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farewell to harold's
A beloved Heights restaurant will soon serve its last meals. Harold’s in the Heights will close after brunch service this Sunday, March 3, owner Alli Jarrett announced.
Although the restaurant is closing, Jarrett will continue to operate Harold’s popular catering business and food truck. Low Tide Kitchen & Bar, Jarrett’s seafood restaurant in Spring Branch, will also remain open.
Last year, Jarrett consolidated Harold’s operations into its downstairs tap room. At the time, she said Harold's would continue operating, but that time comes to an end on Sunday. The upstairs space is expected to reopen next month under new ownership as Blue Tuba, which is described as serving “Euro Tex cuisine.” Members of Harold’s staff who aren’t staying with the catering business or moving to Low Tide have been offered positions at Blue Tuba, Jarrett added.
First opened in 2013 as the Heights General Store — a combination restaurant and market — Jarrett quickly rebranded as Harold’s to honor the historic clothing store that previously occupied its building at 350 W. 19th St. Over time, the restaurant evolved into a full service, Southern-inspired restaurant upstairs and a more casual neighborhood pub downstairs. It’s been home to a number of talented chefs over the years, including Antoine Ware, Richard Knight, and Kathy Elkins.
“We’ve seen a lot together from the days of a private club when the Heights was dry to opening when no one else would during floods, freezes, diseases,” Jarrett said in a statement. “We’ve created many memories and I am grateful to all our guests, staff members, partners, vendors, and fellow merchants on 19th Street. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of the fabric of the neighborhood and serve our community.”
Harold’s closure comes at a time when 19th Street has seen some turnover in its restaurants. Baso, a Basque-inspired, live fire restaurant, opened in December and has received two CultureMap Tastemaker Awards nominations for Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best New Restaurant. Gold Tooth Tony's, a Detroit-style pizzeria from Rudyard's chef and co-owner Anthony Calleo, has been so successful that Calleo is already on the hunt for a second location.
Restaurateur Claire Smith recently closed her Southern-inspired eatery Alice Blue, ending her 20-year run of operating a restaurant in the Heights. Jarrett says she held off sharing news about Harold’s future so as not to distract from Smith’s retirement.
“Claire Smith and I are friends. I probably would have announced it sooner had she not announced she was leaving,” Jarrett tells CultureMap. “We’re on the same street. We share the same guests. She’s been an amazing human being and a dear friend.”
Asked about Low Tide, Jarrett offered a direct assessment of its performance.
“We need more traffic, I’ll say that,” she explains. “I’m really proud of our food and service. We have good ratings. We could use more people.”