Witchcraft, Underdogs and Blacksmiths: November 2012 in Openings & Closings
On my way home a few nights ago, I noticed that a hunch I'd had was true: Bibas Brooklyn Express had closed after only six short months in business on Main Street. I'd noticed the lights off for a few days, and a new spread of brown paper in the windows meant only one thing. B4-U-Eat reports that the paper indicates something new is in the works, though: "We hear it opens in 2 to 3 weeks as a Romas Pizza," reported its weekly newsletter.
Photo by Brittanie Shey Hula Mama's has danced its last luau.
And in other closings, our own Brittanie Shey's favorite Hawaiian joint has shut its doors: Hula Mama's -- which Shey called "paradise in a double-wide" -- took its tiki torches down for good over the weekend. According to B4-U-Eat (which has all the good scoop this week): "Chief Tama Satoa is moving to Maui to open a restaurant Luau show there. For Luau shows here, Drums of the Pacific is still open, operated by his daughter.
In happier news, there were three fun openings to round out a fairly quiet week.
Witchcraft Tavern & Provision Co. opened in the old Dragon Bowl space at Shepherd and 11th Street, bringing another excellent craft beer selection to the Heights. Owner Ken Bridge (who owned Dragon Bowl, and who also runs Lola, Pink's Pizza and Shepherd Park Draught House) was on hand when I visited this past week, showing his new chefs how to cook up a menu of simple pub favorites.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
I even got a quick peek in the back, where Bridge has built possibly the finest tap room in town; each keg has its own individual regulators, and there's plenty of room for cask ales too. Witchcraft also has the same rock 'n' roll vibe of Shepherd Park Draught House, with more of Bridge's rock memorabilia on display and a stunning piece of wall art made out of retro speakers.
And speaking of craft beer, a new underdog is set to be the best bar to open on Washington Avenue since the original incarnation of Pearl Bar: The appropriately-named Underdog's has been operating quietly in the old Lot space for the last four months, offering an incredible selection of microbrews at ridiculous prices. I'm talking $3 for nearly any pint -- even stuff like Saint Arnold Pumpkinator and Sixpoint Autumnation -- and only $6 for heavy-duty brews like Narwhal. It's the best-kept secret on Washington Avenue for now, but I doubt it'll stay that way for long.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Coming up at the end of December, look for another much-anticipated opening: Blacksmith, the coffee shop from David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto. When it was first announced that Blacksmith would be taking over the old Mary's space on Westheimer in August 2011, the pair thought that it would be open by this past spring. But if there's one truism when it comes to opening bars, restaurants or coffee shops in Houston, it's this: Nothing ever happens according to schedule.
Undaunted, Buehrer and Prabanto plowed on and announced a late December opening this week, as well as a new chef: Erin Smith, previously the popular executive
chef at Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro. In a press release, Buehrer said: "We're happy to bring Erin Smith on board to make sure the food is as good as the coffee is going to be. I think that the full breakfast experience with amazing coffee and awesome food is going to be unique and exciting for Houston."
For the full month in openings and closings, head to the next page.
233 Main St., Houston, TX
1221 W. 11th St., Houston, TX
4212 Washington, Houston, TX
8550 FM 1960 Bypass Road W., Humble, TX
807 Taft St., Houston, TX
1022 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX