This Year's Hot Headlines

The top 10 stories of 2016: Chita gets crafted, surprising restaurant news, and more

The top 10 stories of 2016: Chita gets crafted, food news, and more

Houston, Chita Johnson wedding, June 2016, first dance
Chita Johnson and Lane Craft take time out for a kiss at their wedding reception.  Photo by Al Torres Photography
News_Cullen's_exterior_day
Cullen's American Grille and Whisk(e)y Bar has served its last meal.   Courtesy of Cullen's Upscale American Grille
Common Bond Johnny Carrabba Brad Wilcox Drew Gimma Jillian Bartolome
Common Bond's Bradley Wilcox, Drew Gimma and Jillian Bartolome with Johnny Carrabba, second from right.  Photo by Eric Sandler
Memorial Park Purple Trail hiking hike
Memorial Park Purple Trail provides a respite from hectic city life.  Courtesy photo
Ronnie Killen Killen's Burgers
Ronnie Killen is all smiles as he announces his new restaurant. Photo by Eric Sandler
Pappas Meat Co exterior
Pappas Meat Co. has closed. Photo by Eric Sandler
Riel Restaurant rendering
Former Reef chef Ryan Lachaine will open Riel early 2017.  Courtesy of Riel
Joe Biden Down House Patio
Vice President Joe Biden poses with diners on Down House's patio chrisq28/Instagram
News_Tootsies_Mickey Rosmarin
Mickey Rosmarin in hardhat at the construction of his new store at West Ave in 2011. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News_Astroworld_sunset
AstroWorld Texas Cyclone roller coaster in its heyday.  Courtesy photo
Houston, Chita Johnson wedding, June 2016, first dance
News_Cullen's_exterior_day
Common Bond Johnny Carrabba Brad Wilcox Drew Gimma Jillian Bartolome
Memorial Park Purple Trail hiking hike
Ronnie Killen Killen's Burgers
Pappas Meat Co exterior
Riel Restaurant rendering
Joe Biden Down House Patio
News_Tootsies_Mickey Rosmarin
News_Astroworld_sunset

It’s safe to say that 2016 was a crazy year in Houston (and beyond). Through it all, CultureMap remained Houston's go-to source on topics ranging from unexpected restaurant closings to the social scene's best parties and top places to shop.

While we look forward to another year as your source for local lifestyle news, here’s a look back at 10 stories that you, our readers, ranked as the most liked, recommended and shared in 2016. 

1. Wedding of the Year: Chita Johnson and Lane Craft reception features killer dance moves, rap spectacular
From the grand nuptials to a surprise performance by Houston hip hop legends Paul Wall, Slim Thug, and Bun B, it was a night to remember as KHOU meteorologist Chita Johnson exchanged vows with her perfect match. 

2. Massive Clear Lake restaurant and whiskey bar suddenly shutters
It came as a shock to many when Clear Lake's Cullen’s American Grill and Whisk(e)y Bar suddenly closed its doors in April. 

3. Houston restaurant king buys city's best bakery with promise of love and attention
One of the city's most acclaimed restaurateurs, Johnny Carrabba, created a buzz when he purchased popular Montrose cafe and bakery Common Bond after its founding chef departed.

4. Best hiking trails in and around Houston to start 2016 on the right foot
Our guide to the eight best hiking trails in the city proved to be a helpful resource for locals looking to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. 

5. Finally! Ronnie Killen announces plans to open a restaurant in Houston
Readers rejoiced when Ronnie Killen (of Killen's Barbecue, Killen's Steakhouse, and Killen’s Burgers) announced plans for his latest concept, Killen's STQ. 

6. Prominent Houston restaurant family suddenly closes casual steakhouse
Prominent restaurant group, Pappas Restaurants, closed casual steakhouse Pappas Meat Co. after two years of business. 

7. The 44 most exciting Houston-area restaurants opening before Super Bowl LI
Diners are scoring big thanks to 44 noteworthy new restaurants on the Houston culinary scene, all set to open by Super Bowl LI in February. 

8. Joe and Jill Biden pick the perfect day for an outdoor brunch in Houston
Patrons at Heights-area restaurant Down House got a little celebrity company when Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, in town for the Final Four college basketball tournament, stopped by for brunch. 

9. Everybody Loved Mickey: Unexpected death of Tootsies owner stuns Houston's fashion world
Houstonians were stunned to learn that longtime local retailer Mickey Rosmarin died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack. 

10. A new AstroWorld? Mayor Turner vows to bring amusement park to Houston
Mayor Sylvester Turner shared his excitement about the idea of bringing a major amusement park to Houston. And so did our readers.  

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