Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Making the Most of Main Street

It was a week full of news items, both big and small, starting with the big news that Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse in Pearland has leased the old Stella Sola space in the Heights. He plans to open a second location of his steakhouse in the spot after it's remodeled, after which he'll serve a more "inventive" menu than is currently found at his popular steakhouse to the south.

Meanwhile in Montrose, Marco Wiles's pizza joint -- Dolce Vita -- was nearly felled by fire earlier this week. It took 45 firefighters to extinguish the flames, which heavily damaged both the kitchen and the upstairs of the restaurant. Although it hasn't yet reopened, the restaurant hopes to deal with the damage quickly and open its doors again as soon as possible.

A new but familiar face is coming to downtown, says CultureMap: Bibas Brooklyn Express will be replacing the recently shuttered El Rey at 233 Main. The Bibas name will be familiar to fans of the old Bibas Diner on West Gray and Bibas One's-A-Meal, both of which were run by Haritos Bibas. Not content to enjoy his retirement, the 78-year-old Bibas plans to keep Bibas Brooklyn Express open 24 hours a day and "make it look like Times Square" downtown.

Bibas might have a rough go of it downtown, though, as he himself admitted that downtown is "dead" these days. Little Napoli, in fact, just moved off Main Street (where it occupied the corner of Texas Avenue) and will be relocating to the old Mingalone space in Bayou Place.

Last but not least, longtime brunch favorite Dharma Cafe is closing, announced B4-U-Eat earlier this week. "Dharma Cafe closes after Brunch service this Sunday," read the update in B4-U-Eat's weekly e-mail newsletter. "John Gurney and Susan Ralph have sold it and the new owners will change the name and menu. More to come."

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Katharine Shilcutt