06/20/18 3:30pm

Photos from the middle of Riverside Dr. between 288 and N. MacGregor Wy. show the new paint job underway on the building once home to the shuttered LaDet Motel. The central 88-year-old Riverside Terrace mansion now receiving a fresh coat is about 50-years older than the ring of 2-story lodging buildings that wrap it as well as its surrounding parking lot on 3 sides — closing off the inner court from all angles, except through the gate at the front of the 2612 Riverside complex.

Now up on that fence, these brighter-hued red tags from the city’s code enforcers:

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Ruddy Complexion
06/18/18 10:45am

B&B Butchers owner Benjamin Berg has a new restaurant in the works for the former Caddy Shack Bar & Grill building pictured at top, across the street from his existing venue’s parking lot on Wash Ave and 2-doors down from the redone building now housing Gus’s Fried Chicken. An entity connected to Berg filed a permit last Friday to prep 1809 Washington for the new business it’ll host, dubbed Cafe Lemon.

Caddy Shack (not to be confused with Candy Shack, the drive-through daiquiri spot 2 miles west on Washington) debuted in the 1,968-sq.-ft. structure 6 years ago following the Broken Spoke Cafe’s shutdown and posthumous fire. After a brief stint as Turkey Leg Hut — a Cajun restaurant which brought hookahs to the patio pictured above — the space rebranded back to Caddy Shack before shuttering for good around the end of last year.

Photos: Gil G. (Caddy Shack); Te Y. (patio)

Cafe Lemon
06/15/18 10:45am

The Red Door Cafe’s red door remains at 1918 E. NASA Pkwy., but Hubcap Grill has refashioned the rest of the space into something more chop-shop chic: a new paintjob sets off the chrome appointments now covering the once-white front facade and a new headlamp illuminates the door. There’s also BURGERS on the grille above the entrance.

But that’s just the bodywork. The interior got a full remodel, too, including new floors, appliances, AC, electrical, and this custom chandelier:

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Auto Body Transformation
06/13/18 10:45am

Almost all the metal siding that covered up the Midtown Sears building at 4201 Main has now been taken down, leaving behind rows of metal brackets used to mount the outer shell. Mayor Turner announced 2 months ago that the building would be turned into a startup incubation headquarters, and work to pull down the cladding began shortly after.

A few decorative details are now visible from the street, as shown below from Fannin:

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2401 Main
06/12/18 2:00pm

A construction permit filed yesterday reveals that Astral Brewing — the new beer venue headed to 4816 N. Shepherd — is beginning renovations to turn 9,208 sq. ft. of the 27,575-sq.-ft. warehouse building once home to Southern Truck Pros into a hub for brewing and drinking. The structure’s parking lot off Shepherd is shown full of trucks in the photo above, taken back before the auto shop shuttered.

A site plan posted on the brewery’s Facebook page indicates a combination of public amenities and mission-critical brewing facilities included in the redo:

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Independence Heights
06/08/18 12:00pm

When Paws Pet Resort finishes renovating the 2 warehouses south of its current one on Couch St. — east of Ella and in between 34th and 34th 1/2 streets — its total paw-print will include over an acre and a half of continuous land. Following about 5 years in the 6,000-sq.-ft. Garden Oaks warehouse building pictured above, the boarding house is expanding to the nearly twice-as-big former industrial building behind it at 3415 Couch St., as well as another smaller adjacent structure further south. The owners of Paws Pet Resort bought the soon-to-be-converted spaces last year — both of which sit off camera to the left.

Photo: Cortney K.

Paws Pet Resort
06/06/18 3:00pm

Current and proposed views from high above Lyons Ave. show what the St. Elizabeth Hospital would look like repurposed as a 110-unit housing complex, as the Fifth Ward CRC proposes. The biggest change architect Van Meter Williams Pollack has in store for the place is a teardown of the central wing that runs back behind the 3-story north face — pictured above — to make room for a new parking courtyard.

Behind that lot, a newly-constructed, 3-story building would front Chisum St.:

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St. Elizabeth Place
06/05/18 10:30am

A new eatery is its way to the Montrose shop called Montrose at 1723 Westheimer, a block west of Dunlavy. The toponymic women’s clothing boutique had about a 3-year run in the space before it went out of business, leaving the building vacant. Just last week, the developers behind the coming Eastern European restaurant filed plans with the city to remodel the 1,830-sq.-ft. structure into something more Turkish and culinary: Cafe Bosphorus. A banner hung up on the left storefront window store heralds its arrival.

