The Rerugglefication of 11th St. Cafe

THE RERUGGLEFICATION OF 11TH ST. CAFE “[A]ll that was left at one point,” writes The Heights Life blogger Viula of the 11th St. Cafe, was “basically 3 brick walls.” She popped in to preview this most recent rugglefication of the twice-ruggled restaurant in advance of its April 25 reopening. Chief Ruggle Federico Marques tells Viula that the city thought the old Heights building at 11th and Studewood ought to be torn down. But a Ruggle, it seems, is made of sterner stuff: “When a lot of other companies would have cut their losses and walked away,” writes Viula, “[Ruggles Green] seized the opportunity. . . . Even the floor/foundation had to come out due to years of neglect and spotty patch work by previous owners. They salvaged the front and side walls and everything else is new.” [The Heights Life; previously on Swamplot] Photo: The Heights Life

21 Comment

  • Love the pics and what they have done with the place. Can’t wait for them to open but what are they going to do for parking?

  • I’m excited for this to open too, but I echo the question about parking. Between Zelko and Liberty Kitchen (both with very small lots), this area is already a bit of a nightmare. Walking and biking are great options, but they aren’t possible for everyone.

  • “4. Historic renovation of old 11th street cafe using reclaimed wood, brick, and stone wherever possible”
    I wonder how they can use reclaimed wood unless it’s only for decorative effect. City of Houston won’t allow salvaged wood to be used for construction, which is a shame considering how much demolition happens here.

  • Regarding parking: walk, bike, take a cab, take a bus, park farther away, or don’t go. Somehow cafes in other cities survive in such circumstances, is Houston that different?

  • By limited parking they either are rolling the dice on getting enough people to fight for it, or just making a statement of what “type” of customer they want. Either way, the market will either reward them or punish them.

  • People keep saying this is on 11th, but I thought all Ruggles establishments were at the corner of Good Food Street and Bad Financial Management Avenue.

  • Perhaps they feel a large enough customer base lives within walking distance of their restaurant, and don’t want to add the requisite parking to draw the suburbanites in?

  • Another example of how The Heights can’t keep it real.

    All you have to do is say “boo” and off go the Parking Predicament Birds.

    But are they not special, or what!

  • The demand for this restaurant in the Heights will greatly outweigh any inconvenience with parking. Healthy + kids menu + counter service + reasonable prices + consistently decent food + beer and wine will have this place packed most nights of the week. They have a location in River Oaks. So they are targeting the immediate neighborhood and can take a risk on parking. They are not relying on people coming up from south of the bayou for meals as the RO location has them covered.

  • This is all so stupid. What sane human being makes the decision to eat at a restaurant because they used reclaimed wood and remnants of granite? All the reclaimed wood, granite remnants and LED lighting in the world won’t make a flip of a difference if the food is as mediocre as it’s been since the old Ruggles on Westheimer closed and if there’s no parking.

  • Exactly, their market calculus indicates to them that they will have sufficient business with limited parking. So let’s let them find out.

  • A half block south is a newly paved parking lot that appears to be theirs (currently being used for some material staging and to hold the old fire truck); this is in addition to the small parking lot in back that served 11th Street Cafe for several decades. On top of that, the place just doesn’t hold that many people.

  • Not sure how they got all the additional covered patio approved by the city. Particularly the new columns that are located on the property line within the so-called ‘visibility triangle’ at the intersection of 11th and Studewood. This reminds me of what happened when the Glass Wall build-out was approved with insufficient parking. Someone with the city must be getting paid off.

    Can someone explain this?

  • Ruggles Green has nothing to do with Bruce Molzan and the Ruggles Grill franchise. It is independently owned (this is even confirmed at the bottom of their website). I believe the name “Ruggles” was licensed out to this group a while ago. So the comments referencing bad money management are not appropriate. Also, I’m not sure why people take issue with Ruggles Green trying to be environmentally conscious? For one, “Green” is part of their name, so it’s their shtick. And I’m sure there are plenty of people that do in fact eat at restaurants that are green just for that reason. As far as parking, it seems that people in the Heights whine and petition the city when the city tries to enforce more parking (see Coltivare) and whine when a restaurant doesn’t have enough parking. I guess you can’t please everyone. I for one am excited about Ruggles Green and know it will do well in that location.

  • Parking:
    The restaurant is leasing the small lot to the south of them, across 10 1/2 from Hello, Lucky. It’s where the old fire truck has been parking since construction on the building began. They are also installing ample bike parking and do hope that customers will bike/walk instead of drive.

    I do anticipate this being more of a neighborhood spot; people aren’t going to come from other parts of town to eat here like Glasswall, Zelko, et al…

    As far as the reclaimed wood question, I can’t say with certainty but I think the reclaimed materials are all decorative. One of the work men was saying if there is another hurricane, come to Ruggles Green because it’s built super solid. Considering I live in walking distance, I’ll take him up on that should the need arise!

  • Mies, I don’t know anything about the City regs on that but when I was there it looked as though all they did was replace what already existed.

    And thedudeabides is right about Molzan. In fact, as the story goes, when Molzan was approached about Ruggles Green, he said it was the stupidest idea he had ever heard. Well, stupid is as stupid does.

  • How awesome!–what a cool reuse of a cool
    Property–all you horrid Montrose developers take note

  • Looking forward to checking it out; I go to the Ruggles Green on Alabama a few times a month.

  • Looking forward to it. We’ve eaten at Ruggles Green on Alabama and have even gone to the one (gasp) way out in the hinterlands at “city centre.” It’ll be nice to have some competition for Liberty, which is a great place, just to keep them honest.

  • Good for them regarding the parking. It should be up to the business to decide how much parking they have. Some will want to dedicate a lot, some a little.
    I’d love to open a small cafe/bar in Montrose someday. If I do, whatever asphalt in front is being used for parking will be ripped up and I’ll put green space for sitting and relaxing. If I get less customers because of it oh well.

  • In addition to the parking at the south end of the block the entire church parking to the West of the restaurant has been leased for exclusive Ruggles Green customers.