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Iconic Houston Restaurant Tony Mandola’s Will Permanently Close Its Doors This Month

Plus, a new salad chain brings its stuffed baguettes to Houston and more dining intel

the front of a restaurant at night, with a neon sign reading Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen
Tony Mandola’s will close later this month.
Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen/Facebook

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Tony Mandola’s will close July 26

Tony Mandola’s, the Montrose restaurant known for artfully blending Italian cuisine and Gulf Coast seafood, will close later this month. As first reported by the Houston Chronicle, co-owner Phyllis Mandola announced the closure on her social media accounts, writing that a new location would be announced soon. Phyllis and husband Tony come from a long lineage of Houston restaurant royalty — Phyllis’s mother is Maria “Mama Ninfa” Laurenzo, and Tony is the son of the Mandola restaurant dynasty. The couple opened their first restaurant, Blue Oyster Bar, in 1982. Tony Mandola’s, at 1212 Waugh Drive, opened in 2011. The restaurant was known for its bountiful raw bar and tranquil patio.

I’ll Have What She’s Having launches reproductive rights fundraiser

I’ll Have What She’s Having, the Houston nonprofit that addresses barriers women face in the hospitality industry and elsewhere, has launched a new fundraiser in response to Texas’s recently-enacted six-week abortion ban, which goes into effect September 1. The fundraiser, called Pro Choice Summer 2021, consists of several happy hours throughout July and August, featuring drinks and food created by IHWSH, with proceeds donated to a selections of abortion access organizations, including Clinic Access Support Network, Avow Texas, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The so-called six-week abortion ban, which was recently signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, effectively bans any abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy — in some cases before many people would even know they were pregnant. It also allows any Texan to sue any other citizen for helping someone attain an abortion.

Dallas-based Bread Zeppelin to bring stuffed baguettes to Houston

Bread Zeppelin, a Dallas chain known for its hollowed-out-then-stuffed artisanal baguettes, has finally opened its first Houston location, at 1700 Lake Plaza Drive in Springwoods Village. The restaurant is known for its signature dish‚ the Zeppelin — a freshly-baked baguette that is then cored out and filled with a chopped salad, making it a portable meal that is more sturdy than, say, a tortilla wrap or traditional sandwich. Salads include options like the Cobb, the Southwest, and the Shanghai, with chicken or tofu, Chinese noodles, Mandarin oranges and almonds. Bread Zeppelin’s move to Houston was first announced in 2019 — no word yet on if other locations are planned for the Bayou City.