Photo: Thomas B. Shea, Freelance
The owner of Houston’s finest food scene has died.
According to representatives, Tony Wallon died on Thursday morning. He was 75.
For more than 50 years, Vallon was an integral part of the Houston culinary scene. He was married to his wife Donna Wallon for 36 years.
“I have lost the love of my life and best friend, but I will continue Tony’s legacy,” Donna said in a release on Thursday.
Brennan’s Houston owner Alex Brennan said he initially met Vallon in the mid-’80s, while his mother, Ella Brennan, who owned and operated Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, had Vullen for a half-century. Knew it.
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“My mother always said that she hopes heaven in the sky is like a great salon where she can hang out with her friends and they can laugh and drink. I hope Tony finds his way there, ”Brennan told the Houston Chronicle. “The food is much better today, no matter where they are, and the food in Houston will never be the same.”
Kate McLean, the first woman in Tony’s history to become chef de cuisine, worked with Wallon for 10 years.
“Tony had an unmatched glow,” McLean told the Chronicle. “He understood me, drove the circles around me, and I will miss him forever.” No words yet. ”
Chef Mark Cox was with the Vallone Restaurant Group for 11 years starting in 1985. Cox worked on several of Vallon’s concepts, including Tony, Ab-Anthony, and Grotto and La Griglia, both now owned by Landry, Inc. of Tillman Fertitta.
“This is a huge loss for this city. He paved the way for many of us, ”Cox told the Chronicle. “Business was his passion. He was demanding but justified. He had a lot of loyalty and the community embraced him. He had a Midas touch. ”
Fertitta said that Valone was an inspiration to him.
“If there was anyone in the restaurant industry that really inspired me, it was Tony Wallone,” Fertitta told the Chronicle. “On every aspect of (his) business, from culinary to service to hospitality, Tony took it in a different way. Even in the last 20 years, I have found Tony Wallon among the greatest, true restaurateurs in all of America Will accept one from
Vallon’s destiny grandmother, who raised him, aroused her passion for cooking.
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In a fickle industry, where more ventures fail than succeed, his famous Italian restaurant celebrated five decades in 2015.
Valeon opened the first location at Tony’s Sage Road at the age of 22, before landing at its current Greenway Plaza location on Richmond Avenue in 2004. The restaurant moved to Post Oak on August 17, 1972.
The Post Oak location is where Tony is known for being the old guard, Nouveau Richie and A-listers, alike.
Houston Chronicle Society columnist Maxine Messinger regularly helped guests in her column to highlight who’s in the restaurant, and cement Tony’s as a hotspot.
Those who dine on Tony include Joan Collins, Ivana Trump and Luciano Pawarotti along with countless other celebrities and politicians.
Although Tony’s will be temporarily closed from Monday to Thursday, it will reopen on Tuesday and normal operations will resume.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Wallon,” said Parkway Properties managing director Matthew Kent. “A trailblazing restaurant for an incredible five decades, he was an integral part of the fabric of Greenway Plaza for over 15 years. We will miss him but feel so lucky that his family and team will continue to share his legacy of excellence in food and service.” Will keep you alive. ”
A memorial service will be held at a later date.