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The Most Read Eater Houston Stories of 2021

The year included everything from food hall openings to freak snowstorms

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A large metal building with “8200 Washington Avenue” stenciled on the front Railway Heights/Facebook

What do turkey legs, oysters, and The Office have in common? They all captured the interest of Houston readers in 2021, as Eater counts down the most clicked-on news stories of the year. These popular posts include everything from COVID-19 concerns to an anticipated food hall opening and an unexpected Houston snowstorm — plus everything that was going on at celeb favorite Turkey Leg Hut.

Here are Eater Houston’s most-read new stories of 2021, with a hometown hero chef earning the top spot.

10.) These Houston Restaurants Will Continue Mask Requirements, Capacity Limits

A printed sign on a business door that reads “Masks are required. Thank you.” A blue face mask sits underneath the text. Shutterstock

In March, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ended a mask mandate and announced that Houston restaurants could operate at 100% capacity after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions. Eater kept track of restaurants that planned to keep the safety measures they’ve implemented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in place.

9.) Turkey Leg Hut Co-Owner Faces Aggravated Assault Charge Following Incident at a Forthcoming Third Ward Bar

The Turkey Leg Hut/Facebook

Turkey Leg Hut co-owner Lyndell “Lynn” Price faced charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with an incident that occurred at then yet-to-open Third Ward bar-restaurant, Savoy Ice House.

8.) Acme Oyster House Temporarily Closes After Being Overwhelmed by Big Crowds

a spread of raw oysters, a po’boy and chargrilled oysters on a checkered tablecloth. Acme Oyster House/facebook

New Orleans-inspired restaurant Acme Oyster House proved to be a huge hit in Montrose. During Acme’s first two days of business in April, customers waited in long lines outside and up to two hours for a table. It got so swamped, that the restaurant was forced to close down temporarily in order to restock on booze and food supplies.

7.) Houston Restaurants and Bars Are Closing Temporarily Due to Concerns Over the COVID-19 Omicron Variant

The inside of a softly-lit dining room where people are moving about a bar. Julie Soefer

As the contagious new COVID-19 variant omicron is on the rise in Houston this month, Eater tracked down establishments that are closing temporarily — either due to confirmed exposure to COVID-19 among employees or due to “an abundance of caution.”

6.) An Oyster Giant Is Going All In on San Leon Becoming the Texas Gulf Coast’s Next Big Thing

A skillet is filled with oysters on the half shell, grilled and served with charred lemon. Hot sauce, lemon, and crackers sit on a silver tray to the left. Kimberly Park for Pier 6

With the opening of roadtrip-worthy restaurant Pier 6 Seafood this spring, the little village of San Leon was on the edge of becoming a true weekend destination. Pier 6 is from the owners of Prestige Oysters, one of the Gulf Coast’s largest oyster purveyors, and they went all out to build buzz for their new venture.

5.) A Pop-Up Bar Inspired By ‘The Office’ Will Open in Houston

The Office Photo by Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Office karaoke, Dundie Awards, and photo ops inspired by classic sitcom “The Office” landed at 711 Main Street in Downtown in January, with a pop-up featuring cocktails and food inspired by the show.

4.) Long-Awaited Dining Destination Railway Heights Market Hall Is Now Open

A large metal building with “8200 Washington Avenue” stenciled on the front Railway Heights/Facebook

Railway Heights Market Hall at 8200 Washington Avenue opened in August, to the excitement of the neighborhood as shoppers perused everything from spicy seafood boils to pierogi. Company of Nomads Hospitality planned a seriously stacked dining lineup for the food hall, not to mention multiple bars, a coffee shop, and a dog park.

3.) The Turkey Leg Hut’s Seriously Strict New Dress Code Sparks a Social Media Furor

Stuffed turkey leg from the Turkey Leg Hut. Amy McCarthy/EHOU

Wildly popular Third Ward restaurant the Turkey Leg Hut rolled out a dress code in July with lots of rules, from “no swimwear” to “all body parts must be completely covered.” Controversy (and memes) erupted on social media.

2.) A Running List of the Houston Restaurants That Are Open and Closed During the Winter Storm

TOPSHOT-US-WEATHER Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

February brought truly unprecedented winter weather across the state of Texas, and readers were interested in Eater’s running list of Houston eateries that decided to stay open — or to keep the doors closed during ice and snow.

1.) Houston’s Dawn Burrell Should Be Named the Next ‘Top Chef’

Top Chef - Season 18 Photo by: David Moir/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

As allegations of sexual harassment came to light following Austin chef Gabe Erales’ win on Top Chef: Portland, Eater Houston made the case for that Houston chef Dawn Burrell should earn the show’s title instead. “Throughout the season, Burrell demonstrated that she is an incredibly talented chef and a strong contender for the win, approaching each challenge with a fiercely competitive spirit,” Eater’s Amy McCarthy wrote in an op-ed. “She shined a light on the cuisines of the African diaspora and her home city, while (mostly) executing them flawlessly.”

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