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Houston's Most Anticipated Openings of Winter 2015

Another year, another round of restaurant and bar openings to look forward to.

A busy winter is on the horizon: Local staples are poised for expansion, opening varying concepts from their original restaurants (Jus' Mac & Cheese, Kata Robata, Down House, Htown-Streats, Funky Chicken/Bradley's Fine Diner), while newcomers anticipate to leave their mark upon Houston's growing culinary scene. Here, in no particular order other than alphabetical, are coming attractions to look forward to in January, February and mid-March.

B & R Butchers

Where: 1814 Washington Avenue
What we know: Benjamin Berg, former general manager of Smith & Wollensky is opening his own steakhouse with an on-site retail butcher shop. Recent additions along the Washington Avenue corridor to add a roof-top patio roof-top patio.
Projected opening date: March or early spring Spring
[More coverage]

Beckrew Wine House

Where: 2409 W Alabama St
What we know: Taking over The Tasting Room River Oaks that closed in November, Beckrew draws inspiration from wine bars and enotecas in Italy and lower Manhattan, where the simple menus and ingredients are executed in exceptional fashion. Menu items from Kraftsman Bakery and Houston Dairymaids will be available during the late breakfast and lunch service, The Upper Kirby wine bar is also partnering with Blacksmith's David Buehrer for its coffee program.
Projected opening date: February Opened in March
[More coverage]


Where: 1819 N Shepherd Dr, Ste A
What we know: Graham Laborde partners with Treadsack for this modern Gulf Coast concept next door to forthcoming Hunky Dory. The restaurant is a love letter composed of a fully stocked raw bar, grilled oysters, BBQ crab, house-made boudin and a collection of wines, beers and cocktails from Louisiana and Texas.
Projected opening date: March/April Spring
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Biskit Junkie

Where: 2925 West T C Jester Blvd, Ste 18
What we know: The owners of Jus' Mac are expanding its comfort food mini-empire with a biscuit emporium. Specializing in over 10 homemade biscuits varieties, each stuffed to the brim with various combinations of bacon, chicken, braised short rib, smothered gravy and more. Waffles are expected on the menu, a huge plus for Houston's huge brunch crowds.
Projected opening date: January No update
[More coverage]

Black Orchid

Where: 4003 Washington Ave
What we know: From the owners of Commonwealth, the new restaurant taking the place of TQLA, come this part lounge, part kitchen concept. Serving a roster of cocktails, former Artisans chef, Michael Sanguinetti will use the lounge as his culinary playground serving a chef-driven tasting menu during dinner hours.
Projected opening date: Late January Opened in March
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Bovine & Barley

Where: 416 Main St
What we know: The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey's Michael Collins is remaining tight-lipped on his sophomore project set to open in the heart of Downtown. What is known, the gastropub's menu will highlight beefy creations and craft brews.
Projected opening date: March April
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Where: 2231 S Voss Rd
What we know: Focusing on locally sourced and foraged ingredients, former Bootsie's Heritage Cafe and Rainbow Lodge chef Randy Rucker's long-anticipated eatery is set to open at the space that housed Mancuso's Italian Table. Expect a heavy Southern influenced menu (think Gulf Coast seafood and wild game indigenous to Texas) and a packed house once this 46-seat Tanglewood area restaurant opens.
Projected opening date:March Late spring/early summer.
[More coverage]


Where: 4601 Washington Ave, Ste 130
What we know: Chef Michael Sanguinetti, former executive chef of Artisans, is adding his own touches to reimagined upscale versions of American classics with accents of Japanese, Korean, French and Cajun influences. A curated wine and beverage program coupled with late hours will transform the shuttered TQLA space into what's sure to be a happening late night dining option.
Projected opening date: January Opened in March.
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Gino’s East

Where: 17117 Tomball Parkway
What we know: While Houston may not be busting at the seam with great Chicago pizza, it's on its way with this Illinois import. A Windy City favorite is expanding closer into Houston with the anticipated opening of its second location within the city limits. Expect an hour wait for deep dish pie, plus barbecue-topped nachos and other Texas touches.
Projected opening date: January Opened in February.
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Grafittis at Union St

Where: 2003 Union St.
What we know: A casual family-run restaurant draped in vintage memorabilia offering no frills old school fare. Visible from Washington Avenue, expect late hours once open with burgers, steaks and other American diner and bar classics on the menu.
Projected opening date: Early 2015 Opened in March.

