09/26/16 5:15pm

Pi Pizza, 181 Heights Blvd., Brunner, Houston, 77007

The newly opened stationary location of former food truck Pi Pizza got a huge boost in business this weekend after pro-gun-carry groups began leaving hundreds of negative online reviews of the restaurant, Eric Sandler reports this morning. Owner Anthony Calleo tells Sandler that Pi’s sales at the strip center spot south of I-10 where Funky Chicken used to roost were up nearly 20 percent on Saturday and 40 percent on Sunday.

What exactly triggered waves of gun activists (and counter-protesting pizza-supporters) to take to the restaurant’s Facebook and Yelp pages en masse? A casually dismissive and — sure — less-than-completely-diplomatic response to an initial 1-star review of the restaurant, by a user who had never visited, based solely on Pi’s decision to opt out of open and concealed carry. Sandler notes that Pi’s Facebook review page has been temporarily taken down, as the hundreds of negative reviews (and even larger numbers of positive comments and counterreviews, at least some of which also appear to be from people who have never visited the restaurant) eventually escalated to public searches for Calleo’s home address by some of the more enthusiastic pro-carriers; the pizza joint’s Yelp page was still in lockdown as of this afternoon.


Booming on Heights Blvd.
12/10/14 4:30pm


A reader sends in a pic of this variance request sign and vacant lot, possibly heralding the advent of another apartment complex in the Brunner Addition block bounded by N. Durham Dr. and Sandman St. and Center St. and Nett St., in the immediate environs of Soma Sushi, Bethel Church, Woodrow’s Heights and the Esperanza School.

Proposed land use? Mixed-use, multifamily and commercial.


Center Of The Nett
10/13/14 5:15pm



Not many homes come with their own meat locker (top), but this one has kept its cooler from a previous life as a meat market and corner store. Located in the townhomey Magnolia Grove neighborhood of Brunner, south of Washington Ave. and east of N. Shepherd Dr., the former Laurnicella Meat Market (later Snow’s Corner Store) had living space upstairs for the proprietor. A 3-year renovation with various reconfigurations by the current owners (on top of efforts by their predecessors) converted the 1921 building into a tin-roofed home (middle) with back yardlet (above). Its listing, posted last Thursday, asks $2.1 million.


On the Corner
01/24/13 4:00pm

Office building or home? It depends on which listing you read. One on LoopNet appears to have marketed the property for a while at $599,000 — as an office building. But it popped up as a single family item this week on HAR, asking $535,000. Built in 2001 and updated in 2010, the corner-lot custom live-work structure is 2 blocks south of the Katy Fwy. in the Brunner subdivision in Cottage Grove.


04/02/10 11:36am

“Robots need not apply” reads the recent ad for staff positions at the new BRC Gastropub at the corner of North Shepherd and Blossom. Hey, didn’t that building use to be a funeral monument and gravestone sales center? Reader photos show it ready to come to life — almost directly across the street from that former pool hall refashioned into Branch Water Tavern.


10/15/09 3:13pm

Updates on a few restaurants Swamplot has been following:

  • Reopened: Azzarelli’s, an Italian-American restaurant that began the year in Cinco Ranch’s Tuscan-themed Villagio Town Center, then (after a notable exit) camped for a while (as Azzarelli’s Corner Café) in another center at 6455 South Fry Road, opened last week in its 4th location within just a couple of years: 17754 Katy Freeway, Suite B, I-10 at Barker Cypress. “With this great location, I will be open 365 days a year,” owner Frank Triola tells his press-release copywriter.
  • Opening Soon: The restaurant going into the former Cue & Cushion pool hall at 510 Shepherd that Swamplot reported on earlier this fall now has a name: Branch Water Tavern — and a more palatable label than “gastropub.” Try “Modern American Tavern.” Chef David Grossman says it’ll open later this month, but the Houston Press‘s Robb Walsh, who’s toured the construction site, thinks Christmas is more likely.

More eats:


09/01/09 4:31pm

This doesn’t sound so much like a deli now, does it? How long ’til they start calling this part of Shepherd The Gastrow?

A little birdie points Swamplot to more info about plans for the former Cue & Cushion pool hall, hiding on the uh . . . secret Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau website:

510 Shepherd, designed by award-winning hospitality designer Joel Mozersky, will be a unique neighborhood restaurant concept reminiscent of a traditional London gastro pub, yet modernized in design and updated to take into account American tastes.


09/01/09 10:44am

WHAT ABOUT THE CUSHIONS? “At 510 Shepherd, the old Cue and Cushion Pool Hall has been sold and is seeing some major changes. The billiards tables are gone and a dining room is under construction. The new place will be Cue Restaurant. Though unconfirmed, the on-site rumor is that it will be a New York style deli – something like Katz’s or Kenny and Ziggy’s, I am told.” Also, photos of the future locations of BRC Gastro Pub across the street and Burgerzilla in the Heights. [Fred Eats Houston; previously on Swamplot]

08/26/09 12:06pm

MORE SIGNS OF THAT SHEPHERD RESTAURANT SCENE COMING TO LIFE Rising soon from the former home of a tombstone business on Shepherd, across Blossom St. from the Kicks indoor-soccer facility: BRC Gastro Pub. Watch out also for Burgerzilla, reported to be working its way to the corner of 11th and Studewood, in the Heights. [Cleverley’s Blog]