The economic recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has affected all sectors of the U.S. economy, but restaurants have been hit particularly hard. Houston has seen a number of high profile closings since the start of the pandemic, and now they have reached one of the city's most prominent restaurant groups.
Pappas Restaurants has permanently closed five of its Houston-area establishments, including three inside the Loop. They are:
- Yia Yia Mary's Mediterranean Kitchen
- Pappas Seafood House at I-45 North at Aldine Bender
- Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen on Richmond near Kirby
- Pappas Shrimp Shack at I-45 and Woodridge
- Little Pappas Seafood House on Shepherd and West Alabama
The company's three restaurants in downtown Houston — Pappasito's in the Hilton Americas Hotel, Pappadeaux in the George R. Brown Convention Center, and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in the Shops at Houston Center — will reopen "as soon as it is possible to do so," Pappas director of marketing Christina Pappas tells CultureMap.
"Through this unbelievably trying time, our amazing team members have worked exceptionally hard, and we are so proud of each and every one of them," Pappas writes in an email. "We have remained strong because of the innovation of our team. We have more than 80 locations that either remained open or have reopened."
All of the employees at the closed restaurants have been offered positions at the company's other locations, and the company is looking to hire additional employees for some of the reopened restaurants. All locations now offers online ordering, and the company will introduce online reservations soon, Pappas adds.
While the closures mean the end of Yia Yia Mary's beef tenderloin souvlaki and Pappas Shrimp Shack's salt and pepper Dungeness crab, all hope is not lost. The company could reopen one or more of the concepts in new locations at a later date.
Of course, veteran Houston restaurant watchers will be sad about the closures for a reason other than missed meals. Permanently closing Pappadeaux's Upper Kirby locations means one fewer source of inspiration for Mickey Kapoor’s retorts on the marquee at Khyber. Maybe he'll turn his eyes across the street to Picos.