Nearly a year after a fire destroyed Heights restaurant Southern Goods, chef-owner Lyle Bento has announced that the popular eatery will not reopen.
Back in November of last year, a fire ripped through the restaurant’s kitchen, causing extensive damage to its space at 632 West 19th Street. Estimates at the time indicated that it would cost about $30,000 to reopen Southern Goods, and as Eater reported last year, Bento launched a crowdfunding effort to offset his costs. That effort only ultimately raised about $2,000 of its $10,000 goal.
After several months of fighting with his insurance company to pay for repairs, Bento says that he wasn’t able to sustain his lease on Southern Goods’ building. “We got to the point where the lease was a factor,” Bento said in a statement. “I realized I was going to have to let go of my lease while continuing to work with the insurance company.” It’s not surprising that Bento dealt with insurance hassles, considering that companies have been inundated with claims for damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, which happened about two months before Southern Goods caught fire.
Now, Bento is working with Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly Hospitality, where he will oversee the Houston restaurant empire’s catering business. That means that Bento will be working on forthcoming steakhouse Georgia James’ offerings at NRG Stadium, and helm Underbelly’s fermentation projects.
No word yet on what will become of the space that formerly housed Southern Goods. Stay tuned for more details.