Pictured above during its final stand on Slowpokes cafe’s patio last Saturday as workers took it down limb by limb: one of a pair of oak trees the landlord had long threatened to remove. The 2 trees — now fully chopped — stood on a lawn where Slowpokes patrons hung out between the strip mall that houses the cafe and Gardendale Dr., which runs to its south. The leafier photo shows the same tree alive in the coffee shop’s backyard last year.
A view from the corner of Alba St. and Gardendale looks west to show that tree about to be chopped and the other one already stumped:
Slowpokes’s space at the south end of the strip center it shares with Alba Food Mart is visible on the right:
Off camera also to the right, a parking lot fronts the strip center along Alba. A small portion of the lot — shown on the right in the photo at top — wraps around the building’s south side.
Until last month, a patio in that spot at the end of the building fronted the cafe’s backyard:
The fence on the left separated the green space from the parking lot to its east. Here’s what the entire Slowpokes space looked like last year:
KHOU reported last October that the landlord was planning to remove one of the trees in order to make way for extra parking. Along with a group of customers and neighbors, however, one of the cafe’s proprietors contended that both trees were outside of the landlord’s property — located instead in the public right of way beyond the lot’s southern boundary, adjacent to Gardendale.
In December, the cafe’s Facebook page documented crews demolishing the patio. Landlord Sam Momin told The Leader a few days later that he was planning a renovation of the entire 8,000-sq.-ft. strip mall and hoped to add more tenants to it. The parking spaces that sit directly south of Slowpokes were added in the patio’s place.
- Slowpokes landlord plans renovation of 34th and Alba [The Leader]
- Residents, business owner fight to save 100-year-old oak tree [KHOU]
- Previously on Swamplot: Slowpokes, Lot Lines Getting in the Way of Oak Removal, Parking Improvements Behind 34th St. Strip Center
Photos: Swamplot inbox