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Openings & Closings: The Burger Guys Close & Caracol Officially Opens

It was a very unlucky day for The Burger Guys on Friday, December 13. Kaitlin Steinberg broke the news that The Burger Guys on Westheimer had officially closed.

The downtown location closed in September, so this is the end of Burger Guys in Houston.

Chef and owner Jake Mazzu gave this statement to Steinberg after speculations of the restaurant's closure appeared online:

"Sorry to say, we have served our last burger at The Burger Guys! Due to low turn out, and a rise in number of restaurants, Houston has no room for us anymore! Thank you for the love you showed my team!!! Forever grateful for the three plus years we ran. We always tried hard, and went to work each day ... Chasing a dream comes with a cost, and that has taken it's toll. God bless the news we earned both great and bad - it was well deserved. Wouldn't trade it for the world! Merry Christmas and happy new year to y'all and remember the small guy out there, we are few and falling daily!!!!"

The Good Life has been open only since March, but it seems as though the Midtown bar has closed. Eater's Darla Guillen explains that patrons of the restaurant and bar think The Good Life closed in November. One Twitter post reads, "Looking like Good Life in Midtown may be done. Fri night, no lights on, nobody inside, back-dated orange notice from city about food permit."

The conversation continues with an employee from Porch Swing Pub who says the staff at The Good Life was not told the bar had closed, so some of them ended up at Porch Swing that evening. The Facebook page has not been updated since October 31. In fact, one user's question about the establishment's status has yet to be answered. It seems that it is a done deal; however, according to an updated post from Eater, The Good Life is closed for renovations and will reopen in 2014.

Now let's look at the openings.

Caracol is FINALLY open. The much-anticipated Mexican seafood restaurant from Chef Hugo Ortega officially opened its doors to the public on Monday, December 16, for lunch. The restaurant's website has published a copy of menu. Highlights include a ceviche de caracol with conch, pineapple, ginger and red jalapeno, and langosta Puerto Nuevo, a grilled lobster with flour tortillas, playa la ropa beans and arroz Mexicana. Caracol also serves Mexican street food such as emapandas de saragalla (spicy hashed fish turnovers with cilantro cream) and taquitos tronadores de carnitas (crispy rolled pork tacos with avocado-tomatillo salsa).

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The Clumsy Butcher Group has made a change of plans in regards to the craft beer and wine bar Trigger Happy, which was scheduled to open next to Goro & Gun. Kaitlin Steinberg reported that the group has decided to change the name from Trigger Happy to The Nightingale Room, and that it will be led by OKRA Charity Saloon's general manager, Mike Criss. He tells Steinberg that he wants The Nightingale Room to be a venue where local musicians and bands can play and guests can dance on Fridays and Saturdays. Trigger Happy was going to focus on craft beer and wine, but The Nightingale Room will have a full bar and possibly a punch of the week. Criss and Clumsy Butcher hope to have The Nightingale Room open in March.

Because Ramen Jin's soft opening was so successful (it ran out of ingredients!), the owner, Brian Chen, posted on Facebook that he had decided to close the restaurant until Friday, December 20, in order to make appropriate changes and improvements. Ramen Jin will open for dinner today at 5 p.m.

Another ramen-centric restaurant will open early next year on Washington Avenue. Eater reports that Ninja Ramen, from Christopher Huang, will probably not have a menu at all. Huang tells Eater that he hopes customers will walk just in and say they want the ramen. Customers dressed as ninjas might get discounts, too.

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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