Henke & Pillot

Where: 809 Congress
What we know: Like forthcoming Houston Watch Company listed below, Henke & Pillot pays tribute to the eponymous Houston-based supermarket chain located on the same block in the late 1800's. Replacing the 2011 shuttered pizza haven ERA, Market Square's latest inhabitant bills itself as a gastro bar and lounge. Expect a curated small plates menu, cocktails and what's likely to become Houston's latest nightlife hotspot.
Projected opening date: January/February Opened in February

Houston Watch Company

Where: 913 Franklin St.
What we know: Housed in the vacated Franklin St. Coffee House, this old school themed bar adjacent to Bayou Lofts pays homage to the city's premier timepiece business back in the day, which was also located there. New to the bar business, co-owner Ryan Clark's lobby bar will offer old school cocktails and craft beers.
Projected opening date: Early 2015 Spring

Hugs & Donuts

Where: 1901 N Shepherd Dr., Ste 4
What we know: Matt Opaleski and Jason Hill, the duo behind Htown-Streats food truck will soon add donut shop owners to their credentials. Promising to push the envelope on gourmet donuts, the pair will offer apple caramel donuts, a fried chicken donut sandwich, Gatlin's brisket-filled kolaches and a variety of other savory kolaches. A coffee program will be in place, plus taps filled with flavored milks.
Projected opening date: January/February Spring
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Hunky-Dory Tavern

Where: 1819 N Shepherd Dr
What we know: Former nose-to-tail Feast chef Richard Knight heads the kitchen of this upcoming British-American tavern adjacent to sister concept Bernadine's. Wood-grilled offerings and a lengthy collection whiskeys are at the center of this highly anticipated restaurant and bar.
Projected opening date: March 2015​
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Where: 318 Gray St
What we know: This izakaya concept from The Azuma Group (Kata Robata, Soma Sushi and Azuma Sushi & Robata) is replacing the former Farrago's and bringing with it powerhouse chefs Jean Philippe Gaston (Cove) and Manabu Horiuchi. The duo are putting their culinary prowess together and developing a menu consisting of small plates, ramen and Japanese fare. Expect a heavy focus on beverages including cocktails and beers.
Projected opening date: Early 2015 April

Jinya Ramen Bar

Where: 3201 Louisiana St, Ste 10
What we know: Known for its tonkotsu ramen, this slurp shop and izakaya eatery is opening its first Houston location in Midtown. After opening in Webster last fall, expect customizable ramen and bar bites that are both filling and reasonably priced.
Projected opening date:
Early 2015 Opened in March[More coverage]

Johnny's Gold Brick

Where: 2518 Yale
What we know:
A neighborhood bar from Treadsack (Down House, Kipper Club and forthcoming Foreign Correspondents) in collaboration with Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse (Grand Prize, Big Star Bar, Lei Low). Housed in the former The Boom Boom Room, Leslie Ross heads the beverage program of this laid back bar where unpretentious cocktails and creative crafted drinks receive equal billing. Wines by the glass and a curated list of beers will be available as well.
Projected opening date:
January/February 2015 Opened in March.
[More coverage]

Krispy Kreme

Where: 5603 Hwy 6 N
What we know: This hyper-popular doughnut chain based out of North Carolina returns to the Greater Houston area after departing in the mid 2000's. The first location will open in Bear Creek with more to follow into 2016.
Projected opening date: February 17 Spring
[More coverage]

Kung Fu Tea

Where: 3224 Yoakum Blvd
What we know: The international bubble tea chain is set to open its second Houston outpost in Montrose, providing Inner Loopers with a closer alternative than the Chinatown location. An extensive bubble tea menu with Taiwanese staples (mung bean,red bean, herbal jelly and more) is the main draw but for the less adventurous, coffee, chai latte, caramel macchiato, and other flavors are offered. Hot and cold tea, coffee drinks and slushes are also available.
Projected opening date: January/February Opened in February.

