Editor's note: Houston’s restaurant scene moves pretty fast. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing anything, let’s stop to look around at all the latest news to know.
Openings and reopenings
Local Mediterranean restaurant Island Grill has opened its sixth Houston-area location in downtown’s Total Plaza. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 7 am - 5 pm, the restaurant serves everything omelets and pancakes in the morning to cheeseburgers, gyros, and salads in the afternoon. The menu also includes vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as smoothies.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a chain restaurant that’s known for its deep dish, Chicago-style pizza and other pub fare, reopened its Katy location at 24515 Katy Freeway with the company’s refreshed design. Look for a sticker wall and artwork that honors the brand’s Chicago heritage. Of course, the restaurant still serves more than 100 craft and national beers.
Tres Amigos Cafe & Cantina closed on October 9. In a message posted to Facebook, the restaurant explained that it decided not to renew its lease on the space at 3402 N Shepherd Dr.
Only open since April, Tres Amigos replaced Shepherd Park Draught House with a casual, Mexican-inspired cantina decorated with owner Ken Bridge’s extensive collection of ZZ Top memorabilia. It also had a charitable component, donating 75-percent of its profits to the St. Jude Foundation.
Orleans Seafood Kitchen will open a second location next spring in Fulshear (6230 FM 1463). Like the Katy original that opened in 2008, owners Chance Comstock and Marcus Payavla’s new restaurant will feature Cajun-style dishes such as gumbo, po’ boys, and etoufée served in a convenient, fast casual environment.
However, the Fulshear location will expand its bar menu with a greater selection of craft beer and a larger spirit selection. When it opens, the approximately 5,400-square-foot restaurant will seat over 100 people inside, 58 in a full service bar area, and about 50 on an expansive patio.
“When we opened in Katy over 13 years ago a second location wasn’t necessarily in the plan, but as we continued to grow over the years and really got to know our customers and what they liked and didn’t like, it became not a matter of ‘if’ we would open another location, but ‘when,’” Comstock said in a statement.
Other news and notes
Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen announced that founder Russell Ybarra has acquired five franchised restaurants previously owned by Joel Perkins, who has decided to retire. The purchase means that the Gringo’s locations in The Woodlands, Champions, Spring, Cypress, and Fuqua will remain part of the company.
“We are humbled and grateful to be able to keep the locations that have been instrumental in the growth within the Gringo’s family,” Ybarra said in a statement. “We welcome the team members that serve our guests, and the communities in which they serve.”