When Tilman Fertitta Came to the Shiloh Club

WHEN TILMAN FERTITTA CAME TO THE SHILOH CLUB Shiloh Club, 1321 Studewood St., Houston HeightsA reader reports a rare sighting of Landry’s CEO Tilman Fertitta in the Heights over the weekend. Was it part of some sort of kinda-undercover reconnaissance mission? “. . . you’ll NEVER guess where he stopped . . . SHILOH’s! Yes, the old dive bar where you watch your grandparents drink themselves under the table next to a heavily tattooed bicyclist. Tilman came in, ordered a drink and began asking about the neighborhood. I don’t think anybody there recognized him except for myself, the bartender, and my table of friends who were all industry veterans. Not sure what he’s got planned but don’t be surprised if you hear about a new Landry’s property opening in the Heights within a few months.” [Swamplot inbox; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Shiloh Club, 1321 Studewood St.: Heights Blog

57 Comment

  • On a culinary note, all of Tilman’s restaurants are just terrible, not just terrible compared to other options, terrible on their own accord. How come Pappas which is another similar chain is so much better food wise even all of them get the same exact ingredients from the same source, Sysco.

  • Notice to Tillman. Stay out. No one wants your crappy establishments in the Heights.

  • Where is there a big enough spot for a Landry’s property?

  • I’d be surprised if a business of that size chooses their locations based on the owners bar/scout trips. Regardless, the suburbanization of the Heights is likely to continue and a few more chain restaurants will only cause ntrubute.

  • I highly recommend clicking over to the 2009 Swamplot story for Mr. Fitzhugh’s comment from today.

  • I was told by a very successful Heights restaurateur that Tillman is trying to “figure out” the Heights. This is not his first foray into the area.

  • I really do not see Tilman doing anything original in the Heights or bringing any of his chains to the Heights. Most of his chains are too strip mall oriented and need too much sq ft and parking to squish into the Heights. My main fear is that Tilman is looking to buy out one of our Heights originals, gut it out and turn it into one of his money making machines (See Cadillac Bar, La Griglia, etc.).

  • God forbid.

    Tillman: you, and your cheesy establishments, and your crappy food, and your shady dealings, are not welcome in the Heights. You are neither needed nor wanted. Get out and stay out.

  • Who said this would be a restaurant? Could just be apartments, condos, or single family homes.

    The trick to ordering food at any of his restaurants is to order things that Sysco doesn’t sell.

  • seventh seal of the apocalypse?

  • Pappas doesn’t get their food from Sysco.

  • Yeah, just no. We have excellent restaurants in the Heights. I hope if Fertitta was asking around, people told him we don’t want his crap food here. Of course, these days his MO is to buy established restaurants and ruin them. I wonder who he’s going for?

  • Yeah, Vic & Anthony’s is garbage

  • I’m sure the outspoken Heights residents will give one of his chain restaurants the same welcome they gave the Heights Wal-Mart. With the same results.

  • Just goes to show there is a tourist sucker born every minute…

  • As the big chains move in, the small places that make a neighborhood interesting leave, either due to competition or climbing rents. For his business to succeed, he will have to find a place where the sale of alcohol is allowed. That is the only way that the salt, fat, and sugar, directly from the Sysco cans, become palatable!

  • Clearly he was lost. T-man doesn’t set up his Disneyfied nonsense anywhere he can’t land his helicopter. I doubt he and his ilk will find a very warm welcome in The Heights.

  • Noooooooo. Stay away, Fertitta! Leave Shiloh alone.

  • “Nobody wants you in the Heights”

    Please. The same dipshits who creamed themselves when Starbucks opened up Kroger then THANK YOU JESUS A DRIVE THROUGH on Yale will line up for any Landry’s venture in the Heights.

    Welcome to the new Heights and make sure you fly your UT/A&AM or LSU flag when you move in.

  • Sysco rules the world

  • Can’t wait! We need a roller coaster and ferris wheel in the Heights!!! Oh, and don’t forget the carney games.

  • Pappas food is housemade, down to the sour cream, which is delicious. But the Heights? I have had trouble finding any decent restaurant there.

  • Didn’t he buy the dirt that Someburger sits on a few years back?

    I don’t like the sound of this one. little. bit.

