In an email to Eater last night, Killen's Steakhouse chef/owner Ronnie Killen announced that his option to sign the lease to takeover the former Stella Sola property in the Heights had expired, and that he would not be going forward with the project. Killen wrote:
"They gave me a deadline of Friday at 5pm to have the lease signed, they couldn't get the offsite parking done. I didn't sign it. So glad I spent 20k on a lease that was so one sided. Can't wait to start serving BBQ."
Killen's announcement ends weeks of speculation, here and on other sites, that the deal was in trouble; rumors Killen had consistently denied. For Killen, his decision means the chance to focus on his new Pearland barbecue restaurant and relocating his steakhouse in Pearland to a new, larger space.
For Stella Sola's owners, the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, the search begins to find a new tenant for their restaurant. Last month, company representative Lambert Arceneaux stated that he and his partners are determined to keep a restaurant in the building, citing both the cost to create the space and the cost associated to turn it into anything else. Assuming that any of the parties rumored to be stalking the space before Killen announced he'd be moving in are still interested, Arceneaux's phone should ring soon.
· Is Killen's to the Heights Dead? [-EHOU-]
· New Barbecue, Burger and Beer Restaurant Brings Steak Master Chef Cred & Heights Implications [CultureMap]