Hickory Hollow, chicken fried steak favorite, prepares to say farewell after 31 years

HOUSTON, Texas -- In the conversation about where to go for Houston's best chicken fried steak, one restaurant pops up again and again: Hickory Hollow. And why not? The restaurant has been serving them for 41 years at its Fallbrook location in northwest Houston and for over 31 years at its Heights Boulevard location just off Washington Avenue.

February 2019 will be a sad time for fans of the Heights location. Owner Tony Riedel has sold the property to local real estate developer Braun Enterprises, who plans to find a new tenant for the space. The Fallbrook location will remain open, and the restaurant plans to consolidate its successful catering business there, too.

"I've been at this for 50 years. I'll be 70 this year. It's time to step back," Riedel tells CultureMap. "I'm working towards that, which I imagine will be 2020 (when that happens). This is step number one."

Riedel explains that Braun approached him two years ago about the possibility of acquiring the 4,400-square-foot building and, most importantly for an Inner Loop restaurant, its spacious parking lot. He wasn't ready to sell then, but a couple of recent health scares have convinced him that the time is right to slow down and spend more time with his family. After some negotiating, they agreed on a purchase price last week (terms of the deal have not been disclosed).

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