Coffee & Wine Bar Penny Quarter in Montrose Is Closing Indefinitely
Mark up another casualty of the COVID-19 situation. After being open less than a year, coffee shop and wine bar Penny Quarter is already closing. Located at 1424 Westheimer, behind Anvil Bar & Refuge in the former Etro dance club space, the space had been fully remodeled for a modern, bright look with plenty of natural light.
The initial management staff list was similar to that of recent establishments such as Better Luck Tomorrow and Squable. It included wine director Justin Vann (also of Theodore Rex), general manager Tommy Ho, (who is also Anvil’s general manager) and principals Bobby Heugel, James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Yu (also of Theodore Rex and in charge of menu development, of course), Terry Williams and Steve Flippo. Initially, Alex Negranza was announced as coffee director, but left in October 2019 to take a role with forthcoming Goodnight Hospitality restaurant March.
The closing announcement posted to Facebook cited economics hardships caused by the reduction in how often customers are currently going out due to the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A portion of the announcement reads:
“Why close? Because a new business with lower prices and a casual cafe setting can’t survive COVID-19. We pay our staff higher wages for our industry in addition to providing health benefits for all employees, and we refuse to do any less. To achieve this, however, we need lots of people in our space throughout the day to afford to do so. This simply isn’t possible today and rebuilding Penny Quarter to that point over the summer would require significant debt in addition to the opening debt we are currently burdened by as a new business.
Rather than letting the inevitable slowly play out, we feel we are better able to care for our staff by making this choice now, rather than later.”
It’s worth noting that the announcement, and its use of the word “indefinitely,” leaves some slim hope that Penny Quarter might reemerge in the future, perhaps with different hours, menu offerings and price points. We sent an inquiry to Heugel to find out what the chances are of that happening and will update this article if we receive a response.