downtown SPRING 2013
connecting you to the center of houston
sounding it out
building a legacy
a farewell season
the scoop on dt's music scene
fretz construction comes home
hans graf bids adieu to houston
Six Perfect Pairs Shaping a vibrant downtown
HOUSTON PAVILIONS 4APRIL2013.com
On April 4, 2013, Houston Pavilions will no longer be Houston Pavilions. More than a name change, we are evolving a downtown experience. Join us for an event, follow along and watch us transform from the inside out.
JOIN US : FOOD | DRINKS | GIVEAWAYS | A REVEAL email@example.com | 1201 Fannin St.
SPRING 2013 VOL. 5, NO. 3
Latin groove / p. 43
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 Contributing Writers Holly Beretto, Lauren Covington, Sandra Cook, Melissa Fitzgerald, Barbara Linkin Mendel, Melissa Seuffert
14 SWEET SOUNDS
Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In case you hadn’t noticed, downtown has evolved into a bit of a music hub over the last few years. We pulled together all the best hotspots - from Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, which play host to the big names, to Last Concert Café and Notsuoh where you can catch up-and-comers. by MELISSA FITZGERALD
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at dtmagazine@ downtowndistrict.org
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.
20 DYNAMIC DUOs
Downtown seems to attract a certain personality – driven, quirky, smart, visionary. And the six power couples profiled in this issue are no exception. They are a diverse group, but one thing they have in common is a love for Houston and a commitment to downtown’s continued growth and well-being. by HOLLY BERETTO
hot companies Fretz Construction has built an impressive legacy, and with their detailed restoration of 500 Fannin they have returned to their downtown roots. by SANDRA COOK
backstage Downtown’s performing arts organizations get ready to close their seasons with some big blockbusters, and Houston Symphony’s Hans Graf gets ready to say goodbye.
We love Houston in the springtime. And we think you should too!
Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
plate/sip Morton’s The Steakhouse updated menu and new interior brings some sizzle to downtown’s dining scene.
THE MUST LIST Spring is a time of renewal – so we’ve gathered fresh new takes on some established downtown favorites.
by MELISSA SEUFFERT
destination downtown map
A new season Spring may be our favorite time of year. The weather is
perfect, and Houstonians look to spend as much of their day outside as they possibly can before summer’s heat takes over. We encourage you to spend some time downtown at Discovery Green and Market Square Park this spring. Catch a movie under the moon, listen to some live music, grab a bite to eat or snuggle up on a blanket with your iPod and just chill. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for iFest, Houston’s signature music festival. This year’s event celebrates Brazil. Our datebook, which starts on page 37, is a complete listing of everything you might want to experience downtown. Clearly, downtown is more than Houston’s physical center. It’s the heart and soul of our city, the place where everything downtown is more happens. Our wrap up of music than Houston’s venues on page 14 is a perfect physical center. example. Whether you’re looking to see the biggest names in the It’s the heart and business rock Toyota Center or soul of our city, you want to catch the hottest local band, downtown is the the place where spot. And be sure to read all everything happens. about Fretz Construction, starting on page 4. For nearly a century this family-owned business has played an integral role in shaping Houston, and now they have returned to their downtown roots by renovating historic 500 Fannin and making it their home. As our spring issue came together, one thing we were especially excited about was our cover. We think it and our main feature, which starts on page 20, encapsulate everything that makes Houston and downtown so special. Dynamic, diverse, big-hearted, youthful and full of fun – that’s how we see our city and especially the people who make downtown tick. And we’re pretty sure that’s how you see it as well. Make sure you keep this issue handy for whatever fun you might be planning. Be sure to check us out online at downtownhouston.org. And, please, let us know what you think about downtown. We’re always happy to hear your comments and suggestions.
Houston Downtown Alliance
ON THE COVER Ready for their close-ups. More than one of our dynamic duos had someone special join them for their photo shoot. Miss Celie was happy to snuggle up with Paige and Bob Martin in their downtown nest (where she rules the roost), and when we were getting ready for our City Hall session there was no question as to whether Eli would join his moms Susan Christian and Laura Spanjian. Cover photo by Katya Horner.
2 spring 2013
d o w n to w n's m o v e r s a n d s h a ke r s
by sandra cook
90 Years of Building Houston Fretz Construction stands strong on its foundation of service and quality photography by john c. lindy
or nine decades Fretz Construction has built – and preserved – a vast catalogue of Houston’s iconic structures. For the company, which celebrates 90 years in 2013, the ideals put into place by its founder Edmond A. Fretz remain pillars of the company today. After 10 years as the City of Houston Engineer, Edmond Fretz founded the Standard Construction Company in 1923. Nine years later he changed the name of the firm to Fretz Construction Company, and today the company continues under the management of the Fretz family. Edmund Fretz’s son Bob Fretz served as president from 1967 to 1998, and was succeeded by Bob Fretz, Jr. the company’s current president and CEO. Fretz Construction grew with Houston, teaming with the prominent developers and architects of the time, including Jesse Jones, John F. Staub, Maurice J. Sullivan and A.C. Finn. Their work was varied, from building Houston’s first shopping center, River Oaks Shopping Center, to the Tower Theater, to the Heights Senior High School, now known as John H. Reagan High School. Time and time again, Fretz Construction has been called upon to build and restore Houston-area churches and religious facilities, including St. Anne’s Catholic Church and School, Temple Emanu El, and Saint Vincent de Paul Church, just to name a few. The company has built an impressive roster of medical and research facilities as well, including Diagnostic Hospital and Clinic and the Gene Medicine headquarters. Fretz Construction works exclusively in the private, commercial market and is driven by repeat business. The company prioritizes stay-
4 spring 2013
ing on budget, working closely with architects to develop projects that fit client budgets but still maximize the results for money spent. Since 2009, Fretz Construction has won four Outstanding Construction Awards from the Texas Building Branch of the Associated General Contractors of America and four additional awards in the area of safety from the AGC. Preservation Houston has recognized Fretz Construction with eight Good Brick Awards since 1996. “Our company has done more historic restoration than probably any other company in the area,” says Bob Fretz, Jr. “And we like that. I feel it would be crazy to let these beautiful old structures go away.” Fretz explains that the purpose of specializing in restoration construction is to make it possible for building owners to be able to avoid demolition by neglect. Today, Fretz Construction employs 90 people. Most work in the field on various construction projects, and some are third and fourth generation employees of the company. Return to downtown
For its first 20 years, the company’s offices were in the iconic Esperson building on Travis, but the company spent many recent years headquartered on the South Loop. “We were so proud to relocate back to downtown in 2012," says Fretz. The opportunity to return to a downtown location was much more than happening upon available office space. Fretz Construction’s connection with its future headquarters began in 2009 with a bid to refurbish the drastically dilapidated façade of the former Wilson Printing building at 500 Fannin. Fretz was contracted to restore the façade by the previous property owner, who had also retained Ziegler Cooper Architects. Soon after, building permits were acquired. Then the owner decided to sell the building, but gave the façade restoration plans and building permits to Fretz and Ziegler Cooper with hopes that the project would continue to move forward. That prior owner set up what would turn into the full restoration of the entire building. Charmed by the old building, Bob Fretz and a group of investors formed 500 Fannin LLC to purchase the building to ensure a full restoration of the entire structure inside and out. Initial research for the job had revealed the long-neglected building to be the 1932 Wilson Stationary and Printing Company building, designed by William Ward Watkin (the longtime Rice University architecture professor and department head). Wilson Printing occupied the building from its opening day in June 1932 until the company ceased operations in the summer of 1979. The building sat vacant for the next 30 years, essentially left for dead. Never air conditioned, the empty building grew less and less desirable over the years as the downtown office market trended toward modern, climate-controlled spaces. When the 500 Fannin group purchased the building, their goal was to make it an operable and functional office space with the essential features such as air conditioning, elevators, and safety measures like sprinkler systems. For the renovation, Fretz Construction was able to use Watkin’s original drawings to guide restoration and construction. Fretz Construction collaborated with Ziegler Cooper to revive the stunning structure that Watkin intended as well as to develop a viable commercial building for modernday downtown Houston.
“My grandfather was known for doing buildings on handshake,” says Fretz. “If we can’t do that, then what good are we?”
stats: : location 500 fannin : past projects cynthia woods mitchell pavilion reagan high school river oaks shopping center st. anne's catholic church st. vincent de paul church temple emanu eL Tower theater : known as a houston-based, familyowned construction business founded in 1923 : web site fretzconstruction.com
6 spring 2013
“Our goal was to pay respect to the old building,” says Bob Fretz. “We left the old concrete walls and floors exposed – there had never been anything on them, so why cover them up? We also tried to recreate the exact look of the 1930s exterior. If someone from 1934 were to walk by this building today, we hope they wouldn’t see any difference from the building they saw back then.” Going green
As Fretz Construction crews began prepping the exterior surfaces for renewal, the original character of the building came through. “Under layers and layers of white and cream paint, we discovered this great pale green color. So we said, ‘green it is’,” says Fretz. “For us, the point of the restoration was to bring this beautiful old building back to a useful life. We saw that it was beautiful and it just needed some tender loving care.” During the extensive restoration process, Bob Fretz and other company leaders began to see the magnificent old building not just as another example of the company’s fine restoration work, but as an ideal environment for the offices of Fretz Construction. In September 2012 the company moved into the third and fourth floors of the structure they had spent almost a year restoring. Bob Fretz admits his living just blocks away made the idea even sweeter, but explains that the company’s relocation from the South Loop “reduced commutes for everyone in the office, some by as much as 30 minutes each way – that’s an hour per day.” In spite of his company’s vast experience in restoring commercial buildings, Fretz says “the end results far exceeded our expectations. The beauty of Watkin’s design shines, and I have to highlight the great work of Zeigler Cooper, especially Paul Lodolz.” A major part of restoring the 1930s
exterior was replacing all of the windows. To be true to Watkin’s design, all windows were fabricated to match the look and function of those original to the building. And because the building had never been air conditioned before, Ziegler Cooper’s design team managed to keep most of the ductwork hidden and minimized the look of ducts that could not be completely obscured. Furthermore, the restored building is LEED Gold certified. “It’s been very positive for everyone,” says Fretz. “The staff is excited to work downtown and to office inside the project they worked on. The building is a showcase for our work and shows off the true quality of our work.” “Here, we are surrounded by the history of Houston – so many architectural marvels are right here,” says Fretz. “This is what we get to look at every day. There’s an excitement that comes with that. I don’t know if you can quantify it or put your finger on it, but it’s very tangible, very real. Our staff enjoys being here – the brightness of the space is conducive to positive thinking and working. I never would have imagined the effect it has had but it’s completely real.” Proud traditions
Bob Fretz says he is proud to follow in the tradition of his father and grandfather. “My grandfather was known for doing buildings on a handshake,” says Fretz. “If we can’t do that, then what good are we? Our clients become friends, and you take care of your friends – that’s how we look at it.” “Customer satisfaction drives what we do – we stand behind our work long after warrantees are expired,” says Fretz. “We strive to build quality buildings and quality relationships. Many of those buildings still stand and many clients remain. We approach and carry out each job with the hopes to shake hands with the client upon completion and say ‘let’s do it again’.” Fretz says he appreciates the friendly and respectful competition in the marketplace and points to other long-running, family-owned construction companies such as Tellepsen, Bellows, Linbeck, Miner-Dederick. “These companies built Houston,” he says. “Houston is fortunate to have the caliber of architects it has, and so many world-class architects right here.”
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arts & entertainment
b a c k s ta g e .
by Melissa Seuffert
Gexa Energy Broadway brings Jersey Boys to the Hobby Center.
8 spring 2013
or a theatergoer, spring in the Theater District is bittersweet – many of our performing arts organizations are pulling out all the stops to cap off their seasons, but the curtain is about to drop for the summer. Here are a few suggestions on what to catch before May 31. Be sure to check out the full lineup at www.houstontheaterdistrict.org!
courtesy phoenix entertainment
Wortham Theater Center
When Stravinksy’s The Rite of Spring debuted in Paris in 1913, a riot ensued in the streets. Houston Ballet hopes that is not the case when Artistic Director Stanton Welch debuts his newest choreographic work of the same name in the company’s March 7-17 program. Audiences can also expect Mark Morris’ Pacific and a new work commissioned specifically for Houston Ballet by Edwaard Liang. Something big is happening at the Houston Grand Opera. If you never thought you’d be able to enjoy opera with a side of mariachi, you were wrong. Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon), the world’s first mariachi opera, returns to Houston March 22-24 after garnering international acclaim overseas. Focusing on the immigrant experience, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna captures the TUTS' Spamalot emotional and spiritual connection to one’s country of origin, as well as the challenges of being a stranger in a new land. If you’re more of an opera traditionalist, you also can catch a new production of Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde April 18-May 5, or Verdi’s masterpiece Il Trovatore April 26-May 11. Da Camera of Houston closes its jazz series on April 19 with native Houstonian and jazz drummer Eric Harland. A graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Harland has been called “a drummer of superhuman abilities” by The New York Times. In addition, Da Camera will present a world premiere production, Sarah Rothenberg’s In The Garden of Dreams, May 3-4. Featuring the works of Brahms and Schoenberg, this program brings together music, text and images to portray an evocative dream world representing Europe at the turn of the century.
