Restaurants and Bars you liked that closed down

Discussion in 'Rusty's Grill' started by Chop, May 15, 2019.

  1. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    I may be a few years late, but I just noticed that Houston's Bonnie's Beef and Seafood shut down. Anyone who drove the Gulf Freeway recognized Bonnie's iconic waterwheel building -- right by Pappas on the Northbound feeder road just inside the loop. A pretty good place at one time*, but I suppose they didn't keep up with the times, and I heard their quality started to sink in the last years. Going in there was like a time warp to the 1970s era of restaurants--complete with the salad bar and live musician. In today's world of cookie cutter chains, I wish Bonnie's had made it.

    * nobody would have mistaken this place for a high-end dry aged beef fine dining steakhouse, but a unique and interesting eat nonetheless.
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  2. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    El Matador in Round Rock. It closed about 15 yrs ago, reopened for a few months then closed for good. Best TexMex around.

    I also used to like Mezzaluna which had really good Italian food downtown, but they opened a second one up by the Arboretum and about two years later they were both gone.

    Lots of old Austin originals now gone. People come here because Austin is cool, but the cool Austin died about 10-15 years ago.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    Indeed. Now Austin is just big and trendy. And trendy is a far cry from being cool.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Long list:

    LeRuth's in NOLA (actually on Washington in Gretna) for decades it was NOLA's best restaurant. He mailed regulars an invitation to come dine one last time before he closed. Still the best restaurant I ever had the privilege of dining in.


    Otto's Hamburgers on Memorial
    Achilles' on Memorial
    Rudy's (not the BBQ)
    The Rivoli
    Harry's Kenya
    Courtyard on Katy Frwy
    Burgerville #2
    Poor Man's Country Club
    Avenue Grill




    Sid's on Lamar (I can taste that bread as I type)


    D'Luciano's on Lombard (falls behind LeRuth's & Grey Cliffs as my favorites of all time)
    LaPergula on Chestnut (who got the 18th century Italian painting of LBJ?)
    Neptune's Palace on Pier 39 (the original version with seafood and death by chocolate)

    Orange County

    The Arches - the original location where Humphrey Bogart puffed cigarettes and drank at the end of the bar waiting for Lauren Bacall, and where John Wayne and his wife ate every Thursday night when he was in town.

    Morton's - all locations
  5. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Ah yes, Harry's Kenya! What a cool and unique place, and with amazing food.

    In Houston, also add Charley's 517, Vargo's. Loma Linda (fantastic Mexican food dive in E Houston), Brady's Landing (on the ship channel), and the Velvet Turtle.

    Fort Worth: Billy Miner's
  6. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts


    Unfortunately, I never had even a descent meal at either Vargo's or Brady's Landing.

    I should have included El Jardin in Houston's east end - 77th and Navigation, Harrisburg or Broadway. Incredible Mexican food, but once Joe sold it, it wasn't even passible.
  7. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    I understand you on Brady's--it was as much for watching the ships and barges go by as eating fine food. Another place that was kind of like that (but more casual) was "The Point" at Morgan's Point/La Porte. I believe it was closed down with the expansion of the Barbours Cut port facilities.

    I liked Vargo's, so we'll have to differ on that one.
  8. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Your post reminds me of the San Jacinto Inn. Was the food ever great? No, but you just loved going there.

    Another I left of was the old Sonny Look's Sir Loin House on Westheimer where The Palm is now. That food was extraordinary, and the guy in full mideval armour sitting out front on the white horse out front, and Sonny changing dinner jackets every thirty minutes. As a kid, I loved going there.
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  9. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Austin: GM Steakhouse -- was best for their intentionally rude and comical service, good burgers, and good ice cream shakes. Skip the steaks...
  10. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    I feel some of these sentiments too, but I believe Austin still lives on in many places South of the river.
  11. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    And, of course, all Wyatt's and Picadilly's cafeterias.
  12. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts


    Add Luby's to your list. After the Pappas brothers attempt to turn the pride of Golden Age Manor into bad food with TVs & bar, they are putting all locations up for sale. That great Aggie education led them to raise the cost of the old people's special, aka, Luann Platter from $4.99 to $12, while reducing selections and quality.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    I added Bars (along with Restaurants) to the thread title.

    And, with that in mind...

