Sadly, not all of the news in Houston’s dining scene is good news. As the city makes way for more and more restaurants every single year, that means that, inevitably, some beloved spots have to close their doors.
2019 was not as busy a year for closures as previous years, but the departure of these five favorites was still totally devastating. Take a look back at Houston’s biggest restaurant closures of 2019, and pour one out for these dearly departed favorites.
Considering that it took chef-owner Bryan Caswell more than two years to reopen Reef, his iconic Houston seafood restaurant, after Hurricane Harvey, its closure in November was seriously devastating. It came shortly after Caswell shuttered Montrose Tex-Mex spot El Real, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but this Gulf seafood-obsessed restaurant’s influence on Houston’s dining scene shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Pass and Provisions
In one of the year’s most shocking closures, the Pass and Provisions abruptly closed its doors in May after seven years of slinging some of Houston’s most innovative dishes. The closure was announced on May 24, and the Pass and Provisions served its final meals just a day later. Considering its versatility as one of the city’s only spots for either a casual meal or a luxe tasting menu, serious fans are still smarting over the loss of the Pass and Provisions.
After about five years of serving some of Houston’s most critically-acclaimed dishes, Pax Americana called it quits in January, citing a desire to “allow the team to move on to new projects.” Following Pax Americana’s departure, the space has since been transformed into the second location of B.B. Lemon, restaurateur Benjamin Berg’s popular casual eatery.
After a decade as one of Montrose’s most beloved patio destinations, Canopy and Woodbar closed the doors in May after owner Clare Smith’s lease on the space at 3939 Montrose Boulevard expired. Fortunately, its sister spot Alice Blue is still going strong in the Heights.
The Black Labrador
Also departing Montrose in 2019 was the Black Labrador, a beloved bar that earned legions of loyal regulars in its 33 years of slinging beers. Sadly for the Black Lab, its space at 4100 Montrose Boulevard was sold to a developer earlier this year, though no word yet on what’s set to take over that space in the coming months.