Openings & Closings: Flora & Muse Goes Out With a Bang, and Tiger Den Delays Its Opening

Categories: Restaurant News

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In one of the most surprising, yet epic, ways for a restaurant to close, Flora & Muse informed its customers it would no longer be open for business ... and did so during a Greek Wine Dinner.

On Monday, October 28, general manager Evan Turner told guests at the dinner that the restaurant would be shutting its doors forever after the evening's service. The Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook reports that the sudden closure came as a shock to everyone in the crowd and that the restaurant wanted to go out with a bang, so this dinner was its "last hurrah."

B4-U-Eat's newsletter also informed us that Triola's Italian American Grill on FM 1960 closed this week. No news as to why the eatery (which opened only in February of 2013) shut its doors -- their phone has been disconnected, though.

That's it for closings; let's get to the happy news of what opened this week.

Last week we announced that Little Dipper would open at the end of October, and the bar concept from those behind Poison Girl, Black Hole Coffee House and Antidote Coffee officially opened on Tuesday, October 29. Eater reports that the bar opened with a Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m., during which wells were $2.50 and wines were $4. The owners also bought the first 50 Lone Stars for 50 lucky guests. The establishment focuses on bourbon, and like the owners' other establishments, Little Dipper will serve a variety of libations.

Eater's Darla Guillen announced on Monday, October 28, that Dean's Credit Clothing would reopen on Halloween. Guillen reports that Chris Morris, who has experience at The Pass & Provisions and Morton's: The Steakhouse, will be the bar's beverage man -- he will choose the cocktail selections and beer list.

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Photo courtesy of Fox
James Nelson has consulted with the owners of Revolver to develop the bar's food and drink menu.

A few new sports bars have recently opened or will open soon outside the loop. We reported a few weeks ago that MasterChef Season 4 contestant James Nelson consulted with the owners and chefs at Revolver in the Willowbrook area. The sub-bourban social restaurant held a soft opening on Friday, October 25, according to Eater. The Locker Room also opened in Sugar Land. Eater explains that this sports bar will serve Canadian beers and food. Hockey fans now have a place to follow the puck - The Locker Room hosts NHL game-watch parties. They also show college football and NFL games.

Scott Gertner looks to be making a comeback after both of his establishments closed just months apart. Prospect Park will take over the recently closed Scott Gertner's Sports Bar, as reported by CultureMap's Eric Sandler. Maybe Gertner will have better luck this time. Update: Gertner is not involved in this project. The owners of the Sugar Hill Lounge have taken over the location that formerly housed Scott Gertner's Sports Bar.

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt opens on Saturday, November 2, at 11 a.m. The grand-opening celebrations at both locations (Westheimer and W. Gray) last until 2 p.m. Remember that ten people from each location will be chosen during the events and awarded free frozen yogurt for a whole year. You read that right - a whole year of free frozen yogurt. It's a dream come true ... for me at least.

Commenter Chic_Chick_Eats states in last week's report that Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt opened another location in Pearland on Saturday, October 26, and that the winner from Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," Cupcake Cowgirls, opened a second location, on College Park Drive in The Woodlands on Monday, October 28. The cupcakery's other location is in Spring. Both stores are now serving a daily rotating lineup of cupcakes, including special fall flavors: apple pie and pumpkin spice.

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Photo by John Suh
Grab some crawfish at The Crawfish Pot & Oyster Bar.

The Crawfish Pot & Oyster Bar opened in the Hong Kong Food Market shopping center, as noted by Chic_Chick_Eats. The restaurant will focus on Cajun-seasoned seafood and will serve fresh oysters from the Gulf -- just in time for oyster season!

The Union Kitchen will open in Kingwood on Tuesday, November 5. B4-U-Eat's weekly newsletter says that a $12 ticket for the grand opening will get you wine and hors d'oeuvres. You must purchase the tickets in advance if you want to enjoy the grand opening celebration, which begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.; no tickets will be sold at the door. The other two Union Kitchen locations will also serve half-price appetizers throughout the day to celebrate the opening.

Unfortunately, Tiger Den will not be officially open until November 12, as reported by Eater. The Chinatown ramen shop opened last week and Mai Pham filled us in on her first meal there. While we were all excited to have a ramen shop and izakaya restaurant in Houston, we will have to wait a little bit longer until it reopens.

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Photo by Mai Pham
Mai says the blue crab corn tostada at El Big Bad paired nicely with a hibiscus-infused tequila agua fresca.

El Big Bad is close to opening - Mai Pham takes a sneak peek at what the Tex-Mex restaurant will offer. "We're talking fresh and fruity pink-colored Herradura tequila margaritas made with blueberry, jalapeño and cilantro; peanut flips that tasted like spiked liquid Nutter Butters; gorgeously concocted Acapulco Slims of pineapple-infused Herradura Reposado with fresh pineapple, lime juice and sparkling wine; and even a French press Amaya Roasting coffee served with a "churro" shot of cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla-infused Herradura Anejo," Pham writes. "The drinks, developed by the El Gran Malo team, were all expertly crafted, right down to the glass or vessel that was chosen for each one." El Big Bad needs to hurry it up because we can't wait for them to open. However, patience is a virtue, my friends.

Max's Wine Dive is expanding to a few more cities over the next few years (Atlanta, Chicago and Denver), but they are also opening another location in Houston. The new local Max's is setting up shop on Fairview, next to Cuchara, according to Eater, and is expected to open its doors in January.

Thanks to a Swamplot reader's attentiveness, we now know that the building next to the Washington Avenue Fire Station will be a bar and market establishment, Lucky's Urban Eats. Swamplot published a photo of the building's exterior and its TABC notice hanging in a window. The restaurant's website says it will open in the spring of 2014.

Did we miss any openings or closings? Let us know in the comments section and we will be sure to include them in next week's report.

Head to the next page for a listing of the restaurants that opened and closed in October.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Little Dipper

304 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Poison Girl

1641 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Black Hole Coffee House

4504 Graustark St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Antidote Coffee

729 Studewood, Houston, TX

Category: General

Dean's Downtown

316 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Revolver Houston A Sub-BOURBON Social

17776 Highway 249, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Pass

807 Taft St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Provisions

807 Taft, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Morton's

5000 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

5000 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

1944 W. Gray St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Crawfish Pot & Oyster Bar

9820 Gulf Fwy, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tiger Den

9889 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Max's Wine Dive

4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Union Kitchen

4057 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Union Kitchen

12538 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cuchara

214 Fairview St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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5 comments
nedtb51
nedtb51

Will miss Flora & Muse, it was an original and quirky concept and Evan Turner as Somm/GM was the real deal!

Hennick72
Hennick72

btw....funny that you missed the Scott Gertner thing. Eric Sandler swallowed the tale and reported as he was spun: a couple African-American gents who were Gertner's prev customers are opening 'a chic sports bar' in the location off Richmond Ave., thinking that it will attract VIPs and athletes bent on bottle service and privileged areas. Either Sandler is mindlessly spinning yet another press release, or he has no sanity-judgement. (the former, is a better bet)

Hennick72
Hennick72

Note the Hong Kong supermarket where Crawfish Pot is NOT the well-known Bellaire Blvd location, it's the store that's newer on Gulf Frwy.

Max's new Montrose location promises to be an unwelcome ClusterFuck in January. The parking there is already nightmarish, and Max's is better suited to Disneyfied haunts like Towne Sq in Sugarland or La Centerra in Katy, yet they seem intent on cashing in on the Children of Midtown, much as they have with the Washington Ave juvvies. Kids apparently don't recognize cliches and find them exciting.

MadMac
MadMac

I hate to hear Scott Gertner is out of business. The Mrs. I loved the old Skybar and it was the only bar we were comfortable going to.

e_sandler
e_sandler

@Hennick72 Not a press release, just original reporting. Neither one of us knows at this point whether Prospect Park will live up to its owners' expectations, but my job is to keep people informed about what's happening. Whether the concept interests you enough to patronize the place really isn't my concern. 

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