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THE LEADER • 44th Edition • November 9, 2019


The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 2

Abigail Bocchetto Realtor, GRI

Your local area specialist Oakington Realty knows Oak Forest

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 3

Get to know the area in this year’s Guide

I

t was almost exactly a year ago when I immersed myself into the community detailed in the pages that follow. I already was well-versed in Houston -- or so I thought at the time. I grew up in the outskirts of the city, first in the Cypress area and later in Montgomery County, venturing into its core only to go to Astros games, make my way to Galveston or because my mom dragged me to the Galleria to go shopping. But I had never known much about the Heights, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest or the other communities in Near Northwest Houston. They might as well have been in a foreign country, like Dallas, when I became editor of The Leader in November of last year. But I quickly came to love this slice of Houston, which is close enough to downtown to feel connected to it yet far enough away to have its own

Adam Zuvanich Editor

identity. The people in this area are friendly, diverse, thoughtful and forward-thinking, and they know how to make a good meal, brew a good beer and have a good time. I’ve gained a little bit of weight eating at all the excellent restaurants in local neighborhoods and sampling their wide selection of craft beer. I’ve also gained some perspective by checking out the area’s greenspaces and bustling art scene, and I’ve learned more about real estate, development, civic engagement and public policy than I had at any point previously. It’s been a blast getting to

know the area and all it has to offer, so it’s exciting to now share all that with you. The Guide, which is our annual publication that provides an overview of the community, essentially is a newcomers’ guide. But there’s a good chance even lifelong residents will learn something new in this year’s edition, which touches on a wide range of topics and provides an overview of all things new within the last year. We have spelled it all out in eight sections that address the arts, development, education, the food and drink scene, infrastructure improvements, healthcare, recreation and religion. So please immerse yourself in these 32 pages, where you can read all about Near Northwest Houston and see lots of cool pictures, too. We hope you enjoy taking it all in, just like I have during the last 12 months.

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2KVXUHL&\FOHKDVRYHUELNHVLQVWRFNHYHU\WKLQJIURPNLGČ&#x2021;VČ´UVWELNH ZLWKWUDLQLQJZKHHOVWRWLWDQLXPDQGFDUERQČ´EHUGUHDP PDFKLQHV%XWZH DOVRČ´[ČľDWVDGMXVWVHDWVDQGZLOOVKRZ\RXKRZWRVKLIWWKHJHDUVRUČ´W\RXU KHOPHW You can take your time and test ride a dozen bikes in our smooth parking lot WRČ´QGWKDWMXVWULJKWSHUIHFWELNH<RXFDQFXVWRPL]H\RXUELNHZLWKXSJUDGH FRPSRQHQWVRUDPRUHFRPI\VHDWIURPRXUODUJHLQYHQWRU\:DQWDČľRZHU EDVNHW"*RWWKRVH1HHGDQHZ6KLPDQR&UDQN"<HV6LUULJKWKHUHEODFN or silver? %LNHVDUHFRPSOLFDWHGVRPHWLPHVDQGWKHUHDUHDORWRIFKRLFHVVRLWČ&#x2021;VQLFH WRJRWRDELJVKRSOLNHL&\FOH%LNH6KRSZLWKDORWRIYDULHW\DQGVHOHFWLRQDQG H[SHUWVWDÎ?WRKHOS\RX 2XUPHFKDQLFVVWD\XSWRGDWHRQWKHODWHVWWHFKQRORJ\IURP65$0$9Î&#x2013;' 6+Î&#x2013;0$12=Î&#x2013;33DQG0$9Î&#x2013;&WRVHUYLFH\RXUSUROHYHOELNH%ULQJLQ\RXUELNH WRGD\IRUDIUHHGLDJQRVLVDQGHVWLPDWH2SHQGD\VDZHHNRQWKH:KLWH 2DN%LNHSDWKVWRSLQČ´OO\RXUZDWHUERWWOHDQGVD\+L

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The Guide â&#x20AC;˘ November 9, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 4

Small-town appeal to meet all your hardware & gift needs

O

BUILD

Lower Heights District, a 24-acre development by Gulf Coast Commercial Group at Interstate 10 and Studemont Street, will have a movie theater as well as direct access to the nearby Heights Hike and Bike Trail. The master plan calls for more than 200,000 square feet of retail and office space and 600 multi-family residential units.

