After 30 years in its Country Club Plaza location, Houston’s restaurant will be closing its doors for good Tuesday. The closure comes unexpectedly for many, as the restaurant made the announcement Thursday – leaving Kansas City with only days to have one last meal or drink there.
Houston’s is closing due to issues with the lease, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“Despite good faith efforts on both sides, an agreement to extend our tenancy at the Plaza could not be reached with the lessor,” a post says. “Details surrounding infrastructure improvements that sought to temporarily close the restaurant proved to be insurmountable.”
KCUR’s Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann spoke with KCUR’s Food Critics on the closure, and what Houston’s has meant to them as a staple in Kansas City.
“I’m sad about it. It’s kind of a family institution,” says Mary Bloch, who blogs about food at Around The Block. “My kids are 32 and 29, and we’ve been going there since basically they were born. … When they were little they’d split the ribs, and think they had died and gone to heaven.”
In its 30-year history on the Plaza, Houston’s has meant more to Kansas Citians than just good food. As contributing editor at Feast Magazine Jenny Vergara explained, Houston’s symbolizes the older days.
“It was one of the first kind of American grills that was not necessarily casual dining and not necessarily fine dining; it fit that kind of mid-tier level, and the truth of the matter is I think our sadness about this is this is one of the last bastions of old-time restaurants that’s leaving the Plaza, to make way for newer restaurants,” Vergara says. “I will mourn the passing of Houston’s.”
Diane Krauthamer is the digital intern for KCUR 89.3.