Grub time: Here are the Corpus Christi restaurants that opened … – Caller Times

We’re about to enter the new year, but you might’ve missed some of the restaurants in the Corpus Christi area that opened, closed and relocated this year.
Know another restaurant that opened, closed or moved this year? Let us know at john.oliva@caller.com.
BKK thai kitchen + bar
A second location opened on Corpus Christi’s Southside in April featuring the original spot’s menu.
Ever wonder why it’s called BKK? Owner Ryan Rios was inspired by his travels to Thailand and other countries and named it after the airport code for Bangkok.
Buen Provecho
The Mexican restaurant opened in June featuring street tacos, poblano soup and nachos.
Owner A.J. Biggs said he is hoping to bring “comida, cultura y comunidad” to Corpus Christi.
Calypso Starr Street Cafe
You know the coffee shop next to Half-Price Books in Moore Plaza? Well, it opened a second location in the downtown area in November.
There are 25 different types of coffee, and food is made fresh daily.
Owner Marcy Okumus said the new location will offer everything Moore Plaza does, plus a lot more, including beer and wine.
The Cheesecake Factory
The new restaurant opened its doors at La Palmera mall on Dec. 22. It’s adjacent to the mall’s food court entrance and Longhorn Steakhouse.
The restaurant seats 277 and includes a climate-controlled patio dining area.
Flour Bluff became the home of the latest Chick-fil-A in the Corpus Christi area in November.
Near In The Game Funtrackers, the new location joins the seven Chick-fil-A restaurants in the Corpus Christi area, including five on the city’s Southside and Bay Area.
Farmacy Grill
The locally sourced, farm-to-table restaurant opened its doors in downtown Corpus Christi in August.
Farmacy Grill is best known for its micro greens, which are plants that have not yet fully developed. They are said to be nutritious and flavorful.
Hunan Express 3
A third location for one of Corpus Christi’s Chinese restaurant staples opened in February.
The new location features the same tasty menu as its sister restaurants.
Koko’s Crispy Fried Chicken
The new Southside restaurant opened in the summer and specializes in fried chicken with an Asian-style twist.
Menu items include fried sushi, rice bowls and vegan options.
Little Woodrow’s
The Texas chain made its way to Corpus Christi in July, bringing plenty of beer, sports and fun for adults — the establishment is only for those 21 and older.
Leashed dogs are more than welcome to join you on the patio.
Marco’s Pizza
Marco’s Pizza came to Corpus Christi with its first location in January, and the second location arrived in the summer.
The nationwide chain is new to the city with a menu that features a mix of classic and original specialty pizzas, pizza bowls, subs and calzones.
Milky Coffee Bar
The newest coffee shop in Corpus Christi, Milky Coffee Bar opened its doors in November. Owner Frank Reyna said he hopes his new business will be a “safe place” for customers.
Menu items include homemade banana pudding, iced and hot coffee drinks, pan dulce and fried PB&J sandwiches.
Ninja Mochi Donut Desert Bar
The first mochi donut desert bar opened in Corpus Christi in July.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice, and sometimes other ingredients such as water, sugar and cornstarch. The rice is then pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape.
Noodles & Dumplings
The Texas chain headed to Corpus Christi in September with its authentic Chinese food.
While noodles and dumplings are in the restaurant’s name, the menu also includes bao, soup and green onion pancakes.
Prime Steakhouse & Whiskey Bar
Owner Tony Gonzalez opened the Southside steakhouse in October.
Gonzalez has plenty experience in owning a business and creating tasty food as he is the owner of the Flamin’ Grills food truck.
The San Antonio chain opened the new restaurant at Fajitaville’s old location on North Beach in July.
Drink specials, games and live music are weekly features at Smoke BBQ + SKYBAR.
Taqueria Express & Seafood No. 2
After four years, a second location of Taqueria Express & Seafood opened in February.
