Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: The Difference Between Ruggles and "Ruggles"

As 2012 gets up and running, restaurants have hit the ground running. This week's round-up includes two expansions, a few openings and a couple of noteworthy closings.

Expanding into downtown as promised, The Burger Guys finally announced its new location this week: Kitchen Incubator. The burger men will be occupying some of Kitchen Incubator's commercial space to turn out their signature burgers Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Currently planning an expansion of his own is Minh Nguyen, owner of Cafe TH. Nguyen told us about his plans to expand the dining room and kitchen at his tiny cafe during last weekend's banh mi-eating competition, and confirmed those plans with Eater Houston, telling Amber Ambrose that he plans to add at least 350 square feet of space.

Meanwhile, in Montrose, "Ruggles" Bistro has opened amidst news that the now-shuttered Ruggles 11th Street Cafe will soon become a Ruggles Green -- which is wholly unaffiliated with Bruce Molzan or his "Ruggles" Bistro. The Houston Business Journal reports that the 11th Street Cafe, which closed in December after 35 years in business, will reopen later this month after extensive renovations.

Now open this week after a long wait is the new location of Latin Bites Cafe. (Its old spot on Nance is currently being converted into Justin Yu's new restaurant, Oxheart.) Take a sneak peek at the beautiful new space -- which used to house The Rockwood Room -- in Mai Pham's slideshow at the Examiner.

In more openings news, Swamplot has the bead on Lucille's, the Southern restaurant scheduled to open soon in the Museum District. We first talked to owner/chef Chris Williams last May, when Williams thought that the opening of Lucille's would only be a few months out. The recession can be a bitch, but Swamplot reports that Williams is finally close to accomplishing his goal. Sarah Rufca at CultureMap has more on the new restaurant's menu and its namesake inspiration, Lucille Bishop Smith.

B4-U-Eat reports that Cafe Pita+ is happily settled into its new location, just 200 feet away from its original spot along Westheimer near Wilcrest. The new spot at 10890 Westheimer was also the site of the restaurant's fifth anniversary party earlier this week.

In food truck news, another new mobile eatery is hitting the streets this weekend: The Waffle Bus, which will have its first lunch service tomorrow. The bus will be at Bo Concept from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving gourmet waffle sandwiches -- just what Houston had been missing.

In closings, Cafe Red Onion's location on Kirby closed earlier this week. And BB's Beef & Hot Dogs seems to be similarly shuttered; its phone has been disconnected and no one has been able to reach its owners. Where will we get our Chicago dogs now, Houston? Where?

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Katharine Shilcutt