WINTER 2015- 16
Friday Flicks on The Lawn
6:30-7:00AM BOOT CAMP 5:00-6:00PM YOGA
SEPT 18: 8:00PM HUNGER GAMES OCT 16: 8:00PM CASPER NOV 20: 8:00PM THE SANTA CLAUSE
SEPT 26: 1:00-5:00PM LIVE MUSIC, BEER, GAMES
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WINTER 2015-16 VOL. 8, NO. 2
Field of Lights @ Discovery Green / p. 46
SCAN downtown Managing Editor/ Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions Design ph Design Shop Photography Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography Historic photo of John Henry “Jack” Yates courtesy of Houston Public Library, HMRC
13 DRAMATIC LICENSE
Contributing Writers Angie Bertinot, Holly Beretto, Sandra Cook, Valonia Walker, Nicole Marin
The Alley Theatre’s massive $46.5 million renovation has not only given audiences and actors a beautifully upgraded space in which to enjoy performances, it’s also provided the company with an opportunity to develop new works from start to finish. BY SANDRA COOK
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22 FAITHFUL HISTORY
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Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010.
Tucked under Houston’s glittering skyline, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church stands as a reminder of Houston’s rich history. The church’s beginnings lie in the aftermath of the Civil War, when a group of freed slaves would meet on the banks of Buffalo Bayou to worship. Assisted by missionaries from the First Baptist Church and the German Baptist Church, they built a modest arbor in 1866 as their first prayer space. Within two years, the group would build a more permanent structure and name Jack Yates as their first full-time pastor. Antioch was born. BY HOLLY BERETTO
With support from:
The promise of the season has never seemed so bright. Twinkling lights, exciting new projects, and historic anniversaries are all coming together in a big way this coming year.
Downtown is continuing its evolution into a vibrant city center. With colorful art installations, big events and a new convention center hotel, Downtown is a
tremendous draw for Houstonians and visitors alike.
BY ANGIE BERTINOT
Winter is wonderful when it comes to lineups in the Houston Theater District. Holiday favorites, classic operatic themes and powerful drama are all on tap this winter. Plus, Houston Ballet’s Jim Nelson shares how he evolved from young dancer to executive director. BY VALONIA WALKER
Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
Our comprehensive listing of everything scrumptious in Downtown Houston and a peek at Downtown’s luxurious new lounge, Lawless Spirits and Kitchen.
DESTINATION DOWNTOWN MAP
'Tis the season
As fall gives way to winter, it really does start to feel like the most wonderful time of the year. Our Downtown parks like Discovery Green and Market Square Park come alive with twinkling lights, the Theater District is buzzing with classic holiday shows, and everyone’s step seems a bit livelier, thanks to the cool temperatures and the promise of the coming year. This season is no different. If EACH NEW PROJECT anything, we’re more excited BRINGS US CLOSER about the future than ever before. TO THE KIND OF The coming year promises to bring Houston into the national DOWNTOWN WE spotlight once again, thanks to big ARE WORKING SO events like the NCAA Final Four HARD TO CREATE – this spring. And project developA VIBRANT CIT Y ment is robust, with a new CENTER convention center hotel coming online by the end of 2016, dynamic new public art installations on Main Street Square and the Sunset Coffee Building opening along the banks of Buffalo Bayou in spring. Each new project brings us closer to the kind of Downtown we are working so hard to create – a vibrant city center that hums with life and vitality – and you can read more about it on page 3. It’s our pleasure to keep you abreast of our evolving city in each issue of downtown and to put our spotlight on the people, places and things that make H-Town so special. This quarter we spent some time at the Alley Theatre to give you an insider’s look at not only the institution’s recent $46.5 million renovation but also some of the exciting new initiatives taking place there as well. Read all about it, starting on page 13. And if our city’s history is more your speed, come with us to Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016. The church’s story is as rich and fascinating as the story of Houston itself and we’re proud so share it with you, starting on page 22. As always, you’ll find our extensive calendar of events and activities in datebook on page 37 and our comprehensive listing of eateries in Plate on page 49. Of course, be sure to visit us online at downtownhouston.org, where we always keep you up to date on the latest. And let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to take your comments and suggestions.
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
Houstonians A CREATIVE For who use light rail, INFUSION Main Street Square is often the jumping off point for Downtown destinations. Similarly, Houstonians who work Downtown know Main Street Square as a pedestrian plaza which affords a change of pace and scenery from the office. Thirteen years after its launch, and in advance of high-profile national events taking place in Houston, Main Street Square is getting a makeover. Landscaping and hardscaping will get a new look, and most exciting, a series of temporary art installations will pepper the blocks between the 900 and 1100 blocks of Main Street. With the Downtown District at the helm, this new public art initiative is called Art Blocks. From lessons learned about public art’s capacity to awaken change in areas that
Downtown continues to evolve into a dynamic hub of activity, and over the next year you can expect even more excitement. We’ve pulled together our favorite new projects, and they include engaging public art projects on Main Street Square, high-profile national events, a new public space along Buffalo Bayou and much-needed convention hotel development. We’re sure you’ll agree, these top picks will send Downtown’s appeal skyrocketing even farther.
have not yet realized their full potential, Art Blocks strives to enliven Main Street Square. This inaugural project by the Downtown District Public Art Committee includes a series of site-specific installations by internationally lauded artists and designers such as Patrick Renner, Jessica Stockholder and New York-based collective YesYesNo – some making their Houston debut. The public art displays on Main Street Square will begin in the spring of 2016 and remain on view through 2017 to coincide with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (April 2016) and Super Bowl LI (February 2017). Pop-up installations, interactive experiences and community events will complement the spirit of the major public art commissions.
FINAL FOUR The NCAA Men’s Final Four will take Houston by storm this spring. While the semifinal and championship basketball games are at the center of the excitement, a slew of free events taking place April 1-4 in the heart of the Bayou City will add to the festive atmosphere, which is expected to draw approximately 70,000 out-oftown guests. The George R. Brown Convention Center will turn into Fan Fest, a basketball fan’s dream come true, with courts for exhibitions, fan games, youth clinics and special appearances by former NCAA players, coaches and sports personalities. Music fans will enjoy the March Madness Music Festival concert series at Discovery Green, which promises to bring prominent local and national acts to the stage. Performers at past festivals have included Fergie, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Kings of Leon and Kenny Chesney. Houstonians anxious to be a part of the Final Four fun sooner rather than
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later are encouraged to volunteer with the Local Organizing Committee at ncaa.com/finalfour. Up to 5,000 participants will have the opportunity to assist at Fan Fest, presented by Capital One; March Madness Music Festival, presented by AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One; Reese’s Final Four Friday; youth clinics; and additional community events beginning on March 30.
CONVENTION DISTRICT Houston’s Downtown Convention District will dramatically transform into one of the most dynamic entertainment and hospitality campuses in the country by next fall. This new district will be the only one in Texas with two headquarter hotels connected to a convention facility. Fronting Discovery Green, a new flexible plaza and central lobby lie at the heart of the George R. Brown Convention Center renovations. The lobby will feature a hanging sculpture by local artist Ed Wilson, a lounge space and a concierge desk. Combined, the new outdoor plaza and interior lounge provide the perfect spot for a reception with one of Houston’s best skyline views. The view from the second-floor balcony captures the transformation of the Convention
HONORABLE MENTION NEW RESIDENTIAL A game changer for downtown is the development of new residential properties! Eleven projects are under construction, with seven slated to open in 2016.
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District. From a perch overlooking Avenida de Las Americas, visitors will have a bird’s eye view of the art-inspired pedestrian plaza that is currently under development. The district’s other additions include the 10-story office building/parking garage that will connect to the convention centre via skybridge. And if that’s not enough, the new and uberglamorous Marriott Marquis will be connected via skybridge to the convention center. The Marquis will feature 1,000 guest rooms and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space, including Houston’s largest ballroom. Upon opening, the property will feature a full service spa and fitness center, two-story sports bar, two specialty restaurants, wine bar, café and a Texas-shaped lazy river and infinity pool.
04 ALLEN’S LANDING & SUNSET COFFEE BUILDING
Central to the continued revitalization work of Buffalo Bayou Partnership is the restoration of the historic Sunset Coffee Building, one of the few remaining industrial buildings within Downtown’s Main Street/ Market Square Historic District. The Sunset Coffee Building was built in 1910 as an annex to the 1880’s W. D. Cleveland & Son’s wholesale grocer supply building. Both buildings were located at the
corner of Fannin and Main and specialized in accepting goods as they came into the port. The Sunset Coffee Building functioned as a coffee roasting company, indicating coffee’s key role in Houston’s economy and development. As directed by the Buffalo Bayou and Beyond Master Plan, Buffalo Bayou Partnership purchased the long-vacant Sunset Coffee Building in 2003 and worked for over a decade to raise money to renovate the 12,000-squarefoot building. In 2013, the Partnership finalized an agreement with Houston First Corporation to contribute the remaining funds needed for the project and to own and operate the facility once complete. Designed by the nationally recognized architecture firm Lake | Flato, along with local architect BNIM and landscape architect SWA Group, the Sunset Coffee Building will be Buffalo Bayou’s premier recreational and cultural center housing the Partnership’s offices, a rooftop terrace, a paddle craft and bike rental facility and an outdoor plaza. Look for renovations to be complete just in time for spring.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
B A C K S TA G E .
BY VALONIA WALKER
SPA - The Blue Man Group
ow that fall has just about gone, you will find dynamic holiday shows and Houston debuts on stage in the Theater District. Enjoy family favorites like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Story The Musical. Or make time for The SantaLand Diaries, Blue Man Group or the sounds of John Williams’ most famous cinematic scores. There is something for everyone this winter so start planning your visit now.
Alley Theatre - A Christmas Carol — A Ghost Story of Christmas ALLEY THEATRE
Bah Humbug! This holiday season Alley Theatre presents a Christmas favorite, A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas, Nov. 20 – Dec. 28. This classic story gets a unique twist but leaves the audience with a compelling message about the spirit of the holiday season. Company artist Todd Waite returns this season as Crumpet the Elf in The SantaLand Diaries Dec. 4-31. This one-man act brings to life humorist and author David Sedaris’s experiences while working at Macy’s SantaLand display during the holidays. The Alley cast is collaborating with members of the Dallas Theater Center to bring the 2014 Tony Award winner, All The Way, to the stage. The play focuses on President Lyndon Baines Johnson and other key historical players during the '60s. This story of one man’s determination will hit the Hubbard stage, Jan. 29 – Feb. 21. JONES HALL
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the Houston Symphony is back with the 15th season of Very Merry Pops. This annual concert is great for family and friends and features holiday favorites like It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and O Come, All Ye Faithful. Get into the holiday spirit Dec. 11-13. Experience Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 18-20 and be moved by the story of the first Christmas through Handel’s works, including Ev’ry Valley Shall Be Exalted, O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion and the timeless Hallelujah chorus. Conductor Michael Krajewski will pay tribute to composer John Williams, Jan. 8-10. Williams is
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Houston Symphony - A Tribute to John Williams
Houston Ballet - The Nutcracker
TOP: Allison Miller of Houston Ballet
known for composing some of the most recognizable film scores in cinematic history — from Jurassic Park to Star Wars. A Tribute To John Williams will celebrate Williams and some of his thrilling and most memorable music from our favorite movies. Storyteller, author and host of the longstanding public radio program A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor will hit the Jones Hall stage Jan. 27. He will bring his storytelling, signature limericks and clever sense of humor for a one-nightonly presentation. Society for the Performing Arts kicks off the holiday season with The Hot Sardines Dec. 10. Giving a unique twist to some of your holiday favorites, Holiday Stomp is sure to jazz up your holidays. Blue Man Group is back in Houston, and by the time you leave the theater your mind will be blown. The group is famous for their nonspoken, performance art on stage. This is a great show for the whole family. Calling all the cool kids to the dance floor for Blaze: The International Dance Spectacular. They are bringing popping, locking and breaking to the Jones Hall stage. Coming off of critically acclaimed tours in Europe, Russia, Australia and Asia, Blaze is here for one night only Feb. 20. Sixteen of the world’s best dancers are ready to entertain you!
HGO - The Marriage of Figaro
SPA - The Hot Sardines WINTER 2015-16
WORTHAM THEATER CENTER
After 29 years, Houston Ballet bids farewell to Ben Stevenson’s production of The Nutcracker. Delight in the dancing of the Sugar Plum fairy and join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince in saying a fond farewell to this beloved production through Dec. 27. After the final curtain closes on The Nutcracker, the Ballet will revive Ben Stevenson’s staging of The Sleeping Beauty in celebration of his 80th birthday. This classic ballet is about a beautiful princess who has been cursed and put into a deep sleep by the evil fairy. The princess must wait for a magical kiss from a handsome prince. Will this sleeping beauty be awakened by her one true love or will she stay asleep for hundreds of years? Come find out Feb. 25 – Mar. 6. Houston Grand Opera brings the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry storybook, The Little Prince, to the Cullen stage, Dec. 4-20. If you want to introduce your child to the opera this is the one for you! The two-act production tells the story of the uncanny friendship between a pilot and The Little Prince who are stranded in the desert. During their time together they are unexpectedly taught lessons from their surroundings and discover the true necessities of life. Figaro, Figaro, Fiagro, is what you will be singing after enjoying one of the greatest operas of all time. In a co-production of Houston Grand Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Marriage of Figaro will hit the Brown stage Jan. 22 – Feb. 7. This comic opera depicts a day of a rollercoaster ride of chaos and passion, all to some of Mozart’s most memorable music. Jan. 29 – Feb. 12, Dvorak’s Rusalka, based
on a fairytale, will leave you wondering what you would do for love. It’s not easy falling in love with a human prince when you are a water nymph. Rusalka wants to become human to marry the handsome prince, but her transformation comes with a catch. Once she becomes human she will have to relinquish her mermaid magic and lose her voice forever. Da Camera of Houston presents jazz musician Melissa Aldana. Melissa started playing the saxophone at 6 years old and is a winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and most recently the Rising Star-Tenor Saxophone category of the 3rd Annual Downbeat Annual Critics Poll. The young jazz star will make her first Houston appearance Dec. 5 with Pablo Menares on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums. Also making their Houston debut is Montrose Trio featuring Richie Hawley on the clarinet Jan. 29. This new ensemble brings together former Tokyo String Quartet violinist Martin Beaver, pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Clive Greensmith. The ever-dapper Gregory Porter will hit the Cullen stage Feb. 5 for his long-awaited first performance in Houston. With a number of accolades under his belt, the Grammy award-winning baritone will serenade the audience with his bluesy-jazz tunes. Da Camera’s very own Sarah Rothenberg presents The Marcel Proust Project for back-to-back performances Feb. 11-12. Sarah will perform works of Fauré, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Chopin and Hahn, including excerpts from Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Joining Sarah is tenor Nicholas Phan. Society for the Performing Arts brings Bodytraffic to Houston on Jan. 23. Based in Los Angeles and named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2013, the company has made a name for themselves in the dance world, commissioning some of today’s most distinctive choreographers. HOBBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Feeling overwhelmed by the holiday hustle and bustle? TUTS Underground presents Striking 12, Dec. 17-20. Described as a nontraditional way to look at holiday themes, this musical shines light on those who might be battling the holiday blues. After turning away a woman peddling holiday lightbulbs a man is inspired to read The Little Match Girl and is pulled out of his depression. Theatre Under The Stars presents A Christmas Story The Musical Dec. 8-20. We
TUTS - A Christmas Story
Broadway at the Hobby Series - The Sound of Music follow Ralphie’s winter exploits in this timeless Christmas classic. He’ll spend time longing for the best Christmas present ever while dodging bullies, frozen telephone poles, embarrassing winter getups and scantily clad table lamps, but he must be extra careful or he’ll shoot his eye out. Love is found in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, The Bridges of Madison County. Francesca, wife and mother of three, questions everything in her life after a four-day love affair, Jan. 19-31. Broadway at the Hobby Series brings the musical comedy, Bullets of Broadway the Musical, to Sarofim Hall. Written by Woody Allen, Bullets of Broadway tells the story of a young playwright desperately looking to bring his musical to life. That is, until he meets a mobster who wants to impress his showgirl girlfriend. Will his musical make it on the big stage? Find out Dec. 27 – Jan. 2. A brand new production of The Sound of Music is coming to Houston Feb. 16-21. Sing along to award-winning scores including, My Favorite Things, Do-ReMi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain and more.
Da Camera - Melissa Aldana
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: P R O F I L E
Q&A WITH JIM NELSON HOUSTON BALLET EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR B Y VA L O N I A WA L K E R
im Nelson is no stranger to the world of ballet. Arriving at Houston Ballet Academy in the '80s, Jim completed his professional training and went on to have an 11-year professional career. After hanging up his ballet shoes, Jim went to school for a finance degree and upon completion found himself back at Houston Ballet as the company manager. This was the first step of many to his positIon now as executive director. His experience and his passion for the art of ballet provide insight into what it is like to love where you work.
HOW DOES HOUSTON BALLET COMPARE TO OTHER L ARGE CIT Y RESIDENTIAL BALLET ORGANIZATION?
In North America the major companies are pretty similar in structure, and have a similar combination of classics and contemporary works. The greats like Balanchine, Robbins, Cranko and other choreographers of the past century are well represented in our repertory. What makes us different from the other major companies is that we are a company that is driven by a choreographer. Stanton Welch, as well as Ben Stevenson before him, are prolific choreographers making a contribution to the art form. Here we focus on a lot of new work that comes out of Houston, along with the great classics and new works created by the best names in the business. TO WHAT DO YOU AT TRIBUTE HOUSTON BALLET’S L ARGE SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING?
We are striving for authenticity. I believe allowing our artists to capture images or videos of their view from backstage, life on tour and at rehearsals makes it much more interesting. Ballet is such a visual art, and people really enjoy seeing an artist in their element. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR HOUSTON BALLET TO CREATE PROGRAMMING FOR THE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNIT Y?
We do this to provide access to the arts that would otherwise not exist. When I was in public school I had the opportunity to be exposed to different arts programs. That original exposure to the arts completely changed my life. It changed the focus of what I wanted to do, and it opened up a whole different world to me. When school budgets get cut, arts programming gets cut. We have 11 different
PHOTO BY AMITAVA SARKAR
As a dancer you’re focused on doing it perfectly. There’s not a whole lot of gray area between perfect and bad because right or wrong is a real dancer focus. It’s got to be right, and throughout my life I certainly approached school and work the same way. But you have to realize as a dancer you’re focused on yourself and your own performance. As a manager you’re no longer controlling only your own actions, you’re guiding and leading a team of people. At Houston Ballet we certainly strive for the top! We are going to put excellence on the stage, in our community programs, and even presentations to our board. It is all driven from that quest for excellence, like the performances you see on stage.
PHOTO BY SAM KRISCH
WHAT HABITS AS A DANCER HAVE YOU CARRIED OVER INTO YOUR JOB AS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR?
programs in 200 schools and were able to reach 40,000 students last year, and we hope to bump that up to 50,000 in the next 5 years. The Ballet and our colleagues in the cultural arts community have all stepped up to provide opportunities for programming that was traditionally done by the schools but now falls to us. We are happy to do it. It is a service to our community. BEING A PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED DANCER DO YOU EVER STILL GET TO DANCE?
I dance in the elevator! Due to a few surgeries on my foot, I am unable to take barre or class anymore which I always loved, so I can’t do any ballet dancing. So I do most of my dancing in the elevator. HOUSTON IS SAYING FAREWELL TO BEN STEVENSON’S THE NUTCRACKER, HOW WILL STANTON WELCH’S THE NUTCRACKER BE DIFFERENT?
We are saying a fond farewell to Ben Stevenson’s rendition of The Nutcracker. It has been a family favorite for many Houstonians for the past 29 years. But we are excited for an updated version of The Nutcracker with new costumes and new set designs and choreography by Stanton Welch. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND WATCHING OTHER BALLET PERFORMANCES?
I spend a lot of time traveling and watching other ballet performances. However, I’m not looking at just what is put on the stage, I am looking at the overall experience from beginning to end. I am thinking about the patron experience and how we can make our visitors feel welcomed as soon as they enter our doors to the time they leave. WHAT IS ON YOUR HOUSTON FAVE FIVE LIST?
1. Gardening 2. Cooking 3. Da Marco Italian Restaurant
4. Buffalo Bayou Park 5. Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil
LIVE IT UP in the heart of
YOUR ADVENTURE BEGINS DOWNTOWN. Whether you’re grocery shopping at downtown’s favorite foodie paradise or getting in a run along Buffalo Bayou before work, life’s necessities are all just blocks away. PHOENICIA SPECIALTY FOODS
dtma ra ic
N E W E RA FO R A LLEY THEATRE OPENS DOORS TO P L AY WRI G HTS & U N LIMITED THEATRICAL POSSIB ILITIES
By Sandra Cook
PAUL BUTZI AND BILL SALTZSTEIN, EMPTY SPACE IMAGES
or theater patrons and downtowners alike, the Alley Theatre’s recent $46.5 million building renovation offers much more to audiences than any series of before-and-after photos can convey. Beyond the easy-to-spot design updates in the lobby, grand stairway and reception area, beyond the power-washed exterior, the driving force of the renovation plan was always to enhance the Alley’s — that is, the theater building’s and company’s — capacity to deliver a wider range of performance experiences at the highest caliber.
The building improvements were envisioned to facilitate the production of new plays by contemporary playwrights, and thus foster enduring relationships with up-and-coming playwrights who will consider the Alley their artistic home. “The emphasis on new work was behind the whole idea of the renovation of the theater,” says Gregory Boyd, artistic director of the Alley Theater since 1989. In addition to the aesthetic updates, the theater building boasts a dramatically upgraded technical capacity, allowing for nearly unlimited options for set changes, lighting effects and audio elements. A major focus of the renovation was the Hubbard Stage, the Alley’s main performance space. Upon entering the space, patrons will notice the extended stage, accomplished by reducing the number of seats from 824 to 774. Another stat worth noting: the stage extension allows for 62 percent of the audience to be seated within the first 11 rows from the stage. “This creates a whole new level of intimacy in the Hubbard for our patrons; one that we feel is unmatched in the City of Houston,” Alley Managing Director Dean R. Gladden said upon the theater’s reopening in September. The theater’s capacity for set changes is now among the most dynamic in the country, with its all-new fly loft containing 28 fullstage automated line sets. Another remarkable improvement is the now fully trapped stage floor, which allows for endless options for actor and scenery entrances and exits, as well as functioning as an optional orchestra pit. Additional technical upgrades include the installation of a fiber optic network throughout the theater to support projections
and audio content. A new induction loop hearing system allows telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants to function as personalized listening devices that connect directly to the theater’s sound system. Of course, most patrons will notice the interior touches, such as new seats, carpeting, and LED lighting, and will appreciate the building’s new air conditioning/heating system with multi-zoned control to ensure comfort in all areas.
Having worked in New York for 14 years, Frankel began exploring career options in Houston after making several trips to Houston to visit her husband, who has taught at the University of Houston Law School for the past two years. “Each time I visited Houston I thought, ‘I like this city and if I could find the right job I would move here,’” says Frankel. Well aware of the Alley’s status as one of the country’s top-ranked theaters, Frankel reached out to Gregory Boyd last winter. “That turned out to be very fortuitous timing,” says Frankel. To her delight, Gregory Boyd informed her that the Alley had just begun its search for a director of new work. She flew down for an interview and was hired soon after. Frankel began working for the Alley Theatre several weeks before moving from New York, and then settled into her Houston
A L L E Y A L L N E W F E ST I VA L
Jan. 28 – Feb. 7, 2016
Elizabeth Frankel and Skyler Gray
A HAVEN FOR PL AYWRIGHTS
In its quest to cultivate lasting relationships with playwrights, the Alley Theatre hired Elizabeth Frankel during the spring of 2015 as its first director of new work. Frankel joins the Alley Theatre after nine years at New York’s Public Theater, where she was the Literary Manager. She also helped to start the Emerging Writers Group in 2008 and has run the program since its inception, launching the careers of 53 writers in the process.
Experience the Alley’s inaugural festival, showcasing new plays by contemporary writers with a combination of readings and workshops. Witness six new works by writers including Karen Hartman, Boo Killebrew, NSangou Njikam (aka Glenn Gordon) and Lawrence Wright (plus two others TBA). Playwrights will have the opportunity to work with a director and a company of actors to develop the play, while also offering audiences a first look at the work and insight into the playwriting process. Note: All presentations are free and open to the public. Link to festival info and description of plays: alleytheatre.org/plays/alleyall-new/alley-all-new-festival
professional home in July. Frankel happily admits the opportunity worked out very well for her both personally and professionally. “One of my first projects was to post a job listing for a literary manager,” says Frankel. That candidate turned out to be Skyler Gray, who has developed new work with many theaters including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory, and prior to joining the Alley, worked at literary talent agency William Morris Endeavor. Gray, who was also familiar with the Alley’s reputation, was looking to get back to working for a theater
when he found the job posting for literary manager at the Alley. “After seeing the business from both sides, it’s so nice to be back at a theater,” says Gray. “At the agency, I was sending the emails that I’m now receiving and receiving the phone calls that I’m now making, so it’s nice to be back on the other side of the table.” “It’s really exciting to be able to start a program that’s focused on new work at a theater that is as established and as equipped to do this as the Alley is,” says Frankel. “When I started thinking about other jobs, they were mostly as director of new work at theaters that
already had new work programs in place. This is a unique opportunity to start up a program at a well-established theater. That’s exiting to have an established theater that’s in start-up mode. Most of those opportunities are usually at a much smaller theater that is just getting off the ground. Here at the Alley we can go big.” “And we’re not having to build off of what someone else did before us, we’re not having to fill in the Excel documents that someone else built 10 years ago,” says Gray. “Everything is from the ground up, which is also rare and very exciting.”
Wt g ri in
is an isolating act, with much of the work happening before anyone else gets a glimpse of it. The idea is for the Alley to become the artistic home for writers, not just an artistic halfway house that harbors them on a short-term basis.
NURT URIN G NEW P L AYS
In their first season with the Alley, Frankel and Gray have been focused on the theater’s inaugural festival of new work, called Alley All New. But it’s not just a festival; it’s an artistic approach that will drive the theater going forward. “Alley All New is umbrella term for the theater’s initiative of developing new plays and engaging with working, living playwrights and producing plays for their first time ever,” explains Frankel. Alley All New, the festival, will be an annual event, featuring several plays presented in workshops and read throughs, but not fully
produced. “Our hope is to be able to commission writers and bring them in to workshop their plays at the Alley.” “This is very exciting not only for the playwrights, the directors, the Alley, but also Houston audiences that will have a chance to be a part of the process,” says Gray. “Audiences may get to see plays go from a reading, to a workshop, to a possible production. They will get to track the life of the plays over the course of a couple of years and see what has been added or altered.” As Gregory Boyd puts it: “Everybody likes to see how things are put together. Alley All
New gives us all a chance to look behind the curtain to see how plays are made.” Frankel explains that Boyd’s intent is to have the writers feel like they are part of the company in the same way that the actors who live here and are in every show are part of the company. “Our goal is to bring 15 American writers into the company,” says Boyd. “That was the foundation of why the theater was renovated. We thought about how best to go about producing new plays and, considering that not all plays are created equal, we needed more flexibility to produce different types of plays.”
P 25 An Alley stylist adds the finishing touches to Elizabeth Bunchâ€™s coif in the wig room while technical staff set the stage for the eveningâ€™s show.
Audiences will get to see how a play goes from the script on the page to a living, breathing theatrical experience, as well as develop awareness and understanding of the audienceâ€™s role in a
with that actor’s voice in their head,” says Frankel. “And maybe that actor gets to do the first read through, but then by the time the play is actually produced, that actor might be in a TV show or working is some other production, so they’re not available. Here at the Alley, the same actors can do the read through, the workshop and then the full production, so the play, the actors, the whole process gets the benefit of that continuity.” “Audiences get to watch the plays grow, as well as the playwrights,” says Gray. When Ken Lin’s first play premiered here, he was strictly a playwright, but now he’s also writing for House of Cards, the Netflix series. So audiences can watch the writers’ careers grow while watching their work grow.” “The festival will be a great first step,” says Frankel. “Audiences will get to see how a play goes from the script on the page to a living, breathing theatrical experience, as well as develop awareness and understanding of the audience’s role in a play.” The Alley’s artistic team hopes to see many industry types come from other cities attend the festival. “In addition to Houston audiences, we hope to host writers, directors and production teams, which should in turn allow each of the plays to have a fruitful life,” says Frankel.
supportive,” says Boyd. “The commitment of the Alley’s board to the renovations has been truly astounding. From the repairs after Tropical Storm Allison in 2003 and plans that were delayed in 2008 with the economic downturn, we had time to really think about what we wanted to do. It was a tremendous collaboration between the board, the resident company artists and the administration.” Boyd is also grateful for the diversity and depth of Alley Theatre audiences. “Our audiences range from high school students to patrons of more than 35 years,” says Boyd. “They are lively and interesting and seem to have a sense of ownership of each performance.” Seeing the renovated Alley up and running is invigorating for Boyd, even after his 25 years as artistic director. “A building is a building, and theaters make up an odd branch of architecture. The building is built to last, but what’s inside is evanescent, it’s perpetually changing. And today, all of the building can be performance space. So much feels new — there is a lot of excitement of learning what the Alley can do. We are learning every day, with no ceiling or limit for quite a while. We are breathing the heady air, and it’s really wonderful.”
Gregor y Boyd, artistic director
ENERG IZE D BY S U P P O RT
Boyd expresses his gratitude to Houston audiences and the theater’s supporters. “Houston has been extraordinarily
ROBERT SCHENKKAN’S ALL THE WAY
Previews Jan. 29, opens Feb. 3, and runs through Feb. 21, 2016, Hubbard Stage. Winner of the 2014 Tony Award, All The Way is the Alley’s Texas-sized production of a gripping new play about Lyndon Baines Johnson. The play features a cast that combines artists from the Alley with members of the Dallas Theater Center portraying some of history’s most dynamic figures and LBJ, the 36th president of the United States. The production marks the first-ever collaboration with Dallas Theater Center and is directed by DTC’s Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty.
