Ryan Roberts, third from left, helped cement Cullen's reputation as a destination restaurant for Scotch lovers.
Ryan Roberts, third from left, helped cement Cullen's reputation as a destination restaurant for Scotch lovers.
Photo courtesy of Cullen’s American Grille & Whisk(e)y Bar

Clear Lake Restaurant Suffers Tragic Loss With Ryan Roberts's Death [UPDATED]

Updated, 9/11/2015, 12:20 p.m.

A memorial service for Ryan Roberts will be from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15 in the 2008 Ballroom at Cullen's American Grille and Whisk(e)y, 11500 Space Center Blvd., followed by a Celebration of Life reception from 3 to 5 p.m at 'Merica Bar.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Zachary Roberts (Ryan Roberts' Brother) for the Madyson and Reese Roberts Educational Fund. The Bank of America account number is 488057838737 and the routing number is 026009593.

Houston-area restaurant professionals were stricken on Sunday with the news that one of their finest has unexpectedly passed away. Ryan Roberts, who has been the general manager of Cullen’s American Grille & Whisk(e)y Bar since it opened seven years ago, was found dead in his home on Sunday morning.

It appears he died in his sleep, but the cause is still being determined. According to the Cullen's public relations company, he was only 37 years old. He leaves behind two children, a daughter and a son who are only 12 and 11 years old. Cullen’s will reveal its plans for celebrating his life in the next few days. 

He previously worked for the Pappas Group and was well-known among Houston restaurant professionals and regular customers of Cullen's. Friends and peers alike took to Facebook to post about how well-liked he was and about his generosity with his knowledge and the opportunities he helped give others in the industry. 

A statement from Kevin and Sandra Munz, proprietors of Cullen’s American Grille and Whisk(e)y Bar, reads:

On behalf of Ryan’s family, we thank those who have reached out with their condolences and offers of support, but ask you to respect their privacy as they deal with this tragedy.

We cannot find words to properly express our grief over the loss of our friend who, in addition to his warmth and spirit, was a driving force in our shared vision for excellence.

Roberts was not only a general manager but also one of Houston’s top spirits professionals. His work at Cullen’s cemented the steakhouse’s own reputation as a destination for diners seeking rare whiskeys. Thanks in part to Roberts’s great enthusiasm, the restaurant grew its collection to more than 500 bottles and even added “and Whisk(e)y Bar” to its name this past March.

Final arrangements for Roberts have not yet been announced. We’ll update this story if we receive further details.

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