Maggie Rita's co-owner Santiago Moreno tells the Houston Business Journal that he has closed his remaining restaurants on Shepherd and Post Oak. The move follows the December closure of the restaurant's Kirby location and represents the end of Moreno's attempts to transform his old Ninfa's restaurants into the new concept he co-owns with comedian Carlos Mencia. Tony Shannard owns the only remaining Maggie Rita's, which is located in the Chase Tower downtown.
Moreno blames the "rent structure" for the closure, but it seems like the poor quality of the food was the real problem. In a memorable review, Houston Press critic Katharine Shilcutt wrote that her arepas tasted like Saran Wrap and said the recipes "couldn't be given away." Perhaps Moreno miscalculated when he told Eater Houston that his research showed customers didn't make the decision to visit the restaurant based on food.
· Exclusive: Maggie Rita's Closes Galleria, Shepherd Locations [Houston Business Journal]
· Maggie Rita's Takes Over Ninfa's [Houston Press]
· All Maggie Rita's Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]