07/05/16 11:15am

Liberty Kitchen in MetroNational Treehouse, 936 Bunker Hill Rd., Houston, 77024

treehouse-memorial-cityA reader not at liberty to reveal his or her identity sends along this shot from inside of Liberty Kitchen’s under-development location inside the green-hued (and -intentioned) MetroNational Treehouse at 936 Bunker Hill Rd. The restaurant is moving into a 5,600-sq.-ft. spot on the ground floor of the building. Below is a floor plan of the space from architect Kevin Stewart:


Liberty at Bunker Hill
10/17/13 3:30pm

Here’s a pic of the new storefront of Houston’s 3rd Three Brothers Bakery. You can see it for yourself at 4602 Washington, between Shepherd and Patterson. (It’ll share that retail center with Bedrock City Comics.) Apparently, behind those mirrored windows there’s quite a buildout of the former District Lounge going on: This new location will be open a bit later than the others and will include a coffee bar and patio where you can chill outside with your dawgs. Or dogs. Both, it seems, will be welcome. There’s been no opening date announced, but a PR rep says that the place should be ready to go early next year.

Photo: Allyn West

09/06/13 10:00am

Remember that unusable and really vague tip sent to Swamplot back in January? The one promising that a “major (non-residential) Houston property is about to make a significant change”? And it wasn’t Macy’s? Well, the in-the-know tipster now reports, we can let that cat out of the bag, since the Houston Business Journal and Houston Chronicle already have: The “Houston landmark” the tipster couldn’t tip us off about is the Galleria — which, it was announced yesterday by developer Simon Property Group, will be undergoing extensive renovations and partial demolition to create about 100,000 new sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space.

The plan calls for the Galleria III portion where Saks Fifth Avenue is currently located to be demolished — though the tipster says the Philip Johnson façade will be maintained — to make room for a bumped-out food court (shown in the rendering above). That freed-up Saks space will provide room for 35 new retailers and restaurants. Meanwhile, Saks will be moving into the Macy’s spot on Sage, and that Macy’s will be merging with the other Macy’s on Hidalgo. (Makes sense.) Also, a standalone box will be built in the parking lot for a few tenants who can afford to be more conspicuous to the stop-and-go crowd on Westheimer.


08/28/13 3:15pm

A reader sends this photo of the work in progress at the former Blockbuster at 8001 S. Main St., which in September will open as Jollibee Chicken & Burgers, the first Texas location of the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines. It will be located right next door to the Jersey Mike’s there in the crotch of S. Main and O.S.T., just northwest of Reliant Park.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

08/14/13 10:15am

A reader sends these new photos of the taped-up TABC sign in the window of the old laundromat at 1009 Moy St., shown above, where it appears a Pink’s Pizza will be opening soon. The photo at the top of the page shows the strip center endcap as seen from the corner of Moy and Center St., looking toward Washington Ave. a block to the south; T.C. Jester is a few blocks to the west. This new Pink’s will be the restaurant’s 4th inside the Loop; a 5th is on N. Shepherd in Garden Oaks. No opening date has been revealed. Another Pink’s is reported to be opening soon in that new retail center on Calhoun Rd. at the University of Houston.

Photos: Lisa L. Riley

08/13/13 12:00pm

The new restaurant moving into the old Palazzo’s Trattoria space on Westheimer is 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, a “ranch to table” concept from Certified Master Chef Fritz Gitschner. In keeping with this culinary philosophy of full disclosure and transparency, 60 Degrees also seems intent to reveal the process of its own becoming. Says a post on its Facebook page: “We are looking forward to having you follow us along this amazing journey and watch the restaurant come to life!”

The first stop on this amazing journey? The Houston Permitting Center. Now, write that check . . .


08/09/13 3:00pm

The former menswear mod on W. 19th St. and Ashland is being outfitted with some contemporary effects, it appears: Purchased back in 2011 by Braun Enterprises — which also recently snapped up and plans to knock down 2 Baptist Temple Church buildings to make way for retail just north of here — the building has got the signage for what will be Houston’s 3rd Torchy’s Tacos and some fake graffiti advertising a September opening. In the back, the buildout is a bit more substantial: The roof has been popped out rather jauntily for the Heights General Store, a small market and restaurant that will have a terrace, and women’s clothier Emerson Rose.

