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Restaurant Diversity In the Heights

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retail and residential in one nice building.... utopian paradise, yet the ones who always push their distopian agenda still complained about this development. I'm very excited about this opening, I spend a good bit of my time in that immediate area (brazilian arts foundation), having another place to eat within walking distance will be great!

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But, alas, no Bikram Yoga, and I am disappointed with the ommision. Bikram would be a great Houstonian capitalist, I mean, this guy tried to copyright yoga positions and sues the pants off any studio running the thermostat over 72F. And he had to rewrite his first book to remove all references to medical studies he didn't conduct. I think he is the Canadian behind Eme's Place.

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retail and residential in one nice building.... utopian paradise, yet the ones who always push their distopian agenda still complained about this development. I'm very excited about this opening, I spend a good bit of my time in that immediate area (brazilian arts foundation), having another place to eat within walking distance will be great!

I always gave them credit for at least having ground floor retail. There is absolutely nothing utopian about wanting mixed use developments. They are sprouting up like toad stools after a down poor in the Galleria area.

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I always gave them credit for at least having ground floor retail. There is absolutely nothing utopian about wanting mixed use developments. They are sprouting up like toad stools after a down poor in the Galleria area.

Down poor? :huh:

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I always gave them credit for at least having ground floor retail. There is absolutely nothing utopian about wanting mixed use developments. They are sprouting up like toad stools after a down poor in the Galleria area.

so you do support walmart..?

there is a mcdonalds in walmart though so i guess it is also mixed use and is part of your "down poor" (emphasis on "poor")

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it was open/crowded recently. I"ll double check when I drive by today. Everytime I went there it was a really weird vibe, but I still managed to have fun each time.

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Per the WH bulletin board, it's been bought by the owner(s) of Hearsay. Word is that it is being remodeled and will reopen as a "park-oriented walk-up/bike-up tavern." I don't have any independent confirmation of this besides the buzz on the bulletin board. I'm curious to see what happens, as it's right around the corner from me.

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http://www.29-95.com/restaurants/story/killen-craig-will-open-cks-steakhouse-w-19th

I actually like the sound of this much better than a super-highend stakehouse in the old Stella Sola building. Glad to see that Killen stayed with the area after things blew up on Studewood. As for the landlords of the old Stella Sola location, I hear that they might start serving crow soon if they do not get a tenant in their anytime soon.

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Few questions... anybody have any more information regarding timelines for Torchy's, the Revival Market people's italian restaurant, the killen/hubcap place, Ruggles Green, or Union Kitchen?

Anything further known about distillery 2520 being replaced by Hearsay?

Has anyone been to Sale-Sucre lately? I went there when they first opened and was less than wow'd. Wanted to wait until I heard positive reviews before going back.

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Ruggles Green found out that the building was in much worse shape than they anticipated and had to pretty much rebuild it. Things are moving pretty quickly now, with a new roof up. They originally wanted to be open now. Not sure when they will be finished, but they have a green light from the City and have a lot of work going on every day.

Torchy's just did some utility connections. I am not sure where they are on permitting. They will have a lot of work to do repurposing that building.

Killen said he thought it would take three months to build out his new restaurant. Pretty ambitious if they have yet to get the City to sign off on everything.

Sale Sucre serves excellent food, but they need to hire a manager who can get the service in line with customs and expectations for American restaurants. I suspect that the owners intend the restaurant to be like a neighborhood bistro in France, where you would go for a leisurely meal and get food that is very good, but not haute cuisine. They definitely have the food part right, although I have heard that they have had some trouble keeping a good sous chef. The service part has been an issue, although I have not had a problem whenever I went. They can have a slow kitchen and staff that is more European about service. I actually like dining in France when you have to flag down the waiter to get a check or some more wine. Snappy service is nice when you are on a schedule, but it can also make you feel like they want to get you the hell out of there so they can turn your table as soon as possible. I hope they figure it out because the food can be very good. And there are getting to be too many restaurants in the Heights doing variations on southern comfort food.

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Has anyone been to Sale-Sucre lately? I went there when they first opened and was less than wow'd. Wanted to wait until I heard positive reviews before going back.

I had kind of hoped that Salé-Sucré would be a place that does good, simple bistrot food. Steak-frites, frisee-aux-lardons, quiche, cassoulet, pan sauces made from proper stocks, mashed potatoes with embarrassing amounts of butter; you get the idea. I can't say I've been impressed with much of anything from the savory side of the menu.

Most disappointing example is the french onion soup. At it's best, this soup should have copious amounts of well-caramelized onions in a rich beef stock laced with a little cognac. It takes me two full days to make a good one at home, so it'd be nice to have a good restaurant version in the neighborhood. S-S's version is a weird-tasting, watery broth with some strips of sauteed onions and random bits of herbs floating in it.

