Tex-Mex Stalwart in Allen Center Is Closing on Friday

When these neon signs are turned off for good, there are going to be some really sad people in Allen Center.
When these neon signs are turned off for good, there are going to be some really sad people in Allen Center.
Photo by Kevin Healy

It wasn’t a destination restaurant for most Houstonians, but for many people who work in and near Allen Center, this is going to be really sad news.

After 24 years, reliable Tex-Mex restaurant Don Patron Bar & Grill is closing on Friday, March 4. According to the reader who kindly supplied this photo, the main dining room area is already shut down but the taco counter (covered way back in 2011 by freelance restaurant critic Nicholas Hall) is open until Friday.

One of the owners, Nancy Carameros, said by phone that Allen Center, which is managed by Brookfield Properties, bought out the lease because of the need to remodel that part of the building that faces Smith Street. John Swerdlow of Brookfield Property Partners, which manages Allen Center, said via email, "We are doing a big remodel to One Allen. The configuration of the space [Don Patron] is in is changing so there was no way to leave [it] in place during construction. We are going to put in another restaurant, but nothing firm yet." 

The new construction appears to be related to the adjacent work around the corner on Dallas Street. We’ve been told that it has to do with expansion for a bank that’s another tenant of the building. 

While the restaurant hasn’t been a critical darling of food writers in a long time, it has been an important part of work life for thousands of people who work in the three skyscrapers that make up Allen Center. For more than two decades, it's been treasured for good Tex-Mex plates and as a convenient spot for business lunches. Don Patron has hosted countless corporate parties and was great for indulging in an after-work margarita or two, also.

Carameros encourages loyal customers to visit their other restaurant, Tejas Grill & Sports Bar at 1201 Lamar.  


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