08/23/18 12:15pm

The aftermath of Bacco’s Wine Garden’s latest design choice at 3611 Montrose Blvd. has the place looking a little less like a homeless shelter and more like a bar.  Empty bottles were as close as the venue could get to the real thing before its TABC license got approved on Tuesday. Now that that’s all squared away, real booze will be stored inside.

It’s a marketing strategy similar to the one Postino employed with the bright yellow wine promos hung up on its Heights Mercantile patio before it opened. Except by the looks of their attachment, these reds, whites — and even a few proseccos — are here to stay.

They line the bar’s fencing all the way out to the sidewalk:


The Pre-Game
05/12/16 4:45pm

3430 S Parkwood Dr., Riverside Terrace, Houston, 77021

The Parkwood Park-side home owned by former Varnett School administrators Marian Cluff and Alsie Cluff, Sr., hit the market early this week. The couple was indicted 10 months ago on federal charges including tax evasion, conspiracy, and embezzlement of more than $2 million in funds meant for students of the charter school’s 3 outside-the-Loop campuses. Incidentally, the current $3.5 million asking price for the house is more than $2 million above what the pair originally paid for the place (the 1941 mansion was sold to the Cluffs in 2011 for $1.3 million), but about 1,200 sq. ft. of space was added to the house during renovations in 2013, according to county records.

And now, your chance to investigate the 2-acre, 6-bedroom property a little further:


Scrutiny in MacGregor
02/18/16 4:30pm

3627 Braeswood Blvd, Houston, 77025

White walls, glass walls, and mirrored walls provide ample opportunities for looking inward and outward from this 1958 house designed by Houston architect Arthur Steinberg. Overlooking Brays Bayou across Glen Arbor Dr., the home contains 3 bedrooms and 2 and a half bathrooms on 3,765 sq. ft. of pale polished concrete and marble floors.  Mid-century minimalism comes with a $1.495-million price tag. CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

A Whiter Shade of Pale
02/09/15 10:45am

Coltivare, 3320 White Oak Dr., Houston Heights

Red Tag at Coltivare, 3320 White Oak Dr., Houston HeightsHeights pizza-and-veggie spot Coltivare now sports a bright red tag (shown at right) next to its front door — after a city inspector found fault with its newly protected-from-weather patio space facing the side garden (the white tent-like structures in the photo above) last week. What’s wrong with covering a patio with a temporary structure for the winter?

Nothing, but it does trigger some permitting issues. “An uncovered patio isn’t considered an occupied space,” a Swamplot reader familiar with Houston building regulations writes. But: “A lot of folks don’t realize covered patios count as building square footage and must be permitted.”


Restaurant Creep
01/21/15 2:30pm



Growing conditions favor landscaping (and geegaws) inside and outside a mews-facing condo in the 1973 Briarwest Townhomes development. Reddish hues are particularly abundant, whether in the decor’s high petal count or the brick exterior’s shutters. Updated a bit, the home is one of 194 2-story homes sharing the community’s 13 acres, with a pool, playground, and park (not a dog park, the homeowners association declares).

Ungated access is from Winrock Rd., located east of Voss Rd. and north of  Westheimer Rd. Over the weekend, this home’s asking price trimmed again, this time to $268K, following a month at $275K. In its November 2014 initial listing, pricing got started at $285K.


09/02/14 4:30pm



To create some buzz about an updated 1929 cottage with bumble bee trim tones in a section of the Heights dubbed Pinelawn, viewing of the property was put on hold until the weekend, several days after its listing last month for $437,500. Tiers of patios, porches, decks, and pavers help extend the living space outdoors. The fully-fenced corner compound is located up the block from Field Elementary School.


Clocking in at $437,500
07/09/14 5:00pm



Over in the gated community of Indian Trail, this townhome-like pad has patios-a-plenty. Builder Ed McMahon constructed the property for his mama back in 1974, or so the listing posted last week notes. Renovated in 2007, the home with recessed entry now sports a $1.75 million asking price. Its flat-topped front-loader garage ivies up a garden-lined walkway to form the first of several outdoor vignettes.


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