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Yucatan Taco Stand Pulls Out from the Heights: Is the Studewood Location Cursed?

A Latin-themed restaurant changes course and looks to open elsewhere.

Yucatan Taco Stand & Tequila Bar passes on moving to 1001 Studewood St in the Heights.
Yucatan Taco Stand & Tequila Bar passes on moving to 1001 Studewood St in the Heights.
Jakeisha Wilmore

Waiting for Yucatan Taco Stand & Tequila Bar to open in the Heights? Don't. The Oklahoma-based chain axed plans to move to 1001 Studewood recently.

Eater first reported the chain's move last June based on a post from the Houston Architecture Info Forum. In addition to a location in The Woodlands, Yucatan Taco Stand leased the 1001 Studewood Street property shortly thereafter with plans for the restaurant to "use 3,200 square feet and a yet-to-be-named concept by the same operator will use the remaining 1,700 square feet." A real estate transaction post on the Houston Chronicle's website detailed the leasing information.

On Yucatan Taco Stand's website, the Heights location was prominently listed as coming soon along with its own Facebook page, but construction never took place. Fast forward to the present and there isn't a trace of the Studewood location on the restaurant's site, social media pages are gone and a For Lease sign has taken up residence in front of property for over a month.

A representative of real estate agent Cassidy Turley wouldn't discuss the status of the Yucatan region focused restaurant but claimed the signage was for the 1,700 square feet space attached. However a representative with Yucatan Taco Stand in The Woodlands confirmed to Eater what many have concluded for months:

Indeed plans have changed and this group won't be opening a Yucatan in the Heights.

The Oklahoma chain hasn't completely abandoned the idea of opening a location in Houston. A second restaurant within the city limits will open outside the Loop at 8524 Highway 6 North, Suite 281 next year.

The 1001 Studewood property has been tough to hold on to, even for seasoned chefs and restauranteurs. Robert Gadsby's Bedford was the first restaurant to open 2008. After Gadsby left and the restaurant closed, Bryan Caswell of Reef opened Stella Sola, a Texan-Tuscan restaurant, closing two years later. Prior to Yucatan, the property was set to be Ronnie Killen's new location for Killen's Steakhouse, the project was never completed.

Some may say the location is cursed. It's a possibility. Both Caswell and Killen noted problems with a third party owner which led both to abandon the space. Could the same have happened with Yucatan Taco Stand? A representative wouldn't say. Will another restaurant attempt to make a go of the space? Or will it remain vacant for years to come?