PHOTO BY GITTINGS
With the added emphasis on new work, Frankel explains that her approach is not so much about choosing an amazing play, but more about developing relationships with writers. She cites playwrights who have already had multiple plays premiere at the Alley, such as Kenneth Lin, whose plays Intelligence-Slave and Warrior Class debuted at the Alley; and Rejiv Joseph, whose plays The Monster at the Door and Gruesome Playground Injuries were first performed by the Alley Theatre. “We are looking to have more writers like that who will feel like the Alley can be their creative, artistic home,” says Frankel. “The idea is for the writers to write with the Alley company actors in mind and even the theater space in mind,” says Frankel. “The Alley has long sought to cultivate its resident company and foster new work, as well as reinvent older work. Now the Alley will be able to make the writers part of the company,” says Boyd. “Writing is an isolating act, with much of the work happening before anyone else gets a glimpse of it. The idea is for the Alley to become the artistic home for writers, not just an artistic halfway house that harbors them on a short-term basis.” Frankel explains that the ability to work with a resident company will appeal to writers and benefit audiences as well. “One thing that’s unique about Alley is the resident acting company — not all theaters have a resident company. The reality for a writer in New York is that writer may write a play with a certain actor in mind,
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P H D E S I G N S H O P.C O M
DT FEATURE PG 22
By Holly Beretto
ANTIOCH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH CELEBRATES 150 YEARS
ESTLED AMID THE TOWERING CONCRETE-ANDGLASS SKYSCRAPERS THAT REACH ENDLESSLY UPWARD
AROUND IT, ANTIOCH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH CLINGS TO ITS ROOTS IN A CITY THAT IS EVER CHANGING, EVER GROWING, EVER CHALLENGING ITSELF TO BE A BEACON OF COMMERCE AND CULTURE. ANTIOCH ISSUES NO SUCH CHALLENGES FOR ITSELF. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO. IT HAS A LEGACY NEARLY AS OLD AS HOUSTON ITSELF, AND THE PRINCIPLES THAT GUIDE IT COME FROM A SOURCE MORE POWERFUL THAN MERE BUSINESS. ANTIOCH UNDERSTANDS ITS IMPORTANT PLACE IN THE COMMUNITY. AND, AS THE CHURCH CELEBRATES 150 YEARS IN THE CITY CORE, IT’S SHARING THAT STORY AND INVITING OTHERS TO KNOW WHAT IT’S ALWAYS KNOWN: THAT FAITH SURELY MOVES MOUNTAINS.
REV. JOHN HENRY 'JACK' YATES
THE YATES HOME, NOW LOCATED AT SAM HOUSTON PARK
AY O U B EG I N N I N G S
“This church is the story of a people who came out of slavery with only what they had on their backs, and they went looking for a new way of life,” said Jacqueline Bostic, the great-granddaughter of the Reverend John Henry "Jack" Yates, one of the original members of the church. Like so many others who would come after them, they found that life here in Houston. And, like so many who came after them, they would build their dreams here. In 1866, the country was emerging from the horror of the Civil War. The South found itself in ruins: grand plantations burned to the ground, cities destroyed, lives lost. While President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all of the slaves owned by Confederate landowners in 1863, many wouldn’t receive the news until 1865 after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. For Texas slaves, that news came on June 19, 1865, with the arrival in the state of U.S. Army troops sent there to enforce emancipation and ensure the defeated South would once again find a way into the Union. Today, of course, we know June 19 as Juneteenth, and celebrations across Houston mark the occasion. Freed slaves set out across the South, seeking a new life with this new freedom. One of them was Jack Yates. He had been enslaved in Virginia, where his mother looked
after not only him, but his owner’s son. Jack and the boy grew up as friends and the boy taught Yates to read and write in secret. It was against the law for slaves to be educated, but this foundation would prove vital to Yates’ later life. He was freed in 1863, says Bostic, but then he did an odd thing. “His wife was owned by a man who was moving to Texas, because Texas was holding onto slavery,” she said. “He got the slave master to agree to take him as well because he wanted to be able to care for his wife and family.” It’s an extraordinary story of the extraordinary man who would be the pastor of an extraordinary church. Upon the ending of the Civil War, Yates assumed he would stay in the Matagorda County area, where he and his wife had been living with their owner. But the region wasn’t ready or interested in having blacks assume the full measure of society. Yates had heard that Houston was more welcoming, so he packed up his family and came north. Bostic says they settled on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. He worked as a drayman, hauling goods for merchants and shippers. Yates began to save his money, set on buying a home. And, on the weekends, he would bring fellow Houston settlers together to read the Bible. Meanwhile, John Wheeler, Henry Stules, Edward Smith, Preston Greenhill, Daniel Riley, T.L. Brown, Sandy Parker, Wash Rhodes, Isaac Williams, Rhyna Moore, Margaret Jones and Cynthia Hill, all of them free slaves, founded what would become Antioch Church on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. Assisted by missionaries from
the First Baptist Church and the German Baptist Church, they built a “brush arbor” as their first worship space in January, 1866. The following spring, the community would build a more permanent structure on the corner of Rusk and Bagby Streets and christened it Baptist Hill. Reverend Israel Campbell led the group, which combined with other black Baptists to form The Old Land Mark Baptist District Association. This is the association that would ordain Jack Yates as a preacher in the fall of 1868. Shortly after, he was named the first full-time pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership, the current church would come to be.
BUILDING A DREAM Jack Yates proved to be a capable pastor and a man who knew how to get things done. In 1873, the church board of trustees was elected to purchase land and make plans to build a brick structure that would house the growing congregation. Richard Allen, who would later serve in the 12th Texas Legislature, was not only an Antioch parishioner, he would serve as architect on the project. “People don’t really understand, but slaves built America,” says Bostic. “They had so many skills; they could do anything.” And do they did. The present-day Antioch was built entirely by its congregation. Men made the bricks that would be part of the permanent structure, while the women of the parish helped doing everything from cooking for them and feeding them to looking after the children. They did all of this in their spare time while working at other jobs. The cornerstone for the church was laid in the spring of 1875; four years later, in August, the first service was celebrated in the first brick structure in Houston’s African-American community. That would be enough of an accomplishment by any measure. But Pastor Yates knew the church could be much more than a place to gather for prayer and restore wounded souls. He wanted his congregation to be wholly integrated into Houston’s society. To do that, they needed to buy property. And to buy property, they needed to be educated. He set out to help them do both.
150 YEARS OF HISTORY
The cornerstone for the church was laid in the spring of 1875; four years later, in August, the first service was celebrated in the first brick structure in Houston’s African-American community.
“Antioch Church was a beacon for our ancestors, a place of education and self-determination,” says Camilla Jackson, the chair of the church’s Heritage Committee, which is charged with collecting and preserving documents from the church’s founding, as well as sharing information about the church’s history with its members and the community at large. Her committee recently began donating documents to the African-American Library at the Gregory School and will continue doing so to ensure the church’s historic records are well-preserved and cared for. “And education was an extremely important component to the church’s mission.” Realizing that education was a way to help the congregation thrive, the church’s first decades under Pastor Yates saw the establishment of the first kindergarten for African-American children, as well as laying the foundation for the city’s first high school for black students. Yates also helped congregation members secure loans to purchase homes and helped them learn how to manage their finances and set up businesses.
T H E F O U R T H WA R D C O M E S I N T O ITS OWN Antioch Missionary Baptist Church sits in Houston’s Historic Fourth Ward. Named to the National Historic Register in 1985, the Fourth Ward stretches southwest
ANTIOCH M I S S I O NA RY BA P T I S T C H U RC H F I R S T E S TA B L I S H E D O N THE EDGE OF BU F FA L O BAYO U
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BERRY O'KELLY SCHOOL
A Legacy of
rom its beginnings in post-Civil War Texas, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church’s founders and early parishioners knew that education was a saving grace that would help African Americans navigate this new thing called freedom. It would give them knowledge to build businesses, to have a stronger place in Houston’s society. Antioch’s founder and pastor, Jack Yates, helped educate members of the parish, teaching them reading, as well as business skills, and laying a foundation that would grow for generations. “One of the first kindergartens for African-American children was started here by white missionary teachers,” says Camilla Jackson, chair of the church’s Heritage Committee. “And look around Houston. We have so
many schools named for members of our church: Yates High School is, of course, named for our founder. There’s W.L.D. Johnson Library; he was a deacon here. Codwell Elementary School is named for one of our members.” Antioch is proud of that legacy, and the mission of providing education to its members continues today in the Antioch Education Services Foundation, a 501c3 spinoff from one of the church’s ministries, that provides scholarships to deserving high school graduates to continue their education. “We did fundraising for scholarships for decades, through our Brotherhood Breakfast and the annual golf tournament,” explains Nathanial Stover, a board member with the church, who spearheads the foundation. “And incorporating as a nonprofit made sense to us from a business standpoint, allowing us to do more for our students.” One of those students is Ross Hampton, who graduated from Prairie View A&M University in 2014 with bachelor of science degrees in architecture and construction science. “I was born and raised in Antioch,” he says. “For as long as I can remember, they’ve known me. The scholarship they gave me allowed me to pursue learning
B OA R D O F T RU S T E E S E S TA B L I S H E D
T WO L OT S P U RC H A S E D F O R T H E BU I L D I N G O F A C H U RC H
C O R N E R S TO N E LAID
and made it much less of a burden on my parents. I was able to use it for living expenses – books, gas, food – we always think of tuition as being the most important thing, but those side expenses affect us just as much.” Stover says that the need-based scholarships are given to promising applicants, and the number offered each year varies, depending on the applications received. The church has awarded as many as a dozen in a year, and sometimes as few as two. He says they are open to anyone wishing to apply who is seeking education at a two- or four-year college, a vocational school or another educational pursuit. Hampton says the scholarship was instrumental in helping him through his freshman year, and he pushed himself to succeed, in large part as a way to thank Antioch for its support. “Antioch is like family, and it supported me my whole life. They helped instill motivation and drive in me, and I worked to keep my grades up and keep going to make them proud of me.” Today, Hampton is part of the team of people motivating the next generation. He is part of the church’s mentoring program and is a high school Sunday school teacher there, as well as directing Antioch’s vacation bible school program. He’s also taken some of the church’s high school students on tours of his alma mater, encouraging them to continue their own education. “For me, this is about giving back,” he explains. “I can give my time, and when you give time to someone, that’s priceless. I want kids to have the experiences that I had, to know that Antioch is there to support them.”
F I R S T S E RV I C E HELD IN THE N E W C H U RC H , L O C AT E D O N ANTIOCH’S PRESENT SITE
SECOND S TO RY ADDED TO T H E C H U RC H
from Downtown’s core. Antioch Church would come to anchor the five-square-mile space called Freedmen’s Town, so named for the freed slaves that established it. “The church’s location is really vital to the civic activities that happened in Freedmen’s Town,” says Billy Glasco, the lead archivist with the African-American Library at the Gregory School. “There’s a longevity to the church, and it helped the area grow.” It’s almost impossible to imagine now, but 100 years ago, the streets around Antioch church weren’t crowded with skyscrapers and midrises; homes sprouted here, as did a multitude of black-owned businesses. From the 1870s to the 1920s, African Americans were the majority population in an area that teemed with culture, commerce and a shared sense of community. At its heart was Antioch Church. When the new brick church opened its doors in 1879, it was a cozy space done in the Gothic revival style so prevalent in the Victorian era. Evoking medieval design, the architecture was popular in the construction
The little church became an anchor around which the community grew.
of churches, using castle-like towers and parapets in the design. Richard Allen designed all of these into the construction of Antioch, with its vaulted windows and rich interior. The pews were made by the congregation – in fact, the only restoration done to them was to add cushions and to refinish them in the 1930s – their dark wood a perfect complement to the sanctuary’s Gothic styling. In the 1890s, the church’s second story was added; 20 years later the church would expand again, adding west and south wings with meeting spaces and prayer rooms. African symbols adorn the doors of the church, which were donated by Memorial Hospital in the 1960s. Stained glass windows show Jesus holding a lamb in his hand, an eternal symbol of Christ as a living sacrifice. Over the church pulpit is a nut, symbolizing prayers and blessings to be bestowed on those who worship here. The little church became an anchor around which the community grew. “I can only imagine, after the assassination of President Lincoln, all the
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REVEREND LIGHTS HELPS BRING NAT I O NA L BA P T I S T C O N V E N T I O N TO H O U S TO N
B O O K E R T. WA S H I N G TO N VISITS
SOUTH AND WEST WINGS A D D E D TO T H E C H U RC H
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REVEREND JOHN HILL WESTBROOK ERA
...it’s important for us to remember and document what they did.”
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questions people must’ve had about the future, doubts about what it would hold,” says Otis Winkley, pastor of Antioch Church. “But they gathered together to build this church, and in doing so, they built this community.” Winkley points to the church’s anchoring affect on the Fourth Ward, noting the area was once teeming with houses, barber shops, businesses and office. “The church ministered to the needs of the community,” he says. “It really allowed the community to grow.” And it did grow. African Americans poured into the area around Antioch, taking to heart the church’s mission to provide for its congregation. The early church leaders prized education and entrepreneurship; the Fourth Ward became home to centers of African-American education and several Houston-area schools and buildings are named for its early members. “Various movers and shakers in the church were also prominent in the community,” says Jackson. “And it’s important for us to remember and document what they did.” If Antioch was a community anchor, this was clearly a community with a proud and rich heritage. Booker T. Washington visited Antioch to speak. All the jazz celebrities came through Houston and played in clubs in the Fourth Ward. As Houston moved through its first 50 years, the Fourth Ward became a valuable, vital space in the city.
A L EG AC Y CO N T I N U E S “People don’t realize there is a thriving congregation here,” says Karen McKinney, the church’s business manager. Today, nearly 500 members of the church worship, learn and provide assistance to the community around the small Gothic church. The church has a thriving scholarship program, a nod to its founders’ insistence on education and self-improvement. There are Wednesday evening bible study classes, as well as one on Thursday at noon, designed to bring in people from the surrounding office towers. “I hope and believe that Antioch is a Downtown minister to the needs of the people,” says Winkley. “We want to be a blessing to those who live and work Downtown, and our doors are always open to those who need us.” And this year, Antioch is loudly proclaiming the good news of its sesquicentennial. A series of celebrations
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A Legacy of
n the shadows of Downtown, Emancipation Park is an enclave of green space in Houston’s Third Ward. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Pastor John Henry "Jack" Yates, along with Elias Dibble, Richard Allen and Richard Brock purchased 10 acres at Dowling and Elgin and led the effort to create the park, joining forces with Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church to form the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association in 1872. Members of the group pooled $800 to purchase the park land – making it the first public park in Houston. It was named in honor of the freedom the Emancipation Proclamation granted them. The City of Houston acquired the park in 1918, and it served as the only public park for African Americans. A community center was added as part of WPA project in 1939. Today the park is home to a swimming pool, playground, community center, ball fields and a picnic area. Emancipation Park received a State of Texas Historic Marker in 2009. In 2013, the City of Houston and Friends of Emancipation Park broke ground on $33 million worth of improvements that are in the planning stages, including a new recreation center, enhancements to activity areas, turning the existing recreation center into a community center, and re-imagining the landscaping and entry. The newly designed park will not only strengthen the park’s historic ties to the city, it hopefully will create a catalyst for future neighborhood development.
