R.I.P: Ruggles Grill Demolished This Morning

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Brittanie Shey
A bright yellow hydraulic excavator loomed over the Ruggles Grill this morning like the Grim Reaper, shortly before its jaws tore into the old restaurant and demolished it for good. The grill was opened in 1986 by Bruce Molzan and his then-wife, Susan, and for many Houstonians growing up in the '80s and '90s, Ruggles was their first fancy dinner destination.

Ruggles closed in February of this year amidst Bruce Molzan's continuing financial troubles. Ruggles employees staged a walk-out in December 2011 over nonpayment of tips, and the restaurant was involved in several lawsuits over various business interests.

Photo by Ed T.
Ryan Hildebrand, chef and owner of Triniti, recently purchased the old Ruggles space and plans to open a second restaurant there. Brande is slated for late 2013 after extensive construction. Said a press release back in April:

The new structure, described as "a contemporary building with a rustic farmhouse feel," will be designed by Houston's MC2 Architects, the same group that helped create Triniti. It will be located at 903 Westheimer, the former home of Ruggles Grill, and will offer an extensive selection of charcuterie, crafted breads, pastries and dry aged meats.

With Ruggles Grill finally gone for good, what are your memories of the space and your meals there?

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Location Info

Ruggles - CLOSED

903 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Ed Truitt
Ed Truitt

@Joshua: you forgot to mention Ruggles with Ridges.


Although I enjoyed the meal once I was seated at Ruggles, my main memory is their no reservation policy.  We would arrive for dinner, knowing we would need to wait for a table and being told such wait would be no less than 1/2 hour -- always.  However, that 1/2 hour would always stretch to 1+ hours while watching one Houston "named" socialite after another walk right in and be seated immediately.  Realized my money wasn't as important as theirs so quit going for that one simple fact. 


Had a handful of meals there over the years - Never a bad one - RIP Ruggles and may what comes next be as tasty and relatively worth the price of admission as the last

Joshua Justice
Joshua Justice

It is survived by Ruggles Blue, Ruggles Yellow, Ruggles at the Dynamo Stadium 3rd concourse bathroom, Ruggles Sanatarium for the Mentally Diseased, Ruggles Light, New Ruggles and Ruggles with Splenda.


Check your facts.  My ex-wife and I had our first date there in July, 1981. 



 I'm pretty good about meaningful dates in my life.  No big deal.  I enjoy reading your articles.

Kylejack topcommenter


Interesting, did some DBA searches and Manfred Jachmich registered a business called Birdwatchers at 907 Westheimer in 1978. He's registered a whole bunch of businesses over the years.


Tool here: http://www.cclerk.hctx.net/applications/websearch/AN.aspxHere's a Texas Monthly mention of Birdwatches being across the driveway from Ruggles, 1978.http://books.google.com/books?id=TywEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=birdwatchers+%22907+westheimer%22&source=bl&ots=I6aKynFKuD&sig=FWC0IeVA20YnxaB91IwvR0mh4S8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Qf-KUNPmKKHL2QXNlICYDg&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=birdwatchers%20%22907%20westheimer%22&f=false


 @txjboy  @kshilcutt Manfred Jachmich (spelling?) was the original owner or at least owned it before Molzan.  That joint was swinging back in the 70's. 

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