Houston's white-hot real estate market looks poised to end the run of another popular restaurant. With the sale of the property to real estate developers for a multistory apartment building, El Tiempo's Montrose location, known as 1308 Cantina, will likely close early next year.
Owner Roland Laurenzo tells the Houston Chronicle that he would like to find another location within a mile of the current one to replace 1308 but didn't offer any specifics about where he's looking.
Laurenzo, the son of famed Houston restaurateur Ninfa Laurenzo, has turned El Tiempo into a six outpost mini-empire of high-end Tex-Mex that improves on the success of his mother's Ninfa's restaurants. In 2013, the company even returned to the Second Ward with a gigantic location next door to Ninfa's original outpost.
The location has long been a popular spot for Mexican food. El Tiempo replaced longtime tenant La Jaliscience back in 2006. El Tiempo's location on Washington Ave is only about three miles from the Montrose one, so regulars shouldn't be too inconvenienced. Even with the expected departure of El Tiempo, Montrose still counts La Mexicana, El Real Tex-Mex, Berryhill Baja Grill, La Tapatia and Chapultepec as options of varying quality and consistency.
El Tiempo's likely departure also recalls the end of the River Oaks location of Cafe Adobe, which shuttered in 2013 to make way for new apartments that are currently under construction. That restaurant also vowed to find a replacement location in its neighborhood, but no plans to reopen have been announced.
Will you miss 1308 Cantina, or is it just part of the inevitable march of Houston's history? Tell us in the comments.