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Chef Ronnie Killen Debuts His Newest Houston Restaurant

Also: Nancy’s Hustle hosts a pop-up to raise money for explosion victims in Beirut, and more Houston dining intel

the exterior of a black and white building with a large sign that reads killens
Ronnie Killen’s Heights restaurant is now open for dine-in only.

Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.

Killen’s finally opens in the Loop

At long last, Ronnie Killen’s new Heights-area restaurant has opened. The restaurant, at 101 Heights Boulevard, in the spot that formerly housed Hickory Hollow, opened August 19, and focuses on Southern comfort food inspired by Killen’s grandmother and the Czech-German heritage of the Texas Hill Country, according to the Houston Chronicle. The menu features comforting, filling dishes like fried green tomatoes, smothered pork chops, creamed corn, fried okra and of course, German chocolate cake, plus the smoked meat Killen is famous for. For the time being, Killen’s has announced that the restaurant will not offer takeout or delivery.

Roostar Vietnamese Grill brings its banh mi to Navigation

Roostar Vietnamese Grill, the Spring Branch restaurant known for its loaded banh mi sandwiches, is opening a shop in the East End, CultureMap reports. Roostar will join Acadian Coast, an upcoming Cajun seafood restaurant, in a new shopping center just north of El Tiempo. It’s the third outpost for Roostar, which was founded in 2015 by two University of Houston students. A second location opened in the Galleria area in 2018.

Fluff Bake Bar launches GoFundMe after permitting snafu

Friends of Fluff Bake Bar owner Rebecca Masson have launched a fundraiser for the sweets shop after a permitting mistake caused Masson to close the bakery’s doors last month. It’s been a tumultuous year for Masson, who moved Fluff to a new Heights location in January before the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. Masson was selling her goods via curbside pickup until July, when the City of Houston told her that the permits she obtained for the new location were incorrect, and that new permits and improvements to the building needed to be secured, to the tune of $25,000. In the meantime, Fluff has been closed for five weeks as upgrades to the property are made.

Nancy’s Hustle hosts bake sale for Beirut

Beloved East End restaurant Nancy’s Hustle will host a one-day pop-up this Saturday benefitting Mavia Bakery, the Beirut-based bakery that’s been feeding emergency workers and displaced Lebanese since a massive industrial explosion destroyed much of the city earlier this month. The pop-up, which begins at 10 am on August 22, will include a lunch plate featuring either kibbeh or falafel with stuffed grape leaves and tabbouleh, manoosheh flatbread with a choice of toppings, and sweets a syrupy semolina cake. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Mavia.