Drag-Scene Landmark Meteor To Bow Out, Make Way for Fairview Parking Garage

Meteor, 2306 Genesee St, Montrose, Houston

Wholesale changes could be coming to East Montrose next summer, if all goes according to the grand lower-Fairview plans of restaurateur-turned-developer Fred Sharifi. The stated goal for his latest development — planned along 3 blocks of Fairview stretching from Taft to Genesee — is to bring a little more diurnal activity to the area, better known for its narrow, potholed streets and vibrant nightlife. That nightlife seems likely to dim, as the new plans call for the eventual extinguishing of Meteor, a mainstay of Houston’s drag community.

“We are not going to have any bars in the neighborhood,” Sharifi recently told Mark Boyle of KPRC, apparently classifying his own Max’s Wine Dive on Fairview at Taft as either beyond the neighborhood or not a bar. Sharifi’s other nearby holdings on Fairview include Gratifi and Cuchara, the Mexico City-style restaurant with rule cards for kiddos.

A 5- or 6-story parking garage perched atop 10,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space (labeled “E” in the rendering below), is proposed for the Meteor site at 2302-2308 Genesee St.:


Redevelopment Plans for Fairview at Taft, Montrose, Houston

Sketches show a 2- or 3-story structure abutting that building to the west, slated for mixed retail and event hosting. Just across Mason St., a small ice-cream parlor or dessert emporium is shoehorned into the parking lot next to Cuchara and Max’s. Sharifi envisions a 2-story structure across Fairview, with 7,450 sq. ft. of retail space tucked beneath 10,500 sq. ft. of offices:

Redevelopment Plans for Fairview at Taft, Montrose, Houston

Gensler is designing the buildings; the $20 million project could begin construction as soon as August 2016, with completion anticipated about a year later.

Sharifi is also the owner of Hungry’s Bistro and Cafe in the Rice Village. In 2013, an LLC he controls purchased the remnants of the Depression-era apartment complex Gramercy Place on Portland St. behind the Museum Tower.

Images: Meteor Lounge (photo); Montrose Management District (sketch and rendering)

East Montrose Overhaul

21 Comment

  • Feel free to relocate all those things that made Montrose great over to the East End. Let them have their “new and improved” Montrose mk 2.

  • “a mainstay of Houston’s drag community”

    Clearly written by someone who is completely unaware of Houston’s drag community.

  • “We are not going to have any bars in the neighborhood,”…..I suppose he meant to say gay bars. Ugh, Montrose, we hardly knew ye.

  • Isn’t structured parking in Montrose one of the signs of the apocalypse?

  • Somewhere, a party of drunk bachelorette woo-girls has to make alternative plans.

    Also, “no bars” = “fewer of THOSE people”

  • Well, you knew this was coming, trendy restaurants, trendy bakeries, and now multilevel parking garages…

  • Diversifying Montrose from the traditional LGTBoorhood is a move towards equality. As the LGTB continues to gain equal footing, the need for singling any patron’s sexual orientation will become obsolete and for the most part unnecessary.

    Very much looking forward to this project and every project that demonstrate Houston’s commitment to societal progress. Based on Mr. Sharifi’s track record, I trust he will bringing with him some noteworthy tenants.

  • Did the Hungry’s renovation in the village ever finish? That construction timeline does not bode well for this project…

  • The Montrose gay scene is obviously on the way out. The NIMBYs in those four story townhomes will push hard to get the scene out of their neighborhood. I predict a resurgence on the east side or in the third ward — I think more so the latter. The third ward is becoming very gay. All my gays and lesbians are moving in because of the location and then you have the UH factor with a massive influx of young people moving into live close to campus. I personally think it’s the perfect location.

  • I love how how there is this thought that Montrose is turning into this rich neighborhood of businessmen, engineers, and families, but somehow the LGBT community isnt or can’t be a part of that. I also don’t know why everyone assumes a gay man wont live in or cant afford one of those mega-townhomes. Montose’s will maintain much of its roots for many years to come. There obviously is some movement to other areas like 3rd ward, but like KGB1987 mentioned, Gayborhoods are a thing of past. It just isnt a priority for LGBT millennials.

