Openings & Closings in Houston: Paul's Kitchen Transforms Into The Merrill House

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Kiran's Restaurant and Bar will be leaving its longtime home at 4100 Washington after its last day of service on April 9. Rumor had it that chef Kiran Verma was considering moving into the former Harwood Grill building at 2300 Westheimer, but Berryhill Baja Grill recently announced that it would be relocating its original restaurant at 2639 Revere to the Westheimer spot. In an interview with Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle, Verma said she was instead building an entirely new restaurant from the ground up at Kirby Grove, 2525 Richmond, and she's going to revamp the menu before the new restaurant opens, including creating a lunch menu.

Mary Li, a former bartender at Tony Mandola's, is opening a new, authentic Chinese eatery at 4705 Inker, which La Fisheria recently vacated. The concept is called Ginger & Fork, and its soft opening has been set for March 2 through March 5. Of course, since Li is a top-notch bartender, the cocktail program is sure to be off the charts.

Paul's Kitchen, 2502 Algerian, is closing on the evening of February 28 and transforming into The Merrill House, an upscale banquet hall. Chef Paul Miller is still the owner, and, in an interview with Eric Sandler of CultureMap, he says that the space's expansive dining room made Paul's Kitchen seem uninviting, but it will be the ideal place for large gatherings at The Merrill House.

The newest addition to the Torchy's Tacos empire is now open at 4747 Research Forest in The Woodlands to help you satisfy those Tex-Mex cravings when you're north of town. Don't forget to check out the not-so-secret menu while you're there, which includes the Matador with chopped brisket, jalapeño, pickled onions, avocado and all the fixin's.

Specialty grocery store Borgo Food Station is now open at 3641 West Alabama and, in addition to imported goods, you'll find a wide range of ready-to-eat dishes perfect for your midday lunch break or to take home for the family's evening meal. The market also sports an espresso bar.

Sunday brunch is coming to Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 3201 Louisiana, starting on February 28. The menu includes offerings from the weekday lunch menu, as well as a three-course prix fixe meal and special brunch cocktails, such as a Texas mimosa with grapefruit juice.

Wes Griffin of Eater received confirmation from Steel City Pops that the company will open its first Houston location at 420 East 20th in May. You can feel extra good about these gourmet popsicles, because Steel City donates a portion of its proceeds to NeverThirst, which provides drinking water to those in third world countries.

El Topo taco truck has hit the streets to serve up traditional yet innovative and sustainable tacos. The menu includes breakfast offerings, chop salads and truck-made pickles, as well as standard taco offerings. Find the truck on Facebook to know where it'll be parked next.

Coffee and juice bar Republic Roots is in the midst of its soft opening at 18721 University in Sugar Land. The offerings include cold-pressed juices (on the rocks or frozen, margarita-style), infused honey and delivery services for cold-pressed juice.

Because of a violent robbery, Daddyo's Pizza at 5009 Antoine is closed until further notice. Luckily, none of the employees were seriously harmed (or at least the Click2Houston coverage of it doesn't mention any life-threatening injuries), but the family that owns Daddyo's needs time to recuperate before reopening the restaurant for business.

El Canton Firewood Pizzeria, 981 South Mason, is now open and offering up thin-crust pizzas that have gotten rave reviews from Facebook reviewers. If you go, be sure to check out the sweet pizza, which is loaded with Nutella, marshmallows, strawberries and pecans.

Tomball's newest gastropub, Craft Grill, is open at 25219 Kuykendahl and has not only a standard happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. but also a reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close. The fare is contemporary Southern cuisine, and the drinks include craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails.

VertsKebap, a fast casual, build-your-own gyro restaurant, has opened a new location at 8552 North Highway 6 in Copperfield. The chain began in 2011 in Austin and has opened dozens of restaurants across the state.

Fast-food Italian eatery Luisa's Pasta, 1200 McKinney, is serving created pasta dishes, such as chipotle bucatini, as well as offering build-your-own pasta options.

Laotian restaurant Banh Somtum is now open at 13420 Highway 249, as is Doux Café, a crêperie and sweet treats eatery located at 865 Dairy Ashford.

That's it for this week's look at Houston-area restaurant openings and closings! Did we miss something? Leave us a comment or send us an email with all of those juicy scoops.

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