10/20/17 4:45pm

Without providing too much detail on the scope of the accompanying construction (“a remodel the owner wants to do”), KHOU’s Marcelino Benito yesterday interviewed one of the proprietors of Oak Forest coffee house and occasional goat-yoga venue Slowpokes, who along with several customers and neighbors has been protesting landlord Naushad Momin’s apparent plans to chop down 2 large oak trees on site — to add more paving and parking spaces.

The oak trees sit at the southern end of the strip center at 1203 W. 34th St., which faces Alba St., and shade a lawn (pictured at top) adjacent to the Slowpokes patio deck. Chopping down trees to add more parking might appear to be a landlord’s prerogative, despite tenant opposition. Except possibly not in this case:

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Oak Deforesting
09/27/17 2:30pm

Here are a couple renderings from the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture in Austin of the new 3-story building the firm is designing for the corner spot at 2132 Bissonnet St. in Boulevard Oaks. A representative of the Platform Group, the building’s developer, tells Swamplot an “all-day cafe/coffee shop” is being planned for the ground floor, and that the upper 2 floors will contain “boutique office space.” The cafe won’t be a Gringo’s Tex-Mex, but the developers do have a connection to that restaurant chain: The Platform Group is headed by a son and daughter-in-law of Gringo’s owner Russell Ybarra.

In the top rendering, the 11,300-sq.-ft. building is shown lining Shepherd Dr., with an L-shaped parking lot wrapping around it. A patio with outdoor seating will go in front of the structure along Bissonnet St. The Houston office of SWA Group is designing the landscape.

Here are views of the current site from similar angles:

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Remaking Boulevard Oaks
09/25/17 11:00am

Passenger-window-side pix sent in by a reader show the current state of Java Lava, the new coffee house under construction at 1201 Southmore Blvd. The entrance walkway shown in the photo (and in the rendering above from the building’s architects, Albany Studio), leads from Southmore. Some outdoor seating for the coffee house will back up to San Jacinto St., just behind a fence from the tracks for the northbound trains on the Red Line. The overall configuration of the corner site is better shown in an earlier rendering (below) posted on the architects’ website, though it’s missing the building’s relocated Southmore entrance:

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Java Lava
09/09/16 1:00pm

Cafeza at 1720 Houston Ave., First Ward, Houston, 77007

As of tomorrow morning, any missed-the-memo visitors to the former Blank Slate Laser Tattoo Removal space at 1720 Houston Ave. will at least have the option to drink to forget (assuming that’s not what got them into trouble in the first place). Spanish-Latin-American-themed cafe Cafeza will open to the public around 6 a.m. with coffee, food, and wine on the menu. The shop is tucked into northern storefront of the 1925 building at the corner with Crockett St., with Belgium-minded companion Cafe Brussels occupying the adjacent space next door. The view above is from the Crockett side, where the scribbles-welcome Grateful Heart chalkboard hangs out these days:

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European Influences on Houston Ave
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.

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Kirby at Quenby