Back in August of last year, Eater Houston briefly noted that Marco Wiles was planning on closing Vinoteca Poscol and moving the quaint Italian bistro further east to a new location on Lower Westheimer. "With their current lease about to expire, the Wiles decided it was the perfect time to buy the building next to Katz's for a little more space, and one they can call their own," reported Darla Guillen.
That time appears to have come—the move is nigh. "We started demo this week and hopefully in a couple of months we'll be ready to move," Wiles said today. "Right after the Fourth of July we'll be pretty close." The new two-story spot will, as mentioned, provide plenty of extra space, which Wiles says will be used to incorporate "a full bar area and then a dining room downstairs and then a full dining room upstairs and maybe a little side patio." The menu, Wiles reported, will remain mostly the same.
Sadly, the extra space doesn't necessarily extend to the parking situation, which is just as fraught as any other location on Lower Westheimer. "It's gonna be valet," Wiles admitted with a sigh. "You can't make everyone happy. But I think they're starting to get used to the idea of Montrose parking: it is what it is. "
Vinoteca Poscol's new home is located at 608 Westheimer, which once housed a food venue of an entirely different variety: Stone Soup opened here in 1993 as a service of AIDS Foundation Houston. AFH was the first AIDS service organization in Texas and Stone Soup is one of its more creative endeavors, providing food assistance to HIV-positive Houstonians and their families.
At one point, Stone Soup was providing meals in food boxes to 2,500 people a month, but funding woes meant that even more were going unserved. By 2005, Stone Soup had vacated the space at 608 Westheimer; it's now located in the AFH headquarters at 6260 Westpark, still providing nutritious food with the help of volunteers.
With the closing of popular gay bar EJ's just across the street from the current Vinoteca Poscol, some are lamenting that "Montrose isn't so gay anymore," but the truth is that the neighborhood has been shifting gears for years.
The new Vinoteca Poscol will join other hotspots in the immediate vicinity, making this stretch of Lower Westheimer even more attractive to those who enjoy taking their lives in their hands and walking in Houston. Uchi, Aladdin, Indika, Little Big's, Southside Espresso, Rosemont Social Club, Katz's Deli, Theo's, the upcoming FM 903 (from chef Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti), and Wiles's popular pizza joint, Dolce Vita, are all so close you could make the rounds without breaking a sweat.
As for the old Vinoteca Poscol location, there's talk that it—like EJ's—will likely be repurposed. After all, no good restaurant spot sits vacant in Montrose for long these days.
"I don't know what we'll do with the old space; we might do something else," said Wiles, whose flagship restaurant, Da Marco, is located just cattycorner from the strip mall that currently houses Vinoteca Poscol. "We have it for another five years."
"Maybe I'll surprise you with something."