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A Food & Drink focus edition on Summer Fun and Sips. Saturday, July 15, 2017 • Page 1B

Readers nominate, vote top neighborhood cocktail bars The Leader’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards wrapped up last month, and we’re excited to spotlight three from our Best Cocktail category, along with sharing three recommendations from each cocktail bar. Coming in First, Harold’s takes the first slot, located at 350 W 19th St. For summer sips, Harold’s recommends their French 75 for easy drinking. For what’s new from the restaurant and Tap Room, find live music in the Tap Room at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings, along with a new coffee program and coffee cocktails now on the menu. Find classic cocktails, beer and wine on tap in the Tap Room, located on the first floor of Harold’s. Taking the Second Place slot, Johnny’s Gold Brick is located at 2518 Yale St. For a Summer cocktail, JGB recommends their Mistaken Identity - This cocktail is inspired

Johnny’s Gold brick second Place

Harold’s First Place

Ginger & Fork Third Place

by the classic Manhattan, but with a summery tiki twist. JGB says this drink has complexity and depth, while having a summery light refreshing quality in a stirred boozy cocktail. Johnny’s is continuing their monthly featured cocktail menu, and are currently building out a new front porch patio to give guests a new place to enjoy the summer evenings. Coming in Third, Ginger & Fork is located at 4705 Inker St. For a Summer sip recommendation, Ginger & Fork recommends their Ginger Margarita. The restaurant launched their Summer cocktail menu in June, with guests taking to the ever popular Ginger Margarita, but also the new Screaming Eagle Sour, United NaSubmitted photos tions, and the Date Night On the left, Harold’s French 75 with Alkkemist gin, lemon and champagne. In the middle, Johnny’s Gold Brick’s Mistaken Identity with Bonded cocktail. Bourbon, pinapple liquerer, Torino vermouth, Tiki bitters and Cardamorn bitters. On the right, Ginger & Fork’s Ginger Margarita made with -Christina Martinez Espolon Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, King’s Ginger Liqueur, freshly squeezed ginger juice and lime juice.


Neighbors enter pies in 2017 Heights Great American Pie Contest By Christina Martinez

The Heights Great American Pie Contest, with the Houston Heights Association, brought out some of the neighborhood’s best bakers - 35 to be exact. On Monday, July 10, neighbors were invited to submit their homemade pies to be judged by a celebrity panel for bragging rights and prizes. Bakers could enter in a Sweet or Savory category. In total, there were 30 Sweet Pie submissions; 5 Savory. All were welcomed to taste and enjoy a night shared with community In attendance, the judging table was acclaimed with Greg Bucholdt, Heights pie blogger; Levi Rollins, Owner and Culinary Director of Urban Eats; Ken Bridge, Owner of Delicious Concepts. Cleverly Stone, Ken Hoffman and Ken Bridge were not in attendance, giving a couple Heights neighbors a chance to taste in celebrity style for the night. Overall, the judges were looking for marks on Presentation, with overall appearance underlined; Flavor of Filling, with doneness and texture underlined; Crust, with color, flavor, texture and doneness all underlined; Originality, with creativity and uniqueness both underlined. “There were several really great pies,� Judge Levi Rollins said. “Some top standouts for me were the whiskey pecan, strawberry rhubarb, salted caramel, chocolate whiskey pecan, but my favorite was the perfect Buttermilk, number 32.


    Make your reservations at the Leader Readers’ voted Contributed photos On the left, JoNell Gerland with family; Gerland took the first place slot in the Sweet category for her Buttermilk Pie entry. Above, Kris O’Brien took first place in the Savory category for her Chicken Curry Pie entry.

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Join us for Happy Hour! Photo by Christina Martinez A view from the submitted pie table, and only just some of the entries for the Heights Great American Pie Contest.

