12/11/14 10:45am

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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:

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Going Boom
11/12/14 4:00pm

LAST CALL FOR THE BONEYARD DRINKERY Boneyard-bye-byeIt wasn’t the first Houston ingesting establishment to be permitted by the city to allow canine companions and their owners to co-lounge on its patio (that honor belongs to the now-shuttered Ziggy’s on Fairview) but with its attached 7,000-sq.-ft. dog park, the Boneyard Drinkery lived up to its reputation as the quintessential outdoorish hangout where panters, drinkers, and occasional barkers all could coexist in relative harmony. And now, after 4 years, it’s closing. A note posted to the Boneyard Facebook page indicates the property at 8150 Washington Ave. is being sold, and the bar and park will both close on November 30th. “Due to the size of property needed for this concept,” reads the note, “and the outrageous increase of property value in Houston over the last few years, we will not be relocating.” [Facebook; Photo: Boneyard Drinkery via Facebook]

10/01/14 10:15am

Christian's Tailgate at Former Cattleguard Restaurant, 1010 Hwy. 6 North, Houston

Former Cattleguard Restaurant, 1010 Hwy. 6 North, HoustonThe former Cattleguard Restaurant, an old-western-style wooden facade planted in front of a bundle of metal buildings in the parking lot between the Drury Inn & Suites and the Wyndham Hotel at 1010 Hwy. 6 North, just north of I-10, is being made over as a fourth location for Christian’s Tailgate. Christian’s Mazen Baltagi tells Swamplot the Energy Corridor spot is being outfitted with more than 35 beer taps and more than 50 teevees, and should be ready to open within 5 or 6 weeks. The Cattleguard Restaurant had lasted more than 20 years at the site, but shut down early this year.

Photos: Mazen Baltagi

Energy Corridor Burgers
04/11/14 10:45am

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The restaurant spot at 4319 Montrose Blvd. just south of Richmond Ave (at left in the photo above) that until mid-February was home to Thai Sticks — and was earlier the longtime home of Monica Pope’s Boulevard Bistro — will soon be home to an unidentified new restaurant run in part by Dan and Mark Zimmerman. Four years ago, the Zimmermans turned the restaurant at their parents’ La Colombe d’Or into Restaurant Cinq; they later opened and closed Zimm’s Little Deck in the 610 Richmond spot also owned by their parents (that spot is now home to the Brooklyn Athletic Club).

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Replacing Thai Sticks
11/19/13 1:00pm

Kraftsmen Cafe, 611 W. 22nd St., Houston HeightsThe undisclosed location of the planned Fluff Bake Bar retail location and bar is somewhere in Midtown, owner Rebecca Masson tells Swamplot. But there’s a bit of fundraising to do before the former Top Chef Just Desserts contestant can sign the lease she’s been getting ready for the space. The self-described “Sugar Hooker” currently operates her wholesale dessert business out of space she shares with 5 other businesses in the Kraftsmen Cafe kitchen at 611 W. 22nd St. in the Heights, selling fluffernutters, cake-in-cup cupcakes, and macaroons to retailers such as Revival Market, Double Trouble, Southside Espresso, and Inversion Coffee House. But if her just-launched Kickstarter campaign bears fruit . . . er, compote, she’ll move all operations to the new space. In addition to desserts, Masson is hoping to serve beer and wine at her “proper dessert bar.” She’s hoping to bring in $50,000 in crowdfunded donations within a month.