ANTIOCH M I S S I O NA RY BA P T I S T C H U RC H A D D E D TO T H E NAT I O NA L REGISTER O F H I S TO R I C P L AC E S
A Legacy of
C O L L E C T I NG ARCHIVISTS HELP CHART ANTIOCH'S STORIED HISTORY
e began collecting items from Antioch church recently,” says Billy Glasco, the lead archivist with The AfricanAmerican Library at the Gregory School. “The earliest newsletters we have from the church date to 1925.” He’s excited to have the items in the collection. Run under the umbrella of the Houston Public Library, the Gregory School, located in Houston’s Fourth Ward, opened in 2009 in the building that was Houston’s first public school for African Americans. Today, it’s the premier research space in the city for charting the African-American experience, not only in Houston, but throughout Texas as well. It is home to 180 archival collections, including 3,000 volumes of African-American history. “We simply didn’t have an adequate place to keep these items,” explains Camilla Jackson, chair of Antioch’s Heritage Committee. She and her fellow committee members have been combing the church’s collection of documents, books and other ephemera to give to the library. “We want these historic documents to be kept safe. The library is able to do that for us.” Jackson says that much of the information about the church is kept in filing cabinets in the church’s offices, corners of assembly rooms, anywhere there’s a spot
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for things. “That just won’t do,” she says. So, when the committee approached the library, the Gregory School was happy to have the articles. While the current Antioch holdings of the library include the newsletters that Glasco mentioned, as well as a few programs from church events in the 1940s, Jackson says that photos, letters and news clippings that date back to the 1870s will be donated to the research center. “These are a documentation of what our members did,” she says. “And that information should be preserved and shared.” Glasco agrees. “The newsletters and programs are in archival containers,” he explains. “And all of the materials we get, we’ll categorize and catalog. They’ll be available for research purposes for the community. It’s so important to us that we help tell the story of this church and its monumental history.” Library-goers can use the materials in the Gregory School’s collection to conduct genealogical research, as well as explore the rich imprint left by African Americans on Houston. Permanent exhibits trace the history of Freemen’s Town, the area settled by freed slaves. Photos and documents trace the founding and growth of what was a thriving neighborhood. The library also has a classroom that’s been restored to what
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it would have looked like in 1926 when the Edgar M. Gregory School first opened its doors. Rotating exhibits that chronicle the African-American experience are on display in the library’s galleries. Additional research materials include a number of private papers and documents given to the library by members of Houston’s AfricanAmerican community. In many cases, these are from ordinary citizens, and demonstrate daily life in Houston throughout the ages. They’re donated by the residents themselves and often by children who are settling their parents’ estates. They don’t want to throw things away, but weren’t sure what else to do with them. Having those items at the library means that other Houstonians have the opportunity to explore what life was like for them. “We invite people to donate their stories to us,” says Glasco. “And we want people to come in and see what we have. We have a large collection of oral history, as well, and those stories capture who we are.” “Our Heritage Committee was founded so that we could keep and maintain the historic documents and publications that Antioch has collected over the years,” says Jackson. “Giving those items to the Gregory Library allows the community at large to share in our history.”
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are planned to mark the occasion, from family-friendly festivals on the church grounds to prayer services in the sanctuary and a huge gala at the Hyatt Regency. Those who work and worship at Antioch recognize that it’s special among city worship spaces. In addition to its storied history, many of the congregation’s members can claim ties to the original founding families. Ross Hampton has been a member of Antioch his whole life, and was one of the church’s scholarship recipients. Following his graduation from Prairie View A&M University in 2014, he came back to church to be a mentor to some of the church’s young men. “Antioch was always key to my success,” he says. “I want to reciprocate.” That feeling of reciprocation is one that’s echoed by members of the church. They feel a keen sense that they are standing on the shoulders of those who came before, who came to Houston seeking something more from life, thrived here and created a community whose legacy runs through the very streets Antioch stands on. There is a pride of history in their association with the church, but also a pride of place. They recognize that Antioch was born from the heartache and horror of slavery, but through faith and love, it has been a nurturing home where they believe God’s love surpasses all.
“I’m very proud of the fact that people who had nothing but such unbelievably hard times as we can’t imagine, had the thought and the will to come here,” says Bostic. “To know that you’re doing this for yourself after being told you have to do this because the master says, but you’re doing that for your family and your community and your people, you know you’re willing to make whatever sacrifices you have to in order to make this life happen. To me, that says people have a strength we don’t even know that we have.” “Antioch is a symbol of permanence,” says Jackson. “These people who started the church were born in slavery. If people who were born as slaves can educate themselves and come together to build something permanent, surely we, who have all the benefits of this great society, can come together to help the community.” As long as Antioch stands, its blue-and-white JESUS SAVES sign above the door, the members here promise they will continue the church’s legacy of providing for the community it serves. “Our focus for the next 150 years will be the same as our first: to better the lives of the people we serve and to share the love of Jesus Christ,” says Winkley.
DEACONS - 1948
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QU E E N ELIZABETH II VISITS
THE ICONIC J E S U S S AV E S SIGN IS I N S TA L L E D
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A Legacy of
he location of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church is a vital one for the city. Even with all the expansion and growth around it, all roads in Houston history lead to Freedmen’s Town.” That’s Billy Glasco, lead archivist of the African-American Library at The Gregory School. And he’s talking about an important Houston neighborhood: the Fourth Ward, which houses Freedmen’s Town. Houston certainly wasn’t the first city in the country to have a Freedmen’s Town; they dotted cities all over the nation, especially in the South, following the Civil War. Freed slaves settled these communities, giving rise to the moniker that they’d be known by. In these spaces, African Americans build thriving centers of commerce, worship and modest homes, where they were free – literally and metaphorically – from white supervision. Houston’s Freedmen’s Town grew out of the Fourth Ward, which was created shortly after the city’s founding in 1836. Its boundary began southeast of the intersection of Congress and Main streets. The Ward’s boundaries travel along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, which is where Antioch Church was born. While initially there were more whites than blacks living in the Fourth Ward, as the 19th century wore on, more and more African Americans settled into the area, creating a thriving five-square-mile space of businesses and homes. To say they built the area themselves is no exaggeration. The African-American settlers of Freedmen’s Town paved the area’s streets with handmade bricks and constructed the buildings there themselves. By the early 20th century, this enclave spread slowly out of the Downtown area (where present-day City Hall is located) and out past San Felipe Street (known to us now as West Dallas Street). “This was the center of the first black educational and civic spaces in Houston,” says Glasco. “Many of the city’s first schools for African Americans were built here. So were the first African-American businesses.” African Americans became prominent members of the Houston community. Antioch’s founder, Jack Yates, helped campaign for the first park for African-
Americans, Emancipation Park, which would be constructed in Houston’s Third Ward. Yates was also instrumental in leading to the establishment of Houston College (known as Houston Baptist Academy), which opened its doors on three acres on the western edge of the Fourth Ward in 1894. The Colored High School, later renamed Booker T. Washington High School, was the only black high school in the Fourth Ward until the 1920s. Across the street from the school, a black branch of the Carnegie Library was constructed. “Dr. Henry Lee built the first black hospital in Houston in the Fourth Ward,” says Camilla Jackson, chair of Antioch’s Heritage Committee, further explaining the significance of the area to the city’s history. According to the Texas State Historical Association, by 1915 all but one of the city’s African-American doctors and dentists and three-quarters of Houston’s black lawyers had offices in Freedmen’s Town. Before Texas Southern University moved quarters to its presentday spot, its forerunner, Houston Colored Junior College, was here as well. Through the 1920s, the area was alive with African-American commerce and culture. Jazz clubs featured nationally known stars, the descendants of freed slaves bought and built homes, black business owners engaged in everything from the practice of law to teaching to running their own stores. But as the 20th century raged on, edging closer and closer to World War II, the city of
Through the 1920s, the area was alive with African-American commerce and culture
But the core of the Fourth Ward remains Freedmen’s Town. And the echoes from this area built by freed slaves still linger. Houston encroached on Freedmen’s Town. New roads were built, and Allen Parkway Village was erected to house white defense workers. Following the war, Interstate 45 was constructed, and many of the Fourth Ward’s buildings were destroyed, fraying irrevocably the fabric of the once-thriving Freedmen’s Town. From a height of a population of 17,000 in 1910, by 1980 the population of the area had dwindled to 4,400, nearly half of whom were living below the poverty line. As Houston continued its everexpanding growth, the Fourth Ward fell further and further into neglect. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the area began gentrifying, with many one-story, leaning shotgun homes replaced with the midrises and new businesses that would become part of presentday Midtown. But the core of the Fourth Ward remains Freedmen’s Town. And the echoes from this area built by freed slaves still linger. Freedmen’s Town was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
FOURTH WARD BAR-B-Q
SUNDAY SCHOOL - 1960s
FREEDMEN'S TOWN HOME
Join us this week
SUNDAY SERVICES CHURCH SCHOOL
THROUGHOUT THE WINTER, ANTIOCH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH IS H O S T I N G A S E R I E S O F E V E N T S T H AT C E L E B R AT E T H E C H U R C H ’ S 1 5 0 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y. T O G E T H E R , T H E Y H O N O R T H E O R G A N I Z AT I O N ’ S PA S T A N D J O Y F U L L Y L O O K F O R WA R D T O I T S F U T U R E . T H E Y R A N G E F R O M T H E S E C U L A R TO THE SPIRITUAL, BUT ALL FOCUS ON THE ENDURING LEGACY OF THE A N T I O C H C O M M U N I T Y. W O R S H I P S E R V I C E S A N D C H U R C H P R O G R A M S A R E O P E N T O A L L ; T H E A N N I V E R S A R Y G A L A I S A T I C K E T E D E V E N T.
A NEW MEMBERS O R I E N TAT I O N
December 20, 2015
February 26, 2016
YOUTH CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
SESQUICENTENNIAL GRAND BLACK-TIE GALA
A celebration of the season with an emphasis on stories and songs that are designed to appeal to the younger members of the parish. This familyfriendly event is a holiday favorite.
Held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, the gala is a glittering evening devoted to celebrating the milestone anniversary. Tickets are available through the church.
January 15, 2016
S U N D AY W O R S H I P SERVICE
6:00 P.M. thursdays
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. O R AT O R Y C O M P E T I T I O N Held in the church’s sanctuary, this annual competition for Houston elementary school students commemorates the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader. Judged by federal justices, lawyers and city luminaries, the fourth- and fifth-graders who take part are evaluated on their speaking skills and subject matter.
February 28, 2016 150TH ANNIVERSARY WORSHIP SERVICES Offered in the morning and the evening, these Sunday services will pay special attention to the church’s history, offering thanks and praise for Antioch’s continued success. While Antioch is always open to everyone, the special nature of these anniversary services are an excellent way to learn more about the church, its mission and its members.
WOMEN’S MINISTRY USHER MINISTRY C H R I S T I A N E D U C AT I O N FINE ARTS MINISTRY (CHOIR + PRAISE DANCE) OUTREACH MINISTRY CULINARY MINISTRY TECHNOLOGY MINISTRY PUBLISHING MINISTRY
January 24, 2016 F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S D AY
For more details,
Join the Antioch community for a celebration of the ties that bind us together. Food, fun and fellowship spotlight the event, and the welcoming atmosphere will make you want to save the date.
VISIT THE CHURCH’S WEBSITE
Performing Arts 38 Festivals & Special Events 43 Market Square Park 44 Discovery Green 46 AND MORE
EDITED BY NICOLE MARIN
Genesis of the Texas Cowboy at The Heritage Society
Jan 27â€“Mar 5
PERFORMING ARTS THE NUTCRACKER Through Dec 27 Journey with Clara as she dances on the arm of the Nutcracker Prince to the stunning Land of Snow and the delectable Kingdom of Sweets. There are so many reasons to delight in The Nutcracker: the giant Christmas tree, the dancing dolls, Mother Ginger and her adorable clowns, the lavish sets and the iconic Tchaikovsky score. This year the Houston Ballet will bid farewell to Ben Stevenson’s beloved production of The Nutcracker as they prepare to premiere a new version by Artistic Director Stanton Welch in 2016. Tickets $29-$119. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.2787. houstonballet.org A CHRISTMAS CAROL – A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS Through Dec 28 A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve. Tickets $35$70. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Dec 2 A Little Day Music is a series of free concerts presented at noon on the first Wednesday of the month in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Center. Each concert is designed to deliver Da Camera’s signature programming to an audience including senior citizens, Downtown professionals, and homeschooled students. The series features a variety of chamber music and jazz, presented in an accessible one-hour concert format. Audiences are invited to enjoy their lunch while listening to the music. Free. Noon. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com LATIN CHRISTMAS Dec 3 The Latin Philharmonic will present its annual Latin Christmas concert to celebrate the happiest time of the year. Venezuelan maestro, Glenn Garrido, will lead the orchestra, which will be joined by special guests Rafael “Pollo” Brito, Maria Rivas and Robert Gonzalez. Tickets start at $15. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7000. houstonlatinphil.org HOME ALONE Dec 4 Give your holiday a little laughter with Home Alone, the beloved comedy favorite featuring renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live to pictures. Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation and who must
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defend his home against two bungling thieves. Home Alone is must-see hilarious holiday fun for the entire family! Tickets start at $35. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.4240. houstonsymphony.org JUBILEE OF DANCE Dec 4 Houston Ballet will present Jubilee of Dance, a one-night-only event showcasing the depth and range of the company in a program of premieres and high-energy excerpts from signature works and beloved classics. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.224.4240. houstonballet.org THE LITTLE PRINCE Dec 4-20 Join HGO for all the joy and wonder of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic story, The Little Prince. After being forced to land his plane in the Sahara desert, a pilot is awakened by the gentle but determined voice of a little prince with a strange history. The two become unlikely friends, and while experiencing lessons from the desert’s many creatures, together they discover what is essential in life. Don’t miss this adventure-filled family experience during the holiday season. Tickets start at $48. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228. OPERA. houstongrandopera.org THE SANTALAND DIARIES Dec 4-31 Company artist Todd Waite reprises his role as Crumpet the Elf in the outlandish and true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as a worker in Macy’s SantaLand display. This compact, onecharacter comedy is a hilarious cult classic, featuring comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. Tickets $35. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org MELISSA ALDANA Dec 5 In 2013, at age 24, Melissa Aldana won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the first female instrumentalist to ever win the illustrious contest. She recently won in the Rising Star-Tenor Saxophone category of the 63rd Annual DownBeat Annual Critics Poll and has quickly established herself as one of the fastest rising players in jazz today. Her first Houston appearance features Pablo Menares on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
VIRTUOSI OF HOUSTON Dec 5 Virtuosi of Houston, the city’s premier youth chamber orchestra will delight
audiences with their 2015 repertoire. Tickets $20. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org A CHRISTMAS STORY Dec 8-20 Prepare yourself for an all-American Christmas in the holiday show heralded by the Associated Press as “a charming triumph infused with utter joy.” In this clever musical adaptation of the 1983 comedic film, we follow the childhood dreams and schemes of little Ralphie, whose heart is set on getting one thing and one thing only for Christmas — the official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle. With its timeless scenes, quirky innocence and nostalgic warmth, this musical trip down memory lane will leave the whole family bright-eyed and buoyant. It’s far and away the most fun you’ll have this holiday season! Tickets start at $37.75. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. tuts.com THE HOT SARDINES Dec 10 Without a doubt one of the highlights of the Christmas performance season will be when New York City’s Hot Sardines performs its Holiday Stomp — a “hot jazz” performance that gives voice to the historydefining jazz of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. The program will include White Christmas, Le Noël de la Rue, Mele Kelikimaka, Please Come Home for Christmas and more. Tickets $33-$63. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org VERY MERRY POPS Dec 11-13 It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the Houston Symphony with Very Merry Pops, now in its 15th season! Bring your family and friends and rejoice in this Houston holiday tradition with Mike, the orchestra, the chorus – and some special guests who may drop by to join in on the festive fun. Enjoy favorites like O Come, All Ye Faithful, Carol of the Bells and It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, as well as songs from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Tickets start at $35. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.4240. houstonsymphony.org A FROSTY AND FROZEN CHRISTMAS Dec 12 Bundle up! Temperatures are dropping in a decked-out Jones Hall as we celebrate the magic of the holiday season, including a special guest who may drop by to partake in the festive fun. Sing along to Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and rejoice in Queen Elsa’s reflective personal journey with Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen. Join us as we remember what makes this time of year so special – and a bit frosty! Tickets start at $22. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.4240. houstonsymphony.org HANDEL’S MESSIAH Dec 17-20 Experience the timeless Christmas tradition of this Baroque masterpiece with the finest performances of Handel’s Messiah in Houston. Full of glorious choruses and moving solos, this grand oratorio tells the story of the first Christmas through some of Handel’s most inspired works, including Ev’ry Valley Shall Be Exalted, O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion and the famous Hallelujah chorus. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.4240. houstonsymphony.org
movement, every musical note, makes this a stunning visual and emotional experience you won’t find anywhere else. See for yourself why this performance is leaving millions around the world in awe. Tickets $70.50-$206.50. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. joneshall.org
SHEN YUN Dec 22-Jan 2 There was a time when the world was full of magic and splendor, as if all on Earth existed in harmony with Heaven. You could see it in the arts, feel it in the air and hear it in the beat of a drum. This was a land of heroes and sages, dragons and phoenixes, emperors and immortals. Known today as China, this place was once called “the Middle Kingdom” and “the Land of the Divine.” Shen Yun invites you to experience this divine culture of the Middle Kingdom by bringing the profound spirit of this lost civilization to life on stage with unrivaled artistic mastery. Every dance
A TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS Jan 8-10 No composer epitomizes modern film music like John Williams. He has written some of the most recognizable soundtracks in cinematic history, and this program celebrates the thrilling themes of the innumerable adventures that he has helped imagine. From Spielberg staples like Jurassic Park, Jaws, and E.T. to Star Wars and the Harry Potter franchise, his music has brought characters to life and filled our hearts with the magic of the movies. Tickets start at $35. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org PAULA POUNDSTONE Jan 15 While there is no doubt that Poundstone is funny, the thing that separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd. Tickets $40-$125.50. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
