One of Houston’s most-acclaimed restaurants will close in 2021. Indigo, the neo-soul food tasting menu concept from chef Jonny Rhodes, will end its run after just three years.
Rhodes announced the decision in an emotional post on Instagram that recalled the various struggles that he and wife Chana had to transform a long-shuttered Chinese restaurant into a destination worthy spot that attracted national attention. Part of the text explains the decision to close despite all the acclaim Indigo has received:
All of the success has never meant much, I once found joy in just cooking in my own space on my own time. But there are expectations that come with that. Expectations that have left me with terrible experiences in words I can never post online. Guest aren’t always nice, they don’t always understand, and neither do employees even when they see you trying to keep it all together. As I reflect on my life the past few years I know now that this is something I no longer want for myself. It has damaged me in every way imaginable.
Until it closes on July 24, 2021, Indigo will operate in a slightly modified format. Instead of seasonal menus, Rhodes will create tasting menus that mix some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes with a few new creations. To facilitate social distancing, the 13-seat counter has been reduced to 10 with just six seatings per week: 7 pm on Thursday and Sunday and 6 pm and 8:45 on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available via the Resy app.
Closing Indigo will allow Rhodes to focus on Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, the grocery store that has been operating in Indigo’s space since April. Ultimately, the chef’s goal is to relocate Broham to a new, larger space and make it self-sustaining by operating a farm that will supply it with produce. Until then, it will operate within Indigo when the restaurant isn’t serving.
Jun 10, 2020 at 11:54am PDT
Rhodes has secured land for the farm and begun the work to clear it. To further those goals, the chef has started a GoFundMe that seeks to raise $250,000 to cover various costs associated with building out the store and making the land suitable for farming.
When it closes, Indigo will conclude one of the most remarkable runs a Houston restaurant has achieved in terms of national notoriety. Not only did it make best new restaurant lists from publications such as Texas Monthly, Eater, GQ, and Food & Wine, Time magazine included it as one of only seven American restaurants on its list of the World's Greatest Places for 2019. Rhodes also earned a semifinalist nomination in the Rising Star Chef category in the 2019 James Beard Awards.
Thankfully, the long lead time gives diners plenty of opportunities to visit Indigo before it wraps up its run with a celebratory domino tournament on July 25, 2021.