08/09/17 1:00pm

The new bar planned for the 20,878-sq.-ft. warehouse at 3229 Navigation Blvd. in Houston’s East End that earlier this decade was home to Fred’s Trailer Truck Supply will be called Straylight Run and serve — according to its promoters — as Houston’s first-ever “Virtual Reality Bar.” That’s the conclusion of some internet sleuthing by HAIF (and Swamplot) commenter CrockpotandGravel, who after seeing Swamplot’s report on the alcohol license procured for the spot at the corner of Navigation and Engelke tracked down the establishment’s website, a (possibly spurned) logo proposal, and Instagram feed.

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Straylight Run on Navigation
08/08/17 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NAVIGATION BLVD.’S FOOD- AND DRINK-FILLED FUTURE “Navigation seems to be becoming the East End’s version of the Washington chug-and-chow strip. Good spot for that as it’s close to the bayou and the hike and bike scene being developed and has lots of old industrial on some minor bluffs waiting to become something different.” [Dana-X, commenting on The Warehouse Bar Coming Up Just Past the Curve in Navigation] Illustration: Lulu

07/26/17 2:30pm

The HAR listing for the home at 5116 Avenue H in the Second Ward, for sale for $99,990, identified the property’s subdivision as MEX Y CAN. Which seemed notable enough in the rapidly changing neighborhood for the curious name to appear as discussion fodder yesterday on Reddit. The subdivision name is accurate, appearing on county tax records: The property’s developer was required to give a name to the subdivision when the single 5,000-sq.-ft. lot on which it stood (at the time part of a subdivision named Engel) was divided into thirds last year, in order to allow him to sell off individually the 3 existing homes on the property. “Actually no one had any comments [on the name] at the time of replatting,” the developer notes.

MEX Y CAN, the name he assigned to the subdivision, “is for the name Mexican and (Y in Spanish) Canadian,” he explains to Swamplot. “The love of my life is Mexican and I am Canadian. . . . There is no other meaning or significance behind it.” The motivation for choosing this particular name? “Having myself, the love of my life, and our desire to be memorialized in the area for eternity like our love.”

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Subdivided
07/05/17 3:45pm

The Greater East End Management District is taking its latest graffiti-blasting weapon to the streets. In the video demo above, workers from the GEEMD’s graffiti abatement team are shown taking out the tagging on the limestone front of the Longhorn Building at 3176 Navigation Blvd. last month. The new equipment is a mobile blaster from Houston’s own Dustless Blasting, which uses a high-pressure stream of recycled glass and water to remove paint and other finishes.

The system is used primarily for refinishing cars and boats, but it appears to work rather quickly on graffiti too: Back in March, the manufacturer showed off this promotional vid for its own attack on another east-side site: the former Waddell Housefurnishing Company buildings on Sampson St. between Rusk and McKinney on the eastern border of East Downtown, slated to become the Sampson Lofts:

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Dustless Blasting
02/22/17 5:30pm

BRAD MOORE AND FRIENDS SNATCH EMPTY BODY OF INVASION ICE HOUSE Invasion Ice House, 823 Dumble St., Eastwood, Houston, 77023 Formerly apostrophe-averse Grand Prize co-owner Brad Moore and his business partners have a new bar now up and running in the work-out-the-kinks, wait-for-the-liquor-license phase. The business, operating under the syllable-rich name Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge, has taken over the space in the 1950s building at 823 Dumble St. (shown here as seen early last year in its then-new alien mural skin). Danny Speedo’s is the latest link in a long chain of bars on the property — most recently including Invasion Ice House, which the Ramos family opened last spring before shutting it down at the end of October. Phaedra Cook reports that Lil’ Danny Speedos is limiting the alcohol menu to beer, wine, and frozen shandies until the liquor permit comes through. [Houston Foodfinder; previously on Swamplot] Photo of former Invasion Ice House at 823 Dumble St.: Swamplot inbox

09/27/16 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANY NEW NAMING EPISODES WELCOME AMID THE ENDLESS EAST HOUSTON RERUNS Houston Neighborhoods on TV“The news calls everything between Downtown and Baytown ‘East Houston’ — so when West U is called ‘Southwest Houston’ for one day, I get a pettiness-fueled satisfaction out of it.” [tempeh, commenting on West U Shelter-In-Place Order Just Lifted Following This Morning’s ‘Southwest Houston’ ShootingIllustration: Lulu

04/20/16 3:45pm

Sims Metal Management Proler Southwest Scrap Recycling Facility, 90 Hirsch Rd, Galena Park, Houston, 77052

Bryan Parras snagged some after-shots of Buffalo Bayou’s up-and-down number near Tony Marron Park just east of Hirsch Rd. this week, as the rain let up on Monday afternoon and again yesterday morning. Across the channel on the north bank is the Sims Metal Management’s Proler Southwest recycling facility, whose scrap piles shown above were still soaking their toes beneath the freshly-elevated water line at the time of the Monday photos.

