Shocking Restaurant Shuttering

High-end Houston restaurant set to close for good: Unexpected demise chalked up to street construction

High-end Houston restaurant set to close for good: Unexpected demise

Chef Fritz Gitschner September 2013
Fritz Gitschner announced Friday that he has sold 60 Degrees Mastercrafted.  Photo courtesy of 60 Degrees Mastercrafted
60 Degrees Mastercrafted November 2013 main dining room
The restaurant will close after brunch service March 8. 60 Degrees Mastercrafted/Facebook
60 Degrees Mastercrafted hamburger $200 burger
Gitschner is pondering a more upscale concept, which will probably not feature a $200 hamburger.
Chef Fritz Gitschner September 2013
60 Degrees Mastercrafted November 2013 main dining room
60 Degrees Mastercrafted hamburger $200 burger

Upper Kirby's turbulent restaurant scene continues to churn. Ranch to table restaurant 60 Degrees Mastercrafted's revealed that it will close after brunch on Sunday.

The restaurant, known as much for its $200 hamburger as for its Akaushi steaks, sent out this email from chef/owner Fritz Gitschner:

It is with heartfelt appreciation I am writing to thank each of you for your support of 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, and for me personally, over the past two years. It has been an incredible opportunity to serve you flavorful foods that hopefully showcased both my talents and my soul. I have loved every minute of every day.

Unfortunately, the restaurant has been sold and will transition into another concept. 60 Degrees Mastercrafted will be closing. Sunday, March 8th will be our last brunch. While I am excited about new and promising ventures, it tugs at my heart to say goodbye to this special place, mainly because of friends and customers like you.

We will continue in the meantime with our business “Gitschner’s Productions”  which encompasses our catering business “Trio” the consulting business ”Culinary Blueprints”, and “Nelly’s” Caramelized Pecans.

Nell and I after some quiet time together relaxing and regrouping will make a decision of where we go next.

60 Degrees follows restaurants like HavenNara and Trenza as concepts that have closed in the area over the last year. Of course, the area still proves tempting for many restaurant owners; Clark/Cooper Concepts will open Salt Air Seafood Kitchen in the former Brio space later this year, and Paul's Kitchen replaced Haven.  

Gitschner tells CultureMap that he made the decision to put the restaurant up for sale two months ago due to the constant street construction on Westheimer. "This entrance closed and that entrance closed. It was a nightmare."

Gitschner found a buyer from San Antonio for the space, but says he isn't certain what the new owners plans are. He adds that after some time off he plans to return to the kitchen. "I want to look at a different location and do something else . . . Maybe a little more upscale," he says.

While he ponders his next move, Gitschner says he and his wife Nell are planning to take a cruise and unwind after the process of opening and operating 60 Degrees. He says he'll miss his loyal customers but thinks he made the right decision.

"It's not something I was planning opening the place, but life goes on, you know?"