Openings & Closings

Categories: Restaurant News

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The Heights and its surrounding areas have seen some big changes over the last week, starting with the big news that 11th Street Cafe is finally closing to make room for a bigger and better restaurant on the corner of 11th and Studewood. The food at 11th Street hadn't been good in a very long time, but its excellent location kept it alive. Moving in? The third Ruggles Green location. We're still waiting to see what's going to become of the Ruggles in Montrose right now, though.

Down the street, BB's Cajun Cafe has moved into the old 6th Street Bar & Grill location at White Oak and Studewood, and is finally celebrating its grand opening this weekend. Unlike its location in Montrose, this BB's has a full bar -- you'd think it'd be the other way around, given the Heights's history with alcohol -- and it's celebrating in part by offering plenty of Hurricanes along with the crawfish boil it's hosting this Sunday, June 26 from 3 to 10 p.m.

Also opening soon is the Whole Foods on Waugh and Dallas, meaning that the parking lot at the Kirby location will hopefully be a smidge less congested once it opens on June 22. We're taking a sneak preview of the store this afternoon and will have photos for you soon.

Back across I-10, efforts to revive the now-closed King Biscuit Cafe have come to a standstill according to Swamplot: "One reader tells Swamplot that remodeling work came to a halt 2 weeks ago, and that [Sarah] Fitzgerald spent all of last Thursday moving out of the building. The signs -- one of them advertising the availability of owner financing -- were posted over the weekend."

And in continuing bad news, Octane has closed its doors after only a year in operation. Considering we placed it on our list of Most Disappointing Restaurant Openings last year, it doesn't come as a huge surprise. Here's hoping that -- as Swamplot commenters have speculated -- Pink's Pizza expands into the space that Octane vacated.

Last but not least, summer just got a lot cooler: The Eatsie Boys are opening an ice cream truck. While we wait for more news on that hot item, listen to this recent radio interview with Eatsie Boys co-founder Ryan Soroka about the food truck movement in Houston and how the Boys have used social media to their advantage.



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19 comments
Jhangten
Jhangten

I had also heard that Heights West also closed

Ruthie J M
Ruthie J M

Christian's on White Oak is open. Had dinner there this week. It may not have had its "official" opening, but it is certainly open to the public. Cool space, though my burger was not great. 

Maggie_May
Maggie_May

Concerning BB's & "the Heights history with alcohol"--BB's is in The Greater Heights Area, not The Heights.  Booze is served along much of White Oak, from Beer Island to Onion Creek.  A few blocks away, Dry Creek is in the The Dry Heights (duh!).   The story is that, when The Heights was annexed by Houston over 100 years ago, the area got the right to stay dry. 

What are the exact boundaries of The Dry Heights?  Who ensures that the dryness is eternal?  (Shade on 19th apparently has found a loophole; has anybody else?)  Can the antiquated laws made to keep trashy beer joints out of the area be amended now that innovative wine lists & craft beers on tap are the style?  (Not that I have anything against the occasional trashy beer joint.)  Sounds like a good topic for an inquiring reporter!

I seem to recall the day when the 11th Street Cafe was actually good--long ago.  The owner said they got permission to sell beer; then the officials re-measured the distance from the nearest church & the right was revoked.  Wish Ruggles the best--can they re-measure the distance?  Or try to make it as BYOB?

Still hoping somebody comes up with a plan for King Biscuit....

the great gazoo
the great gazoo

two questions / comments:

1) So Ruggles Green is going to be across the street from 11th, right? Someone has been renovating the previous tamale joint for awhile – opposite 11th Street Cafe on the east side of the street.

2) I too have noticed that Christian's on White Oak has been serving people, but not sure if it's officially open to the public(?) There's nothing announcing that that. There has appeared to be some kind of soft / invite-only stuff going on for the last week or so, but I could be wrong.

