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Reality TV Star Closes Restaurant

Reality TV star suddenly shuts down high-profile Houston restaurant

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Trenza tour October 2013 exterior sign
Trenza's last night will be July 12.  Photo by Eric Sandler
Susie Jimenez Trenza
Susie Jimenez may have charmed viewer on the Next Food Network Star, but she could never attract enough diners to Trenza. Photo by Michael Saavedra
Trenza interior with crowd
Let the speculation begin as ot what will replace Trenza in pricey West Ave. Trenza/Facebook
Trenza tour October 2013 exterior sign
Susie Jimenez Trenza
Trenza interior with crowd

The numbers don't lie. When the monthly State Comptroller's Office report shows that a restaurant in a high-priced space is paying less than $1,000 per month in Mixed Beverage Gross Receipts taxes, it isn't long for this world.

 Why is it so hard to get Houstonians to climb a set of stairs? 

Such is the case for Trenza, the West Ave. restaurant fronted by reality TV star Susie Jimenez, which announced Friday it would be closing its doors after service Saturday (July 12). Jimenez released a statement that reads as follows:

It’s with great regret that I am announcing the closing of Trenza at West Ave.  Our last service at this location will be on Saturday night and will be followed by a private liquidation of our wine cellar next Friday. After a careful review of our operations since our open, we had to make the difficult decision as a team to cease operations.

In the last year, my team has become my second family and Houston has become my second home, and a place that I will never forget for welcoming me with open arms.  I am indebted to so many people here for giving me an opportunity to grow in my craft, and I appreciate all that I have learned along the way.  It’s hard for me to say goodbye to my newly adopted home town of Houston.  I wanted to also express my thanks for our regular customers and all of those who supported us over the past year.

Through the remainder of the weekend, all wine and cocktails will be 50% off, and all remaining food inventory will be donated to a local food bank.  For details on next week’s cellar event and for weekend reservations, please call 713-526-1414."

Only three weeks ago, Jimenez told CultureMap that Trenza wasn't going anywhere, and that she was finally getting into the groove of running her first restaurant. However, the demands of paying West Ave's high-priced rent obviously took a toll. The closure is the latest in a series of closings along the street that includes the "funeral bars" Roak and OTC, Saint Genevieve and Brio. 

A representative tells CultureMap that Jimenez and investor Sonny Sachdeva are considering finding a less expensive spot to relaunch the restaurant. Jimenez told the Houston Press this week that her original vision was a small space that sat approximately 45 people. Perhaps by slimming down and applying the lessons she learned from this experience Jimenez could be successful. Hopefully she gets that chance.

Meanwhile, let the speculation begin as to what will take Trenza's place. However, having already seen two failed concepts in the second-floor West Ave space (it was previously occupied by Robert Del Grande's Alto Pizzeria), it's hard to imagine anyone will rush to fill the void. Why is it so hard to get Houstonians to climb a set of stairs?

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