Gyu-kaku soft opened at its second location at 11301 Katy Freeway in the Memorial area on February 19. A representative told the Houston Press that the new store will be very similar to the Midtown location with the exception of the signature cocktail list. The Memorial store will focus more on its sake and beer selections.
The popular Japanese barbecue restaurant features table-side grilling of meats and seafood. Gyu-kaku offers a fantastic lunch special that includes three BBQ meats, salad, miso soup and rice for $13.95.
New kids on the distillery block, Paul Revere Rum opened several weeks ago at 2201 Dallas, next to 8th Wonder Brewery in EaDo. Co-owner and founder, Paul Stephens told the Press that they are very excited to be up and running in such an awesome part of town. “We make a clear, un-aged rum and the focus is to educate people on how to drink it.” According to its website, the mission is to “reclaim America's rum heritage in a bottle.”
Catch them on Thursdays and Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.
Osso & Kristalla opened its doors on February 24 at 500 Crawford, across the street from Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. The trattoria is the sister restaurant of newly opened Potente, from Houston's Astros owner Jim Crane. While Potente serves Northern Italian fine-dining with daily seafood selections, homemade pastas, dry-aged steaks and a signature veal osso buco, Osso & Kristalla presents a more casual trattoria experience with wood fired pizza, pastas and more.
Katy News announced that Salata, a salad-centric eatery signed a long-term lease for 3,000-square-feet of space at The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch. Also opening in the shopping center is Super Yummy Mongolian Stir-Fry and Sushi and a Vietnamese beverage shop called Bambu, which offers coffee, tea, tapioca drinks and fresh fruit smoothies. No specific dates were mentioned for any of the openings.
A Facebook post announced a change in management at The Wildcatter Saloon at 26913 Katy Freeway in Katy. The nearly three and a half acre of space is home to two separate bars, an outdoor bar and fire-pit and three stages for live music.
Wildcatter was featured on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue back in 2014 when it was known as Bryant’s Ice House. New operating manager Justin Alan Whitfield won’t be making many changes to the existing bar. Whitfield is also the owner of End Zone (which was also featured on Bar Rescue). “I’m the only Bar Rescue bar owner that has taken over another Bar Rescue bar,” he said proudly.
It is a biker-friendly establishment that welcomes families until about 7 p.m. and primarily operates as a bar in the evenings. Whitfield told the Press that there are already “Ten booked events [on the calendar] and plan on taking full advantage of the venue, featuring live country and rock music on the stages.”
Crave Sushi announced its closure in a Facebook post on February 17. The eight-year old spot at 2900 Travis has plans to transition into a catering and wholesale operation. Crave intends to continue offering food through mobile delivery apps like DoorDash and GrubHub. Cravers can also find grab-and-go sushi at Phoenicia Foods Downtown, Aloft Hotel Downtown and Nourish Juice Bar in Montrose.
Creamistry celebrated its grand opening on February 25 at 24515 Katy Freeway, suite 850, with free ice cream and activities for kids. The parlor is known for using liquid nitrogen to produce a rapid-freezing and extremely cold and smooth ice cream. This is the second store to open in the Houston area; sweet lovers can find the other location in the Uptown area at 5000 Westheimer, suite 608.
Taqueria Las Margaritas Mexican Grill & Cantina opened its doors on February 12 at 4510 FM 1960 Road East in Humble. A Facebook flyer notes that tequila, margaritas and breakfast tacos will be available.
Almost 15 years in the making, the Levy Park Conservancy celebrated its grand opening on February 25 with all-day family-friendly events. The Levy Park will be home to a farmer’s market and come 2018, Tim Love’s Woodshed restaurant will open its doors in the park. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Upper-Kirby inner-city park now features a children's playground with a modern climbing wall and observation deck, an enclosed dog park, a performance pavilion, community gardens, a promenade and a large activity lawn.