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center brings back the story of four blue-collar kids becoming one of the greatest successes in pop music history. Jersey Boys follows Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi – otherwise known as The Four Seasons. Relive the magic March 19-31 in Sarofim Hall. Back by popular demand at Theatre Under The Stars is Monty Python’s Spamalot, May 14-26. Spamalot is the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The show has won multiple Tony Awards and features classic songs like Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. You also can still catch TUTS’ Man of La Mancha, the story of knight-errant Don Quixote, through March 10. Finally, the worlds of music and theater collide April 6 for Musiqa’s final performance of the season. Word Play features the world premiere of a one-act play by Blackburn Prize-winner Jennifer Haley, accompanied with music by Musiqa Artistic Director Anthony Brandt. Jones Hall
The Houston Symphony honors Music Director Hans Graf, who takes the podium for the last time in May. March 1-2, Graf leads the orchestra in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, a dramatic opera being brought to Houston audiences for the first time since the 1980s. Wozzeck is a production that Graf calls the “cornerstone” of this season, a program that is very dear to his heart. Also hot on the Symphony’s spring lineup is the return of fan favorite Pink Martini May 24-26 and a presentation of the film West Side Story March 22-24, with the orchestra performing the soundtrack. Society for the Performing Arts presents Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo on April 17. The“Trocks” – an all-male company of classical
Houston Grand Opera's Il Trovatore
The Dying Swan
ballet dancers – bring new life and a fresh perspective on some of ballet’s most beloved pieces. If you’re in it for the laughs or just want to see a different take on the pas de deux, this show is for you. Philip Glass fans can rejoice in his return to Houston on May 10 with the Philip Glass Ensemble. This visit he will perform his original score to Tod Browning’s classical film Dracula. Alley Theatre
Tony Award and Drama Desk winning play The Elephant Man
Houston Ballet's Joseph Walsh in The Rite of Spring
10 spring 2013
comes to Alley Theatre’s Hubbard Stage April 12-May 5. This powerful story tells the true story of Joseph Merrick, who was called the elephant man because of a hideous deformity. The play chronicles Merrick’s life during his darkest times in a Victorian freak show and when he was at the center of London’s high society. UNTIL NEXT TIME ...
There simply aren't enough pages to tell you all about the fall happenings in Houston's Theater District, so make sure to visit houstontheaterdistrict.org for full information on performances, including links to purchase tickets, blogs and more!
i n v i tat i o n d e s i g n a n d b e yo n d.
may 14 14––26 26 may hobby center center hobby
LIVe on staGe! “Superbly choreographed, aStoniShingly danced broadway-bound muSical.” –Atlanta Journal-Constitution
june 4 – 16 hobby center
tuts.com 713.558.tuts phdesignshop.com
arts & entertainment: p r o f i l e
H a n s g r a f, houston symphony music director
12 spring 2013
ouston Symphony Music Director Hans Graf will take his last bow from the Jones Hall podium this May, after 12 seasons leading our cityâ€™s oldest performing arts organization. Ahead of his last string of concerts at the post, Graf sat down with us to talk about his time with the Symphony, what the future holds and his hopes for the orchestra upon his departure.
and very good for the orchestra, as it was artistically important and showed many people how to open and enhance our concert experience to more.
What are some of your hopes and wishes for the orchestra?
After 12 seasons, the 2012-2013 season is your last with the Houston Symphony. Did you have a theme in mind when creating the Classical Season repertoire? There were previous seasons where I thought we had to have a theme, but then you get more modest. This is my last season, and I wanted to do a few things. We decided that my last concert would be Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony (May 17-18), but I won’t be coming back after 40 days. It is a strong point in the program of the whole year, but the cornerstone of this season will be doubtlessly, absolutely, incomparably, Wozzeck (March 1-2). Wozzeck is, for a musician and music lover, a necessary. And it’s so unnecessary to explain why. It was 1983 the last time Wozzeck was performed in Houston, and it is an opera that requires a fabulous orchestra. The other reason (I wanted to do it) is that I, of course, love music and drama together. I’ve done 30, 40, 50 opera premieres, and I’ve missed this a little bit. I feel that the Houston audiences between the opera and symphony are a little too divided, and I know that my symphony people deserve to get this fantastic piece. It’s a wonderful piece and we have wonderful singers, and I am proud and happy to be allowed to do this in my last season.
What are some of the biggest milestones and biggest memories you’ve had with the Symphony?
I’m very grateful for the time I’ve had with this great, challenging orchestra. In 12 years, there were about 120 programs. There must be some interesting things in there! I remember continually trying to get Bruckner done here, which is a European conductor’s disease. You want to do your Bruckner. We not only played him in the hall, but also in the new Co-Cathedral (of the Sacred Heart). In 2011, we had our first big collaboration with Rice University students and (mezzo-soprano) Susanne Mentzer for Ravel’s L'heure espagnole, with more of Ravel’s Spanish music after the break. And also, our sensational Planets (The Planets – An HD Odyssey) was very important
That it will not take them another eight years or so to leave Houston and go on tour. The big injury (during my tenure) was when we had a tour to Europe in 2004 that we had to cancel six months before we left. It really harmed the orchestra’s standing in the world. We’ve been to England, to Carnegie, and that’s very, very good. The hunger and wish to go on tour isn’t just dependent just on the new music director but everyone in the Houston Symphony family.
What are you going to do in May, after your final concert?
In May, I will take a week off and go with friends to West Texas to visit Marfa. I will proceed with my conducting life, eventually adding another segment to my artistic life. I will return to Houston for at least two seasons as conductor laureate, for two weeks in the 13-14 season and two weeks in the 14-15 season. And then (Houston) will really have had their share (of me)!
What are you going to miss most about Houston? The orchestra and friends in the orchestra and all of the wonderful friends we have in Houston. We have realized that some cities yield friendships that last, and good friendships are a sign that we’ve had a good time in Houston.
There are still a few chances to see Maestro Graf lead the Houston Symphony before he steps down at the end of May. Here’s the lineup. More information on these concerts can be found at houstonsymphony.org. Wozzeck: March 1-2 Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony: March 7, 9, 10 Debussy’s La Mer: April 11, 13, 14 Mozart’s Symphony No. 40: May 3-5 Chopin and Beethoven: May 9, 11, 12 A Graf Farewell: May 17, 18
14 spring 2013
sweet sounds Downtown’s eclectic array of music venues / melissa fitzgerald
that the diversity of Houston is one of the traits that make it great. This diversity is displayed in numerous ways, one of the most prevalent being the music scene – more specifically, the downtown music scene. Whether you’re looking for something small and intimate or would prefer to feel like a drop in the ocean, there are now more places than ever to get your live music fix in Houston’s concrete jungle. “Downtown is becoming so vibrant, there are more options for musicians,” Jason Price of Rise Up Agency said. “Because there are more avenues, more venues, more ways for bands to play and create fan bases, [musicians] are having greater success resulting in even more shows.” And the sounds are as diverse as Houston itself. Bands draw inspiration from their home, their heritage and their lives, making the downtown music scene a melting pot of musical genres. Jazz, pop, hip-hop, Latin, country, alternative, indie and rock are just a few. Any given day of the week household names and unknown acts are taking the stage, hoping to make you their next biggest fan. Lend them your ear and they’ll sing you a song. It’s no secret
AARON NEVILLE HEADLINES iFEST
HOUSE OF BLUES
Big Names and Big Spaces
Toyota Center The oval shape of this arena ensures there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Names like Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Taylor Swift have all graced the stage numerous times over the past few years. If the act is a household name, more often than not you will find them at the Toyota Center when they roll into town. Notable spring acts include Muse, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5. houstontoyotacenter.com Minute Maid Park While this building primarily serves as home field to our Houston Astros, it also welcomes some of the biggest names in the music business. Most recently, Sir Paul McCartney charmed Houstonians from the outfield. While this venue doesn’t hold shows on a regular basis, when they do, they’re BIG. Keep your ears open! ticketmaster.com House of Blues This national venue favorite is always a great place to experience live music from all genres up close and personal. Acts range from hip-
16 spring 2013
hop and pop to metal and cover bands, to … well, you name it. Its deceivingly large twostory theater can hold a sizable crowd while still maintaining an intimate feel, especially in the general admission section that kisses the stage. And you have to love a venue where the cheapest ticket in the house could land you on the front row. Notable spring acts include Grizzly Bear, NeedToBreathe, The Black Crowes. houseofblues.com Scott Gertner’s Looking to sip cocktails and dance? Your search ends here. This upscale jazz and blues club is the perfect blend of high-end finishes and down-and-dirty grooves. Unleash your inner salsa dancer at their legendary Latin Thursday Night. scottgertner.com/ scottgertnershoustonpavilions Bayou Music Center Standing somewhere between Toyota Center and House of Blues in regards to size, this theater packs a punch when it comes to the star power gracing its stage. Its expansive general admission section makes you feel as though you’re at an awesome party with plenty of room to move and dance. Notable spring acts include Yo Gabba Gabba!, Deftones, Sigur Ros. livenation.com
t h e g r e at o u t d o o r s
Music with a Breeze
Discovery Green This always-hopping park is an excellent place to catch live music in the daylight or twilight hours. A variety of special programming means local talent is always performing in weekly series events or one-time shows. Hear jazz, blues, rock and more at this lovely green space. discoverygreen.com Market Square Park Located in the heart of the Historic District, downtown playground Market Square is always bustling with activity – from its delicious café to its dog park and garden. Check their calendar for upcoming live music events featuring local bands with Texas-sized talent. marketsquarepark.com Last Concert Cafe Tiki torches, picnic tables, cold margaritas and dancing in the sand are all elements of a show at Last Concert Cafe. Acts tend to be jam bands with groove-oriented music. Local bands like Pot Roast and Hightailers have
market square park
Houston international festival (iFest) april 20, 21, 27 & 28 downtown houston Tickets: $18 – $150
been playing weekly for more than a decade. These long-running residencies have created a wide fan base from college students to corporate professionals. Dance under the stars at this Houston institution and enjoy good food and good music. lastconcert.com
d i n n e r ta i n m e n t
Entertainment While You Eat
Sambuca A swanky, downtown jazz institution, Sambuca serves live local music seven nights a week alongside delicious food and cocktails. Stop in for a selection of top 40 hits, Latin rhythms, classic rock and, of course, jazz. sambuca.com The Capitol at St. Germain Enjoy a gourmet steak while performers make beautiful music on the stage located at the front of the restaurant. Visit The Capitol on Wednesdays and become a star yourself at their weekly karaoke night. thecapitolhouston.com MKT Bar Visit MKT bar after work to enjoy famously fantastic fare and a vast array of music every
the city streets transformed into an international celebration of art, cuisine and music, at the 43rd annual iFest. Each year the festival presents a cultural sampling from countries around the globe with a featured country taking center stage. The honored country for 2013 is Brazil. Be entertained from five stages featuring music, dance, cultural performances and children’s programming, with an array of mouthwatering food, wine and beer from over 40 restaurants throughout the grounds. The event also serves as a market for merchants looking to shop the globe without leaving the city. Shop all three of their market areas for a variety of the world’s finest in visual art and international wares. The fest promises a showcase of music and dance from the honored nation, as well as their usual mix of funk, rock, reggae, Latin music, R&B, jazz, blues, zydeco and more. Grammy Award-winning performers Los Lobos headline alongside Bootsy Collins, The Wailers, Diogo Nogueira, Aaron Neville and Casa Samba Brazilian Extravaganza. For more information on the upcoming iFest, visit ifest.org.
night of the week. Notable themed days include MKT New Music Mondays, Tasty Tango Tuesdays and MKT Jazz Brunch on Sundays. Perhaps the most unique event happening at MKT Bar, and dare we say downtown, is the weekly Vinyl Night. Local musicians, producers and other notables in the community serve as guest DJs and are invited to select 20 records from partnering record shop, Heights Vinyl, to spin for the crowd. phoeniciafoods.com
off the b e at e n pat h
Small Spaces, Soon-To-Be Discovered Talent Dean’s Music lovers flock to this spot for its cool local talent and intimate space. Dean’s offers an eclectic selection of local talent in the indie rock and pop rock categories. Its size is perfect for up-and-coming bands to
the capitol at st. germain
play live for the first time and develop a grassroots fan base. Be on the lookout for its massive flashing neon sign, you can’t miss it. notsuoh.com notsuoH Cleverly named notsuoH (Houston spelled backwards), is located next to Dean’s on Main. The décor has been
GO GREEN DOWNTOWN DAY / MARCH 16 2013
compared to Sanford and Son, and the crowd consists of business travelers, CEOs, indie music lovers and, occasionally, Robert Pattinson. Its small stage holds primarily independent musicians playing eclectic sounds. notsuoh.com Walter’s Downtown newbie, Walter’s
(formerly known as Walter’s on Washington) has made its new home in the art-loving Warehouse District. And it couldn’t be a better base for this haven of independent music. Local musicians and traveling acts take the stage weekly, making this one of the coolest downtown locations. facebook.com/waltershouston
Post-parade festivities throughout downtown For whats happening downtown, go to downtownhouston.org
Buffalo Bayou Regatta 7:30 am - 2 pm Kayaks and canoes galore, live music, awards ceremony, food and drinks. Sesquicentennial Park, Preston @ Smith
Sustainable Living Fest: Houtopia Noon - 6 pm With music, art, food, fashion, shopping- this near-zero waste event (NZW) is the only Fest of its kind in Texas! Market Square Park, 301 Milam
18 spring 2013
54th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Noon - 1:30 pm Be Irish for a day and check out one of the quirkiest parades in Houston. Minute Maid Park and the streets to the north
Some Say We’re Obsessed With Steaks.