Development booming throughout community By Betsy Denson betsy@theleadernews.com

It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that long ago that people bemoaned the lack of options in the area for dining, shopping and entertainment. Now it seems that every week, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an announcement about either a new tenant or new development in the area â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and in some areas more than others. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair to say that no area in Northwest Houston has undergone a greater transformation than 34th Street, particularly the corner of 34th and Ella Boulevard. Back in 2014, Gatlinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s BBQ moved to a 4,200 square foot space in the new center at 3510 Ella Blvd. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and people were anticipating the opening of the Berry Hill at Ella and 43rd Street. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when Braun Enterprises acquired

Ella Plaza, renovating it and acquiring tenants like Union Kitchen and Body Rock Pilates. Then in 2016, Bryan Danna with Revive Development announced a 2 1/2-acre retail development on the southwest corner of 34th Street and Ella. Shortly thereafter, Chris Hotze with Crescere Capital Management unveiled plans for 33 1/3 @ Thirtyfourth, his equally sized development on the southeast corner of 34th and Ella. Both developments are now complete and leased to tenants like Surfhouse, BranchĂŠ and Aladdin Mediterranean at Revive as well as Les Baâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;get and Bubble Egg at 33 1/3 @ Thirtyfourth. Revive and Crescere are adding more retail and office space on the corner, with the most

recent announcement being the freestanding building that will house La Mex on the former site of R Jâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boot Co. In 2017, Revive Development purchased about three acres at 1225 West 34th St., near the Harriet and Joe Foster YMCA. The new development, called Stomping Grounds, is incorporating a repositioned existing warehouse and includes a center lawn for events. In 2018, Braun Enterprises purchased the former location of Aztec Rental Center at 2001 W. 34th St., a 5.5acre site which it is building and leasing. Mia and Joe Heil purchased about an acre of the total from Braun Enterprises to build a preschool at 1901 W. 34th St. Oak ForSee Build, P. 5

wners Jim and Kathy Stratton and Duane Myers purchased C&D Hardware in 1999 from Mrs. Alice Dailey. The store, located at 314 East 11th in the Heights, was once the site of record shop & jukebox business owned by Pappy Daily and his sons. With its smalltown appeal, C&D Hardware still prides itself on being a family-owned and operated business serving the Heights since 1951. The store has grown through the years and is constantly adding products to keep up with customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs and expectations. C & D Hardware carved out a niche for itself long ago and continues to strive to maintain outstanding customer service. Although C & D Hardware prides itself on being a fullline hardware store, the store also carries a large selection of home and garden decor. Looking for a gift? Browse through the unique selection of gifts for wine enthu-

Photo from 1951 of our first location in the Houston Heights. C&D is still here to help you with what you Need, Quick & Easy. siasts, Jim Shore collectibles, candles and scented oils, seasonal decorations, crosses and more. Recently-added products include Traeger & Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grills, Yeti Coolers, Tumblers and accessories, a Huge selection of light bulbs, Bona Wood and Hard Surface Cleaners, Science Diet Pet Foods. The store also provides services

that include: metal screens made and repaired, key cutting, glass cutting, lock re-keying, sharpening service, carpet cleaner rental, pipe cutting and threading, and computer paint color matching. Call 713-861-3551 for helpful advice, to place an order, or check for a needed item in stock.

Here to Serve You! From left to right, front row: Joyce, Alan, Tina & Ryan. Back Row: John, Zack, Dan & Arthur.

