Openings & Closings: Failed Concepts & A Mega Burger Bus Expansion
We're just a few days into the month of September, and several highly anticipated restaurants have finally opened for business and a multitude of future concepts have been announced.
But, among all of this exciting news, several restaurants have suddenly closed their doors this week. So, let's get the bad news out of the way first.
It seems like Scott Gertner and Alberto Alfonzo have both hit a rough patch when it comes to their restaurant concepts. Just a few months ago, Scott Gertner's at Houston Pavilions closed and now it appears that Scott Gertner's Sports Bar Live on 3100 Fountain View in the Galleria area has closed as well. B4-U-Eat reports that the restaurant's phone is disconnected and no one has responded via email regarding requests for info.
Alfonzo's newest concept, Pesca World Seafood, also has closed after being open for only eight months. CultureMap reminds us about Alfonzo's previous failed concept, Tintos, which closed in December. Several online reviews of Pesca say that overpriced small portions were a turn-off. But, Alfonzo announced that he isn't giving up; Pesca will open in a different location at a later date, according to B4-U-Eat.
The Town & Country location of Skeeter's Mesquite Grill also closed over the weekend. The Houston Chronicle reports that the restaurant closed due to a new commercial development being built at the restaurant's site. Skeeter's also plans to reopen in a different location.
After one of our commenters in last week's report informed us about a sign on the door of the Memorial Drive location of Candelari's Pizzeria saying, "Sorry," we did some digging to find out what the deal was. According to one of the employees at the Washington Avenue location, Candelari's on Memorial Drive closed about three weeks ago due to a lack of business.
Due to inaccessibility for parking and getting into the yogurt shop, as well as increases in rent, Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar will be closing at the end of the month. The Midtown yogurt shop plans to open in a different location some time next year.
Now, for the good news of the week!
Photo from Bernie's Burger Bus Facebook Next spring, you'll have the chance to enjoy one of these delicious burgers and other menu options at the first brick-and-mortar location.
Eater sat down with Bernie's Burger Bus owner, Justin Turner, who revealed plans to open three brick-and-mortar locations for the burger food truck over the next five years. The first permanent location should open next Spring somewhere on Bellaire west of 610. During the interview with Eater, Turner explained what the menu will be like at the brick-and-mortar locations.
"...We'll expand the menu and do a few more burgers, throw in some different types of proteins. So I might have some wild game burgers, a chicken burger as far as the patties, but the burger and theme will stay the same," Turner says.
Turner currently has three trucks working a total of 28 shifts throughout the week and the BBB pickles should hit grocery store shelves in October. The second permanent location is expected to open in fall 2014 in Katy.
In more coming soon news, the guys behind Hunky Dory have announced plans for another restaurant concept that will share the lot with the future restaurant. Foreign Correspondents will be a "farm-to-table Thai" restaurant that will seat nearly 200 people in the bar, main dining area and covered outdoor area, as well as a 40-seat private dining room that will be shared by Hunky Dory. Treadsack spoke with the owner, Chris Cusack, the culinary director, Benjy Mason, and the head chef, PJ Stoops, about Foreign Correspondents' concept.
When asked about the meaning of "farm-to-table Thai", PJ Stoops says, "Houston is not tropical, but it's not so far away from it either. Northern parts of Thailand are tropical, but really not that far from the Tropic of Cancer. Both areas are ridiculously hot (though we do have a winter that sometimes lasts a whole week). In other words, agricultural products, cooking methods, and preservation techniques from over there tend to be quite successful here... These gardeners and farmers grow everything there is to grow in our climate. We intend to utilize this network... While some items (like pla daek and soy sauce) will be imported, our goal is source 100 percent of fresh ingredients locally."
Foreign Correspondents and Hunky Dory will be located at 1819 N. Shepherd.
3100 Fountainview, Houston, TX