  • It does not make economic sense for a Fertita location in the Heights area. His restaurants requires lotsa bodies seven days a week and lotsa parking. There are not enough bodies in the greater Heights to justify the expense of opening and operating one of his brands and the access for out of area residents is not that good. It makes sense for him to to open in one the centers on I10 or way over on Shepherd.

  • The butt hurt on here is priceless. Can’t wait for him to open up a restaurant in the Heights. The culture shock is often too hard for those hipsters just moving in from the suburbs and they need a place they can call home.

  • HCAD shows Someburger still owned by the original.

  • Maybe he’s thinking of building a boardwalk out over White Oak Bayou where he could put up a ferris wheel, a carousel, and 3 or 4 of his restaurant “concepts”.

  • Maybe TF is getting ready to open one of those “chef driven restaurants” Walmart Ainbender promised when pitching to the Heights the yet to be seen organic-weekly-farmer’s-market-in-the-parking-lot-local-brew-freshest-produce-totally-walkable-bikeable-“Heights” Warlmart.

  • ten years ago it was a ghetto with no restaurants to speak of. today they riot with pitchforks against Laudry’s and La Griglia. things change quickly in this city.

  • While I do generally have low regard for his product, he is actually capable of running a decent restaurant when he puts his mind to it. Vic & Anthony’s and Brenner’s (one his original, one purchased) are both his, and I haven’t heard much negative about those places, other than the prices.

  • Mr. Fertitta’s restaurants are wonderful and we are very lucky to have him and his food in our fair city. I would love to see a blue ferris wheel in the Heights!

  • If he’s shopping and if it’s near the Heights, it will be the 1st Ward. Too much land and too many industrial companies who find it cheaper to relocate to the burbs.
    I know a wonderful chef who had an amazing restaurant in Montrose, but then went to work for him. Great benefits, translated to mediocre food. Too bad… the chef had such a great talent.
    After Walmart’s arrival, I’m expecting the circus next! Heck! What did I expect for my leisurely drive home from downtown to the Heights via Allen Parkway, down Studemont/wood? A 10-minute commute? Those days are gone. Yep, I’m bitter.

  • You don’t want that slumlord around, or his awful restaurants..

  • TF is probably just shopping for a house for one of his kids or something. Do you REALLY think he goes around scouting locations for his thousands of restaurants HIMSELF??

  • Why can’t we just get some decent dining options in the neighborhood? Liberty kitchen, ruffles, Los cucos and now landrys? How about something worth eating?

  • “The culture shock is often too hard for those hipsters just moving in from the suburbs and they need a place they can call home.”

    Awww that’s sweet. Somebody out there still thinks that hipsters are moving to the Heights.

  • Yup, no hipsters in the Heights. They can’t afford it. The Heights is over-populated with yuppies and muppies, with a sprinkling of teachers and city employees who are angry that their historic district scheme failed and they are being priced out of the hood.

  • Jesus, he was probably just getting lunch! What so people just follow him around and go apoplectic everytime he stops his Bentley. Get a life!—-oh and yeah, Pappa’s Restaurants are so vastly superior to Fertitta’s it’s ridiculous. Like comparing a Enzo Ferrari to a LeBaron.

  • The deep pockets of the chains are hard to fight, and they are probably going to grab the close/convenient gentrified locations. Kind of sad, but there are still plenty of lower-rent areas waiting with open-arms for independent restaurants – – just won’t be around the corner.

  • Yeah Heights you all got Chirps Fried Chicken………………

  • Honest question: it seems half the comments brought up “Sysco”. Given that’s a pretty big name in the restaurant business, but given I haven’t really seen that name dropped on other stories, was there some news article or other story that caused so many people to say “he uses Sysco in his restaurants!”?
    Just found it bizarrely inside-baseball.

  • As a Heights-ie, I welcome any new restaurant. Not that I love big chains, but I think T.F.’s restaurants have really good food. Being from San Antonio, I have a true appreciation for Mex. restaurants. Cadillac Bar is one of my top favorites!

    Look, Heighties bitch about everything and then it’s like calling wolf. There was complaining about ZOES, but nobody complained about the rat-trap looking CHIRPS across the street with ever. So few customers. No complaints about HAPPY ALL CAFE, junky looking, few customers, then there is the Asian restaurant at 18th at 19th near T. C Jester… It used to be an adult book store YUK – sticky feet,

    I’ll take TK any day for good food and cleanliness!

