Chef Fritz Gitschner: "it tugs at my heart to say goodbye to this special place."

Image: Andrea Weir

Less than a month after complaining to KHOU that ongoing street construction along Westheimer was killing his business, chef Fritz Gitschner announced in an email that he was closing his acclaimed steakhouse, 60 Degrees Mastercrafted. The restaurant served its final meal yesterday—a brunch service—before closing its doors for good. "While I am excited about new and promising ventures, it tugs at my heart to say goodbye to this special place," Gitschner wrote.

Over its short lifespan, 60 Degrees Mastercrafted experienced both ups and downs in addition to construction woes. When it opened in November 2013, it boasted Houston's only certified Master Chef in the kitchen. Houstonia lauded the steakhouse and its HeartBrand Texas Akaushi cuts of beef as one of the best new restaurants of 2014, though the Houston Press chided it as overly expensive with occasionally shaky service. Its lauded $200 burger—topped with seared foie gras and gold leaf—didn't impress Houston Chronicle food critic Alison Cook, and the restaurant's equally lauded sommelier—Vanessa Treviño Boyd—departed after only 10 months.

According to Gitschner, "the restaurant has been sold and will transition into another concept." No word yet on what that concept may be. "We will continue in the meantime with our business, Gitschner’s Productions," says Gitschner, "which encompasses our catering business Trio, the consulting business Culinary Blueprints, and Nelly’s Caramelized Pecans."

Despite an unexpectedly short run, Gitschner isn't leaving 60 Degrees Mastercrafted with a bad taste in his mouth. "It has been an incredible opportunity to serve you flavorful foods that hopefully showcased both my talents and my soul," he says of the customers who supported his endeavor. "I have loved every minute of every day."

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