downtown spring 2014
connecting you to the center of houston
spectacle discover downtown's remarkable art collection
Tequil a town
spring to it
fresh twists on the lime + triple sec classic
a bouquet of happenings to explore
hot co. mmi's new dt digs
market square park
sharing, linking, ridingâ€”a commuterâ€™s guide
urban linear park destination for premier shopping, dining, entertainment and events
8 Games on the Green events planned for 2014
260 bikes checked out from the Main St. B-cycle station every month
new water features coming soon
66,000 brand new pavers installed at GreenStreet
state-of-the-art bowling lanes at Lucky Strike
bottles of wine in III Forks Steakhouseâ€™s glass wine room
dynamic green space coming soon
8,000 mature trees have been saved through ongoing recycling efforts at GreenStreet
stages at House of Blues
5 blocks from Discovery Green, George R. Brown & Toyota Center
SPRING 2014 VOL. 6, NO. 3
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, Sandra Cook, Melissa Fitzgerald, Andrew Huang Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ email@example.com
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at dtmagazine@ downtowndistrict.org
Backstage / p. 5
11 tempting tequila
Looking for that perfect margarita? Whether you’re searching for a classic favorite or a unique new twist, you need look no further than the five hot spots profiled in this issue. by melissa fitzgerald
16 new commute
It’s never been easier not only to get Downtown, but to navigate its streets upon arrival. Whether you prefer bus, rail or bike, we’ve got you covered in this handy roundup of the best options. by HOLLY BERETTO
21 ART OF THE CITY
Public art can reflect the very soul of a city, and Houston is blessed with an abundance of pieces throughout Downtown. Abstract, colorful, meditative and traditional – each creation tells its own unique story about its creator and the city it calls home. by sandra cook
2 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. Published by:
Is there a better place than Houston in the spring? We kind of doubt it! Beautiful public art, great entertainment options, fantastic dining and so much more – it all beckons from the pages of this quarter’s issue.
hot companies Cindy Marion’s MMI Agency had long outgrown its Rice Village digs when the decision was finally made to move Downtown. Now comfortably ensconced in an ultra-creative space all their own near Toyota Center, Marion and her crew are finding that life Downtown fits the agency quite nicely. by HOLLY BERETTO
backstage The Houston Theater District springs to life this season with exciting premieres and plenty of classics. Plus, Antoine Plante shares why Mercury appeals to such a broad variety of music lovers. BY andrew huang
datebook Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
plate/sip Our comprehensive listing of everything gastronomic in Downtown Houston.
destination downtown map
Downtown’s rich tapestry
When we think about what makes Downtown special, many
things come to mind – our exciting restaurant scene, the wide variety of entertainment options, relaxing green spaces and, of course, a healthy business climate. But many cities boast of these very same attributes. So we started wondering what really sets us apart. And the more we pondered that question, the more we realized that our public art certainly plays a role in the answer. Soulful, playful, quirky, meditative, colorful. Downtown’s Downtown’s remarkably broad collection of art reflects Houston’s personality – brash remarkably broad and bold, warm and welcoming, always collection of art uniquely Houston. We are proud to reflects Houston's share some of our favorites in author Sandra Cook’s piece starting on personality – brash page 21. and bold, warm and We are also proud to report on just welcoming, always how easy it can be these days to make your way around Downtown. We won’t uniquely Houston. deny that we have had our transit troubles over the years, but the tide has most certainly turned for those of us who work, live and play Downtown. The modes of transportation available in the city’s center are more varied than ever, making it easy to navigate our streets and easily enjoy all Downtown has to offer. Read about the options starting on page 16. And we’re pleased to introduce to you to one of our newest Downtown neighbors. MMI Agency, one of Houston’s fastest-growing creative agencies. Once crammed into a variety of small buildings on the edge of Rice Village, MMI made a new home in their own unique and inviting Downtown space. Check out their new digs starting on page 3. As always, our datebook and plate listings, starting on page 30, can keep you informed as to the best things to do and places to eat. If you love your margaritas, check out our top five spots for Downtown’s tastiest tequilabased libations, starting on page 11. Be sure to visit us online at downtownhouston.org, where you’ll find plenty of info to help you make the most of Downtown. And please, let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to get your comments and suggestions.
Houston Downtown Alliance
ON THE COVER Claes Oldenburg’s bright red Geometric Mouse X is one of Houston’s most striking sights. Sitting in front of the Houston Public Library at the corner of McKinney and Bagby, it is the first public piece by a modern artist to be installed Downtown.
2 spring 2014
d o w n to w n's m o v e r s a n d s h a k e r s
b y h o l ly b e r e t to
Move Brings A Change in Perspective MMI Agency Relocates to Downtown
hen Cindy Marion, CEO of MMI Agency, realized she
needed new digs to house her ever-growing team of creatives, public relations specialists, event planners, researchers and support staff, Downtown was barely on the list. MMI had been happily rolling along for the last 15 years in its cozy Rice Village location, gradually taking over several buildings in a mostly residential area never made to accommodate the dozens of people who had come to work with Marion. She knew it was time to make a move. But Downtown? What about the traffic? Would it feel congested? Could she afford a place of her own? She wasn’t sure it was possible. And wow, is she ever delighted she was wrong. “I was so excited to find this space,” she says about her sleek, modern building on the corner of Chenevert and Pease streets purchased in December of 2012. “And if you’d told me the level of energy around Downtown, I’d have never believed it.” Marion couldn’t be happier about the relocation. Her firm specializes in communications-related solutions for businesses and organizations, handling everything from social media strategy, press relations, events, grass roots efforts, digital design and implementation to branding and events. In business for nearly 30 years, MMI has prided itself on being able to change with the times, moving seamlessly into the areas of social media and online access for its clients. Like so many entrepreneurial firms, Marion says the bottom line behind needing to leave Rice Village was all about growing pains.
“We purchased as many buildings as we could, these small houses and other spaces,” she explained. “And it worked very well for a very long time. But as we added more staff, parking became an issue, and we had several people sharing offices. We’d wind up going from one building to another for meetings, which felt charming, but wasn’t much fun when it rained. We had to move.” And what a move it was! Taking over the rectangular white, threefloor space at the edge of the city, with its sweeping views of the Wedge Tower and both the Toyota Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center, Marion says the space and its location are perfect. Designed by a hotel architect, the open-plan facility boasts walls of windows that provide panoramic vistas and enough space so that the MMI team has the ability to branch out. (Right before publication of this story, Marion had hired the 83rd staff member.) Minimal renovations were required, and the excitement Marion felt over being able to have a Downtown address is echoed by MMI members. “This is one of my happy places,” explained Maggie McDonald Malek, social media manager, indicating a corner rooftop patio she says has become a favorite spot for staff meetings, with its comfy couches and gorgeous views. “It’s never loud up here, not even during the rush hours.” Marion, who admits a love for natural light, concurs that the rooftop space is a particular favorite of hers as well, and she even brought family and friends up to it during the holidays to kick back and enjoy the sights of the city happening below. Malek says that she and several MMI colleagues will walk to Café TH or China Garden for lunch; she’s also been known to take a longer trek over to Phoenicia on occasion. That sort of enthusiastic reaction to MMI’s move is proving the real estate mantra of “location, location, location” to be true. Elsa Holland,
vice president of digital, loves the easy access she enjoys to the new space on her commute. “We’re just off 59,” she says, “And our proximity to the highways is terrific. I feel like I have the best of both worlds: a great space and an easy commute.” Perhaps no one has become a bigger champion of Downtown than Marion herself, who has always recognized the area’s importance as a business and cultural center. Thrilled to “The connection be a Downtown business owner, she feels she has a new perspective on what being we feel here is Downtown means. She counts the Greater exceptional. we're Houston Partnership, Opportunity Housreally at the ton and Shell as clients, and works closely with NRG on what she terms innovation heartbeat of projects. MMI also services Memorial City the city.” and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, two locations absolutely convenient to the company’s new home. There’s little doubt, however, that Downtown has become another part of MMI’s identity. “The connection we feel here is exceptional,” Marion says about MMI’s new spot. “We’re really at the heartbeat of the city.” That connection and the pulse of activity are evident all over MMI’s three floors, many covered with whimsical geometric rugs that indicate creativity lives here. There are cozy corners with end tables and chairs where staffers can break away for quick project chats. White boards line multiple walls, perfect for penning inspirational quotes, doodles and the results of brainstorming sessions. The huge first-floor conference room with its tables and chairs on rollers allows the entire team to gather in the same place at the same time, something denied the team at its former home. Conference rooms of varying sizes sport fun names of TV shows that Caption goes here.
4 spring 2014
feature advertising or advertisers as part of the story, including Mad Men, Bewitched and Bosom Buddies. In a funky twist, each of the building’s rest rooms is an entirely individual design, ranging from the kind of classy man cave that would look at home in a cigar bar to a chandelier-laden ladies room with bright green accents, a hold-over from when the original architect turned his own team loose to do whatever they wanted in the space. The front entry is open and airy, a stunning white space that gives visitors the feeling they’re in for something marvelous when interacting with this team. There’s even a kitchen with a restaurant-quality convection oven and an induction stove, and a smaller coffee room, where the staff has been known to blow through nearly five dozen carafes in a day, proving creativity really is driven by caffeine. And there’s plenty of parking, both in the lot at the back of the building and the adjacent parking lot that Marion leased next door. Since moving in nearly a year ago, Marion says the new location has really allowed her team to come into its own. In addition to adding staff and taking on new clients, she’s felt a new sort of team spirit, saying that everyone is excited over the move and the opportunities it presents in terms of working together, networking and morale. “Everyone is just really happy in a very different way now,” she says. “So many of our team are 20- and 30-somethings and this location is just great in terms of activity they can participate in after work and the morale and creativity have really spiked. This has been fantastic for morale.” “It feels like we’ve come into our own,” agrees Malek. “This is so very different from where we came from.” “We really feel lucky to be here,” says Marion, who has plans to expand the space into adjacent lots. “This is everything we could’ve wanted on every level.”
arts & entertainment
b a c k s ta g e .
karina gonzales and curry duffey | photo by amitava sarkar
by Andrew Huang
Houston Ballet's The Young Personâ€™s Guide to the Orchestra
photo by tato baeza arts / palau de las arts “reina sofiaˮ
pring signals newness, and Houston’s Theater District is springing to life with a dazzling offering of music, theater and dance. Try something new this spring and see why Houston’s Theater District is considered one of the best in the country.
Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold at Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera takes on its most artistically ambitious project in the company’s history with Richard Wagner’s epic Ring cycle, in a production from La Fura dels Baus, the Catalan theater company behind Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic opening ceremony. HGO’s Ring cycle begins this season with Das Rheingold, running April 11–26 in the Brown Theater. But first, HGO renews its celebration of the American musical with Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning A Little Night Music, which runs March 6-23 and the world premiere of A Coffin In Egypt, based on a play by legendary Texas playwright and author Horton Foote. See it March 14-21. Da Camera of Houston kicks off the spring with two powerhouses of jazz. Grammy nominated pianist and composer Manuel Valera on March 1 and legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter on April 4. Da Camera’s chamber music series strikes boldly all in one evening, with the Houston premieres of three towering figures of contemporary music, Steven Reich, John Adams and Louis Andriessen on May 2. From March 6-16, Houston Ballet celebrates the 10th anniversary of Stanton Welch as artistic director with a mixed repertory program featuring three of his works, including a world premiere set to Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Then May 22 – June 1, Houston Ballet offers up Modern Masters, a mixed repertory program featuring the company premiere of Jirí Kylián’s comic and delightful Sech Tanze (Six Dances); revivals of his playful and sexy Petite Mort; William Forsythe’s explosive In the middle, somewhat elevated; and George Balanchine’s complex and inventive The Four Temperaments. Society for the Performing Arts presents some of the best the world has to offer, and that mission continues with
Legendary jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter
6 spring 2014
Christoph Eschenbach paul kolnik
SamulNori, a company of artists dedicated to showcasing traditional Korean arts, music and dance with a performance on the Cullen Stage March 8. The highlight of the spring is SPA’s presentation of the internationally renowned Joffrey Ballet on March 21 in the Brown Theater. An intimate evening with 24-year-old French pianist Lise de la Salle follows on April 26. De la Salle has emerged as one of the most acclaimed artists of her generation, praised for inspired performances of virtuosity and depth. Alonzo King LINES Ballet takes the stage on May 9 in a celebrated contemporary ballet that has been guided by King’s unique artistic vision. Twin sisters and pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton close out the season on May 16.
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Theatre Under The Stars continues its long history of bringing great musicals to the stage with two Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musicals. First up is a new production of The Wizard of Oz running March 4-16 with new songs and staging. And don’t miss the stirring Evita May 6-18 in a stunning new production.
photo by brinkhoff / mÖgenburg
The Houston Symphony’s centennial season brings more world class symphonic music to the stage with performances of Beethoven’s
Mass in C, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and a star-studded pops lineup. Don’t miss multiple Grammy Award winner Chris Botti April 25-27. Sigourney Weaver takes the stage May 23-25 as host of an evening of great classical music set to high-definition imagery. Society for the Performing Arts will present the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on March 14. The world comes to Houston with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra on March 27 and the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan on April 5.
