Openings & Closings: So long, Sullivan's

After more than 20 years, Sullivan's will close its doors on May 23.EXPAND
After more than 20 years, Sullivan's will close its doors on May 23.
Photo by Cuc Lam
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Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 4608 Westheimer, will close its doors for the last time on May 23. The restaurant just celebrated its 20th year in business, but the Del Frisco’s Restaurant group announced that it would not be renewing its lease when it expires come the end of May.

Last week, a Sullivan’s server told the Houston Press that she heard rumors that River Oaks District would expand into the space. “They [the landlord] doubled the rent to force us out. I think it went from $30,000 per month to $60,000 and that was just too much,” she said.

Sullivan’s along with its former Ringside Lounge used to be one of the trendiest places in town, with live jazz, salsa dancing and the piano stylings of longtime jazz musician, Robert Sanders. Stop by before May 23 to catch his beats and enjoy a $7 cocktail or appetizer in the bar.

Beleaguered Treadsack restaurants Bernadine's and Hunky Dory will close on May 24 in the Heights. A Facebook posted late Thursday afternoon read:  

It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Bernadine's and Hunky Dory. Our last service will beWednesday, May 24th. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our amazing and hardworking staff and to you, our guests. We are grateful for your patronage over the last year. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

The bankrupt restaurants' main entity Mothership Ventures owes well over $2 million to various lenders, purveyors and the landlord, including an estimated $700,000 in back taxes, as first reported by the Press' Craig Malisow. Mothership's troubles began with the closures of two other concepts, critically acclaimed Foreign Correspondent and Canard back in December of 2016. Culinary director of both Bernadine's and Hunky Dory, Graham Laborde has recently joined the Killen's team as Operations Chef.

A recent post in Facebook group Cypress Area Foodies and Fooding noted that Koala Kolache at 17415 Farm to Market 529 has changed its name to Karma Kolache. The two-year-old breakfast shop is known for its wide variety of kolaches, croissants and its take on the once-hyped croissant and doughnut hybrid, the cronut.

The chicken boti at Night Market will be missed.
The chicken boti at Night Market will be missed.
Photo courtesy of Night Market Curry & Grill

On April 28, Night Market Curry & Grill announced that they would be closing that weekend. The statement read:

We will be closing after this Sunday April 30th to make some revisions to our kitchen and menu. We appreciate all the great feedback our guests have given us over these first few months!

Whether the closure is temporary remains to be seen, but the restaurant is optimistic about an eventual reopening. Let’s hope they don’t change too much, the chicken boti and crispy poppadom were delicious items that will be missed.

Eater Houston reported that the group behind Fielding’s Wood Grill and Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar have plans for a third restaurant, Fielding’s Rooster. The restaurant will open in the former La Bikina space at 4223 Research Forest Drive and will feature more chicken dishes but there will be steaks, burgers and fish as well. The other two Fielding’s restaurants have been very popular family-friendly establishments in The Woodlands.

The Jones on Main is the new name for the revamped 37-floor art deco Gulf Oil/JPMorgan Chase Building at 712 Main.
The Jones on Main is the new name for the revamped 37-floor art deco Gulf Oil/JPMorgan Chase Building at 712 Main.
Photo courtesy of telwink

A new food hall will open in 2018 downtown, just a few blocks from the Conservatory. The Food Hall at Main and Rusk will offer 20,000-square-feet of “elevated culinary experiences.” According to a Press article, FHMR will open inside the Jones on Main building at 712 Main and will likely feature "a dozen chef-driven food outlets from well-established and emerging kitchen talent, along with a craft beer and curated wine bar, an art deco cocktail lounge and unique private spaces.”

Bryan Caswell is teaming up with his wife, Jennifer, to open Oxbow 7 inside Le Méridien Houston Downtown hotel. According to CultureMap Houston, Jennifer “contributed to the overall concept, including the design and marketing.”

The hotel at 1121 Walker plans to open July 18 after much renovation and the restaurant will be ready by then as well. Oxbow 7 will be housed on the ground floor with plans for a bar called Hoggbirds to be added on the 22nd floor.

