As reported earlier this week, Gravitas closed swiftly and unexpectedly over the weekend. The restaurant had changed hands several times in the last year, and both parties blamed the other for Gravitas's inability to make timely payments to the bank. All of its equipment was reclaimed by said bank, forcing the space on Taft to close up shop for good.
In other closures, Beer Island quietly closed its taps in the Heights over the weekend as well. The mostly-outdoor former filling station sold only beer and wine, but was a popular place for older residents in the neighborhood. Word on the street is that Beer Island will become a Heights outpost of Little Woodrow's, although this is still unconfirmed. Just imagine those late-night interactions between Fitzgerald's clientele from across the street and the frat boys that would pack Little Woodrow's. White Oak and Studewood will never be the same again.
Way out west, Anvil bartender Chris Frankel reported on Twitter that Banana Leaf will be opening a second location at 9896 Bellaire Boulevard. Until recently, it held the excellent Chinese Sichuan Cusine -- now closed -- and some deadly good cumin lamb. The silver lining, however, is that even more people will be able to fit into this new Banana Leaf outpost, meaning there won't be as much of a line anymore at the original spot across Bellaire Boulevard. We hope.
Also moving into larger digs is Pho 20, as reported by B4-U-Eat:
On Tuesday, Tommy Ngo and family moved Pho 20, Galveston, to their new space, a bit down Broadway from where they started 7 years ago. The space is more than double the size of the previous one.
Lastly, in sad news, Bootsie's has closed once again, this time for good. It was announced on the restaurant's Facebook page this past Saturday by Bootsie herself:
I have had to close the restaurant. I want to thank all my customers who have been so faithful with your support. I will continue to cook until the day comes that I can no longer stand in front of the stove, but to serve so many and see that smile of satisfaction while eating my "chicken n dumplings" will never be forgotten. I thank God for everyone one of you. Who knows, there may be a Bootsie's Cafe in heaven and we can all meet there one day and do this again.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.