By Jack Daniel Betz

It’s true, we didn’t get the scoop. We didn’t get to update people outside the loop who didn’t see for themselves the tragic conflagration that consumed both Antique Warehaus and Agora as it happened. In fact, I didn’t learn about it until Sunday afternoon when I noticed Facebook statuses bemoaning the passing of the fantastic little coffee shop. I looked for news online about Agora folding because of the economy or moving to a new location but instead I found something worse: it had burned down early Halloween morning. According to the reports of witnesses, the three-alarm fire started at the neighboring Antique Warehaus building but soon spread to Agora. Even though we didn’t get that scoop, it would inappropriate to let such an outstanding establishment to pass quietly.

I’ve only been in the Bayou City for a year so far but Agora has definitely one of my favorite haunts. I have been there so many times I can hardly count. I’ve gotten drunk there and I’ve gotten sober there. I’ve worked there and I’ve played there. I’ve blogged there and interviewed people there. It was always a place I’d bring people whether we were doing business or just meeting to talk and shoot the shit. Whether I wanted pastries, fine wine, imported or micro-brewed beer, excellent coffee, or high quality cigarettes, I could always count on Agora to be my one stop destination. It’s been a sad weekend for Montrose. Hopefully, some way, someone will have the funds to restore Agora to its former glory and restore it to the cozy, charming, Houston hangout that it once was.

If you have any good memories at Agora you’d like to share, please post in the comments section so we can collect and republish them.

[CORRECTION: Agora did not burn down completely but instead has only been badly damaged.]