Openings & Closings: Blind Items and Other "Fun" Activities
In intriguing news, a big celebrity chef is heading here from out of the state -- and it's not David Chang.
Photo by Miss Shari Bradley Ogden's namesake restaurant is closing in Las Vegas, but the chef plans to open Ogden Pub in Houston.
Eater reports that Caesars Palace restaurateur Bradley Ogden is moving from Las Vegas to Houston. Eater Vegas writes that there are several possible locations for Ogden's new Houston spot, which will be called Ogden Pub: "[T]here are 'three letters of intent on spaces, two across the street from each other five minutes from River Oaks and the other near the new Exxon construction south of The Woodlands.'"
Expect Ogden Pub to be "quick," "casual," "communal," "fun" and "farm-to-table," the last two descriptions remaining the most ambiguous of the bunch. Doesn't all food come from a farm somewhere and eventually end up on a table? And what's your definition of fun? Mine involves whipping tennis balls at little kids who won't sit down at restaurants.
Now for those promised blind items...
I received an e-mail from a source regarding a restaurant for sale on "Lower Westheimer near Montrose," which is described in the confidential listing as a "$325,000.00 Turn Key operation, including all FF&E" as well as a "great opportunity for an experienced chef and/or operator to purchase a highly acclaimed, full service, turnkey restaurant."
The ad further states that the restaurant currently offers a "favorable long term lease in a stand-alone building located in the heart of the 'Foodie-Centric' Montrose/Lower Westheimer area" and even has "exclusive parking." Which restaurant is for sale? Let the games begin!
My guess would be Bambolino's, which is the only one left of the original 17 locations in town -- and which occupies a very substantial piece of real estate on a very hot strip of land along the Westheimer curve. It's still owned by the Laurenzo family, which is hard at work opening a brand-new El Tiempo next door to Ninfa's on Navigation. Could they be looking to jettison an old brand that's no longer working for them?
Meanwhile, the owners of two very popular bars -- one of which is more of a cantina -- have been looking at spaces downtown for a third concept, reportedly near the space where the OKRA charity bar will be moving in. It wouldn't be their first foray into the downtown market, which means that I have much higher hopes for this place -- should it actually even open -- than I would most other downtown ventures. As Samba Grille can attest, downtown is a tough market.
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