Openings & Closings: Upper Kirby is Getting a Face Lift

Categories: Restaurant News

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It's been a sad past few weeks for the Upper Kirby restaurant scene. Brio Tuscan Grille (3029 Kirby) shuttered just after Cafe Express, Roak, Hendrick's Pub and OTC Patio Bar, all in the same area, closed.
Swamplot reports that a moving crew arrived on Sunday, June 1, to pack everything up. There's speculation the restaurant was not serving enough customers and was forced to close.

Just a few days later, Saint Genevieve at 2800 Kirby closed its doors. This hopping brunch spot and bar opened in 2011 and a representative told CultureMap Houston that the landlords want another tenant to occupy the space. No information about this future tenant has been revealed.

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Say goodbye to the adult milk and cookies at Saint Genevieve.
This closing isn't in Upper Kirby; Becks Prime Sportatorium located inside the Memorial City Mall closed on Saturday, May 31, according to Swamplot. Fortunately the other 11 Becks Prime locations in the Houston area are still open.

In happier news, Pepperoni's Pizza opened at 2710 Montrose next door to BB's Cafe over the weekend of May 31. This small pizza chain serves up gourmet pies like the Pesto Chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and black olives, and the Spicy Veggie Masala with cayenne buffalo sauce, pineapple, jalapenos, onion, black olive and green pepper. Other menu items include traditional pizzas, calzones, pita sandwiches and subs. Eater Houston mentions that this location will also feature a breakfast pizza menu which you can grab and go at the drive-thru window.

It seems like there's a Pappasito's Cantina, or any other Pappas restaurant, on every street corner. Now visitors to our great city staying at the Hilton Americas-Houston (1600 Lamar) don't have to step off the premises to eat excellent Tex-Mex. Catering to the traveling and downtown clientele, this Pappasito's location will feature several special dishes for happy hours. CultureMap Houston's Eric Sandler also notes that the menu features six new ceviches and crudos as healthier options, along with a few heavier and indulgent dishes, such as the Queso a la Plancha (beef and chicken fajitas nachos) plus sugary churros for dessert.

In franchise expansion news, the second Happy's Pizza location in Houston (and Texas for that matter) opened at 7903 Beechnut. Aside from pizzas, Happy's also serves ribs, chicken wings and fried shrimp.

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Photo courtesy of Chandra Brown
Customers lined up outside the newest Chick-fil-A in hopes of receiving free Chick-fil-A for a year.

Another Chick-fil-A opened at 925 North Loop West on Thursday, June 5. And as with every Chick-fil-A opening, customers lined up outside up the day before in hopes of being one of the first 100 in line -- those lucky customers receive a year supply of Chick-fil-A.

Bone Daddy's House of Smoke will open its second location in Houston on Thursday, June 19, at 17381 Tomball Parkway. The Willowbrook location will feature all the popular dishes served at the Bone Daddy's in Webster, such as The Flying Pig Sandwich composed of pulled pork, link sausage, bacon and maple-glazed ham, as well as the wrapped and deep-fried smoked brisket, jalapeno, corn, onion and pepper.

Sassafras, located at 5022 Pinemont Drive opened for business on Thursday, May 28.
This new dive bar was created by the bartenders at Big Star Bar and Grand Prize Bar. Currently Sassafras serves, "fancy beer, cheap beer and above average wine," but in July it promises to start serving liquor.

Houstonia's Katharine Shilcutt reports that The El Cantina Superior from restaurateur Ken Bridge will open at 602 Studewood on Tuesday, June 10. The building previously was a Texaco gas station, but now will be home to a new Tex-Mex restaurant filled with ZZ Top memorabilia and posters. Chef David Coffman won't be serving the fajitas with any peppers though, so you better like sweet, caramelized onions with your beef and tortillas.

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.


