Anejo, the Uptown Park restaurant dedicated to serving upscale Tex-Mex cuisine and an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal, has closed. In response to a request for comment about the restaurant's suddenly missing website and social media pages, Anejo owner Lasco Enterprises issued the following statement from owner Jerry Lasco:
We are all very sad to have to close Anejo. At the same time, I couldn’t be more proud of our team, from Chef Alberto Gutierrez, who created beautiful food and GM Celina Salinas, who stepped up and provided leadership during challenging times, to the entire restaurant team who worked together every day. We’ve learned important lessons through this process and I’m thankful to have met such great people and fortunate to have them remain in our work family.
When it opened two years ago, Anejo attempted to bring high end techniques and preparation to Texas' most popular cuisine. For example, the queso utilized a four cheese blend and even the tortillas used in enchiladas were made to order. The restaurant also offered steakhouse elements like Prime beef and shrimp cocktail. All that quality came at a cost; the restaurant charged $49.50 for a pound of fajitas when competitors like Ninfa's and El Tiempo charged at least $10 less per order.
After chef Gutierrez took over in 2016, he moved away from some of the higher-priced items and added more interior Mexican dishes, but Anejo never quite connected with diners. The closure means Lasco still operates four restaurants in the Houston-area: two locations of Max's Wine Dive (Washington Avenue and Montrose) and two locations of The Tasting Room (Uptown Park and CityCentre).
Lasco chief of staff Tiffany Cullum Hulquist stated that the company does not plan to open another restaurant in the Anejo space.
Anejo joins the wave of prominent restaurants that have closed this year, including Triniti, Arthur Ave, and Up. If Reef chef-owner Bryan Caswell's recent prediction in the Houston Business Journal is true, more restaurants will soon follow.