It was awesome and the winner for the night!� From the Savory side, Kris O’Brien took First place with her Chicken Curry Pie; Jenn Allen took Second with her Tomoto Pie; Maureen Demar Hall took Third with her Zuchini Pie. From the Sweet side, JoNell Gerland took First with her Buttermilk Pie; Yvonne Cusgrove took Second with her Strawberry Rhubarb; Amy Alexander took Third with her Chocolate Whiskey Pecan Pie. Well done, ladies, on your sweet placings!

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Page 2B • Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Book Scene Art Valet: Recharge with exploring something new Your neighborhod Bookstore When it’s time to recharge or hit that reset button, as I like to imagine it, where do you go? My favorite recharging spaces have at least two of the following: trees, water, space, art and history. Good thing I live in the Heights, right? Sometimes, a fresh view is needed to appreciate what you already have. While looking for new things to try that meet my stringent criteria, I stumbled across the website for The Houston Museum District Association, aka HMDA. Formed in 1997, HMDA has 19 member museums located within an approximate 1.5-mile radius of the Mecom Fountain in Hermann Park. Initially, I was browsing the website with the intent of my personal visit when I realized I must share this treasure trove with you! Go to and click Daily Inspiration in the center of the page, then

Houston Loves Museums and bam - you are given a list of over 100 Houston museums! Too much? Click the visit link and preview the 19 member museums that are divided into four walkable zones. This website is easy to view on your phone, including the map with popups naming each museum, the address and link to hours and more. Want to take your friends or family on a tour guided by you? Navigate to the Insider’s Guide - great ideas for exploring and tidbits of information. Here’s a great story about “Sound Figure” an acoustic work by artist Max Neuhaus, at the entrance to The Menil Collection. This installation is invisible, but can be “heard” as you approach the main entrance. Shh, keep quiet so you hear it!


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From the website, “Neuhaus first met the late Dominique de Menil at a dinner party in New York in the 1970s. When the artist described his recently installed sound work “Walkthrough” at a Brooklyn subway station, de Menil ordered the whole dinner party to get up and visit the work. She ordered 10 limousines to transport everyone to Brooklyn.” Reason enough to accept more dinner party invitations, right? I’m taking off for a week or maybe two, to follow my own advice. On my return, I’ll fill you in on my adventures. Follow me on Instagram for quicker updates @artvalet. Side-note: many of the museums are free on Thursdays, and at least ten are free all of the time. Visit these other websites for area information: and Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at


Facebook photos from the Museum of Fine Arts and The Health Museum 1. Relax inside “Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest & Worry Will Vanish,” on view at MFAH June 11–September 17. Get more info online at www.mfah. org/pipilotti. Photo by Mancia Bodner, courtesy Kunsthaus Zürich. 2. “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet” brings contemporary Iranian art from the Mohammed Afkhami Collection to MFAH. Find this on view through September 24. Get more info online at www. “Miss Hybrid 3,” 2008, chromogenic print. © Shirin Aliabadi / Courtesy of: Mohammed Afkhami Foundation. 3. A portion of The Health Museum’s interactive science learning center, showcasing the Amazing Body exhibit, where you can take a hands on look to what makes up your body.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017 • Page 3B

Live At EQ Heights

6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 15 & 16 EQ Heights - 1030 Heights Blvd. Charla Rainey and Diane Prokop, Houston musicians, will be performing, taking turns sharing tunes. Come out and enjoy EQ’s coffee, beer, or tea, and support live, local music.

St. Arnold Tribute Night at Ladybird’s

3 - 9 p.m. Saturday, July 15 Ladybird’s - 5519 Allen St.

Rollin with Trollin is back and Sideout Volleybar is doing a special event on the patio. No tournaments, no prizes, just unbridled Mario Kart 64 (YES, 64!) rockin’ and racin’! There will be yelling, drinks, and handing off your controller if you lose - like we used to play. So come join for some fun and Kart, and show these volleyball nerds what’s up.

