State Grille Closing Down; 27-Story Tower Going Up?

The State Grille, the restaurant at the corner of Weslayan and W. Alabama, will be shutting down a little earlier than expected. Cleverley’s Blog and Jennifer Dawson of the Houston Business Journal report that the restaurant will serve its last meal on May 31st.

Restaurant owners Frankie Mandola and Joe Butera sold the property to Giorgio Borlenghi’s Interfin Cos. in October 2006. The HBJ reported at the time that the restaurant had a lease agreement lasting until the end of 2008. Whatever happened to those last 6 months, Mandola doesn’t sound too happy about it now:

Mandola says he asked “a bunch of times,” but Interfin would not extend the State Grille lease scheduled to expire in July.

Interfin won’t say what the company’s plans for the property are, but . . .

According to Mandola, Interfin plans to tear down the building as soon as the restaurant clears out and construct a 27-story building of an undetermined type.

After the jump: There’s more to the property!


According to Jennifer Dawson’s report at the time, Interfin bought more than the restaurant:

Interfin also acquired a 6,500-square-foot office building just east of the restaurant occupied by State Grille offices and two other tenants. Mandola sold the building last month, and will lease back his office space.

A small vacant office building at 3816 W. Alabama, east of Mandola’s property, was also bought by Interfin, giving the company a total of 2.6 acres at the site.

Mandola and Butera bought the restaurant — called Confederate House at the time — in 1999. Two years later, they changed it to the State Grille, angering some Confederate-history and Southern-cooking partisans, one of whom complained:

The trashing of this Houston institution is symptomatic of the problems in the South right now.

Confederate House, which had been a fixture up the street in the Highland Village Shopping Center for 43 years, had moved to the Weslayan location, a former Black Angus restaurant, in 1993.

3 Comment

  • Well, the state grille closing is one thing, but I think the people living in the townhouse complexes around this new construction won’t be too thrilled with a 27-story tower looking into their windows. I just hope this will be a 100% residential building and the builder will go bankrupt before completing it.

  • What’s the point of living in a city if what you want to see is townhomes?

  • The State Grill started life as the Black Angus, a restaurant design by Howard Barnstone.