Openings & Closings: October 2012
Once again, this week's big restaurant news takes us to downtown, where -- as mentioned yesterday -- Ziggy's Healthy Grill at 702 Main has closed. Owner Kevin Strickland has decided to take a completely different approach with the 18-year-old restaurant and is rebranding the remaining Montrose location to gratifi (pronounced "gratify").
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt The Union Kitchen will soon be stacking its pancakes in the Heights too.
But when one door closes, another one opens. Such is the case next door to Ziggy's, where The Burger Guys opened their new downtown location at 706 Main. Their grand opening was this past Wednesday, serving an estimated 350 hungry customers at lunch. "Well, we no doubt made a ton of mistakes, but we are still alive and so very grateful for customers' patience today!" Tweeted owner Jake Mazzu afterwards.
Speaking of new locations, Union Kitchen is on the verge of signing a lease that would give the restaurant a spot in the Heights. Its first two locations in Bellaire and Memorial are already doing well, and now the locally owned mini-chain hopes to conquer the popular Heights restaurant corridor. Swamplot reports that Union Kitchen will open in the ground floor of a new six-story apartment/condo building at 1111 Studewood.
Three restaurants/coffee houses opened very quietly in the past week, but that didn't stop Eater Houston from getting a first look at two of them: Nosh Bistro at Kirby and Highway 59, which is being billed as a pan-Asian cafe with both East Asian and South Asian influences. Nosh has a community table and a cocktail program, two aspects which have apparently become essentials when opening any new restaurant. Etoile Cuisine et Bar, meanwhile, opened in Uptown Park this week and is serving small dishes such as mussels and escargots as well as well-priced entrees like wild boar linguine and lemon sole meunière.
And after much anticipation, CultureMap reports that Montrose coffee house Southside Espresso from coffee roaster Sean Marshall is finally open. "Marshall tells CultureMap that Southside will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight beginning on Saturday," writes Whitney Radley, "and that he's expecting to receive a license to begin selling wine within the next few weeks."
Over at Haven, sous chef Jean-Philippe Gaston has opened his own in-house raw bar that's housed inside Haven but serves an entirely different menu. Cove was built out of Haven's bar area, with lovely glass walls separating it from the rest of the restaurant. And although it will still serve Haven's classic cocktails, the greatly expanded bar will now also do double duty as Gaston's spot from which to experiment with raw preparations (of both fish and meat) from across the world. Look for a First Look at Cove later today on the blog.
The hidden Italian compound off West Dallas that houses Nino's, Vincent's and Grappino's has a new addition to la famiglia: La Gelateria, which -- as its name would imply -- is a gelato bar. Located in the landscaped courtyard between Nino's and Vincent's, La Gelateria offers a variety of gelato flavors to eat on the go or at one of the tables on the well-manicured patio. It will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 5 until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Finally, a reader has alerted us to a new pho restaurant she likes in the Champions Forest area off FM 1960. The family-owned Ba Mien Bistro at 5102 FM 1960 West has "a very modern, chic look to it," according to our tipster.
For the entire month in openings and closings, head to the next page...