Openings & Closings: Losing Our Voice

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo courtesy of Coppa Ristorante Italiano
Coppa: Now open for business.
The worst news of the week came from My Table early yesterday morning, when the magazine reported that downtown restaurant Voice has lost its executive chef, the very underrated Greg Lowry, and is in talks to "reconcept" and become a Mexican restaurant. No word on whether that's upscale Mexican, like Hugo's, although one would assume that a more casual place simply wouldn't mesh well with Voice's grand dining room.

Lowry, for his part, scored a sweet gig with Ryan Hildebrand as sous chef at the hotly anticipated Triniti, opening later this year. And although I'll mourn the loss of Voice as we know it for quite a while, I am thrilled to hear that Lowry will be in a more visible position under a very talented chef -- even if he's no longer an executive chef himself.

In other happy news, Coppa Ristorante Italiano opened yesterday, August 18. The restaurant replaces Catalan, which was headed up by Chris Shepherd but owned by Charles Clark and Grant Cooper. Clark and Cooper still own the space, and Coppa's re-opening marks the second big project from the duo this year after Brasserie 19 opened back in May. Coppa's executive chef is Brandi Key, one of the handful of women to head up their own kitchen in Houston, and a longtime fixture in the Houston restaurant industry. Her menu appears to blend strong Italian and Texan influences, with dishes like tuna crudo with Texas peaches (pictured above) and Gulf fish baked in parchment.

Meanwhile, down in Seabrook, Tookie's has finally reopened (this time for real), delighting fans of its signature Squealers. The Chronicle's Syd Kearney was there to report on the grand reopening:

They entered beaming with thumbs up; some let out little whoop-whoops of joy.

Val Dailey couldn't contain herself. "If you build, they will come," she shouted as she walked through the door.

And come they did. It was 5 o'clock in this little town by the bay and the only place to be was Tookie's, the iconic burger joint that reopened Tuesday nearly three years after Hurricane Ike closed its doors.

Rounding off the week, B4-U-Eat reports in its weekly newsletter that Houston is down one Freshii -- the one at 1531 Eldridge -- but that we should look for Vida's "sexy" Tex-Mex doors to be open soon.



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12 comments
Jessica
Jessica

sorry to hear about Voice, but I agree with CMN.  I went to Voice on a Tuesday night for HRW.  Hardly anyone in there.  

Not surprised about Freshii.  I liked the concept (I'm a health nut for the most part) and I really wanted the place to workout but after multiple tries I just never liked the food there.  I much more of a Zoes fan for healthyl. 

ziggy smogdust
ziggy smogdust

I could never decide if I  liked Freshii or not.  I think it might have been too pricey for the portions and what they were trying to do.  I liked the basic concept, and it was great if you were on a diet b/c you could really customize your meal as much as you wanted.  It always seemed like it needed be a buck or two cheaper for a meal there.  

CMN
CMN

Awful news about Voice indeed. We can't really be that shocked though can an we? Each time I ate and/or drank there, it was less than packed.  If a city wants to keep a great place, it has to support it.

Laurie
Laurie

Any word on when it will actually close? We have HRW reservations for Monday....

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Agreed. I always wanted that place to get more recognition than it did...

Helctle
Helctle

What the hell does sexy tex-mex? Botoxed broads and signet wearing gents, with a few hookers strewn in from the old Ritz, Palm and nearby Marfrellas?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I'm honestly not sure, but that's how Vida is billing themselves. We shall see...

Christine Ha
Christine Ha

Coppa a few blocks away from Stella Sola? Do I hear a future Food Fight post calling?

Ali
Ali

Coppa is at Washington and TC Jester. Stella Sola is on Studemont at 10th in The Heights proper.  

Texmex01
Texmex01

Wow, Vida's does not allow anyone under the age of 16 in, I will try them out for this gutsy stand alone!

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