Development never stops in H-Town! New restaurants, bars and attractions are opening all the time. Consider this your go-to guide for staying in the know in Houston.
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OPENINGS: APRIL 2013
8th Wonder Brewery
ocated in EaDo and named after the city's iconic Astrodome, this brewery produces seasonal selections and limited-edition offerings. The brewery recently began offering tours.
Two years after opening in a tucked away, River Oaks space, the fashion-forward boutique made a move in 2013 to the popular River Oaks Shopping Center. Located beneath Americas restaurant, the shop continues to deliver a slew of luxury labels.
Brain Drain SplashTown
Just in time for summer 2013, SplashTown unveiled its latest addition, BrainDrain. The seven-story tall looping speed-slide complex towers over the 53-acre park spotlighting identically-designed, heart-stopping purple and lime green chutes.
Casa de Novia
The sister store of Atrium Ready to Wear made the move to new River Oaks Shopping Center-set digs in spring 2013. The larger space, located beneath Americas restaurant, sets the stage for style-savvy bridal offerings from designers like Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang.
The Federal Grill
New owners and a new culinary team have taken over the spot formerly known as Branch Water Tavern and rebranded it The Federal Grill. The jumbo lump crab cake and the truffle mac and cheese are sure to be instant favorites.
Internationally renowned interior designer Jonathan Adler has opened his newest store at West Ave. Adler's latest Texas outpost includes 3,500 square feet of home décor, furnishings, gifts and more.
The Spain-based luxury footwear and accessory maker, has opened a boutique location in The Galleria. The menswear manufacturer brings the Houston market its signature collection of shoes and belts featuring a wide selection of exotic skins and fine leathers.
Mighty Sweet Mini Pies
After the cupcake craze, yogurt phase and macaroon madness, it’s only fitting that Houston’s sweet-lovers make space in the city for a pint-size pie shop. The Heights-set Mighty Sweet Mini Pies opened in March 2013, offering locals a variety of daily-changing, personal-size pie treats.
Ruggles Green - The Heights
Federico Marques and Bruce Molzan have expanded their Certified Green Restaurant concept with a fourth location in Houston’s historic Heights neighborhood. Located in the former home of 11th Street Cafe, the new outpost features eco-friendly interiors and a locally-driven menu.
Tiff's Treats - Midtown
After opening its first Houston location in Greenway Plaza, Tiff's Treats is fixing its sights on the center of the city with a new shop in Midtown. Snickerdoodle's galore!
Torchy's Tacos - Rice Village
The popular Torchy's Tacos has set up its second Houston eatery in Rice Village. The food-trailer-born venture has already developed a loyal local following for its wallet-friendly menu items and come-as-you-are attitude.
The Wine Cellar
Located adjacent to the Italian restaurant Little Napoli in the Downtown entertainment complex Bayou Place, The Wine Cellar offers a list of more than 20 wines available by the glass and approximately 400 by the bottle. The shop also has an extensive selection of international beers and a menu of light bites.
OPENINGS: MARCH 2013
The Alley Kat Bar & Lounge
Located on Mid-Main near hotspots like the Continental Club and Double Trouble, Alley Kat has sort of a speakeasy vibe with low lighting, rich woods and smooth jazz.
Bad News Bar
It was love at first sight when partners Justin Burrows, Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse discovered Downtown's vacant space at 308 Main Street. Now, the modern American cocktail bar is serving up everything from classic libations to $2 Lone Star beers in the 1,700-square-foot space.
Located a stones throw from Market Square Park, restaurateur Hank Fastoff's 5,000-square-foot Latin American restaurant brings the Downtown district a mix of tapas plates, exotic drinks, live music and a large, grassy patio that overlooks the park (pictured above).
Capitol Bar Midtown
On breezy Houston days it's hard to beat a seat at Capitol Bar Midtown. The open-air patio bar opened in March 2013, offering locals expansive outdoor seating, live music, games and a steady stream of food truck fare.
Del Frisco's Grille
Focused in equal measure on both food and drink, Del Frisco's Grille is a great spot to meet up with friends--and share a plate. The bar is high-energy and perfectly set for creative cocktails while the patio provides a great spot to watch the action at Westheimer and Kirby.
Taking over a decaying former shipping services building, the Austin-based Carmack Concepts team took down everything but a couple exterior brick walls and built from there. What stands now is a beautiful multi-story lounge packed with a series of bar tops and big screens.
Good Life Kitchen and Bar
The brothers behind The Red Door, Saint Genevieve and the now-defunct Sawyer Park have added another venture to their nightlife portfolio with the opening of The Good Life. Located in Houston's bustling Midtown area, the kitchen and bar concept offers patrons craft cocktails and beer, along with modern pub fare.
Goro & Gun
Who says food truck concepts can't hack it in a bricks-and-mortar restaurant world? Goro & Gun, an Asian restaurant that grew out of The Modular food truck, is making waves Downtown.
After years serving locals at the restaurant's original Spring Branch location, Hollister Grill now has a second outpost along Washington Avenue. Located a few doors down from Coppa Ristorante, Hollister Grill brings the area a casually-cool dining concept emphasizing a modern take on home-style cooking.
