Restaurant Lockout Drama

Lockout drama: Country star's restaurant ain't as good as it once was

Lockout drama: Country star's restaurant ain't as good as it once was

Toby Keith's I Love The Bar & Grill locked out January 2015
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill has been locked out of West Oaks Mall.  Photo courtesy of KHOU News/Channel 11
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill locked out January 2015 chairs outside
The lockout follows up complaints from contractors who weren't paid for work they did at the restaurant.  Photo courtesy of KHOU News/Channel 11
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill Houston interior with crowd
Complaints about bad food seem to have been ILTB&G's biggest problem. Toby Keith Houston
Toby Keith's I Love The Bar & Grill locked out January 2015
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill locked out January 2015 chairs outside
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill Houston interior with crowd

"I ain't as good as I once was," Toby Keith sings in his memorable 2003 hit. Diners in Houston would be inclined to agree, at least as regards the bar and restaurant in West Oaks Mall that's licensed Keith's name. 

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill has been locked out of its space for non-payment of rent, KHOU reports, and the closure appears to be permanent. The business's Facebook has also been removed. 

 Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill has been locked out of its space for non-payment of rent, KHOU reports, and the closure appears to be permanent.  

When it was announced in 2012, the concept was supposed to be part of a program to revitalize the west Houston shopping destination. It opened in early to 2014 to high hopes, but the reality of its ho-hum food seemed to put I Love This Bar behind the eight ball quickly.

In a memorable review, former Houston Press critic Kaitlin Steinberg compared ILTB&G to "an amusement park that's seen far better days." Yelpers were similarly unkind, rating it at only 2.5 stars.

Further signs that the concept was in trouble came in September, when complaints surfaced from both contractors who built the restaurant and the State Comptroller's Office about non-payment. The operators said the right thing about fixing the situation, but the recent lockout confirms the worst. 

Houston isn't the city where ILTB&G has struggled. A location in Mesa, Arizona, closed in 2014, and a location in Newport News, Virginia also shuttered on New Year's Day for non-payment of rent. New York state filed a complaint against the Syracuse location to recover back taxes. 

Maybe Keith should have been a cowboy instead of lending his name to the restaurant business.

ADVERTISEMENT
Learn More