FIRE AND ICE GALA Dec 31 How about a star-studded evening with music that is by turns both hot and cold? Vivaldi’s Winter sets the stage for Handel’s Apollo e Dafne, which tells the story of too-ardent love and a unique transformation. This very special evening begins with dinner at 8 pm in Artista and continues in Zilkha Hall with the program at 9:30 pm. Ars Lyrica’s annual gala in the Hobby Center’s Founder’s Club (with silent auction) extends the festivities through midnight so that you can ring in 2016 with us—at Houston’s most stylish New Year’s Eve event! Tickets start at $37. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Jan 6 A Little Day Music is a series of free concerts presented at noon on the first Wednesday of the month in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Center. Each concert is designed to deliver Da Camera’s signature programming to an audience including senior citizens, Downtown professionals, and homeschooled students. The series features a variety of chamber music and jazz, presented in an accessible one-hour concert format. Audiences are invited to enjoy their lunch while listening to the music. Free. Noon. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com SEZEN AKSU Jan 7 For the past 40 years, singer-songwriter Sezen Aksu “Little Sparrow” has been one of the most
STRIKING 12 Dec 17-23 On New Year’s Eve, an over-worked and under-inspired single guy who’s had enough of holiday cheer makes a resolution: to stay home and go to bed early. On another New Year’s Eve, a continent away – and more than a century earlier – Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Match Girl tries unsuccessfully to sell her matches in the snow. The two stories are brought together when a young woman selling special “full-spectrum holiday light bulbs” to combat seasonal affective disorder shows up at the grumpy man’s door. Though the man (who probably could use the bulbs) seems to enjoy the young woman’s company, he sends her away. It’s not until he reads The Little Match Girl that he is finally pulled out of his funk. All of this unfolds through a tuneful pop/rock/jazz score that retains the vibrant style of its original performers: the celebrated band, GrooveLily. Tickets start at $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. tutsunderground.com
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY Dec 27-Jan 2 Hailed by Time Magazine as “Musical Theatre Gold!” Bullets over Broadway is the hilarious musical comedy about the making of a Broadway show. Written by Woody Allen, with original direction and choreography by Susan Stroman and based upon the screenplay of the acclaimed film by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath, Bullets over Broadway is the story of a young playwright who, in desperate need of financial backing for his next show, accepts an offer he can’t refuse from a mobster looking to please his showgirl girlfriend. Loaded with big laughs, colorful characters, and the songs that made the ‘20s roar, Bullets over Broadway is bringing musical comedy back with a bang. Tickets start at $40. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org
influential pop artists from Turkey. Known as The Diva of Turkish pop, don’t miss Sezen when she makes a special stop at the Hobby Center. Tickets start at $60. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org
datebook. KATHLEEN MADIGAN Jan 15 Tickets start at $33. 8 pm. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com BLUE MAN GROUP Jan 15-17 Blue Man Group returns to Houston with their wildly popular theatrical show combining
comedy, music and technology. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages and cultures. This unique experience is a form of entertainment like nothing else; guaranteed to be an outing you will never forget! Tickets $43-$78. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
HOUSTON Winter PUBLIC Calendar LIBRARY Central Library 500 McKinney
Julia Ideson Library 550 McKinney
MY FAVORITE POEM: HOUSTON Sep 9 An Evening with Poet Robert Pinsky and Mayor Annise Parker. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky joins Houston Mayor Annise Parker for a poetry presentation and citywide launch of My Favorite Poem: Houston. 6–8 pm. Julia Ideson Building RAINBOW FAMILIES STORYTIME Wednesdays, Dec 2-30 Everyone is invited to a story time celebrating all types of families! This is also an opportunity for LGBTQ families to enjoy stories, songs and socialize during craft time. 7 pm. Central Library SEASON’S READINGS Dec 5 Celebrate the winter season with family-friendly, literary-inspired programs as part of HPL’s Season’s Readings! In this year’s program Aurora Picture Show presents Fantastic Journeys: Animated Shorts featuring films from the Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2015. Join a
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All events free and open to the public. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org
space-alien potato on his zany adventures, witness the creation of the alphabet, sing along with a brave little octopus, and grow up along with a rebellious daughter made of frosting in this vibrant celebration of creativity. Free. 3 pm. Julia Ideson Library. ART THING! Dec 5, Jan 16, Feb 6 Learn about art and artists and make your own creation to take home. Kids program. 3 pm. Central Library HOLIDAY STORYTIME Dec 19 Listen to holiday stories, make arts and crafts, and have some gingerbread. 3 pm. Central Library. SENSORY STORYTIME Jan 9, Feb 20 An interactive program for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, other developmental disabilities, and their typically developing peers. This program includes stories, songs and activities in a small setting. 2 pm. Central Library
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH STORYTIME Feb 13 Enjoy stories and arts and crafts centered on an African-American History Month theme. 3 pm. Central Library.
FAMILY FUN Mondays Preschool Story time, 1 pm Tuesdays Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am Wednesdays Legos & Duplos, 3 pm Thursdays Minecraft Madness, 4 pm
BACH & PIAZZOLA Jan 16 The dance has fascinated composers for centuries. Bandoneon and guitar join Mercury to combine the heat of Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo and the serenity of Bach’s counterpoint into a unique blend of these two styles – an experience that will make you dance, body and soul. Tickets start at $19. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Jan 19-31 The Bridges of Madison County, one of the most romantic stories ever written, first captured the nation’s attention as a best-selling novel and is now an irresistible, two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. It tells the unforgettable story of two people caught between decision and desire, as a chance encounter becomes a second chance at so much more. Tickets start at $37.75. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.8887. tuts.com SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONY No.10 Jan 22-24 This program of 20th century classics kicks off with one of Shostakovich’s brightest and most joyful works, his Festive Overture. Then, marvel at Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, performed by Houston favorite Kirill Gerstein. Inspired by pianist Paul Wittgenstein, a WWI amputee, Ravel’s astonishing and moving score creates the illusion of two hands playing while using only one. Shostakovich’s deeply personal Symphony No. 10 was written in the wake of Stalin’s death. It contains a biting caricature of the Soviet dictator and ends with a thrilling and emotionally intense finale. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Jan 22-Feb 7 One of the greatest operas of all times examines love and lust in a single day of madness. This revolutionary masterpiece follows a resourceful valet who uses every trick in the book to keep his comely fiancée out of the clutches of the lustful Count Almaviva. A quintessential comedy of manners, Mozart’s work is a timeless look at husbands and wives, masters and servants, and hearts both fickle and true – all played to glorious music. Tickets start at $44. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.OPERA. houstongrandopera.org
BODYTRAFFIC Jan 23 BodyTraffic is known for dynamic theatricality and refreshing abandon. Based in Los Angeles and founded by Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett in 2007, BodyTraffic has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world and was named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2013 and the “company of the future” by the Joyce Theater Foundation. Audiences are enveloped by the company’s sheer joy of dance. Tickets $23-$78. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
COLIN HAY Jan 24 Themes of redemption and renewal come naturally to Colin Hay, as he is in the midst of a remarkable renaissance. While his voice and visage are still familiar to millions from his tenure as front man, principal songwriter and lead vocalist of Men at Work, the past 20 years have found him quietly yet tenaciously re-introducing himself to new generations of fans. Presented by McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. Tickets: $50.50-$81.50. 7 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
GARRISON KEILLOR Jan 27 NPR veteran Garrison Keillor offers up a rousing event featuring his trademark storytelling and candid, observational comedy as well as his signature red shoes. The National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, who has been parodied on shows like SNL and The Simpsons, captivates audiences using his unique blend of humor, charisma and wisdom for this one-night only performance at Jones Hall. Tickets start at $29. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org SCHUMANN’S VIOLIN CONCERTO Jan 28, 30 & 31 Known for her fresh interpretations and for performing barefoot, European violin sensation Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays Robert Schumann’s brooding, beautiful Violin Concerto. As part of their Musically Speaking with Andrés series, Houston Symphony Music Director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and co-host Carlos Andrés Botero, illuminate the score’s secrets with musical commentary, a complete performance of the work and a post concert Q&A session. Tickets $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
MONTROSE TRIO HOUSTON DEBUT WITH RICHIE HAWLEY Jan 29 Three world-renowned musicians join forces in this new ensemble making its highly-anticipated Houston debut. A veteran of the international concert stage, Houston-based Jon Kimura Parker joins forces with Martin Beaver and Clive Greensmith of the now-disbanded Tokyo String Quartet, a long-time favorite of Houston chamber music audiences. Clarinetist Richie Hawley joins the trio for a new work by award-winning, Houstonbased composer Pierre Jalbert. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com RUSALKA Jan 29-Feb 12 Few myths have so strong a hold on the imagination as that of the Little Mermaid, and no one ever gave her a more beautiful Song to the Moon than the great Czech composer Dvorák in this, his most romantic opera. Be transported to a mystical world of water sprites, witches, and wood nymphs. In exchange for love, Rusalka will relinquish not only her mermaid magic, but also her voice. Tickets start at $18. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.OPERA. houstongrandopera.org
ALL THE WAY Jan 29-Feb 21 Winner of the 2014 Tony Award, the Alley’s Texas-sized production of a gripping new play about LBJ features a cast combining artists from the Alley with members of the Dallas Theater Center portraying some of history’s most dynamic figures and the 36th president of the United States himself, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Tickets start at $26. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
with internationally renowned guest conductor Harry Bicket. Tickets start at $19. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org PEPPA PIG LIVE! Feb 13 Tickets starts at $29.50. 5 pm. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com
AN EVENING WITH ANA MARIA MARTINEZ Feb 2 Aperio celebrates its first decade with a special event featuring celebrated soprano Ana Maria Martinez. Tickets: $50. 7 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Feb 3 A Little Day Music is a series of free concerts presented at noon on the first Wednesday of the month in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Center. Each concert is designed to deliver Da Camera’s signature programming to an audience including senior citizens, Downtown professionals, and homeschooled students. The series features a variety of chamber music and jazz, presented in an accessible one-hour concert format. Audiences are invited to enjoy their lunch while listening to the music. Free. Noon. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com GREGORY PORTER Feb 5 Don’t miss the long-awaited first Houston appearance by Gregory Porter, the vocalist who exploded onto the international music scene with his debut CD, Water, and has racked up a continuing stream of accolades and awards. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN Feb 5-7 We’re elevating the cinematic experience with Singin’ in the Rain, which was voted the No. 1 Greatest Movie Musical by the American Film Institute. Enjoy the classic film on the big screen as the orchestra performs the iconic score, made famous by Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. So ditch your umbrella and let it rain with Make ‘Em Laugh, Good Morning, All I Do Is Dream Of You and the memorable title song. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BALLETBOYZ Feb 6 Direct from London, BalletBoyz is considered one of the most original and innovative forces in modern dance, fusing spectacular movements with stunning music and film. Tickets $23-$78. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE MARCEL PROUST PROJECT WITH NICHOLAS PHAN, TENOR Feb 11-12 Music of the French belle epoque, imagery from paintings and period photography, and excerpts from the early 20th century literary masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, transport us to
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the dreamy realm of a recaptured past as Sarah Rothenberg revisits the great French author, Marcel Proust, with a team of collaborators including tenor Nicholas Phan, Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, Tony Award-winning set and costume designer Marina Draghici and Obie Award-winning projection and video designer Hannah Wasileski. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com ALL IN A GARDEN GREEN Feb 12 Songs about springtime animate the 2016 Houston Early Music Festival program, All in a Garden Green. A menu of delectable tunes mixes items from English, Italian, French and Spanish musical cultures and includes Vivaldi’s Spring, along with songs and cantatas by William Byrd, Thomas Morely, Clément Jannequin, Juan del Encina and others. Love will definitely be in the air at this Valentine’s weekend program! Tickets $37-$96. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org HAYDN & SIBELIUS Feb 12-14 The Houston Symphony continues its celebration of Sibelius’ 150th birthday with his tone poem, The Bard and his soaring Symphony No. 1. Acclaimed Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta performs not one, but two cello concertos: Haydn’s gracious Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major and Saint-Saëns’ thrilling Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor. Conductor John Storgårds returns to Houston to display his prowess with the baton as well as with the bow when he leads the orchestra from the violin in the Haydn Concerto. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BACH’S COMPLETE ORCHESTRAL SUITES Feb 13 His music is brilliant, beloved, and absolute bliss. Now, experience all of Bach’s gleaming orchestral suites brimming with cheerful melodies and exuberant phrases in a special performance
THE SOUND OF MUSIC Feb 16-21 A brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, is coming to the Hobby Center. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp family will once again thrill audiences with My Favorite Things, Do-ReMi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss and the title song. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. Tickets $30-$105. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org THE BAND OF THE ROYAL MARINES AND THE PIPES AND THE DRUMS OF THE SCOTS GUARDS Feb 19 The sound of the pipes has long instilled a great sense of pride and passion and has inspired Scottish soldiers in the heat of battle and driven fear into the enemy as the kilted highlanders advanced towards them. Houston audiences will be aweinspired as the Band of the Royal Marines and the Pipes and Drums of the Scots Guards take over the Jones Hall stage in a grand display of pageantry and ancient military traditions highlighted by precision marches, haunting bagpipes and energetic Highland dancing. Tickets $33-$78. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org BLAZE: THE INTERNATIONAL DANCE SPECTACULAR Feb 20 Blaze delivers an unforgettable, core-shaking bolt of twisted dance vibe, guaranteed to leave your body, mind and soul rushing for weeks. Following critically acclaimed tours in Europe, Russia, Australia and Asia, Blaze finally comes to the United States with a cast of the 16 best dancers in the world ready to pop, lock and break dance their way into Houston to entertain dance and music fans. Featuring music by Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, David Guetta and Snoop Dogg, this family-friendly show takes the raw energy and athleticism of street dance and combines it with high-end production values. Tickets $33-$63. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE BEST OF BENNY GOODMAN Feb 26-28 We salute the King of Swing and the soaring sounds of the Big Band era in this tribute to Benny Goodman. Led by clarinetist Dave Bennett, who captures Goodman’s famous jazzy riffs, the Dave Bennett Sextet offers powerfully fresh and
vibrant interpretations of Goodman’s classics, including Sing, Sing, Sing, Let’s Dance and These Foolish Things. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Wednesdays through Dec 16 It’s a food-lovers delight at Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market. The market hosts more than 40 vendors around the City Hall reflection pool with an array of locally grown fruits and vegetables, a variety of prepared lunch items made from local ingredients, as well as local food trucks. Wednesdays, 11:30 am-1:30 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540. urbanharvest.org MAYOR’S HOLIDAY CELEBRATION AND TREE LIGHTING PRESENTED BY RELIANT Dec 4 Ring in the season with the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting presented by Reliant on Friday, Dec. 4 in the heart of Downtown. The spectacular event is a holiday tradition of music, fireworks and family fun. A towering holiday tree, glowing with energy-efficient LED lights, shimmering ornaments and a stunning star topper will light up the streets of Downtown this holiday season. Free. 6 pm. Hermann Square at City Hall. houstontx.gov
SANTA PAWS Dec 5 Bring your pets, family and friends to visit and take photos with Santa and to experience the holidays at GreenStreet. Free. Noon-3 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. greenstreetdowntown.com CHANUKAH FEST 2015 Dec 6 This will be an event you don’t want to miss as the City of Houston co-sponsors the fabulous Chanukah Fest 2015 in front of City Hall. Highlights include a live concert by the 8th Day Band, live entertainment, dozens of fun activities for kids and adults, a dazzling food quarter, Judah the Maccabee Live Statue and Dreidel Mascot, and much more. The event will conclude with a grand lighting of the City Hall Menorah for the first night of Chanukah. Free. 2 pm. City Hall. chanukahinhouston.com
UNSILENT NIGHT Dec 10 Join UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and Buffalo Bayou Partnership for an interactive holiday event, Unsilent Night, a soundscape played by the audience on boom boxes carried through the trails of Buffalo Bayou Park. Free. 6 pm. The Water Works, 105 Sabine. buffalobayou.org YUMMY! WONDERLAND INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY FESTIVAL & BRUNCH WITH SANTA Dec 12 Go global and give back this holiday season. Celebrate with an international holiday festival and brunch highlighting art, music, traditions and customs from around the globe. Entertain the family with holiday crafts, cookie decorating, cultural performances and live music. Bring a toy to donate to the Houston Fire Department’s Operation Stocking Stuffer and snap a photo with Santa. Tickets are $15 (adults) and $8 (children, ages 4-12 years old). 9 am-3 pm. Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown, 1001 Austin. yummywonderland.eventbrite.com
2015 GINGERBREAD BUILD-OFF Dec 12 Over 30 competing teams will create their masterpieces using 100 percent edible materials. More than 3,000 spectators are expected to attend and cheer on the teams, play in the kids’ construction zone, and see Santa. Team registration is open to local architecture firms, design professionals, students, and enthusiasts seeking the coveted Grand Prix de Show for their edible structure. All entertainment is free and open to the public. 10 am-4:30 pm. Hermann Square at City Hall, 901 Bagby. aiahouston.org 53RD ANNUAL CANDLELIGHT TOUR Dec 12-13 Imagine cool nights, warm fires, twinkling lights, and a cup of cocoa in hand. Each year the Heritage Society decorates its historic buildings to reflect holiday traditions from different periods in Houston’s past. Guests will tour decorated buildings, interact with historic characters, participate in children’s activities in Santa’s Workshop, and learn about Houston’s early residents, cultures, and customs. This is a perfect way to share the holidays with friends and family. Adults $10, seniors (65+) $8, students (ages 6-18) $5, children 5 and under are free. 5-9 pm. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. heritagesociety.org BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Dec 12-13, 19-24 Have a delicious breakfast buffet with Santa and Sharkey! Don’t miss out – you may see Santa and his elves swimming with the fish! Photo ops also available. Reservations required. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com 32ND ANNUAL TOTAL JINGLE BELL RUN & WALK Dec 13 Get in shape and support a great cause during the 2015 Total Jingle Bell Run and Walk. The event, which includes more than 7,000 participants of all ages, benefits the Tellepsen Family Downtown
MARKET SQUARE PARK
DESIGNCRAFT: AIGA HOUSTON’S 6TH ANNUAL MARKET Dec 5 DesignCraft is AIGA Houston’s 6th annual outdoor market featuring the work of local artists, crafters, creatives and more. The one-day event allows Houstonians to discover local, well-designed and crafted goods in their city, and gives vendors an opportunity to sell their work. This year, guests will also enjoy live music and local food trucks. 10 am-5 pm. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. designcrafthtx.com
MOVIES SPECIAL EVENTS MISTLETOE ON THE GO! Dec 1-17 Pucker up – Texas’ biggest mistletoe ball is returning to Downtown this holiday season. Mistletoe on the Go!, a 150-inch ball of kiss-inducing greenery hanging from a 15-foot giant candy cane, will be located at Downtown’s hippest park destinations for a tour of holiday cheer. Passersby are invited to stand under the massive ball and kiss – just because! Share your smooches using #XOmistletoe.
