The self-styled “House of a Million Parts” at 1225 Sawyer St.Â once known as Johnny Frank’s Auto Parts Company was torn to pieces last summer. Freshly applied to theÂ chain-link fence surrounding the now-vacant lot: a new TABC notice, announcing to passers-by that an establishment named the Sawyer Ice House is hoping to sling cocktails on the premises before too long. The land is across the road from those arted-up rice silos on Sawyer St., which are across Edwards St. from the Shops at Sawyer Yards. It appears to be another of the projects in that neck of the woods that trace back to Lovett Commercial, which is working on parking lots and a slew of other developments in the area as well. Here’s what Sawyer Ice House might look like, per what appears to be the bar’s new save-the-name Facebook page:
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Car Lot Reincarnation
BOBCAT TEDDY MAY BE HEADED TO JIMMY’S ICE HOUSE A new business nameÂ has just been registered Â for the White Oak Dr.Â address of Jimmie’s Place, which claims to have held the spot for some 75 years (though under the variantÂ Jimmy’s for at least part of that). TheÂ actually-used-to-sell-ice ice houseÂ was soldÂ early thisÂ year to serial redeveloper Braun Enterprises, with some sideline speculation that an up-to-code remodel of the 1940s space mightÂ prove prohibitively expensive. But city records show anÂ electrical plan review process kicked off in March; the name Bobcat Teddy’s Ice House was registered for the spot early last week. Â [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Jimmy’s at 2803 White Oak Dr.:Â David Richmond/Houston Ice House
BAYOU-SIDE PSEUDO-ICE-HOUSE IDEA CATCHING ATTENTION OF HOUSTON PARKS BOARD A tidbit tucked away atÂ the bottom of Jen Kinney’s piece for Next City this week on architect and ice-house aficionado David Richmond’s speculative planÂ toÂ put vaguely-ice-house-esqueÂ pavilion structures along Brays Bayou: the Houston Parks BoardÂ folks want toÂ hear more about the idea. Richmond confirms to Swamplot that a meeting with some HPB reps did take place on Monday,Â and that the Bayou Greenways planners areÂ interested in ways to attract more activityÂ along the bayous, eventually — but saysÂ that the meetup was mostly to makeÂ introductions, and reiterates that there’sÂ “nothing specific or formalizedÂ to report”Â at the moment. [Next City;Â previously on Swamplot]Â Rendering showingÂ pavilion structure along Brays Bayou: David Richmond
6 MOCK ICE HOUSES FOR BRAYS BAYOU, AS PROPOSED BY THAT GUY WHO TAKES PHOTOS OF HOUSTON ICE HOUSES ThatÂ massively expandedÂ greenway networkÂ isÂ all well and good,Â suggestsÂ architect and icehouse photographer-philosopherÂ David RichmondÂ in the Chronicle today — butÂ bayouside trails areÂ a lot better atÂ getting people from up and down the waterways toÂ run rightÂ pastÂ one anotherÂ than theyÂ are at gettingÂ the same folks toÂ mix orÂ hang out. RichmondÂ offersÂ a suggestion to change that:Â a design for a boxy, glassy pavilion structureÂ loosely inspired by the shape of, and what heÂ argues is theÂ historic social function of, Houston’s icehouses — namely, as a stand-in for the kind ofÂ town squares that he says most of Houston doesn’t reallyÂ have.Â Richmond proposes sticking the same square designÂ in 6 different spots along Brays Bayou, withÂ each structure’sÂ range of possible uses (from flea markets and coffee shops to movie nightsÂ and wedding receptions)Â beingÂ tailored to fitÂ the surrounding area. [Houston Chronicle] Speculative rendering of pavilion structure along Brays Bayou: David Richmond
BRAD MOORE AND FRIENDS SNATCH EMPTY BODY OF INVASION ICE HOUSE Â Formerly apostrophe-averseÂ Grand Prize co-owner Brad MooreÂ and his business partners have a new barÂ now up and running in theÂ work-out-the-kinks, wait-for-the-liquor-license phase. The business, operating under the syllable-rich nameÂ Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge, has taken overÂ the space in the 1950s building at 823 Dumble St. (shown here as seen early last year in its then-newÂ alien mural skin).Â Danny Speedo’s is the latest link in a long chainÂ ofÂ bars onÂ the property — most recently includingÂ Invasion Ice House, which theÂ Ramos familyÂ opened last spring before shutting it downÂ at the end of October. Phaedra Cook reports that Lil’ Danny SpeedosÂ is limiting the alcohol menu toÂ beer, wine, and frozen shandiesÂ until the liquorÂ permit comes through.Â [Houston Foodfinder; previously on Swamplot] Photo of former Invasion Ice House at 823 Dumble St.: Swamplot inbox
After a month or soÂ 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 listingÂ has been addedÂ 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):
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Room to Roam in Houston Heights
KAY’S LOUNGE CLOSING IN LESS THAN 3 WEEKS Perennial 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)Â . The land the bar sits on was bought more than a year agoÂ by a corporate entity using the same address asÂ townhome-slash-mansion builderÂ Frasier Homes in sales docs filed with the county. The bar has been leasing its space back from the new owners since then;Â a fewÂ of the bar’s 1940s companion structures, bought up by the same entity,Â met their end earlier this summer.Â [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Kay’s Lounge at 2324 Bissonnet St.: Thomas C.
DRINKING AGE RISES TO 23 AT KIRBY ICE HOUSE No-longer-blue Upper KirbyÂ Kirby Ice House announced this morning that it will no longer allow customersÂ younger than 23 into the venue. A message on theÂ company’s Facebook page cites a month and a half of customer feedback since theÂ bar’s opening at 3333 Eastside St., and a need to maintain the venue’s diverse clienteleÂ — adding an apology to the segmentsÂ of that same clientele who areunder 23 (and an invitation to come back in a few years). [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Kirby Ice House
A new version of the D&T Drive Inn opened up late last week, Eater Houston reports. Tucked away in Brooke Smith between bungalows brandishing Houston Texans paraphernalia at 1307 Enid St. just south of W. Cavalcade, the long-time ice house was spruced up and expanded by Down House owner Chris Cusack. Though this photo makes parking appear — well, tight, even if that Dumpster’s eventually moved, a map on D&T’s website shows that there will be a lot available along W. Cavalcade between Enid and Cordell.
Photo: Allyn West
Attorney and real estate investor Scott Arnold tells the Chronicle‘s Harvey Rice he’s got a new idea for the pier site of Galveston’s Balinese Room, famously washed away by Hurricane Ike:
Arnold is considering filling the Balinese Room’s spot on the sea wall with an icehouse made of shipping containers topped with a pavilion formed of steel masts, sails and canopies. He calls the concept America’s Icehouse.
Arnold intends to rebuild the Balinese, possibly inland, but he’s not sure when. “I’ve got a busy life,” Arnold says. “I’ve got to clear enough space out of it to start that project.”
When he does, he intends to be faithful to the original decor.
Arnold says he’s already renegotiated the property’s lease with the General Land Office, and that it now covers 130 ft. of beach frontage.
Photo of Former Balinese Room site at 21st St. and Seawall Blvd.: Flickr user still_crazy