Openings & Closings: Philippe to Become Table & Brian O'Neill's Isn't Closed

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After Chef Philippe Schmit left his namesake restaurant, Philippe, back in September, the chef de cuisine at the time, Manuel Pucha, took the reins as executive chef. Now, Philippe's name will change to Table; the restaurant will close on Saturday, January 11, to prepare for its reopening, which is scheduled for March. Houston Chronicle's Greg Morago explains that the restaurant will be completely remodeled -- décor and menu. The bar downstairs will be twice as big as it is now and will offer a special menu from 3-5 p.m. Table's bar will focus more on cocktails and craft beers. Chef Pucha will create a menu filled with dishes that reflect his culinary style of contemporary and updated American dishes. The Chronicle previews a few possible menu items, such as tuna tartare with citrus-infused olive oil and cilantro, baked oysters, brick chicken and vegetable "flights." Morago's article also notes that Schmit is in Houston and might open a new restaurant. More to come about that possibility.

La Guadalupana did not reopen after the holidays, but have no fear, Mexican pastry lovers, because the quaint bakery and cafe is not permanently closed. Eater reports that La Guadalupana will reopen on Saturday, January 11. While the reason for the temporary closure has yet to be determined, Eater explains that owner Trancito Diaz has plans to open a shopping center in Pasadena, where he would likely open his second cafe.

Although Brian O'Neill's had a "Farewell Brian O'Neill's New Year's Eve Party," the Irish bar and pub is not closed, and won't be closing any time soon. On January 2, Brian O'Neill's posted on Facebook, "Despite all the rumors Brian O'Neill's is still open and is not closing soon, so come in tonight for $3 Irish Car Bombs, $2 red snappers, and $2 buttery nipples all night long! Specials on all Texas drafts and liquors as well." The pub has not released any information about remodeling or closing to rebrand.

We received word that LOLA Catering + Events, LLC has opened a new storefront, at 2280 W. Holcombe Blvd. The catering and events service moved there in the fall, and is now open and serving takeout lunch and dinner; LOLA will still offer catering services from this location. Chef Richard Hendry will serve staple LOLA dishes, such as the apple gorgonzola salad and the LOLA burger, as well as a variety of new sides, soups and desserts.

B4-U-Eat's newsletter cleared up some confusion with the Fish & The Knife this week. According to the owner, the restaurant will open in about three weeks. Rumors had spread that the restaurant might be far from opening, based on the disappearance of its Facebook page and because its opening had been delayed for quite some time. However, the Facebook page was removed because a former employee created the page.

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Remember that make-out bar with the blue door? Well it's coming back -- for real this time. Swamplot reports that Marfreless should reopen on Friday, January 17. From the looks of the renovation photos from Facebook, it will still be dimly lit, so you can ... you know ...

Anyway ... Help out a good cause and get a free meal at Another Broken Egg Cafe opening in Vintage Park on January 20. On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the grand opening the cafe will offer a free meal to every customer, as well as an opportunity to make donations to a specific charity and nonprofit. On Thursday, January 16, diners may donate to the Houston Food Bank from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.; on Friday, January 17, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m., donations may be made to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and on Saturday, January 18, customers can make donations to the Houston SPCA from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. During each of these times, the cafe will serve a variety of southern brunch dishes, including biscuit beignets, French toast, burgers, sandwiches and omelettes. Try out Houston's first Another Broken Egg Cafe and decide for yourself if you want to visit again for a not-free meal.

Houston Chronicle's Greg Morago reports that the space where El Patio used to be has been redesigned and remodeled for its new occupant, Cook & Collins, which will open on Monday, January 20. There will be a bar downstairs in the main dining area, and an upstairs dining terrace. The menu will include American comfort food dishes. Cook & Collins will initially be open for dinner only, but brunch and lunch services will soon be added to the menu.

Another bar is joining the downtown nightlife scene. The Chronicle's Greg Morago reports that Snake Oil Company will open at 410 Main, Suite B, between Preston and Prairie, by the end of January. The cocktail bar will resemble a speakeasy with a "secret" staircase entrance. It is headed by K.C. Gifford, owner of a residential and commercial construction company, Double G, and Robby Cook, who will be the bar consultant. Morago writes that Cook worked at El Big Bad.

Eater reports that a new bakery is coming to the East End part of town. Tout Suite is the sister bakery to CityCentre bakery Sweet, and is set to open at 2001 Commerce. Owners Thuy-my Luong and Sandy Tran will open Tout Suite some time near the end of February; the bakery will not only serve the same macarons and cupcakes sold at Sweet, but it will also offer soups, salads, sandwiches made with bread from Slow Dough, and coffee from Greenway Coffee.

According to Amber Ambrose of Zagat Houston, Hubcap Grill will open a third location, this one in Kemah, off of Highway 146. Owner Ricky Craig announced the expansion via twitter, stating, "Hubcap Breaking News: Hubcap #3 coming soon. Hello 146 Kemah". Ambrose reports that the third restaurant location might open in March or April of this year -- beer garden, jukebox and those insanely grreat burgers included.

Punk's Simple Southern Food will open in the middle or end of February next door to another Clark Cooper Concept, Coppa Osteria. Chef Brandi Key will head the kitchen at Punk's, serving true Southern classic dishes with a twist, such as fried green tomatoes with a crab salad, sweet corn hush puppies and buttermilk fried chicken.

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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