Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Guadalajara, Guadalajara ... went up in flames, now back as GUAD

The Reincarnation: Pretty sign, but truncated 

GUAD Texas Chef Mex (new restaurant signage)
GUAD Texas Chef-Mex - Finally back, without the tail end
that might challenge the tongues of non-Mexicans 

A four-letter version of the former Guadalajara Bar & Grill on the SW Fwy in Upper Kirby/West University has risen from the ashes: GUAD. With the unique tagline: TEXAS CHEF-MEX. The original Mexican restaurant of the Guadalajara Hacienda family of restaurants at this location suffered heavy damage in a fire in August 2013 and the space had been vacant until the recent revival.

Guadalajara reincarnation without -alajara
On its own, the GUAD moniker hardly evokes Mexico despite the allusion to Guadalajara that may be detected by some as they drive past, but the appearance of the building does. At least somewhat, thanks to the colorful mosaic-like tiles used on the facades. Though this design feature may not be prominent enough to be visible from the Midtown-bound lanes of the Southwest Freeway. The towering red sign, by contrast, is a different matter. 

2925 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77098

GUAD is scheduled to open its doors to the public on Nov. 4, though the road-side announcement is somewhat ambiguous. It could be taken to mean that only the CANTINA is opening.  

  GUAD Texas Chef Mex 2925 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77098
2925 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77098

Interestingly, as of Nov 3, 2015, the company website still said that the Southwest Freeway restaurant is "closed until further notice". The other locations are in Downtown (Guadalajara del centro), in Memorial City (Guadalajara Hacienda), and in The Woodlands (same name).

In other area restaurant news, a new Olive Garden restaurant has opened nearby, at 2929 Southwest Fwy, formerly the site of a motel. Unlike its Mexican neighbor, the new Italian eatery's appearance is unremarkable. It looks much like the chain's other restaurants of recent vintage. The new version of the company's logo now features an olive branch rather than grapes. 

Olive Garden 2929 Southwest Fwy #160, Houston, TX 77098
Olive Garden and West University Water Tower

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