Later update, 2:30pm: H-E-B’s Cyndy Garza-Roberts tells Swamplot that plans to place a store in the area are only in the discussion phase, and that no agreements have been reached — more here.
Update, 3/16: H-E-B has confirmed to the HBJ that the company has been in talks over a new store on the Archstone property.
A recent flier produced by Braun Enterprises in an effort to lease the former club space at 1815 Washington features a surprising extra: an overlay of the H-E-B logo planted squarely over a map of the not-so-square site of the Archstone Memorial Heights apartments on Washington Ave. between Studemont and Waugh. A 5-acre chunk at the southwest corner of the 1996 apartment complex was cleared out in 2008, then repopulated, then cleared out again in 2012 for redevelopment as the taller, denser Memorial Heights Villages complex (visible just to the right of the word “WAUGH” on the above aerial). CityCentre developer Midway bought the remaining 23.4 acres of apartments with the Lionstone Group at the end of 2014.
Also featured on the aerial: shuttered-over-the-weekend Hughes Hangar, which CultureMap’s Eric Sandler reports has closed along with Paris-minded parking lot companion The De Gaulle. Further east down the corridor is the space Braun is hawking: the former Pandora-turned-Throne nightclub space at 1815 Washington, marked with a star below, across the road from
Bovine & Barley B&B Butchers:
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H-E-B Marks the Spot
The verdicts handed down this week in the court case connected to a dispute between the owners of 3 bars carved out of the former Settegast Kopf funeral home on Kirby Dr. at Colquitt, their landlord, and residents of the subdivision that surrounds it are a tad complicated. As a result of the jury decisions, neighborhood homeowners are now asking the judge to force 2 of the bars — Roak and Hendricks Pub — to stop selling alcohol. One of the jurors in the case offers Swamplot readers a detailed explanation of the decision:
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NOT-SO-LOCAL TREASURES ON THE WESTHEIMER STRIP Included in the lawsuit filed yesterday by Houston and Harris County attorneys against the owners of Treasures, which labels the Westheimer strip club a public nuisance and attempts to shut it down: allegations that the venue is a site of “human trafficking” — of dancers from Vegas. From Cindy George’s report: “The trafficking allegations stem from police probes revealing that some of the dancers are transported from Nevada to Texas, then from club to club within Houston, and reside in Galleria- area apartments and condos ‘where they are maintained by the pimps,’ [city attorney David] Feldman said at a news conference. . . . ‘They masquerade as legitimate businesses, but these high-end strip clubs like Treasures really are hubs of human trafficking,’ he said, later noting that the establishment averages $20 million in annual alcohol sales. ‘Treasures happens to be the most prominent of these clubs. It’s the largest. It is clearly the most visible and most notable and prominent. . . . We are hopeful that with this action, we serve notice not only on Treasures, but the other clubs out there that Houston-Harris County is not going to put up with this type of criminal activity.'” [Houston Chronicle]
BABY DOLLS STRIP CLUB OWNED BY ACTUAL BABY According to documents presented in a lawsuit filed last week, the now-shuttered strip club Baby Dolls at 6340 Westheimer Rd. past Fountainview was owned between 2005 and 2006 by the estate of its former owner, Aris Mylonas — whose heir was an infant born shortly after the father’s death. From there, the story gets even stranger: The baby’s mother claims in the lawsuit that she sold the baby’s interest in Baby Dolls to a business entity partly controlled by James Cabella, a/k/a Vincent Cabella, whom she later learned was also a/k/a Vincent Palermo and a/k/a Vinny Ocean. He’s the former New Jersey mob boss whose testimony helped take down the DeCavalcante crime family, and who was later resettled in Houston under the federal witness protection program. (He’s also rumored to have been one of the models for TV character Tony Soprano; plus he’s the still-proud owner of this Memorial Drive mansion.) Lisa Hansegard is suing Cabella, his wife, and son to get back the close to $1.3 million she says they still owe her and her child for the sale. [Houston Chronicle; more details]