Restaurant News

Openings and Closings in Houston: Rev Up Your Sweet Tooth

Ogden Hospitality closed two of its concepts in The Heights last week – although many patrons aren't very surprised. Bradley's Fine Diner, 191 Heights, and Funky Chicken, 181 Heights, both got the ax from the restaurant group, which can now focus its efforts on Pour Society, the gastropub that is admittedly more popular than the other two Ogden concepts. The group plans to redevelop the two shuttered restaurants into new concepts soon, although there is no word on when they will be unveiled.

Rumors have been flying about the closure of The Brewery Tap, a beer-centric bar at 717 Franklin in Market Square. It's not permanently shut down; building owner Bart Truxillo says that the bar is closed for spring cleaning and the installation of a kitchen, which will produce light bites. It should be business as usual at The Brewery Tap in just a few weeks.

A second Rustika Cafe and Bakery is now open in underground downtown at 801 Louisiana in the former home of Porch Swing Desserts. You'll be able to order and pick up cakes from the counter, although the goods will be baked at the original location. The new location has a new menu that includes breakfast empanadas, lunch tacos and a variety of fresh salads.

According to Cara Smith at the Houston Business Journal, Maggiano's Little Italy has a third Houston location under construction at 602 Memorial City Mall on the outskirts of the mall proper. Construction will be completed this fall, and the restaurant should open shortly thereafter.

Another HBJ article by Laura Furr tells us that another restaurant has signed on to the River Oaks District; SumoMaya Mexican-Asian Kitchen, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializes in fusion tapas created by executive chef Matt Zdeb, who hails from the Lone Star State. The original location opened in the summer of 2014, and this will be its second spot.

In more good news for sugar-philes, Tiff's Treats cookie bakery and delivery service has announced a new location in The Woodlands, plus two new stores in San Antonio and Austin. They're all set to open this spring, but the address of the Houston-area location has not yet been announced.

There are yet more pleasing developments for your sweet tooth; two Houston favorite gourmet doughnut shops are planning expansions. In MarchGlazed will be opening a location at 13429 Briar Forest in the Energy Corridor, while Pena's Donut Heaven is launching a second store in the former Scooter's coffeeshop at 10555 Pearland Parkway that will open this spring.

La Calle Tacos y Tortas is coming soon to 909 Franklin, and, if you like the Facebook page, you could win free tacos for a year. The eatery will serve authentic Mexico City-style street food and is set to open in February.

The first Houston location of Austin's beloved JuiceLand is open and slinging fresh, healthy juices to help keep your immune system (and taste buds) happy. The new juice bar is located at 3206 White Oak, and is celebrating its grand opening with half-off all drinks, all day on Saturday, January 16.

Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle says that Benjy Levit, owner of Local Foods, has purchased the former Georgia's Market at 420 Main downtown and intends to open another Local Foods in the space.The restaurant is on track to open in October, and Levit plans to include a seafood bar with raw offerings.

A reader tip tells us that the Gino's East Willowbrook location at 17117 Tomball Parkway closed unexpectedly in December after less than a year in business. The restaurant's Facebook page has only a cryptic message about the closure, which says that it was necessary to consolidate with the location in The Woodlands and that you can find still Gino's pizza at 24657 I-45.

Nothing Bundt Cakes has opened a new location in Pasadena at 6025 Crenshaw, and is celebrating with plenty of grand-opening festivities this weekend. At 5 p.m. on Friday, January 15, you can enjoy a glass of champagne and lots of cake at the store, and on Saturday, January 16, the first 50 customers will get free bundtlets for one year.

Fast-casual, create-your-own pizza eatery Your Pie is now open at 1625 Main in the SkyHouse building, and, with personal pizzas for just $8.99, it's an ideal spot for your hurried weekday lunch break.

That's it for this week's openings and closings! If you know of something we missed, leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know.
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Alexandra Doyle