rustic menu, with meat products provided exclusively by Black Hill Meats, and Jordan Asher, formerly of Dosi, will be the executive chef. The projected opening is mid-March.

Wes Griffin of Eater Houston reports that Revolucion Coffee + Juice will be launching a brick-and-mortar location at 1231 West 11th sometime around March. Owner Randy Ray has been selling his products at farmers' markets around town while looking for the perfect spot to open his juice shop, and he thinks he's found it.

Vic & Anthony's, 1510 Texas, will be open for lunch on weekdays at 11 a.m. beginning February 1, with no break between lunch hours and dinner hours. The lunch menu includes all of their standard dinner offerings, as well as entrée salads, sandwiches and burgers. 

One of Chicago's favorite deep-dish pizzerias, Connie's, is bringing its fare to Houston in an unlikely way. Gelazzi gelato shop at 3601 White Oak has begun slinging the pies to customers at 4:30 p.m. each day, and diners are welcome to BYOB to accompany the pizzas. Owner Louie Comella told Sandler of CultureMap that the ingredients are shipped directly from Chicago and assembled in the Houston eatery.

BonChon twice-fried Korean chicken is coming to Texas this year; the new Lone Star outpost of this New Jersey-based eatery will be at 24437 Katy Freeway in Katy. Although the restaurant tried opening a Dallas outpost in 2013, which failed soon after, it's well known that Houstonians love Korean fried chicken, and the chain may have more success here. BonChon has already created a Facebook page for the new location, which you can keep an eye on for the opening announcement.

Two new (and related) bars are heading to Washington Avenue, according to Swamplot. Clutch Bar is moving into the former thrift shop at 5334 Washington and will feature a large variety of draft beers, plus adult milkshakes, while its sister bar, Concrete Cowboy, is preparing for its grand opening at 5317 Washington.

Eater Houston heard a rumor that California's Bosscat Kitchen & Libations will be opening a location somewhere around River Oaks –  perhaps it will occupy a space in the new River Oaks Shopping District? The gastropub is whiskey- and beer-centric, and also serves fairly standard gastropub eats. Stay tuned while the rumor mill churns out the truth.

Torchy's Tacos will open a location at 4747 Research Forest in The Woodlands on February 16, with a grand-opening celebration to take place at 6 p.m. on February 15. Diablo sauce, anyone?

Also, don't forget that The Halal Guys opens at 3821 Farnham this Saturday, January 30. The restaurant, which began as a NYC street cart, has expanded to include brick-and-mortar locations across the country in recent years, and this is its much-awaited Houston debut.

Know of an opening or closing that we missed? Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know.
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Alexandra Doyle