And, yes, the service kind of sucks, too.

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Most disappointing example is the french onion soup.

That is interesting. I think French Onion Soup is a bit like gumbo. Everyone has their idea of what is the gold standard, but rarely will you find more than two people who have the same notion of what makes for a superior version. I am not a big French Onion soup guy, but went with friends who thought the French Onion soup was the best thing they had that evening. I have also heard stories of pretty wild swings in quality from the kitchen due to some turnover. Might be that you caught them on a down night.

I have generally been happy with the food I have had at Sale Sucre. You will never get truly French food in Houston because all the good ingredients are in France and French food inevitably has to be dumbed down a bit for American palates. But, I think if they hire a manager who can bring them up to the standards expected of restaurants in Houston, Sale Sucre will make it. Otherwise, I have heard that there is a family looking to lease space for an Indian restaurant.

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I am not a big French Onion soup guy, but went with friends who thought the French Onion soup was the best thing they had that evening. I have also heard stories of pretty wild swings in quality from the kitchen due to some turnover. Might be that you caught them on a down night.

It was probably the best thing I had, too. That says more about the rest of the menu than it does about the soup. (Maybe we caught them on an off day.)

I have generally been happy with the food I have had at Sale Sucre. You will never get truly French food in Houston because all the good ingredients are in France and French food inevitably has to be dumbed down a bit for American palates.

I disagree. It is absolutely possible to do good bistro/brasserie food in Houston. It just requires some attention to detail. No, you can't get poulet de Bresse or Charolais beef here, but you don't need them to make decent roast chicken or steak au poivre. A was hoping for a less formal version of, say, Brasserie 19. A version more suited to the Heights than River Oaks, but still doing faithful versions of standard bistro cuisine.

I'd like to see them ditch the crepes, edit the menu down to 3-5 starters and 3-5 mains, and just execute them very well.

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So... Chicken and Dougnuts place going in next to Liberty Kitchen.... any timeline on that one?

Not soon enough.

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I had some of their desert's recently... they were okay. not nearly as good as described in the Alison Cook's review. Sale Sucre has soo much potential and I want to like it so badly... but i'm just not impressed yet. I'm still hopefull for improvements.

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Ruggles is moving really fast on the 11th St location. There were workers there all day on Thanksgiving and I have yet to see them take a day off.

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Few questions... anybody have any more information regarding timelines for Torchy's,

Latest news on Torchy's and the first news I have seen about the "Heights General Store." I have seen a lot of demo work going on in the portion that is going to become Heights General Store. I really like the idea of the roof top patio dining and tables along 19th st.

http://www.theleadernews.com/?p=3942

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http://www.theleadernews.com/?p=4369

Looks like Union Kitchen might be leaving the station, so to speak. They are currently looking elsewhere, but will not rule out 1111 Studewood. Wondering what is up with that thing. The website says "occupancy fall 2012", but I wonder whether they will even be open within a year of that. And this is now the second tenant to come and go (Bikram Yoga had previously been mentioned as a tenant).

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Hearsay rumos appear to be unfounded. Distillery has been painted green, and new signage indicates it will now be a Lucky's Pub. I was hoping for more of a gastro-pub, but a good beer drinking spot that I can stumble home from is still a good thing. Hopefully they can get a better vibe than distillery did (place had tons of potential but really weird vibe).

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Speaking of beer drinking, the owner of Down House is opening a beer spot on Cavalcade, right near th epost office. This isn't far from where TownIn City brewery will be, either. Excited for more options east of Studewood.

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Speaking of beer drinking, the owner of Down House is opening a beer spot on Cavalcade, right near th epost office. This isn't far from where TownIn City brewery will be, either. Excited for more options east of Studewood.

D&T is closer to 45 than the post office, and Town in City is closer to Main. That said, looking forward to both.

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Not sure exactly, but D&T Drive Inn is the original name for the "ice house" the Down House guys bought and are renovating...i think they are keeping the same name.

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http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/01-31-13-new-natural-food-market-and-restaurant-emerges-details-on-the-heights-general-store/?utm_source=sf_facebook

Some more, albeit vague, news about the Heights General Store. Sounds like Revival Market North minus the meat counter. Could work. Late in the week, I always run out of stuff and would love to just be able to walk up to 19th and get a few things. Given that Revival is not open after 7 pm, this place could get a little of their business if they keep the market part open later with the restaurant.

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http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/01-31-13-new-natural-food-market-and-restaurant-emerges-details-on-the-heights-general-store/?utm_source=sf_facebook Some more, albeit vague, news about the Heights General Store. Sounds like Revival Market North minus the meat counter. Could work. Late in the week, I always run out of stuff and would love to just be able to walk up to 19th and get a few things. Given that Revival is not open after 7 pm, this place could get a little of their business if they keep the market part open later with the restaurant.