Caswell also told CultureMap about his plans to redesign Reef as it prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Texadelphia is reopening in Houston. A discussion on local food group Memorial Area Eats (MAE) provided details about the beloved Philly cheese-steak joint opening in the shopping center on Westheimer at Dunvale.

Looks like one of the owners confirmed that it would be opening in the former Pot Belly space at 8383 Westheimer, but an opening date has not been noted.

After a dozen years, on May 14, Shade in the Heights at 250 West 19th closed temporarily to transform into Alice Blue, which will open in June with a new chef, new menu and brand new upgraded interior space.

Kent Domas (formerly of Down House) will helm the kitchen as executive chef along with a team that includes Chef Jason Vaughan to consult on the menu. Summer Sepeda (from One Fifth) will come on as the general manager and Sean Jensen (from Shade and Hay Merchant) will consult on the cocktail and wine list.

Another Torchy’s Tacos will open soon at 4529 Kingwood as part of a new development called Main Street Kingwood. Community Impact reported that the Austin-based eatery plans to open on May 31.

Torchy’s Tacos is known for its Mexican street-style tacos and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Yama S Fusion Sushi Bar & Hibachi opened last week at 23940 Highway 59 North in Kingwood. New York-based chef Yama Chang’s menu features sushi rolls like the Sunway Fusion Mango Waikiki and New York roll presented with a special housemade sauce. Check out the menu on its site.

The falafel is a popular item at Tahini Plus.
The falafel is a popular item at Tahini Plus.
Photo courtesy of Tahini Plus Mediterranean Kitchen

Tahini Plus Mediterranean Kitchen celebrated its grand opening on May 12 in the Cypress Area. The menu features Mediterranean fare like shawarma, kabobs, a variety of appetizers, salads and vegetarian-friendly dishes.

The restaurant is located at 6180 North Highway 6. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Former culinary director for Bernadine's and Hunky Dory, Graham LaBorde has joined the Killen’s team as operations chef for all the Killen’s restaurants. This is a newly created role to help Killen oversee his expanding restaurant group. According to the release, it was “important to have someone on board who can touch a little bit of all the restaurants daily and support the chefs and teams in Pearland and Houston,” while plans for an Austin Killen’s Barbecue is in the works.

Killen added that, “Graham will make sure the high quality is maintained. He's very hands on, we have very similar leadership styles and his fine dining style of plating is impressive and something that will be welcomed."

We’ve been patiently awaiting news from the Danny Trace camp since the March 31 announcement of his departure from Brennan’s of Houston. Astros owner and restaurateur Jim Crane’s Potente and Osso & Kristalla announced on May 11 that Trace will now head the culinary operations as the executive chef for both restaurants.

Trace brings decades of experience to the Italian restaurants Downtown at 1515 Texas Avenue. Potente, an upscale, elegant Italian concept is open daily from 5 to 10 p.m. while Osso & Kristalla, the more casual trattoria next door is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Lost Cajun opened at 7042 FM 1960 East on May 1. Local franchise owners, Greg and April Schwalbach, who are transplants from Southeast Louisiana were very excited about starting their own business and The Lost Cajun was a perfect fit for their family.

The menu features beignets, gumbo and traditional Cajun fare.

After almost 11 years, Glass Wall at 933 Studewood in the Heights closed abruptly after Mother’s Day this past weekend. A press release announced that the upscale restaurant plans to reopen as a more casual eatery by the end of the summer.

Studewood Hospitality Group’s partner Tim Jones released the following statement:

We’re extremely proud of Glass Wall’s contribution to making the Heights a dining destination in Houston. While it is bittersweet to say goodbye to a place that has meant so much to the revitalization of this neighborhood over the past decade, we are confident that when we reopen, we will offer the Heights a fresh concept that better reflects contemporary dining trends as well as the culinary preferences of Houston’s red-hot foodie community.

Community Impact reported that Pizza Zone moved from Kuykendahl Road to 4660 Louetta, suite 130 on May 16. The Italian eatery moved into the former Uncle Wankies space, which is more than twice the size of its Kuykendahl store.

A reader noted that Taja Indian at 2510 Smith Ranch in Pearland has shuttered. The Yelp page has been marked as closed and calls to the restaurant were unanswered.

