06/06/17 12:30pm

HOUSTON BASEMENT NOW OFFERING IMMERSIVE VHS RENTAL STORE EXPERIENCE TO A FEW TAPEHEADS IN THE KNOW “It’s like the 80s threw up everywhere,”” eponymous Champion Video Rental founder Jason Champion tells LunchmeatVHS of his on-the-down-low basement video rental store, tucked away somewhere off Mills Rd. outside the Beltway. As of last month, Champion says the store is only open to friends and acquaintances for now, though he hopes to change that eventually; decor includes the full gamut of 80s video store memorabilia, like “a display case with candy, trading cards, VCRs, blank tapes, tape rewinders, and popcorn,” a free-play horror arcade machine, and various and sundry movie posters and movie-store accoutrements. Should the spot, which Champion describes on Facebook as a “VHS rental store, time machine, and video rental store museum,” go more public at some point, it might pick up the title of the only VHS-dedicated rental space left in town in the post-Blockbuster era. Last month’s opening of the literally and figuratively underground shop follows in the wake of Heights’ Weirdo Video’s brief run, the closure of Audio/Video Plus on Waugh Dr., and the move of Cactus Music (which didn’t bring its VHS collection with it to the current spot on Portsmouth St.). [Lunchmeat VHS via Dangerous Minds; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Champion Video Rental

08/23/16 10:30am

17695 Hwy. 249, Willowbrook, Houston, 77064

With the Mattress Firm peeking in from the left and the Office Depot edging in from the right, here’s the former 59 Diner across Hwy. 249 from Willowbrook Mall. The jagged freestanding building went up for lease around the same time as all those other 59 locations opened up in the wake of the chain’s March shutdown; now, as other former 59s are beginning to pick up new tenants, the Willowbrook spot is being spruced up to reopen as a branch of Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet. That boxy framework hanging around over the entrance looks to be the leftovers of the 59 signage, shown below in this previous listing shot of the restaurant (taken before the structure’s teal-heavy retro color scheme got beiged away):


Ups and Downs Willowbrook
01/15/16 1:30pm

Walmart Supercenter, 7075 FM 1960 W, Willowbrook Mall, Houston, 77069

The king of big-box retail announced plans this morning to close the Walmart Supercenter at 7075 FM 1960 West, behind Willowbrook Mall at the intersection with Cutten Rd. The Supercenter will close on January 28th after more than 2 decades of operation; a Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2740 Gessner Rd. (south of Kempwood Dr.) will also close on the same day.

The Supercenter (not to be confused with the one 4 miles up FM 1960 at the corner with T.C. Jester) is one of 154 US stores that will close, as the chain works to assure that its “assets [are] aligned with strategy”. Currently, there are 17 Walmart stores on or inside Beltway 8, and 4 Walmart Supercenters along FM 1960 between 249 and Atascocita.


Boxing Up on FM 1960
06/18/14 10:00am

REFORMED OIL WORKER TYPES GIVING UP PUMP JACK, OPENING NEW BREWERY NEAR THE WILLOWBROOK MALL Future Home of 11 Below Brewery, 6820 Bourgeois Rd., HoustonWhy are the owners of the microbrewery set to open later this year in this industrial building in the Four Season Business Park at 6820 Bourgeois Rd., a mile southeast-ish of the Willowbrook Mall, calling themselves the 11 Below Brewing Co.? Should their beers be served that cold? “Start with the oilfield, and move to the brewing industry, just like our founders,” the company explains on its Facebook page. “There’s 42 gallons in a barrel of crude oil, but only 31 gallons in a barrel of beer. See what we did there?” You should also see that the original name, Pump Jack Brewing Co., encountered some “trademark drama,” according to the founders, prompting the change. [11 Below Brewing] Photo with superimposed logo: 11 Below

06/06/13 3:00pm

FLESHING OUT WILLOWBROOK’S DINING OPTIONS Rivals in that niche sports-and-cleavage market Twin Peaks and Hooters will have a bit more competition starting today, reports Eater Houston, and this from the only restaurant that’s legally allowed to call itself a “breastaurant:” Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill — which in April trademarked the term — opened its first location last month in The Woodlands; this new one will be at the former Burger Girl at 17117 Tomball Pkwy. near the Willowbrook Mall. And what, you might wonder, sets Bikinis apart? It might be the food: “In addition to traditional American bar-and-grill fare and cocktails and microbrews,” reports the Houston Business Journal, “Bikinis offers its Big Bucking Burger. Customers can win a T-shirt if they finish the $24.95 five-pound burger on their own.” [Eater Houston; Houston Chronicle; Houston Business Journal] Photo: Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill

04/23/13 10:15am

Before construction can begin next month on this 4-story apartment complex planned for the southwest corner of Cypresswood Dr. and the Tomball Pkwy., some things have to go. Developers Embry and Stonelake Capital appear to have in mind an unscraped 15.4-acre site that’s thick with trees, and Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon reports that the demise of an “existing structure” is imminent. But she doesn’t say which one. And neither has Embry. But: The manager at the Arby’s there on Cypresswood says it’s not the Arby’s.


11/13/08 10:42am

4629 Kingfisher Dr., Willowbrook, Houston

“There were just a lot of things that made me look at the pictures for a long time,” explains the househunting Houstonian who brought this 3-bedroom, 2-bath house in Willowbrook subdivision (near Willowbend) to our attention. “I just felt I had to share with someone.”

Readers, that’s why Swamplot is here.

Do not be fooled by this home’s quiet and unassuming exterior. A multitude of delights awaits you inside.

And there is plenty to share:


05/02/08 2:15pm

Tattoo Ad for Pulte Homes in Willowbrook in Houston Press

Media-specific marketing helps bring everybody together! Just wait until the buyers of new Pulte homes in Willowbrook lured by this uh, interesting ad in this week’s Houston Press move in next door to folks attracted to the neighborhood by some very different marketing.

Tattoo fans: Watch the video below and meet your new neighbors!