08/11/17 11:15am

The new Holiday Inn Express about to begin construction at 3401 N. Main St. in the Near Northside will have some consistently quiet neighbors and some occasionally very loud ones — with the steady drone of the adjacent North Fwy. available to somehow bridge the gap. The 1.44-acre site, where the Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant stood until it was torn down 2 years ago (and Stuarts Drive-In before it), sits across N. Main St. from the Hollywood Cemetery (yes, the same cemetery featured in Wes Anderson movie Rushmore). And it’s just a bit more than a quarter-mile up N. Main from the White Oak Music Hall complex, whose outdoor concert habit spurred nearby residents kept up late at night by the noise to file suit against the venue — and later, the city of Houston — for failing to follow (and enforce) local sound ordinances.

Late last month, crews removed the concrete paving left behind after the Casa Grande demolition (see photos above). Just this week, a city permit was granted for a 58,929-sq.-ft., 95-room Holiday Inn Express on the site — up 10 rooms from the 85 promised a couple of years ago, when the developers submitted these drawings as part of an application for a variance that would allow them not to have to extend or widen Norma St., on the north end of the lot:


Near Near Northside
07/02/15 11:45am


Coyote at Glen Park and Hyacinth St., Glen Park, HoustonHere’s a coyote who stepped out in the early evening hours yesterday for a little daylight walkabout in Glen Park — not far from its normal howling grounds in and around the nearby Hollywood Cemetery, Little White Oak Bayou, and Moody Park. These pics were taken at the corner of Glen Park St. and Hyacinth, just one block north of North Main St. and the future site of the White Oak Music Hall.


Wildlife in the Near Northside
06/22/15 1:45pm

Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant, 3401 N. Main St., Glen Park, Houston

Demolition of the Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant at 3401 N. Main St. at the corner of Norma began last Friday. A reader reports hearing from residents of the nearby Glen Park neighborhood that a new Holiday Inn Express is planned for the site. The property backs up to the freeway just south of the N. Main—I-45 intersection.

Above: The watered fall, in progress. Below: A few photos of the restaurant’s final scene, from just a few days earlier.


Glen Park
03/20/15 1:30pm

Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant, 3401 N. Main St., Houston

The sign up at 3401 N. Main St. across from the Hollywood Cemetery leaves little doubt as to who the owner of Casa Grande blames for the Mexican restaurant and dance club’s shuttering. The 18-year-old establishment, which took over the by-then-long-abandoned site of the former Stuarts Drive-in, shut down last month, after several years of slow business. A sign at the entrance (pictured) now reads BANK CLOSED.


No More Dancing
08/05/14 3:45pm

Rendering of Proposed Concert Venue by Schaum/Shieh Architects, 2915 N. Main St., Houston

Map of Planned Sites Adjacent to 2915 N. Main Concert Venue, Houston

The operators of Fitzgerald’s and the Free Press Summer Fest are planning a large multi-venue development on N. Main St. on the east side of I-45. Renderings of 2 of the buildings, designed by a firm run locally by Rice architecture professor Troy Schaum, show a separate concert building with at least 2 separate stages inside and a freestanding ice house, which would be adjacent to a separate outdoor stage at the corner of N. Main and North St. The southern portion of the site (outlined in yellow in the map above) where those 2 structures would sit backs up to Little White Oak Bayou.


North Main Music Central, by the Bayou