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Hector’s on Henderson is Closing

A loyal Disher sends this sad news:

I’m a regular reader of the Side Dish blog, and I wanted to let you know that I got word today that Hector’s on Henderson is closed. My wife’s birthday is next weekend, and we had a party scheduled for approximately 18 people, but I got a call from Hector himself this morning letting me know of the closure. He didn’t want our party showing up next week to find a locked door. I’ve been there several times over the years, and I think it speaks to his credit that he called me personally.

I hate it when bad things happen to good people. Hector has been, and I’m sure always will be, a good Samaritan in  the Dallas dining scene. Details to follow.

  • LakeWWWooder

    Sorry to hear that – Hector is a true gentleman who always took time to see that everyone was well-taken care of in his establishment.

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  • LJT

    Such an affable host. Sorry to hear this. (Scowling at LB)

  • CB

    Hector is pure class. Dining there was always a pleasure. I’ll really miss him.

  • Lee

    We had some terrific meals there and he is a great host. I will always have good memories of Hector’s.

  • logan

    my caramel apple creme brulee…………

  • marisa

    Hector has always been a wonderful host. I will say the menu has never been one that brings me back too often. I guess I am not the only one that felt this way. The first chef he had was the best. Good luck to Hector, maybe he just needs a break from the biz.

  • djd

    Hector was a great host, but the quality of food and service has greatly deteriorated over last couple of years….it was nothing like when he first opened. I’m surprised he lasted this long.

  • TheStaff

    Boy has he got you guys snowed…Good Samaritan my a$$!! …unless that’s someone who lies to his employees about going to/being in New York spending money that he should have been paying his staff!! Every single kitchen worker was burned losing weeks and weeks of BACK pay that had been promised to them since back in May!… the ONLY people “well-taken care of” were the diners that came in the front door! Apparently, the definition of “pure class” should be re-evaluated… unless that includes screwing the people that use the “back door” everyday, some as long as 6 years, his long time loyal help who trusted him to keep paying small amounts of cash, believing his false promises to catch up on payroll from 6-8 weeks back! Just ask Jorge Cruz, the former Exec. Chef… or perhaps Jose, one of the best grill cooks around – perhaps someone could explain to him, and his wife and kids,the meaning of class… or is that more like “second class”…. Dare I mention taking advantage of your own culture!?! This man calls himself a “good Christian”, …true to his Hispanic culture -rich in the beliefs of family, loyalty, and care?? I can’t stand the hypocrisy!!
    There was intentional deceit here folks… and as a result there is a collective claim being filed by the staff… But to those of you who choose to think this behavior is OK, don’t give this a second thought… apparently there are already plans in the works for another culinary establishment, and I’m sure you’ll be the first in line.

  • marisa

    The Staff……as guests of Hector’s, we would not realize what is going on behind the scenes. If this is true, I would hope that all of you receive your unpaid wages.All that goes around comes around.

  • TheStaff

    @marisa… Thank you – and we agree, God and karma will be our only justice.

  • joeat

    The message from @The Staff does not surprise me at all. Come on folks, Hector was a phony at the Riviera and has continued to be. Because he kissed your ladies hand does NOT make him a great host/restauranteur, just a typical jerk front manager/greeter. I went several times, always lunch, was never impressed.

    You people, for the most, are trying to make him a lovable saint. He wasn’t. Admittedly, he lasted (fooled & faked it) much longer than I ever expected.

  • Tom the Man

    There are two facts: 1. Hector’s on Henderson had many loyal customers (just read the postings) 2. The establishment has failed otherwise it’d still be open for business.

    I hope the staff get what’s owed them. It doesn’t surprise me at all that someone who acts like a saint in front of his customers (or bosses) can be a devil with his employees.

  • RJ

    Perhaps he was in denial and hoping for some financing or a miracle to come through. The last times I was there he seemed to be operating with a bare-bones staff. They were even more likely to see a sinking ship yet they stayed on. This is unfortunate for everyone, including Dallas diners. Personally I love Hector.

  • marisa

    Atten: The Staff…..
    I got an email blast from Hector where he referred to his “gifted” and “dedicated” staff while singing you praises. I replied that these “gifted” and “dedicated” people need to be paid all that is owed to them.

  • Nancy Nichols

    I have emailed a couple of people above to tell me their side of the story but either you used a fake email or are not replying for a reason. If you have a true story to tell, please send me an email. Thanks, Nancy

  • TheStaff

    @marisa…Thank you – perhaps his conscience will kick in. We can only hope, but due to the bankruptcy, he will probably not.
    @Nancy – I was at church & then brunch, and no it’s not a fake email.

  • FrontofHouse

    We worked hard for weeks as the Groupon expired and we wont see ONE DIME!
    We trusted that Hector would pay us. We busted our butts, understaffed and with short supplies.
    He kept the restaurant afloat on the backs of his staff, using OUR money to pay HIS BILLS! He owes some of the staff thousands of dollars. We were already broke from lack of pay, and for him to turn his back on us is unethical and immoral.
    Now, he has exited without even attempting to pay anything. Shame on you Hector.

  • Foodie

    Here’s a thought for all hardworking staff at restaurants………. Start looking for another job as soon as your check bounces, or the boss/owner doesn’t pay you the first time. You’re deluding yourself to stay and continue working at such a place. It usually does not get better.

