- 915 E. 27th St. [HAR]
The new restaurant moving into the northeast corner building on 11th St. is pitching itself as a spiritual successor to the long-running business that closed there 3 months ago, Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe, with some new signage that touts the planned menu’s closeness to the old one. Chocolate fudge cake, for one, will be made available when the new restaurant called Carmalita’s Cuisine opens next year, along with other leftovers from the shuttered pastry shop’s recipe book such as banana split cake and Italian cream cake. In terms of new offerings: The butter pecan cake slice pictured on the sign now up along Shepherd is Carmalita’s own concoction, as will be the handful of gluten-free offerings hitting the spot next year.
The building at 1141 E. 11th St., part of the Norhill Historic District, is currently split between the not-yet-reopened storefront and and some upstairs office space home to — among others — Elijah Rising, the Christian nonprofit that lobbied both Houston and Harris County officials to block that planned sex-doll brothel from opening on Richmond near Chimney Rock a few months ago.
Photos: Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe (building); Swamplox inbox (sign)
The new owner of the former Mary Barden Keegan Center along the southbound I–45 North feeder goes by the name Houston Market Center LLC and is connected to J. Luna’s Produce, a longtime vendor at the soon-to-be redone Houston Farmers Market on Airline. The sale closed late last month and included both the parking lot and 5,000-sq.-ft. community garden that sit behind the warehouse, closed-off from Vincent St. and the rest of residential Brooke Smith by a wrought-iron fence. Last week — reports a neighbor — workers got rid of that fence, “cleared out” an onsite homeless camp, began dismantling a retaining wall, and cut down a few trees adjacent to the parking lot.
The seller, Virgata Property Company, picked up the building from the Houston Food Bank 2 years ago and — last summer — leased it to the Peli Peli restaurant group as a prep center for the South African chain’s catering operation and a production hub for its house-brand sauces and spices. Since then, Peli Peli’s added 2 more order-at-the-counter restaurants to its lineup of formal and informal locations: one in the Esperson Building at 808 Travis downtown, and the other in the new 365 by Whole Foods Market on 610.
Photo: Virgata Property
The building with a roof that’s bigger than its body at 3024 Houston Ave. is now slated to become a cafe operating under the name Uncle Bean’s Coffee Shop. The photo at top — posted to the venue’s fledgling Facebook page this morning views the structure from the west side of the road, just south of Alma St. Its most recent occupant: Mr. Details Hand Car Wash.
White paint hit the exterior sometime during the former tenant’s tenure, washing out the yellow splat marks that once graced its north and south sides:
Note: This story has been updated.
Parts left over from the metal barn that Black Page Brewing leased out beside White Oak Bayou out a few years back are now lying in a heap next to a wooden skeleton that’s taken the demolished structure’s place. The deconstruction began last month according to neighbors who called 311 on August 31 to report that it was happening, potentially, they said, without the required permits. An inspector showed up the next day to check things out, one of several field trips the city would make to the planned brewpub’s digs at the end of Glen Park St. over the next few weeks in response to multiple follow-up calls from nearby residents.
By the time a demo permit did show up last Friday, the site had already been tagged twice by city officials: first for the premature teardown, and once again — as shown below — for additional unpermitted work:
The founders of The Greensheet are looking to part with their defunct printing complex at I-45 and the N. Loop after selling the publication earlier this month to MVR Publishing — a newly-formed partnership whose majority owner Jonathan McElvy also publishes The Leader. From 1998 onward, the facility cranked out all Houston editions of the classified paper (it’s also got versions in Dallas and Fort Worth), along with other publications like the New York Times — which Greensheet agreed in 2006 to start printing for local distribution.
Delivery trucks loaded with bundles of The Greensheet’s own reading material rolled out of the parking lot pictured from the north in the aerial above.
Here it is at ground level:
DACAPO’S DECAMPS FROM ITS 11TH ST. CORNER NEXT MONTH A Friday afternoon Facebook post from the owners of Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe broke the news that they’re closing on September 29 and skipping town for Tahlequah, Oklahoma where they’ll be “retiring a little early” after 14 years in the storefront pictured above. Of all 4 structures at the intersection of E. 11th St. and Studewood — including the catty-corner Ruggles-Green-turned-Bellagreen, along with Liberty Kitchen and Someburger’s longstanding fast-food shack — the bakery is the oldest; it went up shortly after the surrounding North Norhill subdivision filled up with homeowners in the ’20s. Six years after Dacapo’s moved in, its building became part of the pistol-shaped Norhill Historic District. Situated in the district’s southwest corner — at the end of its original commercial center along 11th — it’s one of the few retail structures left over from the neighborhood’s early days. [Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe; neighborhood history] Photo: Dacapo’s Pastry Cafe
Without any formal backyard practice facilities, students make their own fun behind James Hogg Middle School’s Woodland Heights building. But a set of plans the school calls Outside Hogg now aims to tame things at the north end of the property along E. 11th St.
The idea is to redo it as a proper sports field, complete with a scoreboard and bleachers:
Here’s the next target in Houston’s continuing warehouse-to-brewery turnover trend: 1504 Chapman St. A group of local brewers got their hands on the 6,283-sq.-ft. building — pictured above from the south — in April and a budding Facebook page now shows its address as the location of a venue they’re calling Local Group Brewing.
It’s within the same general parish as St. Arnold’s recently-opened beer cathedral and existing brewery. They’re both less than half a mile away on the other side of the former Union Pacific brownfield pictured below, now giving rise to the complex of mixed-use buildings dubbed Hardy Yards:
Houston’s City Planning Commission approved a variance yesterday permitting a developer that plans to build a 4-story apartment building on the corner highlighted above not to extend Dunlop St. through the site, as otherwise required. Instead, plans call for the street to end at the south side of the complex, where it’ll be bounded by a new, 8-ft. tall fence.
The request first showed up on the commission’s agenda on April 26, at which time a couple of residents came forward to complain about the heavy traffic on nearby Karcher and Angelo streets — which northbound drivers use to avoid the light at the intersection of Link and Fulton. Extending Dunlop through the site, they argued, would clear up some of that congestion.
But a 60-ft.-wide swath of road like that would run over the garage, parking lot, pool, and dumpster area the developer plans to build at the center of the complex, as shown in the site plan below:
The transit-themed entryway Lennar Homes wants to build to its 39-lot development — dubbed Fulton Station — on the corner of Fulton and Cavalcade will get another shot at city approval when it goes before Houston’s planning commission this afternoon. Lennar’s new residential neighborhood hugs the Charisma Design Studios & Art Gallery Building, west of the southbound stop for METRO’s Red Line in the middle of Fulton St.
The gated entrance would go at the foot of a private park Lennar has planned just across the street from the rail platform, on the parcel highlighted red in the map below:
A NEW HEIGHTS PARK FOR THE SHUTTERED BUS STOP ON N. MAIN? METRO rendered the Heights Transit Center just north of Cavalcade obsolete when its new bus routes went into service in 2015. Although 3 routes still converge below the southern tip of the 0.88-acre, triangular property where Studewood dies into N. Main, not all of them let on at that location and none of them arrive at the covered waiting area riders once used for boarding. Now, reports the Chronicle’s Mike Morris, the City plans to buy the unused lot. The price: $1,425,000, to be funded by fees imposed on developers who didn’t include green space in their projects as specified in a 2007 ordinance. The fees, writes Morris, “must be spent there within three years and can be used only for park improvements.” The city council will vote on the land purchase today. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Save the Heights Transit Center