Openings & Closings: Jonathan's the Rub Is Staying Put in Memorial Village

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The second location for Jonathan's the Rub was slated to open at 963 Bunker Hill in November of this year, but that project has come to a halt. Chef and owner Jonathan Levine says he doesn't want to expand his business and would rather stay at his current location in Memorial at 9061 Gaylord. According to the Houston Chronicle, Levine says in statement, "We have made a decision within our family to stay in our current location and continue doing what we do best. We have a great thing going on and an incredible customer base at our unique location on Gaylord Street and will continue providing the best food, the best service and a great experience to our customers. We are exploring exciting opportunities, which will ultimately be better for the organization, the Memorial Village community and our family."

We recently visited Jonathan's the Rub to taste some of Levine's "New Houston Fare" menu, including the Hill Country Chicken & Shrimp, a surf-and-turf style dish featuring fried chicken breast and jumbo shrimp smothered in sautéed jalapeno, peppers and onions, bacon and Sriracha aioli. Of course, no one can visit the restaurant without ordering a plate of the lobster tacos featuring corn tortillas stuffed with lobster salad, tomatillo salsa, seared avocado, chipotle and Aleppo chili.

Saturday, September 6, will be the last day for Taqueria La Macro, located at 1822 N Main. The taqueria famous for its tacos al trampo where pork is marinated in pineapple and other citrus juices with chiles then placed vertically on a rotating spit to cook, announced via Twitter that Saturday would be the final day of business. According to the owner and general manager Saul Obregon, La Macro will be moving to the EaDo area by the BBVA Compass Stadium and Warehouse Live. Currently there is construction on the shopping center's suites to make room for La Macro, a coffee shop and a sushi restaurant. Obregon hopes to be up and running in the new location by the end of September or middle of October pending construction and receiving the permit.

"We are closing here because the flow of traffic is non-existent and we are not getting the volume that we need," Obregon says. "Our volume comes from outside of the neighborhood, if that makes sense. They come from the Heights, downtown, basically all over the city except for the neighborhood. And one of the biggest reasons is Metro and the light rail. The light rail really killed us. It literally killed all of the businesses on the North Line area. This Tuesday they just shut down the Hernandez Tunnel by UH Downtown. And it is going to be shut down for nine months to a year. That would literally more than bury us. We rely on the UH crowd so [now that] it's non-existent; it won't be around for more than a year or so."

Museum Park Cafe opens today, Friday, September 5, at 1801 Binz in the Museum District. Chef Justin Basye will lead the kitchen of this Balcor Hospitality concept; before this endeavor, Basye was working as corporate chef with Pappas Restaurants. The team consists of owner and managing director Chris Balat, pastry chef and culinary director Chris Leung, and chef Justin Basye. As noted by the Chronicle, this is the second concept from Balat after opening Bosta Wine & Coffee earlier this year. The menu includes first course dishes of roasted bone marrow and sweet corn bisque; main entrees range from Atlantic scallops with pork belly, corn pudding, charred onions and chanterelle mushrooms, to the Museum Park 'Blue Label' Burger with Grafton cheddar cheese and caramelized onions on a challah bun.

The Drink Station opened another location in League City at 6555 South Shore Boulevard in Unit E on August 25. The drink menu at this late-night shop includes a variety of teas, such as classic milk tea, almond green tea and Thai tea, as well as a selection of coffees from hot mocha lattes to frozen vanilla cappuccinos. Smoothies, slushies and juices are also available.

University of Houston students and fans can check out Calhoun's Rooftop, which opened on August 27. The 4701 Calhoun bar and grill overlooks UH campus and the downtown Houston skyline. Menu items include fried eggrolls stuffed with Philly steak, onions, bell peppers and white American cheese, chicken wings with a sauce of your choice, and the Cougar Club Flatbread topped with garlic aioli, grilled chicken, bacon, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.

Grub Burger Bar recently opened in The Woodlands at 2417 Research Forest Drive in Suite A. The newest location opened on August 26. Now Woodlands residents have a chance to nosh on signature burgers like the Texas Luau with braised pulled pork, grilled pineapple and jalapenos, teriyaki and BBQ sauce; pair it with one of the restaurant's boozy milkshakes like the Tipsy Worms & Dirt spiked concoction featuring chocolate vodka and crushed Oreo cookies with gummy worms.

Savory Spice Shop opened on August 30, but will hold its grand opening on Saturday, September 6, at 2516 Times Boulevard in historic Rice Village. The new shop features more than 400 herbs and spices, and more than 160 handcrafted seasonings. Other specialty items include sugars such as vanilla bean sugar in lavender, peppermint, plain and spiced flavors, as well as a selection of powders: Arrowroot starch, honey powder, mango powder and tomato powder.

BCN Taste and Tradition is slated to open later this month. The 4210 Roseland restaurant will blend traditional and modern Spanish cuisine, featuring dishes such as sunny-side eggs with potatoes and foie gras, and stewed pork cheeks with artichokes and prawns. Chef Luis Roger, who originated from Girona, Spain, tells CultureMap Houston that the restaurant will offer 100 percent Spanish food and plans to share the taste of Spanish food with Houstonians and can only accomplish this goal by using authentic and traditional Spanish ingredients.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section and we will be sure to include them in next week's report.

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