Maggie Rita’s Closes Shepherd Location, Calls It Quits

This is how Maggie Rita’s co-owner Santiago Moreno explains his Modern Mex entrepreneurial approach to Eater Houston’s Eric Sandler: “We’ve found out consumer decisions are made by women. 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.” Earlier this week, Houston Business Journal reports, Moreno and co-owner stand-up comedian Carlos Mencia shut down their Shepherd restaurant (shown above), the last of 3 Houston-area Maggie Rita’s, following the closings near the end of 2012 of their Kirby and Post Oak locations.

There’s another Maggie Rita’s in Houston, though you’ll have to go underground to get there: Tony Shannard, who’s ponied up the dough to use the brand name, runs his in the tunnel below Chase Tower at 600 Travis. He tells Houston Business Journal he plans to open another location soon.

Photos: Panoramio user Wolfgang Houston

14 Comment

  • More like, “we’ve found out our restaurant wasn’t very good, nor were our drinks.” What a schmuck trying to blame there failing business on women??? Derp Derrr Derrrrp. (that is the only thing I can remember from “comedian” Mencia.

  • Well, some things just speak for themselves.

  • So I guess he is saying they had weak Margaritas made from a mix?

  • Food was not very good. Service was questionable! The “Ritas” were heavy on suger and low on flavor.

  • Since he had no problem stealing other comedians’ jokes, perhaps he should’ve also stolen someone else’s rita recipe. ;p

  • I think what he was trying to say is: We didn’t know what we were doing. I made one visit and that was enough. Extremely overpriced drinks and the food was nothing to make a second trip for.

  • Clearly, Carlos Mencia needs to stick with comedy and not the restaurant business, or was there an overlap? Heaven knows their food and margaritas were certainly a joke.

  • El Tiempo, Molina’s, Cyclone Anaya’s, Cadillac Bar & Lupe Tortilla’s are all in the immediate area. Good luck to anyone thinking they can crack that Tex Mex market.

  • The food was NOT good, drinks were weak and very overpriced. For the most part the place was empty and service subpar. Empty parking lot that forces you to valet is all ways a negative way to start a dining experience. It also seems that Mr. Moreno likes to place blame on women and rent structure.

    Dude, your product sucked all around.

  • Well, with that attitude he’s sure to make lots of friends. Way to be insulting to the ‘decision-makers’, moron.

  • Wow. I never went there but there is a lot of hate towards the owners. Assuming that feeling is common (I don’t know these guys so would have judged the restaurant on the merits alone), no wonder it failed.
    PS: I never went there so I don’t have any comments on the quality, but it seems many bash the guy for being ‘sexist’ because he made a comment that he wants to focus on the quality of the margs because that’s how most women make a decision on where to go and most women make the decision on where a couple goes out. Okay, maybe their margs suck so they missed the target, but I don’t see anything “insulting” in the goal or idea.

  • I went there ONCE for a party. The music was too loud, the food on the buffet was dull, flavorless, and cold, and they had to bring in portable fans because the a/c system wasn’t working. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

  • Sounds to me like Santiago Moreno doesn’t understand market research. Polling a few drunken female friends doesn’t mean that you understand trends among women in general. If it had nothing to do with food (in Houston it does) and everything to do with margaritas they still clearly dropped the ball.

  • I noticed yesterday a permit requesting alcohol sales for the new DT Maggie Ritas underneath the Waste Management building.