Carrying on the Curse: 4 Jinxed Houston Restaurant Locations

Categories: Restaurant News

La Strada in happier days
Yesterday we looked at seven spots that seemed to have "reversed the curse" by shaking out of the revolving-door patterns of their addresses' previous tenants. Today we have four spots that continue to falter.

322 Westheimer
Today: Empty
Previously: Don Julio's, Café Bello, La Strada

The fire was probably the harbinger of the curse. When La Strada burned down in 2002, it marked the end of an era. After being closed nearly two years, the once animated spot was unable to reclaim its previous buzz or its notorious Sunday brunch crowds. After a long, slow death, La Strada closed in 2009 after 23 years. Café Bello and Don Julio's followed, then subsequently shuttered without much fanfare. A proposed steakhouse -- because nothing says Montrose like a fucking steakhouse -- was slated for summer 2012 but has yet to materialize.

Here: Look at beautiful food from the bygone Yelapa since no good pictures of this exterior have ever existed.
2303 Richmond
Today: Estate Lounge
Previously: Yelapa Playa Mexicana, Saute World Bistro, others

Currently repurposed as an upscale-ish night spot, this oddly built-out space never really hit its stride, and the address made its way onto Eating...Our Words' last cursed list while Yelapa was still open in 2009. The nightclub that currently resides in the space has gone whole hog, revamping the quirky interior complete with outdoor decks, both upstairs and down, a full parking lot out back and an odd yet clever men's restroom door that's hidden in a row of library bookshelves. Nightclubs in Houston, however, have a lifespan on par with the fruit flies that inhabit their bartenders' garnish bowls -- so this one may be the sure bet for the NEXT cursed list as well.

oceans restaurant 011.jpg
Even a stunning garden patio can't quite save 819 West Alabama.
819 West Alabama
Today: Empty
Previously: Concepcion, Ocean's, Bistro Vino

Despite high hopes and high praise for its last two iterations, the house at 819 West Alabama continues to flounder. Contentions abound regarding Concepcion's recent demise -- owners Jorge and Isaac Alvarez originally claimed the restaurant would continue operating after the departure of chef Jonathan Jones. Whoever opens here next might want to make their first order of business taking down the Oceans sign that remained out front throughout Concepcion's tenure.

Thumbnail image for stella-sola-4.6530205.131.jpg
The mosaic inlay is so pretty, the next tenant should just leave it there. It worked so well with Oceans...
1001 Studewood
Today: Empty
Previously: Stella Sola, Bedford

Two shuttered restaurants might not be enough to declare a location cursed, but when the implosions are as grand and far-reaching as the meltdowns at 1001 Studewood, it's certainly a trend. That's not to mention the collapse of the rumored deal to bring Killen's Steakhouse inside the Loop. Given the sheer size and location of this space, it's going to take a very specific tenant to successfully fill the shoes of this Heights address. Hype alone can carry a restaurant for many years, but if history is any indication, the new owners may want to forgo the foodie buzz altogether.

Did we miss any ongoing cursed locations? Tell us about your favorite revolving door in the comments.

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Location Info

La Strada - CLOSED

322 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Yelapa Playa Mexicana - CLOSED

2303 Richmond, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Concepcion - CLOSED

819 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bedford - CLOSED

1001 Studewood St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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2815 South Shepherd is currently triniti, but nothing has survived this location. From Fox Diner to Crome to Pravada, this is proved to be a death location. I wonder how long triniti will last.


In the Westchase area, 11681 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77077, is another cursed location. I've lived in that area for over 5 years and it has been at least 5 different places during that time including Harvest Grille (currently there), Champps, Moghul's Restaurant & Lounge and a few other churrascarias. I shake my head every time I drive by...


I like Blue Fish House and Hobbit in the same restaurant bundle as the old Yelapa, but until I hear the owner has repaved the shared parking lot, I will continue to pass it by. It's stupid wrecked.

timblack2 topcommenter

@UrbanSwank yup. I think a Macaroni Grill or some other chain just need to go in there to be honest. The PF Chang's next door is constantly packed, so I think that's what the neighborhood mus want.


@Jalapeno I was at Hobbit last night and noticed happily that the parking lot has been repaved. I now no longer need an extra beer to survive the ordeal of leaving the moonscaped lot. Aside: Hobbit was serving some hard to find beers on 12 taps outside on the patio;  I was impressed.

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