09/23/16 2:30pm

BJ's Oldies Antiques, 1726 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston, 77006

This morning a reader spotted some cleaning out going on at the Westheimer Rd. storefront of BJ’s Oldies Antiques. The shop isn’t closing down, a rep tells Swamplot — just moving next door for a month or so (into the storefront spot formerly occupied by now-on-Taft-St. Cool Stuff) while some building repairs get finished up. The shop’s current location — immediately east of Empire Cafe — is a metal rooster’s throw from where owner Becky Pieniadz ran the business in the 1990s out of a section of the flea market at 1733 Westheimer (directly across the street from Empire). The shop moved down the street for a few years to the building down the road at 1435 Westheimer (currently occupied by bedding store Biscuit) before downsizing back to the 1700 block in 2013.

Photo: Carson Lucarelli 

There and Back Again
07/11/16 4:45pm

NIRVANA-NODDING LOVE BUZZ NOW PUSHING FREE-ISH PIZZA EVERY NIGHT ON WESTHEIMER STREET CORNER Interior of Love Buzz, 408 Westheimer,  Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston, 77006The former salon and former bed & breakfast respectively sitting across Westheimer Rd. from Avant Garden and recently relocated Biskit Junkie have just finished converting into Love Buzz, a 90s-nostalgia-themed bar put together by some of the folks involved with exotic meat hotdog joint Moon Tower Inn. The shop opened to the public over the weekend with a limited-for-now menu built around pizza from Eatsie Boy-linked not-yet-chain Nice Slice (which, according to Craig Hlavaty of the Houston Chronicle, is already working on its second distribution point at bar-on-a-stick Raven Tower). Love Buzz’s social media accounts claim it will be giving out a free slice of cheese pizza with every mixed drink or beer sold after 9 pm, any night the bar is open. [Previously on Swamplot] Image of 408 Westheimer interior: Love Buzz

06/14/16 11:00am

Jimmy Chew Asian Kitchen, 1609 Westheimer Rd., Lower Westheimer, Houston, 77006

Windows and wood are now covering much of the front of Vinoteca Poscól’s previous strip center location at 1609 Westheimer Rd. The spot is being prepped to open as Jimmy Chew Asian Kitchen, which touts a laundry list of east- and southeast-Asian countries as contributors to its particular fusion mix. About Online reports that the business is connected to Irwin Palchick of F Bar Nightclub, and will cater to the post-last-call crowd as well as to lemonade enthusiasts. 

The wooden addition, which appears to be establishing the restaurant’s patio territory, engulfs the space previously fenced off as such by Poscól, along with some former sidewalk acreage.  Here’s what the space used to look like, before the wine bar’s midsummer departure:


Montrose Makeover
06/02/16 1:00pm

YOUR CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT LOWER WESTHEIMER BEFORE THE REDO PLANS GET DRAWN UP Map of Lower Westheimer Study AreaA meeting is set for 6pm Monday for anyone with opinions about what the Montrose section of Westheimer Rd. should or shouldn’t look like, as the ReBuild Houston folks turns an eye toward the corridor. Traffic consultant Geoff Carleton tells Dug Begley that bike infrastructure is low on the project wishlist, as bike lanes are already planned for W. Alabama. Carleton says that widening the road, which Metro’s larger buses can’t currently fit down, will be a hard enough sell already, adding that current priorities are for Westheimer to be both “walkable and transit-friendly.” A list of links to previous studies of the area’s transit situation is included on the city’s meeting info page. [Houston Chronicle] Image of Lower Westheimer study area: City of Houston

05/12/16 12:30pm

604 Westheimer Rd., Lower Westheimer, Houston, 77006

The previously white house at the northwest corner of Westheimer Rd. and Stanford St. now has an edgy new look, along with some some city permits issued to an entity called Beijing Assassin Tattoos in April. The permits mention a tattoo parlor and retail setup in the building, which was bought in 2014 by a legal entity of the Katz family (of never-closes deli fame 2 doors down to the west of Vinoteca Poscol).

A previous set of permits was issued to Beijing Assassin back in early 2015, after which the space opened for a few months as Gods and Monsters e-cigarette supply store. Then a coat of whitewash blotted out the building’s pretty-new-at-the-time murals, shown in part below:


Filling In On Lower Westheimer
06/01/15 3:30pm

Vinoteca Poscol, 608 Westheimer Rd., Lower Westheimer, Montrose, Houston

A new sign is up already on the building next door to Katz’s Deli, at 608 Westheimer Rd. But Vinoteca Poscol won’t be moving from its current strip-center spot at 1609 Westheimer to this new, and lower, Westheimer location until sometime after the Fourth of July, owner Marco Wiles tells Houstonia‘s Katharine Shilcutt.

The exterior of the former home of Azamian Rugs and (before that) AIDS Foundation Houston’s Stone Soup has already seen quite a few changes in its new Italian Restaurant redo, especially to the front of the house. Gone is the old single-story addition that pushed up to the sidewalk. Next to be completed: interior renovations, and perhaps an extra letter for the sign.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

On the House
05/26/15 11:30am

Burnt Home at 116 Westheimer Rd. at Bagby St., Montrose, Houston

Burnt Home at 116 Westheimer Rd. at Bagby St., Montrose, HoustonWhile much of the rest of Houston is recovering from — or still dealing with — high water after last night’s torrential rains, the long-vacant house at 116 Westheimer Rd. is showing off the scars it incurred from a disaster of a different sort. A fire raged through the structure Friday night.

