canopy closes

Montrose mainstay cafe and popular patio spot suddenly shutters after a decade

Montrose mainstay cafe and popular patio spot shutters after a decade

Known for its patio, Canopy will now close.  Photo by Everett Taasevigen

Montrose residents will need a new breakfast spot. Veteran Houston restaurateur Claire Smith announced she’s closing Canopy, her popular all-day cafe, and its companion WoodBar effective Sunday, May 26.

“Our lease expires at the end of May, and my plate is full with Alice Blue, our catering business, and raising a wonderful 15-year-old son,” Smith said in a statement. “We will miss our community of customers and staff on Montrose, but I am gratified by what we accomplished there and look forward to seeing everyone at Alice Blue.”

Canopy, which opened in 2009, has been a Montrose staple. Originally opened as a spin-off of her Heights restaurant, Shade (now Alice Blue), Canopy became known for its first-rate pastries, comfortable patio, and popular happy hour. The concept expanded with WoodBar in 2014.

Once Canopy closes, Smith will run her catering operation out of Alice Blue. That restaurant recently underwent its own transformation when Smith recruited prominent local chef Brandi Key to serve as operating partner. As CultureMap previously reported, Key brings extensive experience to her new role. She spent several years as the executive chef of Clark Cooper Concepts, where she helped develop the menus for Coppa Osteria, Punk's Simple Southern Food, and (the much lamented) SaltAir Seafood Kitchen.

More recently, she spent six months as the culinary director for Lasco Enterprises, where she updated the offerings at both Max's Wine Dive and The Tasting Room. For now, Key says she's concentrating on Alice Blue.