    Austin: Joe's Generic Bar. Old-school plain-Jane, vintage Austin live music joint. Lots of quality (and some not-so-quality) live blues and bluesy-rock guitar pickin' with no cover/low cover (plus regulars often got waived through without paying), friendly people, and cheap beer. When out with pals on 6th St., wherever else we might have gone, I made sure we stopped into Joe's at some point in the night.
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  14. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Wait a minute! What!?!?!? I thought it was just my local Luby's that just went away. Are they all going down??? I loved Luby's. It's practically a Texas institution. It's part of King of the Hill (his niece 'Luann Platter'). Plus, where will all the old ladies go after church?
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  15. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Greeks put both all Luby's and Fuddruckers on the block. If you haven't been, the half pound burger is now 1/4 or 1/3 pound for what you paid or the hald pound. Since their Aggie brothers do not notice, Chris & Harris seem to think no one else will either. If you're in a hurry, it ain't crowded
    • WTF? WTF? x 1
  16. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    So if Luby's goes down, the last cafeterias standing (that I know of) are 2 independent joints: Cleburne Cafeteria in Houston (on Bissonnet), and the Renaissance Cafeteria (basement of the Renaissance XX tower) in Dallas (lunch only).
  17. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Is Highland Park Cafeteria closed?
  18. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Beats me, I haven't dined there before. There are probably others I just don't know about.

    I personally like the cafeteria format, but know many people who hate them. I think most of Generation Y, the Millenials, and those younger never liked these places. The most frequent gripe I hear is that it reminds them of school cafeterias...
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  19. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    Try Arcodoro in the Galleria area sometime.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Dionysus

    Dionysus Cocky + Relaxed Admin

    Very good. Used to go there after work with some folks when I was working in the area.

    Is Seis Salsas still in Austin? I think it was on South First, run by the Montemayor family. Many moons ago when I was there though.
  21. Horn87

    Horn87 1,000+ Posts

    Bam, Bam winner--have shown my now UT soph the location countless times---that, and Mad Dog's & Beans--- always shut down by the TABC---best burgers on or near the drag, miss them both...
    • Agree Agree x 2
  22. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    Yes, but as fast as the area is growing its just a matter of short time before the old leftover hippies die off and the homes are gobbled up by Californians.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  23. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Yep. Another (not quite as good, but decent) nearby option for burgers was Buster's Beefery in the Dobie.
  24. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Dallas: The Old Warsaw -- white tablecloth fine dining steaks and seafood, fantastic cherries jubilee, top-notch service. Unique atmosphere with a pianist and fiddler together in the main dining room playing hit songs in a sort of Eastern European Klezmer style--you won't find that at the Capital Grille...
  25. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    But The Old Warsaw didn't have the sleezy hookers that Capital Grille has on Westheimer. Every time I go there (which is rare), I expect them to have installed poles in the dining room.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  26. Crockett

    Crockett 5,000+ Posts

    A place I miss most is Mike & Charlie's on West 34th. Every meal was a treat when I couldn't afford to eat out much. The Copper Skillet was a great breakfast place.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  27. SunBurntOrange

    SunBurntOrange 500+ Posts

    It sounds like most of the Austin area has been covered here. I moved here in 2000 and do not recognize most of the names, but damn I wish I would have had been here in the better days and had the chance to have tried them from the way you all make them sound.

    So I will stick to my days in Dallas. Most recently was the Blue Mesa Grill across from NorthPark. My favorite place for my daughter and I whenever I am back home. Found out the hard way when we went there for Sunday Brunch and they had bolted up. We were do bummed that we actually did not know where else we wanted to go. Bonus for several years was they had a University Co-Op a few doors down to take the kiddos in my ongoing efforts to keep them steered in the right direction. That is also gone. Sheesh.....those Park Cities folks are just not getting things right up there.

    More nostalgic was the passing of Baby Doe's Matchless Mine. If for no other reason than the iconic landmark it was for decades. As a kid I was glued to that waterfall whenever we rode past it. Fantastic place for first dates and out of town guests. Now it is just a big lot full of Euro-chic flats with a Miller Lite billboard that occasionally spits out water.

    And last but not least was the original South Dallas Cafe in Fair Park. True soul and southern cooking. They would serve it up all-you-can-eat cafeteria style. Go back for seconds if you wanted but they piled up the first plate so high you didn't need to. Often that did not matter because some of the staff would push carts around offering more. Didn't matter if you told them you were stuffed already. "Here is some more anyway are looking a little thin and mama is worried about you". Trust me, I was never so thin anybody ever had to worry about me. Damn that place was classic. The real deal food, the old style local neighborhood feel there in Fair Park. The friendliest and most authentic staff. We would drive down there at least twice a month from Richardson to have lunch. Sadly it has uprooted to somewhere else and the word on the street is that it has gone straight to hell. So sad.
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    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  28. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts


    The Capital Grille manager must have misunderstood when he heard a customer remark: "You've got some tough competition with the Old Warsaw across the way; those Poles and great steaks."
    • Funny Funny x 1
  29. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    [Chop slaps self in face]. Furrs cafeteria. They still exist and still put out lower to mediocre quality cafeteria food. Furrs--Duh!!!
  30. Giovanni Jones

    Giovanni Jones 1,000+ Posts

    I miss Bean's on West 6th Street. I probably ate there more than any other eatery during my grad school days in the early 1980s. I think it closed sometime in the 1990s.

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