In Memoriam: Top 12 Saddest Restaurant Closings of 2013
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).
12. The Burger Guys
Photo from VoicePlaces We already miss you, 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.