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Heights dive bar rescue and restaurant of the year shutter lead the week's top stories

Heights dive bar rescue and sudden restaurant shutter lead top stories

Vara's sports bar exterior
Vara's will live on thanks to Steve and Shaun Sharma.  Photo by Eric Sandler

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Houston bar veteran rescues Heights-area dive to preserve quirky vibe. Steve and Shaun Sharma, the brothers who own El Big Bad and Dirt Bar, have purchased Heights-area sports bar Vara's. 

2. Montrose barbecue joint cooks up Tex-Mex spinoff in shuttered pizza spot. Set to open in six months or so, the new restaurant will provide The Pit Room with a venue for expanding the Tex-Mex dishes that have always been part of its menu.

3. Former Houston restaurant of the year suddenly shutters in Montrose. Once considered one of Houston's best restaurants, the news that Pax Americana is closing surprised many in Houston's culinary world.

4. Magical new dessert shop showers Montrose with unicorns and rainbows. Magical Dessert Bar will offer a range of rainbow-colored, unicorn-themed desserts when it opens in February. 

5. Shark Tank-backed lobster roll truck once again roaming Houston streets. A new franchisee means Cousins Maine Lobster has returned to the streets of Houston.