Five years ago I cobbled together a list of 10 restaurant locations that appeared to be jinxed.
With Burger Guys co-owner Jake Mazzu insisiting in the wake of his downtown location's closing that restaurant curses are a thing—for real—it's time to revisit my old list and also a few other addresses that have since come forth.
We begin with...
In Days Gone By: Renata’s, Te Amo Mexican Bar and Grill, Side Street Brewing, Hessni’s Restaurant
2008: Mia Bella Trattoria
Today: Papa Mio Italian Cafe. The curse continues.
1512 W. Alabama
In Days Gone By: Museum Restaurant and Bar, Rio de Janeiro South American Grill, Michaeline’s, Cortes Deli, Jenny’s Hideaway.
2008: The Skin Renewal Center
Today: The Skin Renewal Center. Since this is not a restaurant, the curse continues.
In Days Gone By: Scottsdale’s, El Buen Bife, Pico’s, Field House Restaurant and Bar, Argentina Grill
2008: Aquarium Environments.
Today: Twin Peaks, famed for its beer, burgers and "scenic views." Can a breastraunt remove this Kirby / 59 death-trap from the cursed zone? Twin Peaks is only about two years old, so time will tell.
In Days Gone By: Aries, Pic, Russo’s Café Anthony, 43 Brasserie
2008: Brasserie Max and Julie
Today: Brasserie Max and Julie. Curse reversed.
In Days Gone By: Craiganale’s Little Italy; a convenience store; a taqueria; other stuff.
Today: Community Wine Bar, a hipster hang that opened not long after my original article. Curse reversed.
In Days Gone By: Mai Han Café, The New Orleans Pizza Joint, Smokin’ Mountain Grill, Shorty’s Grill
2008: A parking lot.
Today: A parking lot. Curse continues, possibly FOREVER.
In Days Gone By: Ciro’s Italian Grill and Bar, Ohio Grange Cafe, Sabine, Chef G.’s, Epoch Fusion Café
2008: Firkin and Phoenix
Today: The same...People are still having a firkin' good time amid the shambles of many a shattered dream. Curse reversed.
In Days Gone By: Pizzeria Uno, Floridita, Corelli’s Italian Café
2008: Sushi King
Today: It remains Sushi King. Curse reversed.
In Days Gone By: Aldo’s Dining Con Amore, Giorgina’s Ristorante Italiano, Chez Georges
Today: Despite its uniqueness and rave reviews, Feast ate it. The location is now vacant. Curse continues.
Another came to light after my story traversed the local blogosphere...
2815 S. Shepherd
In Days Gone By: Many, many restaurants.
2008: Douche-tastic "biker bar" Crome
Today: Triniti, which seems there to stay, but then so did Feast. Inconclusive, but leaning toward curse reversed.
In Days Gone By: 3 Brothers Creole Soul Food, The Grill of the Andes, and possibly a Thai place, and Italian joint, a barbecue and a sub shop.
Today: Vacant, apparently. The curse continues.
And others have come to light since then.
Our favorite of those is 2411 S. Shepherd, which is now home to Torchy's Tacos first Houston location. Previously it had been Greatfull Taco, Sabetta Cafe Zol, Crostini, and going way, way, way back to the 1940s, the showroom of my grandfather John A. Lomax Jr's imported flagstone business. Torchy's continued existence there seems safe, so curse reversed.
And then there's 706 Main, which cycled through Korma Sutra, Laidback Manor, and Yatra Brasserie before the Burger Guys came in. The Houston Press's Joshua Justice had this to say 11 months ago: "If anyone has a shot in the midst of downtown's ongoing construction woes, it's the nearly universally adored Burger Guys."
Apparently nobody has a shot, at least not at that location. Great Jones building? More like Great Jinx. Curse continues.