Photo of Kraftsmen Cafe: Soo Kim

A Dessert Bar Bar
10/23/13 12:00pm

BARS WITHIN A BAR AT LOWBROW IN MONTROSE Eater Houston reports that Lowbrow, the restaurant and bar from Free Press Houston founder Omar Afra, will open tomorrow night here at the corner of W. Main and Mandell in Montrose. This photo shows the mural that’s replacing the former Sophia sign. Inside, there will be even more art: The place will have wallpaper that sports drawings of the Astrodome, Houston Oilers logo, and Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk sculpture at the nearby Menil Collection. And it appears that there will also be a channel of rather meta reality programming for you to watch: “[A] projection screen . . . will play scenes from other local bars.” [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Eater Houston

10/17/13 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE FIRST 3 STEPS OF RETAIL REVIVAL “It seems like bars are the first businesses to move into an area as it becomes established/gentrified. Other food and drink places seem like a logical next step, but what comes after that? In my mind a neighborhood has officially arrived when it has a grocer with decent produce, but there must be several intermediate phases.” [Alec, commenting on Affecting the Bar-to-Restaurant Ratio in Midtown]

10/17/13 11:15am

AFFECTING THE BAR-TO-RESTAURANT RATIO IN MIDTOWN An update about the former Midtown bar that a Swamplot reader reported was turning into a new Midtown bar: It’s gonna be a restaurant (that will serve drinks). Eater Houston reports that Michael Paolucci, who owns Pub Fiction, will be opening Cook & Collins, not (as had been reported) Bremond Street Grill, here in the former El Xuco Xicana space at 2416 Brazos near Bremond. Was there a change of heart or something? Nah, says Paolucci: “I know [M]idtown very well. There are too many bars and not enough restaurants. Until the restaurants start coming, it won’t become a world-class neighborhood. I’m from Chicago and in Chicago, for every bar there’s a restaurant; in [M]idtown, for every 20 bars there’s one restaurant.” [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

10/10/13 3:35pm

Here’s one more place where you will be able to drink some beer in Midtown: A reader sends these photos that show one of those TABC signs and peek over the weed-draped chain-link fence that surrounds this property next to Luigi’s Pizzeria on the 3700 block of Almeda, just around the corner from HCC and the Station Museum. It appears that something called the Victory Beer Garden is intended for this site, which county records show is owned by an entity controlled by Urban Deal’s Adam Brackman. As it happens, Urban Deal owns several parcels of land in the surrounding area. And a marketing flyer for one such parcel reveals an early version of a site plan for this garden of drinking . . .

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10/08/13 11:00am

DOWNTOWN’S LITTLE DIPPER WILL BE VISIBLE THIS SATURDAY Now there’s an astrological sign on the window foretelling all the boozing to come: Eater Houston’s Darla Guillen reports that the owners and operators of hipster havens Antidote, Poison Girl, and Black Hole are preparing to open their latest venture, Little Dipper, at 304 Main St. Downtown “in the weeks to come.” And if you can’t wait that long, Guillen adds that the bar will be open for a few hours this Saturday for a preview party. [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: @LittleDipperBar

10/02/13 10:00am

THE NEW MONTROSE BAR SPORTING HOUSTON SPORTS WALLPAPER Looks like the name of the bar and restaurant that will be taking over the old Sophia and Café Artiste spot in Montrose just around the corner from the Menil Collection will be Lowbrow — and not, as the TABC sign that was hung in the window in April suggested, Faustian Bargain. Developed by Omar Afra, who heads up Fitzgerald’s and the Free Press Summer Fest, Lowbrow will be stocked with local craft beers and local insignia too, reports Culturemap: “[Artists] Blake Jones and Dual have partnered to create a wallpaper that incorporates iconic Houston images such as the Astrodome and the Houston Oilers derrick logo.” [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

09/27/13 11:00am

The owner of Hughes Hangar is building another bar about 50 ft. away on Washington Ave. Culturemap reports that the De Gaulle, rendered here with old-timey airplane, will share the property at 2811 Washington that backs up against the Washington and Glenwood Cemeteries. Owner Bien Tran explains to Culturemap that the concept’s name, design, and accoutrements, all right across Rue Washington from that recently opened Sonic, “will create an old world Parisian atmosphere complete with a miniature Eiffel Tower.” Opening night will be Halloween, Tran hopes, following an Edgar Allan Poe theme party.

Wanna see a rendering of the interior?

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