Openings & Closings: Pretty Is As Pretty Does

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As recounted on Monday, Eater Houston found information on Yelp that tipped them off that Fish & The Knife is closing after a mere nine months of being in business. Many people said the restaurant design was gorgeous, but looks aren't everything. Customers found the restaurant/nightclub combination be confusing and off-putting. So far, the owners are staying mum on what the new concept will be. Eater Houston expected to receive a statement on November 25, but it has so far not been posted.

A new La Madeline location is opening in the Tanglewood area at 5885 San Felipe at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 4. Be one of the first 50 people to visit and you'll receive free bread every week for a year. Now, that's not a bad incentive to get there early.

Eater Houston says there's a new pizza parlor called Firestation 11 coming to the old Bronx Bar space at 4520 Washington. The restaurant is apparently already fully-furnished, so an opening date seems imminent. It will also serve pasta and salads.

There are a whole lot of openings slated for next spring and several big Houston names are involved. It's almost to the extent of not "Who's opening a new place," but rather, "Who's not opening a new place?"

It's been a long three years to wait, but it looks like the plans for chef Randy Rucker to get back into a kitchen of his own are taking shape. Alison Cook at the Houston Chronicle reports that Bramble is on-target to open in January in the old Mancuso's space at 2231 Voss . Before a stint as concept chef for El Big Bad, Rucker gained fame on a national level with his emphasis on Third Coast cuisine at Bootsie's in Tomball. His partner in the venture is Eoghan Dillman, a bar and restaurant consultant who has a broad range of industry experience.

Bramble won't be the only new restaurant focusing on Gulf Coast cuisine. Treadsack Group (perhaps best known for Down House at 1801 Yale) informed Culturemap Houston of another new restaurant they are working on. That means they have three different restaurants in the works now. Let's break them down:

  • Hunky Dory will be the permanent home of chef Richard Knight, formerly of Feast. No changes here: it's still slated for 1819 North Shepherd.
  • Thai restaurant Foreign Correspondents, helmed by fishmonger, cook and former Thailand resident P.J. Stoops, is no longer going next door to Hunky Dory as previously announced. While it's still slated to open next year, Treadsack has not yet revealed the new location.
  • Bernadine's, a restaurant with a broad Gulf Coast cuisine focus, is going next door to Hunky Dory at 1801 North Shepherd, where Foreign Correspondents was originally slated. It will take "its inspiration from the boudain shacks, oyster dives and fish huts of the extended Gulf Coast." Lafayette-born Graham Laborde will be the executive chef, whose résumé includes a sous chef position at Jonathan Jones' short-lived Concepción and being the operations manager at Black Hill Ranch. He's currently managing the Kipper Club pop-up dinner series. (If Bernadine's is anywhere as good as the Kipper Club dinners have been, there is a great deal to look forward to. The dinners are a lot of fun, well-coordinated and feature terrific food.)

Tipsters contacted us on Wednesday to say that Treadsack is also the entity that's leased The Boom Boom Room spot. Assuming that's correct, we don't know if it will be the new home of Foreign Correspondents or if it's for a new, unannounced project. Treadsack declined our request for comment.

The Houston Chronicle's Greg Morago reports that Latin television personality Aquiles Chavez is opening a second La Fisheria location. The new place will be in The Woodlands at 6777 Woodlands Parkway. It's anticipated opening is in April.

Morago also reports that restaurateurs Bill Floyd and Bryan Caswell (Reef, Little Bigs) are teaming up with Greg Gatlin of Gatlin's BBQ to open a joint venture near Minute Maid Park at 209 Jackson. They hope to be open in the late spring--just in time for the Astros' next season. The space was formerly Houston Live Sports Lounge and the trio hope to offer live entertainment once the restaurant aspect is up and running.

Swamplot noted a sign in the window at 315 Fairview, just down the way from Bar Boheme. The occupant was simply listed as "Sushi Bar," but Eater Houston says the name of the restaurant is actually Akamaru. The information was gathered from a paid subscriber-only list of new businesses at the Houston Business Journal.

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below and we may include your tip in next week's post. Alternately, you can email us with your insider info.

Head to the next page for a list of all the Openings & Closings we covered this past month.

November Openings Sanctuari Bar at Triniti, 2815 S. Shepherd The Nightingale Room, 308 Main Eculent, 709 Harris (Kemah) Little Big's (moved), 4621 Montrose Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, 1008 Prairie The Chicken Ranch, 6500 N. Main Doc's Motorworks Bar & Grill, 1303 Westheimer Hyderabad House, 407 Sawdust Bombshells, 12810 Gulf Freeway

November Closings

Fish & The Knife, 7801 Westheimer TQLA, 4601 Washington Hollywood Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant, 2409 Montrose Boneyard Drinkery, 8150 Washington Blackfinn American Grille, 1910 Bagby Tandoory Taco, 407 Sawdust

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