Kate Mantelini Replacing Houston’s inWarner Center By CARLOS MARTINEZ Staff Reporter An eight-year mainstay of Warner Center dining is no more after Houston’s Restaurant closed its doors for good last month. The eatery, located at 5921 Owensmouth Ave. in Woodland Hills closed on June 30 as another restaurant prepared to take its place. “We’d like to focus our efforts on our newer restaurants in the area and we are always looking for top-notch locations,” said Robert Hardie, regional supervisor for Phoenix-based Houston’s Restaurants. So far this year, the company has closed three restaurants in its efforts to concentrate on its high-performing locations. Houston’s spokeswoman Molly Dawson would not say whether the local restaurant was underperforming, but said the company has no plans to open another restaurant in the Valley. “It was a situation where we just got a great offer for the location and that was that,” Dawson said. Kate Mantelini restaurant chain plans to open a restaurant at the location, but it was unclear when that would take place. Officials there were unavailable for comment. Mantelini also operates a restaurant in Beverly Hills. “Kate Mantelini plans to offer the restaurant staff the opportunity to stay with the new restaurant and we’ve offered the opportunity to transfer to another of our restaurants,” Dawson added. The location had served as a gathering place for many business people in and around Warner Center during the lunch or dinner hours. “It was sad to see it go because there were a lot of people who loved to go there for lunch,” said Jim Bess, general manager of nearby Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade. Others like Bob White of Turner Plumbing said Houston’s food will be missed the most. “I just loved that steak sandwich they had there,” White said. “You really can’t find that kind of sandwich anywhere else in the Valley or L.A. probably.” The restaurant had featured traditional American favorites like steak and potatoes and ribs along with pasta, Italian dishes and seafood. But White and others like him will still be able to find Houston’s food only a little further down the I-405 freeway in its Santa Monica restaurant or further east at its Pasadena restaurant. The company operates 49 restaurants throughout the country, with locations in Pasadena, Manhattan Beach, Century City, Irvine and Santa Monica, along with a sister restaurant, dubbed Bandera in Brentwood.