09/26/16 5:15pm

Pi Pizza, 181 Heights Blvd., Brunner, Houston, 77007

The newly opened stationary location of former food truck Pi Pizza got a huge boost in business this weekend after pro-gun-carry groups began leaving hundreds of negative online reviews of the restaurant, Eric Sandler reports this morning. Owner Anthony Calleo tells Sandler that Pi’s sales at the strip center spot south of I-10 where Funky Chicken used to roost were up nearly 20 percent on Saturday and 40 percent on Sunday.

What exactly triggered waves of gun activists (and counter-protesting pizza-supporters) to take to the restaurant’s Facebook and Yelp pages en masse? A casually dismissive and — sure — less-than-completely-diplomatic response to an initial 1-star review of the restaurant, by a user who had never visited, based solely on Pi’s decision to opt out of open and concealed carry. Sandler notes that Pi’s Facebook review page has been temporarily taken down, as the hundreds of negative reviews (and even larger numbers of positive comments and counterreviews, at least some of which also appear to be from people who have never visited the restaurant) eventually escalated to public searches for Calleo’s home address by some of the more enthusiastic pro-carriers; the pizza joint’s Yelp page was still in lockdown as of this afternoon.

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Booming on Heights Blvd.
09/26/16 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE PRICE OF SAVORING THAT MOUTHWATERING HOUSTON INDUSTRIAL FLAVOR Oyster wardens of TPWD“I always found that Galveston Bay oysters had a slight metallic tinge to them (as compared to oysters from Matagorda or San Antonio Bays) — and actually, I quite like it. Perhaps it could be said that a true appreciation for Galveston Bay’s environs doesn’t come without some carcinogenicity. Oh well — so be it.” [The Niche, commenting on Oyster Tycoons Fight over Baybottom Territory as Reefs Recover from Flooding] Image of state game wardens examining oysters: TPWD

09/26/16 2:15pm

2709 Bagby St., Midtown, Houston, 77003

A reader wonders why the house above at 2709 Bagby St. is just now getting a yellow note from city inspectors, who doled out an orange one right across the street last year. The new tag is stuck to the gate of the property formerly listed as the address of probably-not-just-a-modeling-studio Aloha Modeling Studio, which appears to have removed its signage in the few years following the city’s late 2000s push to enforce that then-decade-old sexually-oriented business ordinance. Per the new tagging (closeup below), the current beef with the city appears to be over some smaller issues — namely, some debris scattered around the lawn, and that loose board on the second story:

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Hanging Questions in Midtown
09/26/16 12:00pm

11926 Broken Bough Dr., Memorial Shadows, Bunker Hill Village, Texas

11926 Broken Bough Dr., Memorial Shadows, Bunker Hill Village, Texas

Our thanks go to Jamestown Estate Homes, offering the new home at 11926 Broken Bough Dr. in the Memorial Shadows neighborhood of Bunker Hill Village — today’s Swamplot Sponsor of the Day!

Jamestown Estate Homes is a family business founded by Greg Hawes in 2010. After serving as president of Partners in Building for 18 years, Greg founded Jamestown Estate Homes with his daughters Katy and Victoria. (Other members of the Jamestown team are Lindsey Bechtold and construction manager Mike Prejeant, who as a civil engineering graduate got his start in the business by doing New Orleans restorations, then worked for a volume builder for many years.)

This recently completed 6,657-sq.-ft. home sits on a 20,155-sq.-ft. lot walking distance from Bunker Hill Elementary. The Todd Rice–designed property has 5 bedrooms (2 on the first floor), 5 full- and 2 half-baths, and separate attached 1- and 2-car garages. The home is elevator-ready, and plans are available for an optional 38-ft.-by-14-ft. pool in the back yard.

The Jamestown team has found that many families like the idea of having 2 living areas on the first floor. And so there are 2 in this home: a great room and a separate space that could serve as a game or billiards room, a formal living room, gym, music room, or whatever your family may need. This flexible space has access to an outdoor living area with summer kitchen and fireplace — and the back yard.

The master suite includes a master bathroom with separate walk-in closets and separate his-and-her water closets (so you don’t even have to share a toilet!). There’s even a secret pathway from one master closet to the study. Upstairs are 3 ensuite bedrooms, plus a game room with bar that opens to the media room through custom barn-style doors made from reclaimed wood by the Heights-area craftsmen at ReCoop Designs.

To learn more about the home’s energy features, or to make a private appointment to see it, contact Victoria Hawes at (832) 296-1663 or victoria.hawes@jamestownestatehomes.com. You can see more photographs of the property by checking out the listing. A PDF containing complete floor plans is available here. The home is also open Sundays from 2 to 4 pm.

