This is a mighty sad one. Beloved chef-driven seafood restaurant and oyster bar Holley's, 3201 Louisiana, announced its permanent closure via Facebook on Sunday evening, telling its huge fan base the following:
Holley's Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar is now permanently closed. We sincerely appreciate all of our fans, customers, family and employees who made this restaurant into a top competing and award winning force in the Houston restaurant market. It is with a heavy heart that we announce this, and we are truly grateful for each and every one of you and your contribution to the restaurant.
Chef Mark Holley, a fixture in the Houston restaurant industry for the past three decades, made a name for himself during his tenure at Brennan's of Houston (where he hired on chef Chris Shepherd) and at the upscale seafood eatery Pesce, before venturing out on his own in 2014 to open his eponymous pan-American eatery in Midtown. Holley's was known for its fried chicken dinners, decadent desserts, killer gumbo and, of course, an array of seafood dishes such as ceviche, raw and chargrilled oysters, Thai-inspired fried whole snapper and blackened grouper.
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"A whirlwind with deliberate direction," as former Press food editor Phaedra Cook called Holley in 2014, the chef and his eatery racked up critical acclaim during three years of business, including a Best Of award from the Press just last year for best brunch. Also in 2016, Press contributor Mai Pham wrote glowingly of Holley's globally influenced menu, which he told her was meant to be "a reflection of his lifelong experience," including culinary inspiration drawn everywhere from Creole to Peruvian to West African cuisines.
The Press has reached out to the restaurant and is awaiting comment at this time. No word on if Harvey played a part in the closure, but September was a mighty rough month for many restaurants in Houston, that's for certain.