  • Oak Cliff

    I would like to say, I have worked with Hector since his Riviera days, opened Hector’s with him in 2004 and continued to be a loyal employee til the day it closed. This man is far from evil. He IS a “good Christian, …true to his Hispanic culture -rich in the beliefs of family, loyalty, and care.” Restaurants are one of the hardest things to keep afloat in Dallas and the fact that Hector’s was opened for as long as it was has to say something.
    There were obvious signs to everyone that the restaurant was in its last days and when there is no money, there’s no money. The Staff was completely aware that there was no money and if they didn’t like they could have gone elsewhere. There was no knife to anyone’s throat making them stay. I also am still owed money but it was my decision to stay with him. I believed in Hector. I believed he would make something happen like he always did. Shit happens though, right? However, I will not let anyone hide behind their computers bashing him when its nobody’s fault but the staff for sticking around. Hector tried…

    @thestaff or shall I say Andrea? You should be thankful that Hector even gave you a job on the line working along side extremely talented individuals. There was always a good flow in the kitchen til you got there. You don’t know how to cook! You were only there for maybe a month and in that month you ruined service every night! On the other hand, You should know about the success and failures of a business. What happened to your so called catering company? A flop, huh? Get over yourself!
    All in all its unfortunate that things happened they way they did but that’s life. We had a long run and have really great memories.
    Hector is a good man and will stay one of my good friends. I wish him luck on his next venture!

  • TheStaff

    …WOW! Do I see a little something brown on your nose?… and who called him evil?? Perhaps it was your subconscience. I know from personal experience what it takes to be a “good Christian”, and you have to do more than show up at church on Sunday. You have to “walk the walk”, not just talk about praying to save your business and your a$$.
    As far as the phrase “No money” goes… that’s a phrase only Hector used for the last 2-3 months,(Hector-is that you?) and the kitchen was sick of hearing it. Mainly because they KNEW there was money coming in, but not given to them. Additionally, when people are owed backpay of $900 – $1500, and are lied to about catching up, and are “begged” to stay until Restaurant Week, they are hesitant to quit and lose the money by walking away. That was a very positive and commendable reflection on each of their own personal characters and loyalty. How dare you try to disrespect such a hardworking group with your hateful comments and callous attitude. But, oh… i get it, since you actually DID get paid, for your loyalty… and brown nose.
    P.S.- Close, but no cigar on the ID (although I have spoken to her two or three times) Why would you have a grudge against her? You are not a cook/chef, didn’t work in the kitchen, and apparently the only one who didn’t like her. She always stood up for us spanish speaking folks in the kitchen… and as far as culinary skills, they were self evident the night she saved Hector’s reputation when the Exec. Chef and the Grill Cook did not show up for work on Saturday night Memorial Day weekend… It was just her and one short little lady (prep cook/fryer) that rocked the kitchen that night…with great success I might add. She actually IS a stand up kinda gal, and I will continue to be her friend and support her. Since you don’t know her (your loss), let me correct your assumptions about her “company”… it’s not a “company” – she does “contract” work and personal chef work, and parties/dinners in the private sector… successfully. One last thing, as a testiment to her character, she asked I give you a message – two job referrals for you since you need a J-O-B cuz she knows people. But take my advice, apologize to her for your hateful blathering because she already has read it.

  • Twinwillow

    Wow! Better shit than a soap opera or, a cat fight. I’m kinda on the side of “TheStaff” on this one.

  • Cary Bass

    Just to be clear, “The Staff” does not speak for the former staff of Hector’s, as I was certainly a member of the staff and was never called or notified about anything, nor was anyone I know of, nor to my knowledge was anyone voted to be a spokesperson. As a matter of fact, only a good third of that initial posting bears any resemblance to the restaurant I worked at for three years. And for those of you caring to play guess-who, I am not “Front of House” either. Of course, I AM the only person who posts under his real name, and am probably owed five times what others allegedly accrued over the recent couple of months they may have passed through; I say “may have” because I have no idea who they or their agents may be. I know that I and others stayed because, despite the hardship, we were having fun; further, I stayed because I wanted to learn the business. Frankly, you never learn much from endless success. Hector never bullied or humiliated people like you find elsewhere in the industry, but he did take a lot of abuse himself, some earned, some not. I DO know that when Hector’s closed, I was hired elsewhere an hour later, as was “Oak Cliff” that day at a different establishment, and others were always hired quickly when they decided to leave in the past. “Hector’s” on the rez DID do that for us.
    OK, sorry for interrupting, carry on … really, most entertaining …

  • logan

    So you’re telling us he basically told you guys, “i want you to stay and work the next few weeks with me, but i’m not going to be able to pay you. Will you stay and work for me for free?”

  • Cary Bass

    That’s a good question, but no, he never said anything of the kind, at least to me. When you are a small restaurant and have successive weeks of very low bookings, punctuated by nights of raging success, its plain to see that necessarily the cash flow situation is going to be erratic. The restaurant paid what it could when it could and as often as it could. Some people understandably didn’t tolerate it and moved on, while most regular patrons know that the rest of us were always there. Most everyone had a day job or some other income, you understand. As a primary job it would have been tough. As it was, it was tough enough, but like I said, we enjoyed each other for the most part and had fun. I think people picked up on that. And the experience was priceless.