Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Another Roastery, Another BierHaus, Bryan Caswell Pops Up

Have a little coffee in your cocktail at The Roastery.
Have a little coffee in your cocktail at The Roastery. Photo by Adrian Verde

The Roastery Coffee Kitchen, 5895 San Felipe, had its grand opening April 8. This is its third location and Flagship store, attached to the H-E-B. The concept launched last year with Jason Giagrande and the rest of the  FOUR J team, chefs Jonathan Waxman, Jimmy Bradley and Joey Campanaro, who have worked with H-E-B over the past six years developing products.

The new Roastery is 7,600 square feet, seven times the size of its sister locations in Bellaire and The Heights. As the brand’s flagship location and local coffee roasting facility, it will offer a more expansive menu including breakfast, lunch and dinner items like fish and chips, the Roastery burger and a crawfish roll. There will also be a full bar featuring craft and coffee-centric cocktails such as an espresso martini and an Oldskool Irish coffee.

click to enlarge The Roastery's newest location is sleek. - PHOTO BY ADRIAN VERDE
The Roastery's newest location is sleek.
Photo by Adrian Verde

The covered outdoor patio is dog-friendly with flat screen TVs and a dedicated play area with games for kids and adults. Local artist Anat Ronen, is creating a music-themed mural for the space, which will soon feature live music events.

Master roaster Jennifer Stone and the Four J team are developing a special "H-Town Roast" for this location.
The Roastery Coffee Kitchen is also the only restaurant concept in Houston which houses a Giesen coffee roaster. Its next location is planned for the Buffalo Heights H-E-B.

Third Bar, 2600 Travis, is hosting a pop-up April 14 at 2 p.m. Houstonians have been wondering if James Beard-award winning chef, Bryan Caswell would ever open REEF again after it suffered damage from Hurricane Harvey. Well, a glimmer of hope shines this Sunday when Third Bar at REEF opens its door for crawfish, beer, barbecued crabs and punch. From a live video feed on Facebook, the Caswells mentioned a surprise guest. There are also plans to open Third Bar Wednesday April 17 for lunch and dinner. No word yet on when the REEF side will open, but half of it seems to be ready to party.

The couple also introduced the new General Manager, Scott Mitchell, whose previous experience includes Smith and Wollensky and Liberty Kitchen. They are looking to rebuild their team, so if you have hospitality experience, go check them out.

click to enlarge Handmade chocolates make a pretty picture at Sleek. - PHOTO BY DBS PRODUCTIONS
Handmade chocolates make a pretty picture at Sleek.
Photo by DBS Productions
Sleek Chocolatier and Cafe, 8715 Spring Cypress, opened April 2 and is having its grand opening celebration April 13 from 8 p.m. to midnight, with music and samples.

The decadent chocolates are handcrafted and hand-decorated from its exclusive Belgian chocolate and flavors.
The cafe also serves breakfast and lunch till 3 p.m. with soups and salads on the menu. For sweet treats, there are crepes, puddings, caramel waffles and something we have never heard of, chocolate shawarma. That makes us warma just thinking about it.

click to enlarge Chocolate shawarma could be the next big thing. - PHOTO BY DBS PRODUCTIONS
Chocolate shawarma could be the next big thing.
Photo by DBS Productions
Its Arabic and Turkish coffees offer a perfect, aromatic accompaniment to the bounty of beautiful treats at Sleek. On Friday and Saturday, the cafe is open until midnight.

General Tso's; maligned by some, craved by many. - PHOTO BY TROY FIELDS
General Tso's; maligned by some, craved by many.
Photo by Troy Fields

The Rice Box, 1111 S. Shepherd, opened April 5. The American Chinese take-out originally began as a food truck and expanded to a fleet of two, but those were abandoned in 2017 as the business moved into a brick and mortar in the Heights. The River Oaks location makes the third. There is another restaurant at Greenway Plaza.

