September has been a busy month for restaurant closings as well-established business like Little Bigs, Local Pour, and Amazón Grill have all shuttered. Now, a Houston Tex-Mex staple is leaving Washington Avenue to seek new opportunities elsewhere.
Molina's Cantina announced Tuesday that it will close its Washington Avenue location on September 30. The locations on Bellaire and Westheimer will remain open. Employees from the location are either being offered jobs at one of the other restaurants or being provided with job placement assistance.
"This was a difficult decision for us and we can't say enough about the support we have received from our Washington Avenue guests," Ricardo Molina said in a statement. "Many are friends who we consider family. Our hope is to continue to serve them at our Bellaire and Westheimer locations."
After being on Washington Avenue for 10 years, owners Raul Molina III, Ricardo Molina, and Roberto Molina have decided to find a new opportunity in the Katy/Fulshear area, which Ricardo Molina states has been a customer request for several years. The company cited the shopping center's challenging parking and an increase in rent as reasons that motivated the decision to close, but it emphasizes that overall Molina's remains in a good position.
"When our grandfather opened his first restaurant there were only five or six Mexican restaurants in Houston, now there's one on every corner and often in-between," added Raul Molina III. "We're not going anywhere. We've been in business for 76 years and plan to be in business for a long time to come."
Of course, with nearby locations of staples like El Tiempo, Cyclone Anaya's, and Lupe Tortilla, area diners won't have to go far to look for Tex-Mex options. They'll just have to drive a little farther to satisfy a craving for Molina's signature cheese enchiladas.