  • 3rd ward is pretty great, if you ignore the rampant crime and abandoned properties.

  • Who the HELL goes to Meteor for drag shows? HAHAHA! Little do they know what really goes on there. I’m sure they’ll re-open elsewhere. It’s amazing how much Montrose has cleaned up in just the last 3 years. I know it has been, but someone pushed Fast Forward a couple years ago. The Ripcord is lit up and clean, Montrose Mining company is a shell, JR’s looks like a suburban feeder road tex-mex restaurant, The Eagle is a douchey hangout, I mean has anyone been to #’s recently? It doesn’t remind me of the train-spotting bathroom anymore. The Parade moved Downtown for a reason.

    It’s okay that this is happening. Neighborhoods change. Most gay men who say they “miss the old Montrose”, miss the raunchy casual sex in a parking-lot or bathroom. Times have changed, and you can get this on an app on your phone even in the ex-urbs. Let the gay community be established on something like having fun, hanging out with friends, working with local charities, and not this old nasty glory hole in a dark room image.

  • “De-gayitization” is the result of many factors, including my people’s apparent desire to “mainstream” into society. I miss the sense of community that Scruff and Grinder have seemingly replaced, and regardless of its moniker, “social media” is anything but social. But the result of these two trends, no need for the clubs anymore. Third Ward will not change that trend.

  • Are gayborhoods really a thing of the past? It seems like they still exist in every major city and are very popular. Also Meteor on Thursday is drag night and is extremely popular with the community. It seems many of the commenters here are old gays who haven’t been out. Even with the advent of apps, there definitely is and will always be a need for a place for gay people to meet in person.

  • As a 15 year resident of Midtown/Montrose area I want to tell Sharifi to F*CK OFF. I moved to the area BECAUSE of the bars – gay, straight, or otherwise. We don’t want a stupid parking garage hovering over the area. It is only encouraging more traffic down a rather narrow street. I prefer to see folks walking or riding bikes in our area. Sharifi I will be at every meeting when you apply for variance request. Go away and take your sterile-I-prefer-restaurants-over-bars ass with you.

  • It’s the end of Montrose. A shame to lose Meteor to a parking garage. That’s Houston for you.
    Old Montrose should pick itself up and move to the East End. The neighborhood is rapidly losing its interesting vibe.

  • Hopefully the new development will encourage the Montrose TRIZ and the city to invest in some infrastructure in the area. East Montrose has the roads of a third world country!

  • So freakin’ what!!! Everyone has an opinion of what the neighborhood should be but no one does anything about it. I am sure J. W. Link was turning in his grave when the area changed from his vision of a manicured suburb of downtown Houston to the gayborhood of yesteryear. Neighborhoods are constantly changing a fact of life we must all accept here in Houston as the development dollar rules. As for moving the gayborhood to east side or 3rd ward in turn displaces other communities which those who suggest this chose to ignore. Gentrification (I really hate that word) is a vicious cycle that no one can control. Although there was a slight effort to stop change/displacement in the 3rd ward with Garnet support (search older Swamplot posts) but that too has fallen quiet as the dollar always wins in the end.

  • As a NIMBY myself, I’m pretty sick and tired of picking up fast food bags and liquor bottles out of my yard. Good riddance.

  • KBG: Totally agree. Sad that so many comments play the weak “hes anti gay” card. Isn’t not giving a flying fig who you love or who you find attractive our goal?

  • Here’s a newsflash: Meteor has sucked for at least 8 years or whenever Charles Armstrong took over and ruined it. Plus, internet hook up sites and smartphone apps killed the bar scene and people grow up. Let’s face it, the Gayby Boomers are all 50 + now and hanging out ,getting drunk and/or trying to land a trick doesn’t hold the same attraction it once did. However, there are still at least eleven other gay bars/clubs in the immediate vicinity so the death of gay Montrose is hardly upon us. Thank God someone is trying to clean up the area as it is long overdue. And Matthew M, there isn’t a Montrose TIRZ (yet) and any infrastructure improvements that would come from the TIRZ would be YEARS down the road.