Iconic Restaurant Shutters

Iconic restaurant shutters after 50 years: Are old time diners endangered in Houston's trendy foodie world?

Iconic Houston restaurant closes after 50 years: Are diners in danger?

Texas Cafeteria sign
Texas Cafeteria has closed after 50 years in business.  Texas Cafeteria/Facebook

Another iconic Houston restaurant has shuttered. Texas Cafeteria, a Heights staple for 50 years, closed for good on Monday.

Owner Alex Koumonduros confirmed to CultureMap on phone that the restaurant is shuttered, but declined to go into the reason.

Part of Houston's tradition of Greek-owned diners like Biba's Ones a Meal, Dot Coffee Shop and Harry's, patrons looked to Texas Cafeteria for inexpensive breakfasts of properly cooked eggs and buttered toast as well as Southern classics like chicken and dumplings. The diner's Facebook page has already begun to fill up with comments from people who will miss it.

 "They don't make 'em like that anymore. Fifty years is a long time. I'm 35. I can't imagine that."  

One fan is Pi Pizza Truck owner Anthony Calleo, who grew up in the area. He recalls childhood trips to Texas Cafeteria with his grandmother and then walking to the nearby Fiesta to buy an apple for dessert.

"They don't make 'em like that anymore," Calleo notes. "Fifty years is a long time. I'm 35. I can't imagine that."

The area of Shepherd that Texas Cafeteria occupies is rapidly changing. Down the street, the Treadsack group is building Hunky Dory and Bernadine's. Nearby, former Underbelly sous chef Lyle Bento and Liberty Station founder Charles Bishop are working on Southern Goods. KA Restaurant, a sushi concept from the owners of Fat Bao, will also soon join the neighborhood.

Calleo says he realizes that change is inevitable, but he hopes the neighborhood might still have a place for a restaurant like Texas Cafeteria.

"I don't know if places like that will ever be around again," Calleo says. "It was good. Good enough. It served its purpose."

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