Openings and Closings: Goodbye Lucky's Pub in the Heights, Hello White Oak Biergarten in the Heights (4)
photo by David Rozycki

Lucky’s Pub in the Heights, 2520 Houston Avenue, is reinventing itself as White Oak Biergarten. The relaunch on August 26, as first reported by Houston Food Finder , will showcase some of the exterior changes. The kitchen will have pit master Jim Buchanan, formerly of Pappa Charlie’s Barbecue, at the helm, with exclusive creative rights to the menu.

The kitchen at White Oak Biergarten will serve market style barbecue Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and switch to a bar food menu incorporating smoked meat items from 8 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Buchanan, a U.S. Army veteran, is naming his new venture, Buck’s Barbeque Co. in honor of his father, Thomas M.“ Buck” Buchanan, who passed away in 2014. Buck Buchanan was a decorated U.S. Army veteran of 26 years, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The Bird Food Truck was reported stolen last week, and was later discovered in Brays Bayou, trashed and burned, according to Eater Houston . The popular business serves food such as fried chicken tenders and waffle fries. No word yet on the owners’ plans for the business, but we wish them a quick recovery.

Sugar Land has a new spot for gourmet chocolates, gelato, and crepes, Sleek Chocolatier & Cafe, which opened the doors to its second location at 636 Highway 6, on July 13, according to Community Impact newspaper. Sleek has a location at 5868 Westheimer and is known for its incredible triple chocolate crepes.

Sugar Land is also now home to the 380th location of sandwich chain McAlister’s Deli at 13517 University, Suite 200 and to Newk’s Eatery, a casual chain for pizza and sandwiches at 2715 Town Center.

Very sad news from Mai's this week.
Very sad news from Mai's this week.
Photo by the Houston Press

Phin Nguyen, restaurateur and co-founder of Downtown’s Vietnamese fajita and pho favorite, Mai’s Restaurant, passed away this week at the age of 88, the Houston Chronicle reported. Nguyen opened the restaurant in 1978 with her husband Phac Nguyen after immigrating to Houston following the fall of Saigon. Mai’s will be closed August 10 to August 12, and will reopen on August 14.

Zoe’s Kitchen had its grand opening in Spring on August 10 for its newest location at 2162 Spring Stuebner, according to the Houston Chronicle . A Westchase store is expected to open the first week of September. Along with the new locations, Zoe’s Kitchen will debut a number of new menu items, including a cauliflower rice bowl and a harissa salmon pita sandwich. Update: The store will now be opening on August 13, a rep for Zoe's confirms.

So sorry for the last minute change. We really appreciate your help on this. Thanks and let us know!

The Kingwood area is seeing a surge in chain restaurants this summer. Mod Pizza had its grand opening on August 4 with 100 percent of the day’s pizza sales donated to Generosity Feeds, according to Kingwood.com. The build-your-own-pizza concept is located at 4537 Kingwood Drive.

Just a hop, skip and a jump away, a new Whataburger opened at 4545 Kingwood Drive on July 31.

Bill Hutchinson, owner of two Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana.
Bill Hutchinson, owner of two Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana.
Photo by Troy Fields

Pizaro’s Pizzeria Napoletana, 1000 West Gray, is now serving New York Style pizza at the Montrose location, the Houston CultureMap reports, a year after debuting the Detroit-style pizza. Unlike its signature Neapolitan-style pies cooked in a wood-burning oven, the NY-style pizza will be cooked in a three-decked, gas burning oven, giving it a thin and chewy crust. The New York pizzas, with names like Tri-State and The Dumbo, will range in price from $19 to $28. From now until September 1, diners can try a two topping NY pizza for $14.99.

In more pizza news, Inferno Pizza opened up on the first floor of SkyHouse River Oaks, according to CultureMap. Guests can build their own 11-inch pies from an array of toppings for a fixed price of $9.99, regardless of toppings, excluding the organic eggs, which are $1.50 each. The grand opening is August 9 and will offer 50 percent off all pizzas. The liquor license is expected in the next couple of weeks. The pizza place is located at 2031 Westcreek, Suite N1.

