Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys Shutters Brick-and-Mortar in Texas Medical Center
Only about a year and a half after opening, Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys has already closed its location on the first floor of the Medical Towers Building at 6618 Fannin. It was the first brick-and-mortar restaurant that the famous Houston sandwich company had opened in a decade. The last day of business was Friday, June 25.
According to a representative, Legacy Restaurants, which owns Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys, determined that it was more successful and effective to make the po’ boys available at hospitals and offices — such as at the Texas Children’s Hospital bistros — rather than making customers walk to the brick-and-mortar location.
Antone’s provides catering and delivery to the Medical Center area, and the sandwiches are also available at many H-E-B, Randalls and Kroger grocery stores. Those hungry for a Original, Super Original, Piggy (ham salad), Tuna or one of the other varieties can use the Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys locator to find the nearest retailer.
The timing of the opening was probably also not helpful. The Medical Center location opened at the end of December 2020. By mid-March, Governor Greg Abbott ordered restaurants to close dining rooms in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. To-go and delivery food was still allowed, but it was May 1, 2020 before dine-in was allowed to resume, and only at 25% capacity, initially. Two-and-a-half months isn’t much time for a new restaurant to build a base of dine-in clientele, and on top of all of this, Antone’s kept the Medical Center location shuttered until November 2020.
In addition, the company’s other two long-standing brick-and-mortar restaurants at 4520 San Felipe in the Galleria area and 2724 West T. C. Jester near the Heights are open as usual. The kiosk in Greenway Plaza closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.