 

I wish them luck. But let's not forget what preceded Revival Market at their current address. Why has Revival succeeded where McCain's failed (and what can HGS learn from this)?

 

Given the background of the owners, Revival had instant credibility with people from the food service industry and therefore got a lot of favorable social media coverage from day one.  HGS will have to build this credibility more slowly,

 

The biggest excitement drivers for Revival were its charcuterie/salumi program (given their custom curing room and Pera's experience) and its coffee program. Over time, though, what impresses me about Revival is their constant innovation, especially with prepared foods. Every weekend there seems to be a new offering, be it bagels or kolaches or prepared sides for Thanksgiving. And everything is done to a very high standard. They're also a model in the use of social media to drive sales, with frequent updates and a lot of original content.

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I wish them luck. But let's not forget what preceded Revival Market at their current address. Why has Revival succeeded where McCain's failed (and what can HGS learn from this)?

 

Given the background of the owners, Revival had instant credibility with people from the food service industry and therefore got a lot of favorable social media coverage from day one.  HGS will have to build this credibility more slowly,

 

The biggest excitement drivers for Revival were its charcuterie/salumi program (given their custom curing room and Pera's experience) and its coffee program. Over time, though, what impresses me about Revival is their constant innovation, especially with prepared foods. Every weekend there seems to be a new offering, be it bagels or kolaches or prepared sides for Thanksgiving. And everything is done to a very high standard. They're also a model in the use of social media to drive sales, with frequent updates and a lot of original content.

Revival already had a following from their farmer's market offerings which helped them a lot during the critical first few months. This place will definitely need to be ready to hit it out of the park when the doors open. There is certainly a big market for another causual restaurant in the Heights. Those shoes will not be that difficult to fill. But, the market part is definitely a more difficult affair. They will need to offer stuff that you cannot get at Revival or Whole Foods(difficult) and offer the stuff that you can get at regular markets at prices that are close enough that people will be willing to pay a few cents more not to have to deal with Kroger or Whole Foods. It can be done and could print money, but it will definitely be a perilous journey for a small business owner who is doing this from scratch. I am glad they are taking a shot at it and hope it works.

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I swear McCains had to try to fail... it was so blatantly obvious that it was missing quality/variety/vibe that I can't fathom how  management didn't fix it (or at least make an effort).  The workers were also cold/rude the few times I went there.  Revival has some of the best coffee in Houston... and that isn't even their main business. 

 

I think Heights General Store would do well to carry a large amount of "old time" styled candies.  I went to a place (very popular) in Rural North Carolina that had an awesome selection of classic candies, you filled a basket with what you wanted and paid by weight/tiers. 

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Has Torchy's bailed out of the Harold's re-development?  There is a space available sign up in the window.  The permits that were in the window have been taken down.  There were also some architect's plans inside the building that are no longer there.  According to reports at the end of December, Torchy's and Heights General Store would have fully leased the building.  So, either one or the other has baild or has cut back their square footage. 

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Anyone have an update on Killan's?

 

I was going to ask that too.  I haven't seen any signs of life at that site. 

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Has Torchy's bailed out of the Harold's re-development?  There is a space available sign up in the window.  The permits that were in the window have been taken down.  There were also some architect's plans inside the building that are no longer there.  According to reports at the end of December, Torchy's and Heights General Store would have fully leased the building.  So, either one or the other has baild or has cut back their square footage. 

 

The "Space Available" sign usually stays up after the space has been leased. The agent usually has other properties to show prospective clients.

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The "Space Available" sign usually stays up after the space has been leased. The agent usually has other properties to show prospective clients.

 

The sign just came back up recently.  According to press reports, it should have been full between what Torchy's was leasing (@3k sq ft) and what Heights General Store was leasing (@10k sq ft).  Torchy's was announced as a tenant back in June.  I also recall seeing a TBAC permit sign in the window for Heights General Store a long time ago.  I would be surprised if Torchy's walked away.  They are getting to be a decent sized chain and should have the capital to get something like this done.  But, I doubt the sign came up just to get the developer's name in the window.  I hope Torchy's and Heights General Store are on the way, but it looks like at least someone is scaling back or walking away.

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Take for lease signs with a grain of salt. I know a place that is already rented out and almost ready to open and the renter is keeping the sign up to keep a lid on things.

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http://www.theleadernews.com/?p=7144

And the Big Mamou goes down. Yeah, the service was always awkward and the food did not meet the demands of the Cajun purists. But, I always liked the place. It was homey and had a nice patio out back. They did do a great job building out that little bungalow. Hopefully, someone else will take over and start up a new restaurant.

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