The Press learned that Mia Bella Trattoria filed an application with TABC to operate at 3773 Richmond. The restaurant currently operates three other locations in downtown, Vintage Park and in Sugar Land. Owner/Chef Youssef Nafaa has created a menu that combines traditional Italian with regional American cuisine and now will feature more local options, grass-fed beef and fresh fish from the Mediterranean which will be flown in daily and exciting new happy hour specials.
The Greenway Plaza location announced plans to open in late spring of this year, according to a press release. An updated menu will highlight new fresh seafood, handmade pastas, an extensive antipasti menu for Happy Hour, and a great list of 50 wines under $50.
According to its website, the Bella Restaurants Group along with Chef Nafaa opened Mi Luna, one of the first tapas restaurants in Houston back in 1989. He was also the driving force behind the popular Midtown creperie franchise, Coco Crepes, Waffles & Coffee, which opened at 218 Gray in 2006.
Louisiana-based sports bar Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar announced plans to expand across the border into Texas. The restaurant will open first in Lubbock by September and inked deals to open in Dallas and Houston thereafter.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the Houston agreement, with franchise operator Brandon Hargrave of Lafayette, La., showed plans for 10 locations.
The original Walk-On’s opened in 2002 in Baton Rouge, near the Louisiana State University campus. Bestselling menu items include burgers, wings and Louisiana fare like boudin sausage, duck and andouille gumbo and crawfish etouffée. New Orleans Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees and his wife are co-owners of the Walk-On’s enterprises.
Krisp Bird & Batter opened its doors to the public on February 28. A Facebook post announced that starting at 11 a.m., diners can order crispy fried pasture-raised chicken sandwiches at 5922 Richmond. An insider told the Press that Krisp owners plan an aggressive expansion of 50 more stores in Houston and the surrounding areas. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Swamplot reported that Café Ginger, 1952 West Gray, is scheduled to relocate a few blocks away to 1547 West Gray in the River Oaks Plaza. Plans are to complete renovations and be ready to re-open by February of 2018, when the current location’s lease expires.
The popular Chinese restaurant also announced plans for a second location in the Galleria area. CultureMap Houston reported that Café Ginger will soft open over the next week or so at 2200 Post Oak in the former OKA Sushi space, next door to Caracol.
US Builders Review reported that Irma’s Southwest Grill will be moving into Catalyst Houston, a mixed-use development that combines high-end living with commercial, office and retail space. The current Irma’s manager Louis Galvan told Eater Houston that plans for the current Irma’s, located across the street at 1314 Texas, suite 100, from the Catalyst, are still unsure, but a burger or diner concept is being considered. The new location is slated to open in late fall of 2017.
The Chronicle reported that a Dairy Queen will open at 16190 Old Galveston Road in Webster on April 14. This is the first of a 15-store expansion plan in Houston that will span over the next five years. According to the article, Texas is the chain's biggest market, with more than 600 of the nearly 4,500 stores nationwide.
A tweet announced the fifth location of Pollo Bravo soft opened on February 7 at 7001 Harrisburg in east Houston. A restaurant representative told the Press that a grand opening event is planned for April 7, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The fast-casual Peruvian-Mexican restaurant is known for its rotisserie chicken basted with Latin spices. The representative added that Pollo Bravo just recently leased the space at 5801 Memorial Drive, suite C, where Express Rolls had been and plans are to be ready in two month.
Luca Manfe is taking his food truck to Dallas. CultureMap Houston reported that Manfe’s The Lucky Fig is getting a second chance through a partnership with CultureMap investor Alex Muse’s Sumo Ventures. According to the article, Muse “intends to utilize the truck for motivational speaking and team building events pitched to the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies in the Dallas-area.” The idea is for Manfe to speak about his immigrant story and experience with Masterchef and then feed event-goers with food prepared on the truck.
A press release announced that franchisee Guillermo Perales, of Sun Holdings, Inc., announced plans to open 15 new Arby’s in Houston over the next five years. “Guillermo Perales is among a select group of premier franchise restaurant developers in the country, and we’re excited about his commitment to expand with Arby’s in Texas. It’s yet another example of the momentum that is building with the Brand,” said Greg Vojnovic, Arby’s Chief Development Officer.
