Bad Luck And Trouble

The Dirty Dozen: Houston's 12 Jinxed Restaurant Spots

Looking back on a five-year-old list and seeing if any of these Bermuda triangles have turned around.

By John Lomax September 25, 2013

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...

Image: Google Maps

2006 Lexington

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.

No more restaurants here.

Image: Google Maps

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.

4527 Lomitas

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. 

4315 Montrose

In Days Gone By: Aries, Pic, Russo’s Café Anthony, 43 Brasserie

2008: Brasserie Max and Julie

Today: Brasserie Max and Julie. Curse reversed.

2703 Smith

In Days Gone By: Craiganale’s Little Italy; a convenience store; a taqueria; other stuff.

2008: Vacant

Today: Community Wine Bar, a hipster hang that opened not long after my original article. Curse reversed.

One of the most frequently repainted signs in town now presides over fenced-in asphalt.

Image: Google Maps

3316 Milam

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.

Huzzah! Ye Olde Jinx Hath Lifted!

1915 Westheimer

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.

3401 Kirby

In Days Gone By: Pizzeria Uno, Floridita, Corelli’s Italian Café

2008: Sushi King

Today: It remains Sushi King. Curse reversed.

219 Westheimer

In Days Gone By:  Aldo’s Dining Con Amore, Giorgina’s Ristorante Italiano, Chez Georges

2008: Feast

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.

12719 Westheimer 

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.

2008: Unknown

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.




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