09/18/13 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO WORK AROUND THE HOUSTON HEIGHTS DRY ZONE “Can someone explain to a non native Houstonian how this ‘private club’ thing works? So you can’t sell alcohol in some areas, but you can if you’re a ‘private club’? So what’s to stop anyone that wants to open any regular type of place that sells booze to call themselves a private club?” [Cody, commenting on Putting the Finishing Typefaces on the Heights General Store] Illustration: Lulu

11/09/12 1:17pm

The verdicts handed down this week in the court case connected to a dispute between the owners of 3 bars carved out of the former Settegast Kopf funeral home on Kirby Dr. at Colquitt, their landlord, and residents of the subdivision that surrounds it are a tad complicated. As a result of the jury decisions, neighborhood homeowners are now asking the judge to force 2 of the bars — Roak and Hendricks Pub — to stop selling alcohol. One of the jurors in the case offers Swamplot readers a detailed explanation of the decision:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

10/03/12 5:34pm

A NEW TEETOTALING CIRCLE LANDS ON LANCASTER PLACE By a vote of city council, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School today became the seventh private school in the city to be granted a 1,000-ft. alcohol-free zone around its campus. Included within that circumference around 1800 Sul Ross St.: the H-E-B Montrose Market that opened last November on the former site of the Wilshire Village Apartments. Last year St. Stephen’s lost a court battle over restricting alcohol sales at the grocery store, though the battle did end up delaying the start of H-E-B beer and wine sales until shortly before New Year’s. The new restrictions will not apply to businesses that already hold alcohol licenses, but they could make a difference to other developments planned near the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama. [St. Stephen's; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Divino restaurant, 1830 West Alabama: Gabe C.

02/03/12 1:51pm

Following up on that former warehouse at 954 Wakefield St. in Oak Grove that last spring looked like it was well on its way to becoming a new beach volleyball venue, a passerby reports a couple of seemingly contradictory signs. On the one hand, there’s now a TABC notice taped to a window, dated earlier in January, which indicates that HFL Construction is applying for an alcohol license for this location. And the volleyball courts (at left in the above photo) look a bit more complete than they did last April. On the other hand, there’s now also a for-sale sign with the HFL Construction logo on it posted in front of the peoperty, the reader says.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

12/28/11 9:18pm

ST. STEPHEN’S LOSES APPEAL; MONTROSE H-E-B BEER AND WINE SALES BEGIN THURSDAY A judge today denied an appeal by St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, allowing the new Montrose H-E-B on the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama to begin pouring beer and wine for customers tomorrow at 2 pm. Earlier this month, County Judge Ed Emmett ruled that the St. Stephen’s building within 300 ft. of the new store’s property line at 1755 Sul Ross St. did not itself qualify as a private school under state alcohol rules, in part because fewer than 100 students attend courses at that particular location. [Prime Property; background; previously on Swamplot]

11/18/11 5:45pm

A Swamplot tipster is claiming that H-E-B’s Montrose Market, which opened earlier this week without a liquor license, will have difficulty obtaining one — unless some strings are pulled. Before the opening, H-E-B had announced plans not only to sell packaged beer and wine in the new store on the former site of the Wilshire Village apartments at the corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama, but to allow customers to order drinks by the glass and take them to the store’s outdoor patio as well.

But the license did not come through by the opening date. H-E-B Houston president Scott McClelland told Chronicle reporter David Kaplan on opening day that he expected it to come through in 4 to 5 weeks. A company spokesperson tells Swamplot that until the license is approved by the TABC, the store has stocked its future liquor department with other items for sale. What could have caused the holdup?

