Artist Renovating, Moving Into Washington Ave.’s Old Huston’s Drugs

The lights are coming back on inside the old Huston’s Drugs at 2119 Washington Ave.: Long for sale, the stout mid-century building was purchased at the end of December by Houston-based artist Chris Bramel, who tells Swamplot he is renovating the interior that’s still partially stocked with apothecary bottles and swivel-stools lined up in front of an old soda fountain into an art gallery, shared studio space, and apartment for himself.


Yesterday, Bramel says, he was knocking down the walls of former exam rooms inside the building and filling up the Dumpster pictured above; he hopes to move in by April and throw a gallery opening by early May. The 2,528-sq.-ft. freestanding building sits on a 4,358-sq.-ft. lot bound on the west by Hemphill and south by Union. It’s a few blocks northeast of Glenwood Cemetery, catty-corner from the Salvation Army Family Store, and next door to Catalina Coffee.

Photos: Allyn West

12 Comment

  • Awesome news. Every time I drive by that building, I wish for someone to do something worthwhile it.

    Hopefully its a well done restoration.

  • It’s cool that someone is putting this place to good use. Now, the question is, will they be keeping that cool retro “Hudson’s Drugs” sign or the soda fountain? :-)

  • Its so good to see young artists interested in promoting their works..artists can be very understatement..I wish him luck and congrats

  • The Soda fountain stays. I want to fully restore it to working condition,along with reupholstering the stools,and getting the chrome redone to make it all shine again. The sign out front is a different story. I would very much like to keep the old “Huston’s Drugs” sign but the original owners family still owns it and unfortunately might be keeping it.

  • I didn’t even know this building has been for sale. I have paused outside to window shop (including paperback romances still on the rack), and dream of the building coming alive again, on many a tipsy walk back from the dark horse tavern. Good luck renovating!

  • Great Idea…need more like this…

  • is it going to be a working soda fountain or are you just going to restore it for looks, it would be awesome to take the kids there to see how it was like in the old days, good luck in your ventures.

  • When the fountain is done it will be functional. What are looks if they don’t put out?

  • What’s to become of all the old merchandise that was inside? I’ve been eyeing that stuff for years!

  • What is the proposed opening date now? I haven’t noticed any progress in awhile. anxiously awaiting.

  • Great initiative, looking forward to its completion.

  • I have very fond memories of that place,specially of the ice cream fountain sodas and the hamburgers Arturo Jaramillo cooked when he worked at that place