04/06/17 1:30pm

Roostar Vietnamese Grill, 5551 Richmond Ave., Westheimer Gardens, Houston, 77056

Former Napoli at  5551 Richmond Ave., Westheimer Gardens, Houston, 77056Roostar Vietnamese Grill is just about done moving into the southern slot of the perpendicular 2-man segment of the Richmond Ave. strip center east of Chimney Rock Rd., a reader notes. The Vietnamese kinda-fusion restaurant’s first location opened in Spring Branch a few years ago as Vietnam Poblano, swapping to the new name and stylized but literal melded bird-star logo not long after. Ronnie Nguyen and Linda Nguyen, the 2-link chain’s forgers, had hoped the new location (in the space formerly occupied by Napoli) would be up and running in time for all that Super Bowl hubbub; looks like the new plan is for an April opening.

Next door to the nearly-hatched restaurant is the former Starbucks spot, which had shut down by the time that shiny new freestanding one opened up on the corner across the street last year:


Coffee Out, Roostar In
02/24/17 4:30pm

5922 Richmond Ave., Uptown, Houston, 770575922 Richmond Ave., Uptown, Houston, 77057

The markings left behind by the Key Maps store in the wake of its second move since 2015 are still hanging out this afternoon alongside the leasing notice near the shop’s former place at the east end of the Richmond Avenue Shopping Center strip mall, just east of Fountainview Dr. The Key Maps folks are back inside the Inner Loop again, this time on Durham St. next door to the Dirty Hairy Dog Wash. The most recently former Key Maps location, shown above, has picked up a new neighbor itself since the cartographymonger’s departure: the ex-Subway at the end of the strip is about to reopen as essentialist fried chicken joint Krisp Bird & Batter. A sign on the door says Krisp will be open on Monday: 


Fried Birdwatching
12/01/16 4:15pm

Big Tex Montrose, 1810 Richmond Ave., Dearborn Place, Houston, 77006

richwood-market-freaky-foods-west-viewThe doors opened last week at that 4-story 100,000-sq.-ft. storage facility that has replaced the boarded-up Shell Food Mart just west of the corner of Richmond  and Woodhead — itself a makeover of the 24-hour Richwood Market, known back in the day as Freaky Foods (affectionately or not). The 4-story building started going up next to King Cole Liquor some time after the nearby trees got cleared out about a year ago (with the city’s OK, Annise Parker said at the time).

Big Tex has since widened the sidewalks and added some new baby trees in a series of landscaped rectangles along Richmond; the company’s press release also says there’s gonna be an Art Wall.

Photos: Big Tex Storage via Urbannizer (panoramic of Big Tex at 1810 Richmond Ave.), Swamplot inbox (2014 shot of 1810 Richmond Ave.)

Boxes on Richmond
03/21/16 5:15pm

construction at Cane Rosso Montrose, 4306 Yoakum Blvd., Montrose, Houston, 77006
Oven at Cane Rosso Montrose, 4306 Yoakum Blvd., Montrose, Houston, 77006Work is underway for the Cane Rosso headed for 4306 Yoakum Blvd., in the low-lying side-attachment to the Hansen Partners’ 6-story office building at the corner with Richmond Ave. The office complex was wrapped up in 2014 following the 2012 clear-out of the apartments previously occupying the same site.

The opening of the Montrose Cane Rosso location will likely lag a few months behind that of the Dallas pizza chain’s first Houston location at 1835 N. Shepherd Dr., where a glittery gold-tiled oven is already decorating the former Houston Alternator space at 19th St. as it prepares to open later this spring. (The custom oven at the Montrose spot, shown above, will also only get gold accents, rather than the full Midas treatment.) But some blocky renderings of what the Yoakum space could look like, if all goes as planned, are already out for consumption — here’s an aerial view of the exterior from the corner of Yoakum and Richmond, with the office building making a ghostly appearance in transparent gray to the right of the frame:


Kitchen Prep on Yoakum
12/22/14 2:00pm


Behold Friday’s sodden wreckage of the northernmost 33 percent of the Richmont Square apartment complex at 1400 Richmond, which is currently being erased to make way for the Menil’s upcoming drawing institute.


Menil On The Move
12/12/14 10:30am


Is there more change coming to lower Richmond?