Warhorse coming to Houston May 27 - June 3
2014/15 SeaSon ticketS
on Sale now!
September 16 – 28, 2014
December 5 – 28, 2014
The Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center presents the best touring productions of Broadway hits, and this spring is no exception. March 21-23 you can catch the smash Broadway musical American Idiot based on Green Day’s multiplatinum album of the same name. Then you won’t want to miss what Time has called a “landmark theater event” – the five-time, Tony Award-winning War Horse, which runs May 27- June 1.
FebruarY 10 – 22, 2015
The Alley Theatre is one of the oldest regional theater’s in the country, but there is nothing old about what graces the stage. Theresa Rebeck’s new comedy Fool runs through March 16. Newsweek named Rebeck one of the 150 most fearless women in the world, and audiences devoured her NBC drama Smash. Award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn returns to the Alley with Communicating Doors, an ingenious comic tour de force where Back to the Future meets Hitchcock! See it April 9-27. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is an irresistible new comedy by Christopher Durang. It won both the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award and is currently a smash hit on Broadway. Catch it May 23-June 15.
march 17 – 29, 2015
maY 5 – 17, 2015
maY 26 – June 7, 2015
for information on these performances and many others.
8 spring 2014
arts & entertainment: p r o f i l e
Antoine Plante - mercurial genius M erc u r y B ar o q u e Q & A
eeing new performing arts organizations form and then thrive is exciting to watch, and for an example we need to look no further than Mercury: the
Orchestra. The mastermind behind Mercury’s rise is the engaging and charismatic artistic director, founder and conductor Antoine Plante. If you’ve ever seen Mercury perform, you know you are in for a musical journey. We sat down with Antoine to see what makes him tick. How did your love for music develop?
Both my parents are musicians, and I grew up in a house of music. We have a collection of early instruments in our family home, and my bedroom was next to the rehearsal hall. My father was a pioneer in the rediscovery and performance of music from the Renaissance and middle age, using period instruments. I did my studies in music, precisely double bass performance, which brought me to Houston to do a master at Rice University. Through my studies, I always had this great desire to share the beauty of music in a different way than what I was experiencing performing as a student and young freelancer. Tell us how Mercury came to be and what was your goal in
ized that our audience loyalty was based on the way we performed (intimate venues, standing musicians, spoken introduction, period instruments) more than on our repertoire. In fact, when we were performing music from the classical era, tickets sales often were higher. We decided to drop the Baroque out of the name, naming the organization Mercury, with the tag line: The Orchestra Redefined.
creating this orchestra?
The goal was simple – to bring live musical performances to more people. After being done with school, I funded an orchestra that would have accessibility and quality as main values. The idea of bringing great music to more people drove me. We perform in many venues, some unusual, bringing music to different neighborhoods. We seek collaborations with other organizations avidly. We perform using period instruments, instruments that were used while composers were composing the music, making the sound unique and most appropriate.
Where do you see Mercury in five years?
Mercury is growing. In five years, we will do more of what we already do – bringing great music to more and more people. Concretely, it means more sold-out concerts at our venue Downtown, more neighborhood venues. A growing education program with our musicians present in more schools. More community partnerships like the one we have with Methodist Hospital, the Museum of Fine Arts, Bach Society, YES Prep. Outside of classical music, what other music is on your playlist?
What have been some of the highlights for Mercury since it was formed?
A crucial moment happened in 2012: the organization changed its name, tag line, brand. The orchestra used to be called Mercury Baroque. At first, we were performing mostly music from the Baroque era, music from 1600 to 1750. We performed all music with period instruments. Through the years, the organization evolved and performed more music from other musical periods. I felt that the word Baroque was also limiting us in marketing and larger community involvement, including education. Doing some introspection and discussing with patrons, we real-
I love many kinds of music. I have a big collection of tango music. I dance it too. I have a wife who knows the words of pretty much every pop music song from the ‘70s up, so I enjoy that music with her. My kids love Elton John. Especially Crocodile Rock! What are your thoughts of Houston in terms of the arts scene and culture here?
Houston is an exceptional place. We invite great artists from many states and countries, and they are always impressed. The cultural scene is rich, what you would expect from a major city in America, but Houston is unique in its openness. I feel lucky to be an artist in this great city.
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.
at Dallas & San Jacinto 1201 Fannin (713) 658-9457 Follow on Facebook & Twitter • 3forks.com
D OW N T OW N
IS HOT AND GETTING HOTTER, IT KEEPS COMING, NEW RESIDENTIAL BEING BUILT, NEW RESTAURANTS & BARS, NEW METRO RAIL, & MUCH, MUCH, MORE!
T E R RY S TA N F I E L D ’ #1 d ow n tow n s
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Shaken not stirred
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt story & photos by Melissa Fitzgerald
is no longer only associated with the familiar “salt, shoot, lime, wince, repeat” method of imbibing. While the margarita has long been a go-to tequila favorite, Downtown’s sultans of cocktail crafting have been hard at work creating new twists on the classic drink. Check out our sampling of Downtown margarita hot spots sure to quench your thirst and excite your taste buds. Tequila
F e at u r e d m a r g a r i ta
Blueberry Jalapeno Cilantro Margarita F e at u r e d ingredient
Fresh Blueberries To be made in a 10-ounce glass 2 ounces 100 percent blue agave silver tequila 1 tablespoon fresh blueberries, muddled in glass A couple of slices of fresh jalapeno, muddled in glass 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice Agave nectar to taste 15 vigorous shakes in a shaker with ice Pour over ice and top with sprig of slapped fresh cilantro
#1 : El Big Bad The feisty sister gastro-cantina to El Gran Malo (located in the Heights), recently laid down roots in the Historic District Downtown. Like its sister restaurant, El Big Bad specializes in handcrafted infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and Mexican fare. “People are able to play mad scientist by mixing and matching our infusions, like red beet and vanilla or pineapple hibiscus,” says co-founder, Lea McKinney. EBB invites patrons to “come in and play, making a totally custom and unique margarita.” At any one time, there are 50 featured infused tequilas that are ever changing with the seasons. This fluidity means you could visit every day for a year and still not have the same margarita twice. Challenge extended. ) happy hour
7 days a week, 4 -7 p.m. $3 off all margaritas and specialty cocktails ) visit
419 Travis ? elbigbad.com
#2 : The Pastry War The Pastry War does not serve pastries. And the only warring you’ll experience will be the one in your head while deciding which of their more than 75 agave spirits will be most delicious. To this we say, good luck. The incredible house margarita features a blend of Key limes and Persian limes. And any of the menu’s agave spirits can be made into a margarita for an additional $3. Adding a personal touch to your visit, you can see owners Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta behind the bar shaking drinks to perfection on any given night. The two were recently named “Bartenders of the Year” by Imbibe magazine, so you’re sure to have one of the best-crafted drinks in the country. ) happy hour
Weekdays, 4 - 6:30 p.m. $5 margaritas, free games of pool ) visit
310 Main ? facebook.com/thepastrywar
F e at u r e d m a r g a r i ta
Mezcal & Green Chartreuse Margarita F e at u r e d ingredient
Green Chartreuse 1 ½ ounces Del Maguey Vida ¾ ounce green chartreuse ¾ ounce Persian and Key lime juice ½ ounce agave nectar Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Top with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig
F e at u r e d m a r g a r i ta
Prickly Pear Sparkler
#3 : Guadalajara del Centro
F e at u r e d ingredient
New and exciting things are happening all around the Guadalajara del Centro in GreenStreet, and inside is no different. Bar operations manager Jeremy Staggs has crafted some delicious takes on the classic margarita with harmonious flavors and unexpected ingredients. “My goal has been to change the perception of tequila through tequila infusions and tequila cocktails,” says Staggs. GDC currently offers three house-infused flavored tequilas to choose from: apple cinnamon, strawberry and cherry.
Prickly Pear 1 ¼ ounces Sauza Silver tequila ½ ounce Cointreau 2 ounces prickly pear puree 3 ounces TopoChico mineral water Splash of fresh lime juice
) happy hour
7 days a week, 4 - 7 p.m. $5 house margaritas ) visit
GreenStreet 1201 San Jacinto ? guadalajarahacienda.com
#4 : Irma’s Restaurant Irma’s is a favorite lunch spot among Downtowners and visitors alike. But Irma’s famous lemonade mixed in the margaritas keeps people coming back at night. The lemonade and other mixings are made fresh daily, with all margaritas handcrafted to order. And the cozy, relaxed atmosphere is always a warm respite after a long day. “Being at Irma’s is just like being at your mom’s or grandma’s house,” says Monica Galvan, manager and daughter to Irma, the restaurant’s namesake. “We have no set menu, the specials change and are prepared fresh every day, just like it would be at home.” While Irma’s typically only serves dinner three nights a week, they keep their doors open until 7 p.m. on Astros game nights to feed the hungry fans. After 23 years in business, it’s no secret that Houstonians love Irma’s. But be sure to check the wall of autographed photographs to see all the visiting celebrities who love Irma’s too!
F e at u r e d m a r g a r i ta
Irmarita F e at u r e d ingredient
Irma’s Homemade Lemonade 1 ounce Don Julio 1 ounce Cointreau 2 ounces of Irma’s homemade lemonade 1 ounce of Grand Marnier Topped with fresh lime and fresh fruit
) happy hour
No happy hour $10.50 - $12.50 margaritas, $45 pitcher (serves 7) ) visit
22 N. Chenevert ? irmasoriginal.com
F e at u r e d m a r g a r i ta
Frozen House Margarita with Sangria Swirl F e at u r e d ingredient
Sangria Makes a batch of margaritas ½ can (6-ounce can) frozen limeade ½ can (6-ounce can) frozen lemonade 6 ounces tequila 2 ounces triple sec 1 ounce Rose’s lime juice Blend until smooth Garnish with slices of lime, lemon, orange and strawberry
#5 : Last Concert Café History, quirk, music and a generous helping of color are all ingredients in the longstanding success of this Houston institution. Last Concert Café has been serving up their margaritas with a sangria swirl for more than 25 years. Owner Dawn Fudge developed her super secret sangria recipe when she took over management of the restaurant and has been serving them up ever since. Monday nights boast the happiest happy hour ever with a start at 4:30 p.m. and an end time of never. Just kidding, it ends at 2 a.m. – they have to go home sometime! Patrons of the restaurant can sip their margaritas with a side of live music every night of the week, with each evening featuring a different offering of ear candy. Entertainment ranges from open mic night to major touring bands to a Sunday brunch jam session with newbies and veterans composing music together. ) happy hour
Mon 4:30 p.m. - 2 a.m., Tues - Fri 4:30 - 7 p.m. $3.50 house margaritas ) visit
1403 Nance ? lastconcert.com
Post a pic of your favorite margarita to Instagram with the hashtag
#dthtxmarg for a chance to have your photo featured on our website. Salud!
I chose the MD Anderson close to me - Gary Truver, Jr.
When I had cancer, the worldâ€™s leading care was right here.
Katy Sugar Land
Texas Medical Center Bay Area
My team of experts focused only on me and my cancer. They guided me through advanced MD Anderson treatment options including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, clinical trials and support services. They customized a plan just for me. Three months after I completed treatment, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. MD Anderson was there for both of us. Having MD Anderson in our community kept me close to my wife and three boys, and my mom close to her grandsons. I chose the MD Anderson close to me. Find Your MD Anderson today.
GETTING there Options abound for Do w n t o w n d e s t i n at i o n s By Holly Beretto
We’ve all seen the images: traffic
And increasingly, those ways of
snarled on Houston freeways, lines of
getting around are becoming one more
cars on city streets, gridlock during
layer to the dynamic of Downtown,
rush hour. Yet, more and more, those
one more great benefit that makes our
who live, work or play Downtown are
city center so unique. They include
finding those images don’t apply to
bike sharing, jumping on METRORail
them. They know they have choices
and walking. They include commuting
about getting around our city center
via METRO’s suburban Park and Ride
– and they’re making them. Whether
or The Woodlands Express service
it’s a transition to living a greener
and using a free circulator to get
lifestyle, or solving the economics
of commuting, or even making a
No matter what the option, though,
commitment to walk more and be
the result is the same – it’s never been
more fit, Downtowners have a variety
easier to live, work or play in the ever-
of ways to wind up at the spaces and
changing, ever-exciting landscape
places that make our city tick.
that is Downtown Houston.