Probably because we hand-select the finest USDA Prime. We deem the top .005% of beef acceptable. Call us obsessed if you must. We’ll take it as a compliment.
1201 Fannin Houston, Texas (713) 658-9457 Follow on Facebook & Twitter • 3forks.com
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DOWNTOWN IS HOT! h e r i t a g e t e x a s
2011 RESULTS 26 units sold Avg. Sales Price: $180,192 Avg. Price Sq/ft: $129.82
2012 RESULTS 52 units Sold Avg. Sales Price: $211,536 Avg. Price Sq/ft: $159.05
c o m
MARKET INCREASE 100% 17.4% 22.5%
Of the 52 units sold in 2012, 26 were HERITAGE TEXAS PROPERTIES Listings and 22 were HERITAGE TEXAS PROPERTIES Buyers
TERRY STANFIELD 218 Travis St. | Downtown Houston | 713.225.8079 www.hearsayhouston.com
Downtown’s #1 Realtor
D OWN TOWN F E AT U R E
M A KI N G HOUSTON EVEN BET TER
BY HOLLY BERETTO PHOTOGRAPHY by J E F F F I T L O W & K AT YA H O R N E R
ouston is known for its can-do spirit. Have an idea? A dream? Willing to work to make it happen? Then Houstonâ€™s your city â€“ and Houstonians will help you make your vision a reality. The dynamic duos in this issue are dreamers and doers, working together to mold their unique vision for our city. They are partners in business and life, fathers and sons, husbands and wives. The link to each other as friends and family has given them a unique perspective on collaboration and through their work ethic, imagination, and sheer force of personality, these couples are making downtown more vibrant, more diverse and more exciting every day.
D 22 Fashion Forward Thomas Nauls, Owner, The Tipping Point and David Rodriguez, Buyer, The Tipping Point
hen Thomas Nauls and David Rodriguez opened The Tipping Point in downtown six years ago, they had one goal in mind – to offer a unique shopping experience that drew from their innercity childhoods while providing flair and artistry for their clientele. The result is a fun and funky spot where retro-themed sneakers rub shoulders with trendy shirts and accessories – and art. Nauls and Rodriguez, in addition to being retail kings (Nauls owns the space and Rodriguez is the store’s buyer), are heavily involved in Houston’s art scene. “FreshArts really drew us into that world,” says Nauls. “We loved what Jenni Rebecca Stephenson was doing, drawing artists of all genres together to showcase several different types of work. We loved that it was very grassroots – which is something so very Houston.” “And it was great that FreshArts is involved in all facets of art, not just visual,” says Rodriguez. “There’s music and performing arts, too.” Since they became boosters for the group, they’ve not only invited artists to showcase works in their store, they’ve hosted music ensembles to play there, and both say it not only adds to The Tipping Point’s atmosphere, it gives these artists a place to show their talents, an experience many of them may not otherwise have. That unique blending of experiences is important to Nauls and Rodriguez, and it’s a value that permeates throughout their business model. The Tipping Point began its days selling vintage sneakers from Puma and Adidas, and both men say they are grateful to those brands for “taking a chance” on them as nascent retailers, so they see giving artists a space to show their work and using their store as a spot where clients can see cool clothes from up-and-coming designers as a way of paying back their good fortune. Over the last six years The Tipping Point has evolved to include more clothing and accessories; going forward both Nauls and Rodriguez say they’ll be looking to add more men’s and women’s lines, as well as looking into doing their own label. “We look for progressive lines and labels,” says Rodriguez. “We want clothing that will grow with them as they go from being college students to young professionals.” In essence, the growth they’re seeking in both their store and what they offer is the way they see the evolution of downtown. Rodriguez is originally from Mexico City and says he loves that downtown now has the same sort of pedestrian-friendly vibe as his native city. “I look out and I see people everywhere, and they’re walking to work, to the shops, to restaurants,” he says. “It’s great. We’re helping to change the perception of downtown as a destination.” Nauls agrees. His father worked for the City of Houston for nearly 25 years, so he’s had a front-row seat in watching downtown change. “Downtown has been so revitalized, thanks to the building up of the eastern portion of downtown and the new retail options that are here. And it’s great for us to have a footprint in that,” he says. “Downtown is a small capsule of what Houston is overall – diverse, evolving. I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be.”
Downtown Hospitalit y Nick Massad Jr., president of American Liberty Hospitality and Nick Massad III, general manager, Alden Hotel/Sam Houston Hotel
y kids grew up in this industry,” Nick Massad Jr. says affably. “When they were little, they’d be behind the bars of our hotels getting cherries from the bartenders.” Today, all the Massads work in the family business, and Nick Massad III is about to lead them into a
They share a history in building their brand, and they have a particular teamwork ethic that helps keep things running smoothly. fantastic new renovation of the Alden Hotel, where he’s currently general manager. “We’ll be re-branding it back to the Sam Houston Hotel,” he says. “We discovered that having that connection to Houston’s history was an important one for our guests, and for us.” American Liberty Hospitality, the Massads’ company, has been around for close to 40 years, and it manages and operates hotels all over Texas and Louisiana. Two years ago, it opened downtown’s Embassy Suites and last June completed purchase of the Alden property. The younger Massad says he’s excited about what he and his father plan to do with the place. “We’re definitely keeping that boutique, independent feel,” he says. “But we’re going to give it a bit more flair, a more modern edge. We’ll be renovating the guest rooms and some of the public spaces.” Those renovations will be happening
throughout the spring, and both men say they’re looking forward to how the changes will add to downtown’s hospitality scene. They realize downtown is a business destination Monday through Thursday, but they say the changes and additions to downtown’s personality mean they have a chance to capitalize on weekend traffic, with out-of-towners coming in for games and concerts at the Toyota Center, as well as shows in the Theater District. “Downtown, and particularly the area by the stadiums and the Toyota Center, is where all the action is right now,” says Nick Massad Jr. He bought American Liberty Hospitality two decades ago when it spun off from American Liberty Oil, where he had worked for 20 years. His son agrees. “We’re seeing so many people come from places like The Woodlands or even out in the Energy Corridor to stay in downtown for the weekends, because they have so much they can do here now. That’s
terrific in terms of redefining how people see our city.” And they agree that working together to make their company a success is fantastic. The elder Massad credits his son with taking a decade to work for other hotel corporations, including the Four Seasons, and bringing those ideas and best practices back to the family business. His son says that working with his father, mother and siblings is a special experience. They share a history in building their brand, and they have a particular teamwork ethic that helps keep things running smoothly. “We’ve always been able to live out the Golden Rule, both in our family and in our business,” Nick Massad III says. “Even when we’re home, we talk business all the time,” laughs his father. “This isn’t work to us. It’s a fun business. And it’s a people business.”
D 25 Downtown Living Paige Martin, owner, HoustonProperties.com and Bob Martin, chairman and CEO, Extraordinary Media, LLC
was similar. They took a tour of the Ballet’s new headquarters and got to talking with the dancers about their training and the discipline and time it takes to perfect the craft. “I didn’t know how much they go through to do this,” says Paige. “But that’s the great thing about living city in the country.” downtown. We got to develop personal connections with His wife, Paige, agrees. “Bob walks to work from our the ballerinas and I realized that downtown is their house,” she laughs. “And he takes the dog sometimes, behome, too.” cause his is a dog-friendly workspace.” The couple moved to Houston in 2003, and lived downBob is the chairman and CEO of an Internet advertising company, while Paige has been consistently ranked as a town at first. When they needed more space, they went out top performer in residential real estate. For them, the pulse to the Galleria area but it wasn’t the right fit. They missed the connection they felt to the city, so they moved back of downtown is one they see as vital to their professional downtown in 2008, purchasing a unit in the Historic Disand personal lives. In addition to their sales-related work, trict. They agree it’s been the best move they ever made they are supporters of the Houston Police Department’s Adopt-a-Horse program, and contributors to the Houston in their 10-year marriage. They love their easy lifestyle in Ballet. They say living downtown is a big part of how they the heart of the city, being able to walk to shops and restaurants, and they adore the charm and character of their became involved with those charities. home with its 1909 windows and brick. Both agree living “HPD’s mounted patrol is just a great representative downtown has given them an entirely new outlook on for the department,” says Bob. “And we believe in what neighborhood life. they’re doing to keep downtown’s streets clean and safe.” “In the suburbs, you might wave at your neighbor in the So last year the husband and wife agreed to sponsor a horse and even teamed up with KPRC-TV to host a nam- driveway,” Paige says. “But living downtown you’re forced to interact with people, whether it’s the guy behind the ing contest for it. The winner? Preacher, after the horse in counter at your dry cleaner or the woman you might see in the movie Pale Rider. the parking garage because you’re getting into your car at Paige says their involvement with the Houston Ballet the same time.” While Bob walks to work, Paige does commute to the Galleria, but when she comes home at night, they walk to happy hour at Azuma or have dinner at Market Square Grill. “I love how we can walk over “The view at La Carafe is the best in the city,” Bob says, touching on another to [DINNER] and then wander of their favorite haunts. back home. There really aren’t “Our lifestyle is great,” Paige says happily. “I love how we can walk over any other neighborhoods to Oxheart, have a great meal and then in the cit y where you can do wander back home. There really aren’t any other neighborhoods in the city that,” PAIGE SAYS. where you can do that.” e love living in downtown,” says Bob Martin. “It’s got this wonderful neighborhood feel to it, and you wouldn’t necessarily expect that from the fourth-largest
Cit y Boosters Susan Christian, Director of mayor’s office of Special Events and Laura Spanjian, Sustainability Director, office of the mayor
hose living, working or playing in downtown have come across the efforts of both Susan Christian and Laura Spanjian, possibly without ever realizing it. Electric-powered city vehicles? That was Spanjian’s office. Taking the kids to the Houston Children’s Festival later this month? That’s Christian’s office. Hit up the City Hall Farmers Market for fresh, locally grown produce? That’s one they work on together. As the director of special events and the director of sustainability, this pair tag teams across the city to enhance the quality of life for all Houstonians. Christian’s office permits, produces and sponsors more than a thousand events every year, with an attendance of 3.5 million annually. Meanwhile, Spanjian leads efforts to help Houston reduce its carbon footprint, whether it’s by expanding downtown’s bike share program (which, this month will increase to 24 stations and 200 bikes), installing electric vehicle charging stations at downtown garages or embracing the community gardens in Tranquility Park.
Christian and Spanjian are partners, both through their work for the city, and in life. They met six years ago, when Spanjian came to Houston from San Francisco and shortly after took on the newly created sustainability role in Mayor Annise Parker’s administration. Together, they’re raising a 15-month-old son, Eli, and balancing what they call “a busy life.” Both passionate proponents of civic engagement, they’re dedicated to making downtown – and all of Houston – the best city in the country. “Diversity put Houston on the map,” says Spanjian. “And we’re seeing a population change that’s even more diverse and younger. They’re adding new ideas and creative spirit and vibrancy to our city. It’s an exciting time to be here, and we hope we’re contributing to that.” “I have the best job in the entire city,” concurs Christian. “People love coming into downtown and our events are a chance to showcase this great space. On any given weekend, we have any number of activities in downtown, from fun runs to events in our parks.” Both love the rhythm of downtown
life, and while they don’t live in the neighborhood, they have any number of favorite spots, including the Hubcap Grill, Phoenicia and Treebeards in Market Square. When they aren’t working to help downtowners have fun and embrace a greener lifestyle, they’re being moms to Eli, and they are incredibly protective of their family time with him. Each day begins with coffee and Eli’s bottle, and the pair read the headlines from the Houston Chronicle and the New York Times to him. It’s a routine so cherished they say if they have a breakfast meeting come up, or something else interrupts the morning cycle, Eli makes his displeasure known. No matter the juggling the pair do, however, they relish the role of being moms. “It’s the coolest thing in the entire world,” says Christian. Doing what they love, raising a child they adore, and being part of the ever-improving fabric of Houston. Sounds like the perfect life. “This city is on a roll,” Spanjian says enthusiastically. So, too, are she and Christian.
