06/27/11 4:37pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON RESTAURANTS NEED THAT STRIP CENTER MAGIC “Good luck to Triniti, it will need it. Just watching locations across the city for many many years, I’ve determined that a restaurant has a huge chance of failure when it doesn’t have parking out front. Don’t know if Houstonians just want to see if someplace is crowded … but that’s why some places are snakebit.” [CJ Yeoman, commenting on Swamplot Street Sleuths: Whiff!]

06/24/11 11:49pm

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Are we batting only .500 here?

  • Midtown: There’s more new to the Houston House Apartments than just that exterior paint job. Catching an elevator has been a bit tough and there’s the occasional burst pipe or AC interruption, but otherwise the ongoing renovation is looking good so far, a resident reports: “The new carpet on the residential floors is a geometric pattern with a good mix of cool and bold colors. The units are looking much improved with new finishes and appliances. The appliances are pretty low end but definitely an improvement. The lobby’s looking great. The color-scheme there is a brown and orange and white palette. I’m not a huge fan of the two accent walls of orange dots but the new lettering and signage in the lobby is a great addition. I haven’t been up to the renovated 9th floor (lounge, gym and pool) in a while . . . but when I last saw it it was looking fantastic with a cleaned-up, opened-up, and really bright feel.
  • Melrose Place: Next act for the former Monarch Cleaners building at 2815 South Shepherd, known more recently as the Fox Diner, Cafe Serranos Cantina, Crome, and then Pravada, as several readers pointed out: former Textile chef Ryan Hildebrand‘s new triple threat, Triniti. MC²‘s design for the currently gutted restaurant will include a garden and — judging from some recent construction photos — some colorful applications of perforated metal panels:


06/17/11 3:28pm

Got an answer to any of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Melrose Place: Waiting in line at the Starbucks drive-thru south of Westheimer, a reader snaps this photo of the former Crome Lounge at 2815 South Shepherd next door, and reports: “It has been vacant as far as I can tell for months if not a year. Now there is renovation going on.” What’s next for the former Fox Diner and Monarch Cleaners building?
  • Galleria: The HBJ‘s Jennifer Dawson reports that ahem, “distracting food smells” from “a fragrant cafeteria” that recently moved onto the same floor as the Houston CPA Society in the office building at 1700 West Loop South are what drove the professional association to leave its offices of 33 years for new digs on Post Oak Blvd. Sadly, the article doesn’t identify the cafeteria or the exact nature of the wafting “spicy aromas” that sent all those accountants packing. Any guesses?