METRO MASTERS Houstonians know The Metropolitan Transit Authority, or METRO, as it’s commonly called, has seen its share of ups and downs. Through personnel and board member changes, to voting referenda on rail lines and splitting funding with county entities, the agency might have been battered about, but it’s emerging triumphant – poised to be a leader in Houston’s transit solutions. METRO operates the light rail line, city buses, and the Park and Ride commuter program. It’s also launching a system overhaul, looking at where people are living, where they’re going, and what services are necessary to get them there. Gilbert Garcia is chairman of the METRO board, appointed by Mayor Annise Parker. His job – and that of his fellow board members – is to set policy and priorities for METRO. He readily admits that their work was cut out for them when he first joined the board, saying the agency had lost credibility with the public and that regaining public trust was an important first priority. “We had to fix the challenges that faced us,” he says. “Now, we’re in a different spot financially, we’re excited about the referendum from 2012, and we’re looking to complete the three new rail lines, as well as improve ridership in the system.” Garcia, who owns his own financial management business, says METRO is poised to help Houston become an even greater leader among 21st-century cities. Already, the city has seen an expansion of its population as people come here from other places. Many of those people are young professionals, and he says they’re settling in places like Downtown and Midtown – and they want a certain kind of lifestyle. “Survey after survey tells us younger workers aren’t interested in owning cars,” he says. “They want to live and work in areas that are walkable and offer a balance of activities. They want to rely on public transit. So, we’re really poised to see a transportation renaissance, especially within the city center.” He says that the new rail lines will be an important factor there. In December, the North Line, connecting the existing Main Street Line to the Northline Transit
Center/HCC, opened and is already exceeding ridership projections. In 2014, the East End Line, stretching from the Magnolia Park Transit Center to the Theater District will be open, and that will connect parts of EaDo, by the Dynamo Stadium, into Downtown and the existing Main Street Line. The third rail line, the Southeast Line, offers access to the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. With those lines crossing through downtown, the opportunity for riders to access city center points with ease will increase, he predicts. “This is a whole new element of transit for Houston in that folks will be able to board trains and then transfer from one train to another,” he says. “Once they learn how to do that and how easy it is, it’ll be natural.” One thing that’s already a natural part of the reality of METRO users – especially those who live in the suburbs and commute into Downtown for work – is the agency’s Park and Ride program. Commuters can drive their cars to a location near their home and leave their car safely in one of METRO’s lots, then jump on a bus into the city. METRO touts the service as convenient and easy to use. Many Downtown employers offer their employees transit subsidies to use the service. This might come in lieu of parking or employees may opt out of a parking contract in favor of using METRO. One large energy corporation based downtown says its employees enjoy being able to commute via public transit into the office because they find it lowers stress and is easy to do.
That was echoed by David Podowski, who works in IT for KBR. He lives in Katy and has been commuting into Downtown via the Park and Ride program for the last couple of years. He takes the #221 route. “I’m about a five, 10-minute drive from my park and ride, and the buses run very frequently in the morning,” he says. “It drops off right at my building, and coming home in the evening, my office is the first stop to get picked up.” He says he thoroughly appreciates the convenience of his commute, and adds that whenever he’s worked Downtown, he’s always selected Park and Ride as an option. “I love the no-hassle factor to it,” he says. “I’m not worrying about traffic, I can read or listen to music on my iPod; I often pay no attention to the bus or where it’s going. It’s just easy.” Marc Veccio, a senior real estate manager for CBRE, agrees. He rides the #214 from the Park and Ride at U.S. 290 and West Road. In the morning, he says he has a six-block walk from his bus stop
to his office; it’s five blocks to go home in the afternoon. “I’ve been doing Park and Ride off and on for 20 years,” he says. “For me, it’s all about the speed of the trip during rush hour. Riding the bus frees me up to do other things, whether it’s the crossword puzzle or catching up on work, even just playing around on my phone, texting or being on Facebook.” Veccio says using the bus was an easy decision for him, since he rarely needs his car during the day. He also says
that the bus can feel like a cocoon on the ride home in the evenings, and he loves the stress-free environment. Environmental concerns – the actual environment – are another reason Garcia believes METRO provides such an important service to the Downtown area. Increased ridership on buses and trains mean that fewer cars are on the road, cutting down on emissions and improving air quality. Having fewer cars clogging the streets also means that it’s easier for someone not riding public transit to come into the city. And, naturally, he says, public transit makes for easy access to places like Minute Maid Park and the Theater District. Latasha Michaliszyn lives in the Heights with her husband, a fellow Dynamo fan. She says that they normally wind up in traffic when they go to games, fork over 20 bucks for parking and end up walking nearly a quarter mile to the stadium. She went looking for an alternative and found one in METRO. “It was a great experience,” she raved. “We were dropped off right in front of the stadium, and I was also really
impressed with how nice the buses are, air conditioned, automatic card readers or money slots, and nice seats. I’ll definitely ride again.” “Our job is to move more people,” says Garcia. “And it doesn’t matter if we do that with buses or trains. What we want to do is pick the best option for a segment of the city.” That’s one of the reasons METRO surveyed its riders and stakeholders last year, asking their opinions on the system and for ways to improve the agency’s offerings. Garcia says that METRO really does listen to its riders, so their voices are important. A couple of years ago, the organization did away with the popular Day Pass, which allowed riders to purchase a ticket for a flat-fee and ride METRO as often as they needed to. Garcia said, overwhelmingly, people wanted it back. “We recently reinstated it,” he said. Garcia also says that METRO riders have two new options to help them in the daily commute or just to learn more about how to get around, courtesy of two new smart phone apps. The first, METRO 360, is designed to help public transit newbies learn how to use METRO’s system. Users can see where bus and train stops are, determine the best time to go, even assist with fare calculators. The second, METRO T.R.I.P. (Transit Route Information and Planning), allows your smart phone’s GPS to pinpoint bus routes near your location and provides information on scheduled buses and route planning. It also offers real-time information on where buses are and when riders can expect them. Both apps are meant to help
riders get to their destinations quickly and easily. All of the changes are what Garcia recently described to a meeting of the Greater Houston Partnership as a “back-to-basics” campaign. He’s proud to report the agency is more transparent now, and information on the RideMETRO.org site includes everything from scheduling to board meeting notes to budgets to project updates. He says all of those things allow the agency to show to its riders and stakeholders that it’s taking their needs seriously and is working to constantly improve services. Garcia is excited for METRO’s future, especially as it relates to Downtown. “Downtown is flourishing,” he explains. “And with the expansions we have planned, people living, working and playing Downtown will have a much fuller experience. It’s going to be wonderful when the whole system is connected, and that’s going to be a big plus for our city.”
example, our staff use it to link with business partners and customers during the workday, as well as taking it to dining and entertainment venues.” Byford says the 28-seat buses bring added ease to navigating the Downtown landscape, and he said that being part of the venture fit in with his company’s vision. “We’re a global leader in natural gas,” he explained. “But we are a relatively new member of the Downtown community.” The group moved into its Main Street offices in 2011. “We’re pleased to be part of the Downtown community and to sponsor the Greenlink initiative due to its use of natural gas fuel – energy that is low cost, clean and abundantly sourced in the U.S.”
LINKING UP Once people get Downtown, they still need to move around. Certainly, it’s easy to walk, and the extensive tunnel system protects people from Houston’s summer heat and the occasional torrential rain. But what happens if you need to get from one end of the city center to the other? Enter Greenlink, the free and easy-to-use circulator bus system. Operating from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., it travels in a loop around Downtown, stopping at a variety of popular destinations, including City Hall, the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green. The seven buses, running about 10 minutes apart, are all environmentally friendly, using natural gas. “Greenlink makes Downtown more convenient for employees and visitors,” says David Byford, manager of external communications for BG Group, one of the partnering agencies that sponsors Greenlink. “For
SHARED ACCESS Another option for navigating Downtown is Houston B-cycle, the city’s new bike sharing program. The concept is easy: riders can borrow a bike from any B-cycle station, ride it, and return it to any B-cycle station. Three different levels of membership are offered to take part in the program, allowing riders to access bikes for a year, a week or 24 hours. Kiosks are located around the Downtown area as well as adjacent neighborhoods such as Montrose, Midtown and the Museum District. The program is designed to help folks run errands or get from point A to point B with ease, although in Houston, bikes are heavily being used for recreation purposes, with Buffalo Bayou, Hermann Park and Discovery Green among some of the top performing stations.
Designed to Inspire From bold sculptures to modest memorials, public art Downtown offers daily doses of wonder that unite Downtowners, Houstonians and visitors. by SA n d R A Co o k
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“Public art is intended to make a public space better, more engaging,” says Jimmy Castillo, collection manager for Houston Arts Alliance, the nonprofit agency that maintains Houston’s civic art collection. “The art itself is beautiful or engaging, but it also makes a park more inviting or a government building warmer and friendlier. It adds variety and inspiration to your everyday life. You encounter it whether you want to or not, and whether you like it or not. That’s the boldness of art.” One of Castillo’s favorite examples of downtown public art is Claes Oldenburg’s bright red Geometric Mouse X, which sits in front of the Houston Public Library at McKinney and Bagby. At 20 x 15 x 12 feet, Oldenburg’s Mouse is not only sizable, but was the first piece of public art by a widely recognized modern master to be installed in Downtown Houston. The combination of the crisp shape, notable size, and vibrant color are bold indeed, yet there is a modest side to this mouse: the piece was anonymously donated to the city in 1975. The second such piece was Henry Moore’s Large Spindle Piece, installed in 1979 on Buffalo Bayou’s banks near Allen Parkway (just east of Taft). It was a gift to the City of Houston from the Knox Foundation.
What’s the Point of Public Art Anyway? When asked “why do we need public art?” local public arts experts challenge us to visualize our city without it. “To help understand the value of art, I tell people to imagine a world without any art at all,” says Reginald Adams, a local artist and founder of the former Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston, who now runs his own art space at Vine Street Studios. “What would your office or home look like without paintings, photographs, pottery? What would our major parks look like without sculpture or fountains? Imagine life without music, theater or dance. How mundane of a life is that?” “If you ever visit a city that doesn’t have any public art, you will notice the lack of it,” says Jonathon Glus, president and CEO of Houston Arts Alliance. “Public art is one thing that makes a city unique. The types of art placed in public embody the identity of the entire city. These pieces link all the people that inhabit a city or neighborhood, because each person who has witnessed a particular piece of art has that common bond.”
Art Becomes Central Glus says it is important to give credit to
the corporations and private individuals who launched Downtown’s public art collection in late 20th century. In addition to Oldenburg’s Geometric Mouse and Moore’s Large Spindle, the late ‘60s and early 1970s brought a pioneering public art influx. Some thought it garish and pretentious, but today we can be thankful that this showy trend took root and became a common theme across the gray grid of the Central Business District. Works by internationally acclaimed artists grace numerous corporate plazas Downtown. The architect I.M. Pei selected Joan Miró’s colorful Personage and Birds in 1982 to mark the formal entrance of what is now 600 Travis (formerly Chase Tower, located on the corner of Capitol and Milam). Down at the intersection of Clay and Smith, both Louise Nevelson’s Frozen Laces and Peter Reginato’s High Plains Drifter on the south side of Allen Center seem to enjoy the view of the soothing Smith Fountain. HAA’s Castillo spotlights Richard Lippold’s Gemini II, which hangs in the lobby of Jones Hall. The vast, Space Age piece was commissioned by Houston Endowment and crafted by the artist for Jones Hall at the time of its design and construction in 1966.
01 Previous Listening Vessels | Doug Hollis
Previous 02 Personage and Birds | Joan MirÓ
03 Gemini II | Richard Lippold
04 Quilting Party | John Biggers
05 Geometric Mouse X | Claes Oldenburg Opposite
06 Houston Police Officers’ Memorial | Jesus Bautista Moroles 07 Points of View | James Surls
The suspended, 5-ton sculpture seems to magically glide and float as it curves though the vertical space provided by the multi-story lobby’s 66-foot ceiling. “I was part of the intense restoration process during 2008-09,” says Castillo. The intricate sculpture is composed of several thousand flights of polished hexagonal aluminum rods and is suspended on a system of golden piano wires. After the meticulous cleaning and re-lighting process, Castillo says, “Now it just glistens. The sculpture has a presence in different ways at each level of building.” A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it might take a thousand photos to come close to capturing the beauty of Lippold’s sculpture. Skip the photographic odyssey and explore the various balconies of Jones Hall — and imagine yourself floating through space alongside Gemini II. Another indoor art treasure in the Theater District, says Castillo, is John Biggers’ mural Quilting Party, which hangs inside Wortham Center, though it was originally created in 1980-81 for the Hobby Center’s predecessor, the Music Hall. This 7x21-foot narrative painting on canvas features three focal points: the morning star, the evening star and the family unit. Renowned for
murals, paintings and drawings, Biggers moved to Houston in 1949 to help start up the art department for Texas Southern University. “You have to be there for a performance or event to see it, but it’s a beautiful example of Dr. Biggers’ work and it’s great that a wide public has access to it,” says Castillo.
