Raising Cane’s Putting Its Chicken Fingers on Westheimer Again, This Time at Hazard

Construction of New Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers Restaurant, 1900 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston

Opposite the pedestrian-friendly Winlow Westheimer shopping center at the corner of Westheimer and Hazard St. that includes the recently de-Firkinized Phoenix bar, a new Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers fast-food joint is about to go up — on a 35,000-sq.-ft. lot that’s been vacant since the 2-story pushed-to-the-street building once home to Martha Turner Properties was torn down on the site almost 6 years ago. The reader who sent in the photo above reports that a construction supervisor on site claimed the new chicken joint will be alive and kicking within 3 or 4 months.


Raising Cane's, 12201 Westheimer Rd. at Hillcroft, HoustonUnless any other relatives open up before then, the spot at 1900 Westheimer will be the the first inside-the-Loop location of the Louisiana-born chain (and its 12th in the greater Houston area) but the third Raising Cane’s on Westheimer. The others are just west of Hillcroft (pictured at right) and in a Galleria food court.

Photos: Swamplot inbox (construction), LoopNet (Raising Cane’s at 12201 Westheimer Rd.)

Montrose Drive-Thru

39 Comment

  • That’s a disappointing use of that property.

  • what about the one on Westheimer rd and Westminster Plaza dr in the west side of Houston?

  • What an awful use of that land, and surprising that the land couldn’t command a higher value to put something denser on the site. Well, no zoning wins again. I would hate to be the builder or recent owner of the townhouses just to the north of a drive thru fast food joint who paid 600k or more for a house. I guess it is the investors who live in other neighborhoods and cities that get to decide what happens in your life and community (and backyard). While the people who live in the neighborhood probably wont support it, Im sure there will be plenty of people driving through who will stop in for a bite.

    Only in the democratic USA do the people not get a vote on what happens in their own neighborhood. That is left up to the people with all the money. You either better have a lot of money to live where ever you want, or suffer the consequences. Doesn’t Texas have the best quality of life!?

    (as a disclaimer, I am not that upset about this one particular chicken joint, but it is representative of the process of land use in this town. It is a sad place to live when the average person has no input or control over their own quality of life. I await the usual thoughtful response of be rich and buy the land or stop complaining…)

  • There is another Westheimer location outside the beltway near Kirkwood.

  • Oh, joy! Just what we need! (dripping with sarcasm)

  • Living a few houses up on Hazard, I can tell you this is NOT what I hoped that would be used for. And the two owners of the brand new townhomes that were listed at over 700k and are right next to the property are REALLY not going to like living in the greasepath.


  • Now let’s see if all the Montrose and Hyde Park residents scream and gnash their teeth about the destruction of their neighborhood the way our friends across do whenever corporate America encroaches on their back door. But I must say it is a tacky inclusion onto the surrounding landscape.

  • I think it was Gandhi who said, “First they ignore the demoed bungalows, then they laugh at their rising property values and gentrification, then they attack those who build the $700K townhouses and drove the artsy folks out, then Katyville wins.”

  • Here we go again with the disbelief that a *gasp* fast food resturaunt is going up in a “trendy” neighborhood! I live 2 blocks away and I am excited as f***! I love Rasing Canes and always hate driving far to get it! Now it’s kind of an unusual location I could see it more on shepherd than hazard but ha to everyone who is whining about this!!! Sorry but stop moving to Houston if all you are going to do is complain about what other people decide to build! And for people born here like me, you should be used to the randomness no zoning that is Houston. ;) this is a happy day for me! Sorry not everyone only eats organic and fresh blah blah if no one ate at these places I’m sure they wouldn’t exist.

  • if this was a popeye’s I would have been ecstatic.

    regardless, even if i stop in just once over the next 10 years I will have gotten way more milage out of this business then another coffe shop, salon, boutique or resale shop that I have absolutely zero interest in and use for.

    what were others really expecting this place to be? it was always most likely that commercial demand from the westheimer/shepherd corner would be drifting further East and take up this lot as we’re now seeing.