Here’s a great way to showcase fine properties: Sign up to become a Swamplot Sponsor of the Day!

Sponsor of the Day
09/26/16 11:00am

WEST U SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER JUST LIFTED FOLLOWING THIS MORNING’S ‘SOUTHWEST HOUSTON’ SHOOTING Weslayan Plaza, Weslayan at Bissonnet St., Montclair, Houston, 77005The city has just cancelled stay-put orders for the folks in a zone straddling the borders of West University and the Montclair and College Court Place neighborhoods, as the crime scene investigation of this morning’s rush-hour shooting spree at the Weslayan Plaza strip center wraps up. The shelter-in-place request was active while the bomb squad was checking out the now-deceased suspect’s Porsche near his residence in The Oaks condominiums at Weslayan and Law St. Folks ranging from KPRC to the FBI reported the shooting as taking place in “Southwest Houston”; the shopping center is technically in the southwest quadrant of the city, though a good deal closer to Downtown than the area that usually gets that descriptor. [Houston OEM, KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Weslayan Plaza: Regency Centers

09/26/16 8:30am

sawyer-yards

Photo of Sawyer Yards: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
09/23/16 5:30pm

Ivy Lofts Retail Listing Images, September 2016

Actually, the rendering above is not the newest look for the Ivy Lofts, PR head Jared Anthony tells Swamplot this afternoon. Anthony says that the 3-week-old images posted in Wednesday’s since-pulled listing for ground floor retail space in the development had been planned for release that same day during a meeting with folks who have reserved units in the project — but some totally different designs came in from the new architect on Tuesday. Anthony says the newest plans will be shown off in mid-October when the sales center relaunches (complete with another scale model of the planned building), and that groundbreaking is now planned for January, with no change to the estimated completion date.

Images: Powers Brown Architecture

East Downtown Loft Swapping
09/23/16 2:30pm

BJ's Oldies Antiques, 1726 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston, 77006

This morning a reader spotted some cleaning out going on at the Westheimer Rd. storefront of BJ’s Oldies Antiques. The shop isn’t closing down, a rep tells Swamplot — just moving next door for a month or so (into the storefront spot formerly occupied by now-on-Taft-St. Cool Stuff) while some building repairs get finished up. The shop’s current location — immediately east of Empire Cafe — is a metal rooster’s throw from where owner Becky Pieniadz ran the business in the 1990s out of a section of the flea market at 1733 Westheimer (directly across the street from Empire). The shop moved down the street for a few years to the building down the road at 1435 Westheimer (currently occupied by bedding store Biscuit) before downsizing back to the 1700 block in 2013.

Photo: Carson Lucarelli 

There and Back Again
09/23/16 12:00pm

Downtown Houston Skyline

Today’s sponsor: Houston’s own Central Bank. Swamplot appreciates the continued support!

Central Bank has 4 (central) Houston branches available to meet your business or personal needs: in Midtown, the Heights, West Houston, and Post Oak Place.

Central Bank believes that change is essential to its success; the company actively pursues the latest in service, technology, and products. Central Bank aims to know its customers personally and to be their primary business and personal financial resource. The bank’s staff values relationships and strives to be available when you need them.

To learn more about how Central Bank can meet your banking needs, please call any of the following Senior Vice Presidents: Kenny Beard, at 832.485.2376; Bonnie Purvis, at 832.485.2354; Gary Noble, at 832.485.2366; or Ryan Tillman, at 832.485.2307. You can also find out more on the bank’s website.

Put your business front and center for Swamplot readers. Become a Swamplot Sponsor of the Day

Sponsor of the Day
09/23/16 11:15am

OYSTER TYCOONS FIGHT OVER BAYBOTTOM TERRITORY AS REEFS RECOVER FROM FLOODING glo-galveston-bay-oyster-mapMore action is expected next week in the Galveston County courtroom hosting part of the ongoing underwater real estate fight involving some of the biggest names in the local oyster fishing industry, writes Harvey Rice. At stake: oyster rights on 23,000 acres of subsea land leased out in 2014 by the Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District — including some areas already leased out to other fishermen by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The move spurred several lawsuits, first from the lessee’s industry competitors and (former) friends, and later from the state of Texas itself; the issue has since worked its way to several appeals courts, one of which stopped the case from being moved to Chambers County. And even the oysters themselves have faced a dramatic few years, Rice notes, between the recent Houstonarea flooding (which sent enough freshwater runoff to the coast to drastically alter the bay’s salt levels) and the stretch of drought before that (which let salinity get too high). [Houston Chronicle] Map of oyster habitat in Galveston Bay: General Land Office

09/23/16 8:30am

west-loop

Photo of the West Loop: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

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