Kobecue - Downtown
The restaurant at the corner of Texas and Main streets offers Korean BBQ rice bowls, hot stone bowls, BBQ plates, Korean tacos and kimchi cheese fries just to name a few menu items.
Located in the River Oaks Shopping Center, the spot offers guests locally-influenced gastropub fare, wine, beer and spirits. Fresh off a top-to-bottom remodel, the space makes room for a dramatic bar with 48 taps, a cask engine and extensive wine offerings.
Nobi Public House
Nobi Public House on NASA Road offers an impressive selection of more than 200 craft beers on rotation, plus an extensive wine menu and Vietnamese dishes.
Pesca World Seafood
Pesca World Seafood has taken over the coveted spot that formerly housed Tinto's on the corner of West Gray and Shepherd. The River Oaks Shopping Center location provides a great backdrop for owner/chef Alberto Alfonzo to show what he can do with seafood.
Saint Arnold's Brewery - Lunch
In spring 2013, the brewery expanded its offerings, adding a fixed lunch menu, prepared by Executive Chef Ryan Savoie. The talent, who manned the stoves at The Grove and Alto, serves New American fare like Root Beer pork loin and chuck roast chili. Lunch is offered Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
OPENINGS: FEBRUARY 2013
Clutch City Squire
Owner Steve Hannigan opened his "citified-rustic neighborhood bar" bar in the revitalized Market Square area, joining other popular newcomers like OKRA Charity Bar, Barnaby's Market Square and the soon-to-open Goro & Gun.
El Tiempo Cantina - Navigation
After launching four other successful El Tiempo Cantina locations, as well as a specialty market, the team behind one of Houston’s Tex-Mex favorites has returned to its roots, adding a fifth location in the family’s Old Neighborhood.
Fusion Dive Bar & Grill
Booze, billiards, games and grub. That’s the tag line of Washington Avenue’s new Fusion Dive Bar and Grill. The name comes from the selection of hand-crafted, infused liquors offered here, but it could also represent the eclectic crowd that is gathering at this watering hole.
Gratifi Kitchen + Bar
The latest concept from restaurateur Kevin Strickland is a departure from his Ziggy’s Healthy Grill venture, which inhabited the Montrose space for two decades. Think more great American classics than gluten free or vegan with a menu that mixes everything from pizza and burgers to meatloaf and tacos.
Growler's Beer & Wine
Founded by entrepreneurs Doug Bunze and Dirk Heseman, Growler’s offers guests more than two-dozen taps of high-quality craft beer, along with 8 taps of premium wine and an extensive selection of bottle brew.
La Casa del Caballo
Nearly 10 years after opening one of Saltillo, Mexico’s most popular steakhouses, restaurateur Carlos Abedrop has expanded his La Casa del Caballo with a second location in Houston’s Montrose area.
Macaron by Patisse
River Oaks' colorful, light-filled sweet shop also serves mini pies, cake balls, mini cupcakes, profiteroles and mini éclairs. Loose leaf teas and other drinks help make it a perfect after-dinner stop, particularly those looking for a romantic setting.
Oak Leaf Smokehouse
Created by Houstonians and husband-wife team Lisa Kuhfeldt and Brian Lewis, Oak Leaf Smokehouse aims to raise the bar of barbecue in the nation’s fourth-largest city by highlighting barbecue styles found in regions throughout the U.S.
The New Orleans-based fast-casual pizza concept has expanded to Houston, with its debut shop in the Memorial area. Darryl Reginelli launched the concept in New Orleans in 1996 and later expanded to Baton Rouge, before partnering with the Brennan family to launch the concept in Houston.
OPENINGS: JANUARY 2013
1919 Wine & Mixology
The latest establishment to be fashioned out of the long-standing Brownstone building is 1919 Wine and Mixology. With a name reflective of the year the building was constructed, 1919 plays on the structure's antique feel and rich history with a Prohibition theme.
Greenway Coffee and Tea owners David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto partnered with the owners of Underbelly and The Hay Merchant on the opening of the much-anticipated, Lower Westheimer-set coffeeshop. Expect premium coffee and an expanded, sit-down menu on offer.
Kendra Scott CityCentre
Celebrity favorite Kendra Scott has opened a second, Houston-area brick and mortar outpost touting her handcrafted jewelry collection. The stylish array of colorful earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings are now available at CityCentre.
Fans craving peking duck and pork buns don’t have to hightail it to Bellaire to get their fix now that Fat Bao has opened along Upper Kirby. The fast-casual spot opened in December 2012, turning out creatively-filled renditions of the classic Chinese dish.
Following its success in Webster, Michiru Sushi recently opened a second location in Houston’s Greenway Plaza area. Set in the shadow of Lakewood Church, Michiru debuted in fall 2012, quickly developing a reputation for its extremely fresh fish offerings and artfully-plated creations.
Moon Tower Inn
After a year's hiatus and major renovation, this classic East End watering hole has reopened, offering more than 60 different craft beers and a fun menu of gourmet hot dogs.
