Backstreet Cafe closed for repairs until February 2022

If you plan to go to back street cafe for lunch, brunch or dinner, think again — until February, anyway. The restaurant, housed in a venerable two-story house built in the 1920s at 1103 South Shepherd, is closed for the month while much-needed repairs are carried out.

The restaurant temporarily closed on January 3, 2022, and while it’s hard to pinpoint a date in regards to construction plans, the owners of the H Town Restaurant Group Tracy Vaught and James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega hopes to reopen the first week of February. There are two main issues: the kitchen floor needs to be replaced and the foundation needs to be leveled.

Brunch at the Backstreet Cafe
The Backstreet Cafe is a popular stop for Houstonians looking for brunch. Photo by Paula Murphy.

“This project means that we will be temporarily closed for about a month to do this heavy lifting,” Vaught said via press release. “This is not how we wanted to start the new year and our 39th year in business, but it is important and we have decided, let’s start the year on the right foot!”

Vaught opened the Backstreet Cafe 39 years ago, and it was his first restaurant. Ortega started his career there as a dishwasher, but it wasn’t long before he rose through the ranks. Over the years, he and Vaught fell in love, got married, started a family, and opened more restaurants. The good news is that all of these other establishments are open as usual, so diners can still visit Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi or URBE, (which we recently named Best New Restaurant of 2021).

Diners enjoy Backstreet Cafe’s warm setting, expansive back patio with a fountain (with frequent bird visitors), and varied menu that’s not only vegetarian and vegan, but also has plenty of options for those who love meat. .

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