R.I.P: Ruggles Grill Demolished This Morning

A bright yellow hydraulic excavator loomed over the Ruggles Grill this morning like the Grim Reaper, shortly before its jaws tore into the old restaurant and demolished it for good. The grill was opened in 1986 by Bruce Molzan and his then-wife, Susan, and for many Houstonians growing up in the '80s and '90s, Ruggles was their first fancy dinner destination.

Ruggles closed in February of this year amidst Bruce Molzan's continuing financial troubles. Ruggles employees staged a walk-out in December 2011 over nonpayment of tips, and the restaurant was involved in several lawsuits over various business interests.

Ryan Hildebrand, chef and owner of Triniti, recently purchased the old Ruggles space and plans to open a second restaurant there. Brande is slated for late 2013 after extensive construction. Said a press release back in April:

The new structure, described as "a contemporary building with a rustic farmhouse feel," will be designed by Houston's MC2 Architects, the same group that helped create Triniti. It will be located at 903 Westheimer, the former home of Ruggles Grill, and will offer an extensive selection of charcuterie, crafted breads, pastries and dry aged meats.

With Ruggles Grill finally gone for good, what are your memories of the space and your meals there?

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