SUMMER SUMMER 2013 2013
connecting you to the center of houston
the list hot
!! summer summer ur ur o o y y f f o o t t s s o o m m e e h h t t e e 4455 wwaayyss ttoo mmaakk
the plugged insider in
new owners new energy
new development hotel and residential heatsunderway up
chill batanga on batanga's opens in the perfect historic patio district
HOUSTON PAVILIONS IS transforming TO GREENSTREET greenstreetdowntown.com
SUMMER 2013 VOL. 5, NO. 4
Knock three times / p. 25
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 Amber Ambrose, Holly Beretto, Sandra Cook, Lauren Covington, Barbara Linkin Mendel, Melissa Seuffert
13 A NEW ATTITUDE
Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The less-than-successful Houston Pavilions is a thing of the past. Houston-based Midway, which masterminded and manages the uber-successful CityCentre in west Houston, is re-imagining the mixed-use venue to much excitement. The new GreenStreet will be a colorful, connected place where people can’t wait to gather. by SANDRA COOK
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at dtmagazine@ downtowndistrict.org
Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010.
19 hot list
Yup. It’s the ultimate guide to Downtown. Our list encompasses everything that makes our city so … well, frankly … great. Whether you’re looking for an offbeat date option, a family-friendly outing or the perfect place to while away a summer afternoon, you’ll likely find it in the pages of this issue. by amber ambrose
publishers’ note The summer may be hot, but Downtown is still the coolest place in town.
Plugged in With so much new development Downtown, it can be too hard to keep up. Never fear, we’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know.
hot companies Comcast SportsNet execs love their downtown digs, which keep
them close to both the teams they cover and the fans who love them.
backstage Summer may be a quiet time for the major performing arts organizations but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see and do in the Houston Theater District, culminating with the 20th Anniversary Theater District Open House in August. by MELISSA SEUFFERT
datebook Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
by holly beretto
plate/sip Gather some friends ‘round the table at Batanga, where tasty Latin tapas is the order of the day.
destination downtown map
The future’s so bright It seems as though every time we turn around we are
reading yet another great news article or blog post or tweet about Houston’s astonishing growth and economic health. Even more exciting are the number of people who are starting to realize that not only is Houston great for business, but it’s also a fantastic place to visit and an even better place to make your home. Gone are the days of bemoaning the lack of things to do Downtown. Nearly every day lends itself to exploration and entertainment. In fact, we found it pretty darn easy to come up with our list of 45 things to do. From a tour of the Saint Arnold Brewing Company to a movie under the moon at Market Square Park to hot eateries such as Oxheart and Goro & Gun, there is always Downtown seems to something unique to do Downtown. Check out our epitomize all that is extensive list starting on page 19. right with our city Downtown seems to epitomize all that is right with our city these days. these days. Yes, the business climate is healthy. But it’s so much more than that. There seems to be a real buzz surrounding destinations such as Discovery Green, Market Square Park and now GreenStreet, which Houston-based Midway is revamping to much anticipation and excitement. We’ve got the inside scoop on what you can expect at the former Houston Pavilions starting on page 13. And be sure you check out our feature on Comcast SportsNet Houston. While the fledgling sports network has not been without a bit of controversy, they’re doing some amazing things from their new GreenStreet home, and they have big plans for the future. Read all about them on page 5. As always, keep this issue handy for whatever fun you might be planning. Be sure to check us out online at downtownhouston.org. And, please, let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to take your comments and suggestions.
Houston Downtown Alliance
ON THE COVER This beautiful photo by photographer Katya Horner captures the essence of summer at Downtown’s premier park, Discovery Green. Celebrating their 5th birthday, it is a familyfriendly hotspot with hundreds of events annually.
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Downtown development has reached a fevered pitch this summer, with new hotels, apartments and even a prestigious high school on the drawing boards. As Downtown reaches critical mass, the question has become not if you should consider a move to the center of everything but when.
