Friday, February 17, 2012

Fajita Rita's, The Building of Which Eventually Burned Down

One of the phone books I have shows it has simply "Fajita Rita", then was reverted later.

Located on 4501 Texas Avenue South, Fajita Rita's opened in a building near the intersection of Rosemary and Texas Avenue in 1984 (some sources say 1983, but a 1984 The Eagle mentions their grand opening was in November 1984), right on the College Station-Bryan border (but on the Bryan side). It wasn't the first restaurant in the spot. First was Chelsea Street Pub was here in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but by 1983 it was a place called Rebels Restaurant & Bar (sounded like "student food", the phone book mentions it had steaks, burgers, nachos, happy hour), then briefly a Fari's Restaurant & Bar.

Fajita Rita's did well but faltered in the 1990s as more chains and restaurants began popping up. Fajita Rita's closed sometime in the early 2000s (2003, likely) and was replaced with Fredricko's (unrelated to the similarly-named Northgate establishment, unless the newspaper botched the name). It soon became a restaurant called "Las Fuentes" for a few years (and it's entirely possible I'm missing one more), then ultimately Las Lomas Mexican Grill. Las Lomas did last for a while: it did offer more of the same from FR (margaritas, decent but average Mexican food), but the building started to fall into disrepair. Its popularity was never very high, and even never turned on its roadside sign from 2008 to 2011. In March 2011, it was finally turned on, but it was too little, too late, and closed in late 2011. A few months later, in February 2012, lightning struck an air conditioning unit and burned the restaurant to the ground in a spectacular fire. That same night, the YMCA Building flooded (it was quite a storm). What was left of the building (Las Lomas, not YMCA) was razed a few months later.

Since this post was originally "Tales of Defunct Restaurants II", for the Texan, see here. Little Tokyo can be found here.

If you're looking for info on Texadelphia, which used to be found at this post, it was moved here.

major change happened in july 2013
november 2013, finally added new image, changed title from "4501 Texas Avenue: The Former Fajita Rita's, Which Later Burned Down"
july 2014 another update with new restaurants added