10/27/17 1:30pm

Here’s the other new purveyor of brownish fluids at the corner of Richmond Ave and Woodhead: The 13th area Take 5 Oil Change — and the chain’s fifth location in Houston proper — is now open for business, a few steps ahead of the adjacent new Starbucks. The building takes the place of a pair of 2-story brick 4-plexes at 1823 and 1827 Richmond torn down last year.

Take 5’s leaky-oil-can logo will greet drivers lined up for the Starbucks drive-thru, as this site plan shows:

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Now Open and For Sale
10/26/17 4:15pm

The mocha-colored drive-thru Starbucks that’s been brewing at 1801 Richmond Ave. since its predecessor building was torn down in January now appears just about ready to serve. Landscape crews are plopping in plants on the Richmond Ave. side; this view taken from an upper floor of the nearby Fairmont Museum District Apartments shows how the new building looks nestled next to its notable neighbors, which include the Big Tex Storage facility and King Cole liquor store across Richmond and Mexican restaurant La Tapatia just across Woodhead:

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Montrose Drive-Thru
03/17/17 1:00pm

Partial Outage of Lighting of Bridges over US-59

Lighting of Bridges over US-59Just because the crossings over US-59 were broadcasting football team colors in time for the Super Bowl last month doesn’t mean they were totally finished, Sarah Gandy from Gandy² Lighting Design tells Swamplot this morning. A number of readers have written in since the game to note bits and pieces of the new lighting going dark (as seen in the top shot), blinking, or appearing to be stuck on mismatched colors on occasion; Gandy says that per pre-game plans, there is still some hardware being installed and tuning being done, and that the contractors on the project aren’t scheduled to be totally wrapped up for a few more months.

The forecast for tonight’s display — minus at least 1 bridge which’ll be getting worked on for the evening — is St. Patrick’s Day green; the bridges also spent some of the leadup to Mardi Gras last month enthusiastically flashing passing drivers with traditional bead colors:

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Minor Turnoffs
03/09/17 10:45am

3801 Farnham St., Shepherd Triangle, Houston, 77098

3801 Farnham St., Shepherd Triangle, Houston, 77098As a couple of commenters pieced together recently, the original 59 Diner spot at the curvy intersection of Farnham St. and Shepherd Dr. is back up for lease again, after a number of name- and face-changes in quick succession. After a 2-month interlude as El Beso Cantina, new signage and menus were deployed to rebrand the spot as Another Broken Yolk Cafe — which advertised itself online as a non-24-hour spot, though still bearing the tiny 24-Hrs Breakfast dot above the main entrance.

Almost immediately after that, the spot shut down again — another reader grabbed these photos of the building yesterday, noting that the only remaining signage on the site is the dot above the main entrance and the Closed For Remodeling note on the door. The property appears to have gone back on the market for lease around the last week of February, shortly before or after that new signage (shown below, but since removed) was being installed along Shepherd:

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Sticking Around on Shepherd
01/04/17 12:15pm

1801 Richmond Ave. Demo, Richwood Place, Houston, 77098
1801 Richmond Ave., Richwood Place, Houston, 77098From beneath yesterday’s sunset glare off the new Big Tex Storage midrise on Richmond Ave, a reader captured the splintery wreckage of long-empty Cierra Interiors at the corner with Woodhead St. Plans to stick a new Starbucks in its place were submitted back in early November by an entity connected to experienced Starbucks constructor Vaquero Ventures, and the knockout of the building was officially sanctioned just before Christmas. Next door, the land opened up by Vaquero’s teardown of the pair of 2-story brick 4-plexes at 1823 and 1827 Richmond back in August looks to be marked for another Inner Loop outpost of oil change chain Take 5.

And one more door eastward, the former Ruthie’s Place on Richmond looks to be headed for new use by strip-center gelato shop Sweetcup, per some early-stage permits issued in November that note a bar-to-ice-cream-shop conversion. Sweetcup bought the building at 1829 Richmond in September after the bar’s early 2016 shutdown (in the wake of the passing of long-time former owner Ruth Vardilos). Here’s a shot of the whole corner taken in August, shortly after the apartment removal, showing Ruthie’s tucked next to Ely’s Beauty Salon on the far right:

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Richwood Place Replacements
08/24/16 10:30am

La Tapatia, 1749 Richmond Ave., Montrose, Houston, 77098 La Tapatia, 1749 Richmond Ave., Montrose, Houston, 77098

The Richmond Ave branch of La Tapatia at the corner of Woodhead St. is back in operation this week after the late summer toasting of its 1969 building, a few readers report. Up top is a shot of the July 22 response from the Houston Fire Department (whose Station 16 is located a convenient half-block away across Richmond at the corner with Dunlavy St.). That’s Fairmont Museum District looking on worriedly from the background; the poop-scrutinizing Richwood Place apartment complex’s older half would have had a clear view of the action from the western turret. 

Photos: Marcie Newton (top), James Glassman (sign)

Where There’s Queso, There Was Fire
10/25/13 4:36pm

Declaring the 42-unit Montrose complex a “common nuisance,” the county attorney’s office and the state of Texas have filed a lawsuit against the owner of the former Skylane Apartments at the corner of Richmond and Hazard St. The suit claims that the apartment complex, now known as 1901 Richmond, “habitually” harbors criminal activity and that the owner has not done enough to fix the problem. Between August 2012 and October 2013, according to the complaint, police were called approximately 100 times to the property, resulting in reports of drug possession and sales, aggravated assaults, and the discharge of firearms. The attorney’s office wants the owner to post a bond and clean up the crime problem, or shut down for a year and forfeit the money.

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06/28/11 6:19pm

Patrons of the fast-paced arts, you have less than 55 hours left to fund the hotsheet action planned for Richwood Place’s Skydive exhibition space next month. In a somewhat compressed version of the typical summertime creative retreat, the converted home at 2041 Norfolk St. will play host to a stream of 50-something artists taking up residency — each of them for only an hour or 2 or 12, though. (That should be enough: With all the chit-chatting, hobnobbing, and strategic carousing, how much would you have expected an Elaine Bradford, Rachel Hecker, or any of the dedicated nappers of the NAP Church to get done in a couple of weeks at Yaddo, anyway?) The Houston Many Mini event follows a similar project that took place in Berlin a couple of years ago (the next is scheduled for Copenhagen). Slots for the week of July 10-16th appear to be all filled, but the Kickstarter project that’s hoping to pay for part of the exercise is currently stuck at less than half its fundraising goal.

Photo of 2041 Norfolk St.: Skydive

03/28/11 10:49am

The proud new owner of the scuzzy former Skylane Apartments on the corner of Richmond and Hazard St. is the same real-estate agent who snapped up and renovated the 2 smaller Montrose Skylane Apartments (on West Alabama) last fall — local apartment collector Cody Lutsch. Those of you keeping score at home (or using the stats to play your own round of Fantasy Montrose Landlord) will note that the addition of the 44 apartments on the half-acre site at 1901 Richmond jettisons Lutsch into the Number 5 Montrose Property Owner position — by number of units. Lutsch expects that status to be short-lived, though — as long as the expected sale of some of his other neighborhood properties goes through.

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