Montrose Uchi To Be an Uchi; No Plans To Crush Felix

Austin sushi dude Tyson Cole is planning to name the new restaurant he’s eyeing for the longtime location of Felix Mexican Restaurant at Westheimer and Grant “Uchi” — just like his Austin original. The new owners “do not intend” to tear down the building (if they did, current development regulations might make it difficult to rebuild so close to the street). Cole’s publicist confirms to Swamplot that Austin restaurant designer Michael Hsu “will be involved” in the project, but notes that the sale of the building hasn’t been finalized. The restaurant wouldn’t open until late 2011.


Photos: Urban Deal

20 Comment

  • Well that’s good, honestly, it’s an important building to maintain and at least keeps SOME character in Montrose, other than “tear it down, throw up a townhouse.”

  • I am glad to hear, as they consider the new locaiton, to keep the original building. This will help to ensure the pedestrian nature of our neighborhood.

  • I’d still rather have ceviche…

  • Good to see Montrose pedestarian corridor/area not being forgotten with all the recent years growth in the Midtown, Washington and Heights neighborhoods.

  • Why not tear it down and build something cool and new? Eating sushin in a Mexican restaurant….BUST.

  • From MCoerver:
    Why not tear it down and build something cool and new? Eating sushin in a Mexican restaurant….BUST.


    You forgot your sarcasm emoticons.

  • Maybe they’re going to add some Japanese lanterns or something to give it a Japanese feel.

    I would point out they said they were not going to tear the building down. That didn’t mean they weren’t going to “removate” it so I doubt once the renovation is complete it will resemble a Mexican hacienda. I don’t think wrought iron is used in Japan so I suspect that will be the first to be tossed. Then the arched windows. Then….

  • I like the building but I like the sign better. Probably too much to hope they let that stay also. I guess keeping Houston weird isn’t a big priorty.

    Trendy sushi – YAWN.

  • Matt Mystery – You might check out the new ‘Ocean’s’ restaurant on West Alabama just east of Montrose. They specialize in ceviche and Margarita’s. I haven’t been there yet but plan to visit soon. It is in the building that was home to Bistro Vino. There were rumors of plans for a high-rise to replace that building … ceviche is much more desirable!

  • Good lord. Sushi in a Mexican restaurant. Ceviche in an Italian garden. And chi-chi Tex Mex at a theatre turned video store. What’s next? Crepes at Jack-in-the-Box?

  • hmm that sounds intriguing. I’ll take saving the building. It will be an interesting exercise for a good architect to turn a hacienda into a killer sushi house. Cheers!

  • and really who cares what kind of restaurant it is? I just want a place that’s actually in business with halfway decent food. If you care what kind of food they serve, the dammit START YOUR OWN JOINT, there’s 3 empty storefronts right next to Felix.

  • “Uchi” means inside in Japanese. In this context it really means “in crowd”.

    As opposed to people like me who are “soto”; outsiders………..

  • They’d better own or lease the ONLY “Felix” parking lot down the street or it will fail.

    I’m not alone in flat refusing to valet at a Mexican restaurant.

    That said, I wish them good luck and hope they succeed.

    But they better have that lot.

  • I’m not alone in flat refusing to valet at a Mexican restaurant.

    It’s a sushi restaurant. Not a Mexican restaurant. People who eat sushi will valet.

    I really hate all of you. Now I have a craving for fugu. All those lovely paper thin slices of Russian Roulette.

  • I thought I recognized those photos. Thanks for the photo cred.
    They have the whole 40,000 sf under contract, which includes the Prive building and the 12,000 sf lot across the street. The Prive building probably wont be leased to a bar or restaurant, thus freeing up more parking for the peak hours.

  • bad location. felix was there, what, 60 yrs and they couldn’t make it work anymore. that whole corner is a bermuda triangle for any and every business that sets up shop there. very little parking is obviously a problem. being in a location populated mainly by street punks, crackheads, and speed freaks is another.

    drive down westheimer in either direction and you’ll notice a lot of shuttered businesses & “for lease” signs. i guess that strip reached the tipping point with one too many tattoo & piercing parlors. i lived two blocks from that location for 5 yrs @ 505 avondale and it was a total drag. house broken into multiple times, car broken into multiple times, streets packed at night from the crowds & south beach, etc. the owner of that corner should probably just bull-doze it and put up a whataburger.

  • “bad location. felix was there, what, 60 yrs and they couldn’t make it work anymore”

    um, ok

  • My grandfather(Frank Barrera) worked here since he was a kid until the day he died…2001. He’s been interviewed by the late Marvin Zindler, the Houston Chron has a write ups on him and other food critics write ups , and he is even in a published book “Mexican American odyssey: Felix Tijerina” I’m really excited, this should be a Houston Historical building!!!!

  • To all you doubters, you obviously have not eaten this man, Tyson Cole’s food. Nothing like it in this city. Nor this country for that matter. Makes Nobu look like HEB sushi. I have eaten @ Morimoto’s and this is better. Take a trip to Austin and try it. This is the same man that lost to Morimoto by 1 point on Iron Chef. Guy is a bad ass. I can not wait!