“Diversit y put Houston on the map,” says Spanjian. “And we’re seeing a population change that’s even more diverse and younger.”
Downtowners at Heart Justin Yu and Karen Mann, chefs and owners, Oxheart
lmost from the minute it opened last March, Oxheart lit up the national culinary scene like a beacon. With its vegetable-driven menu and beautiful space in downtown’s north end, Oxheart has become one of Houston’s must-dine destinations. Together with his wife, Mann, Yu is growing his restaurant and reveling in the excitement he feels about “cooking the food we want to cook with people who are hard working, dedicated and fun to be with.” Yu always wanted to open his own space, and he considers himself a Houstonian at heart, so being able to launch the space in downtown was a dream come true. Yu is the chef, and he’s creating all manner of exciting dishes that he thinks showcase the best and freshest ingredients. But Mann is quick to point out Oxheart is a team operation. “We both answer phone calls, pay bills, oversee contractors, drive to pick up produce and whatever else needs to be done,” she says. “In
the kitchen, I bake the bread and oversee the desserts, but I also fill in any gaps as needed. We opened Oxheart to be a restaurant we wanted to eat at. We are so grateful for all of our wonderful guests that keep us feeling at home.” In addition to running Oxheart, the couple moved to downtown earlier this year. Both are excited about the adventure. Mann used to work downtown and says that she loved the historic feel to the area. Yu says he looks forward to a life living and working downtown and believes that the area is poised to become a thriving spot, day and night. To him, it feels like a natural progression, opening Oxheart and migrating to a downtown home. “I feel as if all the traveling and experiencing different parts of the world has led to the opening of Oxheart by just letting us go out in the world to see and be inspired by other cultures, people and places,” he says. “So I have a point of view of how I really enjoy living my life.” Running their own restaurant makes for a busy life, both agree, but they manage to find time to relax and enjoy the city. “It’s great to live in a city where you feel welcome almost everywhere,” says Yu. “It’s an easy place to make friends, and maybe just the act of hanging out and doing nothing is my favorite activity ever. I’ve been hitting up OKRA Original Charity Saloon a lot lately. It’s a beautiful space with solid drinks, and it’s quickly become my favorite place in downtown to be.” Mann says she enjoys being active; she runs and takes as many yoga classes as her schedule allows. She’s looking forward to exploring her new downtown home and already has found a few favorite hangouts. “I’ve recently discovered Phoenicia,” she says happily. “We will be frequenting the Wednesday City Hall Farmers Market, and I know I will be utilizing our library. It’s kinda my thing, libraries that is.”
The World’s A Stage Jeffrey Bean, actor and Christa Bean, artistic administrator/associate general manager, Alley Theatre
“There aren’t a lot of residential theaters in the country like this,” says Jeff. “It’s a really special pl ace.”
or many Houstonians, downtown’s Alley Theatre is the hometown theater. But for Jeff and Christa Bean, it’s all that and more. When the husband and wife talk about their experiences with the Tony Award-winning company, it’s very much like talking about family. Jeff has been with the Alley since 1989, acting in dozens of roles over his nearly quarter-century tenure, including the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac, Charley in Death of a Salesman and Salieri in Amadeus. Christa has been part of the company since 1991, serving as a stage manager on multiple productions. The couple first met in 1993 and have been married for 15 years. “There aren’t a lot of residential theaters in the country like this,” says Jeff. “It’s a really special place.” Part of what makes it so, they say, are the relationships artistic director Gregory Boyd works to forge with emerging playwrights, visiting actors and designers, many of whom have returned for several productions with the theater. Jeff and Christa feel they’ve grown, both professionally and personally, along with the Alley, itself. When the couple decided they wanted to start a family, for example, they
realized very quickly that they both couldn’t be working multiple evenings a week. Christa was able to transition from stage managing to working in the administrative offices, working on contracts and planning. Now that their son is a little older, the couple is transitioning again, as Christa moves back to the production side, overseeing the company’s stage managers in addition to other administrative duties. “I’m excited,” she says. “Stage managing is my passion. And we’ll be on the same schedule now. We’ll have the same day off.” Being able to juggle those responsibilities and roll with the theatrical punches seems to come naturally to the couple, who are used to the ebb and flow of rehearsal and performance schedules. They diligently keep their work life separate from their home life, saying that at home, their focus is their 8-year-old son. “Everything else takes a back seat,” says Christa. Even as they’re grateful to the theater company for providing them with the opportunity to work within a profession they love and the chance to evolve their work and personal lives along the way, they’re both enthusiastic about the Alley’s role as an anchor for downtown. Jeff says he’s seen the area flourish over the last quarter century. “Houston was ahead of the curve in its Theater District,” says Jeff. “Other cities now are building arts districts, but Houston really built one early on.” He says that having the Alley, Wortham Theater Center, Jones Hall and the Hobby Center all in close proximity helped create a vibrant scene that includes the arts, dining and other entertainment options. “What we have is really special,” he continues. “All of us within the resident company are artists, but we’re also Houstonians. So we have Houstonians creating artistic work for Houstonians. There’s a great community feel to that.”
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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. The Capitol at St. Germain | 705 B Main The Capitol brings a new dimension to live music, dining and cocktails in the heart of the city. From touring acts to local favorites, there's something for everyone in a majestic, turn-of-the-century venue. Mon 11 am-9 pm, Tue-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am. thecapitolhouston.com The Cellar at Georgia’s Market | 420 Main @ Prairie Georgia’s underground cellar offers a wide selection of organic and biodynamic wines and local brews. The newly renovated space mixes modern and vintage for a cozy place to spend happy hour or host your next event. Mon-Fri noon9 pm, Sun 9 am-5 pm. georgiasdowntown.com/cellar Chapel Spirits | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Chapel Spirits is a sophisticated bar, ideal for happy hour, an engagement party, a bachelor party or late nite VIP experience. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching. Fri & Sat 10 pm-2 am. chapelspirits.com 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 am–midnight, Thu-Sat 10 am-2 am. Dean’s | 316 Main Much of the original building was preserved when the 30s department store was converted into a bar. If you’re lucky, you can snag the table in Houston’s first electric elevator tucked away in the corner. Listen to live music by local artists, buy the local art on the walls, and drink frozen cosmos while taking in the ever-changing downtown scene. Sun-Wed 8 pm-2 am, Thu-Sat 5 pm-2 am. 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 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. 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. A cool and relaxed atmosphere along with a hip crowd gives downtown visitors a great place to enjoy the night. 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 House of Blues | 1204 Caroline Street @ Houston Pavilions A well-known national franchise with a lively, fun atmosphere. A 1,500-person concert venue is onsite and some of the best
30 spring 2013
spring 2013 Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites—from the quintessential dive to swanky lounges, you’re sure to find something that will quench your thirst!
touring shows in the country come through on a weekly basis. The members-only Foundation Room is available for VIPs. Show times and events vary nightly. hob.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.
PBR Houston | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Cowboy cool meets urban chic in this country bar in the city. Grab a cold beer, hard drinks and try your hand at a little bull riding. This is the place when you want to two-step, hang low, or just meet a pretty little lady or urban cowboy. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching. Wed, Fri & Sat 9 pm–2 am. pbrhouston.com Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin @ Houston Pavilions Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed-Sat, 7 pm-2 am Wed-Sat 7 pm-2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com
Last Concert Café | 403 Nance One of Houston’s best-kept secret treasures! 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 am2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 3-9 pm. lastconcert.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. Sun 5 pm - 2 am, Mon-Sat 2 pm - 2 am. reserve101.com
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-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon-2 am.
The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street @ Alden 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. Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. aldenhotels.com
Lucie’s Liquors | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Go to Lucie’s for taste of vintage Vegas, quality drinks and a night to remember. The attitude at this place recalls a time when the Rat Pack was at the top and the ladies called the shots. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching! Tue & Thu 8 pm–2 am. Fri & Sat 9 pm–2 am. luciesliquors.com Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge | 1201 San Jacinto @ Houston Pavilions Swanky upscale bowling alley with a separate restaurant/ lounge area. 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. Great lunchtime and Sunday brunch bowling specials. Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am. bowlluckystrike.com 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. phoeniciafoods.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 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 punkrock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm-2 am. 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 3pm-2am. friedokra.org
Sambuca | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Guests can enjoy live music most nights of the week in this upscale and eclectic environment. The plush interior and elegant design make for an amazing location. Enjoy your favorite drink inside or hang outside on the patio with the locals. Sun-Wed 11 am-midnight, Thu 11 am-1 am, Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 4:30 pm-2 am. sambucarestaurant.com Shark Bar | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place No need to drive to Galveston to get to the beach. This surf bar is an endless party with pail punch, pina coladas and retro dance music that will take you to the North Shore. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching. Fri & Sat 9 pm-2 am. sharkbartx.com Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas @ Post 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 who enjoy colorful dialogue and witty conversation. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat & Sun 1 pm-2 am. mcelroyspub.com State Bar | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Located on the second floor of the Post Rice Lofts, this upscale bar presents a classic richness all its own. Much of the furniture and memorabilia are from the old Rice Hotel’s Capitol Club. Leather couches make for great seating and conversation, while a grand veranda overlooks the city outside. Mon-Fri 3 pm-2 am, Sat 6 pm-2 am. thestatebar.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 noon-2 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.
the guide to eating downtown
Edited by Angie Bertinot & L auren Covington
Mortonâ€™s updated menu and sleek interior has old fans and new diners craving the juicy steaks for which theyâ€™re famous, and a whole lot more.
plate. L17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Alden Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; D Daily. $$$$
L Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$
new! The Burger Guys American The guys are known for stellar burgers, made with 100 percent pure Akaushi beef, hand-cut fries fried in duck fat, in-house sauces, cane-sugar fountain drinks and home-spun milkshakes. The best part? You can add a fried egg on anything! theburgerguys.com. 706 Main, 123.123.1234. L M-F. $
L 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$
Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$
new! 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 M-F. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. $
L Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Houston downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat (Open for L & D on Sunday only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking the Allen Center courtyard. Relax after a busy day and enjoy your favorite beverage or a bite to eat while you catch up on the day’s news on the wide screen TV. Doubletree Hotel, 400 Dallas, 713.759.0202. L, D & LN Daily. $$
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 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. $$$$ Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. D Mon-Sat; L Mon Fri. $$
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. $$
L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the Saag Paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $
Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $
Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol , 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $
Bangkok Chef Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. bkchef.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ new! 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 are splashed on the walls that aren’t graced with large windows for perfect park views. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. B,L M-F. $
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Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food A burrito bar with tons of ingredients and sides that allow you to create the burrito of your dreams. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texaschic 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. $$$ L Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $
The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $ L The Capitol at St. Germain New American An impressive dinner menu of seafood and steaks at this renovated turn-of-the-century space. Lunch offers gourmet sandwiches, salads and shared bites. More than just food, The Capitol also serves as a backdrop for live music and special events. thecapitolhouston.com. 705 Main, 713.492.2454. L, D Daily. $$$
key to symbols These listings are not reviews but are a guide to downtown dining spots. "Recommended" restaurants are selected by Downtown Magazine editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.
