Openings & Closings: Tequila Bar, French Food and How Many Dunkin' Donuts?

Categories: Restaurant News

So many awesome openings, so little time to try all the new places!

Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta of Anvil opened a new bar, The Pastry War, downtown on August 13 to major crowds interested to see what the Anvil boys had up their sleeves. The Pastry War is a tequila bar or "mezcaleria" with an emphasis on Mexican cocktails and beer. This week is still technically the soft opening, so recipes are still being tweaked. The bar, which is next door to Bad News Bar and Goro & Gun, is part of the ongoing revitalization of the Market Square Park area. With places like these opening, we're excited to see what comes next!

French Bistro La Balance opened Thursday, but we were able to get in early for a sneak peek of the restaurant and the impeccable food. Chef Jose Hernandez chose to open the restaurant in Katy because rent is less expensive there, and he isn't working with any investors. The menu "offers classic French standards that include beautifully plated salads, seared foie gras, buttery-garlic escargots de Bourgogne, the ever-popular steak frites made of grass-fed beef, magret de canard (duck breast), and most importantly, [Hernandez's] famed desserts." Check out our first look post for some major French food porn.

Eater reported that Maine-ly Sandwiches' second location had its soft opening on August 15, but today (August 16) is the grand opening, and that means a lobster roll bonanza! The new location, on Shepherd between Alabama and Richmond, has more kitchen space and a deep fryer, so the owners, Buddy and Angela Charity, can now serve fried clams and french fries in addition to the crazy-popular lobster rolls and clam chowder.

Photo from Bite Macarons
Greenz Restaurant opened its first Houston franchise in The Shops at Houston Center on August 8. The salad restaurant focuses on bringing "fine dining salads" to the masses at an affordable price. The salad joint also offers soups, sandwiches and smoothies, and every Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. during the month of August, Greenz is giving away smoothies for free. There's really no excuse not to eat healthy now.

Culturemap reports that Bite Macarons opened next to Paciugo Gelato on Buffalo Speedway earlier this month. Sandia Horng and her business partner Gabo Lo hope that the bakery will be "a little bit of Europe in Houston," but they don't want to make only macarons. Eventually, they hope to start making high-end French pastries as well, but for now, Bite Macarons is serving more than a dozen different flavors of the popular French cookies.

French Fry Heaven, a new fries-only chain, is hosting its Houston grand opening on Sunday, August 17 at the Woodlands Mall. According to the press release, "French Fry Heaven serves more than 50 creative flavor combinations, including Garlic Parmesan with Black Truffle salt; French Quarter with Remoulade sauce; Cha Cha with Ghost Pepper salt ; Saint Jennifer (Sweet Potato fries that taste like Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow topping); Festival Saint (tastes like funnel cake)." OK, so with all the crazy toppings and flavor combos, can we still call all these french fries?

Gay cowboys are still mourning the loss of Brazos River Bottom, but they can dry their pretty little eyes, because Neon Boots Dance Hall and Saloon is coming to town. It will be occupying the former Esquire Ballroom, which is being completely restored to include a huge dance floor and performance stage as well as a large outdoor area with a deck and patio. There will be table service and six bar stations throughout the dance hall. Eventually, the owners also hope to install a mechanical bull, sand volleyball court and horseshoes in the back patio area. At more than 10,000 square feet, Neon Boots will be the largest gay bar in Houston when it opens August 22.

Location Info

The Pastry War

310 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Social Junkie

2412 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Bernie's Burger Bus

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Don Julio's Mexican Restaurant - CLOSED

25250 NW Freeway, Cypress, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Sara Meyn Holder
Sara Meyn Holder

Don't like Dunkin... Give me Shipley's or the donut places owned by Asian mom and pops any day...

H Newcomb
H Newcomb

No, you shouldn't be worried about the Dunkin' Donuts situation. If Krispy Kreme wasn't able to get a foothold with all the ballyhoo and demand, I doubt there will be any need for more DD's.

Lisa Hardgrove
Lisa Hardgrove

Why would you POSSIBLY be worried about Houston having more Dunkin Donuts locations?

Lindsey Stevic
Lindsey Stevic

Dunkin Donuts actual donuts aren't very tasty give me Shipley's ANY day of the week.

Matt Herring
Matt Herring

Where would we be without Houston Press?

Cheap Eats In Houston
Cheap Eats In Houston

In the past, openings and closings mentioned in the comments were listed the following week in the Openings and Closings report, I take it that no longer. I left a comment a few weeks ago about the opening of Bites Macaroon, yet no mention until two weeks later when CultureMap wrote about it. Same goes for others I provided but either they're ignored or not listed here until it's seen in B4-U-Eat's newsletter or reported elsewhere weeks later (like the Pho Quyen closing I sent to you last Wednesday or Thursday but was only listed this week after B4-U-Eat listed it in this week's newsletter). I would think that any opening would be noteworthy to report  being that Houstonians love to dine out, especially at places that have just opened. In any case, here's other openings and closings that aren't mentioned above:

* The Brooklyn Cafe in The Woodlands is closed (3095 College Park Dr.)

* Bambu Desserts & Drinks second Houston location opened last weekend at 13411 Tomball Parkway

* Pink's Pizza is also opening a new location in Bellaire this fall.

Blind item: a recently closed restaurant in The Woodlands may be reopening as Papparucho's.

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