Below is a view of both the park’s trails and the Sims facility, looking east from the Hirsch bridge across the bayou’s confluence with somewhat-redecorated Japhet Creek from the north:

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Piled High in Fifth Ward
01/05/16 3:15pm

VILLA ARCOS TACOS’ PERSONALITY SPLIT Villa Arcos Tacos, 3900 Navigation Blvd., East End, Houston, 77003A Sunday post to the Facebook page of Villa Arcos Tacos announced that the East End taco joint would be moving, changing its name, and offering barbecue alongside its familiar Tex-Mex specialties. An emphatic press release issued this morning, however, asserts that “None of these claims are true. In fact, they are completely false.” Villa Arcos operator Dena Gutierres (sister of recently deceased former owner Yolanda Black Navarro) told CultureMap’s Eric Sandler that she had been planning to end her 5-year lease on the space at 3900 Navigation Blvd. long before her sister’s November passing, in light of some $250,000 of modifications needed to comply with City inspectors’ requests. But Black Navarro’s son Christian insists that the restaurant will remain at 3900 Navigation Blvd., where it has operated for the past 38 years, and that he and City inspectors are “working together to determine what corrections are required”. Gutierres plans to open Texas Tacos and Barbecue at 1000 Telephone Rd. in the current home of Oak Leaf Smokehouse after her lease ends on January 31st. [CultureMap] Photo of Villa Arcos Tacos at 3900 Navigation Blvd.: Jamanta F. via Yelp  

01/04/16 10:15am

Glenbrook Golf Course, 8205 N Bayou Dr., Meadowbrook, Houston, 77017

As the clock ticked over into 2016, Houston Botanic Garden and the Houston Golf Association each had something else to celebrate: both groups met end-of-year 5-million-dollar fundraising goals required by agreements with the City to carry forward their respective plans for 2 east Houston golf courses. The golfers raised enough money to move forward with preservation and renovation of Gus Wortham Golf Course, at 7000 Capitol street (south of the Houston Ship Channel Turning Basin, where Wayside meets Polk). Houston Botanic Garden had initially pushed to add some color to the oldest greens in Texas and redevelop the Brays-Bayou-side space as a public garden.

That garden is now planned instead for above-pictured Glenbrook Golf Course, a semi-maintained set of greens-turned-greenspace along Sims Bayou north of 45 from Hobby Airport (just outside the southeast corner of the Loop).

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Teeing Off in East Houston
06/15/15 3:00pm

TrueGrid Parking Lot, Ninfa's on Navigation, 2704 Navigation Blvd., East End, Houston

For the second time in 6 months, the original Ninfa’s at 2704 Navigation has a brand new parking lot surface. The owners hope this one will last a whole lot longer than the sog-prone crushed-limestone install that crews replaced prematurely last week (see photo above). “There were potholes everywhere,” declares a press release put out by the manufacturer of its replacement. Here’s a pic of how it looked before (found-in-place jalapeño included for scale and local flavor):

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Replacing a Swamp Lot
06/04/15 5:00pm

Leaking Pipe Under Gulf Fwy. at Brays Bayou, Sylvan Dell, East End, Houston

There’s a busted pipe hanging under the Gulf Fwy. overpass as it crosses Brays Bayou, just east of Telephone Rd. and south of Idylwood in the East End. The pics shown here were taken late yesterday afternoon, though some sort of liquid had been seen dripping from the break at various points over the weekend.

Grassy remnants of last week’s high water on Brays Bayou can still be seen hanging from various points along the pipe’s length:

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Leftovers
05/06/15 2:45pm

3125 Navigation Blvd., East End, Houston

The colorful team behind the beer-and-hot-dog hangout Moon Tower Inn has plans to open a much larger and meatier restaurant a couple blocks northeast of its spot on Canal St. in the East End. A new “Proper Texas BBQ and Watering Hole” will go into a warehouse-turned-auto-repair-shop at 3125 Navigation Blvd., a few blocks down the street from Ninfa’s and El Tiempo, sometime in 2016, according to a post on the Moon Tower Inn’s Facebook page. Its name: B.R. Young’s Lost Indian.

Here’s a view of it:

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B.R. Young’s Lost Indian
04/08/15 11:45am

REIGN OF NEW EAST END FARMERS MARKET ON THE NAVIGATION ESPLANADE BEGINS THIS SUNDAY navigation-esplanadeLocal veggie standouts Finca Tres Robles and the Last Organic Outpost will be among the 35 vendors on hand on April 12th for the inaugural East End farmers’ market on the Navigation Blvd. esplanade (pictured here), across from the original Ninfa’s. The East End Foundation, the event’s nonprofit sponsor, says it’ll be the first farmers market in Houston to accept electronic food stamps. The market will run every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm at 2800 Navigation; strolling mariachis will kick of this weekend’s grand opening, to be answered by a few sets from Sister Sister y Los Misters. Also available: meats from Texas T Kobe Beef and Al Marcus’s Grateful Bread. Photo: East End Foundation  

12/11/14 3:30pm

University-Grove-plan

Here is the lot plan for University Grove, a 39-lot single-family development to go in at the corner of Leeland St. and Cullen Blvd., across the Gulf Freeway from UH, just across the street from Mandola’s Deli, right behind the Polk St. Kroger and hard by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway line.

Landowner Leeland Baking Company, Inc. is listed as a subsidiary of Flowers Foods Inc., the Thomasville, GA-based mega-bakery behind such brands as Nature’s Own, Whitewheat, Wonder Bread, Cobblestone Mill, and Tastykake.

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The Yeast End
11/14/14 3:00pm

1510-pearson-10

1510-pearson-01

Overhauled this year, a 1935 Broadmoor foursquare across the street from a small park is aiming for a sale price of $339,000 — after a purchase in August 2013 for $127,500. What comes with a more-than-$200K bounce? Some of the updates to the property, which is located west of Telephone Rd. and near the neighborhood’s namesake street, include a renovated kitchen and bathrooms, roof, electrical and plumbing systems, and air conditioning. But the home’s interior has kept its 80-year-old proportions, trim, and efficient floor plan:

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A Broadmoor Foursquare