Things took a decidedly odd turn when Osteria Mazzantini at 2200 Post Oak announced last July that it was closing. Just days later, it announced it is was not closing after all. Chef John Sheely planned to sign over the space last July to chef Bruce Molzan and the Ruggles Green group for a new concept called Ruggles Kitchen. The deal fell through and Osteria Mazzantini stayed open. Amid the uncertainty, the chef Paul Lewis, bartender Kimberly Paul and sommelier Samantha Porter all got jobs elsewhere and many customers were left confused about the situation. The death knell may have already been sounded.
Well, yesterday the Houston Chronicle broke the news that Osteria Mazzantini is closed for good this time. Fans can continue to visit chef Sheely at his original place, Mockingbird Bistro, at 1985 Welch.
Speaking of Ruggles Green, the River Oaks location at 2311 West Alabama temporarily closed at the beginning of January because it's moving to a bigger space just a bit down the street at 2305 West Alabama. After six years, it's outgrown the original location. It will reappear in the new Gables mid-rise in May 2015. The River Oaks location will close temporarily from January 1 until May 2015. The other four locations in The Heights, CityCentre, Sugar Land and the new one in The Woodlands at 2501 Research Forest are open for business as usual.
Weights + Measures (2808 Caroline) opened for full dinner service on January 18. Late-night food is available too, thanks to a bar menu that kicks in when dinner service ends. The multi-purpose concept space includes the first Slow Dough bakery storefront, which opens on Saturday, January 24. The bar-lounge space is called Love and Squalor and it is open until 2 a.m.
Gastropub Gray's Public House in Midtown is now open at 510 Gray. It features canned craft beer, cocktails and "shared plates/snacks, salads, sandwiches and desserts." It also sports a whole lot of flat screen TVs. A Mardi Gras-themed grand opening celebration benefiting Urban Green is planned for Thursday, February 5, from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Fresh on the heels of opening a new location in The Heights, Snap Kitchen has opened a store at 4005 Montrose as well. The opening is concurrent with the release of several new menu items, including a Breakfast Bento Box, Chicken Sausage Breakfast Tacos and an Over Easy Bison Burger, a grass-fed bison burger patty with an over-easy egg, sweet potato fries, housemade pickles and spicy ketchup.
Russo's New York Pizzeria continues its rapid expansion as well with a new franchise location in Spring. It's located at Spring Marketplace at 24230 Kuykendahl Road, Suite 200. The franchisee, Guillermo Medellin, already runs two other stores in Conroe and The Woodlands.
The Sugar Land Los Tios location at 3308 Texas 6 is reopening on February 4 after a six-figure remodeling effort to update the 35-year-old space. A press release quotes owner Gary Adair as saying, "We kept the traditional look and feel of the original in the entrance and bar area, and added a new hacienda feel in the expansion. We now have five different private dining options, with seating for thirty to ninety diners, each with the audio visual equipment modern businesses require." The kitchen has also been updated.
Kolache Shoppe has also been remodeled. They've been in business for 45 years. New owner Randy Hines and his wife, Lucy, bought the place and interned in the mornings, learning how to make kolaches before starting the remodeling work. The new look includes freshly-painted gray walls and white fixtures.
The Bellaire location of The Union Kitchen is now open for weekday breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. As far as other locations, a press release says they "will be rolling out a weekday breakfast menu at the other locations when demand warrants."
According to Yelp, Fuzii Restaurant, which serves Japanese fare, has opened at 12755 Southwest Freeway in Stafford while a new LA Crawfish is now open at 939 W. Bay Area in Webster.
That's it for this week's Openings & Closings. Did we miss anything? Send us a line at email@example.com.