Openings and Closings: The Non-Montrose Edition

Categories: Restaurant News

harvestgrille.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
So long, Old Heidelberg. Hello, Harvest.
We had a few comments last week bemoaning the fact that the week's restaurant news was all out of Montrose. "Montrose - within a 10 minute drive for only 14% of the Greater Houston Metropolitan area, and yet it gets a least a third of the restaurant coverage in the Houston Press," wrote one commenter. "Not a criticism, just an observation."

And it's funny -- restaurant news does that. Notices of openings or closings will swing wildly in one direction of town one week, then to another the next. As with this week, where much of the news comes out of Memorial.

But first, from the Galleria area: Old Heidelberg on Fountainview at San Felipe is officially dead and gone. While there was some initial speculation that it would become a Middle Eastern restaurant, it has actually transformed into Harvest Live Grille & Bar. I have no idea why the "grille" is live nor why it has an "e" on the end of it.

Harvest plans to offer a menu of "locally grown, organic selections" of meat, seafood and produce as well as an "unlimited salad bar." In keeping with its green bent, Harvest also says that it will have sustainable wine and "organically inspired cocktails." Let's hope they're better than the ones were at Sugarcane.

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Photo courtesy of The Union Kitchen
Meanwhile, over in Memorial... The Lantern Lane shopping center is looking a little lonelier now that French Gourmet Bakery has closed (although the Westheimer location is still happily open). The owners shut the doors on February 18 and are looking for a new space on the west side.

In the very same shopping center, Hunan Emperor also closed recently after what seems like three decades in the Chinese restaurant business. Like the French Gourmet Bakery, the restaurant left amidst rumors of increasingly high rent prices at Lantern Lane and has now relocated to a new spot at 9013 Westheimer.

Replacing Hunan Emperor is a second location of The Union Kitchen (the first is at 4057 Bellaire). My mother drove by it the other day and reported that it looked "swanky." I should make her my intern. The Union Kitchen offers a full bar and dishes like a Jenga-looking Thai burger, as recently sampled by our own Joanna O'Leary.

Out in Cypress, Fuzzy's Tacos at 9630 Jones Road closed abruptly last week, without notifying its puzzled employees. A former employee told Cypress Today that the Fort Worth-based chain had sold the Jones Road location three months ago, and that nothing had been the same since.

Back downtown, B4-U-Eat reported that Convey Sushi -- the infrequently occupied sushi joint on Market Square -- has closed. But Eater Houston reports that Convey has the tendency to "take a hiatus now and then," sort of like the owners of Oishii on Richmond. Will it stay closed for good this time? No one knows for sure.

Also downtown, chef/owner Justin Yu has finally announced the opening date for his restaurant, Oxheart: Thursday, March 15. Says a press release of the space at 1302 Nance:

Chef Justin Yu's commitment to utilizing Houston's regional farms, ranches, and coastal fishers will create food truly unique to the Texas Gulf Coast region. With the boom of products from late winter and early spring, expect the Oxheart menu to highlight products from old friends such as Utility Research Garden, Louisiana Foods, and Revival Meats as well as goods from newly formed relationships at Three Sisters Farm, Emile St. Garden, and Augustus Ranch. Oxheart's close-knit, four-person kitchen team will be focused on creating Houston's most delicious and thought-provoking meal.

Finally, Jenny Wang reported on Twitter that Guadalajara Bakery at 4003 Washington Avenue has been given a temporary stay of execution. And I mean very temporary: It closes this Sunday, March 4. Gather ye tacos while ye may.



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Location Info

Union Kitchen

4057 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Convey Sushi - CLOSED

801 Congress St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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20 comments
Jack Tyler
Jack Tyler

I dropped in on Harvest Live Grille and Bar and talked with them about the menu.  The focus isn't going to be on "local" produce, seafood and ranched products, as they have other locations (California) and the economies include bulk central buying... but they stress that the focus IS organic. It looks like a fun place with cooking of entrees in the open as well as a brick oven to make bread in-house. Frankly, I don't see the problem with putting some local stuff on the menu... but they don't see that as important as "organic".

scotter
scotter

That, my friend, could very well be the subject of a future Houston Press article. 

"There were trash bags over the windows and it was closed at 8pm on a Thursday evening. If they are not closed, what are the doing?"

Bem19
Bem19

You get a intern? Sign me up!

Charlott
Charlott

Organic cocktails? Don't they contain deadly delicious toxic ethanol?

Chiknkitchn
Chiknkitchn

I had lunch at French Gourmet just a couple of weeks ago.  I will miss it!  Great baked goods and tarragon turkey sandwiches.

jwdc
jwdc

Surprised you didn't mention that a HP favorite, Gelato Blu, also closed down.  

WarrenG
WarrenG

I'm excited about Harvest: it's a warm, homey place due to the remodel. Hope the food is good.

Corey
Corey

Old H, how I miss your Hungarian Goulash, or at least what I remember of it from the 1990's..

Philconklin2nd
Philconklin2nd

Hey Jack, thank you for stopping by The Harvest Live Grille and checking us out. We look forward to your opinion on our full menu upon completion. As of this point in time we do need a steady supply of ingredients to keep up with the flow of the public, however we are in the process of developing relations with local growers in order to provide local produce specials. We welcome all green harvesters to contact us with their supply lists. It is our goal to work with other green thumbs in the neighborhood to produce an exciting and energizing menu that continues to offer new flavor from the food we love. Have a great one and we'll see you all at The Harvest.

Chef Phil

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I wasn't sure if it had closed for good. Boo! I hate to hear that.

WarrenG
WarrenG

Anyone know what happened to Old Heidelberg's foul-mouthed German firebrand of an owner, Annemarie?

Loved her cooking, and if I didn't, I hadn't the stones to complain. She was a tough old iron bird.

Dejardin23
Dejardin23

 What is a Live Grille, chef Phil? Heat resistant microbes or enzymes residing on the grille's surface, perhaps?Or is there live music maybe?

Allen King
Allen King

 I got a cup of coffee at Gelato Blu yesterday.  Certainly not closed.

Jack Tyler
Jack Tyler

I stopped going in Old Heidelberg years before they closed, as Annemarie was so crude and abusive to her employees. My last visit there was the day that she called a waitperson "stupid" in front of customers. Must be a German thing as Rudy over on Gessner doesn't particularly handle his waitpersons with kid gloves either.

Corey
Corey

I'd be scared to ask her for anything, stones indeed.

Philconklin2nd
Philconklin2nd

We will be having live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Two person smooth jazz and dancing. Thank you for your question.

JWDC
JWDC

Ok - he elaborated.  There were trash bags over the windows and it was closed at 8pm on a Thursday evening.  If they are not closed, what are the doing?

JWDC
JWDC

That's what happens when you listen to your husband.  He went last night and told me it had closed down.  Believe it or not, this is not the first time he has been wrong about something.  Sorry.

Corey
Corey

My friend Nicole is the Night Manager of the Memorial location, near as I can tell she's still employed..

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