Art in Parks While lobbies and plazas host some of the first pieces of Downtown’s public art collection, the vibrancy of Downtown parks has grown dramatically, thanks in part to the grouping of multiple works of art in one destination. Placing several pieces of art in one park is not that new of an idea, but the methods for creating parks and public spaces that easily become a thriving destination for a community have come a long way in the past 50 years. The thoughtful development of Discovery Green (and the way it has been so instantly and wholeheartedly embraced by the citizens of Houston) launched a new era for park planning and the incorporation of public art in public spaces Downtown and across the city. Discovery Green’s founders sought the expertise of Project for Public Spaces to help gather public input and develop a successful plan for the new park. The strategic elements of co-location and synergy of multiple activities were key to the park’s plan. The artwork commissioned to boost Discovery Green’s appeal has helped draw visitors to the park and connect all who spend time there. “Site analysis and market analysis are so important,” says Cynthia Nikitin, senior vice president, Project for Public Spaces, and director, Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design. “You have to look for what speaks to the potential audience and make those thing prominent. Don’t let car traffic and parking be center of the plan.” Nikitin explains that art is essential, but it is not a magic wand. “When you’re trying to revitalize a neighborhood, there’s so much heavy lifting,” she says. “Art can’t do everything by itself.” After spending decades planning public spaces, Nikitin is a fan of art
that arouses curiosity or evokes mystery. “Margo Sawyer’s Synchronicity of Color is a fine example of this,” says Nikitin. While Sawyer’s designs boast no moving parts or sprays of water, the 1,400 colorful aluminum boxes that wrap the entrances/exits to the stairwells for the garage beneath the park transformed what could have been perfunctory concrete structures into delightful conversation pieces. Just try to visit Discovery Green’s Brown Foundation Promenade without hearing young and old alike ask, “What’s that?” and seeing countless portraits snapped in front of the cheerful display. Six years after the park opened, Sawyer’s colorful arrays of blocks remain some of the most photographed features of the park. Two pieces by artist Doug Hollis exhibit the artist’s talent for creating simple, yet exquisite sculptures that provide hours of entertainment on a daily basis. The metal form of Hollis’ Mist Tree is both beautiful to gaze upon and its curtain of water is clearly exhilarating to dance within, while his Listening Vessels serve as an inviting nook for a quiet moment, yet constantly amaze parkgoers with their unexpected amplification abilities. Art in Discovery Green also pays tribute. A bronze statue of the late George R. Brown honors the convention center’s namesake, who played a significant role in shaping the Downtown we know today. Even the world-renowned Jean Dubuffet’s Monument au fantôme — one of three of Dubuffet’s monumental sculptures located outside of France and its neighboring countries — has achieved a higher profile since is relocation from the corporate plaza at 1100 Louisiana to its livelier, lovelier home at Discovery Green.
Art for the People “Artists often need coaching to understand the relevance for the community,” says Nikitin. “It’s helpful for locals to co-create in some way — that may be contributing ideas or materials or volunteering on site. With a commission for a public space, the artist’s role is to interpret the community’s vision of itself. When the community shapes the
artist’s vision, the art can truly define the place where it resides.” One artist that absolutely aced the concept of community relevance and co-creation is Houston native Mel Chin. His gleaming Seven Wonders, the towers that seem to guard the back of the Wortham Center and the Preston Street Bridge, welcome vehicles as they touch down from Interstate 10 onto southbound Smith Street. Installed in 1998 at Sesquicentennial Park, seven 70-foot pillars rise from the park’s promenade. The columns, made up of stainless steel cutouts, highlight Houston’s history through the themes of agriculture, energy, manufacturing, medicine, philanthropy, technology and transportation. Each column is constructed of 150 individual children’s drawings, etched into stainless steel plates. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s online brochure for Sesquicentennial Park features this eloquent description of Seven Wonders: “By night, Mel Chin’s seven 70-foot columns glow like giant lanterns, reflected in the water and washing the back of the Wortham Center in festive light. By day, the pillars break and filter sunlight, presenting an airy contrast to their 30-foot high brick bases.” To create these “wonders,” Chin collaborated with Guy Hagstette, Ray and Hollington Architects and 1,050 schoolchildren. What looks like lace from a distance is actually laser-cut steel. To honor the park’s concept, Chin asked schoolchildren born in 1986, Houston’s
sesquicentennial year, to submit drawings depicting each of the seven themes. Selecting 150 for each pillar, he and artists Rachael Splinter and Helen Nagge translated each drawing into a computer image, which was then cut into stainless steel. These projections of the city’s present character came from the generation that will form its future.
Buffalo Bayou Blooms The recent improvements to the Buffalo Bayou trail system have drawn more frequent visitors to the remarkable sculpture at Sesquicentennial Park and its pretty pathways. Pedestrians on the promenade often spot a bright red button at the base of one of the Seven Wonders pillars. With no markings to indicate its purpose, only the very curious and/or mildly mischievous dare to push it. Those who do are rewarded with a mysterious performance from the bayou below. That was local artist Dean Ruck’s intent when he created this interactive art installation in 1998. Knowing that the bayou authorities were seeking ways to aerate the water, Ruck created The Big Bubble installation so locals and visitors could contribute to that effort in a small way and create their own experience and entertain others walkers or cyclists who happen by at the moment. Nearby, Ruck’s Sounds of the Past offers a similar audio treat. Other long-standing, renowned, yet rarely contemplated works offer inspiration along Buffalo Bayou. Though Henry Moore’s Large Spindle Piece has endured months of disarray, as its
surroundings have been rehabbed, it will be returned to its serene showcase along the bayou later this year. Certainly, Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance figures at Allen Parkway and Montrose are impossible to miss (even from a speeding car). Installed in 2011, the Spanish artist created these seven human figures to represent the seven continents of the world. Each figure is composed of stainless steel alphabet letters from many languages. Trail users can get up close to examine the intricacy of the design and reflect on the message of the sculptures. “I love seeing runners on Buffalo Bayou stop and stretch on the Tolerance sculptures by Jaume Plensa,” says Jimmy Castillo. “To me, it means they are engaging with the art, the art becomes a part of their workout.” The trail system improvements offer a new approach to Jesus Bautista Moroles’ Houston Police Officers’ Memorial, located on the north side of Memorial Drive (just west of Sawyer). To honor the police force and officers lost in the line of duty, Moroles used his signature medium of granite to create five stepped pyramids, considered a ziggurat design. 07
08 Seven Wonders | Mel Chin
09 Synchronicity of Color | Margo Sawyer 10 Virtuoso | David Adickes
11 Mosaic Benches | Malou Flato
12 Tolerance | Jaume Plensa
13 Mist Tree | Doug Hollis
14 Frozen Laces | Louise Nevelson
15 Monument au fant么me | Jean Dubuffet
16 Disappearing Gnomes | Paul Kittleson
Completed in 1990, the central pyramid rises 12.5 feet above ground level and features a small reflecting pool at its peak surrounded by inscriptions of the names of fallen officers. Four outer pyramids are inverted, sinking 12 feet into the ground. A smaller version of the reflection pool is near the parking lot for those visitors who are unable to climb to the apex. “The Police Officers’ Memorial is an incredible part of Houston’s public art collection,” says Castillo. “It’s a rare example of earth work, which invites visitors to explore the various levels of the sculpture.”
The site is guarded 24 hours a day by on-duty officers, while an annual procession and wreath-laying ceremony honors Houston’s slain police officers. This significant monument was donated to the City of Houston by a philanthropy consortium made up of Houston Endowment, the Wortham Foundation, the Linbeck Foundation, the Knox Foundation, the Cullen Foundation, Fayez Sarofim and Co., the Rockwell Fund, the Brown Foundation, the M.D. Anderson Foundation, the Scurlock Foundation, Neva West, and Albert and Margret Alkek.
City archives explain that the artist had intended the memorial to become a playscape and gathering spot for concerts and picnics. The sculpture’s design inclines the visitor to step down into the space before reaching the steps that lead to the apex of the memorial. Moroles pointed out, “you come up a lot farther than you go down.” With the new hike/bike trail winding around the site of this memorial, more Houstonians and visitors will encounter the remarkable tribute, perhaps paying their respects to the officers and engaging with the structure as Moroles intended.
The Little Park That Could
In the Historic District, Market Square Park foundered for decades before becoming the vital public park it is today. This historic block, the site of the first City Hall and marketplace, was officially designated a park in 1961 after the 1904 City Hall building had burned (for the final time). The “park” spent the next 15 years as a parking lot, you know, a park for cars. With much help from the Junior League of Houston, a landscape plan was finally approved and the green space was presented to the city in 1976. By 1991, DiverseWorks had installed several works of art by local artists, yet over the next 25 years, the park was largely unused. Shortly after Discovery Green’s smashing success, local groups employed Project for Public Spaces again to study the park and its immediate area for redevelopment. Not the kind of redevelopment that would turn the site into a shiny retail complex or office structure, more like a do-over for the park space, a second chance to become a real park — where people like to go to enjoy the pleasant scene. “Public art contributes to a greater whole,” says Nikitin. “The way a rug pulls a room together, art is a point of entry. Public art serves as an invitation, a beacon, a sign of intelligent life. Over time, public art installations become our landmarks and even become synonymous with events, such as 5Ks and festivals.” In addition to commissioning artwork, planners must consider the site and the potential for public interaction. “We are always looking at how public art contributes to a sense of place,” says Nkitin. The reopening of Market Square Park in the summer of 2010 has proved a remarkable rebirth. The only artwork added to the park was Ketria Scott’s 9/11 memorial Lauren’s Garden, dedicated to all victims of the tragedy. All of Market Square Park’s previous artwork, coordinated by DiverseWorks in the late 1980s, remains. Those works, centered on our city’s history, include Malou Flato’s glorious tile mosaics, James Surls’ airy Points of View, and historical works by Richard Turner and Paul Hester.
17 High Plains Drifter | Peter Reginato
Nikitin notes that public art is also a source of pride, as public art installations reflect that a city is investing in itself and states that art is worth investing in. “It does work well as a marketing strategy for a neighborhood or city,” says Nikitin.
Art All Around While large sculpture installations are easy to spot, smaller art experiences dot Downtown’s landscape, lobbies, corridors and gallery spaces. Last year’s addition of the Houston mural by GONZO247, located on the wall of longtime Market Square lunch spot Treebeard’s, brought a colorful
explosion of graffiti-style art blended with the city tourist bureau’s current campaign. “The design of the mural is set up so that these words that represent what Houston is about are stacked in a way that they’re actually holding the city up. They make the city what it is,” GONZO247 said upon its debut. “Then from behind the skyline you have this explosion of color that represents the energy of the city, our diversity and culture.” The vibrant message livens the streetscape for passersby and makes for one heck of a memorable parking space for the early birds who manage to snag a space there.
“The wAy A Rug pulls A Room togetheR, ARt is A point of entRy. PubliC ARt seRves As An invitAtion, A beACon, A sign of intelligent life. OveR time, publiC ARt instAllAtions beCome ouR lAndmARks And even beCome synonymous with events, suCh As 5Ks And festivAls.” Cynthia Nikitin, senior vice president, Project for Public Spaces, and director, Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design
Indoor art — think climate controlled — is often civic art, or art that has been purchased by or donated to a city, county or local public entity and placed in a public building. Look for civic art in government buildings, such ask City Hall (look up at ceiling of rotunda) and the historic, beautifully restored Julia Ideson building at the public library, next to City Hall’s Hermann Square at McKinney and Smith. Be sure to say hello to Oldenberg’s Geometric Mouse X as you walk around the main library building. The charming Ideson Building hosts a wide range of art, from murals to
“These smaller public art installations etchings to paintings to sculptures, all turn on playfulness in the corporate in climate-controlled comfort. landscape of Downtown,” says Castillo. “You can find something cultural “Those moments will happen if you’re and creative in almost every path from building to building, office to restaurant, looking for them.” restaurant to theater, wherever you “Ah”-inspiring are going,” says Jimmy Castillo. “My Downtown’s landscape offers passersby advice to Downtowners is experience endless fascinating, frivolous, and even your city, experience your neighborpuzzling moments of wonder every hood. Open your eyes, put your phone single day. in your pocket and look — look up at “There is no one type of art for the art that’s all around you.” Houston,” says HAA president Jonathon Glus. The Ground Work “Houston has been very conservative If you refuse to look up, then you might still stumble upon public art Downtown. in the past in the types of artwork commissioned,” says artist Reginald Adams. Unsuspecting feet will encounter side“But we have more and more cultures walk mosaics and downcast eyes will living in the city now, more artists from spot ground-level water features. other places living here, and most of The many Cotswold Fountains, muchus have a broader exposure to art and maligned during their planning and culture from all over the world.” installation, now help Downtowners “While Houston’s focus has been find their way amid the city blocks. more on the art and less on stories of These fountains give distinction to the the community, we are seeing a new sidewalks primarily along Congress and level of commitment to contemporary Preston, across much of the width of art, because we are quickly becoming Downtown, from Smith and Crawford. a more international, global city,” says Designed on a decidedly pedestrian Glus. “We now see the need to bring scale — not meant to complement skyscrapers or show up Chicago — they are in international artists’ work, as well as utilize local artists to tell stories of built to enhance the pedestrian experithe community.” ence. The fountains take various forms “Houston is in its infancy as far as above and below the sidewalk surface, public art goes,” says Adams. “That’s a use varying materials from glass to good thing, because the range of public granite and distinctive aesthetics from art can still be molded, like a child. We ultra sleek to earth inspired. There’s have a lot of firsts yet to come and even a fountain shaped like a baseball plenty of spaces and land still available.” crashing into the sidewalk on Crawford at Prairie.
