Openings & Closings: Making the Most of Main Street

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Haritos Bibas hopes to turn a sleepy section of Main Street downtown into "Times Square."
It was a week full of news items, both big and small, starting with the big news that Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse in Pearland has leased the old Stella Sola space in the Heights. He plans to open a second location of his steakhouse in the spot after it's remodeled, after which he'll serve a more "inventive" menu than is currently found at his popular steakhouse to the south.

Meanwhile in Montrose, Marco Wiles's pizza joint -- Dolce Vita -- was nearly felled by fire earlier this week. It took 45 firefighters to extinguish the flames, which heavily damaged both the kitchen and the upstairs of the restaurant. Although it hasn't yet reopened, the restaurant hopes to deal with the damage quickly and open its doors again as soon as possible.

A new but familiar face is coming to downtown, says CultureMap: Bibas Brooklyn Express will be replacing the recently shuttered El Rey at 233 Main. The Bibas name will be familiar to fans of the old Bibas Diner on West Gray and Bibas One's-A-Meal, both of which were run by Haritos Bibas. Not content to enjoy his retirement, the 78-year-old Bibas plans to keep Bibas Brooklyn Express open 24 hours a day and "make it look like Times Square" downtown.

Bibas might have a rough go of it downtown, though, as he himself admitted that downtown is "dead" these days. Little Napoli, in fact, just moved off Main Street (where it occupied the corner of Texas Avenue) and will be relocating to the old Mingalone space in Bayou Place.

Last but not least, longtime brunch favorite Dharma Cafe is closing, announced B4-U-Eat earlier this week. "Dharma Cafe closes after Brunch service this Sunday," read the update in B4-U-Eat's weekly e-mail newsletter. "John Gurney and Susan Ralph have sold it and the new owners will change the name and menu. More to come."



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Location Info

Killen's Steakhouse

2804 S. Main, Pearland, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

500 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Rey Taqueria - CLOSED

233 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Little Napoli Ristorante Italiano

540 Texas Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dharma Cafe - CLOSED

1718 Houston Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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13 comments
pancha79
pancha79

I ate at The Broken Spoke twice and could not believe what horrible food and service I recieved while Katherine was there. I can't even believe she would attempt to open her own place after her failure at The Broken Spoke.

loverboy
loverboy

U r correct Wittgenstein,  I've heard a couple different ones. Herbert obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. Check out Yelp reviews from the past 2-3 years, based on them , you can tell when people are talking about her, when she was there "managing" the place. She did Roy a big favor, whether she quit, he fired her, bought her out, or whatever.

just saying
just saying

No way that place is going to make it.  El Rey and Cielo were great and they failed; Theo's and Biba's food is disgusting.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

I wish all the best luck to Bibas.  The powers that were, encouraged development of the downtown area, then promptly tore up Main Street for a ridiculous Tonka Train, putting many new and promising businesses out of patronage.  It's been declining ever since.  Maybe he will be successful in starting it back up again.  Opa!

Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein

I've heard that Katherine from Broken Spoke is taking Dharma and turning it Belgian.

Fulano de Tal
Fulano de Tal

"whether she quit, he fired her, bought her out, or whatever"

Thanks for the precise account.

Ec
Ec

El rey and cielo were horrible. All stuff people liked

Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein

Wonder what the story is with her splitting from Roy at Broken Spoke? I suspect it's a juicy one.

Hebert
Hebert

That's a fact.  She's calling it Café Brussels.

Ec
Ec

Oops all stuff white people liked

Hebert
Hebert

Nope, nothing juicy.  She just wanted her own place.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Speak for yourself.

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