UPDATE: This article has been updated with a statement from Hillstone Restaurant Group.
Restaurant closures are always disruptive to the lives of both the people who worked there and its regular diners, but some are more disruptive than others. For example, when a restaurant that's operated in the same location for almost 40 years, its sudden closure will cause ripples.
The news that the Houston's restaurant location on Westheimer had closed caused serious consternation on social media this weekend. According to the restaurant's page on the Houston's website, the location had been open for "nearly 40 years."
Anecdotally, Houston's Westheimer location always appeared busy, which makes the sudden closure all the more surprising. Thankfully for fans of the restaurant's signature steaks, salads, and French dip sandwich, the Kirby location, ranked number 100 on CultureMap's list of Houston's top 100 restaurants, remains open. With only one Houston's left in Houston, that location will likely be even busier than it already is.
Still, there may be a glimmer of hope for the restaurant's fans. Harris County Appraisal District records indicate that Hillstone Restaurant Group, Houston's corporate parent, has purchased the former Macaroni Grill location at 5802 Westheimer Rd. Could it become a new, free-standing Houston's?
CultureMap has contacted Hillstone to inquire about its plans. The company provided the following statement about the closure but did not address the potential new location:
Circumstances beyond our reasonable control prevented us from operating to our standards at Houston’s on Westheimer. After closing, we will concentrate our efforts on our Houston’s at 4848 Kirby Drive where we hope to continue to provide our guests with the high level of quality and service they have come to expect from us.
While the closure will no doubt be disruptive for residents of neighborhoods like Briargrove and Tanglewood, at least they have a new Barnaby's that serves a similar menu of classic American fare. Try the Sausalito Chicken Crunch salad.