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

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