Mistaharrydong
Mistaharrydong

once again my dong could do a better list/blog than this fu___in garbage.you are a hack

Guest
Guest

The sign outside the new Whole Foods says "Open June 22" which would be next Wednesday--not this weekend. Has this changed?

LizB
LizB

I noticed there were people consuming adult beverages inside the new Christian's on White Oak yesterday afternoon.

ArchieLeach
ArchieLeach

OMG!  I grew up watching and wondering why the hell 11th Street Cafe was in operation.  I'd sit on the stairs of Someburger with my parents and watch the eatery across the street.  And now, after all these years, it's gone.  Thank God.  That place was horrible.

the great gazoo
the great gazoo

ok, hope this doesn't stir anything up, but I drive by the new Christian's four times a day and swear i have seen red ashtrays some of the inside tables. as a semi-smoker :) I'd by cool with that, but not sure if that's really what I'm seeing. or if they could somehow be skirting the smoking sanctions b/c of the open garage door things in the front of the building. this could all be wishful thinking on my part.

this also led me to think that what I was seeing was indeed some form of private opening, in which case I guess they could allow smoking as it would not be a public venue (?)

or I just got them busted!

WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

When Lonnie Allsbrooks (owner of Beer Island and a former city council candidate) had trouble getting a beer/wine license for a new place he was opening about 100 feet from Onion Creek he did a lot of research and got into some legal fights about the "dry" heights thing. He found out that there are no documents defining the "dry" boundaries and that it all boils down to one part of an obscure document, 75 years ago, that has ambiguous language and still fails to define the boundaries. Kind of a "this is how it's always been" instead of an official thing.

If someone wanted to speak with him about his research and struggles with that it really would make a great blog post here. He seems happy to talk about those things.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

1) Nope. Ruggles Green is opening in 11th Street Cafe's old/current spot. I'm still not quite sure what's going on at that tamale place across the way...

2) As Ruthie said, it's open for business, but there hasn't been an official announcement as far as I know.

WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

Yup! Christians is a bigger opening than BB's IMO, but I do love BB's

WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

That's the patio, where they allow smoking. I guess they consider it a covered patio. Inside there is no smoking.

There was a one day private opening and word has it that it was also open to the public and everything was free. I have been there three times this week, today my sliders were excellent and two days ago my burger is exactly what would be expected of the other two locations. From what I heard, the first couple of days they had some things to work out with being understaffed, training some new cooks, etc.

Their $1 beer night will be a different night than the midtown location, which I think is a smart move (don't compete with yourself).

Go get you a cigarette, a beer and a burger.

Ruthie J M
Ruthie J M

It's certainly not a private opening. I saw people in there, too, as I drove past one day -- so I called to see if it was actually open. They said yes, come on by. And yes, there are ashtrays and smoking; i was also wondering how they got away with that -- but you're right: the place is, technically, open air b/c of the garage doors. The smoke definitely gets to the other diners, though, and as a non-smoker, I didn't love that part.

Kylejack
Kylejack

The tamale place was supposed to become Liberty Kitchen and Oyster Bar and was supposed to open in January.  But now oyster season is over and I haven't heard a recent update.

Ruthie J M
Ruthie J M

That is true that there's a small indoor, air-conditioned area, but when I was there last week, that area was not open for business. I'm sure it will be after they have the official opening and ramp up on staff. 

sec
sec

The thing that people aren't seeing at the new Christian's (I think) is that there is an entire indoor area of the restaurant as well.  If you go through the glass doors at the back of the patio and take a right (restrooms to the left), you will find an entire other bar as well as indoor seating with air conditioning, etc.  At first it kind of seems like the patio area is all they have, but there is definitely a lot more to the place and, personally, I definitely couldn't be happier about their having a legitimate smoking patio for those who choose to do so!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Ah! That's right; thanks for the refresher.

Last I heard -- and I think it was from the comments section on Swamplot -- the Glass Wall/BRC guys are still working on that space and hope to have it open within a year. We shall see...

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