08/22/16 1:30pm

Buffalo Fred's Ice House, 2708 N. Shepherd Dr., Houston Heights, Houston, 77008

Buffalo Fred's Ice House, 2708 N. Shepherd Dr., Houston Heights, Houston, 77008After a month or so on the market at $3.75 million, the asking price on Buffalo Fred’s Ice House has dropped by half a million as of early last week. The 37,500 sq.ft. property, positioned right across the northern boundary of the potentially moistening Heights dry zone at 2708 N. Shepherd Dr., sits a few blocks north of the ongoing culinary redevelopment zone near the recent Fiesta Mart breakup. The HAR sales listing notes that leasing the space is an option (and a matching LoopNet leasing listing has been added for the property in the last few weeks).

The listing claims the early-1980s ice house is now running on a month-to-month lease; the bar building is up for grabs along with the 2,100-sq.-ft. building formerly occupied by Speedy Cycle Lube (on the right hand side, both above and below):

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Room to Roam in Houston Heights
08/18/16 10:30am

Kay's Lounge, 2324 Bissonnet St., Rice Village, Houston, 77005

The city’s permitting records show that the land beneath soon-to-close Kay’s Lounge (and that recently freed-up cute lot next door) have been sliced into a total of 6 new pieces (not counting the shared driveway running down the middle). The application for the property line redraw, noted by a reader, was submitted last October and approved a few weeks later. The same records say the 2-turned-6 lots at 2332 and 2324 Bissonnet St. are intended for single family residences; the properties were bought last May by an entity connected to Frasier Homes. Kay’s last night in action will be Saturday the 3rd, providing final visitors with a Labor Day recovery buffer. 

Photo: Thomas C.

Last Calls on Bissonnet
08/16/16 5:00pm

KAY’S LOUNGE CLOSING IN LESS THAN 3 WEEKS Kay's Lounge, 2324 Bissonnet St., Rice Village, Houston, 77005Perennial oldest-bar-in-Houston contender Kay’s Lounge, at 2324 Bissonnet St., is closing forever on September 3rd, per a reader’s telling (and a corroborating Facebook post from the bar itself) . The land the bar sits on was bought more than a year ago by a corporate entity using the same address as townhome-slash-mansion builder Frasier Homes in sales docs filed with the county. The bar has been leasing its space back from the new owners since then; a few of the bar’s 1940s companion structures, bought up by the same entity, met their end earlier this summer. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Kay’s Lounge at 2324 Bissonnet St.: Thomas C.

08/16/16 12:15pm

Work at at 1916 Baldwin St., Midtown, Houston, 77002

Here’s the latest from the house-turned-law-office-space at 1916 Baldwin St., now getting worked over behind its previously-noticed TABC application notice. A few more details on what’s planned for the spot have since surfaced, as Phaedra Cook and Craig Masilow noted earlier this summer while writing about the ongoing legal whosamawhatsit of the newly-rotated nightclub formerly known as Gaslamp (about 2 minutes to the south by car). Cook and Masilow point out that the owner of the Baldwin space appears to be Gaslamp owner Ayman Jarrah’s brother, and that Jarrah himself is listed as the manager of the business moving in at the Baldwin address (referred to as Oakmont) in a TABC-nodding newspaper notice published in May.

A reader on the scene, meanwhile, notes the construction going on in and around the structure (above), including a 2-story something going up out back:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Going by Oakmont
08/15/16 11:30am

ChristoMio Coffee Bar, 2523 Quenby St., Rice Village, Houston, 77005ChristoMio Coffee Bar, 2523 Quenby St., Rice Village, Houston, 77005The sign in front of the former Hans’ Bier Haus (which after 21 years shut down last month as previously announced) now reads a little differently: ChristoMio Coffee Bar is setting up shop at 2523 Quenby (in the shadow and projectile range of the nextdoor 2520 Robinhood condo tower). The new logo appears to have been planted onto the old sign just a few days after Hans’ mid-July final hurrah; no official opening date has yet been announced.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Kirby at Quenby
07/18/16 1:15pm

3217 Montrose Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006

3217 Montrose Blvd., WAMM, Houston, 77006Colorado breakfast restaurant and cocktail purveyor Snooze says its Houston grand opening is set for this Thursday at 6:30 AM in the redeveloped office building at 3217 Montrose Blvd. (which hosted Interfaith Ministries before the organization converted a Midtown bank in 2013). The location is already quietly serving some of Montrose’s early risers (or late ragers) from its spot next to resale-by-mail used-clothing chain Crossroads.

The ground-floor space in the 2-story building is the first Houston outpost of Snooze, which has a few Austin spots already up and running. Corinthian Real Estate bought the property in 2014 after a bit of redevelopment work by Braun (as shown above) and moved into an upstairs office. Here’s what the space looked like before the pin-striped canopies and painted murals came down:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Dawning on Montrose
07/11/16 4:45pm

NIRVANA-NODDING LOVE BUZZ NOW PUSHING FREE-ISH PIZZA EVERY NIGHT ON WESTHEIMER STREET CORNER Interior of Love Buzz, 408 Westheimer,  Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston, 77006The former salon and former bed & breakfast respectively sitting across Westheimer Rd. from Avant Garden and recently relocated Biskit Junkie have just finished converting into Love Buzz, a 90s-nostalgia-themed bar put together by some of the folks involved with exotic meat hotdog joint Moon Tower Inn. The shop opened to the public over the weekend with a limited-for-now menu built around pizza from Eatsie Boy-linked not-yet-chain Nice Slice (which, according to Craig Hlavaty of the Houston Chronicle, is already working on its second distribution point at bar-on-a-stick Raven Tower). Love Buzz’s social media accounts claim it will be giving out a free slice of cheese pizza with every mixed drink or beer sold after 9 pm, any night the bar is open. [Previously on Swamplot] Image of 408 Westheimer interior: Love Buzz

