Time for a Switcheroo

Arthur Ave plans to close and be replaced by a second Helen with 'Greece's greatest hits'

Arthur Ave set to close; new restaurant offers Greece's greatest hits

Arthur Ave exterior sign
Arrivederci, Arthur Ave. Photo by Eric Sandler

One of 2016's best new restaurants is already calling it quits. Arthur Ave Italian American, the upscale red sauce concept from the team behind Helen Greek Food & Wine, will close after dinner service on March 19.

The restaurant had suffered declining sales in the last few months, according to a statement released by chef William Wright, sommelier Evan Turner, and director of operations Tim Faiola.

“We’re closing with a lot of takeaways from this experience,” Turner said in the statement. “We learned some things that worked and some things that didn’t. In the end, our goal is to create a place people love where they can get really good food and wine and receive A+ level service.”

Despite the setback, the group will not be abandoning its restaurant space in The Heights. Instead, they'll be building on their strengths and launching a new version of Helen, the popular Rice Village restaurant. Dubbed Helen in the Heights, the new restaurant will serve a menu of "Greece’s 'greatest hits' and highlight iconic dishes that are known and loved around the globe."

Rebranding the restaurant as Helen allows the concept to build on the wide acclaim it has earned since it opened in 2015, including being named the best new restaurant in Texas by Texas Monthly, a James Beard award best new restaurant nomination, and earning a shout out from Eater critic Bill Addison in his love letter to Houston restaurants.

The space will close for a mild refresh. Details on the new opening date and menu are TBA.