Openings and Closings
The big news this week is once again related to Bedford, the restaurant in the Heights that was up until very recently the home of heralded chef Robert Gadsby. A little birdie told us a few weeks back that Reef's executive chef and co-owner Bryan Caswell had big plans for the space, and they weren't wrong. Greg Morago at the Houston Chronicle reported this afternoon that Caswell and company have purchased the restaurant and will soon be installing a new chef and an entirely new menu and aesthetic.
"We're trying to draw the similarities between the rustic-oriented qualities of the Tuscan region with the rustic qualities of the Texas region," Caswell was quoted as saying. The intention to tranform the restaurant into a down-home yet upscale Italian kitchen seems to be a good fit not only for the restaurant, but also for the surrounding Heights neighborhood. As for the identity of the new chef that will helm the endeavor, Caswell is mum. Rumors are flying, however, that Jason Gould -- very recently of Gravitas -- is being considered for the position.
Bedford isn't the only restaurant that has changed hands lately. The famous Tookie's in Seabrook is on the auction block, according to Hamburger America. Owner Jim Spears closed the restaurant after Hurricane Ike and -- nearing 70 years old -- has decided that he doesn't want to reopen it. The entire restaurant, including Spears's recipes, are for now sale.
In other news, Juan Mon -- the sandwich shop on Taft that no one ever thought would actually open -- is having its grand opening this Saturday, September 12. In addition to a huge selection of sandwiches, the shop promises delivery service that allows you to track the delivery van on its website -- perfect for the creepy stalker in all of us. Each sandwich is $5.50, named after a world city and, to complete the weirdness factor, comes disassembled. You assemble the sandwich yourself from the individually wrapped ingredients. Because everyone wants to pay someone else $5.50 to not make them a sandwich!
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Also opening in the next week, with any luck, is Heights establishment Lola's. Owned by the same folks responsible for Pink's Pizza and Dragon Bowl, the restaurant is a highly-anticipated addition to the Heights dining scene, especially with its promises of 24-hour breakfast service and its location on the restaurant-less corner of Yale and 11th. Lola's publicist claims that the restaurant will serve its first meal on Monday, September 14. The menu can be found on its website, the suggestively-named EatLola.com.
And in late-breaking news, Hair Balls is reporting that the Spec's on Washington Avenue will be permanently closing after a year-long dispute with the TABC over its liquor license. Filing a lawsuit to keep the store open after the TABC erroneously gave Spec's a license despite the store's proximity to an elementary school has proven to be a losing battle.