Siphon Coffee Sucking Up Washateria Space on West Alabama

Going into the 2,034-sq.-ft. former Washateria space at the back of the little shopping strip across Greeley St. from the Blue Bird Circle Shop on West Alabama: a soon-to-be beer-and-wine-licensed coffee shop called Siphon Coffee, set to open late this year or early next. The space is shown on the far left of the photo above. Owners Michael Caplan and Edward Treistman write on the coffee house’s Facebook page that there’ll be food enough for breakfast and lunch too, once the place opens, after they get help from former Brasserie 19 chef Amanda McGraw with the menu and training.


Strip center owner Gulf Stream Properties has plans to redo the whole center, which the company plans to rename the “Shops on Greeley.” Just in front of Siphon Coffee will be a new barber shop called The Argyle League. “Please No Restaurants,” the company pleas in a flyer advertising the remaining 3,000-sq.-ft. spot facing West Alabama.

Photos: Swamplot inbox. Plan and rendering: Gulf Stream Properties

19 Comment

  • End stage gentrification: the point during the gentrification process when the mom&pop stores and businesses that cater to working people are pushed out to make way for hoity-toity coffee shoppes and taverns intended for bulbous-nosed 70 year-old white guys.
    That’s what’s going on in Montrose now. I wish there were some way to get the benefits if the early stages of gentrification: the better schools, safer streets, and revitalized parks; but not have it come to this.

  • This is GROUND FLOOR retail, ZAW. I thought that was the holy grail of Swamplotters. Get on your fixie bike and head on over.

  • sweet, a few seconds walk from our office.

  • Yes, because there is just so much being pushed out of this little strip.

  • I thought everyone knew that Mom and Pop stores that cater to working class people are now called Walmart.

  • Yeah, Montrose and Boca Raton are virtually identical now.

  • Great, that little shopping center is very underutilized. The whole complex needs to be updated.

  • I did my laundry here when I first moved to Houston; there’s another one on Hawthorne, so no big loss. I’m excited for one less empty, foul smelling strip center.

    I am wondering what niche the barber shop is trying to fill. Henry’s on Richmond has the hot shave and gun magazine segment covered. Nu-Cuts is right next door, makes local “best” lists and is entrenched in the LGBT community. Big Kats is just on the other side of the Spur and they also do tattoos.

  • Geez. Where am I supposed to get my Powerball tickets and Newports now….? This is clearly a sign of the area’s spiraling into a gentrification black hole. You are so right, ZAW.

  • “Please no Restaurants…”
    …because otherwise we’d have to find 12 more parking spaces.

  • The retail space used to be a (very sparsely stocked) mom & pop convenience store that was robbed a couple times before going out of business. It was only a few blocks away from Pak’s, a very similar store next to the spur. It was also just a few blocks from Walgreen’s, a Rite-Aid, and a Kroger. Lots of competition!

    As for barber shops, the market seems split between ultra-cheap (and shady) places like Henry’s and pricey salons. Big Kat’s is always way too busy and recently moved into the pricey category.

  • I wonder what’s up with the new construction across the street at the old spanish book store that was recently purchased?

    This looks like a solid remodel and I like the changes happening in the Montrose.


  • I used to live right around the corner from this strip center years ago. As a poor college student, the washateria and the convenience store (back then it was a Stop N Go) got a fair amount of business from me. The low-rent 4-plexes that housed successive generations of students have mostly been scraped and replaced with overpriced townhouses. Gentrification: ’twas ever thus.

  • We look forward to being part of your community, and hope we will bring a positive impact to an aging empty strip center. Siphon hopes to offer a comfortable place to enjoy a cup of joe. All feedback, is welcome. I’m a life long Houstonian, and hope for anyone in the neighborhood to drop by. Peace.

  • There is nothing shady about Henry’s.

  • Not like there is any shortage of coffee shops within 1/4 mile of this place, but it is certainly an improvement in this strip center that I’ve always felt was a little under utilized. They will likely bring in a more foot traffic to the convenience store at the end as well. If their coffee is acceptable I will probably start heading here instead of Dirks–something about their coffee just hasn’t tasted right for months now. In my perfect world there would be a nice little vietnamese restaurant next door. If I had good coffee and bang mi within walking distance I’d never take my car out of the garage again.

    It looks like the owners are posting here, so here is my request. If you could make snack and deli foods that are either non-organic or “quasi” organic they would still sell! The $9 pre-made cold sandwiches popping up everywhere are getting out of hand. I personally think that most people will pick standard good quality and fresh offerings over cold expensive organic-free trade-nonGMO-gluten free-carb free etc. Just because something doesnt meet all these requirements doesn’t mean it isn’t something of good quality. Good quality food can still come from honest people all acting responsible together and knowing what to share with each other. Yeah call me an idealist.

  • dream: The spanish bookstore was bought by a resident of the westmoreland subdivision a few blocks away (a lawyer?) and is being converted into his office building. I think they’re adding another story (if I remember our conversation)

  • When I moved back to Montrose around six years ago I went to that laundry mat the day after I moved in. I think i was called Al’s. It was pretty gross and I had already vowed to find another place next time. Then a homeless guy walked up to me at the table I was folding my clothes on, dropped his pants and peed on the floor next to me. Welcome back to Montrose!

  • What’s coming next door to Kuhl’Linscomb?