Openings & Closings: Guess What Women Don't Care About? Food.

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Kimberly Park
Randy Rucker aims to open Briar and Bramble soon.
In restaurant takeover news, three items have set tongues wagging in the past week...

First is word from Randy Rucker himself via Twitter that he'll be opening another restaurant -- this one to be called Briar and Bramble -- after plans for his Museum District restaurant, conāt, fell through. As other publications have noted, this is Rucker's third attempt at opening a restaurant in the last couple of years after a planned companion restaurant to Bootsie's never materialized either.

What's the planned location for his new restaurant? Rucker is mum for now, but sources indicate that the now-closed Tart Cafe at 4411 Montrose will be eventual home of Briar and Bramble. The very wee space seems as though it would lend itself well to an almost omakase-style eating experience, or perhaps the intimate service seen at Oxheart.

In other news, Frank's Chop House was put on the chopping block recently -- so to speak -- and was purchased by father-and-son restaurateur team Michael and Chris Shine, who bought it off Frank Crapitto himself. As reported by Cleverley Stone, the chef at Frank's Chop House -- Albert Estrada -- will stay on, although the menu will see a few new additions. Crapitto's itself, Frank Crapitto's other restaurant, is absolutely not for sale, however it does plan to expand soon.

It's been nice knowing you, Ninfa's.
The last and worst news of the week was reported by Eater Houston, which got the scoop that Maggie Rita's -- partly owned by comedian Carlos Mencia -- will be taking over three Ninfa's locations around town. Eric Sandler spoke with Maggie Rita's other owner, Santiago Moreno, about the planned changes for the three locations (1650 Post Oak, 3601 Kirby and 8553 Gulf Freeway).

Moreno rather mystifyingly explained that the Maggie Rita's would be placing more emphasis on its cocktails than its food, as "consumer decisions are made by women." And that "what makes a woman decide where to eat Mexican food, it has to do with margaritas. It has nothing to do with food."

And here I thought that women cared more about shoes.

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Location Info

Roots Bistro - CLOSED

507 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


904 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Samba Grille - CLOSED

530 Texas Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Blue Fish

550 Texas St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


1701 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Little Bitty Burger Barn

5503 Pinemont Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frank's Americana Revival & White Star Bar

3736 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Ricardo Luna
Ricardo Luna

Don't forget Thursday Steak Night...12oz Handcut Ribeye with loaded baked potatoe from 5PM-7PM...cooked to order, you said you wanted it "blue" or "mooing?


I think the Ninfas crossover happened a few weeks ago.  I went over to the Ninfas on Kirby a few weeks ago to pick up some tortillas to go, and I was horrified to discover that they don't make 'em in house anymore.  Plus, their salsa changed.   I would go there for my fresh tortilla fix mainly because it's closer to my house than Navigation, but back to the homeland I go.   (There are stories about me eating a jalapeno thinking it was a pickle  while waiting in line on Navigation when I was about three, and the ladies there gave me a tortilla to help staunch the crying.  Well over 35 years ago.) 


What's the over under on Maggie Rita's on Kirby.  I say 75 days.


RR has become a bit more of a twitter curmudgeon than chef.  Will be interested to see if he still has his chops.  Bootsie's was wonderful.

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