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Villagio Town Center: Mixed-Use In Katy


westguy76

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Frak! I have got to stop getting emotionally invested in these businesses; I get so ticked when they don't make it! :angry2:

The sign in the window is a three day notice dated the 8th so technically they've got one more day to pay back rents, maintenance fees etc. I spoke to Brett the other day about the crowds for the Thursday evening 'Party on the Plaza' events that Villagio is doing throughout the summer. He said it was pulling some business away from the outer ring of restaurants and he was down a couple of thousand dollars on those nights. I don't have any idea what the business plan for one of these restaurants looks like, but I wonder if the Villagio hasn't set their rents too high to keep people in business. Seems like if you're grossing a few thousand a night . . . anyway, like I said, I have no idea what the other expenses are like. I know it costs a lot to keep a kitchen open.

We need a "sad" emoticon!

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Mr. B and Standeck... welcome to my bandwagon. Our fickle suburban consumers in Katy are pitifully disloyal and drawn like lemmings to franchise packaging. It sickens me.

We were across the street at the Mercury Bar when the (former) employees from Ox & Angel came over Sunday night (June 7) to toast the demise of their paycheck. At least one that I know of was promptly offered a job at the Merc.

My opinion is that Ox & Angel's failure was threefold: the economy, the location, and industry inexperience. Economically, Jan 09 was bad timing to start any venture whatsoever. Location? Villagio has an unhealthy attrition rate. I'm not privy to difficulties with Cinco's HOA, but it wouldn't surprise me. Here again... how is it that LaCenterra has branded themselves to the public favor, but Villagio struggles?

But I feel the precipitating factor in a businesses success is experience. Ox & Angel had a cute premise, the owners had a concept and enthusiasm. But turning a profit takes finely honed food and beverage management experience. Every decision has to be made on how it can support the bottom line; got to know when to trim staff, when you can afford bands (if you recall, when they opened their plan was for charging admission for the bands), how to pull crowds. Televising Rugby games is a niche business, although you'd think they'd be great profit for a bar.

The Mercury Bar sounds like it'll make it. They have a great drink menu, a second level sommier, and good location on the plaza. They bill themselves as a "jazz bar" but the bands are not true jazz.... they just aren't Rock or Country. They seem to be drawing a nice mix of young and old, and have a decent menu. Try it!

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My opinion is that Ox & Angel's failure was threefold: the economy, the location, and industry inexperience.

I wondered about it when I didn't get an email from Amy about the weekly activities. Their website tells the tale:

http://www.theangelandtheox.com/1.html

In my opinion, it was inexperience. I tried very hard to like the place, and went there maybe a dozen times in the 5 months it was open. Bad location, not much atmosphere, so-so food, not particularly friendly. Too much spent on bands and football/rugby. Not enough attention to detail. There was a "100 pint" club, but nobody ever told me about it. They started out having a Saturday/Sunday brunch, which was actually pretty good. My wife said it was the best oatmeal she had ever had. But they cancelled Saturday brunch, and then one day we went for Sunday and were told they didn't have it because the chef had a personal emergency. They offered us the regular pub menu - I guess the chef on duty couldn't cook brunch?

Then they started closing on Mondays and opening late on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Sounds like they weren't paying the rent, but you gotta wonder about the owners of the Villagio. Businesses keep going belly up there.

La Centerra is in Cinco Ranch. Don't they have to deal with the HOA too?

Haven't been in the Mercury Bar, but what they've been open a month or two in the old location of Churchill's Cigar Bar. I'd be surprised if Mercury Bar is still there in 6 months.

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My opinion is that Ox & Angel's failure was threefold: the economy, the location, and industry inexperience. Economically, Jan 09 was bad timing to start any venture whatsoever. Location? Villagio has an unhealthy attrition rate. I'm not privy to difficulties with Cinco's HOA, but it wouldn't surprise me. Here again... how is it that LaCenterra has branded themselves to the public favor, but Villagio struggles?

La Centerra's design IMO feels more open and accessible, where as Villagio feels like a fortress or castle. But design and accessability has not as much with the real reason Angel and Ox failed. There just aren't enough Irish people and/or those interested in an authentic Irish bar in Cinco Ranch and surrounding areas (like where myself and where I live) to sustain.

Its too niche for a cookie-cutter suburb. Drop it inside the loop west or south of downtown, and you'd have an instant winner. Facts o' life.

Edited by Jeebus
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Its too niche for a cookie-cutter suburb. Drop it inside the loop west or south of downtown, and you'd have an instant winner. Facts o' life.

I don't think that you can necessarily say that. Restaurants and bars fail all the time. I liked A&O but I think that it had issues other than just location.

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I don't think that you can necessarily say that. Restaurants and bars fail all the time. I liked A&O but I think that it had issues other than just location.

I agree, I don't think it would have done well even if it were located some other place. It seemed to draw nice crowds on the weekends, but not enough bar/food to pay for the live entertainment.

There is still Baker Street and it is close enough for me to walk to.

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  • 2 months later...

Over the past few days I've noticed activity inside the old A&O space. Some minor changes to the seating area to add a separator wall etc. Today a lighted sign of individual letters is going up on the outside of the building, "The P _ _ _ _ _". Heh, I'll go back later to see what it ends up being called, but a neighborhood watering hole where I can sip a pint and read a book would be really welcome.

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Over the past few days I've noticed activity inside the old A&O space. Some minor changes to the seating area to add a separator wall etc. Today a lighted sign of individual letters is going up on the outside of the building, "The P _ _ _ _ _". Heh, I'll go back later to see what it ends up being called, but a neighborhood watering hole where I can sip a pint and read a book would be really welcome.

Huh, wouldn't let me edit; Anyway the new pub is (appropriately) "The Public House". Here's hoping it lasts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Huh, wouldn't let me edit; Anyway the new pub is (appropriately) "The Public House". Here's hoping it lasts.

It looks like it will be another Irish type pub, but maybe with a little more of a pub atmosphere. I'll give it a try, but we'll see how long it lasts. I don't care much for the Mercury Bar. Too expensive for Katy, but I haven't been there in quite a while, so maybe their prices have come down some.

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I think if it were located in the center area and had a patio it would still be open.

I would have to agree. Stadia across the way is doing quite well, turning into a neighborhood bar and grill. It will interesting to see how much more Katy gets once we undergo an eventual economic recovery.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Coming soon to the former Angel and the Ox Pub location: The Public House. Check out the website. Managers have great background and sound experience.

http://www.thepublichousekaty.com/

Quoting: Ciaran and Chris share the philosophy that any good Irish pub should be a "local.” Good food, good drinks, good service, in a friendly environment where "regulars" and newcomers all feel welcome. They adhere to that old Irish saw, "A stranger is simply a friend you haven't met yet."

Meanwhile.... new managers at the Mercury Bar across the street have straightened things up a bit there, moving the band to allow for conversations. The Merc is holding it's own quite well!

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  • The title was changed to Villagio Town Center: Mixed-Use In Katy

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