Luck, Lease Run Out for Lucky Burger; Montrose Fast Food Joint Closing Soon

Lucky Burger, 1601 Richmond Ave. at Mandell St., Montrose, Houston

A sign on the door of Lucky Burger at 1601 Richmond Ave indicates the longtime barrel-signed drive-up is shutting down for good. No more burgers and no more shakes from the distinctive corner property — but equipment, tables, chairs, cookware, and more will soon be available in a final sale:

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Lucky Burger, 1601 Richmond Ave. at Mandell St., Montrose, Houston

When a partnership controlled by Braun Enterprises purchased 50,000 sq. ft. at the corner of Richmond and Mandell 3 years ago (shortly after buying the former Harold’s in the Heights), company president Dan Braun told the Chronicle they’d likely wait out the leases on the property, which in addition to Lucky Burger includes The Harp Irish Pub, Maria Selma’s Mexican Restaurant, and the former Orange Bar. Leases for all 4 of those properties, it was reported at the time, are up this year. A new craft beer bar called Revelry on Richmond is already going in at the former Orange Bar space immediately west of Lucky Burger:

Lucky Burger, 1601 Richmond Ave. at Mandell St., Montrose, Houston

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Unlucky in Meat

44 Comment

  • It’ll be a sad day if they close down The Harp. I made so many great memories at the bar the past 15 or so years.

  • Had my first lucky burger in 1977, lived at 1400 richmond, went to opry house next door for live music.

    The march of time…

  • Who gets the friendly-faces fries, hamburger and soft drink sign?
    It always produced an inner smile when I waited for the red lights to turn green.

  • Oh no! Very sad if Maria Selma and their excellent green mole enchiladas are going to close for good!

  • There goes a small, weird piece of the soul of Houston.

  • all in the name of “progress”….

  • The crab stuffed avocado at Maria Selma is one of the best dishes in town.

  • Huh. I had no idea that place was still open. Always looked deserted.

  • I tried Lucky Burger once…it was OK…but then again, I never went back. I guess I found other burger joints to be better?

  • “Upscale, craft, exclusive…blah, blah, blah…”
    I thought we’d talked about this, Houston. Subjugate the “weekend-drive-into-town douche-bro” contingent to the Heights.

  • OMFG, not too many Montrose classics are left these days. when is some canniving real estate person going to finally rename this area cuz I definitely wouldn’t put up a fight.

  • ….and I’m hoping poison girl has first dibs on the sign

  • It was bound to happen as the essence of what has always made Montrose, Montrose continues to be destroyed by overdevelopment. We LOVE Lucky Burger!
    They actually “fuss” at my husband if he stays away too long…this makes me SO sad! And there’s no end in sight….

  • Inevitable and sad. Lucky Burger is a one of a kind place and will be greatly missed.

  • This isn’t going to end well. Revelry already sounds like a generic, paint by numbers, likely overpriced “craft” beer bar aimed solely at the denizens of the current and future LUX-yoo-ree apartments nearby.

  • Unlucky 13, apparently (the first photo). Clever, clever.

  • :(

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Lucky Burger is the best all around burger in Houston; no gimmicks…fresh…good.

  • Ugh. What a catastrophe for the neighborhood. Let’s get rid of the mom and pop businesses like Lucky Burger and build more exclusive, craft, upscale mediocre places like they have everywhere else. Let’s make Montrose the same as going to Katy.

  • the building and sign deserve to be in the orange show. the food was fine for a greasy spoon, but i don’t think the food will be missed by many

  • When oh when is the “craft” beer, cocktail, coffee, etc. and “farm-to-table (to ass)” bubble going to pop???

  • The irony is that the presence of “funky” places such as this is what made The Montrose attractive to people who were looking for a neighborhood that was outside the “norm” for Houston. But every year more and more of these old denizens of the neighborhood are wiped clean and replaced by the types of developments that people fled from in order to move into The Montrose.

  • If Orange will be turned into the craft beer place then why get rid of Lucky? Parking? Just curious. I actually never cared for the food. Design of the place is funny though.

  • The food was mediocre… I never understood how they held onto that high profile corner anyway.

  • If people loved Lucky Burger enough, it would have made enough money to stay in business. People vote for businesses with dollars, not sentiment.

  • Lucky Burger was the only place within walking distance from my college apartment at Richmont where I could get a decent burger with a side of fried rice. Good luck to the friendly family that ran the joint. Sad to see it go!

  • If we want to keep mom and pop businesses in place, we need to do our part to support them by patronizing them. If we fail to support them, we can’t then lament the outcome.

  • Hey, we at Poison Girl would love to have the sign if anyone figures out who is selling it!

