03/03/15 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE CORNER OF HOUSTON WHERE EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE Montrose Tattoo“In the late 1980s and early 1990s I lived a few blocks west of this intersection. Since then I visit the area about once a week, usually to eat at one of the restaurants. I’ve often thought someone should fix up that strip center, but I’ve never thought it reflected poorly on Houston’s ‘cityscape.’ This is, after all, the corner of Montrose and Westheimer. This is the place to be for homeless teens. This used to be the place to be to get designer drugs when they were cheaper and safer. This used to be the place to start looking for some sweet ink or other body mod. This is where I was asked to help a gentleman determine the gender of a potential ‘date’ for the evening. The neighborhood didn’t deteriorate around Uchi; the owners of Uchi picked this spot.” [Memebag, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Sights of Montrose] Illustration: Lulu

02/02/15 11:00am

412 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston

A reader sends in this photo of the former Touch of Red salon at 412 Westheimer Rd. (just west of Taft St.), future home of a bar scored by Eater Houston earlier this month as number 21 of the season’s 33 “most anticipated openings” of Houston food-and-drink establishments. (Well, sort of: The list is alphabetical.) Passersby have been anticipating the Limehouse, to be operated by the Montrose Revival Group (aka Free Press Houston’s Omar Afra and Moon Tower Inn‘s Brandon Young), since mid-September, when a TABC application was first spotted on the front door. The building is connected to its neighbor at 408 Westheimer, a former bed & breakfast.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Lower Westheimer
12/15/14 3:30pm


A Montrose hang for lovers of live punk, metal and experimental sounds, Mango’s nightclub has sprouted a “for lease” sign.

The building at 403 Westheimer Rd. next door to Avant Garden has a history as colorful as its newly-painted exterior walls and patio:


The Ever-Changing Face Of Montrose
11/10/14 11:30am

Scott-Day Paint & Supply Co., 216 Westheimer Rd., Avondale, Montrose, Houston

Scott-Day Paint & Supply Co., 216 Westheimer Rd., Avondale, Montrose, Houston

The hexagonal clock mounted above the front door of the former Cra-Bell Vacuum and Appliance Co. building at 216 Westheimer Rd. was stolen over the weekend. Derek Brotherton of Scott-Day Paint & Supply, the company that’s inhabited the building since 1963, tells Swamplot that he and coworkers noticed the disappearance this morning, and that they are “deeply upset over losing part of the character of the store.” Photos above show the clock in place (above, in an older image) and gone missing (at top, taken this morning). Brotherton says he believes the clock had been in its current position since the building was constructed in 1935 — or shortly thereafter. Back then, the street was named Hathaway; it now sits on the north side of Westheimer between Helena and Mason.


Did You See Time Fly?
05/13/14 12:15pm

WHAT THEY’RE TWEETING ABOUT YOUR LEASE RATES 2502 Dunlavy St., Lower Westheimer, Park, Montrose, HoustonWe now join the Twitter discussion of the potential lease of spaces at 2502 Dunlavy St. just north of Westheimer Rd. in Montrose, currently home to the offices of Eurostone Marble and the Bacchus Mediterranean Winebar and Coffee Shop (both still open), already in progress. [Twitter] Photo: Davis Commercial (PDF)

08/06/13 10:00am

A reader sends this photo of the vacant building at 608 Westheimer between Katz’s Deli and Bombshell Tattoo and Piercing Studio that the owners of Vinoteca Poscól have bought and are planning to relocate to next year. Eater Houston reports that the new 6,300-sq.-ft. spot will provide quite a bit more room than the old one owners Marco and Gloria Wiles — who also run Da Marco and Dolce Vita — were renting in that strip center at 1609 Westheimer, across the street from Buffalo Exchange and Hugo’s. Observes Darla Guillen: “The increased square footage will allow them to seat more customers, and they will have a bigger bar with plenty of local brews on tap.”

Photo: Swamplot inbox

07/02/13 11:10am

RADICAL EATS REPLACING LOWER WESTHEIMER’S PULLED-OUT ROOTS The Near Northside vegan dive Radical Eats is closing and relocating across town to the recently closed Roots Bistro on Westheimer, reports Gastronaut Katherine Shilcutt. (Roots closed in early June after some bungling of its marquee.) Shilcutt adds that Radical Eats owner Staci Davis sees the move to this less “scruffy” space as a chance expand her menu to include dishes that use meat, cheese, and eggs, a culinary move not without consequence: “She admitted that some of her diehard vegan customers were furious with her decision, even calling in to a radio show she was appearing on as a guest and lambasting her on-air. ‘What are you going to do?’ she asked, with a rhetorical shoulder shrug.” [Culturemap; Gastronaut; previously on Swamplot] Photo of 507 Westheimer: Allyn West