If you’re a loyal customer, you will be given a stamp card and get a stamp every time you visit. Three stamps means you get a free agua fresca, six equals a free desert and 10 stamps lets you get a free breakfast or lunch special with a free coffee, fountain drink or sweet tea.
Texas Coffee Bar
The new coffee shop is inside Méche Beauty & Boutique and offers customers warm beverages, sweet pastries and a place to mingle.
Texas Coffee Bar opened in July with a menu that includes Texas-sized pop tarts, ranch hand cake, kolaches, muffins, frappes, espressos, Americanos and hot tea.
Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant
The new Thai eatery opened in October and offers dine-in, pick-up and drive-thru options.
Menu items include tom yum, curry, pad thai and sticky rice.
Fajitaville closed its location in March. Owner Lynn Frazier told the Caller-Times then that the construction nearby wasn’t “friendly” to his business.
Hamlin Fountain & Gifts
Hamlin Fountain & Gifts, a staple in Corpus Christi for 62 years, closed its doors in May. The family-owned business was the last soda fountain in Corpus Christi.
Joanne and Karl Arnold opened Hamlin Pharmacy in 1960. The pharmacy became a local favorite for its burgers and milkshakes. Their daughter Karen Nicolson announced the closure on Facebook in April.
“(Hamlin Fountain & Gifts) is something I’ve loved every day of my life,” Nicolson told the Caller-Times in 2021. “There’s a lot of hard parts to it, but there’s also a lot of rewards.”
Yalee’s Asian Bistro
In 2010, Yalee’s Asian Bistro opened in Corpus Christi offering a variety of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines. The local restaurant closed its doors in June.
Rey’s Downtown
The downtown business opened in July and closed by the end of the month.
Owner Frank Betancourt said he struggled with supply issues and finding reliable work staff.
Dragonfly Restaurant
After 19 years, the tapas restaurant on North Padre Island shut its doors in September. The restaurant announced on its Facebook page early that month about the closure.
“I want to thank the community and all of out patrons for their support during the good and bad times,” the Facebook post said. “Hope to see everyone soon!”
The downtown eatery opened in July 2019 with a goal to provide people a laid-back snack spot to mingle, play board games and enjoy a daily agua fresca flavor. Three years later, owners Tony Maldonado and Oneida Cantu announced they would shut its doors in September.
Maldonado and Cantu were known not only for their tasty food, including quesadillas and fruit cups, but also for caring for their community.
Hom Pom Cafe
The cafe opened in 2021 on South Alameda Street and was known for its majestic purple door. The business closed sometime in the fall.
While it was short-lived in Corpus Christi, patrons will remember Hom Pom Cafe’s bubble tea, curry ramen noodles and veggie spring rolls.
Howie’s Premium Subs
Bobby Howard, a Navy veteran, opened Howie’s Premium Subs in March and closed the restaurant in the fall.
The gourmet sub sandwich restaurant in Moore Plaza shared Howard’s Navy nickname. The restaurant served oven-baked subs, shakes, salads, pizzas and more.
The Wilson
The Wilson was an adult lounge with food and spirits. It opened in October 2021 and closed its doors in the fall.
The local business served burgers, sandwiches and duck tacos.
Sandi’s Diner
Sandi Clark opened Sandi’s Diner in 2013 on Ayers Street with a retro look and atmosphere.
Clark, an acquaintance of former Hamlin Fountain & Gifts owner Karen Nicolson, moved her diner to that business’ location after it closed, hoping to honor Nicolson’s legacy, she told the Caller-Times in May.
Clark closed her old location in August and opened at the new location the following month.
Zambra Fusion Cafe
The organic, healthy cafe opened in Corpus Christi in 2018. It was located originally on Holly Road.
After Small Planet Delicatessen closed its doors last year, Zambra Fusion Cafe posted on its Facebook it would be relocating to a bigger and more accessible location.
The local restaurant reopened in September.
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John Oliva covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Contact him at john.oliva@caller.com or Twitter @johnpoliva
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