Cue Queen's Another One Bites the Dust because one more Washington Corridor restaurant is a goner.
It's been rumored for weeks that Polovina Italian Cafe closed its doors. One of the earliest online mentions was a comment on Houston Press' food blog, Eating Our Words on October 11. This morning, Houston Chronicle food critic Alison Cook, tweeted this:
The beat goes on: Got an email that Polovina Italian Cafe on Washington has been locked out for non-payment.— Alison Cook (@alisoncook) October 30, 2014
Houston Press followed up with a photo showing a lock-out notice posted to the restaurant's door by its landlord. The notice alleges the tenant is being locked out due to non-payment of rent. The Press goes on to say, " the [note] posted on the door says new keys will be issued once payment is made to the company handling the rent."
Polovina's website is up and running but the cafe's sales tax status with the state is inactive. Upon closer inspection of Polonvina's website, Beirut Fine is listed in the site's heading. Beirut Fine Lebanese Cuisine is a restaurant expected to open on 4105 Washington Avenue, in the former Reign nightclub venue. Odd at first glance and could possibly be considered a typo, but Beirut Fine Lebanese Cuisine is owned by Mohammed Al-Ahmed who's also the owner of Polovina Italian Cafe.
The new restaurant is most likely the reason for non-payment. Scheduled to open months ago, most weekends a construction crew can be seen working on the building. It's possible that they're changing domains and will use Polovina's instead. Al-Ahmed or anyone associated with either concepts could be reached for comment.
Two restaurant closings in a month on the same strip, along with the closure of Chopping Block Gourmet Burgers and Blue Moose Lodge shouldn't be a cause for alarm. The Washington Corridor is growing, especially the lower end. The recent opening of bourbon bar Julep and forthcoming Urban Eats, Grafittis at Union St., Big Eyed Fish and B & R Butchers show that there's still life left on Washington Avenue.