Dishing it: More tasty morsels are surfacing about Riondo’s Ristorante, which is scheduled to open in mid-June in the space formerly occupied by Luigi’s Ristorante Italiano, 2328 Strand in the island’s downtown.

Edgardo “Rico” Caminos and Don McClaugherty are behind Riondo’s, which will serve Northern Italian dishes. And this is notable: James Cole, former executive chef of the highly regarded Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Houston’s River Oaks is part of team Riondo’s. Caminos, McClaugherty and Cole plan to create an atmosphere where people want to relax and linger, McClaugherty said.

A major makeover is underway of the space that Luigi’s left in December after 17 years. The men aren’t ready for the big reveal about the changes, but they promise more details soon.

What they did say was the restaurant will feed into a growing demand by consumers to eat fresh local foods. Riondo’s will partner with a Santa Fe dairy farm for product to make fresh mozzarella. The eatery will serve fresh, homemade pasta. Breads, including focaccia and pizza dough, will be prepared on site. Riondo’s also will buy fresh seafood — never frozen — from Kemah and from Katie’s Seafood Market and Sampson and Sons, both on the waterfront in the island’s downtown.

McClaugherty has toured on the Association of Volleyball Professional’s Pro Beach team but also is a serious foodie who most recently worked at Willie G’s Seafood and Steaks and Farley Girls Cafe, both in Galveston. Caminos has serious culinary credentials and has owned some restaurants, but specific details weren’t immediately available.

One dish Caminos is particularly proud of is Filet Mignon Melissa, prepared with sauteed portobello mushrooms, fresh prosciutto and Grand Marnier sauce. Lunch prices will range from $7 to $15 and dinner prices from $15 to $18.

“We’re a strong team,” McClaugherty said. “We want to create a nice, friendly atmosphere — not pretentious.” Stay tuned.

Hubbub: The North County burger scene is about to sizzle. Ricky Craig plans to open his third Hubcap Grill in Kemah, which happens to be the first one outside of Houston’s 610 Loop.

Hubcap Grill is a Houston hit and has been voted “Best Burger” by some publications in that city. Hubcap Grill has a reputation for serving up creative burgers, fries and craft beer.

Consider such fare as the Sticky Monkey Burger, consisting of a beef patty, crunchy peanut butter and bacon or the Cheesy Cheeto-Burger, which is served with Cheetos and cheese sauce.

The Kemah eatery’s exact address wasn’t immediately available but the newest Hubcap Grill is next to the Holiday Inn, 805 Harris Ave., and around the corner from the bustling Kemah Boardwalk. In January, Craig told houston.eater.com he liked the flip-flops and T-shirt vibe in Kemah.

“I wanted something by the water; it’s so laid-back and different from being in Houston,” Craig said. “It’s going to be simple, a no-frills place.”

Craig told Biz Buzz last week he was shooting for a mid-May opening. Stay tuned.

As the dirt turns: As promised, there’s more news about all that activity at 6011 West Main St. in League City. The development, known as Westover Park Plaza, will consist of two one-story retail buildings. The first building will be 30,000 square feet and the second will be 19,000 square feet. Owen Rock, city economic development manager, said the following tenants are moving in:

• Lifetime of Learning (day care);

• Oliver’s Pizza;

• Dawn Donuts;

• Calvin Joseph Salon & Day Spa;

• A sushi restaurant; and

• Red Oak Café.

In focus: There’s a clearer picture about islander Joey Quiroga’s plans to collaborate with other local artists to open a space downtown to feature works.

Quiroga, known for creating art with photography, confirmed last week he and the artists are moving into a 2,000-square-foot space at 511 23rd St. in the island’s downtown. The co-op gallery will feature about 12 local artists and photographers and also be home to an upscale doggy boutique offering fresh-baked treats and canine clothing.

Look soon for news of an opening date.

Buzz blooper: A Biz Buzz item Thursday left off the “w” in architect Andrew Fraser’s name.

Biz Buzz

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to laura.elder@galvnews.com.

(3) comments

Miceal O'Laochdha

Well, it is going to be a challenge to step into the shoes of Luigi, in my opinion. But the description of the new restaurant's plans, especially giving their business to Katie's and Sampson's, sounds very good, and we will certainly give it a fair tryout, when they open.

The best news is that Luigi's is not being taken over by another bloody T-shirt shop, as was the ignoble fate of the first good restaurant on the blossoming Strand long ago: Café Torriffie' (sp).

Steve Fouga

I agree with miceal. Luigi's was top-notch, one of Galveston's best restaurants of any type. I thought Luigi's even had the Isle's best SEAFOOD! So yes, it'll be hard for Riondo's to top that, but I can hardly wait to try it...

DonnieB

Laura,
Could you get some details about Bucees opening? Will it be Monday, May 5, or later? Will they have special opening day offers (free cups, food, shirts,etc.. for first customers)? Maybe get an Idea of what the store has to offer? Thanks

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