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

05/12/14 1:30pm

TAMPICO HEIGHTS RISES AGAIN, THIS TIME IN A BUMPER STICKER CAMPAIGN Bumper Sticker Mentioning Tampico Heights, North Montrose, HoustonIn a setback for the upstart movement to rename Brooke Smith and portions of East Sunset Heights east of N. Main St. and west of I-45, the appearance of the name “Tampico Heights” on Google Maps got shut down late last month by a couple of eagle-eyed citizen editors who noted that the name was “being used by a small group of residents to try and encourage the adoption of the name for this neighborhood, much to a larger group’s displeasure.” The newfangled designation has now been removed. But pro-Tampico campaigners have taken to the streets — or at least the shopping-center parking lots: A reader sends Swamplot this photo of a Tampico Heights bumper sticker spotted on a Chevy TrailBlazer parked in front of “Party” Kroger on Studemont St. over the weekend. [previously on Swamplot] Photo: Mel

04/25/14 12:45pm

‘TAMPICO HEIGHTS’ IS NOW A THING ON GOOGLE MAPS Google Map Showing Tampico Heights, HoustonNear Northside residents who didn’t want their neighborhood to be called Tampico Heights have been successful in their campaign to keep the new name out. But it looks like Tampico Heights may be settling in as a new neighbor. A reader reports — and a quick online search confirms (see screen capture at left) — that Google Maps has now begun applying the new name Tampico Heights to area maps. Northside Village has been spared the Heights creep: The Tampico Heights name appears to have been applied to inner-loop neighborhoods Brooke Smith, East Sunset Heights, and portions of Sunset Heights west of I-45 and east of North Main, and not to Northside Village or the Near Northside, which lie east of I-45. That’s a more reasonable spot for a Tampico Heights to land anyway, since it incorporates the Tampico Refresqueria at 4520 N. Main St. and Tampico Seafood & Cocina Mexicana, at 2115 Airline Dr. [Previously on Swamplot]

01/13/14 4:45pm


Sliding Door, 842 E. 25th St., Sunset Heights, HoustonA barn door and a side fence help define space for a Sunset Heights home, but neither appears to be a fixed feature. The interior’s barn door, for example, rolls into place to screen shut a bedroom otherwise open to the main hallway (at right). And beyond the side fence, there’s a vacant lot, but half of it belongs to this property. The souped-up straight-shot bungalow appeared on the market last week with a $475,000 asking price.


Door on Demand
12/26/13 10:00am

WINTER SNOBALLS FOR HOUSTON MAM's House of Ice, 1040 W. Cavalcade St., Sunset Heights, HoustonJust in time to serve up a white Christmas — at least before a few pumps of flavoring are added to your order — MAM’s House of Ice has opened its first-ever non-wheeled, year-round location. It’s at 1040 W. Cavalcade St. in Sunset Heights, about a mile east of the popular mobile storefront’s longstanding trailer-parking spot. That means snoballs (along with a few warmer dessert-y and snack-y items added to the menu) will now be available year-round. [b4-u-eat; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Mam’s House of Ice

05/14/13 10:00am

A new site plan from Town in City Brewing Co. was approved by the planning commission last month, finally clearing the way for that brewery that would be made out of a trucked-in kit to be put together. The microbrewery, taproom, and outdoor garden on this lot near 1125 W. Cavalcade in Sunset Heights were all supposed to be done by now — or so brewers Justin Engle and Steven Macalello were telling their investors in November, when the Houston-fabricated steel parts first came rolling onto their 9,714-sq.-ft property. But the required 25-ft. setback from a major thoroughfare like W. Cavalcade threw a wrench in their plans.


05/06/13 4:10pm

This new build on 27th St. in Sunset Heights comes from the firm of serial mod fixer-upper and recent Astrodome chimer-inner Ben Koush. Completed this year, the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath house also has a garage apartment in the back. On its own for now, the house has been billed as the 1st of 4 planned in a row here just east of N. Main St.; it’s listed at $499,900.


03/01/13 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CHECKING OUT THE NEIGHBORS, ONLINE “Even the google street view pic makes the place look halfway decent . . . Until you see a large parking lot and strip center next door to the East (and a landscaper’s ass another half block down).” [J, commenting on Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: When the Flood Came]

11/07/12 1:02pm

Here’s the lot in the 1100 block of West Cavalcade, a few hundred feet east of the intersection of Main, Studewood, and 20th St. in the Heights, where a new microbrewery calling itself Town in City Brewing Co. (after a previous name, Yard Sale Brewery, got nixed) plans to build a beer campus from kit parts. The kit arrived on a flatbed truck a week or 2 ago: a collection of steel parts from Houston’s Rigid Global Buildings, selected with help from Rigid’s catalog by the Town in City brewers:


07/31/12 12:54pm

Even without the flag waving as punctuation, this 1890 Victorian serves as a pint-sized Americana residential souvenir, complete with gingerbread trim and turned posts on the porch. The fence, however, is of more modern scale — and function, given its automated gate across the driveway. Flashbacks continue inside the cottage, listed earlier this month at $369,5000. It’s located in the Bartholomew Place tendril of Sunset Heights, a long block west of Metro’s Heights Transit Center.


04/09/12 10:20am

The three buildings listed as 6204 Main St. lie not on the tree-lined block near Rice University, but rather its mixed-use counterpart on North Main. Asking $260,000, the property includes a vacant warehouse flanked by two homes, squeezed onto a quarter-acre in the Rodgers Park area, just south of Sunset Heights and 2 blocks from Metro’s Heights Transit Center.

The warehouse anchors the southeast corner of N. Main and E. 23rd. It’s in “poor condition,” according to the listing. The adjacent houses, meanwhile, are generating rental income. They date back to the late 1920s. The dimensions of every room are described as 10 ft. x 10 ft.