classic closes

Classic Houston comfort food restaurant shutters on Washington Avenue

Classic Houston comfort food restaurant shutters on Washington Avenue

The Classic interior
The Classic opened in 2018. Photo by Julie Soefer
The Classic real estate sign
This sign fueled speculation that The Classic wouldn't reopen. Photo by Eric Sandler
The Classic baby Dutch pancake
The Dutch Baby pancake was a staple of the brunch menu. Photo by Julie Soefer
The Classic interior
The Classic real estate sign
The Classic baby Dutch pancake

The economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought an end to another restaurant. The Classic will not reopen, CultureMap has learned. 

In response to a request for comment, a representative confirmed the restaurant won't reopen. In a brief statement, the company, owned by longtime Houston restaurateur Benjy Levit, will be "focusing on expanding Local Foods and other potential projects." A representative for Levit adds that he "sold the land to a developer to focus on Local Foods expansion."

Four locations of Local Foods, the casual restaurant devoted to sophisticated sandwiches and seasonal sides, are currently open in Upper Kirby, Rice Village, Tanglewood, and The Heights.

Speculation about The Classic's future has swirled as it remained closed at a time when most of the city's other restaurants have reopened for some combination of dine-in and to-go service. It accelerated with the placement of a sign by a real estate firm in front of the property with a phone number interested parties could call for information.

Harris County property records list the property's owner as a corporation with the same address as Benjy's, Levit's flagship restaurant in Rice Village. CultureMap has yet to receive a reply from the real estate firm about the property's status. 

The Classic opened in 2018 as Levit's replacement for the Washington Avenue location of Benjy's. Initially an all-day concept, it evolved into an establishment devoted to comfort foods from different parts of the world. Customers could get everything from matzo ball soup to steak tartare and a solid roast chicken. 

Washington Avenue has proved to be fertile ground for new restaurants in recent weeks. Both Bottled Blonde, a restaurant and nightclub, and The Sporting Club, a stylish restaurant with an Italian-inspired menu, have opened in the area. 

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the closure of a number of prominent Houston bars and restaurants, including Penny Quarter, the original location of The Union Kitchen, and a handful of concepts owned by Pappas Restaurants