The last location of popular wine bar The Tasting Room, which had a presence in Houston for 20 years, is closing. The one at CityCentre, located at 818 Town and Country Boulevard, is hosting its last day of business on August 27. The original in Uptown Park shuttered in May 2020.
According to a press release sent on behalf of the owner company Lasco Enterprises, The Tasting Room is closing because CityCentre’s landlord/developer, Midway, declined to renew the lease. A representative for Lasco Enterprises was unable to share why the lease isn’t being renewed, and so far, Midway has not responded to our inquiry regarding the reason or what may be in the space next.
It’s worth noting there’s significant construction nearby which may be affecting the space. Midway is developing City Center 7, “a six-level office building with ground floor retail, providing direct access to shopping, dining, and entertainment.” It will be located near the intersection of Beltway 8 and I-10, and according to the Houston Chronicle, the vacant Four Points By Sheraton is being torn down to make way for CityCentre 7. That’s only about a block away from The Tasting Room.
That leaves Lasco Enterprises with two businesses: Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden in San Antonio and Max’s Wine Dive in Houston. There are two locations: the original at 4720 Washington and one in Montrose at 214 Fairview. Both Max’s and The Tasting Room were groundbreaking wine bars that helped set the trend of reasonably priced wine by the bottle meant for pairing with chef-created dishes.
“To the great city of Houston, it is with much sadness that we are closing The Tasting Room. We want to thank you for your patronage over the last 20-plus years,” said Jerry Lasco, CEO of LASCO Enterprises. “We are grateful to each and every guest that supported us the last two decades—and for our amazing team, some who have been with us for many years.”
The Tasting Room was already signed up to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks, and that commitment will continue until it closes. The four-course, $55 menu includes options such as burrata caprese, Smoked Short Rib Empanadas, prime New York strip steak with crispy onions, loaded whipped potatoes and house steak sauce, spicy garlic shrimp with squid ink spaghetti duck, for dessert, Goat Cheese Cheesecake with amaretti cookies, pink peppercorns and blood orange honey. The full Houston Restaurant Week menu is available online.
There’s also a Caymus wine dinner on August 23, and a farewell party on the final day of business, August 27. Guests visiting for one last toast can also take advantage of pre-closing wine discounts. Those interested in these celebrations can visit The Tasting Room website for more information. There are also numerous happy hours, reverse happy hours and live music performances on the event calendar.