Openings & Closings: The Honeymoon Is Open

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Molly Dunn
From left: Matt Toomey, Charlotte Mitchell and Brad Moore -- business partners who established The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar.
Boil House, located at 606 East 11th Street in the Heights, closed just as quickly as it opened. The crawfish restaurant opened its doors on May 9, but because crawfish season has ended, Boil House decided to close until mudbugs become available again, a.k.a. next year. On June 20, Boil House posted the announcement on Facebook, "Beloved fellow Boil House enthusiast, we have decided to close for the remainder of the season but look forward to serving you the best crawfish in Houston next year."

But, in happier news, The Honeymoon opened at 300 Main Street on Monday, June 23. Currently, The Honeymoon only serves coffee from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., but cocktails and late night libations are on the way. And when those aperitifs are offered, The Honeymoon will be the perfect spot to sip on a drink and share a house-made dessert, or cheese and charcuterie plate with friends. Until then, downtown workers can stop by The Honeymoon for their morning cup of Joe or afternoon caffeine pick-me-up.

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UPDATED: Ex-Boyfriend of "Enchilada Queen" Sylvia Casares Pleads Guilty to 2012 Shooting

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Mai Pham
Since the shooting, Sylvia Casares has made a full recovery.
In March 2012, Sylvia Casares, chef and owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, was shot in the stomach by her then-boyfriend Michael Warren, police said. Warren, a regular cook at Casares's food truck, No Borders, and a partner in the Sylvia's restaurant chain fled in Casares car after the shooting, which took place outside her home near Fulshear. Casares was taken by life flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital before being transferred to another undisclosed hospital where she underwent surgery for her injury. Warren was eventually arrested, and Casares made a full recovery.

After a jury was selected for the trial, Warren pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, his lawyer, Emily Detoto, confirms. She says his sentence could be anywhere from two years of probation to ten years in prison.

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Openings & Closings: Ice Cream & Hot Dogs Are a Match Made in Heaven

Categories: Restaurant News

Summer is a time for ice cream and cold treats, and folks headed to Galveston for a day on the beach should definitely check out Hey Mikey's Ice Cream at 2120 Postoffice Street. The ice cream parlor opened on June 7 and features a multitude of sundaes with hot fudge and brownies, banana splits, and ice cream "nachos" made with crushed waffle cones. The ice cream parlor originally began in Middleton, Idaho, as an ice cream trailer, but the owner decided to move his business to Galveston.

After HtownCheapEats mentioned in last week's openings and closings report Mozelle's Cajun Seafood Market had closed, we called the business (no one answered) and checked out the website, only to find an announcement on the home page stating, "We are closed for business." The 126 Heights Boulevard seafood market provided customers with scallops, crabs, etouffee, gumbo and crawfish pies to "geaux." All of this was served fresh, frozen and prepared.

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Corner Table Announces Ja'Nel Witt as New Executive Chef

Photo courtesy Corner Table
Ja'Nel Witt has joined Corner Table as executive chef.
On the heels of chef/partner Bruce Molzan's "amicable" departure from Corner Table comes news that the restaurant has hired former Hell's Kitchen winner Ja'Nel Witt to take over as executive chef.

According to a press release sent out Thursday morning, Witt joined Corner Table on Monday, June 16.

"We are thrilled to have Ja'Nel join our team," says Michelle Coopwood, co-owner of Corner Table, in a statement. "Corner Table has had a tremendous first year, and with Ja'Nel's help, we are confident the restaurant will be elevated to the next level and offer an even better experience to our customers."

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Bruce Molzan Leaves Corner Table While Restaurant Faces Partial Closure

Photo by Troy Fields
Chef Bruce Molzan is out at Corner Table.
CultureMap first reported Monday morning that controversial chef Bruce Molzan has left Corner Table, the restaurant he's helmed since it opened in December of 2012.

We called Corner Table for comment and received pretty much the same recited statement as CultureMap: "Corner Table and chef Molzan have amicably parted ways. Both parties are excited about the adventures that lie ahead." The representative for Corner Table went on to say that the restaurant, located at the corner of Westheimer and Virginia in Upper Kirby, will remain open and the owners, Darla Lexington and Michelle Coopwood will be announcing a new chef soon.

Molzan opened Corner Table after he was forced to close his well-known restaurant Ruggles Grill following a walkout by workers protesting non-payment of tips. At the time, the waitstaff at Ruggles Grill filed a claim with the Texas Workforce Commission, alleging that they were owed thousands of dollars in back wages. Molzan eventually admitted that his workers were indeed owed back wages, but not before his reputation became somewhat tarnished in the restaurant industry.

