I didn't attend prom in Houston in the 1980s, so I was actually unfamiliar with Vargo's before news of its closing last week.
Yet for many Houstonians the restaurant was the premier place for a special occasion, particularly in the 1970s and '80s. Its nine acres of lush gardens often hosted weddings, proms, anniversaries and other major life events, and the space was well-known for its azaleas, water features and even a few famous peacocks strolling around (sometimes to the dismay of neighbors).
The restaurant was opened by Al Vargo in 1965 and sold in 1996, according to The Houston Chronicle. Since then it was changed hands several times but never recaptured the original magic. According to Houston Business Journal, the property, owned by TTC Plaza Ltd. and operated by TTC principal David Wu, filed for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2011 and was converted to Ch. 7 liquidation this month. A mixed-use complex appears destined for the site.
What did Vargo's mean to you? Tell us your best memories from the restaurant in the comments.