HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The original El Tiempo Cantina, an important venue in the historical evolution of Houston’s Tex-Mex food, has been sold.
With a long-term lease, the restaurant operators, part of the Laurenzo family, will continue to prepare fajitas, enchiladas and margaritas at the restaurants, 3130 Richmond Avenue in Houston’s Upper Kirby area.
The restaurant building, located near Levy Park, was acquired by Carol Properties LLC. , which was represented by Todd Moore, Walker Ryan and Connor Duffy of Colliers.
“We are extremely pleased to have helped our client secure a true Houston landmark as part of their investment portfolio,” said Todd Moore of Colliers.
The History of Fajitas
El Tiempo has been there on Richmond Avenue – between Kirby Drive and Buffalo Speedway – since 1998.
“The restaurant has been successfully operating at this location for 25-plus years and recently extended their lease which drove value for both the buyer and seller,” added Walker Ryan of Colliers.
The seller of the restaurant property, an EYF partnership, was represented by real estate broker Josh Jacobs of Blue Ox.
The Laurenzo family created a significant chapter in development of the Mexican Food genre in Houston.
The story began in 1959 when Ninfa Laurenzo and her husband opened the Rio Grande Tortilla Company Factory in Houston’s Navigation Boulevard. When her husband passed away and there were children to support, Ninfa created a small restaurant at the tortilla factory.
The Genius of “Mama Ninfa”
In the early1970s the kitchen of “Mama Ninfa” was producing fajitas – affordable, but delicious cuts of meat wrapped in outstanding flour tortillas. With no marketing budget, but enthusiastic word-of-mouth support, Ninfa’s was a smash hit that influenced kitchens across the region.
Members of the Laurenzo family started El Tiempo on Richmond Avenue, an area that has strong demographics today. Within five miles of the property there are more than 44,000 businesses, 726,000 employees. More than 18,000 cars per day drive by the restaurant.
The surrounding Upper Kirby district continues to see growth. Last month, Southern Land Company announced it will develop a 318–unit, high-rise apartment tower and 75,000-SF of office space atop a parking garage and 22,000 SF of retail on Kirby Drive at Kipling Street.
Aug. 16, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023
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File: El Tiempo Property Acquired
Photo: Courtesy Colliers