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brucesw

Antone's Famous Po'Boys soldiers on, Antone's Original Import Co., RIP

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For some time now there have been two groups of businesses using the Antone's name, offering po'boys and other sandwiches.  I don't know the full history of the split but I have read the original founders of Antone's on Taft sold the rights to the name to two different groups years ago and has had nothing to do with either operation since.

 

There has been the group going by the name of Antone's Famous, owned by the Legacy Restaurant Group which also owns the Original Ninfa's on Navigation.  They  currently have two brick and mortar locations and a kiosk in the downtown tunnels and another in the Greenway Plaza underground, with more planned.  They are also responsible for the packaged sandwiches widely available at grocery stores throughout the area.

 

There have been two stores going by the name Antone's Original Import Co., one on Bellaire near Weslayan and one on Kirby at OST.  Supposedly there are some differences in the recipes used by the two groups.

 

Now both the 'Original' stores have rebranded.  I was in the store on Bellaire in April and all the signage was being changed over to Paulie's Po'Boys.  The official change was slated for May 1. 

 

There was a long line of customers asking questions.  A man behind the counter, at least in his 60s, said the name Paulie came from a descendant of the original founder of Antone's and that they would continue to serve the same sandwiches they had been serving for years.  The cashier told me the Legacy Restaurant group told the two Original shops they had to either stop using the Antone's name or start using the same recipes as the Famous shops use.  Both shops decided to change their names.

 

The store on Kirby is now branded Angelo'z.  There doesn't appear to be a website for that one.

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On 5/17/2018 at 7:36 PM, brucesw said:

For some time now there have been two groups of businesses using the Antone's name, offering po'boys and other sandwiches.  I don't know the full history of the split but I have read the original founders of Antone's on Taft sold the rights to the name to two different groups years ago and has had nothing to do with either operation since.

 

There has been the group going by the name of Antone's Famous, owned by the Legacy Restaurant Group which also owns the Original Ninfa's on Navigation.  They  currently have two brick and mortar locations and a kiosk in the downtown tunnels and another in the Greenway Plaza underground, with more planned.  They are also responsible for the packaged sandwiches widely available at grocery stores throughout the area.

 

There have been two stores going by the name Antone's Original Import Co., one on Bellaire near Weslayan and one on Kirby at OST.  Supposedly there are some differences in the recipes used by the two groups.

 

Now both the 'Original' stores have rebranded.  I was in the store on Bellaire in April and all the signage was being changed over to Paulie's Po'Boys.  The official change was slated for May 1. 

 

There was a long line of customers asking questions.  A man behind the counter, at least in his 60s, said the name Paulie came from a descendant of the original founder of Antone's and that they would continue to serve the same sandwiches they had been serving for years.  The cashier told me the Legacy Restaurant group told the two Original shops they had to either stop using the Antone's name or start using the same recipes as the Famous shops use.  Both shops decided to change their names.

 

The store on Kirby is now branded Angelo'z.  There doesn't appear to be a website for that one.

 

This is a shame. I remember when the split happened and the Antone's Famous came out around 2000 and it basically amounted to a stripping down of everything that made Antone's great - the variety of imports, the old world atmosphere - all in an attempt to turn it into a generic, Schlotzky's-type experience. The Rice Village location carried the flag awhile for the Original restaurants but is now gone. 

 

I will say that, in addition to Paulie's and Angelo'z, there is Anthonie's Deli on FM 1960 at Stuebner, which was another scion of the original family that had to change its name. They have been there about 40 years, crossing the street at one point. And last but not least, Antoine's Foods on Harry Hines in Dallas is also connected and has been in its same location for over 50 years.

 

These, along with Prince's Hamburgers and maybe Someburger, are as legit as anything Houston ever came up with for lunch places. Seek them out and reward them with loyalty. They have been loyal to you.

 

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There is still one on San Felipe, and the po-boys are the same as ever, but I would agree it is just a sandwich shop and not like the original.  Wasn't the original location on Taft near Allen Parkway?  They had all kinds of stuff there.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Subdude said:

There is still one on San Felipe, and the po-boys are the same as ever, but I would agree it is just a sandwich shop and not like the original.  Wasn't the original location on Taft near Allen Parkway?  They had all kinds of stuff there.

 

807 Taft, where the Pass & Provisions is now. When I lived and worked in the area, I used to pick up a po-boy for lunch there fairly regularly, but my memories of doing so are colored by my car getting totalled right after leaving there one day by an uninsured driver who ran a red light at Taft and W. Gray. To add insult to injury, I'd just had the engine overhauled less than a week beforehand, and had expected to keep the car for at least several more years. 

 

Will have to see how much the location at Kirby and OST has changed with the rebranding - that one has occasionally been a favored stop after attending a daytime event at NRG Center.

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You can taste the difference between the original family locations and the "grocery store" locations, I will continue to give my business to Bellaire and Kirby locations..

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If you ever went to the store on Taft while the family was working there you would never eat a modern one....no comparision. Have never found a sandwich like that.....born and raised here. 58 yrs

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2 hours ago, Debra said:

If you ever went to the store on Taft while the family was working there you would never eat a modern one....no comparision. Have never found a sandwich like that.....born and raised here. 58 yrs

Indeed the store on Taft was my favorite too. Coincidence about our age, native-ness, and appreciation for (the real) Antone's? Who can say?

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