datebook. Edited by NICOLE MARIN
Architects of Airâ€™s immersive kaleidoscope at Discovery Green envelops visitors in light and color. March 15-23
30 spring 2014
Performing Arts 31 Discovery Green 36 Festivals & Special Events 37 Market Square Park 39 and more
PERFORMING ARTS ALADDIN Through Mar 2 A run-in with the palace guards leads the young and reckless Aladdin into a whirlwind of adventure and romance in this colorful ballet based on the legendary Arabian Nights tale of Aladdin and the wonderful lamp. With unbelievable riches, love at first sight, treachery, a flying carpet and, of course, a magical genie, David Bintley’s Aladdin is ideal entertainment for the whole family. Tickets $19-$190. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227. ARTS. houstonballet.org RACHMANINOFF’S RHAPSODY Through Mar 2 Young Tchaikovsky Piano Competition winner Daniil Trifonov recreates the fiery flourishes, intriguing romance and devilish finale of Rachmaninoff ’s Rhapsody. The excitement will continue when conductor James Gaffigan leads the orchestra in the symphony that earned Shostakovich a 40-minute ovation at its premiere. Its final relentless crescendo will have you on your feet with its pounding timpani and majestic final chords. Tickets $25-$124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org FOOL Through Mar 16 In Theresa Rebeck’s new comedy, Fool, two kings get together and place a wager on their fools – a jester competition, and the funniest one gets to keep his head. Two evil minions have a lot to say about this, but not as much as the kitchen wench. And what’s the queen been up to all night? A dramatical comical farcical tragical play about power, love, laughter, and death, set in a medieval kitchen. Tickets $26-$80. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org MANUEL VELERA Mar 1 Pianist and composer Manuel Valera’s most recent CD was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz recording. Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, he has performed with such notable artists as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Dafnis Prieto (with whom he appeared on Da Camera’s series), Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Jeff “Tain” Watts. He makes his Da Camera debut as a bandleader with his New Cuban Express sextet. Tickets $35-$65. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Mar 5 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. The March concert features the Da Camera Young Artists. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Noon. Wortham Center. 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com TCHAIKOVSKY’S SERENADE Mar 6-9 In this Centennial Season concert, the superb musicians of the Houston Symphony take center stage. Concertmaster Frank Huang, playing a double role as both leader and soloist, will balance the delicacy of Tchaikovsky with the fierce solo tango lines of Piazzolla’s Cuatro estaciones porteñas. Its hints of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons only serve to heighten Piazzolla’s sultry melodies. The heat in this music will sweep you into the South American climate and lively atmosphere of Buenos Aires. Tickets $25-$119. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE Mar 6-16 Houston Ballet honors artistic director Stanton Welch’s 10th anniversary season with a mixed repertory program spotlighting his remarkable choreographic breadth – as well as the depth of talent of the dancers. The centerpiece of the evening is the world premiere of Welch’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Set to Benjamin Britten’s iconic work of the same title, this huge, collaborative piece features the entire company and the talented musicians of the Houston Ballet Orchestra. Also on the program is Welch’s Maninyas and the Houston premiere of one of his earliest works, Of Blessed Memory, a tribute to his mother, Australian dancer
Marilyn Jones. Tickets $19-$190. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Mar 7-23 Old flames are rekindled and new affairs ignite in this farce about famous actress Desiree Armfeldt and her weekend guests: an ex-lover, Fredrik, his much-younger bride, and his son – a divinity student. When Desiree’s current paramour arrives unannounced, the stage is set for grown-up comedy. Tickets $30-$100. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org SCENES OF CHILDHOOD Mar 8 Fairy tales and childhood memories from around the world are retold through music in this compelling program that features radiant mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke in her Da Camera debut, and Houston Chamber Choir performing David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, The Little Match Girl Passion, in its Houston premiere. Lang brilliantly and poignantly sets Hans Christian Andersen’s fable in the manner of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Tickets $28-$55. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
SAMULNORI Mar 8 SamulNori, a company of artists dedicated to showcasing traditional Korean arts, music and dance, was founded by Kim Duk-soo, the group’s leader and master of the Changgo (hourglass shaped drum). SamulNori has become the leading traditional Korean performance group and soon they’ll be entertaining audiences in Houston. SamulNori has collaborated with highly acclaimed musicians from around the world and has also performed with orchestras in concertos written exclusively for them. Tickets $23-$58. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org SCOTTISH SPECTACULAR Mar 11 Celebrate 50 years of excellence in the Scottish arts with St. Thomas’ Episcopal School’s Scottish Spectacular. Experience the fusion of Scottish-fold music with a contemporary twist. Featuring more than 200 pipers, drummers and dancers, this timehonored tradition promises to stir your blood and raise your spirits. Tickets $30-$50. 7 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 832.487.7401. stes.org
A SPACE ODYSSEY Mar 2 Join the Houston Symphonic Band for an exploration of a galaxy far, far away. Through this musical adventure, we will relive all six movies from Star Wars, Star Trek through the generations, and even bask in the masterpieces from Holst’s The Planets. To enhance this musical production, video projection will help bring the music to life. Don’t miss out on this cosmic production. Group discount is available for eight or more people. Tickets $10. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.com
THE WIZARD OF OZ Mar 4-16 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic. Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, this new production contains all the beloved songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com
datebook. STEVE TYRELL & FRIENDS Mar 13 With a little help from his friends Diane Schuur, Lew Soloff and Judith Hill, Grammy award-winning vocalist and Houston hero Steve Tyrell returns to sing with the Houston Symphony. Experience a night filled with once-in-a-lifetime performances of American standards like You’re So Nice to Come Home To, Bewitched, The Way You Look Tonight and I Get a Kick Out of You. Tickets $29-$119. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
triggers a searing examination of the past in this tour-de-force written for superstar Frederica von Stade. The story is rich with regional imagery by Horton Foote, the legendary Texas playwright and author. Tickets $20-$80. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org BEETHOVEN’S MASS IN C Mar 21-23 In this program of extraordinary contrast and similarities, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducts works of two great composers – Beethoven and Stravinsky – born more than 100 years apart but connected by their approach to composition. The music is indeed charming and disarmingly simple, inspired by the traditional hero of the Neapolitan commedia dell’arte. Tickets $25-$119. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
AMERICAN IDIOT Mar 21-23 Direct from Broadway, the smash-hit musical American Idiot tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album and featuring the hits Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Holiday and the blockbuster title track, American Idiot boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. Adult content and strong language. Tickets start at $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER Mar 14-15 A Houston favorite returns. Experience the power of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and see for yourself why this extraordinary company is hailed as America’s cultural ambassador to the world. From the pulse-racing thrill of contemporary favorites to the spirit–lifting joy of beloved classics, these magnificent dancers offer something for every taste. Closing the program will be Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, which The New York Times hails as “one of the great works of the human spirit.” Tickets $43-$118. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org A COFFIN IN EGYPT Mar 14-21 An intimate afternoon conversation
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ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Mar 27 The Israel Philharmonic has not graced the Jones Hall stage since 1993, and SPA is proud to present them once again. Israel’s consummate cultural ambassador, the Israel Philharmonic is under the musical direction of Zubin Mehta and led by Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Founded in 1936, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the country’s oldest and most influential cultural institutions and has dedicated itself to presenting the world’s greatest music to audiences in Israel and around the world. Houston audiences will be delighted with a program that includes Berlioz’ unforgettable Symphonie fantastique, and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No.2.
Tickets $33-$153. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES Mar 28 Fanciful and ominous concertos featuring Vivaldi’s recorder concerto, La Notte Tickets $10-$65. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY Mar 28-30 Centennial celebrations continue as Michael Krajewski assembles a night that encompasses American musical theater’s absolute greatest hits. You’ll hear songs like Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, Circle of Life from The Lion King and Summertime from Porgy and Bess. Tickets $25-$130. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org SUSANNA Mar 29-30 Ars Lyrica is proud to present the Texas première of this magnificent Handel oratorio on the Old Testament story of Susanna and the Elders, starring mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand in the title role. With soprano Melissa Givens, mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis, tenor Zachary Averyt, baritone Brian Shircliffe, bass-baritone Timothy Jones, and the UH Moores School of Music Concert Chorale, Betsy Weber, director. Tickets start at $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.com WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET Apr 1 Legendary saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter’s continually expanding body of work is inextricably linked to the history of modern music. A pioneer since his emergence in the 1950s, his trajectory has restlessly embodied continual exploration and unencumbered momentum. Tickets $35-$65. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Apr 2 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. The April concert features The Woody Witt Quartet as it celebrates jazz legend Wayne Shorter’s 80th birthday. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Noon. Wortham Center. 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com COMMUNICATING DOORS Apr 4-27 Award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn (House & Garden) returns to the Alley in this ingenious comic tour de force where Back to the Future meets Hitchcock. In 2024 Phoebe, a “private personal services consultant,” finds herself with an elderly client in a posh hotel room. She opens the wrong door and finds herself running for her life. Soon she is confronting her own past by way of a woman named Ruella, and the two join forces to prevent a murder, while Phoebe’s gradual friendship with that remarkable woman changes the future for both of them. Tickets $26-$80. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN Apr 5 Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, direct from Taiwan, will premiere in Houston this spring with the full-length work Songs of the Wanderers. A visually stunning tribute to spiritual pilgrimage, Songs of the Wanderers creates a world of intense reverence, distinctly Asian in its imagery yet with powerful relevance far beyond Asia. This magical work comes to life on an astonishing set with 3 ½ tons of shimmering grains of golden rice raining down onto the stage. Directed by internationally renowned choreographer Lin Hwai-min, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan was the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese-speaking community. Tickets $23-$83. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
HOUSTON Spring PUBLIC Calendar LIBRARY All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. Julia Ideson Library, 550 McKinney 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org ART THING! Mar 1, Apr 12, May 21 Learn about art and artists and make your own creation to take home. 3 pm
take things apart and see how they work, and actually invent using everyday objects. For school-age children. 2-3:30 pm.
NINJANGO TIME Mar 8, Apr 19, May 17 Crafts and games based on Ninjago! 3 pm
SUPERFUN SATURDAYS! Mar 22 Join us to play minionthemed games, listen to stories, and make crafts. 1-2:45 pm. May 10 Join us to play Wreck It Ralph-themed games, listen to stories, and make crafts. 1-2:45 pm.
FUN WITH SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS Mar 15, Apr 5, May 31 Do a science experiment with us. For school-age children. 11 am. THE WRITE STUFF! Mar 20 Writing workshop for school-age children. Room 479. 3 pm. INVENTION CONVENTION Mar 21 Kids will learn about past and present inventions,
BOOKS ALIVE! May 17 5th Annual Children’s Book Celebration with award-winning children’s book author Jennifer Holm. Children of all ages are invited to enjoy all the fun and exciting activities. It’s a full day of exciting performances,
hands-on arts and crafts activities, and special appearances. Jennifer Holm is the author of the award-winning Baby Mouse book series, as well as the popular Squish book series. Noon-4:30 pm.
Mondays Baby Time, 10:30 am. Toddler Time, 11:30 am. Preschool Story Time, 1:00 pm. Tuesdays Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am. Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am. Wednesdays Legos and Duplos at the library, 3:00 pm.
