Irma’s Original - Restaurant Recovery Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Recovery Irma’s Original

In this Restaurant Recovery episode, Todd Graves visits Irma’s Original in Houston, Texas.

Irma’s Original is owned by Irma Galvan.

Over the years, Houston, Texas has become one of the most diverse cities in the country.

People from all different cultures have come there, worked hard and achieved the American dream.

The food scene in downtown Houston showcases the diversity of the city.

When you talk about Houston’s culinary diversity, there’s no better place to start than Irma’s Original.

The restaurant was founded by Irma Galvan in 1989.

Her authentic Mexican dishes has made her restaurant a destination spot for the last 30 plus years.

With the help of her daughter, Monica, Irma’s Original became a success.

This was in no small part due to being close to the baseball stadium, convention center and office buildings downtown.

Irma’s Original has been in a state of uncertainty since the start of the pandemic.

Todd is there to help Irma and Monica in the fight to keep their piece of the American dream alive.

They do not have a menu at the restaurant.

They started small with around eight tables.

As years went on, their customers loved them.

They started adding more tables when they sold more tacos.

Since they reopened again, their sales are down.

They are now down to five or six tables.

Todd says he needs to talk to Irma and Monica to see just how dire the situation is.

He says that walking into Irma’s is like waking into your grandmother’s house.

Irma says that they have been cooking all morning for Todd.

They are excited to serve him their real, authentic, home cooked meal.

Todd says he has brought his appetite and can’t wait to try the food.

Todd says that the presentation of the dishes is beautiful.

Todd says that Irma’s is some of the best Mexican food he has ever tried.

Irma tells Todd the history of how she bought the restaurant.

Irma says that the customers are what keep her going.

She says it got to a point where she had people lined up out the door.

Then COVID caused it to decline to zero.

They were closed for almost two months.

Irma does own the property, which means she doesn’t have to pay rent.

Irma is very grateful for his help.

Todd is proud to be here.

They give Todd a tour of the restaurant.

The patio is an oasis but it needs a little help.

Irma hands the keys over to Todd.

Irma says that she feels great that she met Todd.

Todd understands what they are going through and that’s very important.

Todd begins working on the patio.

Todd knows they have to get this pergola safe before they can do anything else outside.

He doesn’t know how to find time to get everything done.

Todd brings in Ian Vaughn to help them.

Todd tells Ian that they need some live entertainment to liven up the place.

Todd says thanks to Ian, they have a great plan to help Irma’s adapt during this pandemic.

With the pergola setting them back hours, the crew will have to work overnight.

Todd tells Irma and Monica that their family story really touched his heart.

He says that they both have overcome so much tragedy.

Their success has been earned from hard work and passion.

The next day, Todd shows them the new concept of Irma’s Outside.

Irma says they feel overwhelmed and happy.

This is a big gift to Irma and Monica.

Todd wanted to make Irma’s Outside a premier live entertainment event.

They have around $6,500 left on the loan they had to take out.

Todd says he will take care of that for them.

Todd will also take care of $20,000 of their property taxes.

Todd says it’s time to get the restaurant reopened.

Todd brings in Bun B to perform at the new stage.

Irma says that what Todd did for them today, it gives them energy.

It gives them a power to keep on going.

They are forever grateful for all of his help.

What Happened Next at Irma’s Original?

Irma’s Original is open.

Reviews are very mixed.

The reviews seem to have declined in 2023.

The more positive reviews appear to be from regulars.

There are complaints about a lack of service, no itemised receipts, no clear menu and mandatory tips.

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