Witchcraft Tavern & Provision Co.
Ken Bridge--the brains behind local haunts like Pink’s Pizza, Lola’s and Shepherd Park Draught House—unveiled a new Heights-area concept recently. Located on 11th Street, Witchcraft delivers locals a mix of craft beer and sharable comfort food, in a laid-back space.
OPENINGS: DECEMBER 2012
Southeast Asian cuisine makes its way to Houston’s Museum District via Ambrosia—an intimate, lounge-like restaurant known for its sharable small plates highlighting spices from the far east with locally-sourced ingredients.
Building off the success of his Coco Pazzo, chef Frederic Perrier has opened Aura Brasserie in Sugar Land Town Center. He describes his latest venture in the Houston suburbs as "innovative American with an inch of French."
This eclectic gallery on the northern edge of Downtown hosts an ongoing slate of exhibitions for represented artists and provides art consultation services for its clients.
Brooklyn Athletic Club
In late December 2012, a piece of the Big Apple popped up in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood with the opening of Brooklyn Athletic Club. The preppy restaurant, located in the now-shuttered Zimm’s Little Deck location, mixes American fare, libations and classic lawn games.
The first establishment to be carved from the former Brownstone establishment in Upper Kirby is Chef Bruce Molzan's Corner Table restaurant.
Eatsie Boys Cafe
After gaining a following with their food truck, partners Matt Marcus, Ryan Soroka and Alex Vassilakidis--collectively known as the Eatsie Boys--have opened their namesake cafe in the former Kraftsmen Cafe space on Montrose.
Okra Charity Saloon
A group of independent restaurant and bar owners have launched a unique concept--a bar where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to charity. The Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs, or OKRA, opened the OKRA Charity Saloon in the former Red Cat Jazz Cafe, with hopes of drawing more nightlife patrons to the northern end of Downtown.
The Pass & Provisions
Chefs Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner of Pilot Light Restaurant Group have completed their new dual-part concept The Pass and Provisions. The latest element, the Pass, offers an intimate, 36-seat experience with a broad range of flavors.
Beer buffs welcomed a new outpost to frequent in December 2012 with the opening of Premium Draught. The Heights-set pour station offers craft beer drinkers a place to sample and purchase quality microbrew to-go.
In December 2012, West Houston welcomed a three-story TopGolf entertainment complex, near the Highway 6 and I-10 interchange. The tech-savvy entertainment venture boasts 102 hitting bays, an upscale restaurant and bars on all three levels.
Trader Joe's - Memorial
Shortly after making its debut in The Woodlands and inside the Loop, the West Coast-based specialty grocer opened a third location in Memorial. The retailer brings the West Houston area its ethnic foods, wallet-friendly wine and hard-to-find products.
Underdogs Sports Pub
Washington Avenue’s nightlife scene continues to see an influx of new ventures, as Underdogs Sports Pub sets up shop in The Lot’s former locale. Though the interior remains relatively unchanged, fans can appreciate the refreshed drink selection touting 80 craft beer varieties.
Want even more scoop on all of Houston's newest restaurants, boutiques and attractions? Check out our monthly breakdown of all the hot-spots that opened in the past year.
Bisong Gallery opened in the warehouse district on the northern edge of Downtown in late 2012. The gallery hosts an ongoing slate of exhibitions for represented artists and provides art consultation Read more »
The Black Walnut Café opened a 5,500-square-foot restaurant on Memorial Drive in fall 2012. The café offers traditional American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual, cozy space. In the Read more »
Upscale casual restaurant BlackFinn American Grille brings American classics and regional favorites to Midtown. Designed by Chef John Turner, The BlackFinn menu features fresh, local ingredients, as Read more »
After successfully launching her River Oaks-set Blow Dry Bar in 2011, native Houstonian Rebecca Tallerine expanded the biz in 2012, opening a second location in west Houston. Located at the Read more »
Chef Junnajet "Jett" Hurapan—most recently of Gigi's Asian Bistro—has struck out on his own with a Euro-Asian concept set in Sugar Land Town Square. Blu, which opened in late 2011, offers Read more »
What better name for a Houston coffee shop than Boomtown? This eclectic little café on 19th Street in the Heights sports a gushing oil derrick on its signage—homage to the black stuff that helped Read more »
With its elegant Old World atmosphere, Brio Tuscan Grille offers an extensive Italian menu for both lunch and dinner in the Upper Kirby area. Best known for its wide selection of wood-grilled and Read more »
In late December 2012, a piece of the Big Apple popped up in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood with the opening of Brooklyn Athletic Club. The preppy restaurant, located in the now-shuttered Zimm’s Read more »
Chef Joey Galluzzi earned a name for himself on the national scene as a contestant on the TV show America’s Next Great Restaurant. Now he’s opened a restaurant in the Downtown Tunnels that focuses on Read more »
Houston’s love affair with craft beer continues with the debut of Buffalo Bayou Brewery.Located between the Heights and the Washington Avenue Corridor, Buffalo Bayou Brewery is the work of Rassul Read more »