Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: Welcome to Houston, Yauatcha!

South Korean-based fried chicken joint, Von's is scheduled to open by late summer or early fall.
South Korean-based fried chicken joint, Von's is scheduled to open by late summer or early fall. Photo by Joy Halili
click to enlarge Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon leads the kitchen at Yauatcha. - PHOTO COURTESY OF YAUATCHA
Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon leads the kitchen at Yauatcha.
Photo courtesy of Yauatcha

, which launched in Soho London in 2004 to immediate acclaim, has finally arrived in Houston. Hakkasan Group’s Michelin-starred Chinese Restaurant will debut at 5045 Westheimer Road in The Galleria. The dim sum teahouse is helmed by executive chef Ho Chee Boon, who will present his award-winning Chinese cuisine through traditional dim sum as well as innovative wok dishes.

“We have crafted the Yauatcha Houston menu to reflect its refreshingly diverse local culture and rich culinary heritage,” said Chef Boon in a press release. Local pastry instructor Dory Fung has been tapped to lead the patisserie inside the restaurant.

Limited reservations are accepted for the first two weeks following the opening. Guests can make reservations by visiting or by calling 713-357-7588.

Arthur Ave, the seven-month-old Italian American eatery from the Helen Greek Food and Wine team, announced that it will shutter on March 19 at 1111 Studewood. While the red gravy hub is on its way out, a representative for the restaurant group also confirmed that the location will be revamped into a new Greek taverna, Helen in the Heights, which will feature a menu of Greece's 'greatest hits' and a new look from the group's go-to designer Erin Hicks. An opening date has not been determined.

Master Sommelier David Keck alongside businessman Peter McCarthy announced the opening of Goodnight Charlie’s, a Houston honky-tonk bar, slated to open in fall of 2017 in Montrose at 2531 Kuester. The bar will feature live music, dancing, a juke box and lots of whiskey and beer. The press release says Goodnight Charlie’s is named after Texas cattle rancher Charles Goodnight and “aims to create a sense of community through music, food and drink.”

Cypress gets a new on-demand food delivery service this week. The Waitr Food Delivery app is now available to Cypress residents starting March 2.

Currently, more than a dozen Cypress restaurants, including Texas Mesquite Grill, Melt Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Cypress Breakfast House, Jax Burgers Fries & Shakes and Asian & Mini Seafood are participating in the new service. The charge is a flat fee of $5.99 and includes door-to-door delivery.

The company started in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 2015 and today Waitr has more than 1,600 restaurant partners in 18 cities across four states.

click to enlarge a'Bouzy is set to open early this summer. - RENDERING COURTESY OF A'BOUZY
a'Bouzy is set to open early this summer.
Rendering courtesy of a'Bouzy

Restaurateur Shawn Virene will open a’Bouzy at 2300 Westheimer in June of this year. The restaurant will feature more than 150 champagnes and reflect an American menu focused on seasonal seafood, prime meats and a large raw bar.

Virene has been credited with starting wine trends in the city in recent years and will continue to seek out familiar and new vintages for guests to enjoy on the spacious patio, says the press release. The use of vintage champagne buckets, art and light installations that mimic bubbles floating overhead will extend the “bubbly” appeal of a’Bouzy and keep guests sipping and socializing throughout the year.

Houston Business Journal reported that the Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, 1008 Prairie, has rebranded and separated the restaurant from the theater services. The restaurant will now be known as The Oyster Bar at Prohibition and will have dinner service only, while the theater will continue to operate as the Prohibition Supperclub.

Jordan Economy (formerly of Boheme Café & Wine Bar) is the new executive chef at the Oyster Bar. Restaurant hours of operation are 4 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will offer 50-cent raw and chargrilled oysters.

click to enlarge Free Coffee for patrons of Around the Corner every first Monday of the month. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AROUND THE CORNER
Free Coffee for patrons of Around the Corner every first Monday of the month.
Photo courtesy of Around the Corner

Local bar Around the Corner, at 1510 Hutchins in EaDo, announced that it will be offering free coffee drinks to customers the first Monday of every month. The complimentary service started on March 6.

The bar started offering gourmet coffee from local brewers, Amaya Coffee and pastries from Weights + Measures in January of this year.

Hours are: Monday through Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to midnight; Thursday and Friday 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hawaiian-based AGU Ramen will open three new locations in the upcoming months. Locations in Katy at 514 South Mason Road and Sugar Land at 2130 Lone Star Drive will open by mid-March and Nassau Bay at 1360 Nasa Parkway will follow in early April.

Toward the end of last year, the ramen bistro chain aggressively opened in three locations within Houston at 1809 Eldridge Parkway in the Energy Corridor, 9310 Westheimer in the Westchase District and a third at 7340 Washington near Memorial Park.

The new locations will feature the same menu with more than 20 different ramen varieties, including the Original Kotteri, Tan Tonkotsu, Yuzu Jidori, and AGU’s Savory Parmesan.

The new Laurenzo’s Bar & Grill at 1910 Bagby, suite 100 in Midtown is now serving brunch on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu items include a chicken and waffles with pecan honey butter, bananas foster pancakes made with crepes and $1 mimosas. Check out the full brunch menu on its site.

Chef Manabu Horiuchi (better known as ‘Hori’) has created a new menu to welcome the spring and guests to Kata Robata’s air-conditioned patio at 3600 Kirby.

New to the menu is the Vegan Soba Salad with brussels sprouts, cilantro, taro, cabbage, kimchi powder, kimchi vinaigrette and nori that will have veggie-lovers rejoicing. Other non-vegan items include the Nagasaki Chanpon, a hot noodle dish with clams, shrimp, cabbage, pork, onion and ginger and fresh salmon and shrimp rolls.

Kata Robata is open Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.

click to enlarge South Korean-based fried chicken joint, Von's is scheduled to open by late summer or early fall. - PHOTO BY JOY HALILI
South Korean-based fried chicken joint, Von's is scheduled to open by late summer or early fall.
Photo by Joy Halili

South Korean-based fried chicken chain, Von’s announced plans to open by late summer or early fall at 10020 Long Point Road in Spring Branch. According to the Houston Business Journal, the restaurant will seat around 100 to 130 people, and span about 3,100 square feet.

Von’s currently operates internationally with multiple stores in Hawaii, California, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Guam, Australia and Guatemala. Franchise license owners in Texas, Jong Yi and his wife, Rebecca told HBJ that they plan to open four additional locations in Houston.

After more than 10 years, Nelore Brazilian Steakhouse at 4412 Montrose is no more. A lock out notice has been reported by CultureMap Houston to be posted on the door of the restaurant across the street from Café Azur and Pax Americana.

Houston Food Finder reported that Brad Moore (of Grand Prize Bar and Big Star Bar) along with business partners Camella Clements and Roy Mata just opened Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly A Kite Lounge at 823 Dumble on the east side of town.

Until its liquor license is approved (which may be a couple of months from now), the bar will serve wine and frozen shandies. Moore told Houston Food Finder that he’s “always wanted an old-fashioned ice house and this one magically appeared.”

click to enlarge First Watch, A Daytime Cafe will open a second location in Katy on March 13. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FIRST WATCH
First Watch, A Daytime Cafe will open a second location in Katy on March 13.
Photo courtesy of First Watch

Franchising group Mac Haik Enterprises announced the opening of a new First Watch, A Daytime Café at 5503 FM 1960, near the corner of Champion Forest and Cypress Creek Parkway. According to the Houston Chronicle, this second Houston area location will open on March 13, two months after the first store opened doors in Katy.

The group plans to open 18 more locations throughout Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana. The original First Watch restaurant opened in 1983, offering breakfast, brunch and lunch, open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everything is made from scratch using fresh and quality ingredients, according to its website. Menu items include a variety of omelets, frittatas, lemon ricotta pancakes and Belgian waffles.

Another Asiatown looks like it will open in Katy near the northeast corner of I-10 and the Grand Parkway, according to Swamplot. Plans for a third Super H Mart in the Houston area show that the giant Asian market will be joined by smaller strip-style buildings and retail spots. There is no definite news of eateries moving into the center but judging by our current Super H-Marts, Katy will surely see a few Asian restaurants in this development.

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.