With its neon lights and colorful murals, it is hard to miss as it glows from the little peninsula on Shepherd which was formerly the home of Tila's. While delivery and take-out are much of its business, young people out on the town can enjoy the bar seating and outdoor patio until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Many of the rice boxes on offer are American favorites like General Tso's, kung pao chicken and Mongolian beef. Owner John Peterson has elevated things a bit, using 44 Farms beef. The rice boxes come in at $11 to $12 and include an egg roll and steamed white rice. There are also wings, handmade dumplings and salt and pepper stacks. There is beer and wine, plus nitro teas.

If you aren't up to hanging out in the glow of the neon lights, online ordering for take-out and delivery, within three to five miles is available.

click to enlarge It's always Oktoberfest at King's BierHaus. - PHOTO BY PHILIPP SITTER
It's always Oktoberfest at King's BierHaus.
Photo by Philipp Sitter
King's BierHaus, 828 W. FM 646, will open for dinner service April 23 at 5 p.m. in League City. The German/Austrian/American biergarten will be open only for dinner its first week, then will begin service at 11 a.m. April 29.

The concept from father and son duo, Hans and Philipp Sitter is an offshoot of the original King's BierGarten which opened in Pearland in 2011. That was followed by King's BierHaus in the Heights in 2017. This new spot makes the second BierHaus for KB Restaurant Group.

Besides gourmet sausages and schnitzel, the restaurant and bar serves 25 German beers from the taps, along with a dozen craft brews. You can even find The Best Beer in the World, Weinstephaner Vitus from the world's oldest brewery at King's, plus its house-made King's Whiskey.

Breakers Korean BBQ, 16535 Southwest Freeway, was set for an April 12 opening, but we have been unable to confirm it at press time. The Sugar Land location makes the first in the Houston area and the third in Texas. From its Yelp page, the black and white decor looks contemporary and minimal, with a little color coming from the blue lights. There are two sizes of booths with one to two grills per table.

Snooze An A.M. Eatery, 2415 Research Forest, opened March 20 in The Woodlands. This is the seventh location for the ever-expanding, breakfast, brunch and lunch hot spot. Lines can be long, but the chain's commitment to local, quality ingredients, a creative and tasty menu and its overall vintage-y feel appeals to young families, couples and groups of friends enjoying the brunch cocktails.

The Woodlands location's Community Days raised $8,713 for We See Abilities, Lone Star Animal Welfare League and The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N, part of Snooze's commitment to the communities it serves.

click to enlarge Traditional central Mexican food is served at Tlahuac. - PHOTO BY TERENCE TANG
Traditional central Mexican food is served at Tlahuac.
Photo by Terence Tang
Tlahuac, 5 Greenway Plaza, opened April 8  in the NextSeed Space recently vacated by The Waffle Bus, which was the first tenant at the restaurant-launching venue. The funding portal, as it is described, helps to recruit investors while giving start-ups a residency to run their restaurants from the space, temporarily.

Tlahuac (pronounced kla-wok) comes from chef Nicholas Vera and pastry chef Stephanie Velasquez (formerly of Xochi and Underbelly) who were inspired by a gastronomic tour of Mexico City. Vera is a native of Veracruz and much of the menu features the traditional Mexican dishes of his childhood. His mole madre is a ten month-aged mole sauce and is a tribute to his mother and grandmother. According to its Facebook page, uncommon ingredients like avocado leaf were a part of Vera's culinary heritage. Velasquez will be creating traditional pan dulce with the highest quality ingredients including 100 percent sustainable cacao from Paraiso, Tabasco.

click to enlarge Jason Piltzmaker and Drew Rogers at Dolce & Cannoli. - PHOTO BY CHARLIE MOGER
Jason Piltzmaker and Drew Rogers at Dolce & Cannoli.
Photo by Charlie Moger
Dolce & Cannoli Pizzeria, 303 Memorial City Way, opened in early April inside Memorial City Mall. Owner and operator Drew Rogers closed his Cypress cafe and pastry shop, Drew's Pastry Place, last year and has returned with a pizzeria near the food court of Memorial City Mall, though Dolce & Cannoli has its own separate dining area. There's even bar seating for sipping a glass of wine or cold beer while resting your mall-weary feet.

