Latest Diversion for Onion Creek: Camp Logan

And now, a view of the scene at the former Westcott Bar by the entrance to Memorial Park, where Swamplot’s Rice Military correspondent is ready at the camera. The address: 6603 Westcott, at the corner of Durford.

That banner at the front is announcing a new location for the Onion Creek Coffee House.

Two more views:


47 Comment

  • Ugh! People who move into the city, especially inside the loop, and then bitch and moan about bars, restaurants, and “life” happening in “their” neighborhoods, on “their” streets make me want to puke. That’s as succinctly as I can put it. If you want peace, quiet, boredom, gated streets, and homogeneity, MOVE TO THE SUBURBS. Houston is finally, slowly becoming an actual city. It’s why many of us live inside the loop; to get away from people who obsess about HOA restrictions, complain about other tax-payers parking on public streets, and waste precious energy and resources fighting against, well, everything.

  • Wait…..are they closing down the White Oak location?????

  • Does anyone know if OC is moving, or is this going to be a second location?

    As you may recall, some of the Heights neighbors near the current Onion Creek had similar concerns before it opened; They have since quieted down and the neighborhood loves OC. Come on people, you build/buy a house 50 feet from a bar and then are angry that it’s a bar??

  • My guess is this is just another in the ‘Onion Creek’ franchise… Onion Creek, Dry Creek, Cedar Creek. I seriously doubt they would relocate the original Onion Creek.

    I had heard from some friends that the neighborhood is REALLY fighting this bar. It is grandfathered and has only 8 parking spaces, so there is much concern about all the parking spilling into the neighborhood.

  • Yeah, Typical. Heaven forbid strangers park in the neighborhood. What don’t people understand about streets being public property. Houston misuses millions of dollars of city assets already by limiting parking on public streets because just about any group of “concerned citizens” can lobby to have parking limitations posted. Usually for no other reason than they believe that only they and their guests should be able to use those streets. It is beyond wrong. Houston needs to grow up; it’s not a small town anymore.

  • John, you mean people like my brother in law who has a house where the garage was converted into an apartment 50 years ago, well before he bought the house, and the driveway was blocked by an add on to the house? Absent the parking restrictions in his neighborhood, which don’t apply all the time, he would have to park as far as 8 blocks from his house. There are areas where parking restrictions are reasonable at certain times.

  • Ross, I’ll have to disagree. Are you suggesting that a public street or any portion of it should be privatized because a property-owner decides to convert his private parking space (garage) into income-producing property and has no guaranteed place to park? Why are the taxpayers who own the street responsible for that? What if we all did that? I still say “no”. Your brother-in-law should create his own private parking space on his property, purchase additional property to meet his personal needs, or just deal with not having a space in front of his house on occasion. The street is not his property. It is ours. When the street needs repaving, is your brother-in-law going to pay for it? I’m not trying to be an ass, but this sense of entitlement that some people have regarding public property is not good for the city.

  • “Dear neighborhood complainers. The reason there are fewer parking spaces is to dissuade people from driving to the bar and to give them more of an incentive to walk there. This in turn will significantly reduce the chance of there being the increase in DUI incidents you were concerned about.” There, two concerns addressed in one fell swoop.

    Love the suggestion that because “expensive” homes have been built there the neighborhood has suddenly become incompatible with a bar/coffee house. Do the owners of expensive homes not like a drink every now and then?

  • The reason there are fewer parking spaces is to dissuade people from driving to the bar and to give them more of an incentive to walk there.
    That concept’s working great on Washington Ave.

  • Your brother-in-law should create his own private parking space on his property, purchase additional property to meet his personal needs
    So if it’s a private person they should purchase additional property to meet their needs. But businesses should just get to do what they want?? Why shouldn’t businesses purchase additional property to meet *their* needs?

  • Was trying to be tongue in cheek. To be honest I live a handful of blocks from the original Onion Creek and always choose to walk down there whether I’m planning on drinking or not but maybe that’s just me.
    On another note I wonder how many of the people who built those fancy new expensive homes that the neighborhood association is so enamored of addressed the existing residents probable concerns about increased construction density, removal of green space and the overshadowing of their properties before slapping up their big homes …

  • DM,

    Name a business that has suggested that a public street should be used by their customers exclusively? Every business has to provide parking sufficient to meet code, and yes the code includes grandfathering for some. Don’t like the code; fight that battle.

  • You know, if you buy a house that has no parking, you can’t really count on parking on a public street in front of your house.