TRADING PLACES Dec 11 Enjoy a movie under the stars as the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow presents Trading Places. This 1980s comedy tells the story of upper-crust executive, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), and down-and-out hustler, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), who are the unfortunate subjects of a bet between successful brokers Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy). Winthorpe, an employee of the Dukes, is framed by the brothers for a crime he didn’t commit and is replaced by the
YMCA Annual Campaign. Participants in the event are encouraged to wear holiday costumes as they make their way through the city streets. A kids’ fun run for children 13 and under, a 3-mile family walk, and a 5-mile adult run will be offered. Festivities include a costume contest, live music, kids zone, food trucks and more. See website for registration information. 11 am. The Tellepsen Family YMCA, 808 Pease. ymcahouston.org TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Dec 18 The famous rock orchestra known for its elaborate concerts and pyrotechnics is back in Houston for two holiday shows. The group includes an orchestral string section, full rock band, multiple vocalists, a narrator, extensive pyrotechnics, a stunning laser and light show, and a snowfall! Tickets $34-$74. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. houstontoyotacenter.com
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street-smart Valentine who was also hired by the conniving siblings. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the scheme, they set out to turn the tables on the Dukes. (R) 1983, 116 min. Free. 7 pm.
Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, this bike-sharing program has expanded from three to 14 stations throughout downtown, as well as in other areas of Houston. houston. bcycle.com
BAYOU BIKERS Dec 6, Jan 3, Feb 7 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40-mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. Rides are open to all. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are necessary. This is an informal group whose purpose is to show Houstonians and visitors the beauty of Houston’s waterways. First Sunday of the month, 8 am. CRITICAL MASS Dec 25, Jan 29, Feb 26 Critical Mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city, raise awareness and advocate for a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm.
Be sure to visit Market Square Park on Facebook and Twitter for special event announcements, weatherrelated updates and other happenings in the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
HOUSTON B-CYCLE STATION Park visitors can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships and explore downtown on two wheels.
SHARKEY’S NEW YEAR’S EVE Dec 31 Celebrate the New Year with Sharkey and the rest of his underwater friends, complete with a buffet, balloon drop, contests and giveaways for the whole family! Reservations required. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com HOUSTON FIRST PRESENTS NEW YEAR’S EVE Dec 31 Located in the heart of Downtown, the Theater District will host special performances for Houston’s largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. Free performances at the Alley Theater and Wortham Theater, a special Kids Countdown at Jones Plaza, Bubbly Garden plus live music by The Tontons and the world’s greatest party band, the B52s! Free. 7pm. Theater District. newyearsevehouston.org
Market Square Park is open daily from 6 am-11 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. $5 parking is available nightly across the street at Market Square Garage. 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE SOUL CELEBRATION AT MKT BAR Dec 31 Enjoy the best local funk, soul, Motown bands and DJs to get the New Year hopping right! Admission includes light bites, a champagne toast at midnight, live music and more surprises. General admission tickets $50, VIP packages with table reservations, bottle service and party favors $100 and up. 9 pm. Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage. Enter on McKinney. MKT Bar, 1001 Austin. mktbar.com 2016 CHEVRON HOUSTON MARATHON & ARAMCO HALF MARATHON Jan 17 With more than 250,000 participants, volunteers, and spectators, the Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day is the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Watch the excitement at Discovery Green, where the races begin and end,
or stake out a place along the route to cheer on the participants. Please note that with all the development and construction underway in Houston, the route may be different from previous years. chevronhoustonmarathon.com TORUK – THE FIRST FLIGHT Feb 11-14 Inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, this live experience by Cirque du Soleil envisions a world beyond imagination set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. The word Toruk, in the Na’vi language, refers to the great leonopteryx, the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Central in Na’vi lore and culture, this fascinating creature is crucial to the Na’vi clans’ sense of destiny and interconnectedness – and is about to be ridden for the very first time by a Na’vi. Bring the whole family along and enjoy Cirque du Soleil’s newest creation! Tickets $45-$115. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. houstontoyotacenter.com HERITAGE FAMILY DAY Feb 21 Join The Heritage Society for an afternoon of old-fashioned fun! Free. 1-4 pm. The Heritage Society, Museum Gallery, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
2015/2016 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
History, Glassell School of Art. 1600 Smith (concourse level). Weekdays, 8 am-6 pm. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS
TRANSMISSION OF LIGHT Jan 11-Apr 5 Arts Brookfield will present Transmission of Light, a retrospective of the works of Michael Collins and a continuing conversation with the works of his late father, Lowell Collins. Two Allen Center (Street Level Lobby), 1200 Smith Street. Weekdays, 8 am-6 pm. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
JERRY AND MARVY FINGER LECTURE SERIES: FAMOUS TREES OF TEXAS Jan 21 Members are free, non-members $5. Noon-1 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
ALL ABOARD! Through Dec 31 The Petroleum Club of Houston and Brookfield have partnered to put the Petroleum Club Holiday Train on display for the Downtown community to view during the holiday season. Total Plaza (street level lobby), 1201 Louisiana. Weekdays, 8 am-6 pm. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
PIETER M VAN HATTEM
INPRINT ANTHONY DOERR READING Jan 25 Anthony Doerr, 2015 Pulitzer Prizewinning author of the New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See, reads as part of the
ASIAN AMERICANS IN HOUSTON: A KALEIDOSCOPE OF CULTURES Through Jan 16 The focus of the exhibition will be on Asian Americans in Houston and their many contributions to our city and its culture. Asian Americans in Houston is the result of a collaborative effort with the University of Houston’s Houston History Magazine. Free. 10 am-4 pm. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org VISUAL ARTS ALLIANCE Jan 11-Mar 18 Arts Brookfield presents Visual Arts Alliance 9th Juried Invitational. The juror will be Dr. Anna Tahinci, Head of Art
EXCHANGE Jan 20-May 13 Arts Brookfield in cooperation with the artist Ben Butler and Rice University Art Gallery will present Exchange, a site-specific installation using poplar to create a hand-pegged three dimensional cubic grid. Heritage Plaza, 1111 Bagby. Weekdays, 8 am-6 pm. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com THE SPACE BETWEEN MEMORY AND EXPECTATION, OCEAN|DESERT Jan 25-Apr 25 Arts Brookfield in cooperation with FotoFest 2016 and the artist Renate Aller will present The Space Between Memory and Expectation, Ocean|Desert, with large scale photographs capturing the similarities between ocean and desert. Total Plaza (street level lobby)-1201 Louisiana, and One Allen Center (2nd floor lLobby) 500 Dallas. Weekdays, 8 am-6 pm. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com VAQUERO: GENESIS OF THE TEXAS COWBOY Jan 27-Mar 5 An exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas. Free. 10 am-4 pm. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
DISCOVERY Winter Calendar GREEN The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green winter events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted. Most events are free, unless noted otherwise. 1500 McKinney.
SPECIAL EVENTS THE ICE Through Feb 7 Ice skating returns to Downtown Houston this holiday season! Lace up your skates and get ready for a memorable winter experience on the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the Southwest. Admission $14, Speed Pass $30. For schedule of events, holiday hours
and more information visit discoverygreen.com/ice. MISTLETOE ON THE GO! Dec 18-Jan 5 Pucker up – Texas’ biggest mistletoe ball is returning to Downtown this holiday season. Mistletoe on the Go!, a 150-inch ball of kiss-inducing greenery hanging from a 15-foot giant candy cane, will be located at Downtown’s hippest park destinations for a tour of holiday cheer. Passersby are invited to stand under the massive ball and kiss – just because! Share your smooches using #XOmistletoe. DISCOVERY GREEN FLEA Dec 19, Jan 9, Feb 20 A destination market featuring an array of artful kitsch, vintage items, mid-century furniture, recycled and repurposed objects and collectibles with live music, food trucks and more! 11 am-5 pm.
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RAINBOW ON ICE Jan 22 The annual citywide LGBT celebration returns to The ICE! Celebrate the season with the ultimate dance party and electrifying entertainment. 7-10 pm. LUNAR NEW YEAR Feb 7 Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Discovery Green with performances by DJ Sun and others. 6-10 pm.
WEEKLY SKATE EVENTS CHEAP SKATE NIGHTS Select Mondays, 4-10 pm. Glide around The ICE for just $7 plus tax. TWO STEP TUESDAYS Tuesdays, Dec 1-Feb 2 Grab your dance partner for a boot scootin’ good time on the Anheuser-Busch Stage. 6-10 pm. Line dancing lessons by instructors from Neon Boots starting at 7 pm. JAZZ NIGHTS ON ICE Wednesdays through Feb 3 Jam to jazzy tunes on The ICE with Houston musician and skating Jazzman, Jawad. Sponsored by Ice Rink Events. 7-9 pm. BANK OF AMERICA SCREEN ON THE GREEN Thursdays through Feb 4 Skate or sit and catch a free flick! Special pricing on ICE tickets for Bank of America card holders available. See website for full movie list. Movies start at 7 pm.
Dec 3 The Polar Express (G) 2004, 100 min. Dec 10 Deck the Halls (PG) 2006, 93 min. Dec 17 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13) 1989, 97 min. Jan 7 Paddington (PG) 2014, 95 min. Jan 14 The Mighty Ducks (PG) 1992, 104 min. Jan 21 Rocky 1976 (PG) 1976, 119 min. Jan 28 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13) 1986, 103 min. Feb 4 Thunder Soul (PG) 2010, 87 min.
HOT NIGHTS ON ICE Fridays through Feb 5 Mix, mingle and turn up the heat. 7-10 pm. SANTA SKATES/STORYBOOK STARS Saturdays through Dec 19 Skate with Santa and storybook favorites on ice! Photo opportunities available. 4-5 pm. HOUSTON SKATING STARZ Sundays, Dec 3 and 13, Jan 3-31 Houston’s top figure skaters dazzle. See website for performers. 6-6:15 pm
ART FIELD OF LIGHT Through Feb 21 Bruce Munro’s magical Field of Light returns to Discovery Green. This site-specific art installation comprises 4,500 radiant, frosted glass spheres atop slender stems connected by illuminated fiber optic. Field of Light creates a gentle wave of color under Discovery Green’s century-old live oak trees. Check website for workshops and performances. Free. 6 am-11 pm daily. LOS TROMPOS Through Mar 22 This interactive exhibition created by Mexico City designers Ignacio Cadena and Héctor Esrawe features 20 larger-than-life, brilliantly colored trompos, or spinning tops, in a variety of shapes and sizes. Check website for workshops and performances. Free. 6 am-11 pm daily. FRIDAY NIGHT SIGHTS! Fridays through Mar 18 Experience Los Trompos or Field of Light through performances by Houston artists created especially for these magnificent works of art. Free. 7 pm.
