Openings & Closings: Cova Is Over, but Dunkin Donuts Has Just Begun

Categories: Restaurant News

cova-hand-selected-wines-kirby-5.5709360.131.jpg
Outside of Cova's second location on Kirby, which is now closed.
In the grand tradition of giving both good and bad news, the bad comes first this week.

Both locations of Cova Hand-Selected Wines closed after service this past Sunday. In an interesting side note, it was The Tasting Room's Jonathan Horowitz who was first with the news, pointing out the closure on Twitter. The competing wine bar's brand manager later Tweeted: "I'm hoping we can help some staff land on their feet."

While there was no answer when we called either of Cova's locations (one phone line went straight to a fax machine), e-mails from a source state that the wine bar had been in financial trouble for some time after the departure of its previous owner, wine guru Monsterville Horton IV.

There was a time six years ago when the original Cova on Washington Avenue was doing so well, its investors couldn't open a second location fast enough. Construction in Rice Village near the second location on Kirby seriously cut into Cova's finances in 2009, and it doesn't seem as if the locations ever fully recovered.

After Horton left, at least two more showrunners were brought in to try and save Cova. The most recent, New York-based Eoghan Dillman, was set to purchase the entire outfit -- according to a source -- but walked away after conducting some forensic accounting. Dillman confirmed via e-mail that he had dissolved his partnership with Cova's owners.

dunkinwhat.jpg
Photo by robert banh
The rest of America may run on Dunkin', but will Houston?
In other bad news, Randy Rucker's planned Museum District restaurant -- conāt -- has been shelved for now. Rucker wrote on his blog: "It's unfortunate that restaurant conat will not be opening as planned, however, restaurant conat is not dead."

Rucker also told the Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook that although he and his investor would be going their separate ways, he hopes to "continue to bring great things to this city." Unfortunately, this marks the third in a series of deflated projects in the past year for the talented if testy chef, including the incarnation of conāt Rucker had initially envisioned as a companion restaurant to the now-closed Bootsie's in Tomball.

There's some good news to come out of the Museum District this week, though, and that's the information from Eater Houston that Lucille's will be opening soon. Chef Chris Williams told Eater editor Amber Ambrose that the Southern spot will feature "comfort food with some European and Asian influences" and should be open on June 1 if all goes well.

Dunkin' Donuts is set to open a slew of new restaurants in Houston, too. A little more than a dozen, in fact. The Massachusetts-based donut stores are trying to give hometown favorite Shipley a run for their money, with 16 stores planned for the next six years.

Despite persistent rumors, one of those Dunkin' Donuts stores is definitely not going in at the newly vacated corner of Dunlavy and Westheimer, says Swamplot, so knock it off already. The 16 new stores would be in addition to the half-dozen locations scattered throughout the city, but some Houston residents don't want any more Dunkin' Donuts than we already have.

Stated food truck Eatsie Boys earlier this week on Twitter: "Stay out of Houston, Dunkin Donuts. @ShipleyDo_Nuts for life."



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Location Info

Map

Cova Hand Selected Wines (Kirby) - CLOSED

5600 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

Eatsie Boys

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Shipley Do-nut Shops

3932 N. Main, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Lucille's

5512 La Branch St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
Hank L
Hank L

Another unfortunate closing:  Boston's The Gourmet Pizza on 249 and Gessner closed recently.  I am bummed! 

iMidget
iMidget

Thank goodness.  Now I can throw away that Cova gift certificate with $4 remaining.  I couldn't bring myself to enter the place again to use it.

soldier
soldier

Had DD and Shipley did not like Shipley donuts to much sugar and bad coffee, DD rules. The old DD on Shepard was great until the sleazy new owner ran it to the ground.

katie
katie

The original Cova was on Kirby, not Washington.

KAC
KAC

Shipley's coffee sucks. Can't wait for Dunkin Donuts. It's worth the trip.

Hj
Hj

Monsterville was a total dick.  A guy that really needs an ass kicking. 

H_e_x
H_e_x

I remember DD had a location on Westheimer sometime in the 90's.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I'm super psyched for Dunkin. Not because of the donuts. IT'S THE COFFEE, PEOPLE. I practically wept when I heard the news.

ReginaD
ReginaD

Re Dunkin's Mystery location: Don't Dunlavy and Montrose run parallel?

Aggiemail
Aggiemail

 You must come from up north.  DD is too cakey, just what Massholes love.  I prefer the Honey Dips out this way.  Remind me of those hot fresh melt in your mouth light Shipley's do-nuts

ABe
ABe

Yup. Wash was the 2nd.

Graciahawkeye
Graciahawkeye

If you had a name liked Monsterville,  you might be a bit dickish too.   So let me ask a really dumb question: What did he do to earn such a statement?

EdT.
EdT.

There was also one on Westheimer just east of Hillcroft.

Tining
Tining

There was one on shephard where Cindies is - no pun intended

Eric S
Eric S

Small mistake. She meant Dunlavy and Westheimer where that old antique store just got knocked down and is being replaced with new construction. It's all in the Swamplot story.

NilsD
NilsD

He was the personification of arrogance and two-facedness, if that's a word. Nice when he wanted something, care-less when he didn't need you to do something for him. Treated people merely as a means to accomplish his ends. That's a start, anyway....

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