Montrose Fiesta on Dunlavy Will Close Forever in Less Than a Month

Fiesta Mart announced today that it will shut down its store at the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama — across the street from the newly built modern H-E-B Montrose Market — on July 15th. Developer Marvy Finger plans to build a 6-to-8-story “Mediterranean-style” apartment complex on the 3.68-acre site, which he bought last fall. Fiesta has operated the former Weingarten grocery store on the site since 1994.

Photo: Candace Garcia

53 Comment

  • Ain’t right.

  • About time. That corner needs a redo.

  • Nothing prepared me for the depth of my sadness.

  • RIP Fiesta… making room for another bright, shiny, turd as the neighborhood continues its decline.

  • Isn’t it the corner of Dunlavy & Alabama?

  • Nnnoooooooo!!! I love that store. :(

  • Every time I go to HEB, I wonder why there are ANY cars in the Fiesta parking lot. It’s too bad for the folks who work there, but that corner doesn’t need two grocery stores.

  • Big boo. That fiesta is great and needed in the community. Big void

  • Any word on them moving the Westheimer Randall’s?

  • @Gary: Yep! Fixed now, thanks.

  • It’s a good store, wine selection is quite good. Hope it does move to the Randall’s location at Shepherd and Westheimer, as Randall’s sucks..

  • I’ll miss all of the grocery carts throughout the hood.

  • Gross! Another ugly apartment complex. Let me guess….they will paint it beige.

  • Finally! There is no need for that Fiesta there anymore especially since there is a better Fiesta in Midtown. Stop all your whining it’s about time they tear that ugly building down.

  • This is just sad – in more ways than one. The store has better produce, better pricing, great wine selection (puts HEB to shame) and is just a better store altogether. That Finger is building a monstrosity there is sad – and the corner does NOT need a re-do. This isn’t Dallass-Fort Worthless where we need to make things super new and fake. This is Houston – the beauty should be in its history and urban grit. Hopefully the move into the Randall’s will come.

  • In other news, prices are going up at the Dunlavy HEB starting July 16.

  • Sad to see it go, stopped by and paid my respects in March even though I live in Oak Forest now.

  • adding 10 to 20 miles to the grocery shopping trip, depending on which one is closest to you. I guess there aren’t enough Mexican food lovers who cook in the vicinity.

  • That’s makes me so sad to read. It was such an unexpected gem of a place. Besides having the best produce and wine selection in the area, they also played the best music. Made me dance while I shopped.

  • @Sara – you’re totally right!…Fiesta should have definitely thought of that before they built their store next to HEB! :/

  • I wish it was going to be a Walmart. I hate having to drive all the way to the Heights.

  • ermahgerd!

  • That location was one of the Old School original Weingarten’s ,dating back to the 1930’s/ 1940’s ,if I recall correctly. (The original Weingarten’s was located where the Menil Collection/Richmond Hall Annex @ 1500 Richmond Avenue(the gray/grey building with the green neon lighting) is housed.By t he way which is very cool looking at night. The Dunlavy store was several grocery store chains prior to Fiesta opening there in 1994. I shopped those stores from 1985-1998.Used to shop the Randall’s on Westheimer/Shepherd. Back then was the VERY nice store in that area of Montrose. Now it’s like being in the Stepford Wives.Safeway has always treated Randall’s/Tom Thumb stores (all in Texas) like the neglected children in the corporate family. Fiesta probably will NOT move into the Randall’s Shepherd Square location-the demographics are totally different.Progress = sometimes is very sucky , like the monstrosity Marvy Finger will be heaping onto that corner. Just what we need another bland, boxy,unimaginative,sterile,vapid,faux-Terreanen stucco& tile pile of crap. It’ll make the HEB store look way cooler than it already is.HEB rocks on the architecture. Marvy builds apts. for aspiring wanna be’s. But that center has needed a update for decades. And Suzanne Levin,the owner, is a tight fisted landlord!

  • Yay. More predictable, boring “mediterranean” style dwellings in Houston. It’d be nice to have something, say, at least approaching the 21st century architecturally especially inside the loop. Keep boring to the burbs. Or at least they could have built the HEB there and renovated the fantastic deco style apts they tore down across the street.

  • The Chronicle article says that Marvy is planning for 390 families on 3.65 acres. I’m no urban planner, but that sounds very dense for ‘6-8’ stories. I’ll bet it goes much higher.