  • How much of that land will be taken up by parking spots?

  • It was probably going to be a pad site, just given the size, shape, frontage, and parking requirements. It might’ve been professional office or some non-fast-food retail instead, but it was probably going to have pretty the same form to it.

    However, this one I don’t understand from a business perspective. My impression of Raising Cane’s has never been that it should appeal especially much to the Lower Westheimer set; and commuters along this corridor seem like they’d be pretty scant. Maybe I’m missing something, but this one isn’t as obvious as the controversial McDonalds on an obviously good site that had been discussed earlier in the week.

  • Maybe they will ask the City for a 380 agreement so they can reconstruct the sidewalk.

  • Wow. At least the Heights/Katyville McDonalds was in a spot that was pretty typical for a McDonalds. This is a huge loss for Montrose. Lots this large in Motrose are incredibly rare. This was probably originally 4 residential lots and two small commercial lots that just happened to fall under common ownership through the passage of time. Plenty of room for a restaurant without having to scrunch on parking, unlike most other lots in Montrose that have been developer.

    I also am getting tired of the idea that people are insufferable food snobs if they crow about dumpy fast food restaurants coming into their neighborhood. One of the things that makes Houston more than worth all the heat, humidity, hurricanes, floods, droughts, traffic and other ills is the fact that we have an amazing food scene. If every prime lot inside the loop get scooped up by some big junk food franchise, it will become incredibly difficult for our food scene to continue to grow and thrive. Of course, it is not the end of the world, but it does suck.

  • If it were another “Austin” eatery people would be lining up for miles.

  • Raising Cane’s doesn’t do much for me, personally, but I thought they catered to students and other people with late night munchies. Westheimer at Winlow seems like not a bad choice for the Rice and St. Thomas crowd.

  • Wow! Great lemonade!
    That will be a great bike ride destination!

    If the neighborhood doesnt want it, eventually the store closes and if enough close, the whole company goes away. Zoning does not cure all, it is just a separate set of rules.

  • Imagine if a Chick-fil-a got built there O.o I like canes it’s pretty good and they just opened one in the Galleria as well So technically this the will be the Fourth on Westheimer.

  • That chicken is sooo good though!!! And so is that sauce!!!!!! I am so excited!!!!! I live, work, and play in Montrose…..and I really don’t think they are going to have problems finding customers in “Lower Westheimer”. Also, if someone doesn’t want to live one block from a fast food joint, then they should never ever ever buy a townhome one block off Westheimer Road!

  • Oh, please! It will be nice to have a new food option in the area for less than $20 for a plate. For Pete’s sake, there are still a few people in the area making less than 150k per year….but just a few…

  • I live two blocks north of here. I had hoped for a better use, but I’m OK with this use. It’s certainly not the end of the world. There’s a KFC on the west side of the neighborhood on Shepherd at Fairview. There’s a Taco Bell at Shepherd and Vermont. Yet somehow this is still an awesome neighborhood. Imagine that.

    I’m glad I don’t live right next door to it, but when you buy a home next to a large lot on WESTHEIMER that has been been used as commercial space as long as anyone can remember, you know the risks you are taking.

  • Well, at least it’s not yet another wine bar or apartment building. :-)

    And surely, anything has to be better than that KFC place on Shepherd and Fairview.

  • @Joan: Little Bigs, Niko Niko’s, La Mexicana, Barnaby’s, Empire Cafe, Aladdin, BB’s, La Guadalupana, Eatsie Boys, Paulies, Cafe Brasil and Jus Mac are just a few of the great local eateries in Montrose where you can get great food on a budget. Again, perfectly reasonable for people in Houston to want something closer to the list above than a place that spits out cheap fried chicken fingers in their neighborhood.

  • And there are plenty of people that want something more convenient and still cheaper than all of those places you listed. If anything Montrose lost 2 fast food places taco cabana and Wendy’s which are hardly missed so this is a nice addition. Thank you developers for giving more things for these poor rich people to complain about.

