Felix Mexican Restaurant Closes After 60 Years in Business

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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

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