07/08/16 3:15pm

Fairview + Mason renderings

Meteor, 2306 Genesee St, Montrose, HoustonSo You Think You Can Drag hit the stage at  South Beach last night — a permanent move for the event in the wake of  Wednesday‘s permanent closure of Meteor Lounge at 2306 Genesee St. The bar and semi-aquatic drag and dance venue had been renting its space back temporarily while developer Fred Sharifi worked on designs and permits for the redevelopment of the East Montrose neighborhood around Fairview Ave. and Mason St.; Adolfo Pesquera noted in early April that the project (under the name Fairview + Mason) had been granted a variance request.

The application for that request included the drawing above of the 6-story parking garage that’s planned to replace Meteor; the exterior, perhaps following Rice University’s lead on parking garage modesty coverings, appears to be artfully encrusted with bicycles, with the words MONT and ROSE emblazoned beneath.

The variance request asked the city for permission to cross some building setback lines and to add some canopies along 2 different blocks on Fairview — the site plan below points them out, catty-cornered between the block holding the Mason St. electrical substation and the block holding Max’s Wine Dive, Cuchara, and Flow:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Farewell on Fairview
06/29/16 10:30am

Hughes Manor, 2811 Washington Ave., Houston, 77007

Hughes Manor logoThe spot formerly known as Hughes Hangar appears to be ditching the airport theme following the closure earlier this year of both the nightclub and its across-the-parking-lot companion The De Gaulle. Remodeling of the area between the 2 buildings has been underway as well — above is the ex-bar’s former back patio, now an open lawn shielded from view of Washington Ave.

The space appears to be reopening as an events venue; the new name is Hughes Manor, and the new logo (shown here) is also similar to the old:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Return Trip
06/17/16 4:45pm

FRESHLY SOLD HANS’ BIER HAUS SHUTTING DOWN IN 4 WEEKS Hans' Bier Haus, 2523 Quenby St., Rice Village, HoustonThe little beer garden and bocce court at 2523 Quenby St. announced its planned July 15th closure this afternoon, following 21 years of fond but fuzzy memories (give or take a few neighborly physical and legal altercations with inhabitants and employees of the nextdoor condo tower at 2520 Robinhood). The news also follows this week’s sale of the property by a legal entity connected to Hans’ partner Paul Kellogg, conveying the spot to one JSS Texas Holdings. Hans’ announcement says that plans to celebrate the bar’s last month in action will be announced soon. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Hans’s Bier Haus:  Swamplot inbox

06/15/16 12:45pm

2332 Bissonnet St., Greenbriar, Houston, 77005

On Monday afternoon a reader caught part of the smash-and-drag action at 2332 Bissonnet St., right next to Kay’s Lounge. That’s part of the exterior staircase of the 2-story retail-residential structure lying curled up in the foreground; a remaining member of the bar’s shrinking entourage of smaller structures can be spotted peeking around the fence on the right.  

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Greenbriar Goodbye
05/25/16 4:45pm

DRINKING AGE RISES TO 23 AT KIRBY ICE HOUSE Kirby Ice House, 3333 Eastside St., Greenway/Upper Kirby, Houston, 77098No-longer-blue Upper Kirby Kirby Ice House announced this morning that it will no longer allow customers younger than 23 into the venue. A message on the company’s Facebook page cites a month and a half of customer feedback since the bar’s opening at 3333 Eastside St., and a need to maintain the venue’s diverse clientele — adding an apology to the segments of that same clientele who areunder 23 (and an invitation to come back in a few years). [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Kirby Ice House

05/09/16 12:30pm

RAVEN TOWER’S TOWER TEMPORARILY CLOSED, BUT THE SHOWS WILL GO ON Raven Tower Bar, 301 North St., Northside, Houston, 77009The blue bar-on-a-stick at the northwest corner of the White Oak Music Hall complex temporarily shut down last week so W2 Development Partners can add more railings and make the space more physically accessible. The elevated 1970s former bachelor pad reopened as a bar and rooftop patio in January, 3 months before the first show on the semi-temporary main stage next door; a set of concrete stairs wrap around the elevator shaft leading up to the main space.  The non-tower sections of the Raven Tower venue, including the downstairs bar and the outdoor patio and performance space, are scheduled to stay open and host concerts as planned. Across the parking lot, White Oak Music Hall has another lawn concert scheduled for tomorrow night. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Raven Tower: Swamplot inbox

04/27/16 10:30am

1836 Polk St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

A sign zip-tied onto the fence around the parking lot at 1836 Polk St. is currently announcing an application by FreeRange Concepts to sell mixed drinks at the spot.  Up in Dallas, the company operates bar-slash-bowling alley Bowl & Barrel, bar-slash-dogpark Mutts Canine Cantina, restaurant-slash-music-venue The Rustic, and slashless restaurant The General Public. Houston locations of Bowl & Barrel and The General Public are currently under construction in CityCentre.

It’s unclear whether FreeRange has cast the Polk location for a sequel to one of its existing brands, or for something new. The TABC notice is posted on the full-block parking lot bounded by Jackson, Hamilton, and Bell streets just east of 59 and just south of the George R. Brown Convention Center. That block has previously appeared in the convention center’s 2025 Master Plan, as a site of possible future expansion:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Liquoring Up by GRB