Rogers received national fame on TLC's The Bakery Boss in 2014. His Italian cookies, King cakes and pastries also made their mark on the Cypress community. He is now bringing that expertise and attention to detail to his New York-style pizza, while still turning out favorites like cannoli, cookies and other fine pastries.

click to enlarge Drew Rogers is still a pastry boss. - PHOTO BY CARLA ROGERS
Drew Rogers is still a pastry boss.
Photo by Carla Rogers
Rogers has partnered with husband and wife Jason and Michele Piltzmaker for this new venture. The Piltzmakers have food industry experiences as franchise owners of places like Cinnabon and Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies, according to CultureMap Houston.

Taco Cabana, 6522 Westheimer, celebrated its grand opening April 6. Taco Cabana was first opened in San Antonio in 1978. There are now over 175 locations of the fast-casual Tex-Mex chain, primarily in Texas with a few in New Mexico and Oklahoma.

click to enlarge Tasos Katsaounis and Desi Vasquez are bring their breads to Whole Foods. - PHOTO BY TASOS KATSAOUNIS
Tasos Katsaounis and Desi Vasquez are bring their breads to Whole Foods.
Photo by Tasos Katsaounis
Bread Man Baking Company, 9127 Stella Link, will soon have seven of its best artisan breads for sale at five Houston area Whole Foods Market. Mark your calendars for April 15 when its Kalamata olive, Kamut sesame sour, cranberry walnut, ciabatta and more heavenly loaves can be picked up at the Montrose, Kirby, Bellaire, Post Oak and Voss locations. Previously, owner Tasos Katsaounis' breads were only available wholesale, at local farmers markets, Urban Eats and gracing the tables of some of Houston's best restaurants. Now, you can have it in your eager little hands and tummies more conveniently.

click to enlarge We need scratch and sniff. - PHOTO BY TASOS KATSAOUNIS
We need scratch and sniff.
Photo by Tasos Katsaounis
Katsaounis and head baker Desiare Vasquez were first approached by Whole Foods in December 2018. Coincidentally, both Vasquez and Katsaounis were one-time employees of the grocery chain. Katsaounis, who is a native of Greece, left his job as a business consultant to bake bread in June 2018, using some of his grandmother's recipes. He has even bigger plans for the future, including a subscription delivery service and maybe one day, a storefront selling bread, coffee and pastries. I know the perfect spot for it. Right next to my house.

click to enlarge Get ready to fight for your Game of Thrones combo meal. - PHOTO BY EVAN SUNG
Get ready to fight for your Game of Thrones combo meal.
Photo by Evan Sung
Shake Shack,1002 Westheimer and 5015 Westheimer, is offering a Game of Thrones menu beginning April 12. The Dragonglass Shake (Zirtom Perzomy Rholitsos) and the Dracarys Burger (Drakaro Parkliapos) will be on offer at select Shacks nationwide for a limited time, while supplies last. The Dracarys burger is only available at the Montrose location. To order the secret menu in Valyrian, there's a handy vocabulary and pronunciation guide available. You know you want to.

click to enlarge House Stark versus House Lannister in a more civilized way. - PHOTO BY ERIN DELANEY
House Stark versus House Lannister in a more civilized way.
Photo by Erin Delaney

Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, 4310 Westheimer, has acquired two bottles of the limited Game of Thrones whiskey collection by Diageo. The bar will release the Kraaken, oh wait, that's a different story. Bosscat will release the House of Stark, a Dalwhinnie Summer Frost, Sunday April 14 at 4 p.m. preceding the opening episode of the final season of the HBO hit. It's $14 a dram.

The House of Lannister, a Lagavulin 9 year will be opened and available April 21. For now, there is only one bottle of each, so it's first come, first served. Bar director Matt Sharp is on the hunt to secure additional bottles.

I would make some Game of Thrones references, but I only know that there's lots of sex and characters meeting terrible, violent ends. And dragons.
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.