L recommended new! just opened average price of an entrée $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+ B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner LN: Late Night
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $ Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center.B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$ L The 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. $$ Downtown Hunan Café Chinese Fast casual spot offering all your Asian favorites. 613 Clay, 713.759.0515. L Mon-Fri. $ 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. $ Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and great-tasting 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 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. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. Mon-Sun B, L & LN. $ Falafel Frenzy Mediterranean This quaint spot serves up all your Mediterranean favorites, including beef and chicken kabobs, hummus and of course falafel. 914 Prairie, 713.237.8987. L Mon-Fri. $
L 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. $ Gelato Blu Gelato/Coffeehouse Brought to you by the masterminds behind Bombay, this Italian-style shop serves up gelato, sorbetto and caffe Italiano that will satisfy your sweet cravings with any of its delicious flavors. 914 Main, Ste. 115, 713.655.1400. Daily. $ L Georgia’s Market Downtown American The market is stocked with fresh organic produce, grass-fed meats, prepared foods and snacks and home basics while the cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from its organic buffet and a bistro menu. Don’t miss the underground cellar – the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine or craft beer with friends. georgiasdowntown.com. 420 Main at Prairie, 713.225.0990 B,L, D Daily. $ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green, downtown Houston’s newest park. 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. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This familyowned 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$ Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an all-American menu? Hard Rock is a great familyfriendly spot serving up items such as burgers, nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$
713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off-season so call first). $ � L House of Blues Southern Classic HOB serves Southern-inspired signature classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, Tennessee baby back ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss House of Blues’ famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ L Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but quaint burger joint. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, homecooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $$ L Irma’s New 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. Open on Astros baseball game days and nights three hours before first pitch. $$ Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced 7-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon-Sat. $ The Lake House Fast Casual The Lake House offers family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby amphitheater stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. Tue-Wed 11-3; Thu-Sun 11-8. $ L La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon-Fri. $
L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon-Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$
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. $
Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy American food with all menu items (except for sampler platters) less than $10. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas,
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
SAVORY SELECTIONS WHAT’S NEW AT MORTON’S? L a n d r y ’ s u p d at e s M o r t o n ’ s w i t h H o u s t o n f l av o r a n d s t y l e By L auren Covington
Morton’s, the classic Chicago steakhouse, opened in 1978 when steak lunches were
popular with a male-dominated work crowd. While the prime steaks never failed to please, the steakhouse scene began to dwindle as baby boomers began to retire and a younger workforce sought out more diverse menu. In 2011, Houston’s own Landry’s, Inc. acquired the brand to refresh the menu and space with the modern Houstonian in mind. The downtown location was the second of 69 Morton’s restaurants to receive the redesign, and they celebrated the new look in September 2012. The transformation began by eliminating dark, moody woods and introducing supple leather seating, neutral metallics and transparent windows. Passers-by can now see the glittering drum chandeliers and inviting bar area packed with “power-hour” patrons taking advantage of $7 filet mignon sandwich plates and $7 wines from the expansive cellar. “In renovating this space, our goal was to make this location one of the most comfortable and inviting dining settings in the downtown area,” said Tilman Fertitta chairman and CEO of Landry’s, Inc. “This new look creates the perfect setting for any business lunch, family gathering or an intimate dinner.” Diners indulge with flavorful appetizers like prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, pan seared to ac-
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complish a crispy first taste and cheesy finish. The bite-sized tuna tacos served with creamy sriracha sauce deserve to be their own dish, but we’ll gladly start every Morton’s meal with these crunchy delights. Lunch provides all the staple steak dishes, as well as lighter offerings that retain Morton’s signature quality. A prime rib taco may have been a questionable item in the steakhouse of yesteryear, but the tender meat, wrapped in corn tortillas and garnished with spicy cabbage, make it easy to see why it’s the most ordered lunch item on the menu. And for those who routinely skip the most important meal of the day (for shame!) the crab omelet is an excellent way to start – or continue – your culinary journey. Loaded with hollandaise sauce and perfectly cooked asparagus, the crab-stuffed omelet is a hearty dish that challenges even the most determined seafood lover to finish their plate. Steak lovers need not worry, old-school favorites and traditions hold strong at Morton’s. The menu offers more than a dozen dishes featuring prime cuts from the best meat suppliers in the country, and the customer service continues to live up to its name. Morton’s The Steakhouse 1001 McKinney Houston, Texas 77002 713.659.3700 HOURS Monday through Sunday, 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Morton’s Power Hour Monday through Friday, all day at the bar. Bar bites start at $6 and drinks start at $5.
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 Les Givral’s Kahve Vietnamese Winner of the 2006 “City’s Best” award for Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, Les Givral’s offers up a delicious menu and great service. Located in downtown’s historic Market Square. lesgivrals.com. 801 Congress, 713.547.0444. B Mon-Fri; L Mon-Sat; D Fri & 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. $$$ new location! Little Napoli Italian Theater and movie goers can now enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ 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. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $
marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $ L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L Massa’s Seafood Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$ McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$
L 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$
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 Sun–Sat. $
L Macondo Latin Bistro Latin The menu is a tasty fusion of Latin dishes with a strong influence of Colombian cuisine. Try the migas on an English muffin for breakfast. Macondo has a full coffee bar and juice bar, featuring delicious Colombian coffee. BYOB! macondobistro.com. 208 Travis, 713.229.8323. B, L & D 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. $
Mandarin Hunan Restaurant Chinese This upscale eatery gives its guests an engaging experience in Chinese cuisine. Located in the Skyline District, Mandarin’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a great view of the streetscape. 777 Walker, 713.224.1212. L & D Mon-Fri. $
Molly’s Pub Pub Fare A good ol’ Irish bar with tasty food to soak up the beer. Your standard pub fare – sandwiches, dogs and pretty much anything that’s not good for you. mollyspubs.com. 509 Main, 713.222.1033. L, D & LN 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.
L Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The 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. D Mon-Sun. $$$$
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe last fall at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D daily. $ Nit Noi Cafe Thai Head Chef Mama Alice has a secret sauce that has made this Thai gem successful for more than 20 years. Diners can go light with fresh cucumber salads or fill up on classic noodle dishes with a choice of beef, chicken, pork tofu or shrimp. nitnoithai.com. 301 Main, 713.225.1069. L Mon-Fri. $$ 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. $ Paul’s Snack Shop Deli Sandwiches, salads and snacks to-go.1213 Prairie, 713.224.4701. B & L Mon-Fri. $ new! Pepperjacks Mexican Grill & Cantina Mexican Tex-Mex rules in these festive Historic District digs! The huge balcony overlooking Prairie Street is prime real estate for people-watching, drinking margaritas and munchin’ on chips and queso. 419 Travis, 713.222.2922. L & D Daily. $$ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ Popeye’s Fast Food 1116 Travis, 713.571.8600. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $
plate. new! Red Lantern Vietnamese A small café hiding in the historic district, Red Lantern packs a punch. Known for its delicious bahn mi and pho. The lunch crowd can’t get enough of the pork egg rolls and vermicelli bowls. 917 Franklin, 713.237.0360 L, D Mon-Fri. $ new! 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, chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Alden 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. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon-Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$ Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $ The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Au Bon Pain, Captain D's, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Kitchen, d’lish, Doozo Dumpling & Noodles, Droubi Bros. Grill, Freshii, Great American Cookies, Mediterranean Grill, Murphy’s Deli, Ninfa’s, Otto’s Barbeque, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Quizno’s, Robek’s Juice, Roman Delight, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Starbucks, Subway, Teppanyaki, Treebeards, Wall Street Deli, 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. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $ new! Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L, M-F. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti
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Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ L Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Steakhouse An ideal location to enjoy a great steak, Spencer’s offers top-quality beef and boasts an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is light, engaging and conducive to conversation. spencersforsteaksandchops.com. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.577.8325. L & D Daily. $$$$ L Spindletop Seafood A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$ The State Bar Pub Fare Located on the second floor of Post Rice Lofts with a beautiful balcony overlooking Texas Ave., this upscale lounge also serves appetizers and hearty sandwiches with your martinis and margaritas. thestatebar.com. 909 Texas, Suite 2A, 713.229.8888. Mon-Sat. $ Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $ L Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. The bistro serves a selection of artistically and generously presented cuisine. Happy hour weekdays offer $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and its 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 Downtown’s newest spot for sports fans with large appetites and an arsenal of high fives. 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. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Vic & Anthony’s Steak House This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-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. $$$$ Warren’s Inn Fast Casual Let the good times roll with a killer jukebox, excellent drinks and a fun, bohemian environment. Quick sandwiches and other items are served during the day; you can order in from nearby restaurants at night if you have the munchies. 307 Travis, 713.247.9207. L Mon-Fri; LN Daily. $ new! Which Wich Deli A fast and easy build-yourown-sandwich joint where doodling is encouraged and the possibilities are endless! Which ‘wich will you make? B & L M-F. 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 cafeteriastyle 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.
Performing Arts 38 Festivals & Special Events 41 Market Square Park 43 Discovery Green 44 and more
Edited by Angie Bertinot
The Rite of Spring
dancer charles-louis yoshiyama / photo by amitava sarkar
This collaboration of Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky originally shocked audiences with its audacious music and controversial subject matter.
PERFORMING ARTS LA BAYADERE Through Mar 3 A brilliant fire god, opium dreams and a crashing temple – this is Stanton Welch’s La Bayadère, classical ballet with a touch of Bollywood. A colorful version of the Russian classic, La Bayadère is the lively story of Nikiya the temple dancer, her lover Solor, and the vengeance that keeps them apart – at least in this life. Recommended for age 12 and older. Tickets $19-$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org MAN OF LA MANCHA Through Mar 10 Windmills beware as the whimsical, fabled Don Quixote once again aims for The Impossible Dream in his quest to become a legend in his own mind. Drama ensues as our hero, Don Quixote, embarks on a noble quest to win the favor of his lovely muse, Dulcinea. With five revivals and five Tony Awards, this play within a play is an actor’s dream of expression. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com WOZZECK IN CONCERT Mar 1-2 Rooted in real life, Wozzeck’s tale is one of social criticism, lust, murder and morality. Feel compassion for poor Wozzeck as he falls victim to cruelty and descends into insanity. Tickets $25$104. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org A FEW GOOD MEN Mar 1-24 Aaron Sorkin returns to the Alley Theatre with a captivating courtroom drama. A Few Good Men is Sorkin’s first play, which ran for nearly 500 performances on Broadway in 1989 and became an Oscar-nominated film in 1992. Originally inspired by true events, this taut, tense thriller erupts when two Marines are accused of the hazing death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay. This hardhitting, suspenseful story puts the Marine code of honor on trial. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Mar 6, Apr 3, May 1 A Little Day Music concerts fulfill an important aspect of Da Camera’s mission to develop the audience for chamber music and jazz by making it accessible to everyone and part of everyday life. Downtown workers, schools, seniors and day care centers are among the many who enjoy Da Camera’s free lunchtime concerts. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. Noon. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com TCHAIKOVSKY’S PATHETIQUE Mar 7-10 Hans Graf and violinist Leonidas Kavakos join forces for a program that includes Shostakovich’s 1st Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org THE RITE OF SPRING Mar 7-17 When it was originally performed in 1913, The Rite of Spring, a collaboration of Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky, shocked the audience with its audacious music and controversial subject matter. To mark the 100th anniversary of this exceptional work, Stanton Welch is honoring the tradition of artistic collaboration with his own Le Sacre du printemps, a world premiere featuring art by the famed Australian painter Rosella Namok. Tickets $19-$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227. ARTS. houstonballet.org PERGOLESI’S STABAT MATER Mar 8 A program of dramatic and intimate vocal compositions – three of the Baroque era’s finest sacred works. Tickets $10-$61. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org LE POEME HARMONIQUE: VENEZIA Mar 9 In its Houston debut, the award-winning early music group from France performs music from the melting pot of 17th-century Venice. Semistaged in candlelight, the program is a celebration of Venice in the Golden Age, when art music and popular forms came together and mingled, before emotion and language were restrained by rules and codes. Tickets $29-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL QUIDAM Mar 6-10 Quidam is a thrilling combination of acrobatic artistry, technical expertise, extravagant design and exceptional musical inspiration. Watch world-class athletes tell the story of a young girl’s escape into a world of imagination. Tickets start at $40. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. toyotacenter.com
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ACIS AND GALATEA Mar 10 A new production of Handel’s pastoral masterpiece presented by Ars Lyrica. Acis and Galatea, is directed by Tara Faircloth and features a vibrant cast: soprano Blair Doerge, countertenor Ryland Angel, tenors Derek Chester and Michael Kelly, and bass-baritone Timothy Jones. Tickets start at $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org GRUPO CORPO Mar 14-15 Brazil’s contemporary dance company, Grupo Corpo (Group Body), has been on SPA’s radar for years and now makes its Houston debut. Directed by members of the Pederneiras family for 36 years, Grupo Corpo exudes a strong collective spirit amongst its 22 dancers who are limber and balletic, yet exuberant and grounded in percussive Afro-Brazilian footwork. Choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras’ Imã blends the language of lindy-hop, with its bouncing, high-flying partner work to express the law of magnetism as particles repel or attract one another. Tickets $35-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org WALTON’S BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST Mar 15-17 Belshazzar’s Feast vividly portrays the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. With driving and barbaric splendor and often compared to Carmina Burana, the story culminates in the death of Belshazzar, which frees the Jews from exile. Tickets $29-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org VOCA PEOPLE Mar 16 The Voca People have taken everyone by surprise – and delight – with a completely original, thrilling musical adventure unlike anything you’ve experienced before! Full of energy and bursting with fun, this international hit features more than 70 a cappella and beat box versions of the songs you and your whole family will love, including favorites from Madonna, Queen and even Mozart. No instruments, no sound effects—just eight incredible talents breathing life into the greatest music on earth. Tickets $35-$65. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
JERSEY BOYS Mar 19-31 Jersey Boys is the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30. Tickets $29-$86. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org JIM GAFFIGAN Mar 21 Tickets $56.83-$68.45. Bayou Music Center. 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com CRUZAR LA CARA DE LA LUNA Mar 21-24 Three generations of one family are divided by countries and cultures. As a MexicanAmerican family deals with the impending death of their patriarch, long-buried secrets are revealed. A heart-warming opera filled with evocative melodies, haunting images and the exuberant joy of mariachi sounds. Tickets $25-$145. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org DON BYRON NEW GOSPEL QUINTET Mar 22 Adventurous clarinetist and saxophonist Don Byron and his quintet revisit classic songs by Thomas A. Dorsey, the father of black gospel music. Tickets $35-$65. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com WEST SIDE STORY Mar 22-24 Join the Houston Symphony as it performs Leonard Bernstein’s complete, electrifying score live while the remastered film is shown in high-definition on the big screen with the original vocals and dialogue intact. Winner of 10 Academy Awards, the film, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, features Robbins’ choreography, screenplay by Ernest Lehman, book by Arthur Laurents and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Tickets $35-$132. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org VAMPS AND SIRENS: CLASSIC SONGS OF FEMININE SEDUCTION Mar 23 The talented Bayou City Women’s Chorus presents a sultry show with music sung by
alluring female characters from Broadway and beyond, like When You’re Good to Mama, Love for Sale, and Broadway Baby. Wortham Center, 500 Texas. 713.521.7464. bayoucityperformingarts.org DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL 2013 Mar 28-30 Now celebrating the 18th anniversary season in Houston and 21st season since its inception in Brussels, Belgium, Dance Salad Festival 2013 promises another gathering of world-class performers. Famous in their own countries, the dance companies have won praise from critics and audiences wherever they have toured. Tickets $20$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.621.1461. dancesalad.org DISNEY IN CONCERT Mar 30 Every new generation has a favorite Disney movie, whether it’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Aladdin or The Lion King. Be enchanted by the music and stunning visuals of these Disney masterpieces and more. Robert Franz and the orchestra will be joined by four leading vocalists who will perform the songs of your favorite princes and princesses. Tickets $14$79. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org LILA DOWNS Apr 5 Known for her smoky voice and magnetic performances, Mexican-born singer and composer Lila Downs has created one of the most singular explorations of Mexican roots music on both sides of the border. For more than a decade, she has performed all over the world, bringing to the stage her unique reinvention of traditional Mexican music, as well as her original compositions fused with blues, jazz, soul, African root, and even klezmer music, all supporting her soaring voice. Tickets $35-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org SPANISH MASTERS Apr 5-7 Composed at the request of the legendary Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, who is referenced in the work’s title as the Nobleman, Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un gentilhombre will transport the audience to 17th-century Spain, where the composer found his inspiration. Experience the rich sounds of rising star and Spanish guitar virtuoso Pablo Sainz-Villegas. Tickets $29$121. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org MAESTROS IN CONCERT – SHIVKUMAR SHARMA AND ZAKIR HUSSAIN Apr 7 Asia Society Texas Center presents tabla master and world-music superstar Zakir Hussain and Shivkumar Sharma, master of Indian classical music. Tickets $35-105. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com THE VESSEL Apr 11-12 Houston Metropolitan Dance Company presents The Vessel, a collaborative evening-length performance combining celebrated choreographers Peter Chu, resident choreographer Kiki Lucas and composer/multimedia artist Ben Doyle. Tickets $15$45. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. houstonmetdance.org
DEBUSSY’S LA MER Apr 11-14 As in Impressionist paintings, Debussy uses colorful musical brush strokes to conjure images of his travels to the seaside at Cannes and the Mediterranean. The shimmering movement of the sea left him with deep inspiration, illustrated in this orchestral work of beauty. Tickets $29$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org THE ELEPHANT MAN Apr 12-May 5 Tony Award-winning and Drama Desk winner, The Elephant Man, is based on the true story of the “elephant man,” so-called because of his hideous deformity. Its powerful and moving story chronicles the life of John Merrick, detailing his desperate existence in a Victorian freak show and his days as the toast of London high society. Playwrite Bernard Pomerance weaves Merrick’s tale into a parable on beauty, innocence and human dignity. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO Apr 17 Founded in 1974, by mid-1975, the Trocks were wooing audiences with an impeccable comic approach, while demonstrating that men can, indeed, dance en pointe without falling flat on their faces. Male dancers perform the full range of ballet and modern dance repertoire, and comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles and accidents of serious dance. And it’s guys in traditionally female roles! Tickets $35$65. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org TRISTAN AND ISOLDE Apr 18-May 5 A matchless work of art, Tristan and Isolde speaks to timeless themes: the inevitability of fate, omnipresent death, and salvation through transcendent love. Tristan has entranced audiences with its mythical power and majestic music since its Munich premiere in 1865. HGO’s spectacular new production provides a fitting welcome for the company debuts of Nina Stemme and Ben Heppner
HOUSTON Spring PUBLIC LIBRARY Calendar All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org EXHIBIT: EMMA RICHARDSON CHERRY: HOUSTON’S FIRST MODERN ARTIST Mar 1 - May 4 Emma Richardson Cherry (18591954) came to Houston in the mid 1890s and remained a Houstonian for almost 60 years. Through her work as a teacher, lecturer, civic organizer and professional artist, she helped shape the art environment of Houston. Almost alone at first, she laid the foundation on which the Houston of later decades would build a vibrant art culture. Julia Ideson Building. FUN WITH SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS Mar 2, 30, Apr 13, May 11, 25 Kids get to work on science
experiments! For school-age children. 3 pm. ART THING! Mar 9, 23, Apr 6, May 18 Learn about art and artists and make your own creation to take home. 3 pm. INVENTION CONVENTION Mar 13 This is a program of exploration, invention, and building. For school-age children. 2 pm. OPEN THE DOOR – OPENING CEREMONY EVENT Mar 16 The Houston Public Library is the first site on the cultural trail for the Open the Door project, a citywide interactive art exhibition
in the title roles. Tickets $20-$288. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org ERIC HARLAND VOYAGER Apr 19 A native of Houston and graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Harland is one of the premier drummers of his generation. This all-star project of young jazz leaders includes Harland, saxophonist and fellow Houstonian Walter Smith III, guitarist Julian Lage, pianist Taylor Eigsti and bassist Harish Raghavan. Tickets $35-$65. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
presented by the Texan French Alliance. Twelve doors, painted by six French street artists and six artists from Texas, will be installed on the Central Library Plaza. The artists will be present to interact with the public and discuss what the doors mean to them. Other Houston arts organizations also will be present, adding to the afternoon’s festivities, including the Houston Storyteller’s Guild, Urban Souls, Inprint, Writers in the Schools, a New Orleans style brass band, DJs, and other performers. 2-5 pm. Free. Central Library Plaza. JULIAN FRANKLIN, MAGICIAN Mar 16 Julian Franklin uses
magic, puppetry and humor to convey the value of reading. 2 pm. 4th ANNUAL BOOKS ALIVE! CHILDREN’S BOOK CELEBRATION May 4 Visit from Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the bestselling Lunch Lady graphic novel series plus hours of fun and entertainment for the whole family. 12:30-4:30 pm. REEL TEEN FILM FESTIVAL May 18 The Houston Public Library is presenting its 5th Annual Reel Teen Film Festival. Teens in grades 6 through 12 submitted their films in various categories. For most categories, prizes will be awarded for the best in each category.
indication, the future of Houston Ballet looks very bright. In the Spring Showcase, the gifted young artists of Houston Ballet’s professional training program perform works that spotlight their multitude talents. They will dance a variety of ballets, some created for professional companies, others choreographed especially for the program and for the young dancers. Come see if you can spot the stars of tomorrow. Tickets $26-$49. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
CAVANAUGH SINGS ELTON JOHN Apr 19-21 Back by popular demand, pianist and singer Michael Cavanaugh of Broadway fame performs songs from Elton John and other classic hits from bands such as Journey, Chicago, the Eagles and Styx. Tickets $29-$122. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
IL TROVATORE Apr 26-May 11 Revenge and passion on a monumental scale – this is grand opera. Verdi’s music illuminates this story with passionate dance rhythms to great theatrical effect. The score is expressive – melodies arrive in quick succession, each more stirring than the last. The result is an unerring melodrama that grips us with intense power. Tickets $33-$325. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org
BEN STEVENSON ACADEMY SPRING SHOWCASE Apr 26-27 If the quality of students is any
SUNIDHI CHAUHAN-ALI ZAFAR Apr 28 Two top-notch singers perform together with a huge orchestra and extravagant lights and stage
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FAMILY FUN Mondays Baby Time, 10:30 am. Toddler Time, 11:30 am.
Tuesdays Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am. Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am. Wednesdays Legos & Duplos at the Library, 3 pm. Thursdays Pajama Time, 7 pm. Baby Yoga, 2 pm.
set ups. A Bollywood entertainment delight that will be remembered. Tickets $35-105. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com IN THE GARDEN OF DREAMS May 3-4 Vienna 1900. The worlds of music, art, theater and ideas meet in this new Da Camera production that reunites the creative team of Sarah Rothenberg’s critically-acclaimed The Blue Rider. In the Garden of Dreams magically interweaves music, text and images. It draws inspiration from Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, Brahms’s last piano works, Strindberg’s A Dream Play, Max Klinger’s graphic Brahms-Fantasy, Gustav Klimt’s erotic paintings and Schoenberg’s passionate song cycle, The Book of the Hanging Gardens. Presented in collaboration with Houston Grand Opera’s new production of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Tickets $28-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com MOZART’S SYMPHONY NO. 40 May 3-5 From wunderkind to one of the great masters of all time, Mozart’s talent grew and blossomed during his short life. Hear the poise of his Symphony No. 19, composed when he was 16, and then experience the maturity and genius
PAJANIMALS LIVE: PAJAMA PLAYDATE May 10 Inspired by the TV show, these four friends, Apollo, Cowbella, Squacky and Sweetpea Sue, will delight fans of all ages. Tickets $35-$52. Bayou Music Center. 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com
of one of his last great symphonies. Tickets $29$121. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org WARRIOR CLASS May 3-Jun 2 Kenneth Lin returns to the Alley with his newest play, Warrior Class, as part of the Alley Theatre’s New Play Initiative. Warrior Class centers on Julius Weishan Lee, a New York assemblyman who’s been dubbed “The Republican Obama.” Lee is the son of Chinese immigrants and a decorated war veteran with a seemingly limitless political career ahead of him. Then someone from his past threatens to reveal a college transgression, and Lee must decide how far he’ll go to keep the incident out of the public eye. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org CHOPIN & BEETHOVEN May 9-12 Hear the glorious, soaring phrases of Chopin’s masterpiece and then experience Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, initially inspired by his admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte. Later, he became disillusioned by Napoleon’s ascent to power and literally tore through the dedication, writing instead, “Heroic Symphony composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.” Tickets $29-$121 Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BEETHOVEN 4 & 5 May 10 Once again Mercury addresses the greats of the classical repertoire and performs them faithfully to their original form with the passion and intimacy that have become staples of the orchestra’s identity. Tickets $10-$61. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org PHILIP GLASS AND THE PHILIP GLASS ENSEMBLE IN DRACULA May 10 Philip Glass fans, movie buffs and Twilight followers take note! Glass returns to Houston, along with the Philip Glass Ensemble, to perform his original score to Tod Browning’s classic film, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. Called “the most powerful composer of our time” by The Daily Telegraph, Philip Glass has explored the role of music as it relates to the moving image on film for more than three decades. Tickets $50-$70. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
ON OUR WAY TO CARNEGIE May 11 The Bayou City Chorale team up with the Texas Medical Center Orchestra and the KIPP SHARP Singers in presenting a powerful rendition of the astonishing Mass of the Children by John Rutter plus other songs in anticipation of their Carnegie Hall debut. 713.521.7464. bayoucityperformingarts.org
The Suicide Club and featuring beloved characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jeffrey Hatcher crafts a smart new Sherlock Holmes mystery. Todd Waite will play the iconic and illustrious detective in a spectacular, lavish production. Dark forces may be manipulating the deaths of prominent men in a plot so far reaching that the fate of Europe is at stake. It is up to the brilliant Detective Holmes and his old friend Dr. Watson to uncover the chilling secret of the suicide club. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre. 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
SPAMALOT May 14-26 Back by popular demand, Monty Python’s Spamalot is the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. With music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Eric Idle and John Du Prez and book by Idle, Spamalot tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN May 30 A one-of-a-kind film screening concert experience that takes you for an adventure on the high seas. The performance features the 2003 smash hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, with musical score performed live by the Houston Symphony. Experience this blockbuster as you never have before. Tickets $20-$89. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
A GRAF FAREWELL May 17-18 “Of all of Mahler’s symphonies, Resurrection has the most uplifting ending. There is a spiritual element in it that is hard to beat. Mahler’s idea to have the chorus emerge from the depths is spellbinding, like souls waiting to arise from the abyss to the heavens, following an irresistible crescendo to their apotheosis – a glorious and positive way to finish.” – Hans Graf. Tickets $29$114 Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
JOURNEY WITH THE MASTERS May 30-Jun 9 Jilí Kylián’s Sinfonietta is an exuberant tribute to the Czech choreographer’s homeland. Ballet Imperial is George Balanchine’s homage to St. Petersburg, to the choreographer Marius Petipa, who he referred to as “the father of classic ballet,” and to Russia’s greatest composer, Peter Tchaikovsky. The Concert is famed American choreographer Jerome Robbins’s laugh-out-loud funny reflection on the active imaginations of New York City concert goers. Tickets $19-$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
SHEN WEI DANCE ARTS May 18 Shen Wei was the mastermind choreographer behind the stunning 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing – featuring 16,000 performers right in the heart of The Bird’s Nest. A seamless fusion of Chinese opera, painting, dance and music with Western performance arts, Shen Wei’s works are “visual feasts” (The New York Sun) that transfix audiences. Tickets $45-$90. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
PINK MARTINI May 24-26 Mike Krajewski closes the season with a much-anticipated visit from Pink Martini. The group returns to Jones Hall with popular favorites like Brazil, Amado Mio and Hey, Eugene while injecting new songs bound to become mainstays of their eclectic repertoire. Tickets $25-$127. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Through Jun 26 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 as well as a variety of prepared lunch items made from local ingredients. Free. Wednesdays. 11 am-1:30 pm. 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540. urbanharvest.org
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB May 24-Jun 23 Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s
HERITAGE FAMILY DAY Mar 3 Join us for an afternoon of old-fashioned fun and storytelling. Free. The Heritage Society,
1100 Bagby. 1-4 pm. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org 54th HOUSTON ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Mar 16 The Houston St. Patrick’s Day Commission presents a theme to include the Irish and the Irish at heart, This Year We’re All Irish, with more than 100 floats for its 54th parade. Minute Maid Park and surrounding streets. Free. Noon. hsppc.org
GRAND OPENING OF THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY BREWERS TAP ROOM Mar 23 The first co-working brewery and collaborative brewpub in the world officially opens in Houston. The Tap Room will tap special beers each hour and host guided tours of the brewery. Half-off growler fills, special tasting flights and free swag such as pint glasses and shirts will abound. In the kitchen, expect a venerable beer food festival of delights. Noon-midnight. Kitchen Incubator, 907 Franklin. breweryincubator.com OVER THE EDGE Mar 23 Join the Tellepsen Family
photo by Joan Marcus
41st ANNUAL BUFFALO BAYOU REGATTA Mar 16 Buffalo Bayou partnership sponsors Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race, a 15-mile paddling experience from San Felipe and Voss to downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park. Finish line festivities start at 11 am with live music, awards ceremony, food and drink available for sale. Race entry is $40, attendance is free. Sesquicentennial Park. 9-2 pm. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL Mar 16 Enjoy a full day of ecoeducation and solution-based, interactive events featuring live music, local foods, living greener demos and kid’s activities. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. Free. Noon - 6 pm. sustainablelivingfest.com
YMCA as it goes over the edge of the Four Seasons in Downtown Houston. Watch participants repel down more than 29 floors of the hotel to raise money for programs benefiting thousands of Houston families and children. Climbing spots may be available Free. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar. 8 am. ymcahouston.org/tellepsen-family THE COLOR RUN Mar 24 Runners will experience the most colorful, crazy run of their lives! This run is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family, as they get doused with brightly colored powders along the route. $40 for adults. Minute Maid Park Lot, 1600 Congress. 9 am. thecolorrun.com/houston SIP & SOCIALIZE AT HOUSTON PAVILIONS RELAUNCH STREET PARTY Apr 4 Get a first look at the exciting changes coming to Houston Pavilions. Dance the night away to live entertainment and enjoy food and beverage tastings as you stroll through the project’s three blocks. The downtown landmark reveals its new name and what’s to come. 5:30 – 9:30 pm. Free. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin Street. houstonpavilions.com HOUSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL Apr 6 & 7 A stellar entertainment lineup, family adventure, music and tons of fun. Located in the area surrounding City Hall, Central Library, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. Tickets $8, kids under 3 free. 10:30 am-6:30 pm. houstonchildrensfestival.com
SISTER ACT May 28-Jun 2 Sister Act is Broadway’s feel-amazing musical comedy smash. Featuring original music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, Sister Act tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look – a convent! Tickets start at $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org
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2013 BAYOU BASH Apr 13 Join Bayou Buddies for its biggest fundraiser of the year. Featuring live music with Cool Beans and The Journey Agents, crawfish boil, pontoon boat rides, lawn games and libations provided by Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Guests will have a chance to bid on silent auction and raffle items to include local culinary experiences, outdoor gear, and a private boat ride with a history guide to tour Buffalo Bayou. $25 for nonmembers/$20 for Bayou Buddies; Day of the event: $35 for nonmembers/$25 for Bayou Buddies. Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine Street. 8:30 am-12:30 pm. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
ROOFTOP RENDEZVOUS TOUR Apr 27 Visit some of downtown’s coolest residential and hotel properties for the best views in town. Restaurant and bar stops, all within walking distance, are also part of the lifestyle experience. 4:30-7:30 pm. For ticket info, visit houstondowntownalliance.com HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (iFEST) Apr 20-21, 27-28 Spotlighting Brazil, there’s something for everyone at iFest. Enjoy family fun, music from 10 stages, food from all over the world and art markets. There will be plenty of kids’ activities, dance entertainment, cooking demonstrations and much more. The entertainment includes big names like Bootsy Collins, The Wailers and Aaron Neville among dozens of international musicians. Tickets start at $18 (advance purchase). VIP Passports available. Hermann Square at City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. 11 am-8 pm. ifest.org DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL May 4 Competing for the revered Dragon Cup, 30 corporate and community teams will race on a 250-meter stretch of Buffalo Bayou at historic Allen’s Landing in downtown Houston. This signature event is co-sponsored by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The festival also features Asian cuisine, music, arts and craft, and cultural performances for the whole family. Free. Allen’s Landing, Commerce at Main. texasdragonboat.com LULAC DISTRICT VIII CINCO DE MAYO PARADE May 4 The 21st Annual LULAC Cinco de Mayo Parade celebrates the pride, history and folklore behind the Mexicans’ victory at the Battle of Puebla. A Houston tradition with more than 100 entries. Free. 10 am. lulac8.org ART CAR PARADE May 11 Come and see the world’s oldest and largest art car parade in its 26th year. Watch more than 250 colorful sculptures – each with a different theme – transform the streets of Houston into a moving gallery. Free. 1-3 pm. Route begins at Allen Parkway at Taft and loops around Sam Houston Park. 713.926.6368. orangeshow.org
MARKET Spring SQUARE Calendar PARK BIKE RIDES
BAYOU BIKERS Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5 A 25- to 40-mile bike ride exploring the bayous of Houston. 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. Sundays, 8 am. CRITICAL MASS Mar 29, Apr 26, May 31 Critical mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month, to ride around the city as an act to raise awareness and advocate a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm.
MUSIC & MOVIES
CONCERTS AT THE SQUARE Mar 9 Cello Fury Three classically-trained cellists and a rock drummer. Don’t miss! Saturday, 8 pm. Apr 6 Walter “Wolfman” Washington
& The Roadsters Known to “howl” the blues, a New Orleans R&B and funk icon! Saturday, 8 pm. May 24 Grupo Fantasma The new generation of Latin groove music! Friday, 8 pm. ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS For those of us who don’t want to schlep out to the ‘burbs, we’re bringing the Alamo experience to Market Square Park. Enjoy these quirky classics under the stars. Mar 13 The Sustainable Living Fest presents Waste Land. 8 pm. May 4 Three Amigos (PG), 104 min. 8 pm. May 15 Best in Show (PG-13), 90 min. 8:30 pm. Big Movie Classics! Mar 27 The Odd Couple (G), 105 min. 8 pm. Apr 17 Singin’ in the Rain (G), 103 min. 8 pm.
SPEAKER SERIES INPRINT MARGARETT ROOT BROWN READING SERIES: AMBER DERMONT & JESMYN WARD Mar 25 Dermont, a past Inprint fellowship recipient and graduate of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, is the author of The Starboard Sea and will read from her new collection, Damage Control. Ward received the 2011 National Book Award for her second novel Salvage the Bones, set in the 12 days surrounding the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. Tickets $5. Hobby Center for the
SPECIAL EVENTS SUSTAINABLE LIVING FEST: HOUTOPIA Mar 16 Enjoy a full day of eco-education and solution-based, interactive events featuring live music, lectures, local foods, living greener demos and kid’s activities. Saturday, noon-6 pm. GO GREEN DOWNTOWN DAY! Buffalo Bayou Regatta 7:30 am-2 pm (ends at Sesquicentennial Park). Sust Fest: Houtopia noon-6 pm. St. Patrick’s Day Parade noon-1 pm (Minute Maid Park and the streets to the north). Post-parade festivities in the Historic District Shay McElroy’s, Molly’s Pub, The State Bar, Market Square Bar & Grill, Char Bar, Warren’s, La Carafe, Hearsay Gastro Lounge, OKRA’s Original Charity Saloon, Hotel Icon and more!
CINCO DE MAYO AT MARKET SQUARE May 4 Have a historic Cinco de Mayo by joining your friends and neighbors in downtown’s historic Market Square. Sample bites and beverages from the area’s diverse assortment of eclectic bars and restaurants. All day; Three Amigos at Market Square Park begins at 8:30 pm.
Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. 7:30 pm. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org INPRINT MARGARETT ROOT BROWN READING SERIES: JONATHAN LETHEM & JOHN JEREMIAH SULLIVAN Apr 22 Lethem is one of America’s most acclaimed novelists, essayists, and short-story writers, and his recent collection of essays, The Ecstasy of Influence, became a New York Times Notable Book of 2011. Sullivan is a young star of the literary nonfiction world and his recent essay collection Pulphead landed on the year-end best-book lists of Time, The New York Times, and Amazon’s Best Books of 2011. Tickets $5. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue. 7:30 pm. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s Market Square. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed, please. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. $5 parking is available across the street at Market Square Garage. 301 Milam.
marketsquarepark.com Be sure to visit Market Square Park’s Facebook page for info on special deals and happenings at the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS HOUSTON INTERIOR DESIGNS HOW TEXANS TOUCHED THE WORLD EXHIBITION Through Mar 22 An exhibition of interior design work by members of AIA Houston, IIDA/Texas Oklahoma Chapter or other licensed professionals practicing in Houston. All exhibited designs are selected by jury: Margaret McCurry, Tigerman McCurry Architects/Chicago; Rand Elliott, Elliott
DISCOVERY Spring GREEN
The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green spring 2013 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.
FRENCH CULTURAL FESTIVAL Mar 8 The kickoff for the annual celebration of all things French features French and local musicians. Concert is free, French food and wine available for purchase. 6 pm.
FLEA BY NIGHT Mar 16, Apr 20, May 18 A vintage market where everything old is new again with recycled, renewed objects. Live music, kid’s crafts and bicycle repair workshop, plus furniture, collectibles, clothing, jewelry and more. 6-10 pm. FRIENDS FOR LIFE Mar 16, May 18 A state of the art adoption center on wheels brings
pets to the people in style. Free admission, adoption fees apply. Noon-4 pm. EN MASSE Apr 20 A thrilling tribute to marching musicians. New music composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph performed by the UH Cougar Marching Band plus others. THE CHANGING FACES OF HOUSTON - CELEBRATING OUR CITY Apr 26 Presented with support from Houston
photo by Alan Parkinson
FUNOMENAL FAMILY FESTIVAL Mar 9 A day filled with music, rides, crafts, character appearances and more! Featuring Baby Olympics at noon. 10 am-6 pm.
PROJECT DANCE HOUSTON Mar 9 Dance concert featuring international dancers. 10 am-5 pm.
