Prince’s, the iconic Houston hamburger chain that closed its last location after Hurricane Harvey, is back.
The restaurant, which served Houstonians for more than 80 years before shuttering, has opened a new location inside the clubhouse at the Sharpstown Park Golf Course, ABC13 reports. The location is being run by Prince’s longtime owner John Broussard.
Prince’s was first founded in Dallas in 1929. In 1934, founder Doug Prince expanded to Houston, with a restaurant on Main Street. The chain quickly expanded to 18 locations, many of them close to high schools and colleges, like the one at Cullen Boulevard and I45, near the University of Houston. The restaurants became popular hangouts, where students would socialize and show off their cars.
Prince’s is often credited with popularizing the drive-thru in Texas. Their juicy burgers, fried shrimp baskets, crispy onion rings and chocolate shakes didn’t hurt either. In 2015, Eater named Prince’s one of Houston’s most iconic burgers.
In the 1970s, John Broussard was working for a meat wholesaler, and the original Prince’s on Main was one of his customers, he told ABC13. Then-owner Elizabeth Flores was about to close up shop, but he convinced her to go into business with him, and that iteration of Prince’s operated with a handful of locations until 1990. In 1993 Broussard decided to reopen the chain, starting with a restaurant on the Katy Freeway. After a few more expansions and contractions, the final Prince’s, at 3425 Ella Boulevard, closed in 2017 due to Hurricane Harvey.
At the time, Broussard told the Houston Chronicle that the restaurant was just taking a short break, and would be back soon.
The new location, at 6600 Harbor Town Drive, opened quietly a few months ago. It’s currently the only Houston location, but Broussard told ABC13 it stays true to the original. “I don’t want to change it. I’ve never changed the recipe — I’ve only changed the price,” Broussard told ABC13. “And I wish I didn’t have to do that but I don’t think I could make it selling burgers for 10 cents anymore.”
Like many old-fashioned burger places, the interior of the new Prince’s is steeped in nostalgia, documenting the company’s long history in Houston. The restaurant has even brought back some of the old traditions — every first Sunday, from 9 a.m. to noon, the plan is for patrons to gather for a casual car show.
Read much more about the long history of Prince’s at the Texas State Historical Association’s website.