Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Rich's Reopens and Hello to Holler Brewing

at 2401 San Jacinto in Midtown has reopened, according to a November 14 press release. The 15,000-square-foot multi-level club has undergone a complete remodel and now includes a large dance floor, five bars including a patio bar, a video bar, a VIP lounge and a private space called the Richland Room. Owner Jeff Harmon said, “Rich’s is about music, technology and inclusivity.” The sparkling disco ball still hangs from the center of the dance floor and special attention is paid to an advanced lighting and sound system.

The night club closed unexpectedly back in April 2013. The venue was promoted as "The Limelight" between May 2013 until May 2016, when new ownership took over. “Rehabilitation of the club began in May 2016 and was completed this month,” said a representative.

Hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday nights, offering different themes each evening, including Rich’s famous drag shows.

The Houston Press spotted new signage in front of the now closed Pradaria at 10694 Westheimer in Westchase. An employee at the 19819 Northwest Freeway location of Toro Japanese Steakhouse told the Press that the restaurant may be ready to open after the new year, no more than two or three months from now. She also said there would be six hibachi grill tables and will feature sushi on the menu.

An October 11 Facebook post announced that longtime Clear Lake favorite docking dive bar, Lance’s Turtle Club is closing at year’s end. The post said that after 33 years, the property had been “sold to a Land speculation/investment company” and its last day of operation will be New Year’s Eve.

Kingwood’s first Raising Cane’s opened on November 15 at 4509 Kingwood Drive. In a press release, General Manager Chris Conroy said, “this is such a great town and the people here deserve to have a convenient place to get their chicken finger fix.” The 5236 South Rice location recently opened in Houston on November 1.

Sub Zero Ice Cream opened on November 14 at 528 West Bay Area, suite 600, in Webster, serving made-to-order ice cream creations using minus 321-degree liquid nitrogen. The sweet shop celebrated throughout the week with specials including buy one, get one free ice cream deals and will offer free waffle cone upgrades on November 19-20.

Salata opened at Baybrook Mall at the Lawn in Friendswood on November 11. The chain specializes in fresh custom salads and wraps, with more than 50 toppings and ten house-made dressings available.

A press release announced the expansion of Austin-acclaimed restaurant Ramen Tatsu-Ya to the Houston market. This winter, the noodle house will open at 1722 California Street in Montrose and will offer several types of ramen from pork and chicken to soy and mushroom broths.

Austin-based chefs/DJs, Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto are the masterminds behind this nationally recognized restaurant (recognized by Bon Appétit as one of America’s greatest ramen destinations). According to its website, “process of broth-making can take an extremely long time in order to draw out the flavors from each ingredient,” and Ramen Tatsu-Ya aims to “educate people on what ramen truly is – the soul food of Japan.”

Nasdaq reported a new El Pollo Loco opened on November 10 at 2760 Gulf Freeway South in League City. The Mexican-inspired chicken chain has 12 other restaurants in the Houston area. The signature dish is the citrus marinated fire-grilled chicken which is a crowd-pleaser according to CEO Steve Sather.

Holler Brewing Co.
soft-opened this past weekend at 2206 Edwards, suite A, in the Washington area. Almost a year after first reports of Holler came on the brewing scene, owners Kathryn and John Holler were ready to open to the public with a weekend-long celebration.

Back in September, Kathryn Holler told Jamie Alvear of the Houston Press that “it's a true partnership between her and her husband when it comes to the business . . . they collaborate on all aspects of the business, including the recipes, half of which are ones she has developed.”

Houston Business Journal reported that Ruggles Green is negotiating a move into Vintage Marketplace. CEO Jason Morgan told HBJ that there are plans to open two additional stores in 2017 and then expand into Dallas thereafter. The fast-casual concept is known for offering healthy food that “incorporates local, often times organic and even farmer’s market seasonal items when available,” according to its website.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is slated to open in spring 2017. A press release announced that the Austin-based fan favorite burger joint is coming to Vintage Park in Northwest Houston. Vintage Park is a master-planned development with approximately 348,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Stacked Ice Cream
, 2211 North Fry soft opened in Katy on November 8. Early Yelp reviews rave about cute ice cream macaroon sandwiches and warm doughnuts stuffed with ice cream. Owners Marouf Suleiman and Zaid Mohabbat told the Press that a best seller on the sweet menu is the Cookie Monster Do'Boy made of Oreos, Famous Amos cookies, fudge swirl with a sweet cream base ice cream between two halves of a glazed donut and topped with Cookie Crisp cereal. Find it open seven days a week from noon to midnight.

A Facebook post announced the grand opening of Hubcap Grill inside Terminal A at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. On November 17, the fifth installment of this popular home-grown joint will grill burger favorites for travelers coming and going from the second largest airport in Texas.

Fajita Pete's at 11022 Spring Cypress Road in Cypress celebrates with a grand opening on November 20, between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The restaurant will be giving away complimentary fajitas, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones and will feature fun activities for children. The Houston-based chain has four other locations in Houston and announced plans to expand to 40 locations throughout Texas in a press release. A Katy store on Mason Road is slated to open next.

After a couple months of soft opening, The Blind Pig, 11920 Westheimer in Westchase is finally celebrating its grand opening on November 19. Specials include $10 gourmet sandwich buffet featuring samples of Chef Scott Welle’s menu, $3 draft beer, $2 signature shots.

Blaze Pizza opens a new location in Webster at 1507 West Bay Area in Webster Village. Fans can get FREE build-your-own pizzas on November 18. The fast-fired pizza joint has a 2,100-square foot interior with seating for 48. The Webster location is the third for the chain in Houston (the first was at 9650 Westheimer in Woodlake and second was added to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, located in Terminal A.

A date has been announced for the opening of Killen's STQ, the highly anticipated Houston restaurant from award-winning barbecue master, Ronnie Killen. The Houston Chronicle announced this week that on November 28, Houstonians can finally get a taste of Killen’s steaks and smoked meats within city limits at the former Bramble space at 2231 South Voss. Killen told the Chronicle that, “it's not a barbecue place. It's just food we've created in the past that never made it to the menu. It's foods I like to cook and I like to eat."

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings. Do you know of something we missed? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us about it.
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Cuc Lam is a freelance food writer for the Houston Press and local pop-up chef. She enjoys teaching cooking classes and hosting dinner parties when she is not writing.