Pot Luck

Felix Mexican Restaurant Closes After 60 Years in Business

Felix Mexican Restaurant at 904 Westheimer has shut down after 60 years in business. Longtime patrons are leaving notes on the front door of the shuttered Tex-Mex institution demanding an explanation. “We need some closure,” one note read.

Felix Mexican Restaurant was the granddaddy of Houston Tex-Mex. It was named for Felix Tijerina, a Mexican immigrant who worked at The Original Mexican Restaurant on Fannin before opening his own Tex-Mex restaurant, The Mexican Inn, in 1929. Felix’s first Montrose location opened in 1937.

The flagship restaurant at 904 Westheimer opened in 1948. At the time, a regular dinner cost 50 cents. In the heyday of the chain, there were six Felix Mexican restaurants in Houston and Beaumont. Tijernia became active in Houston politics and was a four-time national president of LULAC.

See “Combination Plates,” part two of "A Six Part History of Tex-Mex."

A excellent biography of Felix titled: Mexican American Odyssey: Felix Tijerina, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader, 1905-1965, written by Thomas H. Kreneck, was published by Texas A&M Press in 2001. The author worked on the book in conjunction with the University of Houston's Center for Mexican-American Studies and the Houston Public Library. -- Robb Walsh

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 34-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press