  • Wouldn’t mind if Cane’s wasn’t so lame. I didn’t know chicken could be so flavorless until I tried theirs. It’s definitely a place for people who don’t really care what they eat as long as its cheap. Blah.

  • It’s true that Lower Westheimer is not (yet completely) comprised of a uniform demographic and I’m sure that there will be customers, but jeez, this had to have been expensive dirt. They probably could’ve bought two or three great fast food pad sites for the price of this one. I doubt that they’ll have difficulty turning an operating profit, but it just seems like the opportunity cost is really, really high.

  • @ Old School: Raising Cane’s will poach from Barnaby’s’ business like Target poaches from Buffalo Exchange. Yours is an insufferable food snob argument and that is why you feel picked on as such.

  • So upset! I would have loved for a Popeyes to open instead of Cain’s. KFC on Faiview is the worst. Even Church’s is better than Cain’s.

  • wow there were so many comments on this post, but none of them about the cane’s vs. layne’s controversy.

  • Hyde Park–what a funny and overrated neighborhood: I do not understand how people can pay over a million dollars for new residential constructions in a neighborhood with probably the highest density of cheap fast food chain restaurants inside west 610 (not the mention the exquisite conditions of streets and sidewalks in that area).

    Why wouldn’t you spend your million+ wisely a few blocks west at River Oaks?

  • I live in the area but spent a lot of time in Baton Rouge in the past, so I’m pretty excited to see a Raising Cane’s inside the loop. I think their quality is a notch above nearly every other fast food option.

    In their more urban locations, I also think that Cane’s does a good job of interacting with the community and supporting local schools. Expect lots support for Lanier Middle School across the street. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they look took advantage of those large oak trees and gave us a more upscale version of their pad sites (patio? bicycle parking?).

  • @Niche: Read my arguments before you start in with your childish insults. I am not saying that a fast food chain is going to take customers from the existing Montrose restaurants. I am saying that they are taking LAND away from someone else who could have put in something that the neighborhood would actually patronize. Sure, they made the best offer and got the land, but that doesn’t mean that what they are bringing to the neighborhood is good. And the funny thing is that your point about the land cost just shows that I am right. This is obviously not in this chain’s wheel house. This is obviously driven more by the desire to clip KFC’s wings (pun intended) and put on a show for investors by showing a growing brand. This has nothing to do with what people in Montrose want and will do absolutely nothing to benefit the neighborhood.

  • Old School for crying out loud. We’ll see about what the neighborhood wants when they’re lining up for the occasional fast food lunch. Just because something isn’t good for you doesn’t mean that it’s not good for the neighborhood.

  • So, probably close to $2M just for the dirt. Selling chicken fingers to middle school students must be really profitable.

  • Y’all might be surprised what high-volume fast food outlets and bank branches are willing to pay for sites they want. It can be pretty high. It’s all predicated on high operating revenue, though.

    I’m wondering if RC’s might have also looked in the LSU alum directory and found a high concentration in greater Montrose. There’s certainly no shortage of them in Houston overall.

  • That’s a lot of money to pay for land to build a fast food place on, but if you think about it, maybe it’s more profitable than a white tablecloth restaurant? I mean all you really need for labor is a person manning drive through, 1 at the counter, and maybe 2 people manning the fry baskets. At a sit down place, you’ve got host stand, servers, bussers, chef, line cooks, dishwashers, etc. Lots more overhead. Not saying this is the best thing for the location, but from a business plan perspective, maybe it makes sense.

  • Oh yes because @old school speaks for the entire community of Montrose. Ha they took the land away what rubbish is that supposed to mean look at all the land that developers are taking away by outing up horrendous town homes. Putting this Canes here is a great idea. Yes more fast food option is needed around here. You can moan all you want but it only makes you look pathetic. No one is forcing you to ever eat there. Have fun eating at your trendy Austin establishments.

  • I’m glad this will be a food option instead of the bank branch I thought surely it would be. Raising Cane’s is OK. Their menu is limited, though, and this lot seems big for it. Maybe they have another food franchise going in with it?

  • That’s a disappointing use of that property. Ditto.