TCHAIKOVSKY’S ROMEO AND JULIET Apr 10-13 Conductor Laureate Hans Graf leads the Symphony in a powerful all-Russian program. First, hear the ripening love and impending tragedy in Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. Then, hear rising-star cellist Johannes Moser perform Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, a piece that earned him a special prize in addition to the top prize in the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition. Finally, thrill to the frenzied passages and crazed sliding melodies of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3. Tickets $25-$119. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org WOMENFORDANCE Apr 11-12 For two nights, the Houston Met will present and celebrate these established female choreographers in dance. New and repertoire pieces by choreographers Sidra Bell, Lauren Edson, Kiki Lucas, Kate Skapreptowska and Andrea Shelly. Tickets $15-$45. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 832.487.7401. stes.org DAS RHEINGOLD Apr 11-26 This stunning production takes us to a mythical world of dwarfs and gods, magical helmets, and a ring that endows its wearer with ultimate power. Deep beneath the surface of the Rhine, Alberich, a wily and treacherous dwarf, lusts after the Rhinemaidens’ treasure: a cache of gold. Whoever owns the gold and forges it into a ring will have power over the world. Unable to catch one of the beautiful maidens, Alberich steals the gold. And so, the legend of the ring, the greatest musical achievement of all time, begins. Tickets $35$357.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org CELTIC WOMAN Apr 13 This all-new stage production will celebrate Ireland and the Emerald Isles’ spellbinding Celtic heritage through an extraordinary presentation of traditional Irish anthems, pop standards and original music by Emmy-nominated music producer, David Downes. The Emerald Tour will showcase inspiring performances of timeless music with the unforgettable, angelic voices of Celtic Woman. Tickets $39-$99. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.com
datebook. BRONFMAN PLAYS BEETHOVEN 4 Apr 17-19 The Los Angeles Times speaks of Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman’s “technical prowess and unforced showmanship.” The virtuoso returns to Houston to lend both depth and brilliance to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Conductor Thomas Søndegård then brings out the droll woodwind melodies and exuberantly carefree waltzes of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8. Tickets $25-$124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
CHRIS BOTTI Apr 24-27 With his uniquely expressive sound and soaring musical imagination, superstar Chris Botti is heading back to Houston to perform some of his favorite tunes along with music from his newest CD Impressions. His tremendous talent combined with your Houston Symphony will ensure a very special night. Tickets $40-$135. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. houstonsymphony.org
DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL Apr 17-19 Tickets $20-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 877-772-5425. dancesalad.org MURDER BALLAD Apr 17-27 A love triangle gone wrong, Murder Ballad centers on Sara, an Upper West Sider who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. This sexy, explosive, new rock musical explores the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the betrayals that can ultimately undo us. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tutsunderground.com BELLE OF THE BALL Apr 24 Even today, nothing is more magical than getting dressed up and going to a ball. Graceful ballet dancers will partner with the Symphony, together with the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Chorale, to create the atmosphere of a royal ball. Tickets $26. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
ACADEMY SPRING SHOWCASE Apr 25-16 They’ve performed on stages in Australia, Guatemala, Hungary and Mexico and have been honored at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. In fact, these young dancers are so exceptionally skilled, it’s hard to believe they’re students. Yet they train at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. Whether they’re performing scenes from well-known ballets or new works created especially for them, the young dancers represent the future of ballet. Tickets $28$51. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org CARMEN Apr 25-May 10 The femme fatale is ubiquitous in literature, from the biblical Delilah to Shakespeare’s Cleopatra to the smoky, dangerous beauties of the film noir era. But none embody this character like Carmen, a sexual bird of prey whose charms lead Don José into a fatalistic chain of events, uncontrollable passion, jealousy, and bloodshed. Tickets $35$341. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org LISE DE LA SALLE Apr 26 French pianist Lise de la Salle has emerged as one of the most acclaimed artists of her generation, praised for inspired performances of virtuosity and depth. She has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and many other world-class orchestras. De la Salle began playing piano at the age of 4 and gave her first concert at 9 in a live broadcast on Radio-France. At 16, she came to international attention with her Bach/Liszt recording for Naive Records, which was selected by Gramophone as Recording of the Month. Tickets $23$58.. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org BEETHOVEN’S TRIPLE CONCERTO May 1-4 The Houston Symphony’s concertmaster Frank Huang and prin-
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cipal cellist Brinton Averil Smith join pianist Joyce Yang for a moving performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. After intermission, take in the brooding tranquility of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5. In the last movement of this mysterious work, hear a glorious horn theme paint a picture of the summer sun coming through the parting clouds. Tickets $25-$124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org IT GETS BETTER May 2 It gets better is a moving performance that uses the power of song and story to transform painful histories of bullying, harassment and discrimination into a celebration of courage and a campaign for social justice in Houston. The program features a touring cast who will be joined by Houston’s own Bayou City Performing Arts. Through a performance created under the direction of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, SPA and its collaborative partners Legacy Community Health Services and Bayou City Performing Arts will have an opportunity to address bullying on a local level through the performing arts. Tickets $23-$53. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org LATE STYLE NOW: ADAMS, ANDRIESSEN, REICH May 2 The trailblazing renegades John Adams, Louis Andriessen and Steve Reich changed the course of late 20th-century music and are now creating the works that define their late styles. Be among the first to experience these new pieces when Da Camera presents the Houston premieres of works by three towering figures in contemporary music. Tickets $28-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com BEETHOVEN 6 & 7 May 3 Join Mercury as they present Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony; a pastoral masterpiece alongside his Seventh, written while the composer was recovering in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice. Tickets $10$65.. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org SLEEPING BEAUTY May 3 Uptown Dance Company presents this fairy tale classic. Tickets $11-$26.95. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.com EVITA May 6-18 Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical returns at last. Eva Perón used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world — while her greed, outsized ambition and fragile health made her one of the most tragic. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com A LITTLE DAY MUSIC May 7 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. The May concert features the Da Camera Young Artists. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide
variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Noon. Wortham Center. 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com ALONZO KING LINES BALLET May 9 Based in San Francisco, Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a celebrated contemporary ballet company guided by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians and visual artists from around the world, Alonzo King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. The company’s Houston debut performance will feature the works Scheherazade and Resin. Tickets $23-$73. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org A BAROQUE WEDDING FEAST May 9 The Ars Lyrica season finale is a program of springtime Baroque favorites, including two gorgeous Bach wedding cantatas featuring soprano Meghan Lindsay, Pachelbel’s beloved Canon and Gigue in D Major, and a rollicking Telemann suite. This is one wedding feast you won’t want to miss! Tickets start at $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.com SYMPHONY OF A THOUSAND May 9-10 Former Music Director Christoph Eschenbach returns to conduct two spectacular evenings of music from one of his favorite composers. Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is commonly referred to as the Symphony of a Thousand due to the huge number of performers required on stage. Watch in awe as more than 250 musicians, chorus members and vocal soloists join together – complete with a special stage extension – for a oncein-a-lifetime, powerful experience of music. Tickets $29-$145. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org CHRISTINA AND MICHELLE NAUGHTON, DUELING PIANOS May 16 Twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton are two pianists who are “paired to perfection,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. During the 2008-2009 season, the Naughton sisters made debuts at the Kennedy Center with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts with The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Steinway Artists are graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music in
Philadelphia and recently recorded their first album at the Sendesaal in Bremen, Germany, which was released worldwide in December 2012. Tickets $23-$58. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org VIVA EL TANGO! May 18 This concert will feature Argentinian tango in all of its expressions: through music, dance and song. The orchestra will be accompanied by tango dancers, singers and bandoneón master and Grammy winner, Raul Jaurena. The season’s closing concert also features Isaac Albeniz’s Asturias and The Three-Cornered Hat by Manuel de Falla. Tickets $30-$40. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7401. tmcorchestra.org MODERN MASTERS May 22-Jun 1 Explosive energy. High attitude. Cool sexuality. This mixed rep has it all – and then some. Four Temperaments was a milestone for George Balanchine, introducing the spare classicism he would employ throughout his career. His choreographic influence is evident in the works that follow. William Forsythe’s In the middle somewhat elevated is an in-your-face dance. Jiri Kylián’s Petite Mort is filled with eroticism and his delightfully comic Sechs Tanze (Six Dances) provides levity. From three of the most influential dance makers of the last 100 years comes a truly masterful program. Tickets $19-$190. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE May 23-Jun 15 Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the irresistible new comedy by Christopher Durang, won both the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama
Desk Award, and is currently a smash hit on Broadway. Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star. When Masha returns unannounced with her 20-something boy toy, Spike, so begins an unforgettable weekend of rivalry, regret, and generally hilarious racket. Tickets $26-$80. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
SYMPHONIC SPECTACULAR! May 23-25 With host Sigourney Weaver as your guide, using high definition video imagery stills and animation of landscapes, nature and stunning lighting, the Symphony will visually explore classical music’s most beloved hits including, Waltz of the Flowers, 1812 Overture and Flight of the Bumblebee. Tickets $29-$130. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org AN EVENING WITH CHRIS MITCHELL May 24 National sax superstar Chris Mitchell isn’t content to be defined by one genre. His repertoire includes jazz standards, instrumental covers of big band tunes and silk-smooth versions of R&B hits. In this special Wortham Center concert, his electric talent is showcased. Tickets $32-$45. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7401. worthamcenter.org WAR HORSE May 27-Jun 1 A heart-warming tale of loyalty and friendship, War Horse is the winner of five 2011 Tony Awards. As World War I begins, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped from England to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. This powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs, is a show of phenomenal inventiveness that is currently playing to packed houses in London and around the world. At its heart are astonishing life-sized puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, that bring to life breathing, galloping, charging horses strong enough for men to ride. Tickets start at $42. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org GOOD PEOPLE May 30-Jun 29 Nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play, Good People is a funny, tough and
DISCOVERY Spring GREEN Calendar The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green spring 2014 events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com
SPECIAL EVENTS FUNomenal Family Festival Mar 8 A family fun day in the park filled with music, rides, crafts, character appearances, Baby Olympics and more. 10 am-6 pm. Discovery Green Flea Mar 15 Kids’ activities, food trucks, live music, bicycle repair workshop and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, jewelry and more. 11 am-5 pm.
Discovery Green Flea by Night Apr 19, May 17 Food trucks, live music and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, jewelry, art and more under the stars and twinkle lights! 6-10 pm.
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Architects of Air Mar 15-23 This immersive kaleidoscope of light and color by Britain’s Architects of Air returns to Discovery Green with Miracoco, an exciting new luminarium. Presented with funding from the Kinder Foundation. Please note admission is limited to 80 people at one time. Check website for wait times, ticket and speedpass information. Tickets $10; children under 3 are free. Special pricing - $5 tickets available for
Monday, March 17 only. Open daily from 10 am-7 pm. Tango and Tchaikovsky: The Houston Symphony at Discovery Green April 22 A tango-
inspired birthday celebration 106 years in the making! Enjoy free wine tasting and tango lessons, plus listen to the Houston Symphony perform Astor Pizzolla’s work Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. 6:30 pm.
Entertainment AT THE park IKEA HOUSTON SCREEN ON THE GREEN Catch a free flick in the shadow of Houston’s
skyline. Arrive one hour early for contests and activities. Mar 22 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (PG-13) 2013, 146 min. 8:15 pm. Apr 12 Wall-E (G) 2008, 98 min. 8:30 pm. May 10 Back to the Future
(PG) 1985, 116 min. 8:45 pm. H-E-B Movie Night May 30 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG) 2013, 95 min. Activities start at 7:45 pm, movie 8:45 pm. UHD PRESENTS THURSDAY CONCERTS @ DISCOVERY GREEN Family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of the Gulf Coast. Anheuser-Busch Stage. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages. Food, beer and wine are available for purchase. Co-sponsors: Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Cactus Music, Houston Press, 90.1 KPFT-FM, KTSU-FM. 6:30 pm. *Recycle your Saint Arnold six-pack carriers and double your reward points at this concert. May 8* Bill Kirchen & Too Much FUN, and The Hollisters May 15 Chuck Mead of BR549 & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Deep Cuts (opens) May 22 Quiet Company, Finnegan May 29* Kashmere Reunion Stage Band, The Peterson Brothers (opens)
ART IN THE PARK DA CAMERA JAM Free concerts organized by Discovery Green and Da Camera of Houston to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month. Presented with funding from the Kinder Foundation and Houston Arts Alliance. Co-sponsored by KTSU-FM. Apr 10 Trumpet Summit featuring Marvin Stamm and Dennis Dotson; Mike Wheeler Trio opens. 6:30 pm. Apr 17 UH Moores School Jazz Ensemble; Moores School Jazz Combo opens. 6:30 pm. Apr 24 The amazing Jacqui Sutton with the Frontier Jazz Orchestra. 6:30 pm. May 16 Fats Waller Dance Party. Presented for the first time in Houston, this show honors the great Fats Waller. Houston’s own Jason Moran, and vocalist Meshell Ndegeocello bring jazz back to its origins: dance music. HSPVA Jazz Combo opens. 7:30 pm. Discover Dance Apr 6 A joyous day of dance featuring African, ballroom, Bollywood, Chinese, ecstatic, folk, hip-hop, Jamaican,
Lindy hop, rhumba, salsa, square and tango! Individuals and groups invited to register at dancehouston.org. 2-5 pm. Houston Public Media Silent Film Concert: Celebrating 100 Years of Chaplin’s Tramp Apr 18 Renowned pianist Loreta Kovacic and theremin player Joe Parini perform original music to some of the earliest Chaplin short films. Join our dress like the Tramp contest! Activities 7:30 pm, film 8:30 pm. Art Car Sneak Peak May 8 Houston’s one-and-only Art Car Parade powered by The Orange Show. Get a sneak peak, party with artists and enjoy UHD Thursday concert. 6:30-9 pm.
healthy living at the park Chipotle Green Film Series Films that educate and challenge us to care for the earth. Arrive early for activities and samples from Chipotle, Saint Arnold and Barefoot Bubbly. Mar 21 Farmed and Dangerous (PG) 2014, 88 min. 8:15 pm. April 25 Food Patriots 2013, 73 min. 8:30 pm.
May 9 A Place at the Table (PG) 2012, 84 min. 8:30 pm. Kayak Rides on Kinder Lake Weekends, Mar 29-May 31 Enjoy a relaxing, guided kayak ride. $5 per person, no reservation required. 11-5 pm. Kayak Class Wednesdays, Apr 2- May 28 Learn the safety and instruction of kayaking. Must be at least 18 years old to participate. 6:30-7:30 pm. Kayak Camp Apr 6, May 4 Children ages 5-16 years old learn safety, instruction and paddling techniques. $5 per person. 11-5 pm. Recycling Saturdays Mar 1-May 31 Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to the mobile recycling station at Discovery Green. 10-2 pm.
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.
families & children Spring Break at Discovery Green Mar 17- 21 Come celebrate Spring Break with your children. Have fun with HGO To Go Story Book Opera, Fairy Tale Blasts, activities, rides and more.
