Houston's late night dining scene got a little less interesting Thursday morning when Sandy Witch Sandwich Company, the sandwich shop located inside the Grand Prize bar kitchen started by Pi Pizza Truck owner Anthony Calleo, announced on Twitter it had closed.
Sadly as of today we are closed for good. Thnx everyone who supported our craziness. Eat sandwiches. Listen to Slayer. Sandy Witch out.— Sandy Witch (@SandyWitchSC) August 21, 2014
Sandy Witch was known for its creatively prepared sandwiches named for historical practitioners of the dark arts like Baphomet and Marie Laveau. The menu, along with bar snacks and sides, earned a place on CultureMap's list of 2013's best new restaurants.
"We never could get the sales to be what they needed to be for it to stay open given how much time it takes me," Calleo tells CultureMap. "At the end of the day, the pizza truck is more important. It's really where my passion is. Getting the shop open is more important, because that's been my dream for the last 17 years."
Fans of the shop should take heart, though. Calleo plans to incorporate both the chicken parm Strega and meatball Rasputin into the menu of the brick-and-mortar Pi Pizza restaurant he plans to open.
"I really believed in it," Calleo says of the Sandy Witch concept. "I never heard anything other than positive feedback on the food we were doing."
As for the status of his pizza brick and mortar, that's less certain. "I was in lease negotiations on a space in EaDo that got leased out from under me," Calleo explains. "Prior to Monday of this week, I would have told you we were maybe five months from getting open, but . . . it’s back to the drawing board."
Backed by a new partner, Calleo is confident he'll find something soon. ""We’re in talks with another group about another space that I cannot discuss. I’m really excited about what it is and where it is, but even with that, we’re still shopping," he says.
"We are sad to see him go," Grand Prize co-owner Brad Moore tells CultureMap. "We will miss his presence and his food and will now follow him to his truck for snacks."
As for the future of food at Grand Prize, Moore says he's looking for what's next. "Anyone out there want a kitchen to run a craft corn syrup lab or one of those mall shops that sells multi-colored popcorn?"
Probably not, but hopefully something good emerges. This city can never have too many late night options.