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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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

mangos-side-view-for-lease

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:

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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.

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Did You See Time Fly?
05/13/14 12:15pm

WHAT THEY’RE TWEETING ABOUT YOUR LEASE RATES 2502 Dunlavy St., Lower Westheimer, Park, Montrose, HoustonWe now join the Twitter discussion of the potential lease of spaces at 2502 Dunlavy St. just north of Westheimer Rd. in Montrose, currently home to the offices of Eurostone Marble and the Bacchus Mediterranean Winebar and Coffee Shop (both still open), already in progress. [Twitter] Photo: Davis Commercial (PDF)

08/06/13 10:00am

A reader sends this photo of the vacant building at 608 Westheimer between Katz’s Deli and Bombshell Tattoo and Piercing Studio that the owners of Vinoteca Poscól have bought and are planning to relocate to next year. Eater Houston reports that the new 6,300-sq.-ft. spot will provide quite a bit more room than the old one owners Marco and Gloria Wiles — who also run Da Marco and Dolce Vita — were renting in that strip center at 1609 Westheimer, across the street from Buffalo Exchange and Hugo’s. Observes Darla Guillen: “The increased square footage will allow them to seat more customers, and they will have a bigger bar with plenty of local brews on tap.”

Photo: Swamplot inbox

07/02/13 11:10am

RADICAL EATS REPLACING LOWER WESTHEIMER’S PULLED-OUT ROOTS The Near Northside vegan dive Radical Eats is closing and relocating across town to the recently closed Roots Bistro on Westheimer, reports Gastronaut Katherine Shilcutt. (Roots closed in early June after some bungling of its marquee.) Shilcutt adds that Radical Eats owner Staci Davis sees the move to this less “scruffy” space as a chance expand her menu to include dishes that use meat, cheese, and eggs, a culinary move not without consequence: “She admitted that some of her diehard vegan customers were furious with her decision, even calling in to a radio show she was appearing on as a guest and lambasting her on-air. ‘What are you going to do?’ she asked, with a rhetorical shoulder shrug.” [Culturemap; Gastronaut; previously on Swamplot] Photo of 507 Westheimer: Allyn West

06/06/13 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NEIGHBORHOOD NAMES STICK “Alief didn’t start getting rebranded as the International District till about 3 years ago; as a matter of fact, no one that lived there knew anyone was calling it something other than Alief. It wasn’t until they put those idiotic balls in the medians that anyone local knew someone was calling it something other than Alief. The Super Neighborhood is still called Alief. Hong Kong City Mall was transformed from a pasture to a Mall over a decade ago, that huge strip center at Wilcrest and Bellaire is almost as old. Maybe in 40 or 50 years people may latch onto the name International District in favor of Alief, but then they’re going to wonder why the Library is still called Alief Regional Library, and the school district is still Alief Independent School District, or why the community center is called Alief Community Center. Or why there’s a animal hospital called Alief Animal Hospital. I have a strong suspicion Alief will always be called Alief, no matter how many weird balls they put in the medians. And I’d also rather just call it Montrose and have people ask me if I’m gay than call it Lower Westheimer and have the 15 minute discussion about where it is, and the end result being that I tell them it’s the new name for Montrose and I’ll still be asked if I’m gay.” [toasty, commenting on Headlines: Eating Steak at CityCentre; Watching SkyHouse Rise]

04/30/13 10:00am

The other tenant in this new retail center at Westheimer and Dunlavy will be Space Montrose. Owner Leila Peraza says that by August the artsy and crafty retailer at 2608 Dunlavy will be relocating from this spot behind Cafe Brasil into the 4,800-sq.-ft. building under construction at the corner about 200 ft. away. Space Montrose will take up 1,200 sq. ft. of that and share a wall with what a pending liquor license names Leaven & Earth,pastry cafe from well-schooled, globe-trotting chef Roy Shvartzapel. Recently, 2608 Dunlavy has been an art gallery and yoga studio; Peraza says she heard a book store is next.

Photos: Allyn West