Houston's 10 Most-Anticipated Summer OpeningsBy Marcy de Luna
May 23, 2014
The Nightingale Room
Mike Criss, formerly of Anvil Bar & Refuge and the OKRA Charity Saloon, along with business partner Clumsy Butcher, LLC, is scheduled to open The Nightingale Room this July. The name is a nod to the famous songbird and also a reference to Houston music legend Sippie Wallace, known as the Texas Nightingale during her prime in the 1920s. The entertainment-focused bar will feature a mix of local and traveling artists, musicians and DJs plus wine, beer, punch and other democratic drinks.
308 Main St.
Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
The new seafood destination in Midtown from chef Mark Holley will open its doors in late June. The renowned chef, whose resume includes restaurants like Brennan’s of Houston and Commander’s Palace, presents an enticing menu of fresh seafood and shellfish in signature dishes like heirloom tomato gazpacho and whole Thai-style barbecued red snapper with rock shrimp-hamhock fried rice. There’s also an oyster-shucking station and full bar complete with a list of specialty cocktails and a menu of bourbon-centric drinks.
3201 Louisiana St.
Come mid-June, Downtown is getting a South African rugby pub. Catch a rugby or cricket match at this two-level lively gathering place. The upstairs lounge will offer views of Main Street and an expansive terrace, and the menu will feature Southern Hemisphere cuisine, heavy on game-centric fare. The bar will serve up several seasonal cocktails including the traditional shandy with rotating flavors. Springbok will be open for lunch, happy hour and dinner.
711 Main St.
Opening as soon as next month, Radio Milano (pictured) is slated to replace former The Bistro at Hotel Sorella at CityCentre. The two-story concept will feature Radio Bar on the first level and the Radio Milano restaurant on the second floor. The menu of modern Italian cuisine was designed by acclaimed chef Jose Hernandez, former executive chef at La Balance Cuisine in Cinco Ranch. The area's late-night scene will get a boost after 10 PM, as the restaurant will charge a cover and offer music while serving small plates.
800 Sorella Ct.
This chef-driven Mexican-food restaurant from Chris Smith, who was with Pappas for 25 years, will open at CityCentre in mid-June. Hugo Caliente boasts no freezers; everything will be made from scratch daily, including enchiladas, Caribbean shrimp and customizable tacos. On top of that, this quick-serve restaurant promises to have your order ready in under two minutes.
790 W. Sam Houston Parkway
From the owners of Jus' Mac comes Biskit Junkie, set to open as soon as this month. It’s biscuits galore with up to 15 variations, including a traditional Southern-style biscuit, a pancakelike version with syrup and a build-your-own bar. While the restaurant will specialize in its namesake, there will also be a list of waffles.
2925 W. TC Jester
Bernie's Burger Bus
Owner Justin Turner, who already has three successful Bernie’s Burger Bus food trucks, is adding a brick-and-mortar restaurant to his operation. While the menu will, of course, offer Bernie’s signature gourmet burgers and hand-cut fries, the physical location will also see seasonal vegetable- and seafood-driven specials. Bernie’s will open in early June, and Turner promises the Twitter world will be the first to know the exact date.
5407 Bellaire Blvd.
Entrepreneurs Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse of Grand Prize Bar, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar, Goro & Gun, Lei Low and the OKRA Charity Saloon will partner with Matt Toomey and Charlotte Mitchell of Boomtown Coffee on this Downtown coffee shop, set to open anytime now. The Honeymoon will showcase classic coffee drinks along with food offerings like housemade muffins, quiche and breakfast sandwiches in the morning, and top-notch sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch and dinner. Cheese and charcuterie plates will be available from lunch on. The drink list will have classic cocktails as well as a long list of apéritifs, digestifs, fortified wines and liqueurs and seasonal wines.
300 Main St.
Opening as early as late summer and located on the Menil Collection’s campus, Bistro Menil will serve up European-inspired American fare by chef Greg Martin, formerly of Café Annie, Taco Milagro and Cafe Express, plus a selection of craft beer and wine.
1533 Sul Ross St.
True Food Kitchen
With seven locations in four states, this culinary collaboration between Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts and nutrition expert Dr. Andrew Weil will open its first Houston location in late July. True Food will offer a combination of Mediterranean-, Asian- and Californian-influenced cuisine inspired by Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The delicious and nutritious fare will incorporate free-range chicken, Angus natural beef and wild-caught fish, plus plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Phase II of BLVD Place in the Galleria at 1700 Post Oak Blvd.
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