In Houston's turbulent restaurant scene, not even a reality TV makeover ensures success. Gratifi Kitchen + Bar, the Montrose cafe known for its dog-friendly patio and globally-inspired menu, announced Tuesday that it will close July 13.
Once known as Ziggy's Healthy Grill before it moved to Montrose in 2012, Food Network host Robert Irvine made changes to Gratifi in 2014 for an episode of Restaurant Impossible. While the new interior and new menu items did give the restaurant a shot in the arm, the episode also revealed a kitchen that desperately needed a deep cleaning and problems with owner Kevin Strickland's management style. Irvine didn't change the restaurant's quirky name, which should be pronounced "gratify" but which many people read as "graffiti."
At the time, Strickland told the Food Network that the changes had been beneficial for the restaurant, and that his customers enjoyed the restaurant's new look. Clearly, it wasn't quite enough.
CultureMap has emailed Strickland for more information about his decision or what the future holds for the space, which sits at the busy corner of Fairview and Taft that's home to Boheme, Cuchara, Cooking Girl, and Max's Wine Dive. We will update the story when he responds.