Pizza lovers northwest of Houston can satisfy their love of the tomato pie at Pizza Cucinova, which opened August 3 at 10615 Fry Road in the Lakeland Village Center. It will serve artisan Neapolitan pizzas, hand-tossed salads, pasta, craft beers and wine, according to Community Impact .

Community Impact also reported that Karma Kolache will have a grand opening for its second location at 11131 N. Eldridge on August 19. There will be giveaways, doughnut specials and gourmet kolaches. Look for brisket and buffalo chicken kolaches to be on the menu.

Gourmand Kitchen will open in September at 9818 Fry. The grand opening is slated for September 29. The website promises healthy farm to table food made from fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant will have an open-air format to allow for interaction between diners, staff and the kitchen.

Twistee Treat, an ice cream chain based in Florida, has opened several Houston locations and the newest location at 9720 Jones is slated to open mid-August. The stand-alone stores, shaped like giant ice cream cones, have no indoor seating, but offer patio seating and drive-thru service. The Houston Business Journal reports that the company plans to open dozens of Houston locations in the next five years. The stands sell soft-serve cones, slushies, shakes, and Nathan’s Hot Dogs. They also serve ice cream tacos, with waffle cone shells.

As reported last week in the Houston Press, the much anticipated Emmaline is expected to open next month. The restaurant at 3210 West Dallas will occupy the space of the former Teala’s. The trattoria inspired concept comes from restaurateur Sam Governale, chef Dimitri Voustinas, and creative director Ashley Putman. It will have all- day dining, coffee and cocktails and an American menu with European and Mediterranean influences.

The elegant sign for Emmaline.
The elegant sign for Emmaline.
photo courtesy of Emmaline

The folks at Bernie’s Burger Bus have decided to do away with the breakfast menu at the Heights location and focus on “cooking the best burgers and fries in the world for the people of our great city”, according to a press release.

Q-Shi BBQ and Sushi has abandoned plans to open a location in The Woodlands, according to Community Impact. Owner Ray Aker plans instead to open another location in Spring within the next six months and possibly a bistro in the Lake Houston/Atascocita area. The original location is at 1491 Spring Cypress.

All 65 Applebee’s Restaurants owned by Apple Texas will participate in a ‘buy one, provide one’ campaign in August with its food bank partnerships. For each entrée bought, one meal will be provided to a participating food bank. For Houston, that means the Houston Food Bank.

The new 20,000 square-foot food hall heading to Downtown in early 2018, which was previously known as The Food Hall at Main and Rusk, now has a new official name according to Eater Houston . It will be called Finn Hall. Located in the Jones building at 712 Main, the business has not announced any official tenants, but has big plans for chef-driven food counters, an art-deco cocktail lounge, a craft beer and curated wine bar and unique private spaces as well.

There is plenty of German fare at King's Bierhaus.EXPAND
There is plenty of German fare at King's Bierhaus.
photo courtesy of King's BierHaus

It may be too early for Oktoberfest, but King’s BierHaus, 2044 East T.C. Jester in the Heights, is ready to get the party started. Its grand opening weekend celebration rolls from Friday, August 18 to August 20, with numerous food and drink deals, live entertainment, a preview of the upcoming King’s Kolache Haus (heading to Houston in 2018) on Saturday, and a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Munich, Germany. The father-son duo, Hans and Phillip Sitter opened King’s BierHaus in May of this year after founding King’s Biergarten in Pearland in 2011.

Roshni Gurnani is the new executive chef at Revolve Kitchen and Bar.
Roshni Gurnani is the new executive chef at Revolve Kitchen and Bar.
photo courtesy of Hotel Derek

Hotel Derek, 2525 West Loop South, has announced a new chef for its Revolve Kitchen and Bar. Executive Chef, Roshni Gurnani, has more than 17 years of international culinary experience and has been a contestant on both Food Network’s Chopped and Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen.

Gurnani joined Hotel Derek in July 2017 and will debut her new fall menu on September 5 with dishes such as an Indi-Tex lamb burger and tamarind barbecue ribs putting a unique stamp on local and seasonal Texas cuisine.

That's it for this week's openings and closings.  Hit the comments and let us know if we missed a spot in your neighborhood.

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