Victory Over The River Oaks Shopping Center! Kinda

That proposed restaurant in the River Oaks Shopping Center that had everyone up in Armani-clad arms?

It's not going to happen.

It wasn't the Lexus Revolution that killed it, though -- the city gave Weingarten Realty pretty much everything it asked for in the way of variances.

No, it was the economy that killed it. Food king Tony Vallone, who had planned to put in an Italian (really?) bistro in the spot that had rankled neighbors, told the River Oaks Examiner that he's dropping the idea for now.

"This is not the time for expansion," he said.

Plans for the restaurant called for a balcony close to the street (Shepherd) that, residents said, would be noisy and jarring.

Vallone says he never would have put anything there that would have annoyed neighbors, and that there was a lot of "miscommunication" about the project.

Still, it's an actual rare case of a Houston neighborhood winning against a developer. Impressive, even though a) it involved the richest neighborhood in town, and b) it took a worldwide financial collapse to do it.

-- Richard Connelly

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