There was confusion on the status of Dosi, the modern Korean restaurant started by An Vo that had chef Jordan Asher at the helm. (Asher was recently one of the subjects of a Houston Press cover story on up-and-coming chefs.) The Houston Chronicle initially reported it was closing and reopening as a new concept. (The Chronicle’s post has since been updated.) Dosi, in its current incarnation, won rave reviews both from us and from Alison Cook at the Chron,
A follow-up by Culturemap revealed more of the story. Dosi isn’t closing permanently. It’s retooling to get back to basics. We spoke with owner An Vo, who says the ambitious, acclaimed modern Korean menu designed by chef Jordan Asher "attracted foodies but led people to think of Dosi as a weekend restaurant.” Asher is staying on during the transition as a consultant, but ultimately plans to leave along with sous chef Daniel Tori.
“A weekend restaurant wasn’t good for us,” explained Vo. He wants to take Dosi more in a traditional Korean direction and become more of a weekday, neighborhood restaurant. “We’re going to refocus on the soju bar theme,” he says. That also means reclaiming the original name, Dosi Restaurant + Soju Bar, which at one point was shortened to just “Dosi.”
Vo further explained that guests who visited Dosi expecting traditional Korean dishes were alienated by the modern concept. The restaurant will close for four days after Mother’s Day and reopen on May 15 with the new menu. Expect Korean classics like bulgogi, an expanded Korean pancake menu, jjigae and bone-in beef rib dishes. There will also be a pork ramen on the menu.
Menu concepts aside, the never-ending construction on Shepherd is not helping matters. Vo admits that it’s simply an awful situation and that customers who visit are mentioning the traffic nightmare. We hope it will be over soon. The construction problem was cited by chef Fritz Gitschner as one of the issues that drove 60 Degrees Mastercrafted to close. That restaurant has since reopened as Harwood Grill under different owners with a beef-centric menu.
Outlaw Dave’s Worldwide Headquarters at 6502 Washington announced in a statement on Facebook that it is closed for good. The statement reads:
“After 5 years working on this project and running two other businesses, putting on two of Texas' largest motorcycle rides, coordinating a charity and my ever growing family plus doing a Hall of Fame broadcast six nights a week it has become too much to much to handle effectively. I am sadly shutting Outlaw Dave's Worldwide Headquarters to focus my energy on being more effective at the rest of my endeavors.
I am appreciative of all my fans, my patrons, the bands, the hot rod clubs, the motorcycle MCs, the incomparable Kiki Maroon, the Whiskey Bros, my vendors, my neighbors and most importantly my staff who worked so hard for me through all the years we were open.
Houston classic Roznovsky's Hamburgers is also closed. The main proprietor, Ronald Roznovsky, passed away in February as reported by Houstonia’s Katharine Shilcutt. The family apparently chose to not continue with the restaurant as the number is out-of-service and a Yelper noted that a sign on the door says they have closed.
Mezzanine Lounge at 2200 Southwest Fwy #150 is being sold to new owners but is expected to remain as-is. A statement from the owners says they're taking time off to spend more time with their daughter and "we can't keep up with the mounting expenses to run a non-corporate backed sports bar."
Culturemap Houston reports that Bernie’s Burger Bus is opening a second location in Katy. It will be located at the La Centerra shopping center at 2643 Commercial Center between between Grimaldi’s Pizza and Zoe’s Kitchen. Proprietor Justin Turner is already eying a third location inside the 610 Loop.
The Houston Business Journal reports that a sushi place is taking the spot that used to house Osteria Mazzantini at 2200 Post Oak. It will be called Oka and is a new concept from restaurateur Tony Sha, who also owns Cafe Ginger and Qin Dynasty.
A plethora of restaurants (mostly chains) are going away, according to Swamplot. Houston Community College wants to expand its Southeast College Southside campus and take over Woodridge Plaza Shopping Center. There’s an ugly legal back-and-forth involved. Among the restaurants caught in the middle are Pizza Hut, Ruchi’s Taqueria, Schlotzky’s, Tiendo Rio Lempa, Denny’s and V Star. Can’t they just work together to create a great college food court?
Wes Griffin for Eater Houston reports that Southside Espresso is getting a brick-and-mortar spot in EaDo. It will replace their current pop-up booth on the Navigation Street Esplanade. Owner Sean Marshall hopes to be open after the summer.
Del Frisco’s is opening a new place at the burgeoning Hughes Landing development in The Woodlands. It will be located in suite 500 at 1900 Hughes Landing and sports a 3,000 square foot patio. The executive chef is Brian McNamara and the restaurant will have a Sunday brunch with a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Signature dishes include Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, Ahi Tacos, burgers and wood oven-baked flatbread. Look for a local beer list and affordable wines to go with the notable steaks.
Persona Wood-Fired Pizza is yet another build-your-own-quick-pizza chain eyeing the Houston market. Competiting chains MOD Pizza and Pie 5 have already started opening similar concepts. Eater Houston says that the Santa Barbara-based chain wants to open five locations here and speculates that one in the Energy Corridor will happen first.
Checking on Yelp reveals the following six new openings:
- Lincoln Bar & Kitchen is now open. It replaces Brixx at 5110 Washington. According to an Eater Houston post, it has a full bar and is owned by people who also have an interest in Proof Bar + Patio in Midtown.
- Rustic Oak Wine Bar has opened at 511 Richmond. It’s a fresh start for celebrity chef Wendell Price, who, according to Culturemap Houston, found himself on the wrong side of the law after being convicted of tax evasion. So far, Yelpers have given Rustic Oak five stars, so things are looking up. Look for a modern French and Creole menu here.
- Gumbo Jeaux’s is now open at 2155 Durham. So far, the gumbo, catfish, shrimp and étouffée sound like good bets.
- An Indo-Pak place called Haveli has opened at 5901 Hillcroft in the Little India area. It features a brunch and lunch buffet and is also open for dinner. It features different kinds of biriyani, Indian-style curry, chicken tikka masala.
- Sichuan King has closed. Long live Sichuan Queen, for that’s the name given to it by its new owners. It’s located at 9114 Bellaire and the menu sounds like an improved version of the Chinese Sichuan menu that the old place served.
- Kim’s Teahouse has moved to 10944 Westheimer. It’s now in a much bigger, cozier location in a strip mall near an Office Depot. There’s tapioca tea, smoothies and a small Vietnamese food menu as well.
- Le Cakery Boutique has opened at 1014 Wirt. It has cupcakes in flavors that change weekly, strudel, turnovers and danishes, in addition to cakes.