What’s behind the rebranding of the 3 non-Navigation Ninfa’s Mexican Food restaurants — on Kirby at Richmond, Post Oak north of San Felipe, and the Gulf Fwy. feeder Rd. at Winkler — into Maggie Rita’s Grill & Bar locations, and the attendant replacement of the well-known Houston restaurant’s Tex-Mex classics with . . . tapas? Besides freeing himself and co-owner Carlos Mencia from licensing payments for using the Ninfa’s name, Suave Restaurants’ Santiago Moreno explains, switching to the Maggie Rita’s chain means a lighter menu that customers might be able to eat from as often as 3 times a week. But by his calculation the food switch may not make much of a difference anyway: “We’ve found out consumer decisions are made by women,” Moreno tells Eric Sandler. “When we track what makes a woman decide where to eat Mexican food, it has to do with margaritas. It has nothing to do with food.” The changes won’t effect Ninfa’s on Navigation, which has been owned since 2007 by Legacy Restaurants. [Eater Houston] Photo of Ninfa’s at 1650 Post Oak Blvd.: AmREIT
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