You can see more photos, going around the corner spot, after the jump:


08/05/13 2:30pm

A buildout of the old Wolf Camera spot in Rice Village has fixed up this strip-center suite at 2526 Rice Blvd. into a franchise of The Boardroom, which says it provides “a relaxed grooming experience for men.” That experience here includes — besides the little flourish of authenticity that is that barber’s pole — waxes, hot lather shaves, massages, and color treatments. This 3rd 2nd Houston location opened about a week ago; there’s one in Highland Village and another up in The Woodlands. Inside, polished wood floors and finishes and a pool table imply the sophistication of these upper-management-level proceedings; a trim of the power beard will set you back $12; a haircut $40.

Photo: Allyn West

07/24/13 4:15pm

A reader sends these photos that show a new location — if in name only — of the Tex-Mex restaurant that couldn’t hack it up on the mean streets (and drives and boulevards) that’s getting ready to open in the tunnels Downtown beneath the First City Tower at 1001 Fannin. This would appear to be the 2nd of the version of Maggie Rita’s operated by Tony Shannard, who paid the original restaurateurs Carlos Mencia and Santiago Moreno to use the name; Shannard runs another Maggie Rita’s in the tunnels beneath the JPMorgan Chase Tower at 600 Travis; that’s about half a mile away from here as the mole scurries.

Photos: philaphonic

06/25/13 11:30am

SPACE MONTROSE SELLING STUFF TO FUND NEW MONTROSE SPACE TO SELL STUFF The Examiner reports that Space Montrose’s 200-ft. relocation to that new retail center at the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy where pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel is planning a café is requiring some serious dough: a $10,000 buildout, including installing from scratch plumbing, wiring, and HVAC systems in the 1,200-sq.-ft. “cold shell.” How’s a small-scale, husband-and-wife Montrose boutique that sells locally made arts and crafts supposed to pay for something like that? Why, selling locally made arts and crafts: “Owner Leila Peraza is starting an Indiegogo campaign,” reports Sarah Tucker. “[She’s] still in the process of setting up . . . ‘Our hands, united hearts,’ but plans to have different gifts for different levels of donors, such as T-shirts and artist-donated work. She also plans to incorporate the mural by artist Katharine Kearns at the front of the store into the fundraiser and new store space as a thank you.” [The Examiner; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

05/13/13 3:30pm

Going out, coming in: It looks like the work to update this former Rice Epicurean Market at 2617 W. Holcombe into The Fresh Market is well underway. Set back in that shopping center on the southwest corner of W. Holcombe and Kirby Dr. in West University, this will be one of the 4 Rice Epicurean spots that the North Carolina chain said it would be freshening up this year; the others are on Weslayan, Tanglewood, and Memorial.

Photo: Allyn West

04/01/13 10:30am

If you can’t wait until June or July for Dunkin’ Donuts to open inside the Loop at the former Arby’s at South Shepherd and Fairview, you might plan to come here, the former SmashBurger at 10705 Westheimer, where a company rep says that the donut makers will open in May the first of 16 planned Houston stores. Sharing the Westchase strip center with a Cricket store and Brookstreet Bar-B-Que, the coffee-colored endcap has undergone at least one other renovation: A drive-thru lane now cuts through what had been SmashBurger’s treeside patio.


03/28/13 12:05pm

This white box, covering up the emergency exit of a vacated belly-dancing studio, will be the new entrance of Houston’s first indoor rowing facility, says founder Greg Scheinman. In West University Place, ROW Studios is building out the former Sirrom Dance behind the Randall’s in Weslayan Plaza and resurfacing the parking lot facing Academy St.


02/12/13 11:45am

At 2020 Hardy St., this building dates to 1900. Previous owners the Espinosa family managed rental properties from here; it’s also been home to the Monte Carlo Lounge and pool hall and a grocery. The 5,000-sq.-ft. building, lying about 2 miles north of Downtown in the Fifth Ward, was bought in early January by 2011 Good Brick Award winners David and Bennie Flores Ansell, who have spent the past month sweeping and clearing out the interior — which came to them unbidden with cases of unopened tostadas, garbage bags of discarded mail, shelves stocked with ’80s perfume, sunglasses, and self-help videos, broken billiards trophies with tattered replica baize, etc. They hope to have the building transformed into offices and apartments by this summer.


11/03/11 2:55pm

Woodlanders wondering where Trader Joe’s is going to land, here’s your answer: Next to Petco in the Woodlands Crossing Shopping Center at 10868 Kuykendahl Rd., across from the H-E-B market at the intersection of Woodlands Pkwy. There’s nothing too dramatic about the plans for it, either: It’ll be a 13,500 sq. ft. space, with what looks like a typical shopping-center storefront: