Headlines: The Return of Fish & the Knife; The Deal with Valet Parking

Photo of “Funnel Tunnel” on Montrose Blvd.: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

9 Comment


  • Re the valet conundrum. El Real’s parking lot is small and shared with several other businesses. If they didn’t have valet I would never even attempt to eat there on a weekend night. Since they have a valet I know I can go whenever I want. The valet parks my car right by the front door, when I leave I give him $20, get in and drive away. I’m paying for the parking spot.

  • What is the 71-story building they are referring to?

    “But over-exuberance about real estate and oil have afflicted Houston before. In the early 1980s developers built a 71-story green glass tower with a footprint shaped like a dollar sign.”

  • Wells Fargo Plaza. http://www.emporis.com/building/wellsfargoplaza-houston-tx-usa

    You used to be able to see the dollar sign as you drove into downtown from 45 on the north side.

  • Most of the discussion talks about restaurants. I think it sometimes is a bit much, but I don’t mind valeting when I am going out to dinner. Sometimes I think it is nice. The bars and clubs are where I think Houston has become way over the top.

  • From the Reuters article:

    “Another risk is overbuilding. Houston, a sprawling 8,778-square-mile metropolis, has no zoning restrictions, a fact that has some investors including New York-based GreenOak Real Estate Advisors, looking elsewhere to buy.”

    Lack of zoning has never been about what is best for Houston. It has always been about keeping development in Houston amongst a smaller group of locals instead of having to compete with National and International interests.

  • I live close enough to El Real to go there 4-5 times a month, but not close enough to walk. (That is, we eat there often enough that we have our preferred servers and they recognize us and come over to say hi. It helps that we greet them by name, treat them like human beings, tip decently, and praise the servers to the management when they’ve done well.)

    If we drive over there and the parking lot is half empty but all of the spots are coned off, we will either (a) leave, and go eat somewhere else, and tell El Real staff next time we’re in there why they lost our business the previous time, or (b) drive over a cone and park in their lot anyway.

    I get it, I understand that they’re sharing the lot with Mo Mong, and with the copy shop that is sometimes open during the restaurant’s business hours, and with a smoke shop whose hours are unknown to me but likely to be late, given the nature of the business.

    I also get that if they didn’t cone off the spots, they would all be taken by people parking for Underbelly, Hay Merchant, and whatever else upscale is across the street.

    I just refuse to valet my car in a mostly empty lot, when I am eating at a restaurant whose parking lot rent is presumably rolled into the food and drink prices.

  • Brian wrote:

    What is the 71-story building they are referring to?
    It’s an urban legend and Reuters should do their homework. The footprint of Wells Fargo Plaza, originally Allied Bank Plaza, is of two opposing, slightly offset quarter circles.
    As for being able to see a dollar sign from I-45, somebody has, or had, an overly active imagination.

  • @ Old School: You’ve got it back-asswards, dude. Anybody with money can build easily in Houston and it doesn’t matter where that money comes from. When there’s no zoning, there’s no constraint.

    Its the cities WITH zoning that are the most empowered to cut favors for the local good ol’ boy network.