The Marque, an exclusive and private club at 798 Sorella in CityCentre, has suddenly closed after five years in business. The fine wine-ing and dining establishment featured a cigar lounge, meeting rooms and fine liquor storage for its members, and it also occasionally hosted public events and dinners. The Marque opened a public bar, Method, next door last year, which is also closed. We probably should have seen this coming, since executive chef Eric Aldis recently signed on as the new chef at Corner Table and took on Midtown BBQ, a barbecue project with Brett Jackson, without announcing his departure from The Marque.
According to Laura Furr of the Houston Business Journal, Shake Shack has already announced a second Houston location, hot on the heels of its Galleria-area opening. By the time 2017 draws to a close, the new Shake Shack location should be up and running in the current La Madeleine location at 6205 Kirby in Rice Village. The latter restaurant's lease ends in March 2017, at which time the restaurant will close. La Madeleine's vice president of operations services, Richard Hodges, said, "We love the Rice Village area... and we are looking at options to stay in the area," so consider this an impending relocation and not a closure.
In other Rice Village news, TeaBar and Organics opens Saturday, March 26 at 2408 Rice. The grand opening celebration goes from noon to 3 p.m. and includes a lion dance at noon, a gift card raffle for the first 50 customers, free drinks for a year for the first 88 customers and one free drink for the next 100 customers. This is the fourth location of the tea and fusion restaurant, and the fare includes sushi and ramen, as well as more unusual dishes such as Asian-style fish and chips.
After announcing his departure from Davis Street, chef Javani King declared on Facebook that he will be launching a catering company called JK + CO Catering, and, even more exciting for those of us looking for smaller-scale meals, he'll also be launching a food truck soon called JK + CO Handcrafted Southern Street Food.
A Swamplot reader reported that Tout Suite is launching a second location within Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City Way. The signs on the site say that it will be in business later this spring.
Easter Sunday will be your last opportunity to dine at Georges Bistro, 219 Westheimer; the French eatery's owners, chef Georges Guy and his wife, Monique, will be moving back to France at the end of March.
On Friday, March 25, Melting Blocks Shaved Ice & Boba Tea at 6031 Highway 6 North will have its grand opening celebration, which includes free treats for the first 25 people in line. From the photos on the establishment's Facebook page, it appears that it doesn't offer just shaved ice but also its fancier cousin, ribbon ice – a finely shaved, creamy dessert that's often topped with syrup, fruit or condensed milk.
RestaurantNews.com reports that Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar will expand into Houston later this year. The Louisiana-based sports bar was named the #1 Sports Bar in America by ESPN, and the menu includes classic bar fare, as well as Cajun classics like gumbo and po-boys.
Chowpatty Express is now open at 1420 South Mason in Katy with plentiful vegan and vegetarian Indian dishes. Impressively, the restaurant already has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Facebook, so the opening has gone off without any major hitches.
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When Celtic Gardens vacated its spot at 2300 Louisiana, Irish Cowboy Backyard Patio & Bar took over. The latter is now in business, and the Yelp reviewers seem to think it's pretty much the same as it was before.
Phi Coffee & Tea, 11201 Bellaire, is also open. The coffee shop and tea room also serves pho so that you can get your lunch and caffeine fix all in the same place.
To be filed under expanded hours: Bistro Menil at 1513 West Alabama is now offering an afternoon tea service from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and, on April 3, Mark's American Cuisine at 1658 Westheimer will begin Sunday brunch service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings in the Houston area! Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment or send us an email about it, and your tip could make it into next week's column.