09/25/18 10:00am

The photo at top shows Cypress Ace Hardware attempting to label its most obscure class of goods, the odds and ends customers know they want but struggle to put a name on. Turns out they’re actually top sellers at the 11655 Jones Rd. store: “We have so many people that walk in with a random part in their hand,” co-owner Susan Murff tells the Chronicle’s Rebecca Hennes. Their question: “Do you carry these doohickies?

Installed about 8 months ago, the DOOHICKIES lettering matches signs that aren’t visible in the photos but run horizontally to the left and right of what’s pictured, advertising the rest of the store’s offerings: tools, paint, electrical items, plumbing supplies, a fudge bar, and an on-site post office. (There’s also an “indoor grilling center where customers can schedule a time to cook their favorite meat on a grill they are interested in buying,” reports Hennes.) As for what corporate’s got to say, each Ace store is individually owned, so local management gets some editorial power over its own décor.

Photos: Karen M. (storefront); Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed (sign)

The Writing on the Wall
09/19/18 3:45pm

The chain’s new 3004 Yale St. location opens next Friday, September 28 in the strip behind the 4-week-old grocery store and its parking lot off 610. Just off-camera to the left of the gym’s spot is the Verizon store that’s already doing business in the retail building.

It’s holding down the fort all by itself right now, but once Orangetheory moves in next door a bunch more tenants are expected to follow:

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Independence Heights
09/18/18 12:00pm

EMPTY LEELAND ST. FURNITURE WORKSHOP NOW HAS A WINE SIGN ON IT A reader tells Swamplot one of those TABC posters is up on the building at 3107 Leeland St., and the applicant it names: The Wine House, LLC. The last tenant Metamorphose Studios did double-duty in the 2,800-sq.-ft. space: dealing furniture and also guiding visitors in the art of refurbishing items themselves (“I recommend the chairapy class,” wrote the venue’s sole Yelp reviewer in 2016, adding that of the items for sale: “The hand painted and embellished cattle skulls are to die for!“) Despite its departure from Houston, the workshop lives on as part of an antique store up in Navasota. Photo: Metamorphose Studios

09/18/18 9:45am

Signage is down and a closure notice is up on Blast Fitness’s now-former 3936 N. Shepherd storefront, which lies within the northern portion of the strip that Aldi plans to take over. Pictured above is that portion — just south of Garden Oaks Blvd. — where Yoga Collective and a next-door vacuum shop took off previously to make room for the grocer. Blast’s turf was on the south side of theirs, near where retail signs and parking activity pick back up on the right in the image.

For those in need of a new gym, not to worry: Blast is letting customers transfer their memberships to any location run by its affiliate brand Fitness Connection. The nearest of that chain’s 14 Houston fitness centers? Eight miles away in Greenspoint Mall.

Photos: Dan Bradley

Clearing the Way
09/17/18 9:45am

Red hyphenated signage hasn’t yet put a name to the building, but you can see all the other makings of H-E-B’s second second-story Houston grocery store from above in the video at top. The footage starts off over N. Shepherd, then pans around the corner of 23rd St., offering a view of the former Fiesta site from the south.

Back in March a spokesperson for the grocer told The Leader’s Landan Kuhlmann to expect a “late fall opening,” meaning the store’s debut could coincide roughly with the 2 year anniversary of the dry zone modification its management pushed for prior to construction.

Video: Brandon DuBois

Doubly Decked Out
09/14/18 12:45pm

SPENGA’S UPPER-DECK GYM WILL JUT OUT REAL CLOSE TO ITS NEIGHBOR Just 8 in. will separate the cantilevered fitness studio’s eastern, over-the-edge portion from the eaves of the 1915 home adjacent to it — reports abc13’s Christine Dobbyn — which will soon house Arden’s Picture Framing and Gallery. The 15,700-sq.-ft. lot where the new retail building’s planned at 307 Westheimer is currently going up; Italian restaurant Michelangelo’s went to pieces on its west side last December (the east was all parking). [abc13; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of 307 Westheimer Rd.: Spenga

09/13/18 4:00pm

The second Ace Hardware liquidation of the week will leave behind a slightly larger hole than the one on Westheimer: 19,930 sq.-ft. as opposed to 18,900. Pictured above is the retail co-op’s Hwy. 6 location in the Providence Plaza shopping center off Bissonnet. Management’s selling off everything it’s got left there now, reports a Swamplot reader. And the post office inside the store has already shut down for good.

Before a few years ago, the storefront entrance looked like a smaller version of Dollar Tree’s next door:

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Retooling
09/13/18 10:45am

 

The mark of Aldi now appears at 9525 Westheimer, smack in the middle of the strip where Batie’s Ace Hardware is going out of business. Liquidation sales began there on Tuesday — reports a Swamplot reader — with the goal of creating an 18,900-sq.-ft. hole in the portion of the building pictured at top, adjacent to Party City.

