Lost Felix, Discovered Sushi: Austin’s Uchi Coming to Montrose

In other Montrose Tex-Mex news, MyTable reports that the building on the corner of Westheimer and Grant that for 60 years housed Felix Mexican Restaurant is likely toast. Famous white-guy sushi chef Tyson Cole and the owners of his standout Austin restaurant, Uchi, have bought the building and are planning a new restaurant in that location. The structure will “probably be torn down,” MyTable reports. Both Uchi on South Lamar and Cole’s about-to-open restaurant on North Lamar, called Uchiko, were designed by Austin’s Michael Hsu Design Office. Hsu’s best-known work in Houston: Sushi Raku in Midtown.

Late Update: Not so fast with the Felix building obits, please.

Photo: Debra Jane Seltzer

23 Comment

  • I really hope they reconsider tearing that building down, as it is loaded with charm. But regardless of what else they do, they need to preserve ‘club no minors’.

  • Club no minor is at El Patio on Westheimer, not Felix’s on Montrose.

  • Truthfully, I always though Felix was an eyesore. The food was pretty bad too.

    I would value the tattoo parlors down Westheimer a little more than this building.

  • Loved Felix’s food. Been eating there since I was born, a family favorite, and I am a preservationist…but I have no attachment to this building. One of those rare occasions where I partially agree with kjb.

  • I want to but the sign. Love that thing.

  • Ooops. Such a doofus.

    I want to BUY the sign. Felix’ queso was nothing short of genius. Club No Minors is now serving it up (although it works, it seems to just miss being the real deal).

  • I love the old Felix building (the food was horrible), but in true Houston fashion, it has to come down. It is too bad this entire corner has turned into a slum. I wish a wrecking ball would come sooner to the shopping center that used to house the Blockbuster. That would be an improvement.

  • The best thing that could happen to Montrose will be to tear down all of the buildings on all four corners of Westheimer & Montrose; including that disgusting Kroger, Walgreen’s and its ridiculously sized parking lot, the pathetic Blockbuster strip center and that god-awful gas station and Start Over. With a plan. Oh, nevermind, planning is not allowed in Houston.

  • Truthfully, I always though Felix was an eyesore. The food was pretty bad too.

    __________________________

    Spanish Village on Almeda of course is an architectural treasure? I’d like to see the chi-chi crowd announce they were tearing Spanish Village down for a chi-chi sushi restaurant. There would be a riot in Third Ward the likes of which no one has ever seen.

    Sometimes “historic” is about more than just architecture. But in this case it is about architecture. And the owners will never see a dime from me at any of their restaurants if they tear it down.

    So maybe they should try a chi-chi ceviche restaurant. Maybe borrow some recipes from Robb Walsh. If he has any.

    Goodbye Montrose. Hello Chi-Chi-Land.

  • I have to say as an architect that lives up the street from it…damn. It is a charming building (much more than its neighbor that house’s one’s a meal). I came to town when Felix was crap food but I’ve always liked the cute little building and its a shame they’re gonna tear it down. There might be lots of problems inside that might make it too pricey to restore, but its a crying shame.

    And for the rest of you who wanna tear down the rest of intersection, what do you propose to put there that would survive? Its barely hobbling along, and I don’t think that pressing the reset button. Its better to be incremental in fixing up the block…I’m not sure why its had a hard time keeping businesses alive but I’m quite sure that building an Alexa on it isn’t the solution either.

    Of course I’m biased cause I lived a year and a half here without a car, so if anyone is proposing wholesale changes to one of the few pedestrian-ish neighborhoods in our metropolis, I get a little wary.

  • Yeah, it’s a shame that part of the Felix building couldn’t be incorporated into something modern. The building is charming overall, but the little entrance rotunda especially has some nice details. Hate to see that go.

  • I always dug this building. Just like Felix was a throwback to what 1920′s Texans thought Mexican food should taste like, the building was a thowback to what pre-war Texans thought Mexican architecture should be. There are still a solid number of houses in River Oaks built in the Felix style.

    And just how many sushi restaurants do we need in Montrose? Swapping Felix for Sushi speaks volumes, as I think it’s now easier to find sushi in Montrose than Mexican food.

  • it’s a good cost of living indicator. sushi / healthy-green-fit-blah-blah places are plentiful in rich areas.

    there’s still plenty of places holding out fine along richmond, but the metrorail will see to the end of that.

  • I agree that there are just too many sushi restaurants, but considering the largest supply of yellow fin tuna comes out of the deep Gulf waters off of our coast means there is a ready supply (and no, the oil spill does not affect this seafood supply). If found this out after visiting my parents in the Louisiana. Pretty much all the yellow fin tuna eaten in the US comes from a processing facility in La.

    The tex mex void will be filled by whatever they call the place to be built in the old Hollywood Video location.

  • i LOVE this building, especially the rooftop patio and the entrance! it’s a unique “old” building for Houston standards, i’d HATE to see some boxy “modern” thing to go in its place…

  • FYI From Culturemap Houston: Cole’s publicist corrects the Felix rumors: “The Felix location is under contract and has not closed, so it is not final. And we have no intention of tearing down the building. It is our intent to NOT tear it down. We plan to open the restaurant in late 2011.”
    http://culturemap.com/newsdetail/06-15-10-austins-star-chef-is-houston-bound/

  • Maybe they will serve ceviche instead of sushi. Call it Club Ceviche. Ceviche and margaritas probably would do better in Montrose than sushi and saki.

  • Seems to me that there are lots of fish luvin’ folks in The Montrose otherwise Chances would be in Channelview.

  • I could make a comment about how real men don’t eat raw fish but…

  • Have any of you ate at Uchi in Austin?? It’s definitely not a typical Houston sushi restaurant found in a strip center or other tiltwall concrete developement. If they keep the same intimate experience in Houston – externally and internally – it will be a new level that other restaurants should strive for and better appreciated than a sign for “no minors”. And in regard to the food, once you eat at Uchi – NO other sushi restaurant, especially in Houston can compare… Just check out their 465 reviews online that all help them maintain 5 stars.

  • Uchi in Austin is awesome!!! I just ate sushi at Kata Robata which is trying to imulate Uchi……..Not even close. I will never go back…. Welcome Tyson, perform well and we will come back over and over as we do in ATX. Houston sushi is such a let down… B

  • To: Mies – Regarding ‘Club no minor’……..it’s on Westheimer…….the restaurant is called El Patio….dumbass.

  • My problem with sushi is that I was eating sushi in Los Angeles and New York long before anyone in Houston even knew what it was.

    Nice COLD sushi not semi-cold and certainly not semi-warm sushi. Nice cold FRESH sushi.

    The last time I ate sushi in Houston, at one of the supposedly “better” restaurants, a couple of hours later I thought I had eaten fugu and was on my way to the great beyond.

    I’ll stick to ceviche in Houston.