Third Ward restaurant Spanish Village to close after 70 years

The Tex-Mex spot has been an institution on Almeda Road for its margaritas and red sauce.

Photo of Brianna Griff
Spanish Village, under a new owner, had recently revamped its menu. But it wasn't enough to save the restaurant from closure.

Spanish Village, under a new owner, had recently revamped its menu. But it wasn't enough to save the restaurant from closure.

Kirsten Gilliam

Alas, another Houston restaurant staple is shuttering—Spanish Village. The Tex-Mex restaurant has been a part of the city's dining scene since it opened 70 years ago in 1953, but the last customer will be served on March 31.

Current owner Steve Rogers promised in a statement that Spanish Village will be honored in an upcoming project that is yet to be announced.

"There's absolutely no arguing the impact Spanish Village has had on the Third Ward. The Medina family built something incredible, and I have been honored to be able to continue that," Rogers said. "Despite the restaurant closing, it's important to me and to the community to honor that legacy."

Some updates had been made to the Spanish Village interior while keeping the original old-school feel.

Some updates had been made to the Spanish Village interior while keeping the original old-school feel.

Kirsten Gilliam

Local diners were devastated when the Almeda Road restaurant closed its doors in July 2021, but it was only a few weeks later that the restaurant reopened under a new owner, Rogers, a well-known name in Houston's nightlife via Bar 5015, Faces of Houston and others.

The Spanish Village property caught his eye when he was contemplating how to add restaurant and retail options to the section of Almeda Road between I-45 and the 610 Loop.

Houston's 70-year-old Spanish Village restaurant on the border of Third Ward and the Museum District is closing after an attempt to revive it.

Houston's 70-year-old Spanish Village restaurant on the border of Third Ward and the Museum District is closing after an attempt to revive it.

Kirsten Gilliam

The loyalty of Spanish Village patrons convinced Rogers to keep the restaurant open but with a facelift. The restaurant's 1920 bungalow received more lights, seating and paint, and some walls were knocked down to create a more open space.

Spanish Village's iconic margaritas and red sauce, both of which date back to the 1950s, will be missed among foodies. The margaritas were made a week in advance in batches with real lime juice. Once the flavors were fully developed, the restaurant would use the mix to create delicious drinks for customers.

The frozen margaritas at Spanish Village are like adult snow cones.

The frozen margaritas at Spanish Village are like adult snow cones.

Kirsten Gilliam

Restaurant regulars will have to find a new spot to enjoy their enchiladas, but perhaps the coming neighborhood development will result in a new Tex-Mex tradition. Rogers partnered with a company called Localist to determine what business owners and residents felt was missing in the area. Answers ranged from "diner" to "coworking space focused on diverse entrepreneurs." Rogers is also developing the 8,000-square-foot lot that neighbors Spanish Village.

"The Third Ward has its own personality that's hard to understand unless you're in it, and with the help of my neighbors, I'm excited to begin this new chapter with a project that will benefit them," Rogers said.

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