Currently about half a dozen Aldis are open inside the Beltway, with additional reinforcements scheduled to arrive soon.

Photo: Swamplox inbox. Map: Brixmor

Westheimer Near Gessner
09/10/18 12:45pm

The ice cream shop has plans to shoot the gap between its existing Heights and Rice Village locations with a new spot at 3502 S. Shepherd, in the house next to the Richmond Ave strip where Burgerim’s getting situated. Although Cloud 10’s summer menu — including mozzarella and black tea-corn flavors, as well as a sundae made with “freeze dried blueberries” — is still on rotation in the 2 current locations, it’ll probably be replaced by a whole ‘nother roster by the time the new store opens.

Five head-in parking spots line the building’s northern frontage along Colquitt St. They’ve been empty for the most part since hair salon All Decked Out checked out of the building, leaving it open to new arrivals.

Photos: All Decked Out Hair Salon (first); Tenavox (second)

The Scoop
09/07/18 3:30pm

It used to just be a buck, until “about 10 years ago it went to $2,” writes a moviegoer. By then the theater had already been around for decades in the back of its namesake Wind Chimes Shopping Center at Westheimer and Eldridge — once the setting itself of a movie shot by a local production company. Following roughly 40 years there, “It was just about the last dollar movie open in Houston,” the former patron declares. (Still around, notes the sign, is the North Oaks Cinema 6 at FM 1960 and Stuebner Airline — where the same owners will sell you a $2 ticket to see any of 8 selections right now.)

What that price got you at Windchimes: admission to feature films that hadn’t quite made it to DVD yet after finishing up their time in first-run theaters. And on top of that, arcade games:

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Cut!
09/06/18 2:30pm

A sign spotted up on the chain’s East End location (pictured at top) by a thrifty Redditor informs customers that the last 2 Sand Dollar stores will be closing at the end of this month, bringing an end to the retailer’s 37-year run. Both the 7018 Harrisburg Blvd. and 1903 Yale St. stores are now in clearance mode: All purchases over $20 (before tax) are half-off.

Down in Pasadena, the 2535 Spencer Hwy. store has already been emptied:

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Everything Must Go
09/05/18 10:15am

EYE DOC GRABBING SPACE NEXT TO DENTIST IN MID MAIN LOFTS’ METRO SIDE The office of Dr. Benjamin Golik, DDS is getting a new optometrist neighbor along Main St. as heralded by a recently filed building permit for the Mid Main Lofts‘ ground level. The eye doctor’s move-in will leave the apartments’ east side more full than not — though a few of its rail-adjacent retail spaces remain empty according to the map above of the building’s first floor. [Previously on Swamplot] Map: LoopNet

08/30/18 9:45am

Not all items at Katy’s new Daiso will be priced at 100 yen (90 cents), but they should be in the ballpark. The dollar store chain originally set a single price for all items in store when it debuted in Japan, a practice it’s carried over to some Australian locations but not the U.S.

The retailer opens its Mason Park Shopping Center doors tomorrow at 10:05 a.m. in the storefront Aaron’s furniture store left for a spot across the street after Daiso reportedly took over its lease 2 years ago. That’ll bring the Texas Daiso total to 6; the others are all near Dallas.

As for the seventh, it’s already gunning for Lonestar Dancesport’s former digs in the Westchase Shopping Center:

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Turning Japanese
08/29/18 10:15am

HOW POST OAK’S NEW ROOFTOP MOVIE SCREEN PLANS TO GET TEXANS BEHIND IT Tickets sales start today at noon for the first movie to hit the new Rooftop Cinema Club screen atop the Whole Foods BLVD Place garage on October 3: Dirty Dancing. Following a few more blockbusters like Coming to AmericaBack to the Future, and Footloose the London-born chain will begin courting Texans with a home-grown lineup including Rushmore, Reality BitesDazed and Confused, Selena, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with a showing of Black Panther thrown in there on October 16 just because). At the end of its second week, the theater takes a hard turn out of state with Mel Brooks’ Mike Nicholls’ South Beach feature The Birdcage, only to come back in a big way with Texas Chainsaw Massacre the day before Halloween. [KHOU; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Whole Foods at 1700 Post Oak Blvd.: Dung L.

08/28/18 11:45am

MATTRESS1ONE HAS SHUTTERED IN THE PLAZA ON RICHMOND, ACROSS FROM THE OTHER MATTRESS1ONE The closed location at 5132 Richmond Ave is the younger one: it opened up in 2016 on the north side of the street, opposite the 5129 location that’d already been in business for 2 years. On deck for the empty 6,555-sq.-ft. Plaza On Richmond box indicated above: Amazing Lash Studio. The cosmetic chain has roughly a dozen outer-Loop Houston locations. Map of The Plaza On Richmond: Greenwich Management