  • Looking at that pic of Fiesta, there’s WAY too much blue sky.

  • Uhm, there is another Fiesta only a mile or so down the road in Midtown. That one even has rail access. Maybe posters here don’t feel comfortable with that store’s customer demographics.

  • Oh no, my favorite intimately small grocery store two blocks away from my house is going away, and so soon! Not looking forward to the hiking boots and compass I’ll need to navigate the HEB.

  • Two thumbs up to @utility on that one. There is no reason to have 2 of any store that close for any reason…you listening CVS and walgreens????

  • I used to shop at that Fiesta but I never thought it was anything special. The fish and meat and dairy sections smelled funny but it had a good beer selection. Once I bought a bagel from the Mexican bakery that literally broke a knife while trying to cut it. The produce was okay, nothing special in my opinion. There were a few Mexican items like cactuses and aloe and devotional candals but not really that many Mexican items compared with other places around. Sometimes I found good deals ther, other times HEB was cheaper (the buffalo speedway one was the closest at the time). I am not really going to miss it all that much.

    Also, to those who are complaining, nobody even knows what Finger is building yet. To me, almost anything will beat a strip center with a huge parking lot. Montrose needs less parking lots and more dense development. It’s so close to Westheimer and will soon be close to the University line. I hope we get something with a nice sidewalk and some ground level retail.

  • I envy you Alabama Fiesta shoppers with the large wine department. The Wayside Fiesta, while huge in itself, has a real sucky wine selection.

    Now the beer, that’s another story. Well, maybe not. They do have a huge inventory of 3 or 4 brands though.

    Up side is, there is an attached liquor store!!

  • This Fiesta used to be my local grocer. Ride my bike there get some good produce and a six of quality craft beer and bike home. Shame. Sounds like the new place going up in its place will be an abomination. Par for the course in Houston.

  • When I was growing up it was an Apple Tree!! I was sad to see that go…

  • Why does everybody assume the new place will be an abomination?

    Also, I forgot to mention that my favorite thing about that Fiesta was the music. So much better than any other grocery store music!

  • Swamplotters crack me up. If this site were home to a bunch of crack houses and Fiesta wanted to tear them down and build this exact strip center (with or without decades of deferred maintenance) with a giant parking lot out front, every one would be up in arms about because it’s not dense enough, or urban enough, mixed use enough or pedestrian friendly enough.

    I see an eyesore going away, just that that dump that used to be across the street.

    I see $40-50 million of additional tax base that will toss another $1 million each and every year toward HISD and local government.

    I see room for 500-600 new residents in Houston’s core who will drop countless millions of dollars into bars, restaurants and retail stores and help Houston become an even more dynamic and vibrant city.

    I see progress. And I like it.

    Companies are hiring in Houston. People WANT to live in Houston. I say we accommodate them rather than force them to the next mile of empty prairie in the suburbs while letting our own city rot from the inside out.

  • No brainer, if you worked at that Fiesta an did try to relocate or get a job accross the street at HEB what planet are you on?

  • I am dismayed how everyone loves the “neighborhood” quality of Montrose, yet build new structures that take away that quality. Build to the property line, do away with yards and fence to the sidewalk. This once open area will be gone from the neighborhood.

  • @Utility: spot on. Talk the talk & walk the walk, people.

  • I’ve lived and/or worked in Montrose since 1979 when Fiesta was a Wiengarten’s Grocery and the Menil collection was a run-down apartment complex, lower Westheimer was home to several topless bars, and Cactus Records was open 7 days a week until midnight next door to the Alabama Theater. Change is part of this neighborhood. Not all of it is good, but Montrose is a much better place to live in today than it was back then. For every old neighborhood hangout lost to time, I can count at least two or three additions that more than make up for them.

        I liked Fiesta for their quirky imported food selection, but that’s about all. After dreading H-E-B landing across the street, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised how often I use it. It’s much better than the one in the Heights.

  • Sad to see our neighborhood grocery store shut down to make room for some “Texas Tuscan” ugly-techture. Fiesta has a friendly staff plus a good selection of wine & beer, produce, and the essential groceries. It’s also easy to get in and out and of course has the best music selection of any grocer in the area. I hope they do snag the Randalls site. Randalls hasn’t been work a damn in years.