  • There’s a surprising number of Hipster women in the Heights, it seems the ones that happen to be Easy on the Eyes (and still hipster) married well above their pay grade and have convinced their husbands to move to a “hip” neighborhood.

  • People in the Heights totally hate chains. That’s why Torchy’s and Berryhill are almost always empty, and there’s never a 7-8 car line at the Starbuck’s on Nicholson.
    Barnaby’s will probably close before the year is out.

  • Yeah, hipster is a term that doesn’t mean what you think it means. Usually it provides a better description of the person using the word (a culturally unsophisticated individual living in an area with a low population density) than it does on the person it’s being used to describe. Plus you guys, don’t the stereotypical boho ideals of a ‘hipster’ mean that they’re supposed to be lazy and poor? Check HAR, you can’t live in a home in the Heights if you are poor.

  • Shiloh is an interesting place. Shiloh has their base clientele and it’s not the people who buy $10 / pound free trade coffee, have a.m. hot yoga and shun smokers. Should it stay a neighborhood pub ? Sure ! That would be great if it was updated, and cleaned up. Or maybe it should stay looking and smelling like it always has. I suspect only someone with a big pocket book can renovate or purchase the property.

  • Cadillac Bar was very good in the 80s. Now, I understand it’s not. Haven’t been there in 7-8 years, maybe more.

  • Tilman could have just been lookin’ to score some weed. Nothing more nothing less.

  • Re hipsters in the Heights:
    I don’t know how they afford it, but they are there. Maybe trust funds? I spent an afternoon in a coffee shop on 19th and it was crawling with hipsters. And I know how to spot them because I used to read http://lookatthisfuckinghipster.tumblr.com/. Anyway, they are most certainly there and have nothing to do in the afternoons but hang out and drink coffee. One even had a guitar.

  • Tillman and his company are large, yes, but it is so important that he is individually looking into the area with a more personal point of view. He is offering something new to the Heights which still hasn’t “popped” as an area, while bringing more cash flow and money which will increase the marketplace and make the area more valuable. I love his “crap food” because his meats are top quality and they use actual chefs in their quality restaurants. Who knows what he is looking for but I’d love to have another reason to drive down White Oak.
    He is doing his homework and he deserves recognition.

  • “Suburbianization” of The Heights is inevitable. Like it or not. It is what it is, as long as demand remains strong for residential properties inside the loop the changes will happen.

  • I have a hunch we’ll know what is up sometime after November 14 when the 21 acre lot near Target gets final bids.

  • I don’t eat at Tillman’s restaurants very often, but I am amused at how people like to hate “the man.” H did something well to build his empire. It’s like when people hate on Wal-Mart. Shoot, Sam was running a five and dime in the 60s, worked his butt off, and built a massive empire that is now “evil” in the eyes of some. Is it wrong to ask about a neighborhood when eating out?

  • We are running audio for Tillman Fertitta today and he just confirmed with me that he was NOT in the heights at Shiloh last weekend.
    Mike D.

  • My Tilman Fertitta mask is working!
    Next stop, EaDo!

  • Uh, Tilman didn’t work his butt off….he’s a Maceo!…..enough said.

  • Tillman has a past, we all do. And yes, also has agendas. But can’t a man get a beer like anyone else. He’s a local Houstonian and has every right to visit a heights dive. Maybe the guy didn’t want to be noticed for a minute. Everyone needs to just chill the F-out….. be the cool heights people we are. And where are we going with this topic anyway? Why not be hospitable, or damn ask him straight out yourself! Yeah right, Instead we hide in our holes and gossip. It’s the cowardly, non-confrontational, NEW non-direct line of communication we now walk. I’m not batting for the guy, just pissed that no one has the balls to approach a person. And he drives a damn Cadillac not Bentley.

    So let’s be realistic, worry about the truth in our RealEstate market crashing or the old cemeteries thrashed on Buffalo Bayou, but ‘beautified’……..while ‘in truth’ burried bones & bodies are falling in our water supply?? Some create jobs and others destroy them. Some people provide solutions, make contribute to our city or in this gossip-collum case of bs….just add to creating more problems.

    Heights holds the last bit of culture, heritage and nostalgia in Houston, wouldnt it be better getting some help from a local resident, instead of WAL-Mart? Food-For-Thought!!

    -A Born & Raised Houstonian