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Openings & Closings: Juice & Crepes Come to Washington Avenue

Categories: Restaurant News

The State Bar & Lounge inside the Rice Hotel closed last week, but Swamplot reports a new tenant will be taking over the space soon, Lawless Kitchen and Spirits. This new bar will offer cocktails alongside a "chef-driven" menu; it will also be designed to reflect the history of the Rice Hotel, which used to be the Capitol of the Republic of Texas.

In February of this year, Downing Street Pub decided to eliminate the cigar smoking privilege it gave to its customers. CultureMap reports this week that the bar appears to be closed. One employee of a nearby business told CultureMap that the bar "was locked up all day Wednesday." We called Downing Street Pub for a statement on the operation status, but at this time the bar has no comment on the rumored closure.

Swamplot notes that the four bars comprising Live! at Bayou Place have closed: PBR Houston, Lucie's Liquors, Shark Bar and Chapel Spirits.

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First Look at Regal Seafood: Watch This Chef Carve a Duck

Photo by Mai Pham
Regal Seafood is a new Cantonese restaurant in Stafford, owned by the people who opened E-Tao in the Galleria.

If you're looking for a new place to sample Cantonese cuisine, venture out of the loop to Stafford and visit the new Regal Seafood (12350 Southwest Fwy, Stafford, TX) restaurant. Owned by the same people who opened up E-Tao in the Galleria, Regal quietly opened a few months ago on the southbound Southwest Freeway feeder, just past the West Airport exit.

The interior of the restaurant is attractively appointed, with a swanky modern feel. To the left of the entrance, a square shaped bar beckons, with yellowish-gold chairs and a television playing the latest sport match. As you are guided to your table, you're greeted by crystal chandeliers and rows of booths separated by flat, curved gold partitions that extend to the ceiling. The main dining room is large and open, with plenty of large round tables to accommodate larger groups and families, while off to the side, there are private dining rooms to host large parties.

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What's the Deal With Upper Kirby?

Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
I mean, with a view like that...
Nearly every evening I run up and down Kirby Drive, taking in the sights (elderly couples ambling into Carrabba's; valets standing around bored in West Ave), the sounds (car horns honking as drivers make abrupt right turns into the Whole Foods parking lot) and the smells (garlic, fry oil, diesel fuel). It's a strange little strip of road between Richmond and Westheimer, but it's what I've come to call home in the 11 months I've been living in Houston. It's changed a lot since I first moved in, primarily thanks to a handful of exciting new restaurants that have opened there recently.

But in the last week, six Kirby businesses have decided to shutter for good, and there's been talk for months that a few struggling West Ave restaurants aren't far behind. What's up with the rapid evolution of my 'hood?

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Openings & Closings: Upper Kirby is Getting a Face Lift

Categories: Restaurant News

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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Glazed Opens Soon & Offers Gourmet Doughnuts 24 Hours a Day

Photo courtesy of Ose Ohen
Glazed will be open all hours of the day serving gourmet doughnuts and kolaches to Houstonians.
You may think we have enough doughnuts in Houston. Christy's, BB Donuts and Shipley Do-Nuts provide us with simple glazed yeast doughnuts and other cake options; Peña's Donut Heaven creates wild and crazy treats topped with everything from Froot Loops to Reese's Pieces; and now we have a mobile doughnut truck, Doughmaker Doughnuts, serving up trendy baked and fried morning pastries. But, out of all the places you can grab fried rings of dough, none of them are open 24 hours a day. That's where Glazed comes into play.

Owner Ose Ohen decided to separate himself from the rest of the doughnut-scene in Houston by offering crazy flavor combinations and an ever-changing lineup of treats. Oh, and he decided to remain open all day. To him, doughnuts are not reserved for your morning commute.

"What we are doing is gourmet specialty doughnuts 24 hours a day, made in house by scratch directly by our pastry chef and our chef in the kitchen," Ohen says. "We are going to have things such as a Red Velvet Cake doughnut, a triple chocolate, a nutlava, which is kind of like a baklava that you can find at a Mediterranean restaurant; we are going to have crème brulee, we're going to have a Sangria-infused [doughnut]. We are doing all of these different types of combinations in a doughnut for the cake doughnuts and also the yeast-based doughnuts. We are also offering an assortment of gluten-free and vegan doughnuts, as well."

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