A reader’s tip noted that another “closed for remodeling” sign has been spotted on the doors of the Express Rolls at 4848 Beechnut in Meyerland. Last week, the Press reported that several Express rolls around town have mysteriously closed up shop with similar signage on their doors. A follow-up visit by the reader reveals a lockout notice posted by the landlord.
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.
Now, here’s a review of the Openings and Closings that were reported in January:
Reported open or plans to open:
1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, 24600 Katy Freeway - February 9, 2017
Agave, Terminal C- South, IAH - end of 2017 - end of 2017
Aqui, 520 Westheimer - spring or early summer 2017
Bacon Bros. Public House, 2110 Town Square Place - late February 2017 (not opened yet)
Balls Out Burger, 1603 North Durham - spring 2017
Bam, Terminal C-North, IAH - end of 2017
Bambu, The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch – unknown date at this time
Bar Louie, 16089 City Walk - summer 2017
Beerhive, Terminal E, IAH - end of 2017
Bernie’s Burger Bus, 2200 Yale - April 2017
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, 4310 Westheimer - February 22, 2017
Brasserie du Parc, 1440 Lamar - January 30, 2017
Café Ginger, 1547 West Gray – February 2018
Café Ginger, 2200 Post Oak – March 2017
Carlo's Bakery, inside The Woodlands Mall - February 18, 2017
Chapman & Kirby, 2118 Lamar - mid April 2017
Crafthouse Grill, 12910 Malcomson - unknown date at this time
Creamistry, 24515 Katy Freeway, suite 850 – February 25, 2017
Daddy-O’s Pizza, 861 Dairy Ashford - February 16, 2017
Dairy Queen, 16190 Old Galveston Road – April 14, 2017
El Pollo Loco, 481 Bay Area Boulevard - February 20, 2017
Ember, Terminal C-North, IAH - end of 2017
Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, Mason Creek - early Fall 2017
Field & Tides, 705 East 11th - February 13, 2017
Flying Fish, North Durham and West 19th Street - later this year, 2017
Fusion Taco, 4706 North Main Street - January 24, 2017
Galiana's Bakery & Café, 24110 Highway 290, suite 500 - mid February 2017
Gavi, Terminal E, IAH - end of 2017
Gyu-kaku, 11301 Katy Freeway – February 19, 2017
H-Burger, Terminal C- South, IAH - end of 2017
Hidden Goods, 5734 Larkin - unknown date at this time
Hopdoddy, 5510 Morningside - March 6, 2017
Hamburger Mary’s, 2409 Grant - February 24, 2017
Hughie's, 4721 North Main - April or May 2017
Hugo's Cocina, IAH Airport - January 31, 2017
In & Out, multiple locations - sometime this year, 2017
Ingenious Brewing Company, 1986 South Houston - tasting room open by May or June 2017
Irma’s Southwest Grill, Catalyst Houston – late fall 2017
Jinya Ramen, Mason Creek - early fall 2017
Kerbey Lane Café - unknown place and date at this time
King's Bierhaus, 828 West FM 646 - late 2017
Krisp Bird & Batter, 5922 Richmond - February 28, 2017
Landry's, IAH Airport - January 31, 2017
Liberty Taco, 4703 Richmond - February 6, 2017
Magnolia Meatball Shop, Terminal C- South, IAH - end of 2017
Mastro’s Steakhouse, 1540 West Loop South - Fall 2017
Mia Bella, 3773 Richmond – late spring 2017
NOLA Poboys, 1333 Old Spanish Trail - February 2017
Olio, Terminal C-North, IAH - end of 2017
Osso & Kristalla, 1515 Texas - February 24, 2017
Pala, Terminal C-North, IAH - end of 2017
Pearl, 1117 Prairie inside the Sam Houston Hotel - February 27, 2017
