February 15th, 2012
H-Town Showdown: Houston’s Phoenixes
If there’s anything we’ve learned since Al Gore invented the forest, it’s that fire is as much a symbol of rebirth as it is anything else. With the Valentine’s Day fire at Sullivan’s Steakhouse making the well-liked restaurant close its doors for the time being, it made us wonder what other recent fires at Houston hotspots created a burning in their fans for the doors to reopen renewed.
Late Nite Pie
Only a week ago, we mourned the loss of a dear friend in Midtown, as Late Nite Pie was reduced to rubble in an overnight blaze. Revelers from Front Porch, Little Woodrow’s and Bar Munich were condemned to wander pizzaless during that 2 am to 3 am post-drinking fog for all eternity, or at least until the Pie builds a new home. While the cause of the fire has yet to be conclusively determined, we are left asking “who cares?” Just get the arson investigators cleared out of there ASAP so we can get back to shoving slices of Stanky Whore pizza into our beer swollen bellies.
More tragedy in Midtown! In 2011, the late night drinking crowd and the Sunday morning church goers were united in a rare moment of mutual sympathy when Mai’s Vietnamese lost its kitchen, most of its dining room, and nearly all of its roof in fire. One thing they didn’t lose, however, was their loyal and diverse fan base. Mai’s reopened its fancy new two-stories digs last year and has pretty much been packed ever since. The decor has changed beyond belief, but the popular recipes and sacred spring rolls remain as we remember them – as perfect as one would expect of a restaurant that’s been delighting customers for over 30 years.
The morning after Halloween, I awoke to a slew of text messages telling me that Agora had caught fire the night before. The blaze started in the neighboring antique store and found it’s way to the popular, Greek coffee shop. This was no time for tricks and it certainly wasn’t a treat to hear the news. Agora was my one and only. If it were a woman, I would have married her so hard. It got to the point that I was fervently checking social media daily to find out news about the re-opening… and then I was there the minute the doors unlocked. That, my friends is love.
Hurricane Ike showed little compassion for those in its path. Even a landmark restaurant and its patrons couldn’t escape the storm’s wrath. Many of us suffered loss over while trying to weather the storm. Houston lost one of its institutions to the destructive ways of Ike. Including three people being severely injured in the fire that broke out at Brennan’s, the restaurant took more than a year to recover and open its doors once again to steak-lovers.
The above four spots might not include your thoughts. Maybe there’s a place you are still waiting to rise from the ashes. Tell us about it. Remember it below in the comments. Remind us of the good times.