We’re still awaiting photos of the scene — both to confirm and to allow everyone to revel in the destruction — but a regular tipster informs Swamplot that the building backing up to Buffalo Bayou on the south side of I-10 near Voss Rd. that until mid-2009 housed the Las Alamedas Restaurant is being demolished. The back side of the building has been ripped open, the reader reports;, but as of a visit yesterday the front of the building remained intact.
For almost 5 years, the building at 8516 Katy Fwy. has remained a monument to the Mexican restaurant that once occupied it, housing no subsequent tenants. Las Alamedas Restaurant & Cantina long since decamped to the La Centerra at Cinco Ranch Shopping Center, at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. County tax records show its former home changed hands a little more than a year ago. Since December 2013, the vacant structure with the bayou frontage has been owned by Hedwig Redevelopment Partners, which appears to be an entity owned by Fuller Realty Advisers.
- Previously on Swamplot: Where the Freeway Met the Bayou: The Last Days of Las Alamedas; Las Alamedas: Landlord Wants More, Las Alamedas Lease Lapsed?
Yes, this is true. I just drove by there this morning and the back corner has been smashed by an excavator.
It doesn’t back up to Buffalo Bayou, that’s Briar Branch which is little more than a ditch – although wooded – at this point. It’s hard to find good riverfront property in Houston!
This was a prime location. There has to be some interesting back story as to 1) why it was completely abandoned despite being a good facility (at least the exterior) and 2) why no one ever bought it up to rehab it into another restaurant or venue. It was just a big puzzle every time I drove by it.
I should have read the “previously on Swamplot.” Apparently there is a an interesting back story.
Having grown up in the area, I remember when this was the location of the Yaupon MOTEL. It was a well known seedy hourly rate motel where there were coming and goings at all time of night and day. I always felt a little dirty just riding by the place on my bicycle.
No doubt more condos. Blah
The site is bound by the Hedwig Village height restrictions. I believe that limits any redevelopment to 35′ or about 3 stories.
Drove by there this afternoon, and about 1/2 of the building is gone.
What a shame this restaurant had so much style. When I was a little kid I begged my dad to take me to eat at that big mansion in Memorial, the food was ok, but the atmosphere was fab. It perfectly fit Memorial. Like everything else in Houston, it was temporary and had a shelf life that I guess was up…too bad
Having worked there for a long time, it saddens me to see it go. The original owners retired and left their son in charge who then ruined it. This was an excellent restaurant with the possibility of being one of the best in town, but he didn’t care enough I think. It’s sad cause its an excellent location, the chef was amazing, the wines were wonderful, beautifuld decor, that entrance was to die for. How sad that its going to be ripped apart and replaced with a bunch of apartment.
This building has an awesome story. The owner died, and the heirs tried to double the rent (or increase it by significant amount) shortly thereafter when contract was up. The restaurant owners offered a more reasonable rent that would allow them to still make money, bug the new owners dug their heels, and all they got was an empty building for 4 years.
I’m sure there are sone Swamplot archives with all the details.
Wow, thanks CW! I also grew up in the area, but had forgotten the Yaupon Motel! Perhaps I was a bit too young to know it was seedy, but I also remember the “Put-Put” miniature golf course that was located later there on the ravine … which was a natural tributary that flowed into Buffalo Bayou.
I remember Las Alamedas as being one of several upscale “Mexican” restaurants that opened in Houston during the boom in the late 70s and early 80s. Some of which were opened by wealthy people who already owned nice restaurants in Mexico City. They all had to adapt to the different tastes of the public here, or fail.
about time that went down. I went there one in 92 and it was in the throes of death.
I always heard that when they original owner died he left the real estate to one of his kids and the restaurant to another. They couldn’t agree on a rental rate so the restaurant moved to Grand Parkway where I think it still operates. Fuller has acquired some great real estate over there.