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Build, from P. 4

The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 5

est Academy is scheduled to open in January. All the activity is spurring a number of other smaller developments along Ella, 34th and 43rd Street, like the newest location of Halal Guys at 3008 Ella Blvd. Build H-E-B and they will come Another area that is experiencing tremendous growth is North Shepherd Drive, in large part spurred by the HE-B that replaced Fiesta and opened at 2300 N Shepherd Dr. in January 2019. Other major North Shepherd developments include Lowell Street Market, Radom Capital’s complex at North Shepherd Drive and 18th Street that features over 11,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including breakfast spot Snooze and sweet spot Smoosh; Market at Houston Heights, a 30,000-square-foot buildout at 1533 North Shepherd

Dr. that will offer both restaurants, retail, and serviceoriented tenants; Braun’s Shepherd Row at 1002 N. Shepherd Dr. across from Kroger; and Gulf Coast Commercial’s 17,200 square foot retail development, called Lot 14 Shopping Center, at 3201 N. Shepherd Dr. One of the biggest development announcements in recent months is the transformation of a 12-acre warehouse complex at the northeast corner of Shepherd and 6th Street into 200,000 square feet of office space, restaurants, merchants and health centers. Steve Radom of Radom Capital, which is partnering with Triten Real Estate Partners, said M-TK Heights would be similar to what he did with Heights Mercantile on Yale Street, just five times larger in scale. Radom Capital also retooled part of 19th Street

Local business is our business.

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 6

Build, from P. 5 in the Heights, remodeling the century-old, two-story building that used to house Carter & Cooley Co. Delicatessen at 375 W. 19th St. The 9,703-square foot building now includes a mix of new tenants, such as an architecture firm, realty firm, energy company, speech therapy business, vintage clothing store and dressmaker, with an ice cream shop on the way. A little to the west on 19th Street, which always has been a center of activity, is more growth and new development. The historic Heights Waterworks site between 19th and 20th streets at Nicholson Street was purchased and redeveloped by Braun Enterprises, with a few new restaurants there now. Braun purchased the site from Phoenix-based Alliance Residential, which is building apartments at the northwest corner of Nicholson and 20th Street. Artist Enclave on Washington Corridor An another area of big growth is the development of the Washington corridor, led by developer Jon Deal, who said he’s never built anything new except for his house. Deal is the managing partner of artist enclaves Winter Street, Spring Street and Center Street Studios and a partner in Silver Street Studios. In 2015 he purchased the old Riviana Foods complex, which he transformed into The Silos on Sawyer, creative workspaces with limited destination type retail. Deal, Steve Gibson and Frank Liu of Lovett Commercial own an adjoining 35 acres, which includes a multitude of buildings which they are fashioning into a campusstyle development. Included in this is Lovett Commercial’s Sawyer Yards with a mix of retail, restaurants and office space. Nearby will be Gulf Coast Commercial’s recently announced 24-acre project called Lower Heights District at Interstate 10 and Studemont Street. It will have

more than 200,000 square feet of retail and office space, eateries, a movie theater and 600 multi-family residential units. It will offer direct access to the adjacent Heights Hike and Bike Trail. Residential There seem to be two kinds of homeowners – ones that don’t want a yard and ones who do. Oftentimes, a homeowner will start out in the first category and end up in the second. Such was the case with the Nelson family, which had a 2-year-old and a baby on the way in 2016. They sold their townhouse at 20th Street and Studemont Street that year and moved to Lazybrook. “We are the first of our friends with kids and wanted to stay near the loop for social stuff, and we wanted a four-bedroom which we couldn’t find in Garden Oaks or Oak Forest,” Anne Nelson said. “In Lazybrook we got a three-bedroom plus a flex room, and also a big yard. Sinclair Elementary is a good school. There are not a lot of teardowns in this area. People are renovating the interiors.” Two areas where there are a lot of teardowns, in which old homes are razed and replaced with new ones, are Oak Forest and Garden Oaks in the 77018 zip code. Amanda Cruser with Bernstein Realty said prices typically range from less than $100,000 for a lot on the boundaries of the zip code to about $400,000 on the high end. Cruser said home prices range from about $250K to $1.7 million. There are more and more townhomes cropping up in the zip code, particularly in Garden Oaks. These can range from $250K-$600K, according to Cruser. There are smaller original homes in these neighborhoods, too, but they require updates. Realtor Kristi Kolmetz said that in Shepherd Park Plaza, where teardowns aren’t as common, if a buyer is willing to renovate a house in the neighborhood, there

