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RIP, F.C.: Groundbreaking Northern Thai Restaurant Never Gained Traction [Updated]

Mural at Foreign Correspondents


The bright, eccletic mural on a long wall at Foreign Correspondents. Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

Posted: December 20, 2016 at 12:18 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Houston Chronicle reported this morning that P.J. Stoops and his wife, Apple, the culinary minds behind Foreign Correspondents, had quit the restaurant. Just hours later, diners with reservations started reporting they were getting cancellation notices because the restaurant has already closed for good.

Treadsack group co-owner Chris Cusack confirmed the closing and assured us that all of the other concepts are secure, save one. The fate of Canard, the bar next door to Foreign Correspondents, is uncertain. “We’re still trying to figure that one out but it will at least be open until the around end of the year,” he said. Update, 12/21/16, 9:29 a.m.: Culturemap Houston has confirmed that Canard will indeed close on December 31. Between now and then, the bar will offer $5 cocktails as a “thank you” to patrons and to clear out the booze inventory.

For those participating in Treadsack’s annual “Nogmas” promotion for the holidays, the timing might be a source of consternation, although the company is working on a solution. Each of Treadsack’s bars and restaurants—Hunky Dory, Bernadine’s, D&T Drive Inn, Canard, Down House and Johnny’s Gold Brick—is serving its own take on the classic seasonal drink. Everyone participating gets a punch card to track each drink on as it is purchased. Those who complete the cards are eligible for a prize.

The first sign there was an issue at Foreign Correspondents was when the Houston Chronicle reported that chef P.J. Stoops and his wife Apple had quit. Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

Obviously, participants aren’t going to be able to try Foreign Correspondent’s eggnog rendition now and we asked Cusack how that affects the Nogmas participants who are trying to complete their cards. He says one possibility is that Canard might serve the Foreign Correspondents recipe as well as its own, which would allow participants to get their card punched twice in one place. Cusack says that people will be able to pick up the completion prize at Johnny’s Gold Brick or Canard up to December 28.

Of course, the intricacies of the promotion pale in significance compared to the loss of Foreign Correspondents closing in the culinary sense. In August, Bon Appétit magazine named it one of 50 nominees for its “Hot 10: America’s Best New Restaurants 2016” list. Numerous restaurant critics applauded the quality of its Northern Thai food, a regional cuisine rarely seen in Houston.

We’ll miss the fried herbs, the Issan Grilled Chicken, Khao Soi (curried drumsticks) and much more. Hopefully, the Stoops will find a new home in which to serve their groundbreaking fare.