River Oaks Backstreet Cafe Restaurant Temporarily Closing Due to Repairs

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The Backstreet Cafe in River Oaks will be closing during the month of January 2022 to carry out repairs to the building. Pictured: Chef Hugo Ortega.

Photo: Paula Murphy

One of River Oaks’ favorite restaurants will be closed for a month for repairs. street cafeThe seasonal American bistro of restaurateurs Tracy Vaught and chef Hugo Ortega announced on Monday that it will close for a month to repair the foundation and replace the kitchen floor.

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

BACKSTORY: How Backstreet Cafe was born

Vaught opened the restaurant, 1103 S. Shepherd, in a 1920s bungalow in 1983. Ortega began his career as a dishwasher in Backstreet and began learning the trade there; he will win the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest in 2017. Vaught and Ortega own a collection of restaurants under the H-Town restaurant group, including Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi and Urbe.

The Backstreet Café is expected to reopen in February.

Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Send him topical tips at [email protected] Listen to him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn more about barbecue culture in Houston and Texas.




  • Greg Morago

    Greg Morago was editor and reporter for The Hartford Courant for 25 years before joining the Houston Chronicle as food editor in 2009. He writes about food, restaurants, spirits, travel, fashion and beauty . He is a native of Arizona and a member of the Pima Tribe of the Gila River Indian Community.

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