    Because, you know, public streets are for the public. It’s nice if they’re usually empty and you can park there, but if you bought a house thinking that this could never change… well, that’s kind of short-sighted.

  • Restricting parking to those w/ residence permits is actually pretty common in cities where the population density makes off-street parking less common. Camp Logan, however, does not seem to fall into this category.

  • All ill-founded concerns.

  • I though this post was about the new Onion Creek. I’m happy because its a shorter drive down I-10 to get here. never made it to the Westscot Bar. looked like a “locals only” icehouse.
    OC has done a good with the other properties. I’m sure the parking lot can be re-stripped for addtional spaces since the lot never was maintained.
    maybe those who can’t get beer at the adjacent Specs will stop here. :)

  • Hear, hear to Jimbo’s comment #11. And those buying the properties close to the existing bar no doubt paid less than their neighbors because of the existing bar, however “expensive” the properties. What they’re looking to do now is to increase their property values, not protect them. By making complaints against a family-friendly business that has a pretty good track record, as far as I can tell, of improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods in which it’s opened locations.

  • Too Many Creeks!!! As much as I enjoy the other three establilshments there is a saturation point.

    I hope this one ditches the tired, hill country country store feel.

  • I’ll provide more details from Onion Creek’s owner after I speak with him today, if I can reach him on the phone. Our mutual friend tells me he is interested in speaking with me.

    Recently, the buffoons at the City, along with local civic association leaders adjacent to the Washington Ave. corridor have began endorsing residential parking permits to the tune of $20/vehicle/yr. In back and forth e-mails with the president of the Rice Military Civic Club I steadfastly disagreed with the revenue generation scheme they think makes sense to address the entertainment venue parking issues. Just because other metropolitan areas participate in this practice, does not mean it is appropriate. Why on earth does it make sense to penalize area residents fiscally because a new commercial enterprise(s) move into an area and create neighborhood parking issues? Please do not misunderstand me in that there have been some very valid points made earlier in this thread. Many of these older neighborhoods have no deed restrictions, no zoning and the properties these businesses are on are unrestricted. Camp Logan has deed restrictions, but they don’t have any effect on a property like the Westcott Bar. This place has been around for decades. The neighborhood accepted it for decades until recent years when more and more opposition to spill-over parking from private parties, etc. at the bar annoyed area residents. There are city codes that address minimum parking provisions for commercial businesses. Unfortunately, these codes leave a lot to be desired apparently. These newly opened establishments along Washington have specified parking lots, but they charge for parking. This only drives the patrons of those businesses into the adjacent residential areas. Why is the City imposing fiscal penalties upon the residents who have done nothing to create the parking spillovers, yet the commercial businesses creating the problems are not being required to pay parking permit fees? This just doesn’t make sense.

  • CK,

    Why are the city officials buffoons? You are asking to privatize public property, which entails both administering a program and enforcing it with police and the city courts. Who should pay for this? Perhaps the same tax-payers who pay for the public streets in the first place. Get real. $20 is a lot cheaper than buying the street from the city and taking over the responsibility of maintaining and securing it.

  • I live in camp logan and have so for almost five years. This is the BEST thing to happen to Camp Logan as the WBG was not a bar frequented by the residents of Camp Logan. We are a small neighborhood of townhomes and old bungalows nestled in the trees of memorial park that have been waiting for a place we can walk to and enjoy our morning coffee and/or evening cocktail. Here’s the bottom line. Parking is already an issue in Camp Logan. As a former resident of Manhattan Beach, I can tell you how to fix this- Residential Parking Permits!! I agree-It is not fun searching for a parking spot at 6pm after a long day of work. Allow for certain streets to be “permit only” and charge the residents that do not have a private parking spot for these permits. Problem solved. Let’s go have a beer.

  • Agree fully with Johnny above. Camp Logan residents should be thrilled for the opportunity to have a cafe/watering hole in their neighborhood. And the idea that this is any more likely to cause “an increase in crime, especially DUIs.” over the biker bar that was there beforehand is ridiculous.

