Openings and Closings: Little Big’s, McMansion Kroger, McCain’s

To counter the all-shutterings edition of Openings and Closings posted on Swamplot earlier this week, here’s a mostly debuts version:

  • Opening: With the opening of Bryan Caswell’s Little Big’s, Montrose’s late-night restaurant row is complete — at least on weekends, when the burger shack will be open until 3 a.m. Writes Katharine Shilcutt in Eating Our Words:

    In addition to sliders, fries and shakes, Little Big’s also offers wine and beer at extremely reasonable prices, which will all but ensure their popularity. Once the large, welcoming patio is completed, it’s a sure bet that this will be the new hot spot in Montrose.

    This Little Big’s is in the former Ming’s Cafe on Montrose just north of Westheimer; the next one will be in Hermann Park.

There’s more!


  • Opening: Two new giant grocery stores are now open within a mile and a half of each other in Missouri City. The latest is an H-E-B with a giant fish department and the now-usual Central Market components at 8900 Highway 6 in Sienna Plantation. The McMansion of Krogers,” a 100,000-sq.-ft. store at 10250 Highway 6 (at the end of the Fort Bend Parkway), opened last week.
  • Reopening: Vietnam Restaurant, on 19th St. in the Heights, has completed its renovations, says the Bunny Bungalow’s Annie Sitton:

    The restaurant is doubled in size and has been redesigned with a sleek minimalist interior: Pale gray, steel, dark woods and white leather. They kept the hip concrete flooring with all its patina.

  • Closed: McCain’s Market, the small local grocery in the giant imported-from-the-Hill-Country building at the corner of Heights Blvd. and White Oak, abruptly shut its doors earlier this month. A posted note stated the owners were “unable to continue operating the market as usual,” and referred to a “transition” for the store. The note blamed “general market conditions” for the closing, but Katharine Shilcutt finds fault elsewhere:

    The store couldn’t quite decide if it wanted to be a grocery store, a specialty store, a deli, a coffee shop or a sandwich place. Product selection was schizophrenic at best and prices were high even for the high-end yuppies in the Heights. Meat and fish was fresh, but too expensive. Local products were few and far between and the shelves often looked barren. You never knew what you were going to find in stock at McCain’s, and not in the good way.

Hear of any other retail openings or closings in your area? Send your tips to Swamplot!

Photos: Annie Sitton (Vietnam Restaurant); Katharine Shilcutt (McCain’s Market)

9 Comment

  • Hey Gus, it’s Bryan Caswell. Bryan is the executive chef at REEF. The sliders are more or less the same ones that you can get at REEF. They are excellent in case you have not tried them.

  • Yeah, every time I stopped into McCain’s they never had what I was looking for. They had gluten free frozen pizzas, but not stuff like milk or bread.

  • @mt: Fixed it! Thanks.

  • Sad to see McCain’s go, but I must agree that they had a difficult time figuring out what they wanted to be. I’ve never seen so much open space in a store. And, given the low traffic I was a bit hesitant to pony up money for their deli items. Hopefully some new cafe will open up there.

    They deserve much praise, though, for their post-Ike operations. Never having lost power during Ike they were the only place that had food and hot coffee after Ike in the area.

  • McCain’s (77007, btw) wasn’t a huge loss for the neighborhood for the reasons mentioned, but losing the Studewood Fiesta is going to smart. There were signs this week that the 11th Street Kroger is finally starting its planned expansion, but major portions of the Heights are becoming grocery-store-free zones.

  • I didn’t know that we were going to lose the Studemont Fiesta. What is the story on that?

  • The Studewood Fiesta (@ 14th) is closing? Really?

  • Sorry – should have included the Fiesta link:
    “Will [sell] land with building as a current income producing property.” So maybe I’m being too pessimistic? If the lease wasn’t up (or even if it was due for renewal), might the Fiesta stay?