Openings and Closings: Midtown Happenings & a Cupcake ATM!

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We had one major closing to speak of this week and one almost closing, so let's just start there, and then move on to all of the exciting openings, shall we?

Zunum restaurant in the Woodlands announced its closing on its Facebook page on Monday, August 5. Many people voiced their disappointment on Facebook -- particularly parents whose kids were fond of the restaurant and its playroom. Most critics on Yelp and Urbanspoon (heralds of quality dining that they are) found the restaurant to be overpriced and not very good, so perhaps that has something to do with its closing. The message on Zunum's Facebook page hints that the kid-friendly restaurant may be opening in a new location sometime in the future. It ends, "Stay tuned."

Eater reports that the Midtown branch of Asian-ish (it's Mongolian, but fajitas are on the menu) restaurant Kublai Khan, which opened in May, is already looking to close due to increased rental prices. I sense a theme in Midtown. The owner, Tian Zheng, tells Eater that he still has four years left on his lease, so he's hoping to sublet the property ASAP to avoid spending more money that the restaurant can't bring in. He's also looking to sell all of his kitchen equipment and dining décor.

Now for the good stuff...

The sandwich chain Capriotti's Sandwich Shop opened its first Houston-area location on July 29 in Sugar Land. Capriotti's is a favorite in Dallas and Plano, as well as in other states across the country. The chain was founded in Delaware in 1976 and is famous for its roasted pulled turkey sandwiches. Stop by 2228 Texas Drive and see if the subs live up to all the hype.

Another chain, Grub Burger Bar, also recently opened a Houston branch, this one at City Centre. The fast-casual chain's burgers are reasonably priced, and the joint also offers spiked milkshakes, which actually sound better than burgers in this heat.

Swamplot reports that two new bar/restaurants are prepping spots in Midtown for fall openings. The former Opium nightclub in the Midtown Shoppes is undergoing renovations to become the 3030 Pub, while Bremond Street Grill is taking over the place left empty by El Xuco Xicana at 2416 Brazos.

Inside Scoop Frozen Custard opened Sunday, August 4, and people are already raving about the cool desserts. The new custard shop is located in Sugar Land. The place doesn't have a website, only a Facebook page, so there aren't many more details, but I'm looking forward to making the trek out to Sugar Land soon to get me some of this frozen deliciousness.

Tea drinkers, rejoice! Two new tea shops have opened: Kung Fu Tea in Chinatown and McHugh TEA in Bellaire. Kung Fu makes authentic Thai tea and bubble tea, while McHugh is more of an upscale tea room and gift shop. Also, I think the name is supposed to sound like "McCutie"...is that just me?

According Woodlands Online, Fielding's Wood Grill in the Woodlands has decided on a September 4 grand opening that will begin at 6:30 a.m with a special breakfast menu. The founder, Cary Attar, describes Fielding's as "new-age American," and the menu will feature burgers, milkshakes and salads with an updated twist.

Finally, my favorite food news of the week involves a "Cupcake ATM." Oh yeah, that's right, Sprinkles Cupcakes is bringing Houston a 24-hour cupcake machine. The first cupcake machine debuted last year at the Sprinkles in Beverly Hills and now has locations in Chicago and Dallas as well. Ours will be way faster though. The company's president, Charles Nelson, told the Chronicle that people will be able to get a cupcake in 30 seconds, and the machine can dispense up to six cupcakes at a time. Sprinkles expects to get the machine going by September, and it will be installed outside the Sprinkles shop in Highland Village sometime in October.


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