Workers at the Highland Village Shopping Center appear to be doing some demo work to the vacant building at 4045 Westheimer, a reader notes: They’re removing bricks from the parapet wall of the front facade. The dramatic Mod overhang that once wrapped the front and framed the entrance of Tootsies is gone. The building has been without a tenant since the upscale boutique left for Upper Kirby 2 years ago. A year before that, as Tootsies announced its move to West Ave, Highland Village owner Haidar Barbouti said he planned to tear down the building and build a 100,000-sq.-ft. multi-level retail space — with underground parking — in its place.
Earlier this month, the building played host to Gigi Huang’s Madness + Mayhem hullabaloo. Huang, proprietor of Gigi’s Asian Bistro and Dumpling House in the Galleria, partnered with Fashion Houston to engineer a “pop-up nightclub” in the vacant space. Promotional materials for the party promised that Fashion Houston and Madness + Mayhem would, during the celebration, “ferociously collide.” A story published the next day in the Chronicle, whose new Style section sponsored the event, offered this rubberneck report: “. . . The bartender was a scantily-clad, highly flexible aerialist hanging upside down from silk ropes, under whom guests stood proffering their empty glasses. Nearby, painted, near-naked women and muscled hunks wearing nothing but trunks and several cans of gold body spray — Huang cheekily referred to them as her “golden boys” — mingled with the well-heeled crowd.”
The following week, a report by shopping writer Joy Sewing may have spilled the beans on the building’s next act: “Rumor has it,” she writes, “that both Madewell and J. Crew have plans to soon set up shop in Highland Village.” The sister stores are opening side-by-side locations at Market Street in The Woodlands in January.
- The After Party [Madness + Mayhem Productions]
- Style, ‘Madness and Mayhem’ at Fashion Houston after party [Houston Chronicle]
- Shops Buzz: Madewell hits Houston [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: The Sweet Deal Waiting for Tootsies at West Ave, Tootsies Beats Back the Landlord: The Sale Must Go On!, Highland Village Lockout Drama: Step Away from the Tootsies!
Photos: Vinson (demolition); Candace Garcia (former Tootsies)