Photos: Hipster Hotspots (Montrose Shop); Cafe Bosphorus (sign)

Cafe Bosphorus
05/29/18 4:00pm

Now gunning for Fast Traffic Auto Workshop’s garage and adjoining apartment on Austin St.: Next Level, Houston’s second planned but not-yet-open eSports venue. Following the auto shop owner’s retirement, the competitive videogaming hub has plans to stock the place with virtual reality gaming rigs, 40 PC setups, and a dozen or more gaming consoles — all of which will plug in somewhere between a planned competition stage, full bar, and “custom tabletop gaming tables” for lower-tech games.

The photo at top views the corner of the garage from McIlhenny St. It occupies the northeast spot on the Austin St. block where a foursome of bars plans to move in, next to the strip building at 2404 that CORE Church Midtown recently departed:

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Press Start
05/25/18 3:00pm

Although not yet open to the public, the grounds of new soccer bar Pitch 25 have come a long way from their earthy beginnings (second photo) along Walker St., catty-corner to BBVA Compass Stadium. The indoor soccer field that bar owner and former Houston Dynamo Brian Ching pitched to prospective investors on NextSeed last fall as the venue’s centerpiece has germinated inside the 25,000-sq.-ft. warehouse that’s being redone.

Also realized as part of the renovations — plans to tear a hole in the building’s roof in order to ensure a bright future for these semi-outdoor trees:

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Walker St. Redo
05/25/18 12:45pm

The back portion of Eastwood’s Stephen F. Austin Senior High School off Telephone Rd. is in the process of being pulverized to make room for a new western section of the campus that’ll go in its place. Like the demolished section, the soon-to-be built 184,000-sq.-ft. portion will back up to S. Lockwood Dr. along Jefferson St. Asbestos cleanup preceded the current demo.

Workers’ next job will be to gut the interior of the school’s original 1936 front section along Dumble St. — but not until it achieves an all-clear from asbestos as well:

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Eastwood Redo
05/16/18 4:00pm

Paperwork filed recently with the city’s Historical Commission reveals the extent of flood damage at the 1960 Frame-Harper house on Westminster Dr. and what Stern & Bucek has planned for the home’s second redo in 11 years. The Houston architecture firm’s first renovation of Harwood Taylor’s original design smoothed out the rough edges of its previous additions and restored its ’50s swagger. Floodwaters from Harvey filled the home’s Buffalo Bayou–facing living room, pictured above after the 2007 redo, to nearly half its height.

This interior view shows how the structure chaperones you down towards the living room and the bayou:

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Wash and Wear
05/15/18 5:00pm

Renovations are about to begin at 1304 W. Alabama in order to turn the shuttered dog boarding facility into a new wine bar. The former doghouse, dubbed Jackson’s Place, was originally converted from a 1928 bungalow. It advertised itself as a “cage-free pet resort,” and bakery that not only cared for pets, but also fed them with “yummy, all natural dog treats and pastries, made from premium ingredients.” The business closed down about 2 months ago, but an additional location remains open on Dunlavy 2 blocks south of W. Gray.

A lawn sign identifying Jackson’s Place has since been yanked from former its yard on the corner of Graustark St. — 2 doors down from hot dog restaurant Good Dog’s Montrose location — and the building’s windows are now browned out with paper. A construction permit issued yesterday for the space names Light Years Wine as its new occupant.

Photos: Swamplox inbox

Hair of the Dog
05/15/18 2:00pm

The signage above Fallas’ storefront — pictured above — has already come down, reports an employee of a neighboring business. Now on its way to that 25,480-sq.-ft. space in the chamfered corner of the L-shaped Northtown Plaza shopping center: Dallas supermarket El Rancho. A building permit was filed yesterday for the grocery conversion. It’s the second location that the North Texas chain has in the works for Houston; a Greenspoint location 6 miles up I-45 is planned to open in June.

But Fallas’ discount clothing presence won’t be entirely displaced by the new supermarket:

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Northtown Plaza
05/14/18 11:15am

The dramatic remake of a 1941 single-story is winding down on the corner of McHenry and Carothers streets, and one plastic couple has now stripped down completely and headed inside the building. From the glass picture window upstairs, you can see an unclothed male figure (shown in the closeup) on the left, who bears a striking resemblance to one member of the mannequin construction team that had been at work (and arranged in various tableaus) in the house’s yard over the past few years.

His apparent female partner — on second glance — appears not entirely nude after all:

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