  • I’ve been a resident in an adjacent neighborhood for 10 years and am tickled that a creek establishment is on its way AND within walking distance. Regarding the parking, we’ve had parking problems since the re-development of the area with t’houses way back when – starting with construction vehicles. For years residents have been complaining about the parking but don’t want to rattle the neighborly relationships here; the frustration is now being directed outward which is unfortunate. My vote for addressing this issue common along the entire length of Washington Ave, goes to obtaining residential parking zones as this will address most of the CL and our concerns. A quick drive through CL reveals that most of these home, including new t’houses, have garages; oftentimes 2-car garages. If the new construction was built in the past 10 years, those properties will also have 2 spaces outside of the structure and on their property as required by Ord. 42. If one has adequate parking on their property, the homeowner is not required to pay for a Resident Parking Permit because they don’t need the parking permit! The Resident Parking Permit is required only if your 4 parking spaces on your own property are not sufficient and you want street space. There’s also an option for Guest parking hang tags. Again, you purchase permits ONLY if you need them. Logically, the next issue is, what’s in your garage?

  • If Camp Logan residents are so interested in controlling the usage of the WBG building, they should have bought it themselves.

  • Like Johnny, I have lived in Camp Logan for 5 years and love the location. With the redevelopment, street parking has become more challenging. Even though the Westcott Bar & Grill was established long before I moved in, parking could be a nightmare coming home on a Friday/Saturday night. Its not fun finding people parked in your driveway, blocking your driveway, puking in your driveway, shooting their pistols at the end of the street, or picking up their broken beer bottles b/c WBG was breaking TABC by letting patrons take their beverages off premises. Thankfully, OC will have a much different patron base and I too welcome them to the neighborhood as long as they help control parking. Business and residents should work together to solve issues (potential, perceived, or real). So Johnny, looking forward to walking down there for breakfast and coffee soon!

  • John,

    Why is it that residential properties are the ones expected to pay for the permission to park in front of their own home? The businesses that are attracting customers to the area are not being asked to pay for their patrons to park on what truly are public streets. I understand the whole parking permit reasoning, but charging a homeowner or renter to park on the street in front of their house doesn’t make sense to me. What did these people do to cause parking issues? The people who have done nothing wrong are going to be paying to alleviate a problem someone else has caused. I fully understand that no one property owner owns the street in front of their house. At the same token, no one business owns the street in front of their business. I personally have enough parking for all of my vehicles I keep in town, in my garage and driveway. However, I do have a problem with some governmental entity all of a sudden telling me that I cannot park in front of my own home on a public street unless I fork over $20/year/vehicle for this new privilege that used to be free until several businesses without enough parking were allowed to build and open up nearby…. AND they’re not participating in funding this new municipal revenue generation scheme.

  • CK,

    Please understand that I was only responding to your sentiment that the administration of the program should be free for whoever requests it. Nothing is free. Someone has to pay. I don’t believe the taxpayers should pay so that select residents can have privatized parking on public streets. My street, just a few blocks away in Rice Military, has virtually no public parking due to the ridiculous number of curb cuts/driveways allowed by the city’s lame codes. I can fit two cars in my garage, but if I have more than one guest, they have to park a block or two away. We deal. You should know that until Houston reaches a density in any area comparable to SFO, Manhattan, or downtown Chicago, I will not be in favor of residential parking permits. They serve too few people, take incredibly valuable parking space away from the people whose taxes pay for it, and are not distributed uniformly according to any sensible policy; just to the HOA’s that squeak the loudest. Furthermore, in almost every instance, when the so-called problems that the permits are intended to correct actually no longer exist, those permits stay in place forever. There are still parking restrictions around Shepherd Square that were put in place when there were a dozen bars and restaurants nearby. Those businesses have been gone for more than a decade (killed off in part by the parking permits), but the restrictions are still in place. This is true in parts of Montrose and Midtown too. The city has a dismal record of managing parking restrictions and I want to see no more.

  • Excuse, me but closing the Westcott Ice House is like closing Houston. Thank God I’m moving to Padre Island.

  • And folks, Onion Creek is a creek outside of Austin (at least it once was outside of Austin). Grow up and leave your college days behind you.

  • I’m really nervous what RPP will do to the neighboring blocks in RM. Mine is right on the border of the zone they are working on. Those cars will have to go somewhere, and no one is looking past their own backyards. There are parking garages just south of Washington at Heights that are most likely empty on the weekends. How feasible would it be to get the businesses to subsidize a lease on the weekends for the space and provide a shuttle service all up and down the Ave? Then again, that would cut into the profit margins of their own parking lots and valet and without parking restrictions, there is no incentive to use it. Oh well, I gave it a shot…

  • Squee! My excited noise.

    They have great breakfast. Quit whining and eat some waffles.

  • A better approach to residential parking would be to do it the way Boston goes- the permit is free. You have to show a registration and insurance card for the car at the address in the permit zone, as well as a utility bill, lease, or other proof of actual residence – and then you can park in the residentially-zoned spots. In most areas, the residential spots are mixed in with visitor parking (2 hour limit) or metered/unrestricted spots.

  • I agree that they’ve worked the Hill Country theme about as far as it can go – and they’ve done it really, really well at Cedar Creek. Quit while you’re ahead, guys – believe it or not, Houston is full of people who don’t react to “We’re from Austin” with “Cool!” but rather, “OMG, and you’re never going to let us forget it, are you?”

    That said – it’s great to see a local business with a track record of working well with neighbors having that is expanding in these ugly economic time, and I hope this is a big success for them.

  • It is interesting that Houstonians are constantly, in cases like this and the Ashby Highrise, essentially howling for the benefits of zoning, but if asked to support zoning with a vote will howl incessantly about how great Houston is without it. (Not unlike seniors on Medicare shouting about a government “takeover” of healthcare) Sometimes I feel like I’m literally in the Twilight Zone.

  • tempest in a teapot. I’d much rather live near O-Creek than Westcott Bar & Grill. (I’ve been to and lived near both establishments.) This is an improvement to the neighborhood, and a convenient spot for a beer after a nice jog in adjacent Memorial Park. Mmmmm, jog and beer.

  • How about we come at the parking issue from another angle?

    OC offers drink specials for anyone who rides a bike to the place. $2.00 St. Arnold’s anyone?

  • I guess I should say “OC should offer drink specials.”

    I don’t want to put any brilliant words in their mouths.

  • I am a resident of Camp Logan and I’m thrilled about the new Onion Creek as are most of my neighbors. I don’t doubt the problems the houses adjacent to the WBG have had the past few years, but making the WHOLE neighborhood suffer with parking passes is not the answer. I live 1-1/2 blocks away and have never had a problem. But now you’re telling me, if I have a party, I have to get parking passes to give everyone? no thank you. not in a city with crappy public transportation.

    Our civic association is an isolated group of people who have alienated the rest of the neighborhood. I voted for the homeowners association a few years ago because it has worked in other places i’ve lived. But I’m now very thankful it didn’t pass. Most of the neighbors have stopped going to the meetings because they have gotten so nasty. If you speak out against the board, you are not allowed to finish without being attacked. The hatred and disrespect spewing from these people is shocking and frankly, scary.

    I haven’t talked to anyone yet (and I know quite a few people in the neighborhood) who isn’t thrilled about Onion Creek.

    If our civic association isn’t going to listen to ALL of us and respect everyone’s opinion, they should just go back to being a social club…just please don’t come to Onion Creek.

  • What was said about people who move into a city neighborhood because of the unique atmosphere is very true. They want to avoid the sterility of the suburbs, but then they rail against the people and businesses of that very neighborhood, which give it character. I remember when some people moved from Dallas right next to the icehouse on Durham, where Mission Burrito now is located, then started complaining about the noise.

    Just like any neighborhood, there are many really nice people in Camp Logan. And just like any neighborhood, there are a few who don’t have anything better to do than complain and try to control the neighborhood and even beyond it.

  • I can’t wait until this location is open! I love the Creek’s!!! Get it opened!

  • As a former employee of Onion Creek it saddens me and really leaves me in a state of bewilderment as to why the Onion Creek group is unwanted in the Camp Logan Area. It is the quintisential neighborhood cafe and bar. Anyone who has ever been to OC, DC or Cedar Creek know that they are a family establishment commited to enriching the neighborhood they occupy. You can wake up, grab the paper, order coffee and relax on the deck in the sunshine. You can grab a pint and burger with a friend. You can bring the kids and have a waffle. I could go on and on. It is a great neighborhood additon!

    The funniest thing about all this is the fact that ONION CREEK was challenged by the Heights Association when opening on White Oak. They gave Moseley a really hard time, just as the Camp Logan Association is doing. A FEW WEEKS AFTER ONION CREEK OPENED, MEMBERS OF THE HEIGHTS ASSOCIATION CAME IN FOR COFFEE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
    Just like the Heights Association, SOME people will bitch and THEN THEY WILL FREQUENT THE ESTABLISHMENT!!

    Onion Creek is NOT known for loud partying drunks! It is known as a groovy place for EVERYONE.

    Regarding the parking, Mosley has expanded parking in the rear of the property. He should be allowed to have parking on the street in front of his business also. To make this area no parking would be wrong and unfair to his business.
    And by the way, from what I have learned in talking to people in the community is that JIM SIMMONS doesn’t represent ALL of the neighborhood in his quest to keep the Creek out.

    Have a great day everybody!

  • I for one am ready for an Onion Creek in my neighborhood. It looks like I’m not the only one from reading this site. Who doesn’t want an Onion Creek? It’s a great place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have great coffee and a super happy hour. I do not have a clue why the Camp Logan Civic Club would want to stop such a great expansion to the neighborhood!

    It’s important for Jim Simmons to know we will not stand for this disruption of progress in our neighborhood and we are ready for a great place to hang out and relax.

    Has anyone noticed that since this thread has started and the overwhelming support we all are showing to the Onion Creek that the Camp Logan website is down? You can’t even read “The Letter to Mr. Mosley” that was posted on the Camp Logan Site. The link above does not take you there anymore. Seems fishy, if you ask me!

    Before the site “disappeared” the comments for opening up an Onion Creek in Camp Logan were all positive in favor of the café. Not only here but on the civic club site too. I smell cover up! But I’m ready to smell the fresh brew coffee of the Onion Creek soon!!!!

    What did you do with the web site, Jim? We are not going to let one man have so much power; we are a community and we are ready to meet up and have a great time at the Onion Creek.

    Open, Open, Open!!!!

  • I can’t understand why people are making such a big deal the Onion Creek location will open no matter what is said. As a neighbor we should be so LUCKY, I like the idea of specials for people on bikes, and if know those Creek people you can consider it DONE!!!!
    Mmmm Katz Coffee,Real Ale,St Arnolds,Big Juicy Burgers..Who could ask for more?????

  • I moved from the suburbs so that I could have quick and easy access to the many things a city has to offer. I lived in Rice Military and have now moved to Camp Logan. While I moved in knowing there was a bar on the corner, I never expected for those parking on my streeet to lack intelligence and respectfullness. The concern over OC is that they have 18 parking spaces, an occupancy level of over 200 not counting staff. Do the math, that is likely 100 cars needing to find parking = more than we ever had with WBG. Cars regularly park across from ourt drives making it near impossible to get out. I have had to do the in and out up to 6 timers to be able to get out of my own driveway – and while I hate calling the police I had to do it several times as it was impossible to get out – drive into the neighborhood and you will see why even the best of drivers will be challenged. OC sent their thugs to our ciovic meeting and were met with the same respect they showed us. I will most likely visit OC when it is open – but rest assured I will be a frequent caller I am sure to the restaurant to give a heads up to some unknown patron that their vehicle is about to be towed so I can use my driveway. Most streets can only safely park 10 or so vehicles so the extra 80 plus needed spaces are going to spill out onto several of teh Camp Logan streets – so it will not just be us near Westcott that suffer.

    A lot of the anymosity could have been prevented if the OC juyst came in, acknowledged the issue and worked with us on a solution, such as signage int he restaurant, flyers for illegally parked cars etc. The one really acting bad in the name of the greenback is the OC owner – he could care less because he has a right to open an establishement for over 200 with only 18 spaces—- Oh, I park all four cars in the driveway and in the garage.

  • Camper,
    We agree on one thing, “…he has a right to open an establishement for over 200 with only 18 spaces..”

    If he is complying with the law, ordinances, and codes, he is doing all that we should expect from him. If you don’t like the laws, ordinances, and codes, then work with your elected reps to get them changed. Stop blaming the business owners, they don’t make or enforce the guidelines.

    It is not the bar owner’s responsibility if his patrons or anyone else for that matter blocks your driveway. You should call the police and have their butts towed EVERY TIME. If they are old enough to drive, then they are old enough to suffer the consequences of their own actions.

    Enough with blaming business owners for the personal responsibility of others.

    We all have and should continue to have the right to drive and park on any public street, any where, any time, as long as we comply with the law – including on your street and mine. If we don’t comply with the law, then it’s our responsibility, not that of the businesses that we may patronize.

    We should all fight against the privatization of public streets to benefit a select few who squeak the loudest. These are public streets.

  • Yes, the “Civic Club” here is made up of people who have nothing better to do than complain about something – anything. That and attempt to shove a HOA down our throats (we DONT want one – give it up!) Otherwise these people no lives would have to find something else to do on Tuesday nights. Canyon Creek is a great addition to our neighborhood. I agree parking might become an issue, but Westcott has ample room for cars..and i gather most will park there or walk. Get a life!

  • According to city ordinance, unless it is grandfathered or has some other variance, a bar is required to have 10 parking spaces per 1000 sq ft of gross floor area and outdoor decks, patio and/or seating areas. How big is OC?