The next landing site for Chindian food in Sugar Land? A 4,000-sq.-ft. space wedged between Busybody Home Fitness and the Stomping Grounds kiddie playland, in the First Colony Commons shopping center at 59 and Williams Trace, just a few doors down from the Home Depot. The new Hakka Chinese joint there should have its soft opening around the end of next week — presuming all goes well with the inspections scheduled for Monday. A grand opening is scheduled for the middle of March. “In India, Hakka cuisine is like Tex-Mex in Texas — kind of. It’s a very popular cuisine,” Irfan Motiwala tells Swamplot. But it’ll be all new for Sugar Land. Fortunately, Motiwala explains, the Hakka people are used to adjusting flavors to meet local tastes. That’s how the whole Chindian food thing came about, after all: in the 1950s, once large numbers of the already nomadic people fleeing Mao’s revolution settled in India, they started incorporating local spices like coriander and tandoori masala into their cooking, giving it a little more zing. Motiwala’s wife, Hsiaolin, and her brother-in-law, Gary Yan, both of whom will be running things in the kitchen, expect a little bit of the same process to take place at the 15425 Southwest Freeway location of Aling’s Hakka Chinese Cuisine. “If I find the people of Sugar Land eat more spicy than normal, i will adjust it,” Yan says.
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FIRST COLONY MALL’S USED-CAR-DEALER VALET Your keys, please? A local used-car dealership is the new sponsor of the “free” valet parking service at First Colony Mall in Sugar Land. Independent used-car giant Texas Direct Auto, which has its roots in eBay (and still sells most of its cars online), now has its blue and white umbrellas parked in front of the Cheesecake Factory and on the mall’s interior street near Kona Grill, with valets ready to take your car. The company’s main dealership is just 5 miles north of the mall, on the 59 feeder road. And yes, the company does take trade-ins. [Ultimate Fort Bend]
Say a long goodbye to those silos that hover over the Winter St. Studios in the industrial area just east of Sawyer St. Mahatma Rice owner Riviana Foods says it is closing its Houston plant and building a new facility in Tennessee:
Over the two-year time period, production and packaging at the Houston plant will be phased out and transferred to the new Memphis facility. At the end of this transition period, the Houston plant, which includes the Instant and Packaging Plants, Warehouse and Technical Center located at 1702 Taylor Street, will then be closed and operations will cease. Currently, approximately 250 employees work at the Houston facility. Riviana’s headquarters will remain in Houston at its Allen Parkway location.
Photo of Rice Silos at 2200 Summer St.: Flickr user emilyj82
Is all that blue stuff that looks like it’s on the roof of this drawing of the new Whole Foods Market in Sugarland supposed to be water, or are those architects just coloring outside the lines again? The giant leaf-shaped structure in front is part of a rooftop rainwater-collection system, but with gravity and all, you’d expect the water to spill into that non-blue-colored round area of the roof to the left.
Oh, but maybe we’re looking at this picture the wrong way . . . that’s right, the blue stuff isn’t water on the roof, it’s the water in Brooks Lake, right behind the store. D’oh! That’s where rain that misses the roof will go. Brooks Lake is shaped a lot more like a river than a lake, but that sure comes in handy when you’re hawking waterfront property.
The 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods will anchor Planned Community Developers’s Lake Pointe Town Center at the intersection of Highway 59 and Highway 6 in First Colony. The store opens December 5th.
The rain collected from the roof will be used for watering the extensive parking lot and plaza landscaping. The store’s Sweet Peas Clubhouse will take children aged 3 to 7 off your hands while you shop.
Update, 12/5/07: It’s open. Anyone wanna send us a report?