The Louisville restaurant scene has lost a major player and a great friend with the death Thursday of Houston Jones. A wine lover, a businessman who understood the rigors of running a restaurant, and a savvy interpreter of dining tastes, Jones has been a central figure in the vitality of the Louisville restaurant world for many years. He has also been a friend and supporter of Food & Dining magazine, and we will miss him dearly.

Jones’s profession was as a real estate broker with his company The Houston Group, but a focus of his business was in getting restaurants in the right location. He became by default a restaurant consultant, providing real estate services for restaurant owners as well as construction management and interior design services. Chances are, one of your favorite restaurants has Houston’s mark on it.

Those who worked with him admired his depth of knowledge of local history and information about the area, as well as his warmth and passion for working with the restaurant community.

He left us yesterday, but he left behind his mark on many of us for a lifetime. Fair winds and following seas Houston.

Note: We don’t have details on the cause or arrangements at the moment, but will pass them on as we learn more.