Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Whiskey Cake Expands to Stafford, Bar 5015 Will Depart

Meet a Classy Lassy at Whiskey Cake.
Meet a Classy Lassy at Whiskey Cake. Photo by Kathy Tran

Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, 12201 Southwest Freeway, is expected to open this fall at The Grid, a multi-million, multi-use complex in Stafford. This will be the eighth location for the "Farm to Fork" concept, with locations in San Antonio, Dallas, Plano, Oklahoma City and Tampa.  It will be the third in the Greater Houston area, with two previous restaurants already open in Katy and Friendswood.

On the farm to fork side is an American menu which uses a number of local vendors and producers in the Texas region. Some of its vendors include Texas Quail Farms, Gundermann Acres and further out, Texas Olive Ranch. There are burgers, sandwiches and perfectly composed salads that go beyond lettuce and tomato. Try the Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese or the Shrimp and Grain.

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The Cure for what ails you.
Photo by Kathy Tran
There are snacks for sharing like Thai Barbecue Duck Wings and Crispy Fried Pig Ears. On the lunch menu there are items like the OMG 2.0 Burger and the Chicken and Cheese Melt.  Dinner entrees include a Black Angus Ribeye and Texas Redfish, both cooked over live mesquite wood from Arnold Bros. Forest Products. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday with comfort foods such as Banana Caramel Pancakes and " The Cure," a mile-high creation with a mesquite flour waffle, housemade sausage, Niman Ranch ham, bacon, American cheese, a local sunny-side up egg and maple syrup.

The decor is a little bit rustic, a little bit industrial and a little bit clubby. There's a lounge for getting comfy with friends and trying one of the 350 different whiskey selections available. Better yet, take advantage of Whiskey Cake's Social Hour. From Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., the bar offers $5 bar bites such as duck confit taquitos and short rib poutine. There's a selection of $3 beers, $5 glasses of wine, and a small menu of $5 cocktails, including The Great Escape and Tequila Rose.

Bishop Cidercade, 2339 Commerce, is planned for late 2019, according to CultureMap Houston.  The giant arcade and cider house from Bishop Cider Co. in Dallas, Texas will be 18,000 square feet of fun in East Downtown. The original location in Dallas is 6,500 square feet, so everything is bigger in Houston.

The Dallas location currently charges $10 for admission, but then the games are all free. There's the Fighter's Row, pinball machines and two 5v5 arcade cabinets for Killer Queen, a strategic arcade game which pits two teams of five against one another. Yes, I had to research that info. I'm like a hundred years old.

Of course, there's also a ton of housemade ciders on tap, as well as wine. No beer, here. The ciders range from sweet to spicy to fruity. There's the Tiger's Blood (my favorite sno-cone flave) which is made with the Crackberry Cider and coconut and is semi-sweet. The Crackberry itself is a cranberry and blackberry cider. There are also spicy flavors like Mango Habanero for those who want a little capsaicin kick. Most of the ciders come in at $6.

Non-alcoholic beverages are available in vending machines at the Dallas spot and persons under 21 are allowed in until 8 p.m. After that, it is strictly 21 and up. The Dallas location does not serve food, but hosts food trucks and allows food to be delivered or brought in, but no outside beverages.

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Mico's Hot Chicken with cool cole slaw.
Photo by Christopher Frydenlund
Mico's Hot Chicken, 2829 Chimney Rock, had its grand opening June 1 at The Galleria Food Truck Park. If you're craving Nashville hot chicken, this may be the only legit game in town. The menu is limited to three items. The Sammich ($8.99) is a huge, hot fried chicken breast topped with coleslaw and pickles in between a thick, toasted bun. If you want to cut out some carbs, there's the chicken tenders with waffle fries ($8.99). The Animal Fries ($7.99) are waffle-cut fries topped with chicken tender chunks, melted cheese and Mico's sauce. The chicken tenders are halal and can be substituted for the chicken breast on the Sammich, if requested. Spice levels can be adjusted as well.

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Mico's is bringing Nashville hot chicken to The Galleria Food Truck Park.
Photo by Christopher Frydenlund
The chicken shack on wheels was serving waffles, ice cream and salads, but the owners elected to slim down the menu for the time being. Mico's is open daily from noon to 8 p.m.

Katz's Deli and Bar may be opening a third location in the Heights. Or maybe not. The Katz family has purchased the property at 2200 N. Shepherd from the Clark family who have owned the land for 50 years, according to Houston Business Journal. The location across from the new multi-level H-E-B makes it a primo retail spot. Whether the Katz family develops it as a retail property or opens another version of the popular delicatessen remains to be seen.

The variety of salatim at One-Fifth Mediterranean.
Photo by Julie Soefer

One-Fifth Mediterranean, 1658 Westheimer, is counting down the days until the concept ends July 31 to make way for its fourth incarnation, which has yet to be published. The following concept will open September 1, 2019.