Contributed artist’s rendering M-K-T Heights, a mixed-use development from Radom Capital and Triten Real Estate Partners, is transforming a 12-acre warehouse complex at 6th Street and North Shepherd Drive.

is availability in the $440K$450K range. Those who want renovated or new are looking at $650K and up. And as an outlier, but maybe not for long, the first $1 million house in Shepherd Park Plaza recently sold. Realtor Ginny Ledwell said she works with a fair number of families who are open to a small house with the idea they will grow the house as they grow their family. “(But) buyers are competing with builders because they are the ones with cash,” Ledwell said. The 77092 zip code encompasses about 8 square miles and includes Mangum Manor. Cruser said the area tops out at $775K right now. “The upper $100K to upper $200K range will get you an original home that could benefit from updates,” Cruser said. “Approximately $300K and up will get you renovated original homes and some new builds including townhomes and patio homes.” The 77091 zip code is about 7 square miles and includes Greater Inwood, an up-and-coming real estate market. In 2015, The Leader profiled Ollie Perry and Clint Avila. They moved to Inwood Forest, originally a 1960s country club neighborhood for oil executives. The couple

also bought other homes in the neighborhood to maintain as rental properties. A July 2019 sales report said the area saw the largest year-over-year spike in home prices. The average price spiked 32.5 percent up to $251,818, while the median home price jumped 40 percent and came in at $238,000 last month. Cruser said the most expensive home on the market in the zip code is listed at $408,500. Listings that come in above $500K are on larger pieces of land. “There are a number of new construction homes on

smaller lots in the $200K to upper $300K range,” Cruser said. “(There are) also a smattering of original homes ready for renovation or smaller homes already renovated. Some condos and lots fall under $50K.” The Heights proper in zip code 77008 continues to be expensive due to its charm and amenities. “Current listings top out at $2.7 million,” Cruser said. “There are a handful of condos and townhomes under $200K. (It) would be very difficult to find anything with a full-sized lot for under $500K.” There is also the added consideration of abiding by deed restrictions if a buyer purchases a house in one of the Heights’ three historic districts and wants to renovate or add on to it. The guidelines are encompassed in a 222-page document which includes nearly 50 pages of a home inventory

for the three districts. Bordering the Heights proper is zip code 77009, which includes Sunset Heights, Woodland Heights and Northside. Those neighborhoods saw a big spike in home sales in August. Agents closed on 56 homes there that month, up 19.1 percent from the 47 sold the previous August. The neighborhoods’ yearto-date figures are on the upswing as well, with the 418 homes sold by September 2019 representing a 9.4 percent spike compared to the same period in 2018. The average cost for a home in 77009 is $471,680, with a median price of $434,500. As any realtor will tell you, the more important thing in house hunting is to be openminded. Maybe the yard for kids or pets is a must, but a home’s personal appeal is something that a buyer can create. Happy hunting.

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Phyllis A. Oeser The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 7

Attorney at Law

Your Neighborhood Attorney P

hyllis Oeser practices general civil law and has been serving your neighborhood for 20 years providing legal services with an emphasis on Wills, Probate, Real Property, and laws affecting the Elderly. Her services cover everyone’s needs including those who do not realize the need to have or probate their Will. Phyllis is good at explaining the necessity of having a professionally drafted Will and necessity to probate one’s Will. With her thorough knowledge, experience and explanations

she can win over those who incorrectly believe these services are unnecessary. She has been voted as the Readers’ Choice Best Attorney with The Leader. Working as a legal assistant in her earlier years provided the experience and knowledge to allow her to open her own office. Early in her practice, she realized Wills, Probate, Estate Planning, and Real Estate are the areas of the law that allow greater interaction with clients, which is what she enjoys and what drives her. Her approach to being an attorney is to

be a problem solver. Phyllis enjoys getting to know her clients as it helps her to better serve their needs so that they do not have to worry and are assured their matters are being taken care. Phyllis’ goal is to offer her clients personalized service at affordable rates. Her office is located at 5005 W. 34th St., Suite 104A, Houston, Texas, 77092. Give Phyllis a call a 713-692-0300 to assist in getting your affairs in order.

