Look back at the local businesses Community Impact Newspaper featured throughout 2019 in the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood areas, including Phat Moe's BBQ, Raffa's Waterfront Grill and Buster's Brew Coffee & Deli.
Restaurateur turns food trailer into brick-and-mortar BBQ spot, Phat Moe's BBQ
Issue published: January
Houston native Jesse Carrington decided to run a food trailer Fridays and Saturdays he called Phat Moe’s BBQ, a reference to his five-year-old daughter Jada’s nickname. The food trailer sold barbecue in front of a barbershop on Beltway 8 and Woodland Hills Drive for two years before Carrington opened a brick-and-mortar.
Kingwood Taco Shop seeks to become a pillar in the community
Issue published: February
Before opening Kingwood Taco Shop, Greg Mata worked the night shift as a machine operator at a brewery in Houston for 15 years. Even though his family of five had built financial stability and a steady routine, Mata said he longed for a better way to serve the community.
Kingwood restaurant Raffa’s Waterfront Grill recovers, thrives after Hurricane Harvey
Issue published: March
Raffa’s Waterfront Grill was one of the many businesses in the Lake Houston area that flooded during Hurricane Harvey. But restaurant owner Tony Raffa did not let the setback stop him from rebuilding the beloved neighborhood restaurant. Raffa and his wife, Leslie, opened Raffa’s Waterfront Grill in 2007, after Raffa spent years working at various restaurants in the Houston area.
Bibo’s Bistro & Bar: Redemption Square's first restaurant specializes in Vietnamese-American fusion
Issue published: April
Jon and Mary Nguyen launched Bibo’s Bistro & Bar in May 2018 as an upscale version of Bibo’s Cafe, a Vietnamese eatery eight miles west of the bistro they opened seven years earlier. So far, the bistro is the only restaurant in Redemption Square in the Generation Park community located on West Lake Houston Parkway.
Fiesta Azteca: Humble-area restaurant serves hearty fajitas, affordable margaritas
Issue published: May
Fiesta Azteca, a Mexican restaurant straddling Kingwood and Humble, has been open 14 years, with 90% of the staff having worked at the eatery from day one, owner Hilton Kupritz said. The loyalty of the staff has translated into quality food and drinks patrons can count on, Kupritz said.
Buster’s Brew Coffee & Deli: Eatery strives to be staple in New Caney community
Issue published: June
After 10 years of being a stay-at-home mom, Tayra Peterson, owner of Buster’s Coffee Brew and Deli, was inspired to open a community coffee shop in her hometown of New Caney after falling in love with the atmosphere at a small craft coffee shop out of the state. With the help of her family, Peterson opened Buster’s Brew Coffee & Deli in New Caney on Feb. 10, 2014.
The Curry House: Localized Indian flavors offered in laid-back Humble restaurant
Issue published: July
Even during the afternoon lunch rush at 1 p.m. on a weekday, it is calm inside The Curry House. Groups of diners load their plates with various meats, vegetables, rice, naan and chutneys from the lunch buffet and then return to their booths, conversing with each other as Indian music plays.
Bill’s Cafe: 74-year-old eatery serves burgers, three-pound steaks
Issue published: August
When a business has been around for more than 70 years like Bill’s Cafe in Kingwood has, it takes on a historical life of its own. Owner Rob Huber said the cafe has been capturing the taste buds and friendships of generations of families—including his own—since it opened its doors in 1945.
Thai Lao Restaurant: Family brings Asian-fusion cuisine to Kingwood restaurant
Issue published: September
For more than a year, Thai Lao Restaurant in Kingwood has brought Asian-fusion food from the Heights to the Kingwood area. Owner Amy Satsady said she and her mother opened a restaurant at an Asian market in The Heights fusing Thai and Laotian cuisine.
Taste of Greek: Family-owned food truck takes authentic fare from streets to storefront
Issue published: October
Altin Mulla and his wife, Daniela, opened the Taste of Greek food truck in the Humble area in 2016, bringing the food of his native Athens, Greece, to the area. Now, the duo is taking their food from the streets into a brick-and-mortar storefront.
New York Grand Pizza: Pizza maker continues family legacy in Atascocita area
Issue published: November
Yanni Lusha’s family has been in the pizza business for the last 50 years, and in June 2018, he and his brother-in-law, Igli “E” Keshi, brought that New York-style legacy to the Lake Houston area at New York Grand Pizza. Throughout his life, Lusha said pizza-making has been a focus of what he does, to the point where he even dreamed about making pizzas while asleep.
Chimichurri’s South American Grill brings fine dining, authentic fare to Kingwood
Issue published: December
Owner Ronald Perez said he opened Chimichurri’s South American Grill in King’s Harbor for his father-in-law and general manager, Tony Vasquez, in April 2009. Vasquez said he has worked in fine dining establishments for most of his life, including 12 years as a maitre d’ at the Houston location of La Tour d’Argent, a fine-dining restaurant originally based in Paris, France.