Lawless Kitchen & Spirits

Where: 909 Texas St, Ste 2A
What we know: After The State Bar & Lounge closed last year, real estate blog Swamplot reported its successor was rumored to be Lawless Kitchen & Spirits. It's true. The restaurant located within Rice Lofts is currently undergoing renovations. Once completed, a chef-driven menu and a cocktail program will be the main attraction.
Projected opening date: March 2015 Spring

Where: 412 Westheimer
What we know: Omar Afra of Free Press Houston and former Lowbrow owner joins forces with Brandon Young, co-owner of East End's Moon Tower Inn and Voodoo Queen on this Lower Westheimer bar. Details are scarce but anything involving these two is sure to be a fun place to be.
Projected opening date: March 2015 Summer

Mala Sichuan Bistro
Where: 1201 Westheimer Rd
What we know: A Chinatown favorite among Chinese expats and Houston's restaurant industry plans to move into the very recently shuttered Dua. Tongues are wagging now in excitement but will soon be numbed when the extremely spicy dishes the bistro is known for serves its widely popular Sichuan menu.
Projected opening date: February 2015 Spring

Mary'z Lebanese Cuisine
Where: 4500 Washington Ave, Ste 200
What we know: Replacing Polovina Italian Cafe, Mary'z is expanding its Lebanese offerings from the Galleria to a second location along the Washington Corridor. Hummus, spiced kabobs and grilled meats is what this restaurant does best. The nearby clubbing scene may be dying down, but the combination of good food and hookahs may see this once vibrant spot lively again.
Projected opening date: February 2015 Opened in February.
[More coverage]

Where: 1500 Shepherd Dr
What we know: This London import continues its Houston invasion, opening its second location in the former Solea space. Traditional no-fuss Italian fare with surprisingly good pizzas and signature Mascalone, a cross between a calzone and pizza.
Projected opening date: January Opened January 12.
[More coverage]

North Italia
Where: 1700 Post Oak Blvd, Ste 2-190
What we know:. An Italian restaurant with a health-focused bent like its sister restaurant nearby, True Food Kitchen. Expect to see contemporary takes on Italian standards, pizzas and handmade pastas served. This Fox Restaurant Concepts chain is also one of several eateries coming to BLVD Place Phase II this year.
Projected opening date: Early 2015 Opened in February.
[More coverage]

Peli Peli South African Grill
Where: 5085 Westheimer, Ste. B-2515
What we know: This upscale South African restaurant will occupy the space of shuttered Gigi's Asian Bistro. Named after the Portuguese spice, expect to the spice incorporated in most dishes from steaks to seafood, plus a curated list of wines from the region.
Projected opening date: Early 2015 April

Peska Seafood Culture
Where: 1700 Post Oak Blvd
What we know: A sophisticated, fresh seafood restaurant with a high energy vibe. This fish market-to-table concept from restauranteurs Diego and Maite Ysita of Mexico's La Trainera, will be the first outside in the US. The menu will focus on the best of globally sourced seafood, combining the flavors of South America, the Mediterranean and Europe in simple prepared dishes.
Projected opening date: February or March April
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Pour Society
Where: 947 Gessner, Ste B-190
What we know: James Beard Award winner Bradley Ogden (Bradley's Fine Diner and Funky Chicken) goes for a trifecta with an American gastropub concept expected to open within Gateway Memorial City. A heavy focus on local craft beers complemented by upscale pub fare.
Projected opening date: February 2015 May
[More coverage]

Samurai Noodle
Where: 1801 Durham Dr., Ste. 2
What we know: The Seattle-based ramen shop is set to open its first restaurant outside of Washington State this year. Located in the Durham Shopping Center off the Katy Freeway, this noodle shop will offer freshly made ramen on-site where customers can not only see the noodles being made but chose their preference (chewy, regular or soft). Added bonuses includes ordering noodles to-go and gluten-free bowls of ramen.
Projected opening date: January 2015 Opened in March.
[More coverage]

Southern Goods
Where: 623 W 19th St
What we know:
Projected opening date: March 2015 April/May
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Weights + Measures
Where: 2808 Caroline St., Ste. 101
What we know: The all-in-one bakery, restaurant, bar concept by Houston industry heavyweights: Ian Rosenberg, Mike Sammons (13 Celsius, Mongoose versus Cobra), chef Richard Kaplan (Brown Paper Chocolates) and Heath Wendell (Slow Dough Bread Co) left many wanting more after a brief sneak peek after Christmas. Soon, the group of friends will open the doors and begin to serve fresh baked breads, doughnuts, chocolates, pizzas, cured meats, coffee and so much more. In the evenings, the adjacent bar and lounge, Love & Squalor will provide late night bites and reimagined cocktails of the 70's.
Projected opening date: January Opened January 18
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Updated: 3/25/2015