Openings & Closings: The Big Sleep for The Big Mamou

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Jeff Balke
The Big Mamou closed this week after four years in the Heights.
Earlier this week, Eating...Our Words got the scoop on a few upcoming openings to keep an eye on, starting with the new Fat Cat Creamery ice cream parlor opening this summer in the Heights. Owners Jarvis and Sarah Johnston plan to sell eight flavors of their popular hand-packed ice cream, mixing five standard flavors with rotating seasonal ones. In addition, look for the ice cream shop to stock everything cool from milkshakes and malts to sundaes and sodas.

Owner Joshua Martinez plans to open downtown ramen shop Goro & Gun within the next month now that he's perfected his ramen recipe and hired a few front-of-house faces. Alex Gregg (previously of The Pass & Provisions and Anvil) will be the bar manager, while Mikey Nguyen (previously of Uchi and Kata Robata) will man the floor. And right around the corner, Latin tapas joint Batanga looks close to opening soon, too.

Meat mecca CK's Steakhouse from Killen's owner Ronnie Killen and Hubcap Grill owner Ricky Craig has hit a few snags on its way to opening in the Heights, reports Alison Cook at 29-95. Although the restaurant originally planned to open this month, Cook writes that the renovation of the old Mr. Shine Car Care building would have to be raised by three feet in order to be approved by the City, since it falls within a 100-year floodplain. Instead of undergoing such an exhaustive redo, Killen and Craig now plan to build a new restaurant from the ground up.

Oak Leaf Smokehouse is now open on Telephone Road in the space that previously housed Pete's BBQ, but looks to offer some dishes very different from what you'll find at your typical barbecue joint. CultureMap's Tyler Rudick reports that owners Brian Lewis and Lisa Kuhfeldt plan to make not only Texas barbecue, but also Carolina, Memphis and Kansas City-style 'cue, too. But that's not all.

"In addition to spreading the gospel of BBQ, Oak Leaf is upping the ante in the sides department as well," writes Rudick, by "offering beans, slaw, potato salad and corn pudding that are all vegetarian and gluten-free."

In a bit of sad news this week, The Leader reports that Heights-area Cajun restaurant The Big Mamou shut its doors yesterday. Owners Rufus and Brenda Estis cited "family commitments" as the reason for closing their four-year-old restaurant.

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Location Info

Pete's BBQ Brisket & Seafood - CLOSED

1000 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Big Mamou - CLOSED

903 Studewood, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Oak Leaf Smokehouse

1000 Telephone Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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BB's a few blocks away certainly didn't aid in Big Mamou's prospects for survival. Is anything planned the former Stella Stola space, which was at one point supposed to be Killen's new place?


Sad to lose the Big Mamou.  Great, friendly owners and fabulous food.  

kshilcutt moderator editor

@grrrrrrrr Not that I'm aware of. That space is almost too big for just any old restaurant. The upstairs portion has never really been utilized to its maximum potential. The whole space is banquet hall-sized. Maybe a really swank Kim Son can move in.


@Jalapeno I wish I had gotten there while it was open. I work with a relative of the owners, and it was always on my list of places to go...

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