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Menu Talk with Pat and Bret

Alex Curley of Palacios Murphy provides insight into running seasonal restaurants

The Houston-based company has established a thriving business in the village of Round Top, Texas


Alex Curley is chief operating officer of Palacios Murphy, a Houston-based restaurant company that got its start with Armandos, a 43-year-old restaurant that occupies the unique niche of serving Tex-Mex food in a fine-dining setting. Apart from opening a couple of restaurants in the village of Round Top, Texas, midway between Houston and Austin, Armandos’ owners basically stuck to the business of running that local culinary institution.

But in the aftermath of the pandemic, they started to explore new possibilities. Now they operate Hotel Lulu in Round Top as well as Italian concept Lulu’s, casual Tex-Mex restaurant Mandito’s, and Popi Burger which serving burgers and sandwiches.

Heading up operations is Alex Curley, who joined the group after a career of working in multiconcept groups including Southern Proper Hospitality and Richard Sandoval Restaurants.

Curley recently discussed the evolution of Palacios Murphy, which now centers a lot of its activity around Round Top, and how to run successful businesses 365 days a year in a town that really only comes to life during festivals.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 


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