The ongoing economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to challenge restaurants across the country. Houston has already lost a number of prominent restaurants since March, including Bernie’s Burger Bus, Penny Quarter, and five locations operated by Pappas Restaurants.
This roundup collects other recent closures in Montrose, The Heights, and The Woodlands. With statewide capacity restrictions still in place and many diners feeling wary of eating outside their homes, these closures won’t be the last.
Montrose restaurant Night Heron has served its last loaf of house-baked focaccia. Although a representative for Agricole Hospitality has yet to respond to CultureMap’s requests for confirmation, the restaurant has been removed from the header of the company’s website that lists all of its other concepts, and a “for lease” sign has been posted on its marquee. The restaurant has gone through a couple of iterations, ultimately trying an Italian-inspired menu similar to the one served at its sister concept Coltivare.
In February, Agricole co-owner Morgan Weber told CultureMap that the company was looking to sublease the space. “We thought it would become that super cool neighborhood place. It did for a few people,” Weber said at the time. “Just not enough of them.”
Woodlands restaurant Broken Barrel has closed, according to a post on Instagram. Known for its eclectic menu of Mediterranean, Asian and Latin-inspired shareable plates, Broken Barrel was chef-owner Hilda Ysusi’s first restaurant. The Mexico City native and Culinary Institute of America graduate opened Broken Barrel in early 2017.
Helen in the Heights will not reopen, director of operations Tim Faiola confirmed to CultureMap. The Greek taverna initially closed on March 24. Its sister location in Rice Village remains open with a recently-renovated interior better suited to the requirements of social distancing in restaurants and an updated menu from executive chef William Wright.
Blackbird Izakaya closed on July 20, chef-owner Billy Kin announced on Youtube. The Heights pub, ranked 66 on CultureMap’s list of Houston’s top 100 restaurants, served a compelling menu of well-priced raw items, skewers, entrees, and more. Kin tells CultureMap that the restaurant survived the initial shutdown but struggled after Gov. Greg Abbott reduced dining capacity back to 50-percent.
Acadian Bakers has closed, Eater Houston reports. For over 40 years, the Montrose staple had been a reliable destination for king cake as well as a popular choice for wedding cakes. According to Eater Houston, a transition to a new owner proved poorly timed with the coronavirus pandemic and ultimately led to the bakery’s closure.