Probate • Wills • Estate Planning • Real Property and other General Civil Matters

5005 W. 34th Street, Suite 104A 713-692-0300

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Commitment to Reliable, Neighborhood Service

John Ferrata

COMPLETE AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE ON ALL MAKES & MODELS WE DO IT ALL!

NLine Automotive is a 3rd Generation Family owned & operated auto repair business established in 1995. Located at 3030 Ella Blvd. just off Loop 610 West, Nline is convenient to Garden Oaks, Oak Forest and the Heights. We specialize in Alignments, Brakes, CV Axles, A/C & Engine Diagnostic, Suspension and Ride Control. NLine is an A+ rated businesses and accepts most extended warranties as well as the Car Care One Card. Our staff is comprised of some of the best suspension and diagnostic technicians in Houston, many with more than 20 years of experience in our shop! We grew up in the Garden OaksOak Forest area and we plan to be here for the long haul. We realize our success depends upon the perception of our neighbors. We want to be the preferred shop in your area, providing great customer service in a timely manner. If you would like, come by and check us out. Our service writers Kevin and John will answer any questions you may have. We also serve a very good cup of coffee! Things are changing in our neighborhood, out with the old and in with new and we want to continue to provide old fashioned service in the future. Stop by if you have any questions, we are here to help. Our Core Service Offer.... Nline Automitive is committed to serving you, our customer, with professional automotive repair at a reasonable cost with qualified technicians. We use quality auto parts, guaranteed coast-to-coast. We stand on sound business principles and uphold high ethical standards. Our goal is to make your automotive repair experience friendly and successful. Visit our Pictured: John 3, Vinny Ferrata, Chad Little, Jose Galdamez, Raul Cruz, Kevin Simmons, Antonio Toxqui, John 4 website to schedule a morning or afternoon appointment.

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 8

Hunt & Gather

EAT

By Zarah Parker zarah@theleadernews.com

Northwest Houston’s restaurant scene has continued to sizzle in 2019, and area residents have more choices than ever on their menus. There have been several openings this year as well as announcements for upcoming restaurants that haven’t quite come to fruition. The restaurants and an ice cream parlor that have opened in the Heights, Oak Forest, Garden Oaks and surrounding neighborhoods have brought diversity and quality in cuisine to residents. Right before the New Year, Mastrantos opened at 927 Studewood St. and gave area diners a cornucopia of international flavors. Then a group of other restaurants opened at the beginning of 2019. Dish Society, 1050 Yale St., brought to the Heights foods made with mostly locally sourced ingredients and healthy twists on traditional dishes. La Vibra Tacos, 506 Yale St., opened with its take on Mexico City street tacos and costras, which are tortillas made with cheese and wrapped around different kinds of meat. The focus is on keeping the taco simple. Hopdoddy Burger Bar opened its Heights location at 449 W. 19th St. in the Heights Waterworks Development. This was the sixth Houstonarea location. The burger

Food scene full of new flavors bar has a menu full of burgers, hand-cut Kennebec fries, handspun shakes, specialty cocktails and local craft beer. Fried catfish also made its way into the Heights with Flying Fish, 1815 N. Durham Dr. Along with catfish, patrons can find shrimp, oysters, grilled fish, shrimp cocktails, crab legs, burgers, chicken and crawfish (when in season) on the menu. There’s a specialty selection of grilled salmon, trout and tilapia that’s offered each day as well. The food Truck La Marco

planted a brick and mortar at 3903 Fulton St. La Marco embarked on this venture as a fresh start. Its first brick and mortar that was located on the north side of Houston closed in 2014. Two years later, La Marco was relaunched as a bar on Washington Avenue, but closed quickly thereafter. During the spring, Les Ba’get, 1711 W. 34th St., opened its doors. It had been more than a year since Les Ba’get closed its Montrose See Eat, P. 9

40 years of tastes from the field & stream

H-E-B The Heights Store Phone: (713) 802-8100 Pharmacy Phone: (713) 869-1700 2300 N Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77008

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LUNCH · DINNER · HAPPY HOUR · DESSERT · CRAFT BEER · SUSTAINABLE & ORGANIC WINE

The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 9

HOUSTON'S NEWEST PLANTBASED RESTAURANT

449 W. 19th St, Suite C - 200 Houston, Texas 77008

www.EatVerdine.com

Photo by Zarah Parker Get jackfruit tacos at Verdine in the Heights.

