Houston’s biggest restaurant closures of 2022

Houston’s biggest restaurant closures of 2022

Overall, 2022 was a banner year for the city’s restaurant scene, with dozens of new projects making their debut. But there were also closings and failures that remind diners that pandemic disruptions to the way we eat continue to hurt the hospitality industry. Some restaurants quickly found new life as other concepts; others are permanently closed.

Here are some of the restaurants we said goodbye to in 2022.

Tim Love Restaurants

Three concepts from Fort Worth-based chef Tim Love, all located inside Levy Park in Upper Kirby, closed abruptly in August. Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack, and Side Dough all opened in March 2020 just before COVID-19 hit.

Vincent Mandola Family Restaurants

Houston diners were stunned by the August announcement that a beloved trio of restaurants (Nino’s, Vincent’s and Grappino di Nino at 2817 W. Dallas) were closing to make way for a new dining destination called the Harlow District. The original Nino’s, opened by Vincent and Mary Mandola in 1977, grew into three Tuscan- and Sicilian-inspired restaurants clustered on one city block.

of Fegen

Just a year into operation, this final remaining concept from the once mighty FEED TX restaurant group closed in April. The owners offered no explanation for the closure of the Italian-American restaurant, 1050 Studewood, but partner Lance Fegen, for whom the restaurant was named, said it was time for him to “move into my next phase and a more directed life.” . FEED once fed Houston with restaurants such as BRC Gastropub and Liberty Kitchen.

Shoot the moon

In business just a year, the tap bar and restaurant at 8155 Long Point in Spring Branch closed in June, citing disappointing sales. Billed as Houston’s first self-serve bar, the owners of Shoot the Moon stated that the low traffic in Spring Branch Village, where Feges BBQ makes its home, could not support the business.

Max’s Wine Dive Montrose

September brought the news that Max’s in Montrose, 214 Fairview, closed, leaving only the original Lasco Enterprises location on Washington Avenue flying the Max’s flag. Houston Food Finder first reported that nearby neighbor Cuchara, the Mexico City-inspired bistro, would be taking over the space to expand operations. Cuchara’s founder said the new space (called “del otro lado” meaning “the other side”) would open on January 1.

BBQ on Jackson Street

Opening its doors as the Astros began the 2015 baseball season, this downtown barbecue joint at 209 Jackson, in the shadow of Minute Maid Park, closed in March. Jackson Street (whose original operators included Bill Floyd, pitmaster Greg Gatlin and partner Bryan Caswell) chose not to renew its lease, citing struggling operations as downtown continued to emerge from the pandemic.


Spring Branch Pub at 7710 Long Point, closed in August. Open five years, The Branch weathered Hurricane Harvey, but couldn’t sustain operations caused by the pandemic and economic downturn. Ultimately, owner Kyle Pierson said it was a simple matter of math and his own health struggles that led to the pub’s closure.

Renaissance Market

After 11 years, the epicurean Heights cafe announced it would close in July at 550 Heights. Operated by Agricole Hospitality, the space saw its revival when a few weeks later Layne Cruz, Revival’s general manager, opened Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant and cafe offering a taste of New Orleans-inspired food and drink.

Sonoma in the Heights

The wine bar at 801 Studewood closed in June after 10 years in the Heights, citing rent difficulties. But Sonoma’s other operations, Sonoma Wine Bar in Upper Kirby and Sonoma Wine & Cheese in Katy, were not affected by the closing. In fact, owner Farrah Cauley’s brand is growing: According to Sonoma’s website, she will open a new location at 1227 W. 34th in March 2023.


After nearly four years in business, the vegan restaurant at 449 W. 19th, closed in July. Verdine took to Instagram to announce the closing, stating that she had been presented with an offer to leave her lease early.

La Table

The fine dining restaurant at 1800 Post Oak, which went through several transitions during its tenure in the Galleria area, announced its closing in July. Operations at the luxury two-level space were taken over by a new partnership between the busy Berg Hospitality Group and Bastion Collection (Le Jardinier and Café Leonelli). The new year will bring two concepts to the space, a reimagined La Table upstairs and Tavola, an upscale Italian restaurant with a bar-style bar, downstairs.

Tasting Room

The last of Lasco Enterprises’ wine bar restaurants closed in CityCentre in August. Lasco announced that its landlord was not renewing its lease, spelling the end of a wine bar concept that has been part of Houston’s dining and drinking scene for 20 years. The Uptown Park tasting room closed in 2020 after 17 years.

Fun in Richmond

The sports bar and pub restaurant at 1613 Richmond served its last drafts and burgers in July, after eight years in Montrose. Owner Ted Baker stated that he chose not to renew his lease and would focus his attention on his other two concepts, Pennywhistle Pub in Richmond and Bobcat Teddy’s in the Heights.

The Union Kitchen Washington

Gr8 Plate Hospitality closed Union Kitchen at 6011 Washington in July. But the hospitality group (Union Kitchen and Jax Grill) announced that it would install its latest concept, Passerella, a Gr8 Plate Italian restaurant opening to enthusiastic reception in Cypress in 2022, in the new year space.


Alex Au-Yeung, owner of the popular Phat restaurant in Katy Asian Town, announced that its sister concept, Yelo, will close in September to accommodate the expansion of Phat next door. Yelo, which specializes in South Asian street food, including an inventive banh mi menu, opened in 2021. Phat’s fortunes could grow further when a new location opens in The Woodlands in 2023.

Burro & Bull

Henderson & Kane General Store owners John and Veronica Avila announced in August that they were discontinuing operations of their short-lived Texas barbecue and dining restaurant at 25618 US 290 in Cypress. But that came with the news that chef Ronnie Killen would be taking over the space to expand his Killen’s Barbecue in the same space. Killen’s, one of the state’s premier barbecue joints, is expected to open in the new year.

The Pierogi Queen

The League City restaurant known for its authentic Polish dumplings, stuffed cabbage and blinzes closed in May after six years. Rising food prices, slow business and the inability to retain service staff were to blame. “We were trying so hard for so long,” said owner Eva Sek’s Facebook post. “Unfortunately, all our achievements did not help us enough to continue the run longer.”

Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or I tweet. Send him news tips at [email protected]. Listen to him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn about barbecue culture in Houston and Texas.

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