In Memoriam: Top 12 Saddest Restaurant Closings of 2013

sryclsd.jpg
A few weeks ago, we brought you a slideshow of the best restaurants that opened in the past year. But in the midst of celebrating all the great new places to chow down in the Bayou City, we are reminded of those we lost in 2013.

As you get a start on the new year, why not sit down with a drink and pour a little out for our buddies who are no longer slinging burgers or tacos or sushi.

Check out our full list of 2013 Openings & Closings to see every notable (and less notable) restaurant that shuttered in the past 12 months. Who were you most sorry to see go?

These are the restaurants we'll miss the most (in alphabetical order).

burgerguysclsd.jpg
Photo from VoicePlaces
We already miss you, Burger Guys...
12. The Burger Guys
Even after the downtown location shuttered earlier in the year, we were still shocked by the sudden closure of The Burger Guys's flagship Westchase restaurant with no fanfare. By the time anyone figured out they were closing, owner Jake Mazzu had already served his last burger at the shop. He blames the high overhead and lack of support for small business owners in Houston for the demise of The Burger Guys. No word on what Mazzu will be up to next, but he'll likely continue to sell burgers out of a mobile trailer in Beaumont for the time being.

11. The Chili Shak
Much like The Burger Guys, The Chili Shak closed without any sort of announcement. One day, the space was dark and the phone number was no longer working. The chili-centric restaurant opened in 2011, when Bernard Montgomery finally gave in to years of demands from his family to open a restaurant that would showcase his chili recipe. After getting great reviews from Houstonians (ourselves included), it seemed The Chili Shak would become a Houston institution, but that was not to be. After it closed in September, Montgomery took to Facebook and explained that the group was looking for a new space and seeking more customer support.

10. Farrago World Cuisine and 9. Sweet Lola
These two eateries are listed together because they were next door to each other, and both were forced to close due to rent hikes in Midtown. Farrago, known for its great brunch, closed in late July after 13 years. On Facebook, the owners wrote, "We endured the construction, paid parking and towed customers. Alas, the over double rent was more than we could bare [sic]." Only a few months later, frozen yogurt shop Sweet Lola closed too, also because the rent became too high. Gentrification is all well and good when it benefits the community, but 2013 saw a few too many restaurants pushed out to make way for the new and (supposedly) better.


My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
Lori Idoux
Lori Idoux

Perry's is not closed. We were there over Christmas.

Sherri Scott
Sherri Scott

I was so sad to learn about Flora & Muse! I really liked that place.

phrringa
phrringa

I Miss Thelma's. I Used To Stop In Right B4 Close And She Would Come Sit And Chat With Me. I Loved Her No Nonsense Attitude. Funny How You Can call A Woman Rude Because She Puts HER foot Down In HER business So Hoodrats Would Know Better Than To Act UP in HER restaurant. It Is Sad That Strong No Nonsense Women Are Viewed As Bitches.

Schlicter
Schlicter

Please, someone, Read the Taco Milagro blurb, because I must be missing something: Candice Schiller is complaining that her poor counter service taco shop has thrown in the towel due to high rents in the area, driven by cash-flush multi-unit chains coming into the area?

Whaaa? Schiller del Grande Restaurant Group was one of the first to bid up rents by taking an overpriced spot in West Ave, just kitty corner from Taco Milagro. It soon failed, ahem, sold to an offer that was too good to refuse (in the patois of Tony Vallone when leaving his short-lived Caffe Bello). So, please....spare us.

Brazos
Brazos

I'll stick up for Burger Guys on the westside. Always good.  I was willing to pay that much for a burger that fed two of us.  Great stuff. 

I notice that a trend iin some of these is "high rent". Makes me worry,

jennytulltx
jennytulltx

Wow, I just don't get out much!  Never ate at a single one of these!  New Years Resolution - take a trip inside the loop ever once in a while.

Linda Rogers Weiss
Linda Rogers Weiss

Did Thelma have a restaurant over on JFK Blvd at one time or near Greenridge, out that way? I ate at a fantastic barbecut place out that way once. Joint that it was, love joints if they have good food, and this one did. You would find a good cross section of Houston at this place. Suits, ties, flip-flops and shorts.

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

Anyone have any idea whats up with La Guadalupana, they have been closed for over a week?!

Hauptstadt
Hauptstadt

All is well despite some minor sadness: Local Foods is replacing Taco Milagro, Pierson's has reopened and always trumped Thelma's in terms of great 'cue. Jeannine's will be missed, but was essentially the yang to Cafe Brussels' yin....and Cafe Brussels continues on.


Feast is sad but unsurprising: the team has never been long for any location it's opened, whether Conroe, Montrose or New Orleans. That they are very skilled in the kitchen and great folks bears repeating, though.

MadMac
MadMac

Of all the "saddest closures" I disagree with, Thelma's is number one. That woman was not "contankerous," she was rude and greedy. The only thing sad was how she soaked warehouse workers and delivery truck drivers--the the very community that made her--right along with the tourists. Worst of all, the dry, light-fluid tasting barbeque was not good. Good riddance.

MadMac
MadMac

1) I can call her rude based on the treatment I received;

2) charging someone to simply hold the sauce on the side for a large order and then NOT DOING IT--but still charging for the "service," is NOT putting your foot down, it's exploitive;

3)I've re-read the article and comments but I find no use of invective.

I'm glad she was nice to you. Your experience was isolated. Trust.

MadMac
MadMac

When that joint first opened it was decent. Then with each expansion, it became more and more about the booze and less and less about the food. By the third time we went, I wished we'd gone to Taco Cabana.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@texmex01 Oh man, I don't know! I hope they're just on a holiday vacation! :(

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@MadMac Hey, I love Taco Cabana and will defend it till the day I die.

MadMac
MadMac

That PBS profile ruined ANY sense of customer service she ever had. And this is why I laugh at the Burger Guy's comment. He cites "lack of support for small business in Houston," but doesn't consider you can get a burger in a dirty shop for less than $10 bucks all over the city.  

MadMac
MadMac

Same here. You always know what you're getting and the food is always directly proportional to the price/environment. Unlike the over-priced tacos at what basically became a pickup joint.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@MadMac Re: Burger guys, I went 3 different times some for dinner, some on a Saturday afternoon and every time I went they were closed. You want a business to fail, try being closed 90% of the time. Shear idiocy.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...