Openings & Closings

Categories: Restaurant News

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Another quiet week around the city, as even B4-U-Eat had only two restaurant closures to report and not a single, solitary opening aside from the long-awaited grand re-opening of Mai's on April 9. Have you been back yet?

The two closures reported by B4-U-Eat were Pete & Shorty's Kitchen & Tap (17790 Katy Freeway) and SouthStreet Dining (24914 Kuykendahl, Tomball).

But the relatively quiet week doesn't mean there isn't a surfeit of interest around restaurants with openings on the horizon, however. Especially when those restaurants involve hot dogs and tacos.

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Over at 29-95, former Houston Press writer Paul Galvani reports that James Coney Island is in the process of opening its own food truck, joining other big-name Houston restaurants such as Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen and Hubcap Grill in entering the fast-growing food truck market. The truck will sell -- what else? -- hot dogs and will be a whopping 24 feet long. But that's not the best part. Come up with a name for the new food truck and you could win old-school JCI Combos (two chili cheese Coneys, fries and a drink) every week for a year.

Amber Ambrose writing for Houston Entree has an interview with celebrity chef Paul Petersen, who'll soon be opening a second location of Vivo, a "sexy" Tex-Mex restaurant that's already immensely popular in its hometown of Austin. Ambrose raises the pertinent question, however, that with a Tex-Mex scene that's stronger than it's been in years, does Houston really need an Austin import?

Finally, news of Greatfull Taco's now trademark quirkiness has spread far and wide. CultureMap's Sarah Rufca reports on some of the more eccentric items that owner Paul West has planned for his Torchy's Tacos-inspired restaurant on Shepherd: "When it opens on April 17, Greatfull Taco will also boast a premium sound system on the patio (West often seems as excited about the restaurant's music as the menu), a Skype phone in the bathroom vestibule and an eVgo electric car charging station, perhaps the first in the city."

If you want to be among the first to get the Greatfull Taco experience, West is selling tickets to his grand opening/Earth Day Festival that will take place this Sunday, April 17. Tickets are $10 and include live music from songstress Brandi Carlile and Seattle band Fences. The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased through Warehouse Live.



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15 comments
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Stelkel
Stelkel

No, Houston does not need an Austin import.

Duce630
Duce630

I thought Vivo's was a great spot in Austin. Great atmosphere, sexy people, good food. Not sure if we need it in Houston or if it will work as well.

Ghanagoldbug
Ghanagoldbug

it will work as well as the Dallas Tex Mex imports that came and went with the wind

Grow Up
Grow Up

why the fuck do you need "sexy people" around when you eat?

celadon411
celadon411

@grow up: I'd rather have sexy people than ugly ones, gross ones, or WORST of ALL-children!!!

ShitThowingMonkey
ShitThowingMonkey

Vivo sounds like the kind of place I'd go to if I were in Austin, but if someone brought me whole-grain brown rice with my cheese enchiladas or fajitas at a tex-mex spot in Houston, I'd never go back.

VMTS
VMTS

Exactly....

ReginaDupuis
ReginaDupuis

Mai's is a dud. I've discovered so many better, cheaper Vietnamese places in the same neighborhood since they closed.

If you're into over-hyped and over-rated Vietnamese cooking, Mai's is your place. I prefer the underdogs in this fight.

Jay Francis
Jay Francis

Regina, Katherine wrote about a little Vietnamese restaurant a while back, Cafe TH on Pease that is open for dinner on Thursday and Friday night until 9. It is a delight. 50's lounge music on the stereo intermixed with Vietnamese pop (hence my invention of the Vietnamese pop star, Olivia Nguyen John). An atmosphere more akin to dining in some friend's home. It's become a regular hang-out for a group of us on Thursdays and I think you would like it, too.

Preston
Preston

Mai's serves a very specific purpose: while most Vietnamese places in Midtown close around 9 PM, Mai's is open deep into the night. It's not my favorite either, but that hasn't stopped me from hitting it up after an Astros game or at 2:30 in the morning.

WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

Pretty much it's only redeeming factor. Otherwise the food is sub-mediocre and the service is terrible. It reminds me of Andy's in the Heights, how people think it's some great place when really it's just a terrible place that is open late.

ConnieFlesvg
ConnieFlesvg

Agree, Mai's is often my last choice when I run out of options, or I'm up too late. Food/service has never been much to write home about. Wish we had more late-night places downtown.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Xuco Xicana plans to be open until 3 a.m., and El Real just down the road does the same right now. So there's that. :)

H_e_x
H_e_x

Well give yourself a pat on the back.

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