Just as we've been praising the emergence of new food businesses in town, so too the pendulum swings the other way with closures as well. Flame Burger announced earlier this week that it will close after dinner service on Sunday.

In a lengthy Facebook post, restaurant owners Moe Muthana and Justin Smith explained that they could not come to an agreement with the landlord on either renewing or renegotiate their lease for the Hageman Road site.

They wrote, "Thank you all for never failing to stand by us, and believing in our concept and brand."

Flame Burger opened in August 2016 and made a quick fan of dining columnist Pete Tittl, who praised their innovative burgers. Even recently, he listed their happy hour and beehive burger among the best in their respective categories in the 2017 Dining Guide.

The restaurant, 9530 Hageman Road #K, will be open until 10 p.m. tonight, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. 

Downtown dining

Sometimes I write a "Let's Eat" entry for a segment of the newspaper. Since I've been behind on those, let me throw a couple of new ones out there from my downtown lunches.

Locale Farm to Table offered a unique salad this week, starring roasted Hya Farms golden beets. The dish also included mixed greens, Wonderful salted pistachios and ricotta and was tossed in a raspberry citrus vinaigrette. The finishing touch was shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. The richness of the cheese was nicely balanced by the tart dressing and salty pistachios. Beets, often held in disregard to their more popular vegetable peers, are a great addition to a fresh salad. Makes it easier to plan to eat better in 2018!

Of course, there's always room for treats and Gimme Some Sugar delivered, experimenting to great results on a cake they served by the slice. The 19th Street shop stacked vanilla bean cake with alternating layers of Butterfinger, coffee and salted caramel fillings. Already a fan of their scrap cups — which combine all the toppings/fillings of a cupcake in one container — I was intrigued by this combination. A nice balance of tastes, just enough to stay interesting without any odd bites.

Brunch bites

Last week, I mentioned getting into local brunch. That's still in the works but for now a couple of quick updates. Cafe Med is no longer open on Sundays, meaning an end to its weekly brunches including a build your own bloody mary bar. The restaurant posted this week that it will be closed Sundays except for certain holidays (Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day).

Those looking for a new spot can head to the Dante Hall Sunday for the Italian Heritage Mimosa Brunch for a family-friendly experience. Put on by the Italian Heritage Dante Association, the meal consists of your choice of chicken-fried steak, hobo omelette or ham, along with side dishes and a complimentary mimosa. (Additional drinks available at the bar for purchase.) Sporting events are shown on a television in the bar area and the venue's bocce ball courts are open.

Brunch is held 8 a.m. to noon the second Sunday of the month at Dante Hall, 4415 Wilson Road. The cost is $12.

The association also offered a monthly family-style, five-course Italian dinner the first Wednesday of the month, with cocktail hour at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $20 and all are welcome. Call 831-0867 to reserve table.

Pie time

Heading to any parties this month? Bring along a pie as Marie Callender's brings back its whole-pie-to-go sale starting Jan. 19. The offer, running through Feb. 28, includes more than 30 varieties of pie for only $8.99, plus tin.

Note, this sale excludes cheesecakes, seasonal fresh fruit pies and promotional pies. Visit mariecallenders.com for a complete listing of flavors.

New and different

Sweet Surrender updated its website, presenting a confection of a page that's as sweet as its treats. Check it out at sweetsurrenderbakery.com. ... Temblor Brewing Co. freshened up its menu with new items, including a prime rib French dip. ... Johnny Garlic's added to its small plate offerings including pimento cheese jalapeno poppers, crab fat caramel wings and lobster nachos. Panda Express is celebrating the upcoming Chinese New Year with 8 Treasure chicken breast with diced Chinese pork sausage, red and green bell peppers, celery, Chinese black beans and whole dry chili peppers wok-tossed with a spicy, savory sauce. ... Yogurtland added two new flavors to its lineup: pina colada, a nondairy option and its first made with coconut milk; and Oreo cookies and creme ice cream combines real Oreo chocolate cookies and vanilla.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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