02/14/18 11:45am

Braun Realty is gearing up to replace Johnny’s Gold Brick’s next door neighbor and redo the warehouse behind the 2 structures as part of a new retail development it has planned for the corner of Yale and Aurora. An entity connected to the developer snatched up the property on Yale — as well as a few adjacent parcels east on Aurora — last October. The site plan above taken from Braun’s leasing flyer for the complex now indicates all 3 buildings decked out with new adjacent patios. East of the buildings, a parking lot sports entrances on both Aurora and an alley that runs north of the site.

The photo at top shows the front door to Johnny’s Gold Brick next to the brown brick building that Lucas Craftsmanship contractors moved out of in 2015. Here’s the view from the corner of Yale and Aurora showing the 2-story structure that’s slated to replace the former construction office:


Heights Corner Shake-Up
07/20/17 12:45pm

As mentioned earlier today, more details on the plan to redo the 1940’s farmers market on Airline Dr. are now out — MLB released some sketches and site plans this morning, which the company says are meant to help turn the spot into a “destination retail experience.” The renderings show most of the gaps between the existing market buildings bridged by new rooftops and green spaces, connecting the structures into a single complex (some of which will likely get air conditioned for fish and dairy operations and the like).

It’s not totally clear whether some the existing buildings are actually going to be painted white, or if the details of planned finishes just haven’t made their way into the renderings at this stage of design — but the currently-yellow front of Canino’s can be spied rocking a pale grey skin in the sketches above and below, behind the market’s new double-height entry facade:


The Canino’s Retail Experience
07/20/17 10:30am

CANINO MARKET HAD ALREADY KINDA GENTRIFIED, SAY FOLKS PLANNING UPCOMING $10-MILLION REDO “Over time,” writes Nancy Sarnoff for the Chronicle this morning after talking to some of the folks behind that in-the-works redevelopment of the recently sold Canino farmer’s market on Airline Dr., the market has already become “a place where produce [is] shipped and trucked in from places like Mexico and elsewhere, like it is to a grocery store.” The local farmers and early-morning bread-seekers are mostly gone, and property values  in the neighborhood are already on the rise — as are the townhomes. “We’ve come to the realization that no matter what we do here, it’s already happening,” MLB Partners’s Todd Mason tells Sarnoff; “We’ve looked around to buy more over here, and prices have already escalated.” The developers also run through some of the details for the $10-million project with Chris Baldwin over at PaperCity, who writes that “the 17.5-acre site is being almost completely re-imagined” — potential changes include some 60,000 sq. ft. of additional space, a “large lounging lawn,” a children’s play area, and “a distinctive towering sign from Studio Red Architects that can be seen from the freeway.” [Houston Chronicle and PaperCity; previously on SwamplotPhoto: Canino Produce Market

05/02/17 10:00am

Those rumors Swamplot has been hearing lately about an impending changing of hands of Canino Produce farmers market at 2520 Airline Dr. have finally been clarified a bit by Nancy Sarnoff over at the Chronicle: a sales deal is currently in the hammering-out stage between the Farmers Marketing Association of Houston and MLB Capital Partners (the company that owns the Houston Design Center, as well as some other office-y holdings)A rep for the would-be buyers tells Sarnoff that the plan is to keep the market intact, but make it more tourist-worthy, starting with an upgrade to the parking areas and the bathrooms (and maybe later by adding a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker brewery to the mix).

Photo: Canino Produce Market

Setting Terms near Sunset Heights
08/12/16 5:15pm

855 E. 24th St., Sunset Heights, Houston, 77009

The agent listing this 3-bedroom home on E. 24th St. tells Swamplot that it’s one of the first homes in Houston specifically designed for potential AirBNB rent-outs — the new construction includes private-ish quarters with separate kitchens and bathrooms above both the main ground floor suite and the carport out back (above). The 3,000-sq.-ft. plot of land beneath the home(s) appears to have been formerly occupied by a driveway and a 2-car garage associated with nextdoor 857 E. 24th (which, along with its companion guesthouse on the back of the block, has since been knocked down for a taller rebuild. The surrounding area (which lies between covert N. Main tiki bar Lei Low and rhyming blues joint Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar) is populated by a shifting balance of low-slung 1930s-and-40s bungalows and long-and-tall townhomes.

The 2-story space was designed by kinneymorrow (whose relocation and redesign of its own newly slotted office house got some AIA praise last year). Here’s what the place looks like from the front:


Trading Up
12/02/14 2:00pm


Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse have joined forces with the newly-enhanced Treadsack restaurant group to take over the former Boom Boom Room space at 2518 Yale from building owner Jackie Harris. Johnny’s Gold Brick will be the name of the new bar.

Treadsack principal Chris Cusack, (pictured second from left) whose group includes Down House in the Heights and Brooke Smith ice house D&T Drive Inn, says that he hopes Johnny’s Gold Brick will be the sort of place where you can get “decently-made cocktails, but also a shot and a beer, and be totally accessible and easy to be in.”

Leslie Ross (pictured second from right), who earlier this year competed for title of America’s Most Imaginative Bartender in Las Vegas, left Triniti Restaurant’s Sanctuari Bar to join forces with Treadsack earlier this month and will be heading up bar operations.


Gold Bricking It
11/20/14 1:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW MT. YUPPIE WAS FORMED On Top of Mt. Yuppie“When this place opened, there was a ‘oh no, here come the yuppies‘ reaction. Now, years later, it is closing and people are complaining about how the Heights is losing its character. Basically, a reprise of ‘oh no, here come the yuppies.’ It is really just the process of yuppie sedimentary rock formation. Yuppies get older, have kids and become boring. Their hangouts go out of style and go out of business. Then, the next layer of yuppies comes in and opens new businesses and the prior layer of former yuppies groan about the neighborhood losing its character.” [Old School, commenting on Sunset Heights Wine Bar The Boom Boom Room Will Close Forever This Friday] Illustration: Lulu

11/18/14 10:45am

The Boom Boom Room, 2518 Yale St., Sunset Heights, Houston

The Boom Boom Room, 2518 Yale St., Sunset Heights, HoustonStaff at the Boom Boom Room, Jackie Harris’s funky wine bar and music venue at 2518 Yale St., will pour their last glasses of Pinot noir and dish out their final paninis Friday night. Harris, an artist and doyenne of Houston’s art car movement, tells Swamplot that a “great new restaurant-bar” — one run by “real good Heights–Montrose restaurant people you all know and love” — will be setting up shop at the location in the not-too-distant future, but adds that she is not at liberty to disclose any further details.


Going Boom
08/25/14 12:15pm

View of Street in Sunset Heights, Houston“Beware the manipulative investment buyer,” warns a reader from Sunset Heights who has an interesting home-selling tale to share from the late-summer market: “Yes, I fell for it. The listing went up and 20 minutes later, a dream offer. Over list price. As is. Wants to add on, not tear down. Closing quickly, with two weeks free leaseback. I began looking for homes in my new area. Fell in love with one and put an offer on it.”

What could possibly go wrong?


Tricks and Scams
08/07/14 11:45am



Weighing in at a mere 660 sq. ft., an updated 1920 home in Walton Court, near Airline Dr. and W. Cavalcade St., stacks a full range of roomage into its wee proportions. A $289,500 asking price was attached to the listing that appeared late last week. How’s everything arranged into the homelet? Think of its floor plan as a series of 10-ft. boxes.


Base 10
08/04/14 1:00pm

Future Home of the Chicken Ranch Restaurant, 6500 N. Main St., Sunset Heights, Houston

Exactly where on N. Main St. are Josh Martinez and Paul Sedillo putting their new and provocatively named fried-chicken joint? The Chicken Ranch will open in the spot formerly occupied by Bellissimo Ristorante at 6500 N. Main, at the corner of 25th St. in Sunset Heights. (Bellissimo moved to 1848 Airline Dr., just north of Cavalcade, more than a year ago.) Reader Mary Ellen Arbuckle sends in these pics from yesterday of the car-packed front of the low-slung building, where the new occupants are working toward a certificate of occupancy for a fall opening. Sadly, former abc13 reporter Marvin Zindler will not be available for inspections or to monitor the contents of the Chicken Ranch’s ice machine.


House of Fried Fowl Repute
07/10/14 1:00pm

NEW ‘CHICKEN RANCH’ OPENING ON NORTH MAIN NEAR SUNSET HEIGHTS WILL SERVE ACTUAL FRIED CHICKEN Former Chicken Ranch, La Grange, TexasBut will it be home to the Best Little Drumsticks in Texas? Josh Martinez, the chef behind the Modular food truck and (until recently) Goro & Gun downtown, and partner Paul Sedillo plan to open an actual fried chicken joint in a not-yet-disclosed location on North Main St., Alison Cook reports. And they’ll be naming it in honor of the establishment of uh, musical repute first brought to widespread public attention back in 1973 by a series of teevee reports by then-new Channel 13 reporter Marvin Zindler, and again later by a Broadway musical and a follow-on movie starring Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds, and Dom DeLuise. (Not to mention, separately, a haw-along tune by ZZ Top.) But unlike its historical namesake in La Grange (pictured at right in its glory days), the Chicken Ranch “on the fringe” of Sunset Heights won’t be renting out hosted rooms by the hour — it’ll be frying up chickens by the order, though the birds will be available in either regular or “spicy Louisiana-style” versions. Sedillo tells Cook he plans to install a black velvet painting of Zindler in the restaurant when it opens this fall. [Food Chronicles] Photo: Fayette Heritage Museum and Archives via The Signal