Don't Panic

Top Houston restaurant unexpectedly closes, but it's only temporary

Top Houston restaurant unexpectedly closes, but it's only temporary

Hugo's closed sign January 2016
Don't worry. Hugo's will return on Friday. Photo by Eric Sandler

Hugo's, the Montrose restaurant devoted to interior Mexican cuisine, occupies a special place in Houston's culinary firmament. Not only has it received national acclaim — it's the city's only restaurant on Eater's list of America's best restaurants — but it is utterly reliable, open for lunch or brunch and dinner every day, which is rare for a restaurant of its quality. 

Needless to say, when an eagle-eyed CultureMap reader noticed the restaurant was dark on Wednesday night, it induced a certain amount of panic. "Sign on the door at Hugo's this afternoon says 'closed until further notice.' WTF???," the reader wanted to know.

With Hugo's various social media platforms silent on the unexpected closure, CultureMap contacted Tracy Vaught, who owns and operates the restaurant with her husband, executive chef Hugo Ortega, to ask "WTF" but it a more polite form. 

"We are tiling the kitchen. It needed it badly," Vaught replied in an email. "We will be moving equipment in tomorrow and reopening on Friday. Not sure if it will be lunch or dinner. No worries."

In other words, everybody r-e-l-a-x. Signature dishes like cochinita pibil, chapulines, and pan-roasted cauliflower will all return by the weekend. The restaurant's fans won't even miss out on a week of Sunday brunch.

In the meantime, the truly impatient can satisfy a craving for Ortega's food at Caracol. The slightly more patient can anticipate the day when Xochi, Ortega's restaurant dedicated to Oaxacan cuisine, makes its debut in the newly opened Marriott Marquis