Floyd’s Cajun Seafood franchise will open its sixth location in the Houston area in the former Lucky’s Pub space at 27126 Highway 290 in Cypress. The new location will have an outdoor patio, private room and full bar. Expect the restaurant to open next to Buc-ee’s in June.

Cazadores Mexican Grill is moving a few doors down from 1344 Pin Oak to 1251 Pin Oak, suite 141, in Katy. The Mexican restaurant features an extensive menu of favorites like nachos, queso flameados, tamales and even a Mexican version of chicken fried steak topped with chili con queso.

Local pizza chain Center Court Pizza & Brew announced a sixth Houston-area location to open in Friendswood at 2111 West Parkwood. The pizzeria serves beer, calzones, sliders, salads and wings. Its most recent opening expanded into the San Antonio market. The Friendswood store is slated for this spring.

MIdtown Drinkery will close the last weekend of July.EXPAND
MIdtown Drinkery will close the last weekend of July.
Photo courtesy of Midtown Drinkery

Midtown Drinkery, 2400 Bagby, will close at the end of July. Owner/operator Wade Yeomans told the Press Monday morning that he's excited about the opening of Bourbon Street Drinkery in New Orleans' historical French Quarter at 217 Bourbon.

Celebrate the Last Hoorah Bash on Friday and Saturday, July 28-29. Details will be available on its Facebook page.

New coffee shop Perfect Latte opened at 7417 West Grand Parkway South, suite 130, in Richmond earlier this month. The shop offers a variety of coffee, tea, and chai, as well as juices and smoothies. There is also a small menu of salads, sandwiches and baked goods.

The 27th location of Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is scheduled for completion by early August. The new store is located at 2105 Shepherd, along the Katy Freeway. The restaurant will hire approximately 65 new crew members over the next few weeks.

Giant Leap Coffee, a specialty coffee shop is scheduled to open inside Headquarters, a newly redeveloped 35,000-square-foot space that will house co-working and creative office space.

A press release noted that the joint venture between college friends turned business partners Lauren Ferrante and Logan Beck will provide service for both residents and tenants of the East end neighborhood. Beck is also a principal at rootlab, who has designed and manufactured the interior elements for the new Jenni’s Noodle House on Richmond and signage for Silver Street Studios among other local design projects.

Giant Leap will exclusively serve coffee from Houston-based Amaya Roasting Co., along with pastries, snacks, local kombucha, cold pressed juice and a few local beers on tap.

Headquarters is located at 3302 Canal Street and Giant Leap Coffee will be at the front of the building facing Canal Street and will open by the end of the summer.

The vegetarian gumbo is a new item at Antone's.EXPAND
The vegetarian gumbo is a new item at Antone's.
Photo courtesy of Antone's

Lots of exciting news about Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys. Known as “Houston’s original sandwich,” the restaurant chain announced new menu items, a new Downtown tunnel kiosk location and plans for two new locations.

Executive chef Alex Padilla created a selection of items that will rotate monthly and a few permanent additions to the classic menu. Sandwiches like the Beef Brisket, Cubano and Fried Chicken Po’boy are exciting new recipes. A vegetarian gumbo and Caesar salad have also been added to the line-up. These items will be available at the two stand-alone restaurants located at 4520 San Felipe and 2724 West TC Jester.

The tunnel kiosk is for grab-and-go items and will feature Antone’s four traditional po’boys: Original, Super Original, Turkey & Swiss and Tuna. Downtown eaters can find this kiosk at 811 Louisiana, directly beneath the Two Shell Plaza.

Legacy Restaurants, which owns and operates Antone’s and the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation is in negotiations for a 2,500-square-foot space in Downtown Houston. A location in West Houston at The Shops at Ten Oaks was previously announced. According to the release, both locations are slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen launched a new farm-to-table menu with a focus on gluten-free dishes in honor of Celiac Awareness month during May and will be available through the summer.

Seven additional pizzas are featured, including cauliflower and sausage, truffle and mushroom, prosciutto and fig and blueberry and ricotta.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings. Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know if we missed something.

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