8 things to know

8 things to know in Houston food right now: Reopenings, closings, and Nancy's hustles back

8 things to know in Houston food: Reopenings and Nancy's hustles back

Nancy's Hustle Nancy Cakes
Welcome back, Nancy's Hustle. Courtesy photo
Houston, Valentines Day dining guide, Feb 2017, Shoyu ramen at Agu Ramen
Aloha, Agu Ramen.  Courtesy photo
SusieCakes has shuttered.  Photo courtesy of SusieCakes
Nancy's Hustle Nancy Cakes
Houston, Valentines Day dining guide, Feb 2017, Shoyu ramen at Agu Ramen

Editor’s note: The pace of openings, reopenings, and closings has picked up in the past couple of weeks. Here’s a quick summary of all the latest news to know.

Openings, reopenings, and a coming attraction

Nancy’s Hustle reopens for dine-in service this Wednesday (September 23). That’s good news for fans of the restaurant that won two of the top prizes in this year’s CultureMap Tastemaker awards — chef of the year for Jason Vaughan and pastry chef of the year for Julia Doran. Co-owner Sean Jensen tells CultureMap that the restaurant will be operating at 50-percent capacity but will soon add patio seating by claiming part of its parking lot. Let the Nancy cakes and lamb dumplings flow! 

Jensen also provided an update on Tiny Champions, the pizza-focused restaurant he’s opening with Vaughan and Doran. The restaurant’s key hires have been made (details TBA), and the menu is mostly ready to go. If all goes according to plan, the restaurant should open at the end of October.

Late night favorite Ninja Ramen resumes dine-in service on Friday, September 25. As a brief announcement posted to Instagram states: “No shirt, shoes, or mask, no service (no pants required, though).” Plan accordingly. 

Houston’s third Sweetgreen has opened downtown. Originally announced in March, downtown residents and office workers will find signature salads like Kale Caesar and Guacamole Greens, as well as bowls and the restaurant’s recently introduced entrees (called plates), at the corner of Main and Walker (820 Main St.). The restaurant is open for to-go service Monday-Friday from 10:30 am-8 pm.

Houston Sauce Pit has expanded with a second trailer. In addition to its original outpost in the Third Ward (5000 Almeda Rd.), the vegan barbecue purveyor has a new home at the Power Center Food Park (12401 S. Post Oak Rd. at South Main). Look for truck signatures like smoked vegan wings, smokey sauce pit burritos, and BBQ jackfruit sandwiches with Alabama white sauce plus new creations from co-owner Jarett Milton. Check Instagram for hours of operation. 


Bellaire Broiler Burger has shuttered, Community Impact reports. A neighborhood institution, the burger joint closed suddenly in June when a manager died, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook. Now, both the business and restaurant are for sale.

Agu Ramen Bistro will close its remaining Houston location on Washington Ave. near I-10 on September 27, the restaurant announced. The Hawaiian-based restaurant entered the Houston market with considerable fanfare, opening locations in Westchase, the Energy Corridor, and Katy, but they all closed relatively quickly. An Instagram post touts the possibility of finding a new location, but it’s certainly aloha for now.  

SusieCakes will not be reopening its Houston locations, a representative tells CultureMap. The California-based sweets shop opened in Rice Village in 2017; an outpost in the Medical Center followed earlier this year. Outposts in Dallas and Fort Worth remain open.