For patrons who would like to celebrate the last evening at One-Fifth Mediterranean, there will be a "Family Meal" inspired by the communal meals that are served traditionally to a restaurant's staff before the dinner shift begins. There will be no menu. Instead, guests will be treated to the delicious concoctions that the kitchen will create for its last (temporary) service, Wednesday, July 31. Tickets are $75, plus tax and gratuity. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Reservations can be made at

Bar 5015, 5015 Almeda, will shutter its doors July 28, according to its Facebook post. The lively bar has been a fixture in the Third Ward for a decade and was popular for its Sunday Fundays, of which July 28 will be the last.

The space won't sit empty for long as Turkey Hut owners Lynn and Nakia Price, along with business partner, Steve Rogers, are leasing the building for a future bar, as reported by CultureMap Houston. The couple also has another concept in the works, Savoy Urban Beer Garden which is planned to open in the upcoming months on Emancipation Avenue.

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The treehouse view at The Dunlavy.
Photo by Debora Smail
Shake Shack, 702 Main, will finally open its doors June 29 after construction and burst pipe issues pushed back its original opening date of June 25, as reported here in the Houston Press. We know you have waited a looong time for those Shackburgers, crinkle-cut fries and frozen concretes. It's coming.

The Dunlavy, 3422 Allen Parkway, will transition to a full-service restaurant by adding dinner to its menu. Currently, the restaurant over-looking Buffalo Bayou, offers breakfast, lunch and brunch in a fast-casual style belying its stunning view and sparkling chandeliers. With the addition of dinner service, Chef Jane Wild hopes to make the food program more chef-driven with locally sourced ingredients.

While The Dunlavy hosts numerous private events and special dinners, Grant Cooper of Clark Cooper Concepts is giving the public what they want. In a press release Cooper said, " We are constantly receiving requests for dinner service, so we've listened and are giving our customers the experience they want."

All contracted private events will be honored until January 1, 2020.

The 16th Annual Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair will take place October 24 through October 27, 2019. The four day event will begin with a Bartenders Challenge, October 24 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. within the Sugar Land Town Square. On Friday the fun gets a little sexy with the Masquerade, which will take place along the Brazos River Park Grounds from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday's event, the Sip n' Stroll is very popular with its wine seminars, daytime cocktails and indulgent bites from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event concludes Sunday with the family-friendly Bistro Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The event was founded in 2003 by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. It benefits a permanent scholarship endowment for the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

This year's events promise to reflect the increasing diversity of the Fort Bend area with foods representing the global cuisines of its residents with Asian, African, Latino, European and Southwestern flavors.

Restaurants Reported Opened for June 2019:

Aji Robata and Ramen, 25640 Kuykendahl, opened June 7
Barnaby's, 1936 Fountain View, opened May 28
Base, 801 Congress, opened May 31
Beard Papa's, 9393 Bellaire Boulevard, opened June 22
Bonjour Cafe, 20829 Kingsland Boulevard, opened June 3
Como En Casa, 1618 Spencer Highway, opened April 4
Fajita Pete's, 1214 W. 43rd, opened June 10
Fortress Beer Works, 2606 Spring Cypress, opened late March
The Gypsy Poet, 2404 Austin, opened June 7
Hue Asian Cuisine, 12925 FM 1960, opened May 17
Katsu Bar and Noodle, 9296 Westheimer, opened June 13
La Lupita Taco restaurant, 6622 Pinemont, opened May 2
Lotti Dotti, 601 Richmond, opened June 15
MAD, 4444 Westheimer, opened June 19
Mahoney's Texish Bar and Restaurant, 24 Waterway Avenue, opened May 17
Mex Taco House, 14030 Telge, opened May 19
Midnight Munchies Express, 2712 Eldridge Parkway, opened May 4
Loch Bar, 4444 Westheimer, opened June 21
Main Squeeze Juice Co., 1900 Lake Woodlands, opened May 24
The Original Ninfa's Uptown Houston, 1700 Post Oak Boulevard, opened June 10
Phoebe's Kitchen, 2710 N.Mason Road, opened May 25
P.King Authentic Chinese Food, 3701 S. Shepherd, opened May 2
Radunare, 2520 Research Forest, opened mid-July
Shake Shack, 702 main, opened June 29
Toast, opened June 22
Tuscany Italian Bistro, 12215 Grant, opened June 8
Weinerschnitzel, 20130 U.S. Highway 59, opened May 26
Wholesome Kitchen, 250 Assay, opened June 6
Wholesome Pies, 250 Assay, opened early May
Xun Yu Si Kao, 9889 Bellaire, opened mid-May

Closings Reported For June 2019:

Carmelita's Cusine, 1141 E. 11th, closed temporarily due to crash.
Indika, 516 Westheimer, closed June 30
The Pass and Provisions, 807 Taft, closed May 25
Pokeology, 2313 Edwards closed mid-June
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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.