The 1904 building is adjacent to the Jus’ Mac macaroni and cheese outlet in the 106 Westheimer strip center at the corner of Bagby St. A Swamplot reader sent in these photos showing the home as it appeared this morning:


Fire This Time
05/11/15 3:00pm

Renovations at 202 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston

Neighbors and passers-by have been curious about the renovations taking place at the strip center at the corner of Lower Westheimer and Helena St., where the Hollywood Food & Cigars #3 convenience store at 202 Westheimer Rd. — and its neighbor Tejas Bootskicked off a couple years ago. The building, once home to Baby Giant #2, has recently been painted a bright white; its sign has been denuded, and sidewalk reconstruction work is underway:


From Baby Giant to Mattress Pro?
04/02/15 12:45pm

Westheimer Rd. During Cigna Sunday Streets HTX, Lower Westheimer, Montrose, Houston

Lower Westheimer is, of course, one of those select “walkable” areas of Houston, but last weekend’s first corporate-sponsored Sunday Streets made it especially so — even in the absence of a traditional neighborhood festival. The Montrose road was blocked off to automobile traffic from Taft to Woodhead for 4 hours.

Video footage of the event from a DJI Inspire 1 piloted by Adam Brackman shows rare scenes of introduced free-range human bipedal and bi-pedal activity in not-so-native habitat — from a few new angles:


Straight Up from the Street
03/17/15 2:15pm

Tent at 1643 Westheimer Rd. at Kuester, Lower Westheimer, Montrose, Houston

A reader from Mandell Place says “everyone in the neighborhood is pretty curious” about the construction going on at the corner of Kuester St. on Lower Westheimer. The formerly vacant lot at 1634 Westheimer is where last summer Paul Petronella, David Keck, and Grant Gordon had announced they had plans to build a new restaurant from scratch, called the Edmont. But the new structure going up on the site “definitely looks temporary, but very robust for a temporary structure,” writes our tipster. “Beams (maybe 2x8s) run underneath with plywood on top, all leveled out to create a platform/floor. Half of this platform is covered by the tent, which is a party tent on steroids.


Vacant Lot Pop-Up
03/13/15 11:45am

OFF-MENU SPECIAL AT GEORGES BISTRO ON WESTHEIMER: THE WHOLE SHEBANG Georges Bistro, 219 Westheimer Rd., Lower Westheimer, Montrose, HoustonGeorges Bistro co-owner Monique Guy tells Eater Houston’s Jakeisha Wilmore that the French restaurant in the space formerly occupied by whole-hog-HQ Feast — and before that by Guy’s Chez Georges — is not on the verge of closing. Who could be spreading rumors to the contrary? Well, there is that online listing for the 3,114-sq.-ft. converted foursquare that houses the property at 219 Westheimer that went up a few weeks ago, offering the building, the 5,500-sq.-ft. lot, and the restaurant, including all fixtures, furniture, and equipment, for $1.295 million. Guy, who with her husband, Georges, owns the building and operates Georges, tells Wilmore the couple only listed the property “to see what kind of interest it would generate.” She declined to say if they had received any notable offers. [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: LoopNet

03/03/15 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE CORNER OF HOUSTON WHERE EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE Montrose Tattoo“In the late 1980s and early 1990s I lived a few blocks west of this intersection. Since then I visit the area about once a week, usually to eat at one of the restaurants. I’ve often thought someone should fix up that strip center, but I’ve never thought it reflected poorly on Houston’s ‘cityscape.’ This is, after all, the corner of Montrose and Westheimer. This is the place to be for homeless teens. This used to be the place to be to get designer drugs when they were cheaper and safer. This used to be the place to start looking for some sweet ink or other body mod. This is where I was asked to help a gentleman determine the gender of a potential ‘date’ for the evening. The neighborhood didn’t deteriorate around Uchi; the owners of Uchi picked this spot.” [Memebag, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Sights of Montrose] Illustration: Lulu

02/02/15 11:00am

412 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston

A reader sends in this photo of the former Touch of Red salon at 412 Westheimer Rd. (just west of Taft St.), future home of a bar scored by Eater Houston earlier this month as number 21 of the season’s 33 “most anticipated openings” of Houston food-and-drink establishments. (Well, sort of: The list is alphabetical.) Passersby have been anticipating the Limehouse, to be operated by the Montrose Revival Group (aka Free Press Houston’s Omar Afra and Moon Tower Inn‘s Brandon Young), since mid-September, when a TABC application was first spotted on the front door. The building is connected to its neighbor at 408 Westheimer, a former bed & breakfast.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Lower Westheimer
12/15/14 3:30pm


A Montrose hang for lovers of live punk, metal and experimental sounds, Mango’s nightclub has sprouted a “for lease” sign.

The building at 403 Westheimer Rd. next door to Avant Garden has a history as colorful as its newly-painted exterior walls and patio:


The Ever-Changing Face Of Montrose
11/10/14 11:30am

Scott-Day Paint & Supply Co., 216 Westheimer Rd., Avondale, Montrose, Houston

Scott-Day Paint & Supply Co., 216 Westheimer Rd., Avondale, Montrose, Houston

The hexagonal clock mounted above the front door of the former Cra-Bell Vacuum and Appliance Co. building at 216 Westheimer Rd. was stolen over the weekend. Derek Brotherton of Scott-Day Paint & Supply, the company that’s inhabited the building since 1963, tells Swamplot that he and coworkers noticed the disappearance this morning, and that they are “deeply upset over losing part of the character of the store.” Photos above show the clock in place (above, in an older image) and gone missing (at top, taken this morning). Brotherton says he believes the clock had been in its current position since the building was constructed in 1935 — or shortly thereafter. Back then, the street was named Hathaway; it now sits on the north side of Westheimer between Helena and Mason.


Did You See Time Fly?