05/23/17 1:00pm

The Dallas-based real estate and restaurant developers at Syn Hospitality Group are hoping to have a Houston branch of flag-slathered bar and restaurant America Gardens open later this year (as rendered above), part of their in-the-works Midtown Common development over on Caroline St. just north of McGowen. The group went after some early city approvals earlier this year to bundle together a handful of property parcels on the block into the edgy unreserved shape shown above. That footprint, mostly sticking along Caroline but stretching across to claim a bit of frontage on Austin St. as well, leaves out the buildings occupied by Core Church Midtown, which is squeezed between the auto and auto accessory pairing of Fast Traffic Auto Work and Austin Radio and Speedometer. 

The group has released a few renderings of the first planned restaurant’s red-white-and-blue-bedecked interior, as well as its large outdoor patio:

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Dallas Comes to Austin St.
05/11/17 5:30pm

The triangle of land holding Tila’s Restaurante & Bar has a for lease sign up these days, a reader tells Swamplot. That’s backed up by a listing currently up on the Wulfe & Co. website, though there’s no particular availability date mentioned in the leasing notice for the land. The restaurant sits on the irregular block created by the Shepherd Dr. curve between McDuffie and  and Newhouse streets:

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Up for Lease Around the Bend
05/04/17 11:00am

The ex-service station sitting on the sliver of land edged by N. Durham Dr., W. 16th St., and Nashua St. is being remodeled and repainted, with signage already in place for burger bar Balls Out. The late-sixties space, home to the Guero Deluxe Car Wash before Re:Vive Development snapped up the property in 2015, was occupied by used car dealership Sabinas Cars and Trucks a few years before that.

The former service station’s canopy is still in place; the now-blank sign space on top previously served as a canvas for one of those Wiley LOVE murals:

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Heights Drive-By
07/13/16 4:00pm

Blondie's Bar, 1026 S. 8th St., La Porte, TX 77571

After more than 40 on-and-off years under its current name, and 37 years since housewife-turned-electrician Margaret Lindsay got involved with the place, Blondie’s on the corner of S. 8th St. and Fairmont Pkwy. off SH 146, is once again listed for sale. A previous Houston Press article details Lindsay’s account of some of the bar’s fraught history since 1980 — from the banned and reinstated lingerie shows, complex permitting and loan tangles, and 11th-hour financial saviors and sugar daddies, to the alleged police harassment and an eventual lawsuit filed against the city of La Porte.

The suit was dismissed in 1999, as the named city official’s had immunity to Lindsay’s allegations that they had conspired to run her out of town; 17 years later, the bar still stands along the channelized banks of Little Cedar Bayou, between 2 Wells Fargo buildings and across Fairmont from the McDonald’s and the La Porte Post Office. LoopNet lists the asking price as $1 million — kitchen equipment, alarm system, and all. Here are a few more of the listing shots, which show the bar still loosely decked out for Christmas:

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Looking Like a Million Bucks
05/16/16 10:45am

Sterling House, 3015 Bagby St., Midtown, Houston, 77006

3015 Bagby St., Midtown, HoustonSome construction photos released yesterday by the prepping-to-open business at 3015 Bagby St. seem to provide a definitive answer to that lingering 2013 question of whether the century-old structure at the corner with Rosalie St. would be patched up for a new gig as a Midtown bar called The Sterling House, or just torn down to make room for it. The building (which belonged to members of Ross Sterling‘s family but not to the former governor himself) wasn’t totally demolished, though it did get gutted and largely rebuilt. The space then got shopped around last year by landlord Amir Ansari, who offered the spot with TABC licenses and other permits already in place. 

A Sterling House Facebook page got a coming-soon photo update over the weekend, showing a few post-redo photos of the inside and outside of the structure:

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Polishing Up on Bagby