New Hilton Americas Sidewalk Cafe Seating Will Feature Electrifying Views

NEW HILTON AMERICAS SIDEWALK CAFE SEATING WILL FEATURE ELECTRIFYING VIEWS Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops inside the Hilton Americas Hotel downtown will soon feature sidewalk seating and an outdoor lounge area — but not on the hotel’s busy side facing Discovery Green.The improvements are going instead on the west side of the structure, facing Crawford St. (shown above under construction) — and Centerpoint Energy’s showcase full-block electrical transformer farm next door. Crawford St., which is blocked by the Toyota Center one block to the south, will be reduced to 2 traffic lanes, while the sidewalk is widened by 25 ft. Plans for the sidewalk scene by landscape firm Clark Condon Associates show the lounge area surrounded by a low wall closer to Dallas St., a dining area further south, and a double row of sycamore trees that should help shield sidewalk sitters from any sparks across the street. Separately, sidewalks are also being widened along 3 blocks of Dallas St. between Houston Pavilions and the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Spencer’s eating area should be complete by October; drawings of the design are currently on display in the restaurant. Photo: Swamplot inbox

11 Comment

  • Inasmuch as sycamores are deciduous, their transformer-view blocking qualities will not be in evidence much of the time when they are sorely needed.

  • Cool. Now if the COH was only rebuilding the sidewalks in and around Washington Ave at more than 3 or 4 feet, I’d be even more impressed. Have they not noticed that this is one of the most walked neighborhoods in the city? AND why do they insist on those stupid 12in strips of grass between the sidewalk and the curb? It’s just silly, and often muddy, and reduces the width of actual walking space.

  • Awesome. This is perfect with all the hotels and development over there. Now park visitors will have another place to dine outdoors or before a concert, not to mention hotel guests and those in town for conventions.

    I’m sure they needed to beautify the sidewalk to the Houston Pavilions. It can get pretty shady over there with all the pee from the taxi drivers. Not the best way to show off the city to people spending $$ on hotels and restaurants, especially when the sign ordinance doesn’t allow signage above a certain level downtown. The Embassy Suites has only a white square on the tower where the turqouise “E” was supposed to go. It looks like a giant refrigerator box.

    It’s not like that in NY, LA, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, San Antonio or Dallas and it results in people not knowing where anything is downtown from afar.

    Washington Ave is not a priority to the city. There are no hotels over there. Nobody cares about that except the bar owners so they can make more $$. If they want more sidewalk, they can redesign their space to make one.

  • Charming….

  • Sycamores have that dust, not good for allergies, and those little spiky balls they drop are a pain. Wonder why sycamores instead of some other tree

  • Another screwed up idea. Whoever thought this up needs to be strapped to the fence around the transformer array and made to broil in the sun!!

  • Dillon,

    Washington Ave is more than a bar corridor. During the day there are a lot of people walking along that corridor in its current shape sober and enjoying the multitude of restaurants and new stores opening up.

    Local civic groups often have events along the corridor too that get the businesses involved in the local community.

    I argue that more benefit would be made to widening the sidewalks along the Washington Ave corridor than this one block in downtown for people that don’t live in Houston.

  • a restaurant confiscating 25 ft of public street for a patio sure is a lot easier when you’re located in a hotel operated by the City.

  • Among the fun facts about sycamores are their fallen leaves, which are like trying to rake up so many baseball mitts. How about a better variety of natives or near natives – Montezuma cypress (particularly nice over a deck or sidewalk, because they drop next to nothing and aspirate water nicely, making the area beneath pleasantly cooler – and are pretty good in windstorms), the gazillion varieties of oak that aren’t live oaks, red maples, and let’s not forget elms and ashes.

    And yeah, that whole one foot strip between the sidewalk and street is pretty dumb. Not big enough to really grow anything, and a likely tripping hazard, too. That said, the city does NOT require a sidewalk no larger than five or six feet – that’s just the developers once again doing the “how little can we get away with” math.

  • It’s great that Houston is adding more sidewalk space for pedestrians. The city needs to clean up the Washington area as well and make it comfortable for pedestrians. Younger visitors to Houston definitely visit the Washington area, they hear it’s the go-to place. I spoke with some young drilling engineers from Australia in Houston for training that had visited Washington area and they were shocked at the sidewalks in the area.

  • I agree with the comment made by Jon about the strip of grass that they insist on putting on every sidewalk.

    In uptown they are re-doing the sidewalks and they are freaking putting a little 6 inch strip of grass in between the sidewalk and the curb. It’s ridiculous.