Toddler Tuesdays Presented by Amerigroup RealSolutions® Mar 25-May 27 Enjoy story time and activities like an egg hunt with your favorite characters like Curious George and Peter Cottontail. 10:30 am. Young Writers Workshop Saturdays, Mar 1-May 31 Houston’s only free writing workshop for kids presented by Writers in the Schools, HPL Express and Discovery Green. 10:30-11:30 am. Space City Grand Slam - Meta-Four Houston Apr 26 Young poets vie for a spot on 2014 Meta-Four Houston Team. Presented in partnership with WITS and Houston Public Library. 6-8 pm.
other events in the park French Cultures Festival Mar 7 Celebrating French language and cultures. 7-10 pm. frenchculture.org Petapalooza Mar 9 Mix 96-5 is throwing the pet event of the year! 1-4 pm. khmx.radio.com Project Dance Houston Mar 15 A family friendly dance concert. 10-5 pm. projectdance.com Spring Break ‘14 Dance Camp Mar 21 Performance by students attending Dance Houston’s Spring Break Dance Camp. 6-7 pm. dancehouston.org Red and White Bash 2014 Apr 2 Sip, celebrate and
give back! Ticket prices apply. 7-10 pm. redandwhitebash.com Shabbat on the Green Apr 4 Come to this rocking Shabbat experience hosted by Congregation Emanu El. 5:30-7:30 pm. emanuelhouston.org Earth Day Houston Apr 12 Houston’s premier celebration of our planet. 11 am-5 pm. earthdayhouston.org Friends For Life Apr 19 A state-of-theart adoption center on wheels brings pets to the people in style. Adoption fees apply. Noon-4 pm. nokill1.org Shell Eco-marathon Apr 25-27 Challenges high school and college students to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles. shell.com 2nd Annual Family-to-Family Network Kite Event May 17 Fly kites and enjoy activities, games, performances and more. Ticket fees apply. 4-8 pm. familytofamilynetwork.org Carnival Houston Show and Parade May 23 Carnival Parade and show with participants dressed in beautiful costumes. 11 am-9 pm. carnivalhouston.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.
tender story about the insurmountable class divide. When Margie Walsh loses her job at a South Boston dollar store, she reaches out to her old flame Mike, a neighborhood boy who escaped and became a successful doctor. Margie’s attempt to hit Mike up for a job takes on a surprising twist when she realizes the power a secret from Mike’s past holds. Tickets $26-67.50. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Through May 28 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. 11-1:30 pm. 901 Bagby 713.880.5540. urbanharvest.org Marine Biologist for a Day Mar 1, Apr 5, May 3 See if you have what it takes to become a marine biologist. Spend a day behind the scenes where all the scientific action happens. Experience close encounters with exotic species from the deep sea to shallow reef and everywhere in between. You’ll even get to dissect a squid! Program includes guided tour, biologist dive show, squid dissection, animal feedings and
much more. T-shirts and lunch included. Ages 6-12. Reservations required. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com Mardi Gras Krewse Mar 4 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership for a Mardi Gras celebration on our pontoon tour boat. Beads and bites with local libations will make this trip a great way to spend Fat Tuesday in Houston. $40 per person. 6-7:30 pm. Departing at Allen’s Landing at Commerce and Main Street. Reservations required. 713.752.0314 ext. 4. buffalobayou.org Downtown Aquarium Educator Open House Mar 4 This event is for teachers in the greater Houston area to learn about and experience our field trip offerings. We will feature guided tours, sneak peeks of classroom programs and much more. Pre-registration required for attendance. 713.315.5112 for more details. downtownaquarium.com OVER THE EDGE Mar 8 Join the Tellepsen Family 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. 8 am. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar. ymcahouston.org/ tellepsen-family/over-the-edge/ Winter Jam Tour Spectacular Mar 8 Toyota Center is proud to welcome back Winter Jam Tour Spectacular. Newsboys and Lecrae
datebook. lead an all-star lineup, which also features Tenth Avenue North, Thousand Foot Krutch, Plumb, NewSong and Colton Dixon, as well as a message from leading young evangelist Nick Hall. General admission $10 at the door. houstontoyotacenter.com SWAC Basketball Tournament Mar 11-15 Toyota Center hosts the 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament. Cheer on the men’s and women’s teams fighting for the conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Don’t miss your chance to see all the action take place at Toyota Center. Tickets $40-$250. houstontoyotacenter.com
HOUSTON ROLLER DERBY Mar 22, Apr 12, May 17 Tickets $19-$35.. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. bayoumusiccenter.com HOUSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL Mar 29-30 This event is a child’s dream day filled with celebrity appearances, a petting zoo, kiddie rides and more. Tickets $10, children 3 years and under free. 10:30 am-6:30 pm. Located in the area surrounding City Hall, the Central Liberty, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. houstonchildrensfestival.com
55th Annual HOUSTON ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Mar 15 The Houston St. Patrick’s Day Commission presents The Irish Salute Houston’s First Responders: Always Number One in our Hearts. Free. Noon. Minute Maid Park and surrounding streets. hsppc.org 2014 BUFFALO BAYOU REGATTA Mar 15 Buffalo Bayou Partnership hosts 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 zydeco music, a rock-climbing wall, awards ceremony, food and drink available for sale. Race entry is $40, attendance is free. 9 am-2 pm. Sesquicentennial Park. 713.752.0314 buffalobayou.org Zoologist for a Day Mar 15, Apr 19, May 17 Spend a day behind the scenes where all the scientific action happens. Experience close encounters with exotic species from the deep sea to shallow reef and everywhere in between. Program includes guided tour, biologist dive show, squid dissection, animal feedings and much more. T-shirts and lunch included. Ages 6-12. Reservations required. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com TOUR DE HOUSTON Mar 16 The annual bike ride presented by Apache Corporation benefits Houston’s reforestation efforts through the Houston Parks Board. The route takes riders on a journey through Houston’s historic East End; the Ship Channel and Brady’s Landing; Ellington Airport; Johnson Space Center to Clear Lake and back to City Hall. 6 am-noon. houstontx.gov/tourdehouston WWE SMACKDOWN Mar 18 Toyota Center welcomes back WWE Smackdown. Don’t miss all your favorite WWE superstars like WWE COO Triple H, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, Kane, The Divas and many more.Tickets $20-$95. houstontoyotacenter.com
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Volunteer Fair Mar 22 Come learn about volunteer opportunities available in the new Buffalo Bayou Park. Sign up for volunteer positions and meet others with the same interest. We’ll be meeting at Buffalo Bayou Park at Tapley Tributary, just west of Sabine Street, below the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark. 1-4 pm. For more information, please contact Tatum Thompson at email@example.com.
Houston Heritage Luncheon Apr 9 Join us for this year of celebrations – the Heritage Society’s 60th anniversary, the 115th anniversary of Sam Houston Park and the 100th anniversary of the Houston Port Authority. Laura Gibson chairs this year’s luncheon, which features a keynote address by Janiece Longoria. 11:30 am- 1 pm. 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org 2014 Bayou Bash Apr 12 Join Bayou Buddies (Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s young professional affiliation) for their biggest party of the year. Featuring live music, a crawfish boil, pontoon boat rides, lawn games and libations provided by Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly. Guests will have a chance to bid on silent auction and raffle items that include local culinary experiences, the latest in outdoor gear, and a private boat ride with a history guide to tour Buffalo Bayou. Tickets $25 for non-members, $20 for Bayou Buddies members. Day of the event $35 for non-members, $25 for Bayou Buddies. 1-4 pm. Sabine Promenade-150 Sabine Street. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Apr 19 Join Sharkey and the Easter Bunny for a delicious breakfast. Breakfast purchase includes photos with the Easter Bunny and an Easter Egg hunt. Reservations required. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com Easter Brunch Apr 20 Choose from more than 40 delicious items and enjoy Easter egg hunts and photos with the Easter Bunny! Reservations required. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com
Party for the Planet Apr 22 Join the Downtown Aquarium for an Earth Day Celebration. For more details call 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com PASSPORT TO A GREENER WORLD April 22 Grab your passport and take a journey to a greener world with Houston Center. Join us on Earth Day for green-living education, live music, giveaways and more. Free. 11 am-2 pm. The Shops at Houston Center, 1200 McKinney. For more information, call 713.759.1442. cbre.us HOUSTON INTERNATION FESTIVAL (iFEST) Apr 26-27, May 3-4 Spotlighting Australia, 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. Tickets start at $12 (advance purchase). VIP Passports available. 11 am-8 pm. Hermann Square at City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. ifest.org
LULAC DISTRICT VIII CINCO DE MAYO PARADE May 3 The 22nd 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. Texas at Jackson near Minute Maid Park. lulac8.org
MARKET Spring SQUARE Calendar PARK MARDI GRAS JAMBOREE & GUMBO SHOWDOWN Mar 1 Join Saint Arnold Brewing Company and the Downtown District for this first time event at historic Market Square! Special guests include the New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band and T Bird and the Breaks. Teams will be facing off for the best gumbo in H-town with public tastings from 4-6 pm. An Illuminated Art Car Drive-About will happen around 9ish with the party moving from the park to all the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood. Laissez les bons temps rouler! 4-8:30 pm. BLANKET BINGO May 15 The stakes are high for Blanket Bingo, a monthly event through September benefiting Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (approx. nine games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. 6-9 pm. Bingo begins at 7 pm.
Music & MOVIES CONCERTS AT THE SQUARE Mar 1 New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band and T Bird and the Breaks | Mardi Gras Jamboree & Gumbo Showdown. Saturday, 4-8:30 pm. Mar 16 Cello Fury | Three classicallytrained cellists and a rock drummer. Sunday, 7 pm. Apr 18 MilkDrive | Jazz-grass band that features fiddle, guitar, mandolin, double bass and amazing vocals. Friday, 8 pm. May 9 George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners | Storied bass player, former with the Meters, GPJ has assembled an uber-talented group of musicians for his quintessential New Orleans band. Friday, 8 pm.
ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMAS ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS THE QUIRKY & THE CLASSICS Mar 19 Rear Window (1954), 112 min | Wednesday, 7:30 pm. Apr 9 So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), 93 min, PG-13 |Sunday, 8 pm. Apr 23 Office Space (1999), 89 min, R | Wednesday, 8 pm. May 21 The Graduate (1967), 106 min | Wednesday, 8:30 pm.
GRAFFITI ART AND FOOD TRUCK BIKE RIDE Mar 16 Join Bayou City Outdoors for an artistic ride around H-town! No bike? No worries! You can pick up a bike from the B-cycle kiosk at Market Square Park. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 1-4 pm. bayoucityoutdoors.com
liVe on staGe!
BAYOU BIKERS Mar 2, Apr 6, May 4 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. 8 am. CRITICAL MASS Mar 28, Apr 25, May 30 Critical Mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city. 7:15 pm. HOUSTON B-CYCLE STATION Park visitors can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships and explore downtown on two wheels. houston.bcycle.com
Market Square Park is open daily from 6 am - 11 pm Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages, please.
june 13 – 29 hobby center
call today for best seats! tickets start at only $24!
