02/14/18 4:00pm

Here’s a good spot for people doing business in both Cypress and Houston: new coworking space The Work Well. The 23,000-sq.-ft. shared workspace takes up the top floor of the 3-story office building shown at top on Wortham Center Dr., just off the northwest tentacle of Houston’s jurisdiction, which runs along the Northwest Fwy. and links the city to Cypress. The red arrow on the map above indicates where The Work Well sits at 13100 Wortham Center, east of Goode Co.’s Cy-Fair location and just inside the city’s territory. Nearly all structures beyond the red shaded zone — save for a few along other major roads Houston keeps for itself — are outside of Houston city limits and inside unincorporated Harris County.

The Work Well’s first business day was back in December. A grand opening is now planned for March.

Photo of 13100 Wortham Center Dr.: LoopNet. Map: Houston Map Viewer

The Upper Reach
02/12/18 2:15pm

Landlord Kensinger Donnelly has replaced previous flyers claiming that the Mattress 1 One location on the corner of W. Alabama and Shepherd was shut down for “renovations” with the new one pictured above declaring it has locked the retailer out of its spot at the far north of the strip that includes Mega DJ and Jenni’s Noodle House, across from CVS. Just south at the corner of Shepherd and Richmond, Mattress Overstock is another casualty of the continuing mattress shrinkage trend — it shuttered toward the end of last year.

Now your best bet for bedding is to head north on Shepherd to Westheimer where a Mattress 1 One and competing Mattress Firm have been holding a standoff just south of the intersection since the former showed up on the west side of the street in 2014. It’s one of the 12 Mattress 1 One locations that exist within a 5 mile radius of the shuttered store off W. Alabama — down from 15 last October.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Down for the Count
02/06/18 5:00pm

The glassy storefront shown on the far right in the photo at top — on Ella Blvd. just south of W. 34th St. — is where Vietnamese restaurant Les Ba’get plans to move in once construction on the new 33 1/3 @ Thirtyfourth shopping center is complete. The restaurant’s existing location on Montrose Blvd. closed down last Friday ahead of the planned move. In its new life inside the shopping center [which is — disclosure — a past Swamplot Sponsor], Les Ba’get will have double the space it did in its former 1717 Montrose location as well as 80 seats, according to Eater.

The new 2.5-acre development shown from the north in the aerial above has been in the works since last year on the site formerly shared between That Pizza Place on Ella, the Century Marking stamp company office, and an El Rey Taqueria. Les Ba’get’s spot is pictured on the right in that photo, at the end of the brick strip adjacent to Ella.

Here’s the site plan for the whole complex:

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Montrose Moveout
02/02/18 1:15pm

SOUTH BEACH IS TAKING A BREAK IN AVONDALE A bulletin posted on South Beach Houston’s Facebook page announces that the nightclub on the corner of Pacific and Grant streets is closed immediately and indefinitely for “remodeling.” The venue opened in 2001 at 810 Pacific St. in place of owner Charles Armstrong’s previous bar in that location, Heaven. Last December, Armstrong sold the former Montrose Mining Company across the street from South Beach to developer Fred Sharifi. South Beach’s Facebook message now directs would-be club-goers to JR’s Bar & Grill next door — also owned by Armstrong. [South Beach Houston] Photo of South Beach: Lou C.

02/02/18 12:00pm

Now on its way to a portion of the Village Arcade building on Amherst that La Madeleine restaurant abandoned last March: Shop Rice Owls, a clothing and merchandise store selling exclusively Rice University gear. The 1,071-sq.-ft. off-white-walled space beneath the rooftop Rice Village parking garage was once the east end of La Madeleine’s space on the corner of Amherst and Kirby. A partly-built Shack Shake has since taken over the French bakery’s former home — but not all of it, leaving room for the off-campus store to squeeze in between the back side of the fast-food spot and the staircase leading up to the garage.

A view looking east down Amherst shows more renovated storefronts lining the street to the right of the stairs, in place of the black-awninged brick building that stood on the block before 2016:   CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Rice Village Homecoming
02/01/18 3:45pm

Update: Despite Swamplot’s earlier report, The Ginger Man’s Rice Village building is not up for lease, says a Braun Enterprises representative. The W. Gray location will be an expansion for The Ginger Man.

A flyer now being passed around by Braun Enterprises shows The Ginger Man’s 1,907-sq.-ft. house and outdoor furnishings in Rice Village up for lease ahead of its planned relocation expansion to a vacant Fourth Ward building. An entity connected to Braun bought the tap house at 5607 Morningside Dr. last December.

Renovations are now underway on a soon-to-be new location of The Ginger Man at the crossroads of W. Gray and Webster — in the building where the Junction Bar & Grill shuttered last year. When it opens, the expansion will be the 7th Ginger Man in Texas. 4 exist in and around Dallas and Fort Worth, and one is located in Austin. The chain also claims a more tenuous connection to a group of restaurants on the East Coast.

The photo below shows the Fourth Ward building with a new green paint job:

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Village Bar Expansion
01/31/18 11:45am

The turf is down and the Adirondack chairs are seated in the front courtyard of Frank’s Backyard — the new 2,520-sq.-ft. beer garden wedged in Frank’s Pizza’s side yard on Travis St. Frank’s opened the lawn 2 days ago in place of a parking lot that once spanned all the way from the historic restaurant building on the corner of Travis and Prairie — home to both Frank’s and El Big Bad — north to Preston St. Hines’s Aris Market Square apartment has since taken over the northern portion of that lot along Preston. Its ground floor tenant Bravery Chef Hall borders Frank’s Backyard’s northern side.

At the end of the courtyard, an Airstream trailer-turned-bar sits parked beyond the garage door:

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Downtown Beer Garden
01/30/18 12:37pm

A show-stopping announcement posted on the Walter’s Downtown Facebook page yesterday brings sad news for thrashers, metal-heads, punks, and indie fans: the 18-year-old live music venue on the corner of Naylor and Vine streets plans to close down on February 4. Walter’s moved to its current location — the former classic car showroom, video production studio, car parts distribution center, and cabinet warehouse pictured above — in 2011. Before that, the club was located on Washington Ave, in a building just east of Thompson St. that’s since been transformed into the office of Carnegie Custom Homes.

The photo below views the venue from its north side on Naylor back in 2014:

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The Last Set
01/26/18 4:30pm

The lights are off and the gas station signs have come down from the 2,770-sq.-ft. building formerly home to Doc’s Motorworks Bar & Grill on the corner of Westheimer and Graustark St. The nighttime photo above shows the auto-themed Montrose restaurant before it closed down at the end of last year.

Underneath the restaurant’s sign on Westheimer, the rusted flatbed truck has also hit the road from its long-term parking spot:

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A Montrose Goodbye
01/25/18 11:30am

A Swamplot reader sends photos of the now see-through drive-thru signage on the north side of Burger King’s former building at 1002 Westheimer, across the street from the Westmont Shopping Center home to Spec’s, Half Price Books, and a Mattress Firm. The restaurant abdicated earlier this week. Yesterday morning, surveyors showed up to look around the property, leaving behind the wooden marker shown at the bottom of the image at top.

Another shot from the fast food lane adjacent to Blacksmith looks toward the restaurant’s parking lot on California St.:

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Whopper
01/24/18 11:30am

Victoria’s Secret is the latest retailer to retreat from the Highland Village Shopping Center. The photo at top shows the former underwear and other mentionables store at 3942 Westheimer dressed down with a sign outside announcing its closure — which took place this past weekend. The vacant storefront now blends in better with its neighbor, the former Joseph shoe store that shuttered late last year:

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Ex-Villagers
01/23/18 11:45am

Note: Story updated below.

There’s a new sign on a curved portion of H-E-B’s facade at 5895 San Felipe, marking a replacement for the former Table 57 in-store restaurant, which closed quietly sometime shortly before the new year. The supermarket’s new curbside service area is taking over the restaurant’s old space along the northwest corner of store.

Table 57 opened along with the rest of the H-E-B on the corner of San Felipe and Fountain View back in 2015. At the time, it was Houston’s first sit-down dining destination inside an H-E-B store. (The supermarket had already debuted similar venues in Austin and San Antonio.) The photo above shows the restaurant’s automatic entryway and patio frontage extending west towards Fountain View.

Here’s what the doorway to the former restaurant looks like now, stripped of its overhead signage:

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Cleanup on Table 57
01/22/18 11:15am

A note taped to the window of Chinese Cafe announces that the restaurant at 5888 Richmond has shuttered. The counter-service spot took over its location between Chimney Rock and Fountain View from a McDonald’s after moving out of the shopping center 2 blocks east on the corner of Richmond and Sage Rd. in 2014. HS Green has since cropped up in the restaurant’s old shopping center storefront.

The photo at top looks east to show Chinese Cafe’s signage still shining beneath a starless sky last Friday, although the inside of the restaurant appears to have gone dark. The 3,756-sq.-ft. building sits between Taco Bell and the Houston Camera Exchange.

Photos: Rex Solomon

Briarmeadow
01/19/18 4:30pm

Something new is on the table for the building at the corner of Westheimer and Stoney Brook Dr.: Prime Social, a card and board game venue with an onsite restaurant. The not yet full house is advertising chess, backgammon, cribbage, and a number of poker variants — with 2 daily tournaments (up to “$5,000 GUARANTEED”). Also, “professional armed security” will be present on the premises, according to the house website, in case anything gets out of hand.

Churrasca Brazilian Steakhouse closed down in the 11,448-sq.-ft. building, pictured above, last year. The restaurant took over from sushi joint and nightclub Fish & the Knife, which shuttered in its newly-built space at 7801 Westheimer in 2014, 9 months after opening.

Raising the Stakes
01/18/18 1:30pm

A Swamplot reader sends this photo of new signage fronting Hwy. 6 along the vacant Macy’s parking lot at West Oaks Mall. The space left behind by the former anchor tenant — which closed its doors last year — will be turned into a new store called The Outlet at West Oaks that will specialize in clothing and home goods and open within the next few months. Dress shop Formal Gallery has been announced as the new store’s first retailer. Other additions have been announced for the rest of the mall, HBJ’s Cara Smith reports: a gym, a trampoline park, a daycare facility, a food hall, restaurants, event venues, and some sort of maker space.

1st Emporium, the real estate division of Houston-based Mehta Investments, quietly bought most of the mall — out of bankruptcy, Paul Takahashi reports in the Chronicle —  last August. (The mall’s former owner, Pacific Retail Capital Partners, bought the shopping center out of bankruptcy, too, back in 2009.)

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Anchors Away