Restaurant News

UPDATED: Openings & Closings: Sad Good-byes & More Sad Good-byes

The theme for this week must have been temporary closures and permanent closures. It was like a domino effect -- one restaurant announced it was closing, then another one, followed by several more.

It's always a shame to see such a popular restaurant close when the reason isn't lack of business. Van Loc Restaurant announced this week through a sign posted on its doors that the first Vietnamese restaurant to open in the Montrose neighborhood will close soon. We called the restaurant to find out the reason why the restaurant would be closingand were told that the family owners have decided to retire after opening 28 years ago. Based on your comments alone, we can tell that Van Loc Restaurant will surely be missed. But, you can still enjoy your favorite dish before it closes, which will likely be before Thanksgiving.

In more sad news, Facundo Cafe, the restaurant located inside Dr. Gleem Car Wash, Auto Salon and Lube Center at 3193 Ella has closed. The Leader reports that the owner, Miguel Facundo, and chef Danny Harper have parted ways. No more noshing on a BLT and fries while waiting for your car to get washed.

Swamplot reported this week that Georgia's Market Downtown is now closed. The grocery store/cafe at 420 Main actually closed up shop on September 30. The downtown location's website provides some information about the closing: "Thank you all for your past patronage and healthy intentions. Please stay tuned to further development at the Downtown location." The Georgia's Market Memorial Village at 9201 Katy Freeway is still open.

CultureMap Houston broke the news on Thursday, October 9, that MF Sushi, located at 5887 Westheimer, is temporarily closed; the re-opening date has not been announced yet. Co-owner Alex Kinjo confirmed to CultureMap that the restaurant will be temporarily closed and will provide further information about reopening when he and his brother, chef Chris Kinjo, are ready. The Houston Chronicle reached out to the Kinjo brothers and received this statement: "We are sorry for the inconvenience, we will be closed temporarily due to Tas corrections. Remodeling, I will let you know further when we get thing[s] going again."

On Saturday, October 4, Coppa Ristorante Italiano, 5555 Washington, "closed until further notice due to a building maintenance issue," as reported by the Houston Chronicle. Owners Charles Clark and Grant Cooper did not announce the specific maintenance issue that has temporarily closed the Italian restaurant on Washington Avenue; Clark and Cooper also did not reveal any timeframe or estimated reopening date upon providing the statement that Coppa Ristorante is closed for the time being. Charles Clark and Grant Cooper, owners of Coppa Ristorante Italiano, announced on Saturday, October 4, that the restaurant was temporarily closed due to a building maintenance issue. But, on Thursday, October 9, the 5555 Washington Avenue restaurant posted this statement on its website: "Coppa Ristorante has closed. The owners and staff thank you for your patronage and support through the years. We look forward to serving you at one of our other Clark Cooper Concepts including Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Coppa Osteria and Punk's Simple Southern Food."

In another temporary closure, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro has begun to make changes to its interior and concept as the stand-alone feature of The Woodlands establishment at 24 Waterway and will be temporarily closed until next month. The Bistro posted this statement on Facebook: "Renovation = Innovation. Hubbell & Hudson Bistro is now temporarily closed, while it undergoes an extensive remodel, with a projected date of opening in November. As part of an ongoing goal to create an elevated dining experience - which will be unmatched in The Woodlands - we're planning major updates to both the interior space and our menus. While our existing intimate space is being refined, we'll be adding new elements to the Bistro's interior design; expanded bar & lounge, multiple private dining rooms and a unique Chef's Room where our Executive Chef Austin Simmons will showcase his culinary skills. The Bistro's extended staff will also have a full plate, with a valuable training program planned in October that will involve educational tours to local farms, ranches, craft breweries and distilleries." Hubbell & Hudson is still taking private dining and catering reservations for holiday parties.

Sale-Sucre has also closed, but the French restaurant in the Heights has plans to reopen elsewhere with a new name. Swamplot first reported last week that the restaurant located at 2916 White Oak has been locked out since Tuesday, September 23. The landlord of the restaurant posted a letter on the door stating that the restaurant owners have not paid rent. Sale-Sucre owners, Philippe and Beline Harel, provided this statement to the Houston Press, "Yes, unfortunately we locked Sale Sucre. We will be opening a new location, but it will be under a new name."

The Tasting Room in River Oaks, located at 2409 West Alabama, will close in the middle of November this year. The wine room has sold its lease to a buyer who has plans to open a wine bar concept in the same location; this buyer is not associated with The Tasting Room or Lasco Enterprises. According to a press release issued by Lasco Enterprises, the Tasting Room locations in Uptown Park, CityCentre and Kings Harbor in Kingwood remain open.

Cyclone Anaya's has finally opened its fifth Houston location at 5214 Morningside in Rice Village. Construction began on the Mexican restaurant located on the east side of the Hanover Rice Village apartment complex last September.

In fast-food news, Frenchy's Chicken will open a new location in Humble soon. A representative of the fried chicken chain tells HKA Texas that this location, 122 Atascocita, should be open around October 15-20.

Zoës Kitchen will open its newest location in the Heights at 250 W. 20th Street on Thursday, October 16.Update: Because of weather delays we're told that now the new Zoës Kitchen location will open on October 23.

Pollo Tropical will open the second Houston-area location in Tomball (21441 Tomball Parkway) on Friday, October 17. The Florida-based chain has more plans to open another location at Westheimer and Voss this year.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section and we will be sure to include them in next week's report.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn