League of Extraordinary Brewers, World’s First Brewery Incubator Brought Down by Wayward Game of Naked Twister

Brewery Incubator and League of Extraordinary Brewers Brewpub, 907 Franklin St., Suite 150, Downtown Houston

“Never would a game of strip Twister be so badly regretted,” writes Lucrece Borrego in announcing the sudden closure of her innovative Downtown food-business incubator turned brewery-incubator business on the ground floor of the Bayou Lofts building at 907 Franklin St. An eviction notice the two-time startup-startup starter was handed by an attorney representing her landlord as Borrego was cooking for a steak-night “bottle share” event last Friday cited several reasons for the termination of her lease, most of them focusing on items encountered in a common-area hallway outside the business: empty beer kegs and boxes (Borrego says they were left after deliveries), “personal items” (likely including a motorcycle, a source tells Swamplot) — and a live game of naked Twister.

“Indeed,” Borrego writes, “I had agreed to host a naked game night: a completely private event that takes place at bars all over Houston regularly. We covered all the windows and had someone working the door. Only one thing went wrong.


Borrego continues: “An employee of the architectural services firm next door that has access to our hallways was working long after business hours and stumbled up[on] a game of strip Twister in the hall. Whoever this person was, he or she had clearly never seen the naked male body before and took great offense to the incident, crying ‘public nudity’ to the landlord.”

Floor Plans for Kitchen Incubator, 907 Franklin St., Suite 150, Downtown HoustonThe hallway where this close encounter took place serves as the wheelchair-accessible entrance to the ground-floor offices of Identity Architects at 111 Travis St.; it also provides access to the bathrooms shared by the 2 businesses. The floor plan at right, which depicts an early layout for Borrego’s first business in the space, shows the location of the shared hallway and bathrooms.

Borrego opened the Kitchen Incubator in the space in 2010, before the recent revitalization of neighboring Market Square. It served as host to 16 separate food-related startups, including Kickin’ Kombucha, Boomtown Coffee, Happier Desserts, Tavola Pasta Artigianale, Bravado Spice, and Cacao and Cardamom Chocolate. The space also was the site of pop-up dining events that helped launch various food-truck and restaurant businesses. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $36,000, Borrego and a partner transformed part of the space last year into what’s been described as the first-ever brewery incubator, called Brewery Incubator. The co-working brewery’s public storefront component was the League of Extraordinary Brewers, which operated as a brewpub and the site of regular pop-up brewing events.

The incubators’ landlord is Denver-based Byers Street Properties, which purchased the retail and office space on the ground floor of the Bayou Lofts building last year. An attorney for the company tells Culturemap’s Eric Sandler that the company had delivered “similar letters” detailing complaints to Borrego in June and July. But invitations to the Naked Game Night event on the night of July 29th indicate that the event was the League of Extraordinary Brewers’ first of its kind.

A standing Facebook description of the mobile, clothing-optional Naked Tuesday events (held at various Houston locations since the turn of the century, whenever there’s a fifth Tuesday of the month) notes that it “is not a sex based event. Public sex acts are considered ‘not cool’ and may make others uncomfortable.”

The eviction notice gave the businesses 5 days to vacate; according to Borrego, there were still 5 years left on the lease.

After consulting with attorneys, Borrego has elected not to fight her new landlord. “Essentially, I was faced with an indefinite expensive legal battle, or to abandon my life savings and dream,” she writes in a notice declaring the closure of the Brewery Incubator, the League Brewpub, and the Kitchen Incubator. “I’m not sure if that’s a decision anyone can really make. I can’t afford the legal battle. The decision was made for me. It’s that simple.”

Borrego tells Sandler she negotiated with the landlord for enough time to remove most of the brewing system, which was paid for by the Kickstarter campaign, and that she plans to spend the next few days “trying to salvage what I can.” A source tells Swamplot that an equipment-removal accident during the moveout flooded the space yesterday. The Brewery Incubator is planning a fundraising eviction party for its last night of business, this Saturday.

Photo: Brewery Incubator. Earlier floor plan: Kitchen Inc.


Downtown Brewery Startup Space Evicted

29 Comment

  • He or she probably had seen the naked male body before, just didn’t want to see yours.

    I really hope downtown can become interesting and vibrant without turning into Prague.

  • Wait, an architect was working past normal business hours? I’ve never heard of that happening…

  • I had no idea that naked game night at bars was a thing in Houston.
    Is it really that hard to keep the common areas clean and free of your crap? And from this article, the hallways are a shared area, not private space.
    Based off of what I’m reading, it’s hard to feel sorry for Borrego. She sounds like an awul tenant with awful friends.; no sympathy to those who are saying they should completely trash the place during the Eviction Party on Facebook. Douche move.

  • Uggggggh, typos. Sorry! :)

  • My first plug: They should move their spot to 3704 fannin. 3 story building. Roof top deck. Right by light rail (30 feet away maybe). Built in 1930.
    The building is in rough shape but it’s super cool. I bought it to move my business into but it’s just way more than I need.
    (Listed on loopnet. Under “3700 fannin” address I think)

  • Just because you’re a dirty hipster that knows how to ferment hops, does not mean you’re a brewmaster. I’ve drank enough terrible Microbrew stuff around town to look at every Microbrew beer with serious suspicion.
    I’ll take Belgian Trippel stuff myself.

  • According to this CultureMap story it seems that repeated late rent payments may have played a role in the eviction as well.


  • commonsense,

    Hops aren’t fermented. Malt is what is fermented (and in the case of your Belgian Trippel, candi sugar as well). The hops are to add bitterness and aroma and to help preserve it.

  • Is Borrego 12 years old? She sounds like it. Grow up and be respectful to your neighbors.

  • Cody – 3700 Fannin does not come up on Loopnet.

  • Sounds like a bunch of 30+ year olds that still think they’re 18. Time to grow up adult-kids.

  • Commonsense, I’m with you on the Belgian stuff! You should see my beer fridge at home :-)

  • maybe she just needed a creative way to get out of her five year lease

  • That’s the place that would not move their ‘stuff’ out of the hallway to let the person in our party get to the restroom in a wheelchair. Cancelled our order and walked – and they didn’t seem to care.

  • Um, wtf?
    “Let’s play naked twister in the hallway, what could go wrong?”
    Great idea.

  • I’m with refill. The first step in breaking a lease is to find something “actionable”. If you can’t find that on the landlord side then it’s up to you.

  • I had interacted with the owner before and thought there was something off about the whole operation. This doesn’t really surprise me.

  • Lol at brewing hops.

  • Well, really 16+ age aren’t kids@jb3

  • She does seem a bit clueless. I mean naked twister at your business? Who does that? If these people wanted to play naked twister why not at their house? If I had my life savings tied u in a place, I think I’d respect it a bit more.

  • Jost: odd. I see it. Both for sale and lease. And you can see it with a free act since I posted it with my paid act.

  • That’s what she gets trying to cater to every swingin dick in town…but it’s a sad story but obviously there’s more to it than a few drunk perpetual adolescents in the hall.

  • Cody, I can see your listing, well, it comes up in the search. An account is required to view the whole listing , but I can see the preview. “Great opportunity to own a 3 story free standing building in midtown…”

  • As a Commercial Property Manager of a mixed used retail/office , I have to side with the Landlord. Retail & Office are 2 different types of tenants & each have to respect the common areas & realize they are used by everyone.

  • the whole story sounds weird, Naked Twister but it’s not supposed to lead to sex . Why even play. I’d be unhappy about seeing the other tenants trash and their naked friends in the hall at my bldg. too.

  • Its a bad idea having naked people in common areas unless it is clearly stated in everybody’s leases that there exists the possibility of naked people turning up in the common areas and presuming that the common areas are not open to the general public. Among other things, the people that wandered into common areas naked after business hours may also not have assumed that there may be security cameras around. From every angle, what happened here was a lawsuit waiting to happen. (I say this as a guy that has owned a multi-tenant commercial property with a clause in the lease that would’ve addressed this situation, and permitted it. Yes, that stuff happens. Its usually not very interesting; meaning, I was never invited to attend.)

  • Google: hmm.. Loopnet may require SOME type of account to view but since I have a paid account I thought my stuff was viewable to people with free accounts.

    Then again, I suck at listing properties for sale. I am not really that motivated and part of me would rather deal with someone that wants my place even though it’s not heavily marketed vs the person who’s “convinced” to want it.
    As a buyer myself, I’m normally pushing sellers to sell so I guess I’m expecting my buyers to act the same way :) it’s like ‘look, if you want it just send me a contract. If you don’t, whatever. It’s all good’ :)

  • Do games of naked Twister turn into orgies? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Hey – That person that walked in on naked twister is my friend! Wahoo!!!!