Photo by Zarah Parker Bubble Egg is new at 1717 W. 34th St. Suite 900.

Enjoy our dog friendly patio! Happy Hour 4 to 6 pm Tues - Thurs

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Tues - Thurs 11 a - 9 p | Fri - Sat 11 a - 10 p Sun 11 a - 3 p | Closed Mondays

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Photo by Zarah Parker Preslee’s has southern food at 1430 W. 19th St.

Photo by Zarah Parker Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is on Heights Boulevard.

Eat, from P. 8 location in order to reopen in Garden Oaks. The restaurant is known for its banh mi, vermicelli noodle bowls, Vietnamese steak and pho. Verdine, 449 W. 19th St., became neighbors with Hopdoddy Burger Bar in April. The menu is fully vegan but was designed to appeal to both carnivores and herbivores. Entrees include Spinach Dosa, made with spinach-chickpea dosa; Krabby Patty, made with a jackfruit-artichoke crab cake burger; Bistro Burger, made with an organic lentil-walnutmushroom patty; Waterworks Cheeseburger, made with a Beyond Meat burger patty; and Jackfruit Carnitas, made with slow-cooked, smoked jackfruit. Bobby Heugel and Justin Yu, who worked together to open Better Luck Tomorrow on Yale Street, also opened the restaurant Squable together in April. The menu is composed

of European-style dishes with American touches, made with local ingredients. Tamashi Ramen & Sushi opened its third location at The Shops at Oak Forest, 1214 W. 43rd St. The summer brought a slew of options for residents. Ike’s Love & Sandwiches opened at 1051 Heights Blvd., with more than 500 sandwiches to choose from. The allergy-friendly bakery and ice cream shop, Awesome Bites Co., opened and now serves up treats without processed ingredients, with options for any dietary restrictions. From its Super Muffins, which are made with no sugar added and a full serving of fruits and vegetables, to its vegan ice cream and glutenfree vegan waffle cones, Awesome Bites provides an array of health-conscious treats. The Heights restaurant Savoir, 1344 Yale St., opened

as well and features EuropeanAmerican fare. Bubble Egg became a tenant for the 33 1/3 development, 1717 W. 34th St. The concept was first introduced in 2017 to give Houston a taste of authentic Hong Kong waffles in Bellaire. Bubble Egg features made-to-order Hong Kong egg waffles, unique ice cream flavors and refreshing drinks. In September, JINYA Ramen bar joined Verdine and Hopdoddy in the Heights Waterworks Development. The ramen bar offers 13 signature bowls, five of which feature broths that have simmered for 10 hours. The noodles are aged for three days, and the bowls are customizable with 20 different toppings. Preslee’s moved into the neighborhood at 1430 W. 19th St. The menu is southern comSee Eat, P. 10

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The Guide â&#x20AC;˘ November 9, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 10

The Original Tex-Mex

Photo by Zarah Parker Try the quesadillas at Studewood Cantine, a new Tex-Mex restaurant at 1111 Studewood St.

Eat, from P. 9 fort food such as burgers and stuffed turkey legs, but there is also ahi tuna salad and fresh seafood, including crawfish. A full bar is available and tableside sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mores are also in store. The large patio is complete with chair hammocks, swings and lounge chairs. As fall crept in, Studewood Cantine, 1111 Studewood St.

