Partners Charles Clark and Grant Cooper opened Ibiza in 2001 with the then-revolutionary idea of charging near-retail prices for bottles of wine. At a time when most restaurants charged three or more times their cost, Ibiza's pricing structure lured oenophiles who suddenly found themselves able to order two or three bottles of wine with dinner instead of one.
“We had the concept of Ibiza in our heads for years. We wanted to create a restaurant where we could drink great wine, eat really good food, and enjoy the experience without spending a fortune,” Clark said in a statement. “After I came back from working in Marbella, Spain, Grant and I knew it was time to open our own concept, and so Ibiza came to life, and we were the first to 're-invent' Midtown.”
When Ibiza opened, Vietnamese restaurants such as Van Loc and Mai's and a couple of Houston classics like Damian's and Brennan's mostly defined Midtown's identity from a dining perspective. Ibiza helped demonstrate that it could support more trendy concepts. Now, dozens of establishments and a thriving nightlife scene call the neighborhood home.
Even as Clark Cooper's reach has grown with restaurants such as Brasserie 19, Coppa Osteria, and The Dunlavy, Clark will typically be found working dinner service at Ibiza. Shuttering the restaurant will allow him to focus on those other businesses. In addition, the company is working on opening new restaurants, as the partners discussed during a recent appearance on CultureMap's "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Without Ibiza, Clark will be able to focus on those yet-to-be-announced projects more intensely.
“It is hard to see a restaurant you’ve worked in everyday close, but we just did not see ourselves in this space for the next five to 10 years," Clark added. "We see this evolution as an opportunity for our customers to frequent our other restaurants more often and for us to evolve our focus and concepts and allow for continued growth of our group of restaurants."