Openings & Closings: Say Hello to Another Cupcake Shop

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The Houston Chronicle reports that Newk's Eatery will be opening its second location in Houston at 20802 Katy Freeway in Katy on Saturday, August 2. The first Newk's that opened in Houston is located at Cypress at 25712 Northwest Freeway. Newk's serves a variety of large salads, a selection of pizzas, sandwiches and soups, along with several desserts, like daily slices of cake.

CultureMap Houston's Shelby Hodge reports that Charles Clark and Grant Cooper (Clark Cooper Concepts) will open a private event venue space next summer on Allen Parkway near Dunlavy Street, called The Dunlavy. Cooper tells Sandler, "It's unique, a location in the middle of a park almost like a glass jewel box sitting in the middle of the trees overlooking downtown. There's nothing like that anywhere else in the city."

Clark Cooper Concepts will be able to cater from any of their five restaurants at the 4,000-square foot lot, and the spot will be open during the day for to-go breakfast and lunch meals; it is expected to seat 150 people for a meal. But, that's not all. The duo also has a coffee truck, Mobile Mug, in the works to hit the streets in September. Mobile Mug will serve cinnamon rolls, too.

True Food Kitchen officially opened to the public on Tuesday, July 29, at 1700 Post Oak Boulevard inside Phase II of BLVD Place. Along with the standard year-round menu items, such as the "inside out" quinoa burger and turkey lasagna, the menu will feature a few dishes only found at the Houston location. Fill up on kale and avocado dip, and two gluten-free items, the Thai green papaya salad with kelp noodles, and chicken tandoori kebabs.

If you drive by the construction where a Wendy's at 1303 Westheimer used to stand, you're probably wondering, when is the project going to be done? And what is it going to be? Austin import Doc's Bar & Grill was supposed to have opened in November of last year, according to Swamplot, but the project has been delayed and now it is expected to open later in August.

Aji Peruvian Cafe will open soon at 2825 South Kirkwood. The coming soon sign is hanging outside the restaurant, but the menu has not been posted yet. Based on the Facebook page, it's safe to say there will be empanadas.

Another Los Cucos is opening the Houston area soon, according to the restaurant's website. The next location will open soon at 1111 Studewood in Suite A.

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Swamplot also discovered this week that a new bar is opening up next to Georgia's Market Downtown. A TABC mixed-beverage notice was posted on the window of the 416 Main Street establishment. Previously a Mexican restaurant, El Centro Comida y Copas, resided there, but now it is going to be Bovine and Barley, which might be associated with The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey, located at 702 West Dallas.

Fratellini Ristorante Italiano held its grand opening on Thursday, July 31, at 8905 Louetta Road in Spring. It's a classic Italian family restaurant serving a variety of pasta dishes, such as lasagna, spaghetti carbonara and spinach-stuffed tortellini, as well as several fish and meat main entrees, like coquille St. Jaques, shrimp and crabmeat baked in a puff pastry smothered in cream cheese sauce, and veal marsala. Don't leave without a cannoli, piece of tiramisu or Italian wedding cake.

Galveston welcomed Riondo's Ristorante Bar & Grille to the Strand on Friday, July 25. Similar to Fratellini, Riondo's, located at 2328 Strand, serves classic Italian dishes, such as fettucini di mare, veal piccata and cioppino.

HtownCheapEats filled us in on a few more openings in and around Houston. Ameer Mediterranean Grill & Cafe opened in Clear Lake at 1227 Bay Area Boulevard, the old location of Mona's Mediterranean Cafe & Grill; the restaurant offers hookah along with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, such as falafel and gyro sandwiches, kabobs and shawarma bowls.

Co Muoi Quan opened at 12319 Bellaire Boulevard serving Vietnamese dishes like mi hoanh thanh xa xiu (wonton soup with barbecue pork) and banh canh cua (crab and thick noodle soup).

The Iced Cupcake is located at 21927 Katy Freeway. Besides cupcakes, the store also sells cake balls, cupcake poppers, iced cookies and brownies, as well as a variety of sheet cakes.

HtownCheapEats mentioned Darwin's Theory replaced the recently closed Addix at 33 Waugh two weekends ago. According to Eater Houston, Darwin's is a dog-friendly bar where folks can grab a local brew, play Foosball or air hockey and nosh on pizza, burgers and hot dogs. On Sundays the bar serves a breakfast taco buffet.

Two new food trucks joined the Houston mobile cuisine scene. Chef Michael Gabriel, previous contestant on Hell's Kitchen, opened his food truck, BTG-670. Some of the items served include whole fish, red rice, BBQ ribs, sweet and spicy kemchi, and garlic fried rice. The Pickled Pig hit the streets over the weekend of July 19; like HtownCheapEats mentioned, the food truck describes itself as serving "BBQ tweaked for the street." There's no official menu released, but you can definitely get barbecued pork.

Texas Enchilada House officially opens at 302 West Crosstimbers during the last days of July, as noted on the restaurant's Facebook page. Get ready to eat a "pretty damn good enchilada."