OTHER EVENTS WE ARE HOUSTON RUNFEST Jan 16-17 The official Chevron Houston Marathon weekend post-race celebration for runners, family and friends. chevronhoustonmarathon.com HOUSTON CREOLE HERITAGE FESTIVAL Jan 30 Celebrating the music, food and culture of Houston’s Creole community. Admission $10. 9 am9 pm. houstoncreolefestival.com
CONCERTS REVENTION MUSIC CENTER Jan 15 Kathleen Madigan Jan 16 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Jan 30 The Fab Four – The Ultimate Tribute Feb 5 Alejandra Guzman Revention Music Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com HOUSE OF BLUES Dec 4 King Diamond Dec 10 Kamelot & Dragonforce Dec 17 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave/ Galactic Dec 18 Charles Kelley Dec 19 Steel Panther Dec 20 Guaco Dec 31 The Suffers Jan 19 City and Colour Jan 20 Marianas Trench Jan 21 Railroad Earth Jan 22 Jon Pardi and Brothers Osborne Jan 23 Badfish Jan 28 Green River Ordinance Jan 30 Loumuzik Jan 31 Europe Feb 2 Dustin Lynch Feb 12 Bullet for My Valentine Feb 23 MUTEMATH Jan 28 George Throrogood & The Destroyers
HOB’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com/houston TOYOTA CENTER Dec 1 MUSE Dec 4 Alejandro Fernandez Dec 13 The Weeknd Jan 12 Madonna Jan 23 Janet Jackson Feb 20 Katt Williams Toyota Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX. toyotacentertix.com
EXPOS Dec 3-5 The Houston Money Show Jan 1-4 Passion Conference Jan 2-3 High Caliber Gun & Knife Show Jan 9-10 Bridal Extravaganza Jan 16-17 Chevron Houston Marathon Jan 31 Weddings and Quinceaneras Expo 2016 Feb 14 Quinceanera Magazine Expo Feb 26-28 Anime Matsuri The George R. Brown Convention Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.853.8000. houstonconventionctr.com
TOURS ARCH WALKING TOUR: TOWERS AND TREES Dec 12 Towers and Trees explores the magnificent architecture between Hermann Square and Discovery Green as well as the changing dynamics of Downtown. We’ll look at the partially realized civic center plan surrounding Hermann Square, the historic backbone of Main Street, the ambitious 1970 proposal that would become Houston Center, the internationally recognized icons from the skyscraper boom of the 70s and 80s, and Discovery Green, the newest catalyst for Downtown development in Houston. Tickets $10. 10 am-noon. Meet at the Gingerbread Build-Off next to the Mayor’s Christmas tree by the reflecting pool in Hermann Square at City Hall. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org ARCH WALKING TOUR: BUFFALO BAYOU Feb 13 Explore the city from a vantage point most people don’t see: the waterway that gave Houston life and has been its backbone for 175 years. Architecture Center Houston (ArCH), with the cooperation of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, invite you to stroll along Buffalo Bayou Parkway for an overview of Downtown Houston’s history and architecture from its beginnings in 1836 to the efforts to revitalize the central city today. The tour showcases the innovative bayou reclamation efforts of the City of Houston, Harris County, and Buffalo Bayou Partnership, while topically discussing history and preservation, contemporary architecture, the bayou, and adjacent parkland. Tickets $10. 10 am-noon. Meet in the northeast corner of Market Square Park, 301 Milam. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org ARCH WALKING TOUR: ROCK BUILDING STONES Feb 20 This architectural and geological walking tour of Downtown goes beyond the typical architectural focus to include the provenance and
sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks have come from all over the world and now call Houston home. The tour is inspired by similar walks in Europe and adapted from the Houston Geological Society’s 1995 tour, Houston Building Stones. Tickets $10. 10 am-noon. Meet at the southeast corner of Austin and McKinney Streets, near the McKinney Street entrance to MKTBar at Phoenicia. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS Ghost tours, tunnel walks and rail tours, architectural tours and more are available. Tour guide Sandra Lord is the resident expert and has been conducting downtown and Houston tours since 1988. Ticket prices vary. 713.222.9255. discoverhoustontours.com HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 children 6-8 and kids under 5 are free. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Times vary. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth or press boxes, Astros’ or visitors’ dugout, luxury suites and much more. Tickets $9 adults, $7 seniors and $5 for kids 3-14. Mon-Sat 10 am, noon,
2 pm. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8687. astros.com SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOUR Come visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery in their new location. Every Saturday, the doors open at 11 am and groups rotate in and out of the facility in an open-house format until 2 pm. If Saturdays don’t work for you, check out their weekday open house at 3 pm. After the tour, guests are welcome to stay for a free tasting. Tickets $7, no reservations required. All minors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 2000 Lyons at I-10. saintarnold.com SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON Like the rest of Texas, downtown Houston is a pretty big place to walk around. There are a lot of things to see up close and from a distance. Experience the Bayou City, once the capitol city of a sovereign country, from a talking perspective within a few hours while you have effortless fun on a Segway. $75-$80. Meet at Wortham Center, 501 Texas. Daily: 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com
SPORTS Jan 8 WWE Live. $20-$105. Toyota Center, 1510 polk. houstontoyotacenter.com HOUSTON ROCKETS Dec 2 Rockets vs. Pelicans Dec 5 Rockets vs. Kings Dec 12 Rockets vs. Lakers Dec 19 Rockets vs. LA Clippers Dec 21 Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets Dec 25 Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs Dec 29 Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks Dec 31 Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors Jan 7 Rockets vs. Utah Jazz Jan 10 Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers Jan 13 Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Jan 15 Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Jan 20 Rockets vs. Detroit Pistons Jan 22 Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks Jan 24 Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks Jan 30 Rockets vs. Washington Wizards Feb 2 Rockets vs. Miami Heat Feb 6 Rockets vs. Portland Trailblazers Feb 27 Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.758.7200 rockets.com
geology of thewinter buildings’ materials. These DOWNTOWNHOUSTON.ORG 2015-16
THE GUIDE TO EATING DOWNTOWN
EDITED BY ANGIE BERTINOT & NICOLE M ARIN
Lawlesss Spirits and Kitchen Downtown's luxurious new lounge brings back the essence of Houston's historic Capitol Club.
L 17 Restaurant The New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Sam Houston Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. thesamhoustonhotel.com. 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. D Daily. $$$ Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$
from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$ Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ The Bistro American The Bistro is a full-service restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $
L Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat (Open for L & D on Sun only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$
L Bistro Lancaster New American Located in the historic Lancaster Hotel, this cozy getaway is a great place to dine before catching a show in the Theater District. You’ll find hearty soups, sizzling steaks and savory seafood. thelancaster.com. Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas, 713.228.9502. B, L & D Daily. $$$$
L Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best Sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$
L Blue by Massa Seafood This upscale and elegant restaurant offers up a fine selection of American and Seafood cuisine. Among the esteemed list of favorites, the Lobster Bisque is a standout. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable dining experience. Blue also offers occasional live entertainment and dancing is highly encouraged! massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$
Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/ post-game meal. westin.com/Houston-Downtown. The Westin Houston Downtown, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ L Bangkok Chef Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. bkchef.com. 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ L Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals adorn the walls of the restaurant along with large windows for a perfect view of the park. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. L Mon-Sat; D Fri-Sat. $ L Batanga Tapas + Drinks Latin This tapas joint whips up delicious dishes inspired from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile – anywhere that sangria is served. The spacious patio is as good as it gets when it comes to outdoor dining with its festive twinkle lights, great music and stellar views of the Historic District and Market Square Park. batangahouston.com. 908 Congress, 713.224.9500. L & D Daily. BR Sat & Sun. $$ L Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made
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Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ Bombay Indian Grill Indian Bombay Indian Grill is a Maharaja treat in Downtown Houston serving an extensive menu of authentic Indian cuisine. 706 Main St, 832.269.5303. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the saag paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L MonFri, D Mon-Sat. $ Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol, 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food Bouray’s offers made-to-order Mexican and Vietnamese food using ingredients that are prepared fresh daily. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ L Bovine & Barley American Bovine & Barley is a beautifully designed urban bar and eatery with a heavy focus on beef and beer. The space has an industrial feel which is complimented by warm wood accents and huge HTX letters that hang illuminated on an exposed brick wall. Highlights from the menu include brisket tacos, meatloaf muffins on top of
jalapeno mash, 1836 beer can chicken and a variety of burgers. Not to metion over 42 beers and six handcrafted cocktails on tap! bovineandbarley.com. 416 Main. 832.742.5683. L, D & LN Daily. $$ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texas-chic atmosphere. Newly refurbished, black booths and white tablecloths offer elegance and décor not typically found in hotel restaurants. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith, 713.495.7854. B, L & D Daily. $$$ L Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ Buzz Barista Coffee House This full-service espresso bar offers much more than caffeinated beverages for a morning fix. People on the go can grab fresh-baked pastries, Naked juices, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups along with their brewed delights. B & L Mon-Fri. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. $ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. You can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon-Sat. $ new! Calabash Island Eats Caribbean Calabash Island Eats is a unique dining experience which brings all the flavors of the Caribbean together under one roof. Sample various curry flavors, jerk seasonings and
KEY TO SYMBOLS THESE LISTINGS ARE NOT REVIEWS BUT ARE A GUIDE TO DOWNTOWN DINING SPOTS. "RECOMMENDED" RESTAURANTS ARE SELECTED BY DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE EDITORS AND ARE BASED ON FOOD QUALITY, MENU SELECTION, SERVICE, AMBIANCE AND VALUE.
L RECOMMENDED new! JUST OPENED new location NEW LOCATION
AVERAGE PRICE OF AN ENTRÉE $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+
B: Breakfast BR: Brunch L: Lunch D: Dinner LN: Late Night
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
plate. L AWLESS SPIRITS AND KITCHEN 909 TEXAS, SUITE 2A 281.823.8600 L AWLESSSPIRITS.COM
TIMELESS CHARM N E W D O W N T O W N L O U N G E TA P S I N T O H I S T O R Y TO PROVIDE LUXURIOUS EDGE BY NICOLE MARIN AT 909 TEXAS THERE SITS A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED SPACE WITH EXPOSED BRICK WALLS, arched doorways and an expansive patio perched above the hustle
and bustle of busy Downtown streets. Located right above the Downtown staple Sambuca is the new upscale bar Lawless Spirits and Kitchen. Except there’s a catch, this space is anything but new. The building that houses Lawless opened in 1913 and has been home to such notable establishments as the historic Rice Hotel, The Capitol Club, The Flag Room and State Bar. Lawless, which sits in the former State Bar space, was opened earlier this year to ”Bring back the heart and soul of the original Capitol Club,” says Assistant General Manager, Josh Jennings. In its heyday, the Capitol Club was frequented by politicians, energy executives, lawyers and others of the like. Today, while Lawless hosts a large number of corporate happy hours for those same high-level executives, the inviting atmosphere attracts everyone from theater-goers looking for a late-night drink, to residents who are looking to get dressed up for a night out, and even the casual sports fan who is celebrating the hometown team’s big win. Lawless is a luxurious venue minus the pomp and circumstance. Lawless is the third concept by the Sambuca Restaurant Group. Their other two establishments, the Crystal Ballroom event space inside The Rice, and Sambuca, the local jazz café with live music seven nights a week, have both proven to be very lucrative for the block. When asked what the secret is to their success and how they’ve managed to weather the ups and downs of the economy over the last 17 years, Jayme Spurgeon, an assistant general manager for Sambuca and Lawless,
says, “It’s about knowing the market, our niche and our guests. We’ve had to adapt with the times and provide an experience that we know our guests are seeking.” In a vibrant Historic District, which has experienced the opening of over 25 other businesses within the last five years, Lawless brings a chic element to the bar scene that hadn’t existed previously. While they identify more as an executivetype lounge rather than a full-service restaurant, Lawless does have a small chefdriven bar menu with exquisitely executed dishes. Highlights include their signature burger made with Texas wagyu beef and shredded brisket tossed in chili, their brisket pot stickers and the Korean chicken tacos. And while their signature drink has unanimously become the Punch Me in the Moonshine made with fruit-punch flavored moonshine, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, basil and fresh strawberries, there’s definitely something here for everyone!
OPEN DAILY 4 – 11 PM
delicious sides such as fried plantains. Keeping with the Caribbean spirit, the restaurant also includes an island inspired Rhum Bar, a cigar patio and a stage set for live calypso and reggae music! Just one block from Toyota Center, this is the perfect spot for a pre-game or postconcert dinner with drinks! calabashislandeats.com. 1919 Pease. 713.739.9038. D, LN Sat-Sun. $$ L China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri. D Daily. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ new! Christian's Tailgate American Christian’s Tailgate has arguably one of the best burgers in town and now you can enjoy them Downtown! The notable Houston burger joint in Downtown’s Historic District boasts daily food specials, 30 beers on tap, 40+ TV's, a pool table, shuffle board, video games and an awesome outdoor patio! christianstailgate.com. 1012 Congress. 281.556.1010. L,D, LN. $ L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Crossroads at House of Blues Southern Classic Crossroads at HOB serves Southern-inspired classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, St. Louis ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss Kirk Franklin’s Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $
Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and greattasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon-Fri. $ L Einstein’s Bagels Deli Known as a great place to grab freshly-baked bagels and coffee for breakfast, they also serve up delectable lunch choices that include paninis, melts and pizza bagels. Be an office hero and use the catering service to treat your work pals. einsteinbros.com. 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. B, L & LN Mon-Sun. $ L El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like pomegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com. 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L, D & LN Mon-Fri; D & LN Sat & Sun, BR Sun. $$ Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers, almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ L Fusion Taco Latin/Japanese Taking the best from Asian and Latin cuisine, Fusion Taco comes up with creations like jerk chicken tacos, chicken tikka masala quesadillas and Asian pulled pork flautas. An extensive beer and wine selection rounds out the menu. fusiontaco.com. 801 Congress, 713.422.2882. L & D Mon-Sat. $
Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center. B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$
L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$
new! The District American The District offers classic American cuisine in a modern setting. Perfect for lunch or dinner before a show! The menu includes a variety of options like burgers, salads, pasta and small plates. There’s definitely something for everyone! thedistricthtx.com. 610 Main St. L, D. $$
L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This family-owned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$
Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an allAmerican menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers,nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$
L Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon-Fri. $
L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an
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extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon-Sat; LN Fri-Sat. $$ L Hearsay on the Green American Located inside the Embassay Suites in Downtown’s Convention District, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up the finest craft cocktails, New-American dishes and a chic dining experience. The drink menu features an extensive wine list, numerous bottle and draft beers and pre-mium liquors. hearsayhouston.com. 1515 Dallas St, 832.377.3362. L & D Daily, LN Fri-Sat, BR Sun. $$ Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy a full menu of all-American favorites. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off-season so call first). $ L The Honeymoon Cafe+Bar American The Honeymoon brews local Boomtown Coffee, has perfectly hand-crafted cocktails and satisfies the appetite with light bites and delectably sweet treats! With all the natural lighting, the ambiance is like a dream! thehoneymoonhtx.com. 300 Main St. B, L, LN Daily. $ L Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but packs a punch. One of the best burger joints in town. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $$ L Irma’s Southwest Grill Mexican Irma’s second location is a hip spot to satisfy a Mexican food craving. Enjoy tasty foods and great drinks for lunch or dinner. Only a few short blocks from Minute Maid Park. irmassouthwest.com. 1314 Texas, 713.247.9651. B & L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. Open on Astros baseball game days and nights three hours before first pitch. $$ L Jackson St. BBQ Barbecue This laid-back spot by renowned Houston chefs Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gaitlin offers smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and classic southern fixins like potato salad, baked beans, collard greens and cole slaw! Conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park, stop by this Downtown favorite before or after Astros games! jacksonstbbqhouston.com. 209 Jackson St. 713.224.2400. L,D Sat-Sun. Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced seven-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon-Sat. $ L The Lake House Fast Casual Offering family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads,
plate. shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. L Tue & Wed, L & Early D Thu-Sun. $ L La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 416 Caroline, 713.237.0000. L Mon-Fri. $ L Last Concert Cafe Mexican Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this Tex-Mex cafe was born in 1949 and still supplies tasty food and local music today. Spend some time on the leafy back patio and you’ll swear you’re in your neighbor’s backyard throwing back a cold one. lastconcert.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & live music Tue-Sat. $ L Line & Lariat Modern American An award-winning dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon-Sat. $$$ Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ Lone Star Taco Tex-Mex Fast-casual Tex-Mex restaurant, specializing in great tacos! Lone Star Taco quickly serves artisanal quality, made-fresh tacos at an affordable price. txlonestartaco.com. 1001 Texas St, 713.223.8226. B, L, D Daily. $ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Main Kitchen American Named Main Kitchen to reflect its location on Main Street and the hopes of becoming a staple in Houston’s culinary scene, the restaurant seats 120 and boasts an
exhibition kitchen providing guests with an insight into thechefs’ creative process. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/main-kitchen. 806 Main St, 713.400.1245. B, L, D Daily. $$ � L Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicago-style neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $
downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. L Mon-Fri ; D Daily. $$$$
L Massa’s South Coast Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$
L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D Daily. $
L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
L Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon-Fri. $
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L Minuti Coffee Coffee House The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D & LN Daily. $ L MKT Bar Mediterranean Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, it's the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L, D, Daily. $ new! The Moonshiners American The Moonshiners Southern Table + Bar offers up a rebellious respite in the bustling urban backdrop of Downtown Houston. The restaurant celebrates and elevates southern culinary traditions serving up moonshine and whiskey in mason jars alongside generous portions of southern comfort foods such as fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and pulled pork sandwiches. 1000 Prairie. 713.226.7717. L, D Mon-Fri. LN Fri & Sat. $$ L Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912.440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $
new! Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Steakhouse Pappas Bros. Steakhouse puts immeasurable care into everything they do, all to provide their guests with a dining experience like no other. They buy the highest-quality ingredients, use a timeless recipe, and cook it flawlessly each and every time. pappasbros.com. 1200 McKinney Street. 713.658.1995 D, Mon-Sat. L Pappasito’s Cantina Tex-Mex One of Houston’s most popular casual Tex-Mex restaurants, Pappasito’s specializes in sizzling fajitas, creamy queso and tortillas that almost melt in your mouth! The Downtown location offers six unique ceviches and crudos that can’t be found at any of the other restaurants. pappasitos.com. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St, 713.353.4400. L, D Daily. $$ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ L Prohibition American Prohibition is the home of the Moonlight Dolls who dazzle audiences with their sexy yet fun burlesque performances. Beaming with glitz and glamour, this upscale supper club has an exquisite menu featuring fresh Gulf seafood and steaks cooked to perfection! prohibitionhouston.com. 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat, LN Thu-Fri. Sat 5p-2a. $$$ L Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$
Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $
Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $
new! Rachel’s Café American Rachel's Cafe is an old fashioned hamburger joint inside the historic Londale Building. This quaint little café has an extensive menu with lots of simple classics like burgers, fries, sandwhiches and salads- all made fresh! rachelscafehouston.com. 421 San Jacinto. 713.229.7067. B, L & D Sat-Sun. BR Sat & Sun. $
Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L, Mon-Fri. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com. 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$
Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the Preston Station on the MetroRAIL, Roma's Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $ Russo's New York Pizzeria Italian Inspired by the traditional Italian values of family, friends & food, this Houston original doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fresh, delicious, homemade Italian meals. And they serve more than just pizza- try one of their specialty calzones, sandwiches or pastas! nypizzeria.com. 604 Polk. 713.759.9800. L, D Daily. $
L Spindletop American A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$
new! Salata American This next-generation salad bar allows you to create your own, tossed-to-order salad or wrap complete with a variety of fresh greens, a large selection of veggies, fruits, nuts, cheeses and more. Top your order off with one of their signature dressings and your choice of chicken, seafood or tofu! salata.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 713.275.1088. L, D Daily. $
L Springbok South African Springbok features a contemporary take on classic South African dishes such as local game, house-made sausages, burgers and curries. Enjoy an amazing selection of local and international beer and cocktails while watching rugby and other national and international sporting competitions. thespringbok.com. 711 Main, 818.201.6979. L, D & LN Daily. $$
The Sam Bar American Casual The Sam Houston Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$
new! Starbucks Coffee House Step inside Texas’ largest Starbucks which is also one of the first to offer the Starbucks Evenings menu which includes a selection of wine, beer, appetizer-type food and desserts beginning at 4 pm. starbucks.com. 1600 Lamar (inside Hilton Americas Hotel). 713.577.2825. B, L, D Daily.
L Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon-Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$ The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Brooklyn Meatball Company, Bullritos, Chick-fil-A, D’lish N’ Dash, Doozo’s Dumplings & Noodles, Freshii, Fusion Grillerz, Great American Cookie, Great Wraps, Murphy’s Deli, Otto’s Barbecue & Hamburgers, Pho Huy Vietnamese Noodle House, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pretzel Time, Quizno’s Subs, Salata, Sarku Japan, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Snap Kitchen, Squeezed, Starbuck’s Coffee, Subway, Thai Basil, The Mediterranean Grill, Treebeards, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon-Sat, hours vary. $ L Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$
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Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $ Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. Weekday happy hour includes $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and it’s happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill. com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $ Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Located at The Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated
steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$$$ Toasters Café American Toasters is a quaint little café in downtown’s Warehouse District which serves up classic favorites in a modern setting. Try their fresh baked pastries and French toast for breakfast, or enjoy a salad and a wide variety of sandwiches for lunch. toastershouston.com. 1004 N. San Jacinto, 713.261.1562. B, L Mon-Fri. $ L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and oneof-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Fri, D Daily. $$$$ Which Wich Deli A fast and easy build-your-ownsandwich joint where doodling is encouraged and the possibilities are endless! Which ‘wich will you make? B & L Mon-Fri. L Sat. 811 Main, 713.227.0860. $ Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a freshly made deli sandwich. zerossandwichshop.com. 809 Dallas, 713.650.3333. 1110 Lamar, 713.655.7722. 507 Dallas, 713.739.9955. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This cafeteria-style Cajun joint brings Louisiana dishes to the Hospital District of downtown Houston. Traditional Cajun items such as po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo make Zydeco a great lunch stop. A casual atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 1119 Pease, 713.759.2001. L Mon-Fri. $ FOR A SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF DOWNTOWN HOUSTON RESTAURANTS BY CUISINE, LOCATION AND PRICE, VISIT DOWNTOWNHOUSTON.ORG AND CLICK ON GUIDE.
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The Boulevardier | 410 Main, Downstairs This beautiful lounge provides an upscale yet comfortable respite to Main Street every Thursday through Saturday serving the finest craft cocktails. Thu-Sat 6 pm-2 am. thecommonerbar.com/#upstairs Barringer Bar | 108 Main Barringer is a classic bar and lounge located in historic Downtown Houston where patrons can enjoy a wide selection of beer, wine and libations. Antique furniture and photos fill the cozy space and live music, DJs and aerialists entertain throughout the weekend! Tue-Fri 5 pm-2 am; Sat 8 pm-2 am. barringerhouston.com The Brewery Tap | 717 Franklin Sit at one of the long wooden picnic tables (think biergarten) and chill with one of the 35 beers on tap. Laid-back and friendly, a great place to catch a soccer game and play some darts. Mon-Thu 4-10 pm, Fri & Sat 4 pm-1 am; Sun 4-11 p.m. brewerytaphouston.com Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main A fun and quirky bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously (hence the name), but the cocktails are seriously good. Patrons enjoy the speakeasy vibe and the patio terrace for prime people watching. Mon-Sun 4 pm-2 am. twitter.com/badnewsbar Char Bar | 305 Travis Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon-Wed 10 ammidnight, Thu-Sat 10 am-2 am. twitter.com/TheCharBar The Commoner | 410 Main, Downstairs Simple, straightforward. Cocktails, beer and wine. Mon-Sun 4 pm-2 am, Sun noon-midnight. thecommonerbar.com Dean’s | 316 Main Under new ownership and with a new look and feel, Dean’s adds to the cool vibe found on the 300 block of Main. Great attention from the bartenders and the trendy crowd make it a unique place to socialize. Mon-Thu 8 pm-2 am, Fri-Sat 5 pm-2 am. deansdowntown.com The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline The non-venue rock 'n' roll lounge is a popular pre- and post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed The Dirt to host hundreds of memorable after-show events, including Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Daily 6 pm-2 am. dirtbar.com 806 Lounge | 806 Main A favorite of the locals, 806 Lounge located inside the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, ignites the senses with sophisticated creations. Their mixologists are experts in creating
Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites.
cocktails, lively in conversation, and can recommend a favorite dish to accompany your handcrafted drink. Daily 11 am-11 pm. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/806-lounge 1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin Located just one block north of Minute Maid Park. Small flat-screen TVs dot the bar, allowing patrons to keep tabs on games while not being the center of attention. On the first and last Friday of every month Joystix Classic Games and Pinball next door is open, and $15 gets you all night to practice your Ms. Pac-Man skills. Daily 4 pm-2 am. 1820lounge.com El Big Bad | 419 Travis El Big Bad is a Gastro-Cantina that specializes in infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and cocktails, Mexican and Texan Craft Beer and scrumptious fare. Sun-Thu 11 am- midnight, Fri-Sat 11 am-2 am. elbigbad.com Flying Saucer | 705 Main Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon-Wed, 11 am-1 am, Thu & Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat noon-2 am, Sun noon-midnight. beerknurd.com Henke & Pillot | 809 Congress Where past meets present, and drinks and dining blend in flawless harmony. Henke & Pillot is more than a dynamic Downtown cocktail lounge. Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space in the 800 block of Congress over 150 years ago, the simple yet sophisticated setting offers patrons inspired cocktails that are paired with mouthwatering dishes. Wed-Sat 4 pm - 2 am. henkehouston.com The Honeymoon Cafe+Bar | 300 Main The Historic District welcomes The Honeymoon - a new, adorable bistro with great cocktails, wine and coffee from local Boomtown Coffee. Mon-Thu 7 am-midnight, Fri 7 am-2 am; Sat 10 am-2 am; Sun 10 am-10 pm. thehoneymoonhtx.com La Carafe | 813 Congress The oldest building in Houston, this dark and cozy hideaway boasts a great jukebox, moody atmosphere and an extensive beer and wine selection. Sit on the outside patio or balcony and look up in awe at the amazing downtown skyline. Cash only. Mon-Fri noon-2 am, Sat & Sun 1 pm-2 am. Last Concert Café | 403 Nance You have to knock three times on the red door to gain entry to the unmarked house in the Warehouse District (well, not anymore). With a backyard stage and sandpit, hoola-hooping and tiki bar, Last Concert has live music most nights. Tue-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 3-9 pm. lastconcert.com Lawless Spirits & Kitchen | 909 Texas Lawless Spirits & Kitchen is an establishment with flair. A place that gives rise to the iconic visions of Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen leaning
on the bar with a stiff, well-crafted Rye Manhattan. Lawless is detailed with glitzy style, featuring revolutionary cocktails accompanied by comfortable finger foods and satisfying bites. lawlesspirits.com Little Dipper | 304 Main This spot is a cool, blue neighborhood bar with pinball machines, cheap bourbon and a bad-ass jukebox. Daily 4 pm-2 am. twitter.com/LittleDipperBar Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis The Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share have-been-to-helland-back stories. Daily noon-2 am. MKT Bar | 1001 Austin Phoenicia’s MKT bar, located at the first floor of One Park Place, is the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. Mon-Wed 7 am-9 pm, Thu 7 am-2 am, Fri-Sat 9 am-2 am, Sun 9 am-8 pm. mktbar.com Molly’s Pub | 509 Main This classic Irish pub offers a variety of Irish whiskeys and international beers. Tables and coves lead you to the back, where pool and darts can be found and a second-floor balcony provides excellent views of Main Street and Downtown. Daily 11 am-2 am. mollyspubs.com Moving Sidewalk | 306 Main This upscale bar has an intimate setting complete with antique chandeliers, dark lighting and candles. The cocktails at Moving Sidewalk are sure to please as they have hand- crafted ingredients such as rosehip infusion and a fig and marigold shrub. Perfect for a romantic night out or to catch up with friends over drinks! Tue-Sat 4 pm-2 am. twitter.com/movingsidewalk The Nightingale Room | 308 Main The Nightingale Room—named for the famous songbird—also references Houston music legend Sippie Wallace, known as the Texas Nightingale during her prime in the 1920s. This entertainment-focused bar is a casual, comfortable spot to listen to vinyl during the week and will turn up the energy on weekends with live music— dancing is encouraged! Expect a variety of music from all genres. The drink menu features a small selection of house drinks, shots, as well as beer, wine and champagne. Tue-Sat 4 pm-2 am. nightingaleroom.com Notsuoh | 314 Main The name is Houston spelled backwards. A bar full of random weirdness: Think grunge lounge and artsy. You’ll find people playing chess, and drinking beer, live music, lots of crazy, weird artwork and maybe walk in on a night of punk-rock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm-2 am. notsuoh.com The Original OKRA Charity Saloon | 924 Congress Houston’s first charity bar is a true collaboration from Houston's finest, including owners from Anvil, Paulie's, Grand Prize and more. Expect classic cocktails and brews in a gorgeous historic building. Every drink purchase earns you a vote that can go toward select charities to win the bar’s monthly earnings. Daily 3 pm-2 am. friedokra.org
The Pastry War | 310 Main A Mezcaleria from Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta that serves up agave spirits along with classic Mexican cocktails and beers in a festive and intimate environment. This specialty tequila joint not only accepts pesos, but is on a brave mission to serve the best margaritas in town. Salud! Tue-Sat 4 pm-2 am. thepastrywar.com Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin @ GreenStreet Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, have-one-helluvagood-time-along bar! Wed-Sat 7 pm2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com Public Services Wine & Whiskey | 202 Travis Nestled in the historic Cotton Exchange Building, lies Public Services Wine & Whiskey. Public Services isn’t just any cocktail bar, in fact, they’re the complete opposite. Here, patrons can find classic wines and a vast yet distinctive whiskey selection served straight, on the rocks, or with a small selection of mixers. Craft beer and cider help round out the carefully crafted drink menu. Mon-Sat 4 pm-2 am. publicservicesbar.com Reserve 101 | 1201 Caroline A whiskey and martini bar touting more than 220 specialty liquors that will make any cocktail aficionados mouth water. Stop by on Tuesday for complimentary tastings of special selections. Order up delicious bites from the new, chef-driven menu featuring tasty flatbreads, appetizers and sandwiches. Sun 5 pm-2 am, Mon-Sat 2 pm-2 am. reserve101.com The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street @ The Sam Houston Hotel Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. SunThu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. thesamhoustonhotel.com Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas @ Rice Lofts Dublin native and owner John McElroy created this space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland. The crowd is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat & Sun 1 pm-2 am. mcelroyspub.com Sunny’s Bar | 901 Capitol @ Main Laid-back place with a friendly atmosphere and great prices that keep the regulars coming back. Sunny will likely be behind the bar serving up the beer and cocktails and great conversation. Foosball, darts and shuffleboard are in the back of the house to keep you entertained. Mon-Sat 2 pm-2 am. Warren’s Inn | 307 Travis This tavern is long known for its top-notch jukebox full of American classics, strong mixed drinks and its diverse crowd of customers. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat noon2 pm, Sun 2 pm-2 am. The Wine Cellar | 540 Texas Unwind and relax with more than 400 varieties of wine and imported beers. Wine tastings Mon-Thu, 2-7 pm. Daily 11 am-midnight. thewinecellarhouston.com
Lamar La Branch
UP ALL NIGHT with no end
YOUR ADVENTURE BEGINS DOWNTOWN. From happy hour with friends to local live music, downtown is the place to be. And with a bold and ever-expanding bar scene, there are countless ways to kick back and have a good time.
THE NIGHTINGALE ROOM
Published on Nov 20, 2015
As fall gives way to winter, it really does start to feel like the most wonderful time of year - and the promise of the new year has never s...