Openings & Closings: Welcome Wienerschnitzel, Good-bye Tony’s Seafood Shack

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A fourth location of Jenni’s Noodle House opened on November 4 at 3773 Richmond on the first floor of the new Regions Financial Center in Greenway Plaza. According to a press release, the new store keeps with the tradition of its predecessors by enlisting Houston local talents for architectural and design needs. The space was designed by MaRS, Mayfield and Ragni Studio, and EaDo-based Root Lab created the vibrant and colorful interior finishes, including the bars, barstools, cabinetry and metalwork, for the space.

The noodle house opened 16 years ago on Jefferson, serving a variety of noodle soup bowls, rice dishes and curries. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon until 9 p.m. on Sundays. Parking is complimentary in the adjacent multilevel parking garage on Portsmouth Street.

Vinology, 2314 Bissonnet, will celebrate its grand opening on December 1. Wine director and sommelier Thomas Moësse said that “by providing a sommelier-curated sampling program which allows customers to discover, taste and compare wines before they buy,” he hopes to change the wine-buying experience for Houston wine lovers. The wine bar will sell half and full glasses and will feature both casual and formal educational tasting opportunities. With more than 300 labels stocked in house, as well as listed online, Vinology wants guests to have a pleasant purchasing experience with knowledgeable and experienced sales team members.

A November 11 press release announced the expansion plans for Chi’Lantro after a successful turn on the popular investment/entrepreneurship-pitching television show Shark Tank. Owner Jae Kim told the Houston Business Journal that he wants to open the next Chi’Lantro in downtown, Midtown or Rice Village by 2018.

In 2010 Kim originally set up shop in a food truck in Austin, and opened in Houston in 2013. He pulled up stakes and moved back to Austin a year later to focus on a brick-and-mortar. After having opened four successful brick-and-mortars throughout Austin, full-service catering and a kimchi-making facility, Kim is ready to bring Chi’Lantro back to the Space City.

Houston Wieners LLC, a franchised partner of Wienerschnitzel, announced plans to expand its franchise in the Houston area. According to QSRWeb, 32 locations are expected to open over the next 15 years, with the first one to open in 2017.

In the article, Franchise Development Director Ted Milburn said, "Wienerschnitzel is coming to Houston in a big way, and we're confident the passion and experience of Houston Wieners will drive this area development model to be a great success." Currently the franchisee operates three stores that will continue to serve as training facilities for the future locations.

A reader’s tip said that Tony’s Seafood Shack, at 17099 Walden, Suite 110, in Montgomery, shuttered on November 20. Posts on the restaurant’s Facebook wall bid farewell to customers and friends. The representative cited “financial challenges since the down turn in oil and gas” as a reason for the abrupt closure. The good-bye message also included these comments:

“To be a sustainable business we needed a new location and we did not have the capital investment to move and grow. I can say there was no happiness like serving the great customers we had. I will miss those interactions and the support and love they shared. We all tried our best to make you feel at home and provide a good meal. Thank You.”

Eater Houston reported
that Dallas-based Rodeo Goat Ice House is coming to East Downtown next spring. The menu features dozens of burgers with quirky names and an extensive craft beer list, as well as wine and cocktails. Menus from the two existing locations (the first in Fort Worth and the second in Dallas) feature interesting burgers like the Chaca Oaxaca, made with beef and chorizo, avocado, fried egg, pico de gallo, queso fresco and Tabasco mayo, for $10.50, and the Sugar Burger, with candied bacon, grilled peaches, caramelized onions, arugula and jalapeño jam, for $10.

Back in October, the Press mentioned that the lease at the 6395 Woodway location of Nit Noi was due to expire on December 1. An employee at the Midtown location confirmed with the Press that the restaurant closed its doors permanently more than two weeks ago; in fact, he mentioned that all locations of Nit Noi, save for the 2020 Louisiana store, have closed.

The Houston Chronicle reported that another Carl’s Jr. opened, at 9599 South Main, on November 18. This is the 19th location for the national fast-food chain in the Houston area.

Paper City noted a tip about Ellis Brothers BBQ on @thelifeoflee_ellis, the Instagram account of Lee Ellis, the mastermind behind Cherry Pie Hospitality. On November 15, the post teased with the simple comment “Coming soon!”

Mellow Mushroom opened its Heights location on November 21. The 1919 North Shepherd store celebrated with a soft opening, friends and family event on November 19. A representative of the pizza joint told the Press that opening week is expected to be packed and customers should expect a longer than average wait time. The first Mellow Mushroom can be found at 16000 Stuebner Airline Road in Spring.

Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

California-based Nekter Juice Bar plans to open at 2800 Southwest Freeway in Greenway Plaza in early 2017. Currently there are four other locations in Texas, with the closest one in Tyler. Eater Houston reported that “between 12 and 15 locations are being considered in the Houston area.” Cold-pressed juices, smoothies, cold-brew coffee, acai bowls and 6-Bottle Cleanses are on the health-centric menu, which can be customized for any type of dietary restrictions.

The Press learned that Lucky’s Pub has filed an application with TABC to operate at 17754 Katy Freeway in Katy. This location is the site of the now closed Coaches Sports Bar & Grill. Lucky’s Pub currently operates three other locations in the Houston area (downtown, the Heights and Cypress). There is no additional information at this time.

That's it for this week's restaurant openings and closings. Do you know of something we missed? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us about it.

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