GoT or GTFO [A Game of Thrones Watch Party]

7 p.m. Sunday, July 16 Revelry on Richmond 1613 Richmond Ave. Swift as a deer and quiet as a shadow: Winter is Here and if you love Game of Thrones, this is a spot to watch Season 7. Everything is better with some wine in the belly! Come early and partake in themed food and drink specials. The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives...with 28 TVs, there isn’t a bad seat in the house, the more the merrier!! You’ll never want to leave this cave, we mean bar.

Sam’s Daily and More Cowbell, along with a variety of unique seasonal beers from Buzz Nuts to the Rotundone variations. Compared to the amount of beer these guys produce yearly, the brewery is in a fairly quaint space. They definitely utilize every bit of their space in order to maximize their output. For this reason, they can only be open to the public a couple of days a week when they are not in production. Otherwise, the public might just get run over by a pallet full of Sam’s Daily! I was lucky enough to make it out during bar hours and the crew was kind enough to show me around and stick a beer in my hand for sampling. The brew was the Sangre de Saison, their Saison with bitter orange peel and blood orange puree that just hit shelves and tap walls not too long ago. The Sangre was very dry and crisp with a nice bit of estery goodness supplied by the yeast in the aroma. The flavors were spicy with a wonderful amount of citrus, and a wellbalanced bitterness in the finish. It was rich and golden blonde with a little bit of the haze that everyone is crazy about these days. The head was bright white and laced the glass nicely as the beer vanished on the hot summer afternoon of my visit. Finishing out at a cool 9% ABV, it went down well without the alcoholic heat that can sometimes creep into something as well attenuated as the San-


Make sure to join us in our craft adventures each month. Landon is the owner of Farmboy Brew Shop. Email landon@ Cheers!

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Page 5A


By Betsy Denson

There was a time when Jake Rainey, chief operating officer of the group that owns Cottonwood, Liberty Station and La Grange, would do everything in his power to be the first one to try a new craft beer out in the Houston market. These days he waits a little while. “I’ll definitely get around to it,� he said. “And if it’s excellent I’ll hear about it.� Part of the reason for that is the sheer volume of beers coming out of Houston now. In 2003, when Rainey started as the general manager of the Flying Saucer in Houston, he said that there were only a few IPAs around. In 2016, though, due to consumer education and exposure to craft beer, the number is much higher. “Everybody’s got craft beer now,� Rainey said. “People are getting the experience at Karbach and Saint Arnold. They get to tour the breweries and sample the variety. It’s an immersive thing. Breweries have really educated customers. There are a lot more beer geeks now.� And Rainey can talk their language. In the beer business since 1997, he worked his way up from waiting tables at the Cricket’s Grill & Draft House in Waco to become the general manager. At Flying Saucer, Rainey was the regional general manager over the downtown and Sugar Land locations and their national beer director before he left. It was the training program there and the passion of Flying Saucer partner Keith Schlabs that rounded out Rainey’s educa-


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tion. That and enjoying quite a few beers over the years too. A little over two years ago, he got the opportunity to partner with the Raven Grill’s Sara and Rob Cromie and developer Harres Exezidis on their latest venture. At Cottonwood, there might be 30 to 40 beers on tap, compared to despite g numbe is becom Cover photos GiseletoParra Photography 80 to 90 at Flying Saucer. At Liberty r ofby young e of this Rainey,after raising Station, 12 beers are on tap with an ad- Chief operating officer of Cottonwood, Liberty Station Bar and La Grange, Jakeadults high a pint at Liberty Station Bar. ditional focus on bottles and cans. Experienc “I think it’s pretty important to have ed com more complex,� said Rainey. And the limited release category mun a wide variety of beer, not one specific style,� said Rainey. Hous“But itybeers. contains their rare ton busin bankers you also want to keep beer moving, and fresh.� prov Rainey because craft beer, it’s not ess makes own the point that just idingit’s visit Rainey says that at Liberty Station, what’s being offered value with necessarily good.ers. Pleas to e stop and are changes all the time, letting connoisseurs sample what’s newest you“There find a lot of great beers, butby if people try one that’s not - we wan out L-R: Amy and and best, while at Cottonwood, there’s a rotation of newbies how their first time out, it mightwe turn them off,� he said.t “It’s to most President;Ritter - VP/Len can the tried and true. der; Margar Cecilia important to have good product.� help your et Vandev businArnold. “Saint Arnold’s Art Car IPA is always on tap at Cottonwood,� Rodrigu ez - VP/Offi er at Brash Brewing and Saint ess. Rainey lovescethe beers Manager;- SVP/Lender; Scott he said. “I really like its hop profile.� Justin at the newLester He’s also had some of the beers Eureka Heights Brew Also at Cottonwood, they arrange the offerings under different Co – where Art Car IPA creatorVickery Office– and Casey- VP/Len MotesderhasBank landed categories. The Gateway category is their way of getting people says they are excellent. Rainey is excited about Platypus Brewout of their comfort zone a little bit. ing, too. “We’ll say, ‘If you like Bud Light, try Fireman’s #4’,� explains “It’s great to have a brewery right across the street [from LibRainey. erty Station]� he said. Under the Hophead section, you’ll find your IPAs and pale ales. On the Darkside features all dark beers. Mo Body is a step Ž See Cottonwood P. 2B up from Gateway with vienna-styles and saison beers – “a little


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Photos by Landon Weiershausen At the top, Buffalo Bayou’s Saison de Sangre. Above, a few cases of Buffalo Bayou Sam’s Daily. On the right, two tap handles at the brewery - Watermelon Wit and the featured beer for this month’s Craft Chronicles, Saison de Sangre.

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If you haven’t tried the tribute beers to Saint Arnold in honor of their 23rd anniversary this year, this Saturday welcoems another opportunity for you. Enjoy brews from the following, as each brewery brewed their own take on a Saint Arny classic. Brash Brewing - Knutsens Farm (Weedwacker) B-52 Brewing - Bishop’s Gone Wild (Amber Ale) Eureka Heights - Chop Shop IPA (Art Car IPA) Lone Pint - Brock the Night Away (Santo) Southern Star Brewing - Extravagant Yard Cutter (Fancy Lawnmower) Music starting at 3 p.m. by: Will Van Horn Trio John Egan Western Bling


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2 - 4 p.m. Saturday, July 15 Tea + Art - 613 1/2 W. 19th St. By request, this class will be a repeat of last year’s sold-out lavender class. Join Penny Ward as Tea+Art premieres new summer tea blends. Enjoy two lavender infused teas as you create lovely lavender “make and takes�. Bring girlfriends and enjoy an aroma-filled, informative, relaxing, and creative lavender afternoon respite. Tea and sweets will be served.

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gre. If you are having trouble catching the tap room hours, no worries, you can find their ever changing line up of beers in quite a few HEBs and a couple of Krogers (come on Kroger, step up your craft beer game!). They are also all over town at tons of bars and restaurants just waiting for you to drink them up. What are you waiting on? It’s hot outside, go grab a cold one!

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Tacos and dogs two of your favorite things? Me too. Set your pupper up in a sombrero or fiesta dress and join for a Doggie Dress Up Contest July 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a chance at door prizes, raffles, and costume prizes, plus some local brews. Animal Justice League will be out sporting rescue dogs for adoption, and general happiness purposes. Taco’s A Go Go’s patio is dog friendly, so bring your pup along costumed or not. The combination of tacos and dogs always makes for a good afternoon.

It’s a hot and humid July, but never fear! I have been drinking some cold beer just for you and this round of Craft Chronicles. This month I dropped in to Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., just south of I-10 in between Shepherd and TC Jester. Proclaimed the most creative brewery in Houston, their offerings include the year round staples of 1836,


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Page 4B • Saturday, July 15, 2017

Independence Heights art studios add on By Kim Hogstrom For The Leader

Ten years ago, Houston artists and married couple Thedra and Stephen Cullar-Ledford were living in Manhattan and working as hard as humanly possible to pay the rent necessary to live in the city. They were miserable. Today, the happy couple lives and works under the graceful, old trees dotting their landscape at Independence Art Studios in Independence Heights. Not content with just the house on the lot, the couple added five individual art studios constructed from five shipping containers. Then they amassed a colony of sculptors, painters, a poet and an architect who are renting and creating in the spaces. They were built exactly with this end in mind. Each studio hosts 10-foot by 19-foot-walls allowing artists to work on a large scale. Outdoor space is also available, and the container doors open to permit big pieces to be moved with ease. Each studio has individually controlled air conditioning and heating. The couple added high speed, wired Internet “because WiFi doesn’t penetrate shipping containers,” said Thedra, then they added a shared full bathroom with an additional utility sink. The experiment has been so successful, the Cullar-Ledfords are constructing four more studios on the property as well as an in-ground swimming pool made out of, you guessed it, a shipping container. “New York was a very expensive place to live,” explained Stephen Cullar-Ledford. “We found we were working as hard as we could, and still had no money left to enjoy the city. It was time to try something new.” “Our dream was to find a space on which we could live and create, but would also help pay for itself,” added Thedra Cullar-Ledford. “We returned to Houston, and found a house on a half-acre in Independence Heights, an area that was al-

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Contributed photos Independence Art Studios in the Heights currently hosts five individual studios, with four more to be added on.

ready on its way to becoming an artist’s community. It was perfect.” Today, the artists using the studios share everything including tools. “Why would we need 11 hammers, when we can keep one or two that we all use,” stated Thedra. In addition to the artists, there are horses on the back property, studio cats, a Basset Hound named “Bob,” and a handful of chickens that produce enough eggs for everyone. Houstonian and sculptor Greg Weismantel was working and showing in Washington, DC when his dad fell ill. Weismantel returned to Houston to help care for his father,

and quickly snapped up space at Independence Art Studios to continue his work. He is also the colony’s “chicken whisper.” “The girls just love Greg,” Thedra added. “Sometimes they chase us, but they land on Greg, sit on his shoulders or head, and follow him around. It’s funny to watch.” Greg Weismantel has been a tenet for nearly two years and recently held a highly successful show of his work at the studios. “There is a real sense of community here, not just on our property, but in Independence Heights too,” he said. “There is art happening all around us. And it is so close to the city, but still natural and beautiful. I absolutely love it here.” While there is an accepting vibe at the studios, there are also rules. “We are pretty easy going.


Academy for Elite Samurai Arts The Aikibudokan – Since 1998 Classes Enrolling Now - Age 14 & Up Convenient To Heights & Oak Forest - 713-826-5877

We welcome pets, but they must not eat our pets. And we will not allow selling weed or rampant sexual activity. Unfortunately, we learned the last two the hard way,” Thedra concluded with a laugh.

Sunday • July 16 • 6pm 1846 Harvard Street • In The Heights We don’t want your money - no collection will be taken. Christ is coming soon and will reign on the earth. Sponsored by

The Berean Christadelphians For more info: 713-861-2263

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We have an extensive variety of organic products.

In our community since 1996

Jim Ruzicka

5117 North Main St. 713-485-4791

Let us give you a fresh new look! Come visit our nursery or have our experts landscape your home.

Do you have ashes stored in your closet? Where do you want your urn 5, 10 or even 50 years from now?

• Permanent Cremation Memorialization Now Available •

Stop by and checkout our facilities

Open House Sat & Sun 12pm - 4pm July 15-16 & July 22-23

Hollywood Cemetery, Inc. 1-45 @ N. Main St. • Houston, TX 77009 713-227-5109

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July 15 Section B

Leader0715 b  

July 15 Section B