In many ways, 2017 was an epic year for Houston’s restaurant scene. Ahead of hosting the Super Bowl (and after), the city became home to dozens of exciting new eateries across a variety of cuisines, price points, and vibes.
But of course, with this growth comes change, and that means that some spots were forced to close their doors this year. In 2017, restaurateurs had more to contend with than the usual uncertainty of the restaurant business thanks to Hurricane Harvey, which has been blamed for more than one shutter. As 2018 bears down, pour one out for these 5 now-shuttered eateries.
In March, Houston said goodbye to Oxheart, Chef Justin Yu’s award-winning (and much-beloved eatery). The restaurant had racked up pretty much every accolade possible, including a spot in Eater critic Bill Addison’s heart. Fortunately, Yu has already returned with his creative new restaurant Theodore Rex, and is serving up some of the city’s best bar fare at his Heights watering hole Better Luck Tomorrow. Still, there’s a little bit of lingering sadness over the loss of a place that was as special as Oxheart.
Fluff Bake Bar
“Sugar Hooker” Rebecca Masson’s bakery survived Hurricane Harvey, only to sustain extensive flood damage a few months later. Masson is already hard at work getting her bakery back online, and she’s been popping up for her Saturday Morning Bake Sales at restaurants across the city. Expect for Fluff Bake Bar to return stronger than ever in 2018. Need a Fluffernutter (or a dozen) in the meantime? Place an online order for takeaway via Fluff’s website.
Holley’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
Chef Mark Holley’s home for Gulf fare took significant damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which forced the restaurant to close its doors as Holley dealt with “residual damage” from the storm. Considering Holley’s inventive hand with seafood, here’s hoping that 2018 brings an exciting new home for the chef.
Chef Ryan Hildebrand’s stunning eatery closed its doors in February after five years in Space City. It racked up plenty of accolades for its chic design and Gulf Coast-inspired cuisine, and even scored a coveted visit from First Lady Michelle Obama while it was opened. Fortunately, the spot has since been turned into swanky steakhouse Doris Metropolitan, and Hildebrand has found a new home at his fun new restaurant FM Kitchen & Bar.
In 2016, Eater Houston named Bernadine’s its Restaurant of the Year. Less than a year later it was closed, and that has a lot to do with the financial (and personal) drama that plagued Treadsack Restaurants all throughout 2017. Despite the issues behind the scenes, diners are already missing Bernadine’s innovative Gulf Coast fare.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect that Fluff Bake Bar is taking online orders as construction is completed on its space in Midtown.