The former Shell station and grocery at 1810 Richmond Ave known until recently (formally) known as Richwood Market and (informally) as “Freaky Foods” is boarded up and graffiti-tagged:


Death Knell For The Shell?
01/21/10 4:28pm

Did 3.2 acres of acquisitions along Post Oak Blvd. for the new Uptown Line sound like a lot to you? Then look at this: The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the new University Line says Metro’s “locally preferred alternative” route will need to acquire 23 acres of land from approximately 212 separate parcels on that route, most of it along Richmond Ave. (Only 7 of those parcels will need to be acquired in full, according to the report.) Plus: 100 businesses, 30 residences, and 38 mixed-use structures will need to be relocated.

Potential acquisitions and displacement are expected at signalized intersections and at some transit stations. Every transit station located on the street will have a traffic signal. Additional right of way will be needed to accommodate left-turn lanes at key signalized intersections.

You can find the complete list of affected properties beginning on page 146 of this document. Maps of the targeted properties along the entire route — similar to the bit along Richmond Ave. at Montrose Blvd. shown above — are in the engineering drawings section.

Find anything interesting in there? Let us know in the comments!

Map: Metro Solutions (PDF)

10/02/09 5:08pm

The Richmont Square apartments on Richmond Ave. get knocked down in the new master plan for the Menil Collection campus. Speaking at a public forum last night, British architect David Chipperfield referred to the Menil’s big multifamily property as “this thing getting in our way.”

Cite magazine’s Raj Mankad describes more details of the Chipperfield plan:

The car park along Alabama would be strengthened with the new bookshop, cafe, and auditorium nearby. The key change would be to connect West Main across the site [to Yupon] through the area occupied by the northern end of Richmont Square. The complete street grid would surround a new green space that would also be made possible by the clearing of the north side of the apartments. It would connect, slightly off axis, with the current Menil park between the main building and the Rothko. The Drawing Institute and Study Center and Single Artist Studios would be sited around the new green space. And along Richmond itself, the plan calls for dense residential and commercial development.


02/02/09 10:21am

THE RICHMOND LIGHTS SHALL NOT BE MOVED Deputy director Emily Todd lists the “guiding principles” behind the Menil’s planned expansion for the Chronicle‘s Douglas Britt: “Just going down the list: environmentally sustainable design principles; no alteration to the original museum buildings or the Cy Twombly (Gallery); the Dan Flavin/Richmond Hall installation cannot be relocated. … The relationship between the Menil buildings to the Rothko (Chapel) and the Byanztine Chapel have to be taken into account – something that is so beautiful. The … scale, ambience and residential quality of the neighborhood is of paramount importance, which I think is sweet. Any new buildings in the immediate vicinity of the president buildings will be of the scale of the Cy Twombly Gallery. Significant trees will be preserved, and building on an outdoor environment that encourages visitors and especially families, which you see if you come over here on the weekends.” [Arts in Houston; previously in Swamplot]

01/27/09 10:56am

The firm of British architect David Chipperfield has been selected to design a master plan for the expansion of the Menil Collection campus. What’s to be added?

Those facilities include the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center, an auditorium, a café, additional space for Menil archives and buildings devoted to the work of individual artists.

The Menil Foundation is also interested in developing “income-producing properties” along the coming Richmond rail line, reports Douglas Britt in the Houston Chronicle.

Fitting in so many new buildings, of course, will be a lot easier once the Menil decides which of its many neighboring properties it wants to knock down. And owning 30 acres in the area means there are plenty of possibilities!

Which will go first? The gray-washed arts bungalows? The small rental properties? Richmond Hall? Richmont Square?


05/01/08 3:41pm

Corner of Richmond and Fountainview, Houston

Pedestrian scribe John Lomax and Marfa City Council candidate David Beebe have, by this time, earned the right to make a few sweeping statements about various Houston neighborhoods. And Lomax exercises that right in his chronicle of the pair’s latest adventure on foot, along Richmond Avenue from Mission Bend to Midtown:

. . . the epicenter of H-Town cheese is the corner of Fountainview and Richmond. A four-story, day-glo, red, white, turquoise, and tan building looms over the southeastern corner there, and it houses a Sprint shop, a little downstairs bar with the godawful name Identity, a scalper’s office, a massage therapist, and a huge Darque Tan outlet.

Sure, Westheimer’s got some cheese, and is a little tattered around the edges in spots, but there’s a veneer of gentility as expressed by old-line businesses like Christie’s Seafood. Richmond, by contrast, used to have that sub-Landry’s fried seafood emporium King Fish Market, which despite the incessant awful commercials that polluted local airwaves circa 1999, is now out of business and practically in ruins. The whole lot of it is a great vat of rancid Velveeta.

As is much of the Richmond Strip. That giant sax outside of Billy Blues is looking more and more like the torch sticking out of the sand at the end of Planet of the Apes.

After the jump: how’s the nightlife?