Houston Restaurants Closing For Harvey? Not So Fast, Say Owners

Inside Hay Merchant, which plans to remain open.
Inside Hay Merchant, which plans to remain open. Photo by Houston Press
Playing it by ear. That's the most common thread among Houston restaurants, as the city braces for an onslaught of rain and tropical storm-forced winds over the weekend and likely through next week. Flooding could be a major concern for parts of Houston, and as with any storm of this strength, losing power would also seem imminent due to gusts and downed trees. Plus, everyone wants to remain safe and usually that means hunkering down and not driving anywhere. Unless you're restaurant staff.

The Houston Press reached out to some of Houston's favorite local restaurants, to see if they plan on operating throughout the weekend, and all of the eateries are basically waiting to see how things will play out.  At one day out from landfall, it's almost too early to tell what to do.

Jonathan Horawitz, restaurateur and president of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association tells the Press, "So many operations are different and will be impacted differently depending on where they're located."  He does encourage restaurants however to always put employee and customer safety first. "There's no reason to be open if it's dangerous to get to the restaurant. Everyone needs to protect their families, their property, and their employees. And if that means closing for a day or two, that's just what has to happen."

While Urban Eats on Washington is planning to be open all weekend with regular hours, and Ousie's Table is planning to offer a Harvey Wallbanger special — a Wallbanger cocktail and Gulf Coast oysters for $10— on Friday and Saturday nights,  Upper Kirby favorite Kata Robata says "we'll play it by ear."

That's the same sentiment shared by H-Town Restaurant Group including Hugo’s, Backstreet Café, Caracol, and Xochi:  “As of now all our restaurants will open Friday for lunch and dinner as normal. If we need to we will close early on Friday night. We will not make any decisions about Saturday or Sunday until Friday evening."

Harold's in The Heights plans to operate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday day, but closing for Sunday night, but they also suggest you "call the restaurant and check our social media pages first," just in case.

While Chris Shepherd's Underbelly and Hay Merchant are not planning to close unless absolutely necessary,
Third Coast in the Texas Medical Center has decided to close for dinner service on Saturday night.

As for beloved Houston deli Kenny and Ziggy's, says owner Ziggy Gruber: "We'll be open if the weather is reasonable. If I see Noah and an arc all bets are off."

Agricole Hospitality is playing it safe. Coltivare is closed Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26. Revival Market open Friday, closed Saturday, August 26.Eight Row Flint limited hours on Friday, closed Saturday, August 26.

Siphon Coffee is closing at 2 p.m. on Friday. Closed all day on Saturday, August 26.

All Liberty Kitchen locations plan to operate with normal hours.

Kolache Shoppe plans to operate with normal hours Friday, August 25 and close on Saturday, August 26.

Killen's Steakhouse in Pearland is offering an all day happy hour at the bar today, August 25.

Jonathan’s The Rub will remain open for dinner tonight, Friday, August 25, for dining in and pickup orders.
Weather permitting, Jonathan will offer family meals for pickup during the day and will be open for dinner tomorrow.

Antone's is closing both of its locations (West Loop on San Felipe and North Loop on TC Jester) at 4 p.m. on Friday. Still decided if they will open on Saturday.

FM Kitchen & Bar is selling hurricanes for $5 all day and night.

Arnaldo Richards Picos, Roka Akor, King’s BierHaus and King's Biergarten are all open. 

Balls Out Burger is open.

Goode Company restaurants are open. Side note: Nathan Bonnes + Jake Ward Show at Armadillo Palace has beencancelled and the Bart Crow show has been postponed until October 20 (August 25 ticket will be valid for admission to the show on October 20. If you cannot attend the postponed date, please contact ExtremeTix Customer Service at 888-695- 0888 within 30 days for refund.)

Café Annie will close at 5 p.m. on Friday and remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Helen in the Heights is closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as is Helen Greek Food and Wine.

Local Foods Downtown closed at 3 p.. Rice Village, Upper Kirby and Tanglewood all close at 7 p.m. and will be closed all weekend.

State of Grace is closed today, August 25.

Steak 48 is also closed today, August 25.

Tacodeli is closed until further notice.

The Grove closed at 9 p.m. and will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Yauatcha closes at 9:30 p.m. and is undecided about opening the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, August 26 Update:

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation will be open for as long as possible on Saturday

Antone's West Loop (San Felipe) is closed but North Loop (TC Jester) is open.

Liberty Kitchen locations will be open during regular hours until further notice.

Make sure to check out the Facebook page Hurricane Harvey Houston Restaurant & Bar Updates, where many restaurants are sharing their opening/closing information regarding this weekend.

The Houston Press will continue to update with any news on restaurant closures this weekend, so do check back.
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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.