06/06/13 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NEIGHBORHOOD NAMES STICK “Alief didn’t start getting rebranded as the International District till about 3 years ago; as a matter of fact, no one that lived there knew anyone was calling it something other than Alief. It wasn’t until they put those idiotic balls in the medians that anyone local knew someone was calling it something other than Alief. The Super Neighborhood is still called Alief. Hong Kong City Mall was transformed from a pasture to a Mall over a decade ago, that huge strip center at Wilcrest and Bellaire is almost as old. Maybe in 40 or 50 years people may latch onto the name International District in favor of Alief, but then they’re going to wonder why the Library is still called Alief Regional Library, and the school district is still Alief Independent School District, or why the community center is called Alief Community Center. Or why there’s a animal hospital called Alief Animal Hospital. I have a strong suspicion Alief will always be called Alief, no matter how many weird balls they put in the medians. And I’d also rather just call it Montrose and have people ask me if I’m gay than call it Lower Westheimer and have the 15 minute discussion about where it is, and the end result being that I tell them it’s the new name for Montrose and I’ll still be asked if I’m gay.” [toasty, commenting on Headlines: Eating Steak at CityCentre; Watching SkyHouse Rise]

04/30/13 10:00am

The other tenant in this new retail center at Westheimer and Dunlavy will be Space Montrose. Owner Leila Peraza says that by August the artsy and crafty retailer at 2608 Dunlavy will be relocating from this spot behind Cafe Brasil into the 4,800-sq.-ft. building under construction at the corner about 200 ft. away. Space Montrose will take up 1,200 sq. ft. of that and share a wall with what a pending liquor license names Leaven & Earth,pastry cafe from well-schooled, globe-trotting chef Roy Shvartzapel. Recently, 2608 Dunlavy has been an art gallery and yoga studio; Peraza says she heard a book store is next.

Photos: Allyn West

04/26/13 11:35am

A rep from Edge Realty Partners says that that new retail center that’s now under construction at Westheimer and Dunlavy will have 2 tenants. The primary one, occupying 3,600 sq. ft. of the new building’s proposed 4,800, will be a well-bread pastry cafe from Roy Shvartzapel, the globe-trotting chef profiled recently in Eater Houston. A TABC permit application, filed April 17, suggests that the cafe will be called Leaven & Earth.

And the other tenant? The Edge rep says that names can’t yet be named, but that a lease is all but complete for a “boutique” retail shop that’s already in Montrose to relocate inside the remaining 1,200-sq.-ft. suite that’s depicted in the rendering here as right next to Agora.

Images: Edge Realty Partners (rendering); Allyn West (building)

04/24/13 3:30pm

Note: More here.

It looks like that retail center that’s replacing the art gallery that burned down is beginning to shape up. And it looks like at least one of the future tenants intends to serve adult beverages. The sign behind the chain-link at the site names the applicant as Leaven & Earth, and a rep from the TABC confirms that the application, filed on April 17, is pending. The original plans for the site here at 1706 Westheimer describe a 4,829-sq.-ft. building — with 36 parking spaces behind it, accessible from Dunlavy — designed to replace the Galerie Mado Chalvet, which was lost in a fire and immortalized on a backpack in 2012.

Photos: Allyn West

01/22/13 11:15am

The plastic hasn’t even been peeled away from the awning, but Blacksmith is open as of yesterday morning. Headed up by Greenway Coffee & Tea’s David Buehrer, the coffee shop is operating out of the popular leather bar Mary’s old building at 1022 Westheimer. A block west of Montrose Blvd., Blacksmith is Lower Westheimer’s second coffee shop to open in the last few months — Southside Espresso went in next to Uchi at the end of October.


11/26/12 11:48am

No bids yet on the sleepy sombero man in front of the hacked cactus removed from the sign in front of the former Felix Mexican Restaurant at the corner of Westheimer and Grant last year. And no bids on the other formerly east- and west-facing portions of the popular sign, which the space’s new owner, Uchi, put up for auction separately on eBay early this morning. The starting bid for each disassembled segment is a hefty $1,500, but Uchi doesn’t appear to be in this game for fish money. Proceeds are promised to the LULAC National Scholarship Fund; the former restaurant’s namesake, Tex-Mex pioneer Felix Tijerina, served as LULAC’s national president for 4 terms. The “Orders To Go” flyer from the original sign hasn’t shown up in any online auction yet.


10/29/12 12:34pm

LITTLE HOUSE OF COFFEE AND DRINKS OPENS BEHIND UCHI Friday was a grand grand opening day in the Inner Loop. The big bear-hug welcomes may have been for the long-awaited Washington Heights Walmart and the Studemont Kroger — but also making its debut on that day was tiny Southside Espresso, the little up-Grant-St.-behind-Uchi coffee place Fusion Beans proprietor Sean Marshall has been working on since signing a lease for the 714-sq.-ft. space labeled 904-C Westheimer 15 months ago. The tiny coffee house will be open until midnight every night — in part to flex its newly acquired beer-and-wine license. [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: David Buehrer

10/26/12 1:52pm

Photographer Karen Dressel was on hand at lunchtime today to document the final few bites of the excavator demolishing the last of the 3 former Ruggles Grill buildings at 903 Westheimer, just east of Montrose. Two adjacent buildings, at 817 and 907 Westheimer, were torn down earlier this month; Cherry Demolition’s excavator worked up an appetite waiting on-site for the last demo permit to come through. That happened yesterday, and the meal began shortly after breakfast this morning: