Beloved Montrose Tex-Mex restaurant suddenly shuts down

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The sudden closure of a popular Montrose Tex-Mex restaurant has sent employees reeling.

El Real Tex-Mex Cafe, owned by Chef Bryan Caswell, closed suddenly after service on Sunday. Signs posted on the door Monday said the restaurant has shut its doors permanently.

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However, at least a dozen employees say they have not been paid. Several now unemployed servers showed up to El Real, hoping to collect their last paycheck, which they're supposed to get on Friday.

The employees then showed up to Reef, the Midtown restaurant that is also owned by Chef Caswell.

The employees held up signs that said "We need our paychecks," as passing motorists honked in support.

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Chef Caswell was not at Reef during the time, but employees said they were told he would be arriving soon. El Real employees say they will stay at Reef until Chef Caswell shows up with their paychecks.

Employees told ABC13 they usually take home $1,000 bi-weekly, and need the money to pay rent.

Chef Caswell told us that he's working to pay every employee.

"Nobody gets paid until they get paid," Caswell said over the phone.

He said everyone will get their paychecks by Friday, and although the situation is difficult, he's going to honor his obligations.

Did someone say food?! Houston food lovers, unite!

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