It's a sad day for Tomball. Randy Rucker, owner of the startlingly ambitious Bootsie's Heritage Cafe, has announced the restaurant will be closing at the end of July, with Rucker planning a new concept and a move back into town, as first reported by Mai Pham.
According to a press release, Bootsie's will be taken over and redone by Rucker's mother — Bootsie herself — with an assist from the current staff.
Rucker says he will be focusing on a new restaurant in the Museum District that is slated to open in the fall. The unnamed concept at 5219 Caroline St. will include Bootsie's pastry chef Chris Leung as a partner.
Bootsie's is going out with a bang, though, with a farewell party on July 30 in addition to five more dinner services — Thursday through Saturday and July 28-29.
The closure is a setback both for suburban foodies, who lose a rare high-end, high-concept restaurant, and for the Houston culinary scene in general. In addition to being a favorite of local critics, Bootsie's regularly attracted national attention and honors. GQ critic Alan Richman named the hay-smoked mackerel as one of five best dishes in the country, and the James Beard Foundation gave the restaurant semifinalist nods in 2010 for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef: Southwest for Randy Rucker. Rucker and Leung were also among a dozen Houston chefs named StarChefs.com Rising Stars in 2011.
"My mom has been and will always be my hero!!" says Rucker in the press release. "The three of us know good and well we would have never had the success we did with out her support, guidance and most importantly her faith in us. It is a bittersweet farewell for us. On one hand we are extremely excited about our new project and our return to the city but we also know its only right to help and support the women who got us all here in the ﬁrst place. She is more than just a mom to me — she has played that role to all of our employees."
Will you be missing Bootsie's, or are you happy to see Rucker come back inside the Loop?