The big news this week is that Tarakaan, 2301 Main, is suspending its food service indefinitely because, according to a press release by owner Piran Esfahani, "...it's become evident through guest interactions and alcohol sales that the key draw of the concept is an upscale and upbeat lounge..." and not a foodie haven. This can't have been good news for executive chef Micah Rideout, but he wasted no time inserting himself into the newly vacant chef position at Addison Lee's popular Japanese eatery, KUU.
Wes Griffin of Eater Houston reports that the sisters behind Adair Kitchen, 5161 San Felipe, have announced a new sister concept to Adair, which will be located at 2400 Mid Lane in River Oaks. Eloise Nichols Grill and Liquors, named after the siblings' grandmother, should be open by the end of this summer.
Celtic Gardens, 2300 Louisiana in Midtown, is closed, and the Salt 'N Pepper Group already has plans under way to open a new concept, called Irish Cowboy, in the space soon. There's no word yet on when the latter will be an option for all you boot-wearing Guinness lovers out there.
According to Eric Sandler at CultureMap, Pepperoni's pizza parlor owner Ray Salti plans to open three new locations of his popular eatery in the next six months and 15 more locations over the next five years. Salti told CultureMap that his goal is to have all of Houston within the Pepperoni's delivery area as soon as possible.
Houston's own fast-casual burger joint, Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers, will soon be unveiling a new location at 10405 Katy Freeway in the Memorial area. Jerry Built prides itself on locally sourced, fresh and natural ingredients, like organic offerings and completely hormone- and antibiotic-free beef and poultry.
Get ready for a blast from the past: Swamplot's Christina Gerbode says that the 1970s are in full swing at 1360 Nasa Road 1 as retro burger joint Hamburgers by Gourmet sets up one fantastic throwback Thursday opportunity.
Fast-casual chain Mama Fu's Asian House will open a new location at 13621 Skinner on February 29, which is part of the group's massive expansion plans for this year. While there were only two Mama Fu's in Houston last year, there are plans to have 13 Houston-area locations up and running by the end of 2016.
Laura Furr of the Houston Business Journal reports that Johnny Rockets has staked out a location for its first Houston location; the eatery will be in the Paragon Outlets shopping center southwest of Sugar Land, which is slated to open in 2017. Johnny Rockets experimented with three Houston locations once before, about ten years ago, and all three were closed after a fairly short time in business.
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Cara Smith, also of H.B.J., says that a new upscale Asian eatery called 520 Westheimer will be coming soon to — you guessed it— 520 Westheimer. There's no word yet on any details, including opening date, so stay tuned.
Galveston's popular pub Stuttgarden Tavern is opening a mainland location at 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City, where you'll find bratwurst and other German fare. No opening date has been announced yet, but our main concern is whether or not the new location will have a beer garden like its predecessor. Check out the Galveston County Daily News for more details.
El Pollo Loco opened its first new restaurant of the year at 5309 South Rice, where you'll find the chain's signature flame-grilled chicken dishes seven days a week.
That's it for this week's Openings and Closings! Did we miss something? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us about it.