Openings & Closings: Tequila Bar, French Food and How Many Dunkin' Donuts?
The Houston Chronicle reports that HUSA Management is opening a pizza and craft beer pub called City Oven in the Heights. HUSA owns and operates a number of other pub chains in Houston, but City Oven will be the first to focus on artisan pizzas and craft beers. It's scheduled to open sometime at the end of August.
Photo from City Oven
The Chronicle also reported on plans to turn a long-abandoned gas station at the corner of La Branch and Alabama in Midtown into a coffee and crepe joint called Retrospect Cafe. The owners of Tacos A Go-Go are behind the new cafe concept, which will also serve beer and wine. Currently, the former gas station is part of a graffiti and mural exhibit in conjunction with the Station Museum of Contemporary Art. One of the owners, Sharon Haynes, says she's been admiring the artwork on the building for years, so hopefully the structure will continue to be a canvas for local artists.
Allô French Rotisserie is planning a September opening, according to Eater. The non-stuffy French restaurant will open inside the Vintage Park Shopping Village and offer hearty French food in a casual dining setting. Eric Goldner, formerly of Hubbell & Hudson Bistro in the Woodlands, is the mastermind behind Allô.
Swamplot reports on a new "ranch to table" concept from chef Fritz Gitschner called 60 Degrees Mastercrafted. The restaurant is showing every aspect of its development on Facebook, from going to the Houston Permitting Center to bulldozing parts of the property to make room for new building. It will be opening in the fall.
Adam Karam, the owner of Red Door, Saint Genevieve, Wonder Bar and The Good Life, tells CultureMap he sold defunct sports bar Sawyer Park on Washington Avenue to his cousin Saleem Fernandez, who is remodeling the space. It seems Fernandez intends to keep the space a sports bar and is aiming for a September opening. Fernandez also owns Roosevelt Bar on Washington and 5th Amendment in Midtown.
A reader sent Swamplot photos of a TABC sign taped in the window of an old laundromat at 1009 Moy Street. that promises a Pink's Pizza will be opening soon. This will be the fourth Pink's Pizza inside the Loop; a fifth restaurant is located in Garden Oaks.
Dunkin' Donuts is planning to take over Houston, according to the Chronicle. The chain has announced plans to open three new branches with drive-throughs on Center Street, just north of Pasadena Boulevard, in Deer Park; west of Beamer Road and Scarsdale Road in southeast Houston; and south of the corner of Fry Road and Morton Road in Katy. Another store already opened in Terminal E of IAH on August 15. Jonathan Hicks, a broker with Davis Commercial Real Estate who represents Dunkin' Donuts, also told the Chronicle that the chain plans to open 60 stores in Houston over the next five years. Um, WHAT?! I know American runs on Dunkin', but I'm partial to a little mom-and-pop donut joint myself. Sigh.
In uber exciting news, Bernie's Burger Bus has been granted its own booth inside Reliant Stadium for all Texans home games. The food truck had previously sold burgers to tailgaters, but moving into the stadium is a dream come true, Texans fan and Burger Bus owner Justin Turner told CultureMap. The booth will be on the first level of Reliant Stadium, which means visitors won't need special tickets to access it. No word yet on whether the burger prices will be jacked up to match that of the stadium beer.
B4-U-Eat reports two closings this week: Pho Quyen in Greenspoint and Don Julio's in Cypress. No word on why either place has closed, but Don Julio's Web page still lists the Cypess restaurant as open.