Although summer was a busy time for restaurant openings, it seems like we've all been looking toward the fall for some exciting new eateries. Restaurateurs have local diners anticipating their second and third new projects, while some unknown players are slated to become popular gourmands in the coming months, and a few food trucks are establishing permanent spots. Here's the list of 15 major fall openings coming in the next several weeks. (And some in the coming days!) These are not ranked, and all opening dates are tentative.
Location: 800 Gessner
Description: Tony's chef Grant Gordon and general manager Scott Sulma are lending their talent and pouring their energy into Vallone's, a new Memorial City restaurant with vast square footage. Since major Houston names are behind this massive new restaurant, it's one of the most anticipated openings of the fall.
Openings Date: Mid-to-late October
[All Eater Coverage of Vallone's]
2. Killen's Barbecue
Location: 3613 East Broadway
Description: It's not yet open, but this upcoming barbecue joint already has fans lining up and waiting hours to taste Ronnie Killen's unparalleled brisket and ribs at weekend pop-ups. The permanent location is already in the works, with Killen transforming a former cafeteria space into an upcoming BBQ mecca.
Opening Date: October or November
[All Eater Coverage of Killen's BBQ]
3. CK Steakhouse
Location: 1127 West 19th Street
Description: This upcoming project pairs two guys who know just what carnivores want: Ricky Craig and Killen. Craig, who owns Hubcap Grill, makes some of the most sought-after burgers in town, and Killen always has a line of customers at his pop-ups. Look forward to this spot if you're in the mood for a satisfying steak.
Opening Date: Update:CK was slated for a fall opening, but we got a last-minute update today that the city forced them into building from the ground-up instead of renovating the existing building, thereby causing a several-month delay. Their new anticipated opening date has been moved to spring 2014.
[All Eater Coverage of CK Steakhouse]
4. El Big Bad
Location: 419 Travis
Description: El Gran Malo owners Steve Sharma and Lea McKinney are bringing The Wolf downtown with this new restaurant, featuring chef Randy Rucker crafting the gastro-cantina menu. An expansive balcony and décor by Erin Hicks will top off this highly anticipated new restaurant, which is already beginning to settle in at the old Cabo space.
Opening Date: Early October
[All Eater Coverage of El Big Bad]
Location: 2800 Kirby
Description: This West Ave. eatery is garnering attention because of the owner's popularity. Food Network Star contestant Susie Jimenez will open her Latin-Indian fusion spot next to Pondicheri. The food will combine South Asian flavors with Latin American cuisine for a menu that will surely surprise palates.
Opening Date: October 5
[All Eater Coverage of Trenza]
6. Common Bond
Location: 1706 Westheimer
Description: A bakery with a twist, this spot promises to be the next world-class baked goods shop in our own Montrose. Owner Roy Shvartzapel has assembled a whole team of highly regarded pastry chefs to bake sweet and savory breads. Located next door to Agora, Common Bond will also serve wine and local craft beer.
Opening Date: November
[All Eater Coverage of Common Bond]
Location: 3320 White Oak
Description: From Revival Market's Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera comes this Italian and American restaurant located in the Heights. They have hosted preview dinners at Revival since spring of this year, including dishes like cured cheek and bruschetta. It promises to be a casual spot with well-executed dishes and fresh ingredients.
Opening Date: Late fall
[All Eater Coverage of Coltivare]
8. Fish & the Knife
Location: 7801 Westheimer
Description: After three years of construction and setbacks, this restaurant, bar and lounge is looking to open in the next few months. It will feature Japanese barbecue, sushi and an expansive dance floor with a fully stocked bar and several beer taps.
Opening Date: Mid-October
[All Eater Coverage of Fish & the Knife]
9. Coppa Osteria
Location: 5210 Morningside
Description: The casual version of Charles Clark and Grant Cooper's Coppa, Ibiza and Brasserie 19, this spot will offer a backyard-style setting with a pizza drive-through window. The menu, crafted by chef Brandi Key, will also feature charcuterie boards, house-made pasta and a rotation list of daily specials. It will be the Ristorante quality but more family-friendly.
Opening Date: September 2
[All Eater Coverage of Coppa Osteria]
10. Brick & Spoon
Location: 1312 West Alabama
Description: The third location of this chain will begin renovations soon. Co-founder Bryan Jewell tells Eater that the food will be a "spin on your traditional brunch," the atmosphere will be laid-back and the focus will be on Southern hospitality. He said they chose this Montrose location because the space was the perfect size and he liked the "quaint" neighborhood. It will be in the space formerly occupied by Bocado's.
Opening Date: November 1
[All Eater Coverage of Brick & Spoon]
11. Allô French Rotisserie
Location: 126 Vintage Park
Description: After leading Hubbell & Hudson Bistro in The Woodlands, the owner of this upcoming French bistro Eric Goldner says he wants to create a relaxed, family-friendly place that serves fresh, quality French food.
Opening Date: Mid-September
[All Eater Coverage of Allô French Rotisserie]
12. City Oven
Location: 2802 White Oak
Description: Featuring 15 taps of beer and about 9 different wood-fire baked pizzas, this new Heights spot will replace D'Amico's next to Public House. City Oven partners with Hospitality USA, as do Sherlock's, Local Pour, D'Amico's and others. The pizzas will be freshly baked in the brick oven that's already been installed. It will also be a great place to watch the game, with several flat screen TVs going up.
Opening Date: September 3
[All Eater Coverage of City Oven]
13. Good Dog
Location: 903 Studewood
Description: Popular hot dog food truck Good Dog is setting up shop at their permanent location in the Heights. Owners Daniel Caballero and Amalia Pferd say they will also offer non-hot-dog entrees and local craft beer. Good Dog already has a large following, and even though they now have this Heights bungalow, the couple says they will still cater some off-site events.
Opening Date: Early September
[All Eater Coverage of Good Dog]
14. 60 Degrees Mastercrafted
Location: 2300 Westheimer
Description: This contemporary American spot will occupy the former Palazzo's Trattoria space in Upper Kirby. Longtime Houston Country Club executive chef, Certified Master Chef Fritz Gitschner is at the helm of this Upper Kirby restaurant and says it will be ranch to table, with food sourced back to Texas ranches. They are maintaining a detailed log of the build-out process on their social media sites.
Opening Date: October
[All Eater Coverage of 60 Degrees Mastercrafted]
15. Osteria Mazzantini
Location: 2200 Post Oak Blvd.
Description: Mockingbird's chef John Sheely is known for good food. So locals have been excited to head to this new spot with a more casual atmosphere and a menu of pastas and pizzas that will likely satisfy the lunch crowd as well as families at dinnertime.
Opening Date: September 2
[All Eater Coverage of Osteria Mazzantini]
We'll be tracking the progress of some other upcoming openings, including Punk's Simple Southern Food at 5212 Morningside, which will be opening in early January. Punk's is another project from Clark and Cooper, it will be located next door to Coppa Osteria and will be all about Southern home cooking. (Think fried chicken, grits and pimento cheese.) Other exciting openings to track include: City Acre Brewing Co. (highly anticipated brewpub), Hugo Ortega's Caracol, Bernie's Burger Bus' brick-and-mortar space and Mark Holley's eponymous eatery. We're also compiling a list of bar openings, hit the tipline to tell us what forthcoming watering holes you're most looking forward to.