Openings & Closings: The Blind Items Gain Vision Edition

Categories: Restaurant News

sybarite.jpg
Coming soon to Cafe Luz.
Everyone likes to see a good blind item come to fruition. We have two that gained sight this week.

With one of our most recent items, our readers -- as usual -- were spot-on in their guesses. Ocean's, the big white house in Montrose that currently serves subpar seafood, will soon become Concepción with chef Jonathan Jones at the helm. The same ownership will remain in place, under Jorge Alvarez. The restaurant, which means "conception" in Spanish (and was also the name of Alvarez's mother), will feature some of the same modern Mexican and Latin American cooking that Jones featured at Xuco Xicana before his partnership with that restaurant ended. The restaurant hopes to open in May or June.

Meanwhile, another project is finally coming to fruition near the Galleria: The West End (5320 Westheimer), which we first reported on back in January. Allison Wollam at the Houston Business Journal reports Houstonian Pejman "PJ" Jamea is opening the 8,300-square-foot gastropub with his father, and hopes to feature 50 different beers on draft and a comfort food-oriented menu. In addition to the nearly 9,000 square feet of indoor dining space, The West End will also feature an enormous 5,000-square-foot patio -- just in time for summer.

The Burger Guys had a great run during their pop-up lunches with Cafe Luz, and now it's someone else's turn. That someone will be the Sybarite Pig, a "craft beer" and "craft grub" project from talented brewer Daniel Naumko. Naumko, who has been brewing beer at the Kitchen Incubator (the commercial kitchen space behind Cafe Luz), will soon be offering a full menu at the cafe. In keeping with its name ("sybarite" meaning a person who's utterly devoted to luxury and pleasure), the menu will have dishes such as oxtail sancocho with pork belly bollitos and a poached duck egg, and a Mediterranean lamb burger with toasted cumin labne. Follow the Sybarite Pig on Twitter for more information on its opening, which is set for May.

felix-55-1.7763199.131.jpg
Closed for now, but reopening as something new in May.
Meanwhile up north, the Trader Joe's in The Woodlands is slated to open on June 8. In related news, avoid The Woodlands if at all possible on this day if you don't want to be caught in the stampede.

Over in the Heights, Adam Dorris -- the young chef who gave us Ghetto Dinner at Grand Prize and who took over for Justin Basye at Stella Sola -- has announced that this is his final month at the Texas-Tuscan restaurant. "Nathan and I will be putting together some special dinners for my final month," Dorris said on Twitter. And one of those dinners is coming up soon: a seven-course beer dinner on April 25, for $75 a person.

In the Rice Village, Felix 55 has closed after a little over half a year. Original chef Michael Kramer departed only a few months after it opened, and the restaurant never quite seemed to catch on with diners in the otherwise busy Village Arcade. The restaurant plans to reopen on May 1 as The Republic.

And in Montrose, Japanese restaurant Toyama has a sign out front indicating that it closed for renovations on April 7. No evidence of renovation work can be seen inside, though, and the building itself was brand-new when Toyama moved in. Could it be that a closure is on its way?

Last but not least -- as we told you last week -- Don Julio's will close on April 22. B4-U-Eat reported in its newsletter this week: "A steak house is to open there mid-summer. Don Julio's is going back to their roots in suburbia -- a Missouri City location, 9009 Sienna Christus, will open next week if all goes as planned."



Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Location Info

Ocean's - CLOSED

819 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Xuco Xicana

2416 Brazos St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Burger Guys - CLOSED

12225 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Felix 55 - CLOSED

5510 Morningside Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Toyama Japanese - CLOSED

2802 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Don Julio's Mexican Restaurant - CLOSED

322 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Luz - CLOSED

907 Franklin, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The West End

5320 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Concepcion - CLOSED

819 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

55

5510 Morningside Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Trader Joe's

10868 Kuykendahl Road, Spring, TX

Category: General


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
8 comments
Winter
Winter

Any news on when the Trader Joes slated for Voss will break ground? 

Wuwu
Wuwu

I will try to be nice, I promise, I will try to be positive, I promise, I will try not to put anyone or any place down, but I can't promise....Don Julio's Jesus Christ you sucked so bad, like crap food.  Why did you think you could make it?  Like really do you feel you had a "good" product and had "good" service?  Your food was flat out shit, so glad you are out of business.  I can say Taco Cabana is better than the horror you served!

Now Toyama, really you were Fiesta quality grocery store sushi (I do shop at Fiesta weekly and actually love many things they offer).  You were so so bad and the atmosphere was like a closed nursing home.  You were terrible and you had zero chance to stay around.  Bye Bye.

Now to finish, I only hope chef JJ can make a go at it but honestly you will probably not.  XOxo or whatever the hell it was or what it was called was not great at all, very misunderstood and I'm sure you know that.  Ceviche craze, everyone is doing this now so why fight a battle in a location set to fail?  You will have to execute with precision in a location which very few will probably support.  Please know I want you to make it, this town needs more options but average food, why go and why support.  You got stones my man, I'm routing for you, best of luck....

No
No

Woohoo, love JJ's food!

Kagan34
Kagan34

Here's to the hope that Jorge Alvarez will be merely a silent partner at Concepcion. Very silent.

Good riddance to Don Julio's. The operator turned out to be dishonest, in addition to being wrong about what would fly in that space. Hopefully he'll no part in the steakhouse, and can pursue his dream of comedy nights and Mexican food in Missouri City.

Toyama...just a matter of time. All the warmth of a concrete bunker, with average food, no parking, bad lighting and just a mile or so from their other restaurant. What in the world were they thinking building this place from scratch?

H_e_x
H_e_x

Can't speak about the other places becaue I haven't been to them, but Don Julio's is pretty bad. It really is worse than Taco C, which is at least good after a night of drinking.

Gentian
Gentian

Pretty much with you on all three. Re Concepcion, if Jorge Alvarez were not the guy behind the deal, JJ might have a chance. I mean JJ is really talented but needs parental supervision much of the time. And the arrogant and inexperienced Alvarez is the last person qualified to dispense such parental advice and leadership.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Nothing tasted particularly fresh, like it had been frozen and then reheated. I doubt that was standard operating procedure every single day, but it didn't taste right when I went.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...