01/27/16 11:30am

Here’s some hot and heavy demo footage of a frenzied excavator tearing apart the former Blanco’s Bar and Grill at 3406 W. Alabama St. this morning, as a worker hoses down the scene from off to the side. A reader captured the final show at the little blue honky-tonk, which housed live music for nearly 32 years before its November 2013 closure.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Hosed on W. Alabama
01/26/16 10:30am

St. Theresa The Little Flower Thrift Shop, 5334 Washington Ave, Rice Military, Houston, 77007

The business wilted several years ago, but the location of the church-run St. Theresa The Little Flower Thrift Shop at 5334 Washington Ave is getting a new tenant: a branch of Dallas’s Clutch Bar will be moving into the space. An entity associated with the thrift shop bought the property  back in 1991, and the store blossomed until the early ’10s, closing by mid-2013.

Clutch Bar’s website touts a Summer 2016 opening; as far as what will be served in the space, the site for the chain shows a large draft beer selection and mentions a weekly special on “adult milkshakes”.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Little Flower Going Wild
01/25/16 12:30pm

Blue Mercury, 2506 University Blvd., Rice Village, Houston, 77005

The western corner space at University Blvd. and Kelvin St. in the Rice Village now has a coat of white paint over its brick facade, though the storefronts to either side have yet to follow suit. The space, last occupied by a Sprint store prior to a multi-year vacancy, appears to be setting up as the next link in the Blue Mercury cosmetics-spa chain, while street and utility work progresses at the corner.

The former Village Arcade (now being rebranded as, simply, the Rice Village) consists of the shopping centers on University on either side of Kelvin St.; the buildings were acquired from Weingarten in 2014 by Rice University, which already owned the land beneath the center and employs the same St. Joe brick in many of its campus buildings. Rice also employs development company Trademark to manage the Arcade property; the company released a few renderings of the first phase of the center’s intended makeover last fall, just before work began:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

University Redo
01/14/16 10:15am

Construction of Kirby Ice House at 3333 Eastside St., Upper Kirby, Houston, 77098

Down the street from Lamar High School, the would-have-been-Little-Woodrow’s now going instead by Kirby Ice House (“A Neighborhood Pearl”) is setting up shop at 3333 Eastside St., between the parking lot used for the weekly Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market and the Bammel Park townhomes. A post to the establishment’s Facebook page earlier this week shows that the under-construction building has just finished turning an icy blue, and the accompanying caption says that work is moving into “the detail phase”.

The bar’s across-the-street neighbors include nonprofit women’s career services center Dress for Success and the main building of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston — both groups expressed concern about the bar’s location in 2014 after the president of the Bammel Park Homeowner’s Association sounded a neighborhood-wide email alarm. Dress for Success filed a protest of the ice house’s TABC license that July; the license was issued in December of that same year.

A rendering of the building’s exterior shows the ice house standing next to a townhouse-free field:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Ice on Upper Kirby
01/06/16 3:15pm

The Raven hasn’t landed yet — but the metal-fabrication-shop-turned-icehouse’s website and Facebook page are touting a January 19th Grand Opening date, complete with the kickoff to the venue’s live music lineup. On the other side of the complex, associated White Oak Music Hall itself isn’t scheduled to open until May.

The ice house and its sky-high 70s-bachelor-pad lounge are tucked back off of N. Main along North St., separated from I-45 by only the Skylane Apartments. (The iconic den-on-a-stick can be spotted through the trees from I-45 north of Quitman, just before the freeway ducks under the North St. bridge.)

New renderings posted last month by the bar show the details of the rest of the Raven Tower’s indoor and outdoor spaces:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Winging Over White Oak
12/31/15 9:15am

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW DOES ALCOHOL COMPLICATE THE BARBERSHOP EXPERIENCE? Drinking at the Barber's“Do I want to drink a beer while getting my hair cut? Will it get hair in it? Is it comfortable to drink a beer while holding your head in hair-cutting position? Will I have time to finish it? I have a lot of questions about this concept.” [TacoTruck, commenting on Getting Ready for an Alcoholic Barbershop Experience Where the Parking Lot is Going Pink on E. 20th St.] Illustration: Lulu

06/11/15 4:15pm

HOUSTON’S LAST TEXADELPHIA HAS SERVED ITS FINAL CHEESESTEAK Texadelphia, 6025 Westheimer Rd., HoustonTexas cheesesteak sports bar Texadelphia has closed, a couple of readers tell Swamplot. The spot at 6025 Westheimer Rd., west of Fountainview, was the first and last of the Houston locations for the Austin-born franchise. This spot had been open for about 20 years. Photo: Jack S.