Peska Seafood & Steaks, 1700 Post Oak - rebranded February 10, 2017
Pinch Seafood & Bar, 10510 Northwest Freeway - January 29, 2017
PoitÍn, Sawyer Yards - Fall 2017
Poke Bar, 14555 Memorial Drive Ste 500 - March or April 2017
Pokii Eatery, 12153 Katy Freeway - February 18, 2017
Pollo Bravo, 7001 Harrisburg – February 7, 2017
Pollo Bravo, 5801 Memorial Drive, suite C – April or May 2017
Potente, 1515 Texas - February 20, 2017
Presidio, 911 West 11th Street - February 11, 2017
Q, Terminal E, IAH - end of 2017
Ramen Bar Ichi, 1801 S Dairy Ashford, suite 108 - January 28, 2017
Ramen Tatsu-Ya, 1722 California - February 22, 2017
Roostar Galleria, 5551 Richmond - April 2017
Saint Arnoldville, 2000 Lyons - unknown date at this time
Salata, The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch – unknown date at this time
Schlotzsky’s, 12230 West Lake Houston Parkway, suite 275 - February 2, 2017
Shipley's, Wirt Road and Interstate 10 - unknown date at this time
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, LaCenterra - end of 2017
Sonora Tacos & Hot Dogs, 1801 Richmond - unknown date at this time
Sweet Times, 6356 Richmond - February 4, 2017
Tanglewood Grill, Terminal E, IAH - end of 2017
Taqueria Las Margaritas Mexican Grill & Cantina, 4510 FM 1960 Road East – February 12, 2017
Teriyaki Kitchen, 2659 Gessner - January 9, 2017
The Lost Cajun, 7042 FM 1960 East - late March or early April 2017
The Woodshed, inside Levy Park - mid 2018
Tom + Chee, 21788 Katy Freeway, suite 500 - February 13, 2017
Tongue-Cut Sparrow, 310 Main - February 1, 2017
Umaki Sushi Burrito, 10111 Louetta - April 2017
Urban Bricks Pizza, 5650 West Grand Parkway South, suite 100 - January 28, 2017
Vida, Terminal C-North, IAH - end of 2017
Vino & Vinyl, 15977 City Walk - early March 2017
Whiskey Thumper, 9522 North Sam Houston Parkway East - February 24, 2017 (not opened yet)
White Lightning Dancehall & Saloon, 9522 North Sam Houston Parkway East - February 24, 2017 (not opened yet)
Wildcatter Saloon, 26913 Katy Freeway – changed ownership, February 27, 2017
Wunsche Brothers Café & Saloon, 103 Midway - unknown date at this time
Xochi, 1777 Walker - January 27, 2017
Yume, Terminal E, IAH - end of 2017
Yummy Mongolian Stir-Fry and Sushi, The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch – unknown date at this time
Reported Closed or plans to close:
Café Ginger, 1952 West Gray – February 2018
Crave Sushi, 2900 Travis – February 17, 2017
Express Rolls, 4848 Beechnut – February 2017
Express Rolls, 11805 Westheimer - February 2017
Harlow's Food & Fun, inside Edwards Greenway Grand Palace 24 - January 2017
Jimmy’s Icehouse, 2803 White Oak, March 31, 2017
Lee’s Sandwiches, 8338 West Sam Houston Parkway South - January 2017
Logan Farms Honey Glazed Hams & Market Café, 10560 Westheimer - February 2017
Luv Me Tender, 4400 Yale - February 20, 2017
Mi Cocina, 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive - February 7, 2017
My Fit Foods, all locations - February 12, 2017
Outback Steakhouse, 8731 W Loop S 610 - January 22, 2017
Skinny Rita’s Cantina, 607 West Gray - February 2017
Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 12637 Westheimer - January 28, 2017
Texans Grille, 12848 Queensbury - February 9, 2017
Triniti, 2815 South Shepherd - February 5, 2017
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.