  • My friend and I still yell “YOUR SHAKE IS READY!!!!” whenever we drive by Lucky Burger, because it took so long to get the shake. It’s like the shake from the last time you were there two years ago is ready. Ha Ha.
    Honestly, sorry to see it go. Last time I ate there a few weeks ago was the first time in years. I knew it would be the last time, and you know, that’s okay.
    Back in the day, the fried mushrooms were just crazy! I mean…FRIED MUSHROOMS…WTF???
    Another place whose time has come and gone.

    Does anyone know what they are doing with that former informal park where the Cosplay people used to hang out?

  • These guys did a great job at Harold’s in the heights, salvaging an old building and upgrading it materially. Lucky burger was average at best and in need of a cleaning. I’m sure that whatever goes there will be an upgrade.

  • Why do people call it ” The Montrose”? Can’t The Heights lay exclusive rights to the use of “The”. It just sounds stupid.

  • I spent about a hundred bucks a year at Lucky Burger. That’s going like 3 times a year and picking up food for people. I noticed the craft food place going in next door has burgers on their menu also. On their burgers you can get things like cilantro yuzo mayo, gruyere, caramelized onion jam and fried eggs. You would never find that at Lucky Burger and I think that’s one reason I liked the place. Yesterday I drove by the old King Cole liquor store on Richmond and I said to myself I’m sure someone is gunning for them too.

  • Jason…please. They put a frickin’ Torchy’s in Harolds. And that is good? Which location has better food? The one in Harold’s or the one in Katy? Or soon to be Sugarland, Pearland, Woodlands, etc…

  • Is this the last-standing programmatic building in Houston, or is there another example of mimetic architecture somewhere else in the city? While it’s sad to see a mom-and-pop type of business like Lucky Burger disappear, it would be great if the building itself didn’t disappear (read: get razed). A programmatic roadside building like this one — in the form of a giant barrel! — strikes me as having historic and/or cultural significance and is potentially worth preserving.

  • @JB and @Phil the business is closing because the landlord won’t renew the lease, not because people didn’t support it. While there may be blame to go around, don’t blame customers for the landlord’s greed.
    -
    When I lived in Montrose, I often ordered the (very greasy) veggie burger and tater tots, and would put half the tater tots in the burger.

  • Now that the curve and lower Westheimer is becoming adequately douche-ified with that Hay Market crap and the like, it’s time to douche-ify what’s left on Richmond.

  • Greedy landlords? Under what criteria should landlords make their decisions? Based on subjective comments from Swamplot? If a landlord were to keep a corner of real estate intact because of kitsch value isn’t that a raw deal for the landlord – wouldn’t they be paying for a (questionable?) public good by themself?

    And let’s say a landlord did want to make decisions based on kitsch value — how would they go about it? Would it be enough if 20 people said the barrel should stay? Would 1,000 people be enough? What if 90% of people would rather have a new business there? What if 80% of those 90% live outside Montrose? Do their votes count? What if the majority of those people had only lived here for 2 years or less – do their votes count for less?

  • Will the Lucky Burger building be preserved or is it facing demo? If demo, will there be an opportunity to buy it, along with the fixtures? Just move the operation!

  • Cute/funny how the greedy are always the first and best to rationalize and or make a ton of excuses. No way would someone be accountable and admit they’re a horrible greedy developer (person) knowingly killing history for a quick buck.

  • Agree JB. Do an HCAD check on that address, 2.4MM property so do the math on taxes. Landlord owns the property.

  • Love the family that runs Lucky Burger and will miss them greatly! My family has frequented this business for at least 10 years and we drive from just outside the loop for the burgers and fries. Looks like we need to get over there quickly for one last burger…..

  • I’m sad to see this go. This has been one my favorite burger joints. Been going there for years. I wish the owners a HAPPY RETIREMENT.

  • Sad day for sure, loved lucky burger and what it represented to the community as well. No doubt there will soon be another 2 or 3 Starbucks, along with expanding large apartment complexes (already happening), with a rise in real estate prices, more bungalows torn down & replaced by horribly designed sky high town homes crammed together with no green space and an ever increasing number of tow-trucks circling like vultures on Friday’s and Saturday’s because all these “new-cool-overpriced-places” along with the property owners are more greedy & really don’t care . . . do people realize that most of the restaurant staff and employees working in Montrose, serving food, cleaning etc can’t afford to live there!!! Montrose is not cool or eclectic anymore – it’s cookie cutter inner city suburb. Let’s hope this does not happen to the East side!

  • It is my understanding that Maria Selma’s lease was renewed, as was the Harp’s, so have no fear!! Also, from what I understand, the guys who bought the property are very good operators. Maybe we’ll be lucky to find Lucky Burger in a new location soon.

  • Talked to the owner yesterday. …they were open and selling the end of what food they had left… he’s definitely NOT relocating Lucky Burger. Said he was retiring and not going back into restaurant business :(