04/14/15 12:16pm

STAG’S HEAD PUB CAN’T RENEW ITS LEASE, IS CALLING IT QUITS FOR NOW The Stag's Head Pub, 2128 Portsmouth St. at Sandman, Shepherd Plaza, HoustonThe Stag’s Head will be closing later this month, the owner of the Shepherd Plaza pub at 2128 Portsmouth St. reports. “The Landlord has decided not to renew our lease,” writes Michael Holliday on the 15-year-old establishment’s Facebook page. Attempts to negotiate something short term, he indicates, were not successful. “I have been looking to move The Stags to another location for some time but have been unable to find a suitable site.” Holliday says he isn’t giving up on the search, though. [The Stag’s Head on Facebook] Photo: Marc Brubaker

12/31/14 10:00am

ruchis-corner-demo

ruchis-corner-demoUSE

Reader Sean McManus was on the spot for yesterday’s demolition proceedings at the southwest corner of W. Alabama St. and S. Shepherd Dr., where Roeder’s Pub, Ruchi’s taqueria, Fly High Little Bunny jewelry store and the River Oaks Dry Cleaners are being swept away in favor of a CVS pharmacy.

“As I was taking [the pictures], one of the deconstruction workers asked if he could help me,” McManus writes. “I told him that I was just taking a couple of quick photos. His response:Pfft… Memories.’”

More hot demo porn after the jump:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Fly High, Little Ruchi and Roeder
12/11/14 10:45am

roak-settegast-kopf-demo1-excavator-bestroak-settegast-kopf-demo1-excavator

An excavator yesterday was hard at work scraping the 3300 block of the west side of Kirby clean.

Bounded by West Main St. and Colquitt St. and Lake St. to the rear, this block was long the site of a Settegast-Kopf funeral home, but like that seemingly straitlaced great-aunt with the closet full of empty gin bottles, the staid mortuary and adjacent buildings descended into drink, spending their final years as taverns Roak, Hendricks Pub, and the OTC Patio Bar.

Here’s what the Kirby frontage looked like in both its sober and lush incarnations:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Cremation By Excavator
12/02/14 2:00pm

Johnnys-gold-brick-owners-2518-yale

Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse have joined forces with the newly-enhanced Treadsack restaurant group to take over the former Boom Boom Room space at 2518 Yale from building owner Jackie Harris. Johnny’s Gold Brick will be the name of the new bar.

Treadsack principal Chris Cusack, (pictured second from left) whose group includes Down House in the Heights and Brooke Smith ice house D&T Drive Inn, says that he hopes Johnny’s Gold Brick will be the sort of place where you can get “decently-made cocktails, but also a shot and a beer, and be totally accessible and easy to be in.”

Leslie Ross (pictured second from right), who earlier this year competed for title of America’s Most Imaginative Bartender in Las Vegas, left Triniti Restaurant’s Sanctuari Bar to join forces with Treadsack earlier this month and will be heading up bar operations.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Gold Bricking It
11/24/14 11:59am

315-fairview st, Hyde Park, Montrose

315 fairview st, Hyde Park, MontroseUpdate: 3:45 p.m. Eater Houston reports that the name of the sushi bar will be Akamaru.

According to the permit in the window at 315 Fairview, the next occupant of the mixed-use building’s downstairs will be a restaurant named Sushi Bar. 

Most recently that area had been home to a lounge called The Fairview.

Prior to its incarnation as the Fairview, the building had housed the short-lived Montrose outpost of downtown institution Dean’s Credit Clothing.

Sushi Bar will be situated about halfway between Uchi and the Bluefish.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Montrose Eats
11/18/14 10:45am

The Boom Boom Room, 2518 Yale St., Sunset Heights, Houston

The Boom Boom Room, 2518 Yale St., Sunset Heights, HoustonStaff at the Boom Boom Room, Jackie Harris’s funky wine bar and music venue at 2518 Yale St., will pour their last glasses of Pinot noir and dish out their final paninis Friday night. Harris, an artist and doyenne of Houston’s art car movement, tells Swamplot that a “great new restaurant-bar” — one run by “real good Heights–Montrose restaurant people you all know and love” — will be setting up shop at the location in the not-too-distant future, but adds that she is not at liberty to disclose any further details.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Going Boom