Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Welcome Dizzy Kaktus, Adios Alamo!

A new taco joint has joined the downtown scene at 301 Main, in the historic Sweeney, Coombs & Fredericks building, where the Nit Noi used to stand. About a month ago, Blogger site, Houston Streetwise posted reports and photos of construction on the new restaurant. Dizzy Kaktus celebrated its grand opening on December 12. The menu features 28 items including breakfast tacos, Korean BBQ and Buffalo Chicken tacos at very affordable prices. Hours of operation include 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Lady Liberty, Liberty Station’s new food truck is pulling in soon and expected to park at the bar at 2101 Washington by the end of the year. The Houston Chronicle reported that the new food truck will serve food seven nights a week and feature items such as burgers, hot dogs, falafel and green chili relleno rolls. Follow the progress on Liberty Station’s Facebook page.

A November 30 article posted by Houston Press writer, Jef Rouner questioned if Houston’s best movie theater was closing? Sadly, the news has been confirmed: The Alamo Drafthouse at Vintage Park is no more. According to Swamplot, as of December 9, the dinner- with-a-movie favorite has been taken over officially by Star Cinema Grill. This means there is only one remaining Alamo Drafthouse in the Houston area in Katy at Mason Park. By the end of 2017, Star Cinema Grill hopes to operate up to six locations in the Houston area.

in Rice Village at 2356 Rice Boulevard is ready to show off Upstairs. On New Year’s Eve, the bar and lounge located on the second floor of the restaurant will be open for an end of the year celebration and grand opening party. Ticket packages for the event start at $55 and can be purchased through EventBrite.

According to the press release, the Palmer Schooley team-designed interior features a “striking zinc-topped bar and exposed brick reclaimed from the original building.” High-top, as well as, comfy lounge seating is abundant on the covered terrace and expansive patio under the shade of old oak trees. For curious drinkers, flights of rye, scotch, Mezcal, and hoppy or malty beers are available along with an extensive list of wines and bubbly.

Arcodoro owner Efsio Farris recently told the Houston Business Journal about renovations to come for the 20-year old Galleria favorite Italian restaurant. Construction on a new patio concept and interior at 5000 Westheimer and Post Oak is expected to commence next month, but the restaurant will remain open throughout the build-out.

According to a company press release, four franchise groups announced expansion plans for 65 new stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth and East Texas region. Dallas-based franchisee Anju Donuts is slated to open eight new Dunkin Donuts in the Houston area alone. The group already operates three locations in Houston. Grant Benson, CFE and vice president of global franchising and business development for Dunkin' Brands said, “we know these new restaurants will satisfy a growing consumer demand in the local communities they serve."

Houston Streetwise posted photos of a new Japanese concept, Osaka Cafe moving into the former Dosi at 2802 South Shepherd. Over a year ago in October of 2015, a Press article noted construction and road closure challenges among other issues that caused that Korean hot spot to close. A call to Osaka Cafe reached an employee who told the Press that they are still not ready to open. “We hope to open by the end of this month,” he added.

Highly anticipated spicy food haven, Night Market Curry & Grill House opened its doors on December 6 at 9630 Clarewood, suite A12, next to sister restaurant, Mein in Bellaire Chinatown. Co-owner Rikesh Patel told the Press that feedback so far has been absolutely incredible. “If you like spicy food, you’ll love our dishes,” he said. Hours of operation are listed on Facebook as 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.,Tuesdays through Sundays.

NOLA Poboys plans to open a second location at 1333 Old Spanish Trail. An employee at the Deer Park location told the Press that the new store should be open by mid-January. Founder, Murray Tate started selling po-boys using only a table-top fryer in New Orleans, right after the devastation of Katrina in 2005. The Houston area stores are operated by franchisees. The menu includes traditional New Orleans fare like jambalaya and gumbo, as well as, po-boy sandwiches.

On December 7, CultureMap Houston reported that Allie’s Pizzaria will be shuttering at 315 West 19th to make space for a tap room at Harold’s Restaurant. Now known as Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room, the new expanded bar area will have more booth and counter seating. New menu items like Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich and Ham & Cheese Sliders will be featured along with the popular pizzas.

The Chinese Star restaurant at 4711 Calhoun on the University of Houston campus will close its doors on December 17. A reader’s tip noted that a post on the 26-year-old campus favorite eatery’s Facebook page shared the sad news with its followers and patrons:

We want to thank each and every one of you for your unwavering support. It saddens us to report that the University of Houston has officially given notice that our business is to close on Saturday, December 17th.

The message also stated that the University, “cited the building in ‘disrepair’ and that no official decision has been made on future tenancy for the space.”

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings! Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know if we missed something.

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Cuc Lam is a freelance food writer for the Houston Press and local pop-up chef. She enjoys teaching cooking classes and hosting dinner parties when she is not writing.