9 things to know

9 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, closings, and patio time

9 things to know in Houston food: Openings, closings, and patio time

Pondicheri patio
Pondicheri has opened its new patio. Courtesy of Pondicheri
Shaquille O'Neal Paul Miller Kenneth Miles
Shaq towers over Paul Miller. Courtesy of The Union Kitchen
Toasted Yolk Washington ave exterior
The Toasted Yolk continues to grow. Courtesy of The Toasted Yolk
Pondicheri patio
Shaquille O'Neal Paul Miller Kenneth Miles
Toasted Yolk Washington ave exterior

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, closings, and coming attractions

Popular Montrose gay bar Guava Lamp closed earlier this month, Eater Houston reports. The bar had been a nightlife staple for 22 years, including 17 years at its location on Waugh Drive. However, the space won’t stay empty for long.

Papi’s, which describes itself “Montrose’s only Latin gay club,” will make its debut on Wednesday, October 21 in the former Guava Lamp space. Look for theme nights, drag shows, dancing, and more.

Bellaire Food Street has added a Korean corn dog concept to its roster. Two Hands Seoul Fresh Corn Dogs serves the rice flour-battered dogs (available as cheese or meat) with toppings such as crispy rice, Nashville hot seasoning, and fried potato cubes. The restaurant’s first Houston location joins outposts in California and Hawaii as part of its expansion into America. 













A post shared by Two Hands Korean Corn Dogs (@twohandshtx) on

Oct 14, 2020 at 3:56pm PDT


Yakitori Gunso is now Gunso Japanese Kitchen. The restaurant closed its brick and mortar location and relocated to Third Ward’s Blodgett Food Hall, where it is operating as a cloud kitchen that serves dishes such as ramen, takoyaki, karaage, and Japanese curry over rice. Find it on all major third party delivery apps Wednesday to Monday. 

Shake Shack has reopened its downtown location at 702 Main St. The restaurant, which opened in June 2019, will operate Monday to Friday from 11 am-3:30 pm. 

Breakfast concept The Toasted Yolk continues to expand its presence in Houston. The restaurant announced it has signed leases for two new locations: a League City outpost (2535 Gulf Freeway South) that’s scheduled to open in December and a Bellaire restaurant (5103 Bellaire Blvd.) that will open in March 2021. They will be the company's 16th and 17th Houston-area locations. 

People on the move
Goodnight Hospitality announced two new hires at Rosie Cannonball, its Mediterranean-inspired Montrose restaurant. Bar manager Sarah Crowl, a 2020 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Bartender of the Year nominee, comes to Rosie after well-regarded stints at Coltivare and Penny Quarter. General manager Francis Hawley brings experience from Michelin-starred spots such as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Jean-Georges Restaurant. 

Other news and notes

Shaquille O'Neal dined at The Union Kitchen’s Memorial location on Monday, October 19. The NBA hall of famer enjoyed chicken fried chicken in the company of Houston police officer Kenneth Miles and a friend only identified as “Scoop,” according to a press release. Owner Paul Miller spent about an hour talking to Shaq. 

“We spoke a little about business, but he lit up like a Christmas tree when we were talking about kids,” Miller said in a statement. “His kids, my kids, and all the work he does with kids.”

Pondicheri has opened its expanded patio. Working with the management of the Arrive mixed-use complex, the Upper Kirby restaurant has claimed parking spaces for a wooden deck that’s adorned with guard rails, umbrellas, and plants. All told, the new patio expanded the restaurant’s outdoor seating capacity by approximately 40 seats.