Fire at The Broken Spoke Cafe: Photos of the Aftermath

Categories: News

Photo by Candace Garcia
Read about yesterday's fire at The Broken Spoke Cafe and see pictures/video from the scene.

Until yesterday afternoon, The Broken Spoke Cafe was the tidy little bistro seen above. This morning, the restaurant sits shuttered after sustaining heavy fire and smoke damage when the abandoned duplex next door caught fire around 3 p.m. Although the Houston Fire Department does not yet know the cause of the blaze, HFD mentioned in a press release yesterday afternoon: "There were 'downed' power lines at the scene..."

The cafe was most recently owned by Roy de la Garza, principal at Milby High School, and Catherine Duwez. After splitting from her husband in late 2008 and closing their beloved Belgian restaurant, Cafe Montrose, Duwez started anew with de la Garza and relaunched The Broken Spoke Cafe as a casual Belgian joint in 2009.

Duwez and de la Garza split earlier this year, when Duwez left to start her own Belgian restaurant -- Cafe Brussels -- in the old Dharma Cafe location. After news of the split was announced, de la Garza posted on The Broken Spoke Cafe's Facebook wall: "Sadly, here I sit about to eat the last meal I will eat in this building still known as the Broken Spoke Cafe."

This is what The Broken Spoke Cafe looked like this morning:

Broken Spoke Fire 026.jpg
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
On his personal Facebook page, people left condolences to de la Garza. Wrote one family member:

hey uncle roy. i am so sorry tohear about the horrible news about the broken spoke. i know you put a lot of yourself into that building and it is very sad to read about the fire today!!

De la Garza contacted the Houston Press to say that he'd have a statement prepared later today. This post will be updated with more information as we receive it.

More photos from the aftermath on the following page.

Location Info

Broken Spoke Cafe - CLOSED

1809 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Brussels

1718 Houston Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

My bike once broke down in front of that old duplex on a very hot day and a young Mexican boy came out of it and gave me ice water. I hope that kid is living somewhere nice now.


@HoustonPress Sad that I never ate there. Always wanted too.

WestSideBob topcommenter

Observation on the picture of the condo next door .... wonder how many 100s of 1000s were paid for that unit with plastic siding.  Abysmal quality construction on very pricey housing ... but we're inside the loop, eh what ?

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @WestSideBob I'm not sure, but I know that place has been there for a very long time -- I think it actually predates most of the shoddy new-build construction on WashAve.

Now Trending

From the Vault