  • @ Utility – I didn’t know Swamplot readers had to be racist (I guess? Exactly what “demographic” are you referring to?) to bemoan the closing of their grocery store. I wouldn’t travel “all the way” east on Richmond over 527 then over Main Street and then the rail line to reach Valhalla. Your inflammatory comments don’t flatter you.

  • I’ve shopped on and off at this store since it was Weingarten’s. It was later Safeway and then AppleTree. I welcome the new development, but hope it has ground-level retail options. HEB rocks, plus this development got Disco Kroger to get their act together. All a plus-plus for an area resident.

  • nicely put Bernard!

  • My wife is really gonna miss the wine dept there (and the guy who runs it). She’s the wine buyer in our family, and she tells me it has the *best* selection/values in the area. Better than Spec’s downtown.

  • From Mr. Stuff:

    @ Utility – I didn’t know Swamplot readers had to be racist (I guess? Exactly what “demographic” are you referring to?) to bemoan the closing of their grocery store. I wouldn’t travel “all the way” east on Richmond over 527 then over Main Street and then the rail line to reach Valhalla. Your inflammatory comments don’t flatter you.

    Well, it’s Montrose. And everyone used to dislike the gays. But it’s not politically correct to dislike the gays in Montrose. So, well, that leaves the Mexicans. As for the San Jacinto store it is just as convenient but you do have the homeless people wandering about. So I suppose the “chi-chi” crowd will just have to make do with HEB. As for racism in Montrose, well, it’s really more a matter of Southampton Syndrome having spread.

  • I somehow skipped the love affair with Fiesta. When I lived in Montrose, I shopped at that Fiesta on more than one occasion and thought it was dirty and run-down. Sure, the produce looked pretty good – but I had to make another store run to get the dairy, dry goods, or bakery items that I needed. Definitely not worth the trip. While I would be happy never seeing another Tuscan residential complex ever again, I can’t say I’m going to miss that store.

  • montrose is dead, all aboard the Bro-trose train

  • I live nearby and shopped at that Fiesta for years… but I have not set foot back in there since the new HEB opened up. Bottom line: that new HEB blows the doors off not only that Fiesta–but every other grocery store within a five mile radius.

    That entire shopping center is a run down eyesore. Pretty much anything would be an improvement. And that Marvy Finger’s no dummy. I’m sure whatever he puts there will be the highest and best use for that particular location. That’s what developers do. They do the research, they fill in the gaps, they meet needs.

    Just because something is old doesn’t make it better or worth keeping. Old socks. Old underwear. Old girlfriends. Old strip centers. Good riddance. :)

  • Can somebody explain where the mythical imported foods section at the Dunlavy Fiesta is? I’ve never seen any impressive selection of imported foods there. It’s certainly not better than HEB. The only thing they have that HEB doesn’t is cactus and aloe.


  • Everything that was ever truly unique, interesting, or exceptional about Montrose is getting yanked down or paved over.

    Anyone who thinks that a 400 unit yuppie hutch is going to be an improvement over our good old Fiesta is a vapid, lately arrived yahoo from the ‘burbs who deserves to live in the gentrified, homogenized and sanitized crap that Montrose has devolved into.

    I’m glad I got to live in the ‘Trose before condos and SUV-driving trolls ruined it…equally glad that I’m getting the hell out.

  • Till circa 1959 most of the area was vacant, except for the old Junior Achievement building. Then the Weingartens grocery @1500 Richmond (see Patrick’s post)moved there; a year later it briefly and inexplicably changed its name to Texas Servall and then back to Weingartens. Then some time in the 1970s it became Safeway, then Apple Tree in the 80s, and finally Fiesta. Besides being sentimental about it, I like being able to run in, grab a few things, and run out. In the bowels of HEB I can waste an hour. Oh, well…

  • I totally agree w/ edgar montrose. i moved to the montrose in 1990. Such a great place t live. the people that are moving there now, wouldn’t have been caught dead living in there back then. now, developers are coming in and ruining this unique area. Money is all that matters to them, not the integrity of the neighborhoods they are tearing apart w/ these “rise” buildings. In this economy, I don’t see who is going to be able to rent these high dollar “luxury” apartments. 15-20 years from now, these buildings will probably be half leased, broken down high rise crack houses. I am all for progress as long as it makes sense.