datebook. 14th Annual Houston Dragon Boat Festival May 3 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. 8:30 am- 4:30 pm. Allen’s Landing, Commerce at Main. texasdragonboat.com Coral’s 10th Birthday May 6 Celebrate Coral the white tiger’s 10th birthday. Her birthday party features a meat birthday cake, her favorite treat. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com ART CAR PARADE May 10 More than 250 uniquely decorated cars will fill the streets of Downtown Houston in this impressive parade presented by The Orange Show. Free. 2-5 pm. The parade runs along Allen Parkway, starts at Taft, heads toward Downtown, makes a left a Heritage Park, and goes back down Allen Parkway the other way. thehoustonartcarparade.com
change and the Keystone Pipeline connecting tar-sand oil to Houston refineries comes to the Wortham. Tickets $19-79. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org INPRINT MARGARETT ROOT BROWN READING SERIES: ANNE CARSON Apr 28 Anne Carson – poet, MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow, and author of Men in the Off Hours, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse, and Red.Doc> – will give a reading of her work to close out the 33rd season of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. Tickets $5. Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org Building Arts Distinguished Lecture Series-The Texas Company: Rehabilitation of a Houston Landmark by Anna Mod May 28 Mod will discuss the recent renovation and upcoming plans for the historic Texaco Building. Members free, non-members $5. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
CONCERTS Bayou Music Center Mar 5 Lorde Mar 14 2 Chainz, Pusha T, August Alsina Mar 16 The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Asking Alexandria Mar 24 Ellie Goulding Mar 26 Mayday Mar 29 Chelsea Handler Apr 30 Foster The People May 20 Brit Floyd Bayou Music Center concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com House of Blues Mar 1 SHPONGLE Mar 2 Dropkick Murphys Mar 5 George Thorogood & The Destroyers Mar 7 Buddy Guy Mar 8 Childish Gambino Mar 9 The Colourist
Mother’s Day Brunch May 11 forgive mom a wonderful dining experience with delicious buffet items.! Reservations required. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com Endangered Species Day May 16 Take a closer look into the world of endangered species at the Downtown Aquarium. 713.223.3474. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com Latin Beats Friday Nights in May Latin beats every Friday night featuring free salsa dancing lessons from professional dancers, salsa music and live DJ, great food and drinks. No cover charge. 7-10 pm. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
SPEAKER SERIES Jerry & Marvy Finger Lecture SeriesTexas Courthouses By Pat AND Don Townzen Mar 20 Enjoy many photographs of Texas courthouses plus tidbits of Texas history. Members get in free, non-members $5. Noon-1 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org Bill McKibben Apr 21 The co-founder of 350.org and the leader in protesting human-caused climate
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EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS Exploring Houston’s Green History: Sam Houston Park, 1899-2014 Through Apr 26 This exhibit features Sam Houston Park’s history as well as The Heritage Society’s 60 year history of caring for this beloved city park. Free. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org How I See It: Houston Architecture Mar 13-Apr 18 How I See It: Houston Architecture is a look at our city through the eyes of the generation raised in the age of social media and digital cameras. Local high school students working in any photographic medium were invited to submit to this juried exhibition. Free. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
Mar 10 St. Vincent Mar 11 Bring Me The Horizon Mar 12 Children of Bodom Mar 13 Ron Pope Mar 13 DJ Hoppa Mar 17 Classixx Mar 18 Terraplane Sun, Little Daylight, Flagship Mar 20 Flogging Molly Mar 21 Scott Stapp Mar 23 James Blake Mar 25 HIM Apr 6 Chromeo Apr 7 Grouplove Apr 10 Zucchero Apr 10 The Mavericks Apr 15 Alter Bridge Apr 18 Green River Ordinance Apr 21 Manchester Orchestra Apr 22 HAIM Apr 23 Bastille Apr 25 Cage The Elephant Apr 27 Kidz Bop Kids May 2 Ghost B.C. May 3 Gavin DeGraw
May 5 The Wanted May 6 Christina Perri May 9 Toadies May 10 James Blunt May 28 Black Label Society HOB’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com Toyota Center Mar 16 Miley Cyrus Mar 24 Cher 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
39th Annual Houston Fishing Show Mar 5-9 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
Second Saturday Buffalo Bayou Boat Rides Mar 8, Apr 12, May 10 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family and friends. First come first served, no reservations, 20 person max per trip. Tickets $7 for adults, $5 for children 4-12. Downtown’s Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou. 10-2 pm. 713.752.0314 buffalobayou.org
TOWER AND TREES DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR Mar 8, Apr 26 This walking tour explores the magnificent architecture between Hermann Square and Discovery Green as well as they 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. 10 am-noon. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org Buffalo Bayou Walking Tours March 22 Architecture Center Houston with the cooperation of Buffalo Bayou Partnership ArCH docents will lead you on this two-hour architectural stroll along Buffalo Bayou Parkway for an overview of Downtown Houston’s history and architecture from its beginnings in 1836 to the efforts to revitalize the central city today. Tickets $15 per person, $10 for AIA and Bayou Buddies members. Meet at the AIA office- 315 Capitol, Suite 120. 10 am-noon. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
Kayak Tours Mar 29, Apr 26, May 31 Join North Lake Conroe Paddling Company to experience the heart of Houston, while gliding down its flowing bayou in a kayak. These are fun, group trips for all skill levels of paddlers. Join other water lovers, from age 8 and up, who enjoy recreating and meeting new paddlers, on this threehour trip. All equipment is supplied for you including the tandem (two-person) sit-on-top kayaks. Tickets $60 per person. Reservations required. Start at Allen’s Landing End: Allen’s Landing. 9 am-1 pm. 936.203.2697. northlakeconroepaddlingco.com
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
Looking Back History Tours with Louis Aulbach Mar 29, Apr 19, May 17 Learn about Houston’s rich history from local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising down the bayou. Reservations required. Tickets $40. Allen’s Landing, 1001 Commerce. 10noon. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
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 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 & 6pm. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com
DOWNTOWN GEOLOGY TOUR Apr 5 This architectural and geological walking tour of Downtown goes beyond the typical architectural focus to include the provenance and geology of the buildings’ materials. These sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks have come from all over the world and now call Houston home. The tour is inspired by similar walks in Europe and adapted from the Houston Geological Society’s 1995 tour, Houston Building Stones. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org Bat Tours by Pontoon Boat Apr 26, May 10, May 24 You’ll 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) Tickets $35 for adults, $20 for children 4-12. Allen’s Landing. 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
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOUR Come visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery in their new location. Every Saturday, the doors open at 11 am and groups 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
SPORTS HOUSTON DYNAMO For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276. GOAL. houstondynamo.com OPENING DAY Mar 8 Cheer on your Houston Dynamo as they take on the New England Revolution for Opening Day of the 2014 season. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL. houstondynamo.com HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767. astros.com OPENING DAY Apr 1 Cheer on your Houston Astros as they take on the New York Yankees for Opening Day of the 2014 season. Come early to enjoy the 13th annual Opening Day Street Fest, which includes a vendor expo, live music, activities for kids, player interviews, and much more. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 1.877.9ASTROS. astros.com HOUSTON ROCKETS For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Toyota Center. 1510 Polk. 866.4HOUTIX. rockets.com
Edited by Angie Bertinot & nicole m arin
El Big Bad
photo by melissa fitzgerald
Specializing in handcrafted infused tequilas â€“ more than 50 to choose from â€“ allows you to mix and match for the perfect margarita.
42 spring 2014
the guide to eating downtown
L 17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious The Sam Houston Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. ; D Daily. $$$ L Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ 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 Sun only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking the Allen Center courtyard. Relax after a busy day and enjoy your favorite beverage or a bite to eat while you catch up on the day’s news on the wide screen TV. Doubletree Hotel, 400 Dallas, 713.759.0202. L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $$ Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $
new! Batanga Tapas + Drinks Latin This tapas joint whips up delicious dishes inspired from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile – anywhere that sangria is served. The spacious patio is as good as it gets when it comes to outdoor dining – festive twinkle lights, great music and stellar views of the historic district and Market Square Park. batangahouston.com. 908 Congress, 713.224.9500. L & D Daily. BR Sat & Sun. $$ L Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$ Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ The Bistro American The Bistro is a full-service restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $ L 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. $$$$ Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the saag paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $
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. $$
Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol, 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $
L Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals are splashed on the walls that aren’t graced with large windows for perfect park views. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. L Mon-Sat, D Fri-Sat. $
Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texaschic atmosphere. Newly refurbished, black booths and white tablecloths offer elegance and décor not typically found in hotel restaurants. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith, 713.495.7854. B, L & D Daily. $$$
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. $
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. $ 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 Mon-Fri. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. $ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. You can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon-Sat. $ China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $
key to symbols These listings are not reviews but are a guide to downtown dining spots. "Recommended" restaurants are selected by Downtown Magazine editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.
L recommended new! just opened average price of an entrée $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+ B: Breakfast BR: Brunch L: Lunch D: Dinner LN: Late Night
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
plate. Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $ Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center. B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$ 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. $$ 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 MonFri. $ 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. 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. B, L & LN Mon-Sun. $ new! El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like pomegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L, D & LN Mon-Fri; D & LN Sat & Sun. $ 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. $
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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. $ new Fusion Taco Latin/Japanese Taking the best from Asian and Latin cuisine, Fusion Taco comes up with creations like jerk chicken tacos, chickentikka masala quesadillas and Asian pulled pork flautas. An extensive beer and wine selection rounds out the menu. fusiontaco.com. 801 Congress, 713.422.2882. L & D Mon-Sat. $ 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. georgiasmarket.com. 420 Main at Prairie, 713.225.0990. B, L & D Daily. $ new! Goro & Gun Asian This Historic District haunt is a gathering place for all things cool. Chow down homemade ramen and Asian-inspired comfort food like fried chicken and 72-hour tempura short ribs. Their creative cocktails can’t be beat, so happy hour is a must! twitter.com/gorongun. 306 Main. 832.708.6195. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This familyowned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
tensive 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. $$ Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy American food with all menu items (except for sampler platters) less than $10. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off-season so call first). $ � L House of Blues Southern Classic HOB serves Southern-inspired signature classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, Tennessee baby back ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss House of Blues’ famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ L Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but packs a punch. One of the best burger joints in town. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, 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 seven-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon-Sat. $
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. $$
The Lake House Fast Casual The Lake House offers family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby amphitheater stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. L Tue & Wed, L & Early D Thu-Sun. $
L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an ex-
L La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon-Fri. $
Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 416 Caroline, 713.237.0000. L Mon-Fri. $ L Last Concert Cafe Mexican Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this Tex-Mex cafe was born in 1949 and still supplies tasty food and local music today. Spend some time on the leafy back patio and you’ll swear you’re in your neighbor’s backyard throwing back a cold one. lastconcert.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & live music Tue-Sat. $ L Line & Lariat Modern American An award-winning dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon-Sat. $$$ Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ L Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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! 208 Travis, 713.229.8323. B & L Mon-Sun, D Fri-Sat. $ 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 Mon-Fri. $
L Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicago-style neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $
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. L Mon-Fri ; D Daily. $$$$
L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$
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 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. $$
L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D Daily. $
L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
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. $$
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L Minuti Coffee Coffee House The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D & LN Daily. $ L MKT Bar Mediterranean Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, it's the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L, D, Daily. $ 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 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. $ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ L 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. $$$ Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $
new! Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the Preston Station on the MetroRAIL, Roma's Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Sam Houston Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$ Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $ The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Au Bon Pain, Bullritos, Chick-fil-A, D’lish N’ Dash, Doozo’s Dumplings & Noodles, Freshii, Fusion Grillerz, Great American Cookie, Great Wraps, Greenz, Murphy’s Deli, Ninfa’s in the Park, Ninfa’s Mexican Express, Otto’s Barbecue & Hamburgers, Pho Huy Vietnamese Noodle House, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pretzel Time, Quizno’s Subs, Roman Delight Pizza, Salata Sarku Japan, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Squeezed, Starbuck’s Coffee, Subway, Thai Basil, The Mediterranean Grill, Treebeards, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon-Sat, hours vary. $ L Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$ 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, Mon-Fri. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and
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meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ L Spindletop Seafood A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$ 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 it's happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $ Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Located at The Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$ new! Tony’s Barbecue & Steakhouse Barbecue Get world-class hickory-smoked pork ribs and brisket, the rib eye and T-bone steaks, chicken-fried steak and even quail. Don’t leave without trying the delicious homemade cobblers and pies. tonys-bbq. com. 1225 Travis, 713.655.0028. L & D Mon-Fri. $$
L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Vic & Anthony’s Steak House This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Fri, D Daily. $$$$ 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 Mon-Fri. L Sat. 811 Main, 713.227.0860. $ Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a freshly made deli sandwich. zerossandwichshop.com. 809 Dallas, 713.650.3333. 1110 Lamar, 713.655.7722. 507 Dallas, 713.739.9955. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This 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. $
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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. Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main A fun and quirky bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously (hence the name), but the cocktails are seriously good. Patrons enjoy the speakeasy vibe and the patio terrace for prime people watching. Mon-Sun 4 pm-2 am. twitter.com/badnewsbar 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 night 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. Clutch City Squire | 410 Main Somewhere between a dive bar and a swanky lounge, this Main Street drinking hole is always spinning good tunes on vinyl. MonSat 3 pm-2 am. Sun noon-midnight. twitter.com/clutchcityhtx Dean’s | 316 Main Under new ownership and with a new look and feel, Dean’s adds to the cool vibe found on the 300 block of Main. Great attention from the bartenders and the trendy crowd make it a unique place to socialize. Mon-Thu 8 pm-2 am, Fri-Sat 5 pm2 am. The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline The non-venue rock 'n' roll lounge is a popular pre- and postshow 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 aftershow 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 flatscreen 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. El Big Bad | 419 Travis El Big Bad is a Gastro-Cantina that specializes in infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and cocktails, Mexican and Texan Craft Beer and scrumptious fare. Mon-Thu 11 am- midnight; Fri 11 am- 2 am; Sat 5 pm- 2 am; Sun 5 pm- midnight. elbigbad.com Flying Saucer | 705 Main Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. 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. MonWed, 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 @ GreenStreet A well-known national franchise with a lively, fun atmosphere. A 1,500-person concert venue is onsite and some of the best touring shows in the country come through on a weekly basis. The
spring 2014 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!
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. 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 am-2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 3-9 pm. lastconcert.com Little Dipper | 304 Main This spot is a cool, blue neighborhood bar with pinball machines, cheap bourbon and a bad-ass jukebox. Daily 4 pm2 am. twitter.com/LittleDipperBar Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis The Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share have-been-to-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon-2 am. 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 @ GreenStreet 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 punk-rock 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 3 pm-2 am. friedokra.org
The Pastry War | 310 Main A Mezcaleria from Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta that serves up agave spirits along with classic Mexican cocktails and beers in a festive and intimate environment. This specialty tequila joint not only accepts pesos, but is on a brave mission to serve the best margaritas in town. Salud! Tue-Sat 4 pm-2 am. 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 @ GreenStreet 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 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. And now you can order up delicious bites from the new, chef-driven menu featuring tasty flatbreads, appetizers and sandwiches. Sun 5 pm - 2 am, Mon-Sat 2 pm - 2 am. reserve101.com The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street @ The Sam Houston Hotel Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. thesamhoustonhotel.com 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.
CHECK out … THE SHOPS while you get a CHECKUP. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Downtown at The Shops If you live or work in downtown Houston, getting a comprehensive health checkup has never been easier. At Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Downtown at The Shops, you’ll find more doctors, more diagnostic services and more convenience. More Doctors
You’ll find specialists in Dermatology, Family Medicine, OB/GYN, Orthopedics – Sports Medicine, Podiatry, Pulmonary Medicine and Rheumatology.
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More Diagnostic Services
A full range of onsite diagnostic services is available, including digital mammography, bone density tests, ultrasound and X-ray. Our onsite lab opens at 7 a.m. for fasting patients and those who want to complete their tests before the start of the work day.
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Downtown at The Shops at Houston Center 4 1200 McKinney, Level 4 (above the Food Court)
24-Hour Appointment Scheduling: 713-442-0000 kelsey-seybold.com/downtown WELCOMING NEW PATIENTS and 50 HEALTH PLANS