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So much for the wine bar

The battle between Weingarten and its neighbors over the changes to the new River Oaks Shopping Center, which reached a resolution two weeks ago, may end up as having been over nothing.

Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone said he’s canceled plans to open an Italian bistro and wine bar in the River Oaks area because of the ailing economy.

“I’m going to wait until the economy gets better,” said Vallone, who was planning to operate the restaurant with his son Jeff.

Boy, if they’d only said that a few months ago. Anyway, we’ll see if this crops up again in the future, when and if the Vallones decide that the climate has improved. Thanks to Houstonist for the catch.

UPDATE: The River Oaks Examiner has more.

“This is not the time for expansion,” Vallone said of his decision.

Better to wait for the economy to recover, he said, and to focus on his flagship restaurant and catering business.

The spiked project was a restaurant with a patio and upstairs wine bar. It would have been an Italian restaurant, not a bistro, he said.

Meanwhile, the recent flak between neighbors and developer Weingarten Realty on such points as the building’s setbacks and the use of the patio were not factors in pulling the plug, he said, adding the discourse was full of misinformation.

Vallone said, for example, rumors were circulated that the patio would have been used, at times, as a band venue, which would not have been the case.

“I would never do anything to jeopardize the relationship with the neighborhood,” Vallone said.

So we may see this project again some day. I wonder what the neighbors think.

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