Location Info

Brio Tuscan Grille - CLOSED

3029 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Roak On Kirby - CLOSED

3320 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Hendrick's Pub & Eatery - CLOSED

3320 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

OTC Patio Bar

3212 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Cafe Express - CLOSED

3200 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Saint Genevieve - CLOSED

2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Becks Prime Sportatorium - CLOSED

514 Memorial City, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pepperoni's Pizza

2710 Montrose, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

BB's Cafe

2710 Montrose, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pappasito's Cantina

1600 Lamar, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hilton Americas Houston

1600 Lamar St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Happy's Pizza

7903 Beechnut, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Chick-fil-A

925 North Loop West, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bone Daddy's House of Smoke

17381 Tomball Parkway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Grand Prize Bar

1010 Banks, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The El Cantina Superior

602 Studewood St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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19 comments
h_e_x
h_e_x

Why do people leave names in the comments? Does it link automatically to facebook?

penino
penino

It is hard to run a successful restaurant. Restaurants can get a lot more customers by selling cheap bear and rum. Well made and cheap grilled meat can help the business. Today the news are good. http://ow.ly/xKK59

Valentino Lopez
Valentino Lopez

Hahahaha Ulises! Don't you worry, I will find the next spot by the time you come visit me.

Ulises Alvarado
Ulises Alvarado

What the Fack!!!!! Who do I need to talk to about this?!?! Valentino

Lindsay Joseph
Lindsay Joseph

Shannon Reed didn't you like this place? It closed!

Valentino Lopez
Valentino Lopez

Awww! I'm sad! Love their mimosas + food! :( tear. Aurora Baca. We made awesome memories there (that I can remember) lol well to the next spot!

HtownCheapEats
HtownCheapEats



Cafe TH announced on Saturday that its concept inside Fiesta near NRG/Medical Center (8130 Kirby Dr), TH Express, has closed.


Two new food trucks have hit the streets of Houston. Beer Money opened over the weekend and Copper Chefs earlier this week.


Lucky Palace Korean Restaurant opened the last week in May at 8508 Bellaire Blvd in the Times Square Shopping Center.


Coco Crepes Waffles & Coffee opened last week at 5555 Washington Ave, Ste V (the former Cova location).


Local pizza chain, Locatelli’s Pizza, opened its first location in Houston at 14642 Memorial Dr.


Energy Corridor restaurant, Smoothie Queen N Tea, rebranded itself at the end of last month as Saigon Subs (1809 Eldridge Pkwy, Ste 109).


Vegetarian restaurant, Paxon's Café, opened this week at 9888 Bellaire Blvd, Ste 102. The cafe also serves coffee and milk teas.






e_sandler
e_sandler

@vonBingen  Before I wrote that article, I looked back through CM for articles about Brio's opening to find out how the site treated it (pre my employment there). The only one I could find was a column by Marene Gustin wondering how it could compete against Giacomo's, Carrabba's, etc. I even linked to it in my piece. I think we're clean on this one but feel free to produce a link that proves me wrong.

Now, if Common Bond goes out and you want to accuse us of hyping it, guilty as charged. 

HtownCheapEats
HtownCheapEats

Also Juicy in the Sky opened at its new location this week. The juice shop is now located at 4720 Washington Ave, Ste B-1, the space vacated byTeahouse 101 

Montego
Montego

@e_sandler @vonBingen ....are you actually claiming that Marene Gustin penned a somewhat critical, questioning piece? Now that is something I have to see!


I think the point is more general....CM is forever hyping stuff up, then hosing it down, like a dental floss tycoon, in Zappa's way of speaking. Recall the cronut craze if you will....

HtownCheapEats
HtownCheapEats

Overlooked amongst the multiple closures that took place last Saturday, May 31st, (Lucky Burger, The State Bar & Lounge, Brio Tuscan Grille, Hendrick's Pub & Eatery, Roak, OTC Kirby, and Cafe Express), Live at Bayou Place shuttered. The Downtown venue was comprised of four clubs - PBR, Chapel Sprits, Lucille's Liquor, and Shark Bar. 


Also not mentioned by Swamplot, CultureMap, Houston Chronicle, and Eater is Red Door - the club owned by the same group behind The Good Life, Sawyer Park, and Saint Genevieve, will cease to be known by that name. I'm unsure if the owners are rebranding or if the club has been turned over to someone else, but it will soon be known as Sage County. 

Chittester
Chittester

@Montego 

The question is: if CultureMap didn't overhype this place (let's take Eric at his word here) who did? And if nobody did, why say in the headline that it's an "overhyped chain". You can't have it both ways.

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