T he Pic ket Fence, a Clute restaurant known for its poblano soup, is expanding with a new concept in Angleton.

A Brazoria County “favorite” for more than two decades, the restaurant had several homes in Lake Jackson and Clute. In 2017, Javier and Cesar purchased the restaurant’s recipes, according to the restaurant’s website, adding Cesar has been the primary cook for The Picket Fence for 10 years and Javier has spent the last two decades in restaurant management.

I didn’t have any luck getting a call back from the operators, but Angleton Building Official George Schonert said they pulled permits to start construction a couple months ago and he expects the restaurant to open this month.

Facts Publisher Yvonne Mintz saw the signs going up in a former doughnut shop in the middle of Angleton, like the ever-observant reporter at heart that she is. The address is 1029 N. Velasco St., Schonert told me.

This might be a more express-style restaurant than the Clute location, social media statements indicate, and the building’s sign already boasts a drive-thru.

I’m a huge fan of their sandwiches, roasted red pepper and gouda soup, breakfast and chicken fried steak, so I know I’ll try it out once it’s open. The Clute location is at 815 Dixie Drive.

Bella Blanco Refugio is listed as the owner of both restaurants on their state liguor permits.

Gain one, lose one

As I write about how much I love soup and sandwiches, I can’t help but miss eating lunch at the Recess Cafe right across from the Brazoria County Courthouse. Stopping here for lunch while covering intense trials was my first experience with an Applesway restaurant, and it could not have been more pleasant.

The restaurant permanently closed about a month ago, according to the internet. I didn’t have any luck getting a call back from its owner either.

They offered different soup and casserole specials each day, along with “points” or quarters of sandwiches. This allowed me to eat egg salad, tuna salad, ham salad and pimiento cheese in one sitting without any guilt.

But Applesway, at 145 Oyster Creek Drive, Lake Jackson, is still going strong and offering that delectable food. It posts daily specials and advertises brunch on Saturdays with a special menu, one of my favorite meals.

Recess Cafe couldn’t survive at 136 E. Locust St., where Wildflower Cafe closed before it. It also brings memories of Derek’s Sandwiches & Delicatessen, which previously served lunch from its location on North Velasco Street. I’m hoping Picket Fence’s opening will stop this cycle of lunch café closings and openings.

But with Angleton’s growth, it will continue to offer plenty of great eateries.

Olive Garden gets its signs

Back in May, I managed to cause an internet ruckus with an article about Olive Garden moving into Lake Jackson, which required the removal of 10 trees. Well, the social media ruckus focused around the one tree I took a picture of, but there were 10 trees involved nonetheless.

The trees are long gone, and the building is up on the property near Ashley HomeStore, AMC Brazos Mall 14 and Courtyard by Marriott.

Anyone who wasn’t tuned in before likely is now, because their signage is fully displayed to those driving south on Highway 288. Mall Manager Barry Smith told me he doesn’t yet have a contact for the operations side of the business, so he couldn’t provide opening or hiring information.

I left a message for the Darden Restaurants Olive Garden media contact and will keep an eye on that.

Maddy McCarty, senior reporter for The Facts, writes The Scoop every Wednesday in The Facts. If you hear a good rumor, pass it along and we’ll find out if there is any truth to it. Contact Maddy at 979-237-0151 or madison.mccarty@thefacts.com, or email business@thefacts.com.

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