- 12322 Old Oaks Dr. [HAR]
IZAKAYA-WA OPENING REAL SOON IN MEMORIAL Eater Houston’s Darla Guillen reports that that Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar that a Swamplot reader in August reported would be opening in the Memorial Bend Shopping Park will be opening this Wednesday. And Guillen suspects that the location just inside the Beltway at 12665 Memorial Dr. could very well prove to be very well chosen: “It seems that the restaurant’s proximity to some Japanese corporations will likely encourage a strong Japanese following.” [Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Houston Sushi
A reader sends this photo of a suite being renovated in the Memorial Bend Shopping Park, where a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar is planning to begin serving, the reader suspects, sometime near the end of the year. And a brief in Ultimate Memorial shows that Izakaya Wa requested last month the permits to operate here at 12665 Memorial Dr., which is just east of the Beltway 8 feeder.
Photo: Swamplot inbox
The Woodway store is closing, Whole Foods announced yesterday, and the grocer plans to build a new one on the site of the recently closed and approved-for-demolition Flagship Randall’s at 1407 S. Voss near San Felipe. That’s right across the street from the brand-new Trader Joe’s. A Whole Foods rep says that new store will be 40,000 sq. ft., double the size of the store at 6401 Woodway that’s been there since 1983.
Photo of Flagship Randall’s: Allyn West
COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: WHEN RANDALL’S WAS SWANK “It sounds crazy nowadays but I remember back in the ′80s when this store opened up and they had valet parking under their porte cochere with valets wearing tuxedoes. We were very impressed by the little restaurant inside, too. It was so ritzy! Sad to see the prosperity all gone now.” [AW, commenting on Yes, the Voss Rd. Randall’s Is Closing]
Update, 3:30 p.m.: Randall’s president Paul McTavish confirms that this store will be closing. No date was mentioned.
A few readers are reporting that they’ve heard from Randall’s employees here that the store near San Felipe and Voss will shut its doors by the end of the month.
One reader even has a date: May 23. County records show that the 56,511-sq.-ft. building sits on 157,149 sq. ft. of pricey Memorial property across Voss from the new Trader Joe’s — the parking lot of which appeared a bit less barren than the Randall’s lot in this photo taken this morning. Attempts to contact Safeway haven’t been returned.
Photo: Allyn West
Note: Story updated with new photos.
An update comes in from reader Nicole Sherman, who saw this bare facade-to-be and fruity Sprouts Farmers Market sign at the end of last week and snapped these photos: Filling in for the former Sports Authority in the Kirkwood Shopping Center at 11940 Westheimer, this will be the 4th Sprouts in Houston and the farthest in, only 2 miles beyond the Beltway. In October, the green grocer revealed the first 3 locations it would open in Houston this year:
Houston architect Wylie W. Vale passed away early this morning. He was 96. Vale’s career, according to photographer Ben Hill, who has documented his works, spanned from 1939 to 2001. Working in an array of styles, Vale played a substantial role in shaping the looks of River Oaks, Tanglewood, and Memorial. The home pictured above is in Katy.
Photos: Ben Hill
Trader Joe’s has at last confirmed the second and third of the 3 stores that’ll constitute the idiosyncratic grocer’s Houston invasion. If you’ve been following Swamplot, you already know about these locations: In addition to the already announced shopping-center add-on in The Woodlands (recent construction photo at top), there’s another to be constructed in suburban-style big-corniced splendor (midde photo, above) on Voss just north of San Felipe. And yes — the company is now ready to admit — one in the just-decimated hollows of the once-grand Alabama Theater, last known as the Alabama Bookstop bookstore (bottom photo above).
Is this the right address? As Swamplot noted last week, Trader Joe’s received a sales-tax permit for a Memorial-area location at 1440 S. Voss at the end of last year. But the company hasn’t officially announced the locations for its Houston stores yet. Swamplot photographer Candace Garcia poked around the scene on Voss between San Felipe and Woodway over the weekend, to scope out any preparations going on there for a TJ’s landing. There didn’t appear to be any.
SURE LOOKS LIKE A TRADER JOE’S IS HEADED FOR VOSS AND SAN FELIPE The second Houston-area Trader Joe’s will move in at 1440 S. Voss Rd., just north of San Felipe, according to this little permit report. [Ultimate Memorial]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: INSIDE THE KNOWLES FAMILY’S WALMART HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS “That sitting area by the fireplace looks familiar — is that where they filmed the commercial with the band members/family opening up all their gifts from Wal-Mart?” [Hellsing, commenting on Is This the House Behind the House of Deréon? Beyonce’s Mom Tina Knowles Selling Farnham Park Mansion]