Updated: Fire Forces Alma Latina to Close

The beloved Heights restaurant went up in smoke this morning, but hopes to reopen in a few weeks.

By Katharine Shilcutt June 7, 2016

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The Houston Fire Department arrived shortly after smoke began billowing out of Alma Latina's kitchen this morning.

Update: We received an emailed statement from Alma Latina confirming that the restaurant "experienced a substantial kitchen fire this morning." The restaurant further stated that "the fire was contained to the kitchen only but will need repair. We are grateful that no one was injured and we are already in the rebuilding process. We plan to be open again in just a couple of weeks and look forward to shaking hands again with all our customers that have supported us for over 30 years."

This morning around 8:30 a.m., a fire broke out at Alma Latina on Shepherd Dr. at 22nd St. Employees were seen fleeing the kitchen from the rear exit, flagging down the Houston Fire Department vehicle and ladder trucks that arrived mere minutes after thick, black smoke began billowing out of the restaurant.

No word yet on what caused the fire, but it appears to have originated in the kitchen. Even as HFD crews arrived, smoke was beginning to pour out from under the front door of the restaurant, leading to speculation that the dining room and other areas may have also suffered damage during the blaze.

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The blaze began around 8:30 a.m.

The fire was put out by 9:30 a.m., and Alma Latina—which is typically open for breakfast seven days a week by 10 a.m.—remains closed while recovery efforts are underway. Ironically, its website boasts that its "kitchen fires up in the early morning hours to prepare everything from breakfast tacos to full breakfast plates."

We've reached out to the restaurant and the HFD for comment on what caused the fire and when Alma Latina may reopen; we'll update this post with more information as it comes in. For now, the 25-year-old restaurant maintains three other locations across the city (including Kingwood) where Heights diners hungry for their dose of "Latin soul" can still enjoy Alma Latina's famous carne guisada and breakfast plates of "machaquiles" and chorizo-and-egg tortas.


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