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.
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”.
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:
Down the street from Lamar High School, thewould-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:
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:
HOUSTON’S LAST TEXADELPHIA HAS SERVED ITS FINAL CHEESESTEAK Texas 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.
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.’”
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:
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.”
Staff 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.