Public Media and Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Stephen Klineberg presents a summary of his annual survey. Plus, enjoy music and entertainment. Special thanks to the Kinder Foundation. Activities begin at 6:30 pm; program 7:30-10 pm. FAMILIES ON THE GREEN Apr 28 Discovery Green’s biennial fundraiser for adults and kids featuring activities and entertainment for all ages. Ticket prices apply. 2-5 pm. ARCHITECTS OF AIR Apr 28 - May 5 Celebrate Discovery Green’s 5th birthday by experiencing Exxopolis, the 20th luminarium by Britain’s Architects of Air, a sculpture of light and color. Special thanks to the Kinder Foundation. Tickets $5. Apr 28, 5:30-7:30 pm; Aprl 29-May 3, 10 am-2 pm and 5:30-7:30 pm; May 4-5, 10 am-7 pm. ART CAR PARADE SNEAK PEEK May 9 Get a sneak
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peek of entries in the 26th Annual Orange Show Art Car Parade. Enjoy UHD Thursday Concert featuring Texas Guitar Women. 6:30-9 pm. LOVELY TO SEE YOU: FAB 40 TRIBUTE TO THE MOODY BLUES AT DISCOVERY GREEN May 18 Houston musicians The Fab 40 channel the Moody Blues, in this free concert. 7:30 pm DISCOVER YOUR WORLD AT DISCOVERY GREEN Celebrating Houston’s international communities through music and performance. May 19 Celebrating Latin America 4-10 pm. Jun 2 Celebrating Asia 4-10 pm. Jun 16 Celebrating Africa 4-10 pm
FREE FITNESS IN THE PARK
Mondays Bum-ba Toning, 6:30-7:30 pm. Tuesdays Core Focused Yoga, 6:30-7:30 pm. Wednesdays Zumba, 6:30-7:30 pm.
Saturdays Blissful Warrior Yoga, 9-10 am. Sundays Discovery Hoop Dance, 10:3011:30 am.
BLUES AND BURGERS Wednesdays, Mar 6 Apr 24 Enjoy Houston’s best in blues music with a lunchtime concert. Check website for band listings. 11:30 am-1 pm. IKEA HOUSTON SCREEN ON THE GREEN Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a free movie under the stars! Mar 2 HOP (PG) 2011; 95 min. 7:30 pm. Apr 6 Check website for movie title 8:30 pm. May 4 Check website for movie title 8:45 pm. June 1 Grease (PG) 1978; 110 min. Celebrate the 35th anniversary of one of the most successful motion pictures of all time. 9 pm. CHIPOTLE GREEN FILM SERIES Mar 15, Apr 12, May 10 Discovery Green and Chipotle Mexican Grill
+ Associates Architects/Oklahoma City; and Collin Burry, Gensler/San Francisco. Mon - Thu 9 am-3 pm. PLACE, ADDRESS.
present films to educate and challenge us all to care for the earth. Check website for movie listing and times. HOUSTON PUBLIC RADIO SILENT FILM CONCERTS Mar 29 A Man With a Movie Camera. 8:30 pm. May 3 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. 8:45 pm. DA CAMERA JAZZ JAM Thursdays in Apr Celebrate jazz during The Smithsonian’s Jazz Appreciation Month. Organized by Discovery Green and Da Camera of Houston with special thanks to the Kinder Foundation and Teresa Demchak. Hosted by jazz educator Robert “Doc” Morgan. 6:30-9 pm. UHD PRESENTS THURSDAY CONCERTS AT DISCOVERY GREEN Family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of Texas and the Gulf Coast. 6:30 pm. May 2 Hadden Sayers, John Egan May 9* Texas Guitar Women, Herb Remington, in conjunction with Art Car Parade Sneak Peek May 16 Mingo Fishtrap, Tony Scalzo (opens) May 23 La Sien and Los Guerreros de la Musica May 30* Billy Joe Shaver, Brennen Leigh (opens) June 6 Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Curtis Poullard (opens) June 13 Papa Grows Funk, Electric Attitude (opens) June 20 The Suffers and Chase Hamblin
June 27* Grady Gaines and the Texas Upsetters *Saint Arnold Recycling Night, receive double reward points when you recycle six pack carriers at these concerts.
FAMILIES & CHILDREN
SPRING BREAK AT DISCOVERY GREEN YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP Young Writers Workshop Mar 9-Jun 30 Writers in the Schools, HPL Express and Discovery Green team up to offer Houston’s only free open writing workshop for kids! 10:30-11:30 am. Mar 11-15 Come celebrate spring break with your children at Discovery Green. Have fun with Baby Isaac & Friends, Houston Dynamo, Macaroni Kids, HGO To GO Story Book Opera, Houston Ballet, Fairy Tale Blasts, a Foam Party and more! Check discoverygreen.com for full schedule. TODDLER TUESDAYS Mar 26-May 28 Enjoy story time and activities with your favorite storybook and look-alike characters. 10:30 am. ARTSPPLORATION May 18 An arts in education preview showcasing more than 20 artists/ensembles presented by Young Audiences of Houston and Discovery Green.. 9 am-1 pm.
OLIVEWOOD CEMETERY: PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE Through May 25 Visit the Heritage Society Museum Gallery as it explores the founding, growth and future plans for the preservation of this lost gem of Houston’s past. Free. Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org THE COLLABORATOR: LIFE AND WORK OF SYDNEY ARCHITECT HARRY SEIDLER (1923-2006) Apr 4 - May 31 The Collaborator exhibition presents personal stories of 20th century art and architecture interwoven with times of war and peace through the life and work of one fascinating visionary - architect Harry Seidler. Curated by Vladimir Belogolovsky, founder of New Yorkbased Intercontinental Curatorial Project. Free. AIA Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite #120. Exhibition opening Apr 4, 5:30 -7 pm. Exhibition open Mon-Thu, 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org MICHAEL G. MEYERS STUDENT DESIGN AND SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION EXHIBITION Apr 25 - May 31 Winning entries by students of local high schools will be on display at ArCH. This year students are asked to focus their designs on an event center for the east end of downtown at the Bayou at a specific location, an actual construction site for an event center located in Houston. Free. Award Ceremony April 26, 5-8 pm. Exhibition open Mon-Thu, 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
CONCERTS BAYOU MUSIC CENTER Mar 2 Coheed & Cambria Mar 30 Deftones Apr 9 Sigur Ros Apr 12-13 Experience the Beatles with Rain Apr 14 Pierce the Veil & All Time Low w/guests Mayday Parade & You Me at Six Bayou Music Center concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 713.230.1600. bayoumusiccenter.com
HOUSE OF BLUES Mar 1 Big Gigantic Mar 3 Cradle of Filth Mar 3 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Mar 9 They Might be Giants Mar 10 Ryan Bingham Mar 12 Major Lazer Mar 13 Bad Religion Mar 22 Blackberry Smoke Mar 31 Hoodie Allen Apr 7 Parkway Drive Apr 9 Grizzly Bear Apr 10 Metal Alliance Tour w/ Anthrax Apr 11 Big Head Todd & The Monsters Apr 12 Tyrone Wells Apr 12 Slightly Stoopid Apr 14 FONSECA Apr 20 Crystal Castles Apr 21 The Rocket Summer Apr 24 Bullet For My Valentine Apr 25 Gaslight Anthem Apr 28 The Black Crowes Apr 29 Matt Costa Apr 29 The Airborne Toxic Event May 5 An Evening with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic May 18 Amy Schumer May 23 Florida Georgia Line HOB’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com TOYOTA CENTER Mar 12 Muse Mar 16 Eric Clapton Mar 18 Alicia Keys Mar 19 Maroon 5 Apr 6 Romeo Santos Apr 15 Rihanna Apr 23 Carrie Underwood May 16 Taylor Swift Toyota Center’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX. toyotacentertix.com
EXPOS TEXAS YOGA CONFERENCE Mar 1-4 Now in its fourth year, The Texas Yoga Conference (TYC) brings some of the best yoga teachers and motivational speakers to Houston, offering a city retreat full of presentations, yoga classes for all levels, lectures and fun music concerts during three complete days. Passes start at $15. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. texasyogaconference.com 38th ANNUAL HOUSTON HUNTING AND FISHING SHOW Mar 6-10 See and learn about the latest in fishing equipment, boats and tackle from manufacturers around the world. Talk to experienced fishing guides, book trips designed for optimal fishing and participate in clinics to hone your skills. Adults $9/Children $2. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. houstonfishingshow.com NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING & EXHIBIT May 3-5 The 2013 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits features more than 500 of displays of firearms, shooting and hunting accessories in the world. Free for members, open to the public. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. nraam.org
TOURS KAYAK TOURS Mar 2, Apr 6, May 4 Celebrate Houston in a whole new way and join the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for a kayak adventure through Houston’s stunning urban wilderness. All equipment is supplied for you including the tandem (two-person) sit-on top kayaks. Reservations and payment for tours must be made in advance. Cancellations must take place 48 hours prior to the tour. Starts at Allen’s Landing, Ends at Buffalo Bend Nature Park. 9 am-noon. $60 per person, reservations required. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org TOWER AND TREES DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR Mar 2, Apr 27 This walking tour explores the magnificent architecture between Hermann Square and Discovery Green as well as the changing dynamics of our downtown. Meets at City Hall, at the base of the reflecting pool. $5 for ArCH and AIA members, $10 for non-members. Hermann Square, 900 Bagby Street. 10 am-noon. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org LOOKING BACK HISTORY TOURS WITH LOUIS AULBACH Apr 6, May 18 Learn about Houston’s rich history from local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising down the bayou. Reservations required. 10 am-noon. Tickets $40. Allen’s Landing, 1001 Commerce. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
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BAT TOURS BY PONTOON BOAT Apr 12, 26; May 10, 24 Enjoy an amazing view of the bats’ dusk emergence and learn more about these magnificent flying mammals that share the city with us. Cancellations must take place 48 hours prior to the boat tour. Depart at dusk, time depends on day of the month (reservations required) $35/$20 for children 4-12; Allen’s Landing; 713.752.0314 buffalobayou.org BUFFALO BOAT RIDES May 11 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family and friends. First-come, first-serve, no reservations, 20 person max per trip. $7/$5 for children 4-12. Downtown’s Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou. 10 am-2 pm. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.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 $10 adults, $8 seniors and free for kids under 18. 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 TOURS Come visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery in their new location. Every Saturday, the doors open at 11 am and groups will 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 & 6 pm. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com
SPORTS HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767. astros.com HOUSTON AEROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.947.7821. aeros.com HOUSTON DYNAMO For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL. houstondynamo.com HOUSTON ROCKETS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 866.4HOUTIX. rockets.com
Spring is not just
a time of renewal. In downtown it also seems to be a time of rebranding, returning, re-imagining – you get the picture!
OK. So it’s not really so much a rebirth as a birthday party! It’s hard to imagine a time before Discovery Green, but this spring marks five years since the downtown destination made its initial splash. Houston’s favorite park is marking the occasion with all kinds of festivities, including Exxopolis, a luminarium created by Architects of Air. Exxopolis will expand across Jones Lawn and will tower approximately 30 feet into the air.
Discovery Green April 28 – May 5 discoverygreen.com
The City Hall Farmers Market is back after its winter break. Every Wednesday you’ll find fresh produce and an enticing variety of locally prepared foods on the grounds of City Hall. Grab something for lunch or pick up some veggies for a super-healthy dinner later in the week. The market showcases more than 35 “micro businesses,” including produce farmers, cheese makers, coffee roasters and baristas, bakers, prepared food vendors, food trucks, olive oil producers and more. The market also boasts live music and a Chef ’s Corner hosting Houston’s top culinary talent. City Hall Farmers Market 901 Bagby Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. greenhoustontx.gov
Houston Pavilions has a new owner. And a new name, a new look and new tenants are on the horizon. Mark your calendar for the downtown destination’s relaunch party on April 4. Live entertainment, tasty drinks and bites and a tour through the project’s three city blocks are all on tap. Houston Pavilions 1201 Fannin Thursday, April 4, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. houstonpavilions.com
We know Houston is a more than worthy, and now thanks to a new advertising campaign, the rest of the country is going to know it, too. The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a four-month campaign in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, the largest national destination imaging campaign in Houston’s history. The “Houston is…” campaign showcases our city’s strong, diverse personality through the strong individual personalities who help define it. Graffiti artist Gonzo247 is featured in the campaign, and will be creating a custom mural to be shared with the community. Check it out at Treebeards in Market Square! Treebeards 315 Travis visithoustontexas.com
Houston is growing its successful bike-sharing program. Thanks to a major gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Houston B-cycle is expanding from three to 24 stations and from 18 to 200 bicycles. Now you can grab a ride not just downtown but in Midtown, Montrose and the Museum District with four of the stations located at key METRORail stops. Using B-cycle is super easy. Just check out your bike at one station and drop it off at either that same station or any other B-cycle station. All you need is a membership, which can be purchased by the day, the week or the year. Houston B-cycle houston.bcycle.com
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your downtown connection. Hop aboard Greenlink, an environmentally friendly bus that runs on compressed natural gas, the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon fuel that is helping reduce CO 2 emissions. When you're downtown and need a FREE ride, look for the green bus. It's the smart way to roll.
Funding for Greenlink is generously provided courtesy of:
For Greenlink route and stop information, go to www.downtownhouston.org