Backstreet Cafe Closed for Repairs Until February 2022

Update: Backstreet Cafe has since reopened.

If you’re thinking of heading to Backstreet Cafe for lunch, brunch or dinner, think again — until February, anyway. The restaurant, located in a venerable two-story home built in the 1920s at 1103 South Shepherd, is closed for the month while some much-needed repairs are performed.

The restaurant temporarily closed on January 3, 2022 and, while it’s hard to pinpoint a date when it comes to construction projects, H Town Restaurant Group owners Tracy Vaught and James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega hope to reopen the first week of February. There are two main issues: the kitchen floor needs replacing and the foundation needs leveling.

Backstreet Cafe brunch
Backstreet Cafe is a popular stop for Houstonians seeking brunch. Photo by Paula Murphy.

“This project means we will be temporarily closed for about one month to get this big job done,” said Vaught via press release. “It’s not how we wanted to start the new year and our 39th year of business, but it is important and we decided, let’s start the year off right!”

Vaught opened Backstreet Cafe 39 years ago, and it was her first restaurant. Ortega started his career there as a dishwasher, but it wasn’t long until he moved up the ranks. Over the years, he and Vaught fell in love, got married, had a family and opened more restaurants. The good news is that all of those other establishments are open as usual, so diners can still visit Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi or URBE, (which we recently named a Best New Restaurant of 2021).

Diners appreciate Backstreet Cafe’s homey setting, extensive back patio with a fountain (with frequent bird visitors) and varied menu, which is not only vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, but also has plenty of options for those who enjoy meat.


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