Ste. A, had its grand opening. The restaurant serves TexMex and American fare. The menu features wings, nachos, loaded fires, smoked salmon, charred flank steak and more, plus hand-crafted cocktails that can be enjoyed on the patio. Most recently, The Waffle Bus had its long-awaited open-

ing in the Heights at 1835 N. Shepherd Dr. Popular offerings like the fried chicken and waffle sandwich, waffle fries with toppings and fried chicken sliders with waffle fries used as buns are staples on the menu. The Waffle Bus takes classic items and puts a deli-

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bean tostada, rice and beans With rice, beans and tortillas 3 cheese, ground beef, or chicken enchiladas with rice and beans

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Eat, from P. 10

The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 11

cious spin on them. On deck Another upcoming option will further elevate the area’s restaurant scene. It was announced in March that Ronnie Killen, an award-winning chef best known for his barbecue restaurant in Pearland, would be unveiling a new concept in the Heights. Killen’s, slated to open in the former Hickory Hollow space at 101 Heights Blvd., will feature southern comfort food and barbecue. Another award-winning chef, Chris Shepherd, is helping to lead a resurgence of the Houston Farmers Market, a longtime Heights staple at 2520 Airline Drive. The nearly 18acre market was purchased in 2017 by MLB Capital Partners, which is renovating the market to make it more modern and appealing to area shoppers and diners. The project, which is estimated to cost $35 million and be completed before the end of 2020, will include the addition of covered, climatecontrolled buildings, greenspace and

See Eat, P. 12

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 12

Photo by Adam Zuvanich H-E-B opened two new grocery stores in the area this year, including a two-story location at 2300 N. Shepherd Dr.

Photo by Landan Kuhlmann German grocery chain ALDI moved to the neighborhood this year, opening a location in Garden Oaks in October.

Eat, from P. 11 parking. There also will be a few restaurants driven by chefs such as Shepherd. Kitchens closed When new restaurants come in, sometimes that means the loss of old favorites. The following restaurants that closed this year shut the doors for various reasons. The restaurants that are no more include the aforementioned Hickory Hollow, which was open for 40 years, as well as Carter & Cooley Co. Delicatessen, a 19th Street institution for 30 years. The other places that closed include Balls Out Burger, Gelazzi, La Vista 101, Mel’s Sea-

food Shack, Moody Ice, Pop & Pan, Sammy’s Wild Game and Stuttgarden Tavern and Balls Out Burger. Another restaurant opened and was forced to indefinitely close by a freak accident. In June, a man crashed a truck through a wall at Carmalita’s Cuisine, which caught fire. The eatery at 1141 E. 11th St. had been providing organic and gluten-free options to customers. Grocery stores galore Area grocery shoppers have more options than ever. A year after Whole Foods 365 opened a location in Independence Heights, three more stores opened within a few miles.

Texas-based chain H-E-B made waves when it opened a second-level store with a ground-level parking lot at 2300 North Shepherd Dr. in the Heights. Then in October, the company unveiled an eco-friendly store at the Buffalo Heights development on Washington Avenue. Also in October, German grocer ALDI opened a North Shepherd Drive location in the Garden Oaks Shopping Center. With three Kroger stores already in the area, residents have plenty of options to stock their pantries and refrigerators.

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 13

Contributed photo Tropical Storm Imelda caused flooding on Wakefield Drive in Garden Oaks on Sept. 19.

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Like it is throughout much of the region, flooding is a significant concern for residents of Northwest Houston. Hurricane Harvey dumped record levels of rain on the city in 2017, continuing an annual string of major flooding events, and disaster struck again this September. In a matter of a few hours Sept. 19, Tropical Storm Imelda poured several inches of rain on the area, causing homes and businesses to take on water in neighborhoods such as Garden Oaks, Mangum Manor, Oak Forest and the Heights. And some of the flood victims were in close proximity to new storm drainage infrastructure that was designed to reduce flooding risks. Phase 1 of the Garden Oaks and Shepherd Park Drainage and Paving Project, a $23 million initiative to improve drainage and mitigate flooding, was completed in December 2018. The new drainage system starts near the intersection of Brinkman Street and Janisch Road in Shepherd Park Plaza, turns west on Chamboard Lane and then continues south on Alba Road until just past Judiway Street, with drains and culverts also positioned on both sides of Alba and Brinkman. Despite that work, homes and businesses near Alba’s intersection with Judiway and Wakefield Drive experienced significant flooding during Imelda. Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen,