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

09/12/11 12:55pm

ST. AGNES PICKS UP DROPPED SUIT The lawsuit the Academy of St. Agnes filed and then dropped last month against the city, the TABC, and the owners of a nightclub planning to open in the former Finger Furniture space at PlazAmericas is back on again, Purva Patel reports. The suit is an attempt to prevent the planned club, El Corral, from receiving a liquor license. A year ago, the private girls school bought the 18.7-acre former Gillman auto dealership at the corner of Bellaire Blvd. and Fondren, across the street from the former Sharpstown Mall, with plans to turn the property into an athletic campus. [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Candace Garcia

08/15/11 12:36pm

Saves me money!!! Radical Eats owner Staci Davis has taken to Kickstarter — and this woozy video — to raise money to add a water filtration system, better air conditioning, and a beer and wine license to her new vegan Mexican restaurant location at 3903 Fulton St., just north of Moody Park. Davis, who jettisoned plans to work out of the kitchen at the Heights Ashbury Coffeehouse after only a few weeks there, took over the former Kiko’s Mexican Cafe location just before the July 4th holiday. So far, she’s raised $325 of $8,000 she hopes to net for improvements to the Radical Eats Cafe. What will you get for your contribution, besides — if the target is reached — the ability to buy and drink a meat-and-dairy-free cold one on site? For $5, a written thank-you note and a hug at each visit. For $500: a dish at the restaurant named after you or your organization, a few more goodies, and a custom-made hula hoop.

Video: Kickstarter

08/10/11 3:15pm

ST. AGNES DROPS SUIT St. Agnes Academy has officially ended its lawsuit meant to prevent a nightclub called El Corral — planned for the former Finger Furniture store in PlazAmericas — from receiving a liquor license. The suit was filed last Friday against the nightclub’s owners, the city of Houston, and the TABC. A spokesperson for the all-girls private school, which is building an athletic facility across Bellaire Blvd. from the former Sharpstown Mall, tells Swamplot “any future plans regarding the suit are to be determined,” but offered no further comments. [Previously on Swamplot]

08/09/11 12:40pm

St. Agnes Academy has already begun constructing an athletic complex on the site of the former Gillman Auto dealership at the corner of Bellaire and Fondren in Sharpstown. The 18.7-acre property, which it bought last fall, will have 3 athletic fields, 2 softball diamonds, 8 tennis courts, plus weight rooms, conference rooms, and meeting rooms. But administrators of the all-girls private school aren’t too happy with a development planned across the street in PlazAmericas, the former Sharpstown Mall. Last Friday, the school filed suit to prevent a nightclub from opening in the mall’s former Finger Furniture store.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

12/22/10 5:34pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW KIDS CAN HELP MAKE WAY FOR MORE ALCOHOL SALES IN AND AROUND THE HEIGHTS “If HISD closes Hogg [Middle School] (it’s been identified as one of 66 struggling schools), that may open up some of the Studewood/ 11th area for liquor sales. How far do you need to be from a church to get an alcohol permit?” [Holster, commenting on The Rush to White Oak: Is the Corkscrew Next?]

04/23/09 12:26pm

The proprietor of the Heights’ Beer Island writes in, breathlessly and at length, to report on difficulties he’s encountered getting a beer-and-wine license for the Trail Mix Café, a second establishment he’s trying to establish just a few blocks west:

I am opening a new cafe on White Oak Drive by the new trail and was given a permit from City of Houston for the approval of address to be able to serve beer and wine. After i picked up legal document from permitting office i went to receive stamp from state comptrollers office, than went to city of secretary, received stamp, went to county secretary, clerk placed notification in paper, pd fee, picked up application after 2 weeks had gone by, than took to TABC and they reviewed application, was given window notification sign, I placed in window, 3 weeks go by, checked w/ TABC to make sure no problem, no one called me but thank goodness I called, found out a hold on license, went to TABC to meet w/2 representatives from TABC, they informed me that City of Houston had reversed their approval on location . . .

. . . because the café was in a “dry area.”

So . . . the owner of the new establishment at 3202 White Oak, next door to the Montrose Skate Shop, wants to know: Where, exactly, does it say that the Heights is dry?

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY