When chef Ronnie Killen first announced in May that he would take over the Stella Sola space to open a second location of his steakhouse, he promised a six to eight week turnaround. It's now been eleven weeks, and there's been nary a peep from Killen or his PR team about the new restaurant in some time. Further adding to the speculation, this post on the Houston Architecture Info Forum and this post to the Heights Life Facebook page both suggest that the deal has fallen apart, and the space is set to become doctors' offices. Finally, Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook, a long time Killen's fan who broke the story about the move, tweeted last night that she heard the deal was
off "in serious doubt."
Eater reached out to Killen and his PR representative for comment. They have said they are still "negotiating the lease." Perhaps all the speculation is premature, and Killen will be able to resolve the issues and move forward with his plans.
Update: Killen has responded to the story in the comments that the terms of the lease are still being negotiated. One of the building's owners, Lambert Arceneaux of the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, also contacted Eater to verify that the deal is still on. He noted that it would be "too costly to gut building and start over again" by transforming it from a restaurant to a doctor's office. He described his other partners as "cautious" and said that, once the lawyers finish their work, that the deal should proceed.
· Alison Cook [Twitter]
· The Heights Life [Facebook]
· Lack Of Restaurant Diversity in the Heights [HAIF]
· All Killen's Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]