whose Houston City Council district funded the project, said she was “deeply concerned” by that. Fortunately for property owners in the area, more help is on the way. A spokesperson for Houston Public Works, which engineered the project, said flooding risks should be further reduced upon completion of the second and third phases to the east and west. According to information on the website for Build Houston Forward, which is under the umbrella of Houston Public Works, design for Phase 2 to the west is 90 percent complete, with construction anticipated to start in 2020. Design for Phase 3 to the east is 30 percent complete. There are several other local road and drainage projects in the works as part of the Build Houston Forward program, along with two major flood-mitigation initiatives that are partnerships between the city and Harris County and backed by federal funding. The city announced over the summer that it had been awarded a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the design phase of the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin, which will be a series of interconnected basins at the 226-acre site of a former golf course on Antoine Drive north of West Little York Road. The project, estimated to cost nearly $47 million and be completed by 2022, would protect more than 4,400 buildings See Improve, P. 14

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 14

Improve, from P. 13 from flooding in the White Oak Bayou and Vogel Creek watersheds. The basin would be upstream of neighborhoods such as the Heights, Garden Oaks and Oak Forest, reducing flooding risks in those areas. “That should be a good thing,” said Timbergrove Manor resident Leigh Killgore, president of Super Neighborhood Council 14. In October, FEMA approved initial funding for what the Houston mayor’s office called the “largest storm disaster prevention endeavor in Texas.” The $131 North Canal project aims to mitigate flooding downtown and to the north by rerouting White Oak Bayou upstream of where it now connects with Buffalo Bayou, adding an overflow channel east of downtown and making bridge and channel improvements along Yale Street and Heights Boulevard. Steve Costello, chief recovery officer for the mayor’s office, said the project would help water flow more freely underneath those bridges and reduce flooding risks for as many as 1,000 homes. A collaboration between the city, state, county and Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority, the project is slated to be completed by 2022. Here is a rundown of smaller-scale improvement projects in the area that are part of the Build Houston Forward program:

Watonga Paving and Drainage Construction is 50 percent complete for the $11.8 million project along Watonga Blvd. between West 34th Street and West 43rd Street. It calls for concrete paving with storm drainage, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, street lighting and underground utilities. Eureka Corridor In an area just southwest of the Heights area, construction is 30 percent complete on a $4.75 million project that includes the construction of a detention basin and drainage ditch improvements aimed at reducing road and structure flooding. T.C. Jester Paving and Drainage This is a two-pronged reconstruction project that calls for concrete paving with storm drainge, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, street lighting and underground utilities. Design is 60 percent complete for both phases. The first phase, along T.C. Jester Boulevard between Interstate 10 and Washington Avenue, is estimated to cost more than $360,000. The second phase to the north, between I-10 and Petty Street, is estimated to cost more than $345,000.

See Improve, P. 15

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 15

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Cottage Grove East Area Drainage and Paving In the southern part of the Heights, design is 60 percent complete for a reconstruction project estimated to cost more than $18 million. It entails storm water drainage and paving improvements and utility upgrades. Neighborhood Street Reconstruction Project-Ashland On Ashland Street in the Heights between West 9th Street and West 11th Street, design is 60 percent complete for an reconstruction initiative that will include concrete paving with storm drainge, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, street lighting and underground utilities. The estimated cost is $1 million.

Neighborhood Street Reconstruction Project-Granberry Design is complete and construction is expected to start soon on a $1.4 million project on Granberry Street between bustling White Oak Drive and East 5th 1/2 Street. It calls for concrete paving with storm drainge, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, street lighting and underground utilities. Houston Heights Paving and Drainage Design is 90 percent complete for a reconstruction project east of Heights Boulevard between Interstate 10 and Washington Avenue. It calls for concrete paving with storm drainge, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, street lighting and underground utilities, with an estimated cost of more than $12.3 million.

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