Popular Farm-to-Table Restaurant Haven Serving its Last Meal Tonight

Categories: Restaurant News

randyehaven.jpg
Photo courtesy Haven
Chef Randy Evans's restaurant Haven will serve its last meal tonight.
The Houston Chronicle's Greg Morago first reported this afternoon that Haven and Cove Cold Bar will be closing after service tonight.

The well-liked restaurant just off Kirby Drive is known for serving fresh produce from its own garden and meats sourced from local producers. Chef Randy Evans of Haven and Philippe Gaston of Cove Cold Bar (the restaurant inside Haven) will be moving on as the property is being sold to the owner of The Union Kitchen, according to the Chronicle.

Morago writes that Paul Lewis, who recently left Osteria Mazzantini as rumors of its imminent demise began to swirl, will be heading up the kitchen at the new restaurant that will be taking Haven's place.

After dinner this evening, Evans will be headed to New Orleans for the Great American Seafood Cookoff taking place August 2, and he's unable to comment until papers are signed sealing the deal.

Evans is a popular fellow here at the Houston Press thanks to all he's done to assist with Menu of Menus over the last few years. Most recently, he served as emcee for the Iron Fork competition, providing live commentary as the Kevin Naderi of Roost and Kevin Bryant of Eleven XI battled it out.

When Haven first opened in late 2009, it immediately received praise for being on the cutting edge of the farm-to-table movement. Esquire magazine called it one of the 20 best new restaurants in the country in 2010, and Texas Monthly also put it on a best new restaurants list in 2011.

Evans's sous chef Gaston opened Cove Cold Bar inside the already successful restaurant in late 2012, adding a new dimension to the gourmet comfort food style establishment. Gaston brought bright, fresh, raw seafood to pair with Haven's rustic meat and veggie dishes. Together, it was a great combination.

Sources have indicated that the change in ownership might be due to increasing rent prices in Upper Kirby or a high mortgage on the space, a topic we've covered previously on this blog. Trenza recently closed in West Ave, and in the past year, we've seen the closure of Taco Milagro, Saint Genevieve, the so-called "funeral bars" (Roak, OTC and Hendrick's), Cafe Express and Brio Tuscan Grill.

It's expected that paperwork for the deal will be signed tomorrow (Friday), and after that, Evans may be able to shed some light on what led to the surprising closure of Haven. We'll update when we learn more.

Location Info

Haven - CLOSED

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cove

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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22 comments
texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

The only thing that won't be missed is the douchebag valets......

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Dear restauranteurs stay clear of Kirby, I don't care how nice you think it is, just look elsewhere. Sage like advice..

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

Chef Evans is a totally stand-up guy and has been a helpful source for some of the articles I've written. I wish him and his staff the absolute best and hope to see Randy re-emerge in a new place soon. He's too talented to be away from Houston's food scene.

Garrison
Garrison

Some have said that Randy is looking to re-unite with his old team-mate from Brennan's, Jamie Zelko, to open a new place in the Heights once Zelko Bistro is given walking papers for its current space.

flaggler
flaggler

Sad news, they've had a pretty decent run though.

And what's this about rent increases? They built that space from the ground up and took pride calling it Houston's first green restaurant, so I doubt rent increases had anything to do with it. And mortgage rates are at historic lows.

Alvin Chung
Alvin Chung

Chrisha Patel Agrawal Kayla Tweedy Butler another goes down in flame in this food town. Sigh.

jberlat1
jberlat1

well what restaurant is going to survive rent increases? There are only so many chains that can absorb that cost. 

Gentry
Gentry

@gossamersixteen 

Kirby's been a nightmare of construction for the past few years, and now at the feeder road at 59 / Kirby... maybe that was the final nail. On the other hand, Twin Peaks is killing it there next to Haven, and somehow Cafe Japon continues to hang on year after year. Nosh, across from Haven, was a vanity project that was poorly managed and had it's but handed to it rather quickly. An interesting niche that corner there....

phaedra.cook
phaedra.cook

@Garrison I would welcome him and Jamie teaming up somewhere! I hope that's more than a rumor.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@Gentry Cafe Japon (which I like too) has lost their lease, and the owner is looking to replace them any day now -- see the swamplot article for the details. It's just grossly overvalued/speculative, and just isn't a good fit for restaurants especially those who want to look long term as opposed to being open 6 months to a couple years max.

bixlermtn
bixlermtn

@phaedra.cook @Garrison 

Yeah, I think Jamie has been kept awake at night dreaming of starting a place with Randy Evans and Chris Shepherd and possibly Carl Walker in the kitchen. A place that Rae Wheeler would finance, and would leave the somewhat stodgy Brennan's in the dust. Jamie, naturally, would be boss.

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