One of the stalwarts in the Heights, famous for its chicken fried steak, is packing it up.
According to Eric Sandler of Houston CultureMap, Hickory Hollow will close its location at Heights Boulevard near Washington Avenue after January 2019. Its location in Fallbrook (just off Highway 249 before the Sam Houston Tollway) will remain open, reports Sandler.
The report says Hickory Hollow owner Tony Riedel sold the property to a real estate developer. It's across from the proposed Buffalo Heights mixed-use district, which will include an "urban prototype H-E-B," according to its website.
Hickory Hollow has been at its Heights location for more than 30 years, and has been serving Houston since 1977. It's "a real Texas cafe," says its website, and that can't be denied. We certainly are among the countless diners throughout the years who have extolled its chicken fried steak.
Riedel told Houstonia on Wednesday morning that the move to sell the Heights location was partially influenced by health issues. While Riedel said he's been feeling better recently, he decided consolidating would give him the opportunity to settle down and gradually hand the keys over to his top employees. Combine that with the offer from the developer, Braun Enterprises, and Riedel said it made sense to move all operations to Fallbrook.
"This is setting up the operation to be able to be run by the current management team, and they're excited to have this opportunity," said Riedel. "And the difference between management and ownership is they've witnessed many of the mistakes that one makes in that process, so they'll be able to avoid some of the missteps that I took."
Riedel said Hickory Hollow's catering business will continue and also operate out of Fallbrook. He added the team has been "really, really cooperative" and "support has been overwhelming."
While Riedel received calls of support and congratulations Tuesday (staying in one location for more than 30 years is something to celebrate), it was business as usual Tuesday evening at the Heights location. Cashiers smiled as they took orders while customers chowed down on—what else—enormous chicken fried steak.