Skinny Rita's Grille is inching closer to its opening date. The menu for this farm-to-table Latin restaurant has been posted online. Skinny Rita's will offer a variety of tacos filled with fish, crab, shrimp, beef fajitas, chicken fajitas and tofu, along with a sweet potato ceviche cooked in lime juice and leche de tigre. Other dinner items include vegetarian platters, Mexican crab cakes and a healthier version of chile relleno where the filling is made of quinoa, mushrooms, goat cheese, corn and pine nuts. And just because it's a healthier restaurant, that doesn't mean it can't serve brunch. Along with buttermilk hotcakes and roasted brisket brunch tacos (egg whites can be substituted), there will also be "Skinny Specialties" of huevos benedictos, skinny carnitas and turkey chorizo migas.

Finally, we're sorry to say goodbye to Haven and Cove Cold Bar in Upper Kirby. Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle was the first to report that the restaurant served its final meal last night. Haven, helmed by chef Randy Evans, opened in late 2009, and was a local pioneer in the farm-to-table movement. Evans's sous chef Philippe Gaston added a new dimension to the space when he opened Cove inside the restaurant in late 2012. Morago reports that the space will be taken over by the owner of Union Kitchen, "who plans to turn the space into an upscale, chef-driven restaurant."

Head to the next page for a complete listing of July's openings and closings... July Openings: Ameer Mediterranean Grill & Cafe, 1227 Bay Area Boulevard, Clear Lake, 281-461-7777 Bernie's Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire, 713-349-9400 BTG-670, food truck Bull's Island Bar & Grill, 504 25th Street, Galveston, 409-497-2110 Cacao & Cardamom, 5000 Westheimer, Ste. 602, 281-501-3567 Camarone Coastal Tex-Mex, 6310 Heards Lane, Ste. 1, Galveston Charro Potato, 8423 Cinnamon Run Darwin's Theory, 33 Waugh, 713-992-0396 D'Marcos Pizzeria, 11102 South Highway 6, Sugar Land, 281-575-6100 DrinkabiliTEA Cafe, 3335 College Park, Ste. 400, The Woodlands, 936-231-8989 Dunkin' Donuts, 2340 Marina Bay Drive, League City, 281-332-1839 Envy Wine Room, 317 Gentry, 281-528-9868 Fratellini Ristorante Italiano, 8905 Louetta, Spring, 281-251-0441 Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 32910 FM 2978, Magnolia, 832-934-2595 Glazed the Doughnut Cafe, 1333 Old Spanish Trail, 281-402-1868 Gyro King, food truck Hick's House Cajun Cafe, 5400 Pinemont, Ste. 102, 832-831-1869 Hippo Ice, 3737 Highway 6, Sugar Land, 832-532-7562 Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 3201 Louisiana, 713-491-2222 Hubcap Grill, 800 Bradford, Kemah, 281-339-7116 I Heart Boba, 4935 Highway 6 North, 281-345-6663 Jugs Draft, 3109 South Shepherd Ky Ans Kitchen, 11134 Highway 6, Ste. 216, Sugar Land, 832-243-1598 La Cevicheria, 2616 FM 2920, 281-288-5376 La Madeleine, 2423 Katy Freeway, Ste. E, 832-916-4001 Maryam's Cafe, 315 W 19th, 713-921-1111 Moderno Tacos & Tex-Mex, 10455 Briar Forest Drive, Ste. 150, 713-784-4600 Pollo Tropical, 11400 Broadway, Pearland, 713-436-0857 Quite A Stir, food truck Revelry on Richmond, 1613 Richmond, 832-538-0724 Revolve Kitchen + Bar, 2525 South West Loop, 713-961-3000 Riondo's Ristorante, 2328 Strand, Galveston, 409-621-9595 Rita's Italian Ice, 1226 Museum Square, Ste. 600, Sugar Land, 281-494-7842 Skinny Pig Pizza Shack, 417 Gentry, Ste. N, 832-598-6605 Snap Kitchen, 1200 McKinney, 713-652-4050 Stuttgarden Tavern On the Strand, 2110 Strand, Galveston, 409-497-4972 Texas Enchilada House, 302 West Crosstimbers, 281-888-4876 The Bird Food Truck, food truck The El Cantina Superior, 602 Studewood, 832-203-5180 The Iced Cupcake, 21927 Katy Freeway, Katy, 713-298-6767 The Pickled Pig, food truck The Springbok, 711 Main, 832-767-5574 Tony's Italian Delicatessen, 16283 Texas Highway 105, Ste. 9, 607-743-0535 True Food Kitchen, 1700 Post Oak Boulevard, 281-605-2505

July Closings: Addix, 33 Waugh City Oven, 2802 White Oak Jarro Cafe, 1521 Gessner Listos Restaurant, 8347 Howard Strack Farms Restaurant, 5707 Louetta The Owl Bar, 3200 Kirby Trenza, 2800 Kirby

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