Need a room? No fewer than three new hotel projects are ready to break ground, and two existing hotels are undergoing renovations. Construction is set to begin next year on the city’s much-needed second convention center hotel – a 1,000-room Marriott Marquis next to the George R. Brown Convention Center. The $335 million hotel is set for completion in spring 2016. Another Marriott is planned for the 22-story building at 806 Main. Pearl Hospitality is converting the 1910 structure into a $73 million JW Marriott.The Humble Oil Building complex will transform its 82-unit apartment tower into a 166-room SpringHill Suites. And in the heart of the Theater District, the historic Lancaster Houston Hotel, is staging a $10 million renovation that will include the hotel’s lobby and meeting spaces, guest rooms and suites while the 100-room downtown boutique hotel once known as Alden Houston has been renamed The Sam Houston Hotel. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the property is getting a renovation of its guestrooms, meeting and event spaces, public spaces and a refresh of its award-winning restaurant, *17.
courtesy of Morris architects
there’s no place like home The pace of residential development is also strong Downtown. Novare Group is developing SkyHouse Houston at 1625 Main Street. The 24-story high-rise apartment is being designed to appeal to young singles and will bring 336 new residences to Downtown. The Finger Companies and Marvy Finger, the brains behind the ultra-successful One Park Place, have set their sights on the two blocks bounded by Preston, Crawford, Texas and La Branch. Their new 380-unit apartment building will be within walking distance of Minute Maid Park.
h s p va’ s downtown move
Plans to move the acclaimed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts to new Downtown digs have taken a major step forward with the recent news that the Houston Independent School District board has selected Gensler to design the new downtown campus. Gensler is a global architecture, design, planning and strategic
consulting firm whose other Houston projects have included the Houston Ballet Center for Dance and Hess Tower. The new school is planned for the 1300 block of Capitol near Discovery Green and Minute Maid Park on a site already owned by HISD.
d o w n to w n's m o v e r s a n d s h a ke r s
Game On! Comcast SportsNet Houston Brings Action to Downtown
b y H o l ly b e r e t to // p h oto s b y r ya n g o b u t y, c o u r t e s y g e n s l e r
tanding outside the big, plate-glass window on the
concrete plaza between Caroline and San Jacinto streets in Downtown’s GreenStreet complex, you might – just for a minute – think you’ve stumbled into a mini Rockefeller Center in New York. That’s because on game days for the Rockets, Astros or Dynamo, you’re apt to see broadcasters from Comcast SportsNet Houston doing their live shows in the state-of-the-art studio. That window on the world provides passers-by with a glimpse of one of Downtown’s new companies, and lets the anchors and commentators inside see just how close to the neighborhood they are. Launched last October as a joint partnership between the Astros, the Rockets and the NBC Sports group, CSN was conceived to give Houston sports fans the best coverage of all their local teams. Providing original programming and live games, the regional network airs in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico on a variety of cable networks. Billing itself as offering the most in-depth coverage of Houston’s local sports, from high school to professional, CSN covers more than 250 live events annually and produces shows that give viewers insider analysis, interviews, pre- and post-game wrap-ups, as well as SportsNet Central, the network’s signature news program, which airs three times daily during the week and twice on weekends. It’s a powerhouse of sports coverage, and both network executives and their team partners are excited about the venture. More than that, they’re thrilled with the network’s Downtown location, something they say is essential to the work they do. “Being Downtown and close to our team partners is a great asset. We can be at any venue within minutes when news breaks,” says Matt Hutchings, CSN general manager. Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown agrees. "Having CSN Houston's studios located in Downtown is a huge benefit for the network as well as the teams,” he says. “Having the studios in such close proximity to Toyota Center really allows us to capitalize on the collaborative nature of our partnership with the network.”
That proximity and partnership revealed its value last October, just as the network was “Having CSN Houston's studios launching. “Just minutes after completlocated in ing the trade that landed James downtown is a huge Harden, our general manager benefit for the Daryl Morey was in studio on network as well as the CSN Houston set, providthe teams...” ing our fans with exclusive team insight,” explains Brown. “That type of access and immediacy is critical for the long-term success of the network." More than that, CSN’s presence Downtown provides necessary growth in an area already humming with action. The GreenStreet complex is home to several restaurants, as well as NRG Energy’s offices. The multi-level, multi-street venue is a natural gathering spot, and CSN’s fishbowl studio offers another reason to stop amid the shaded plazas to see what’s happening. Aside from the curiosity factor of having a television studio Downtown, the network pumped in more than 125 media and technology jobs, including those for on-air talent, camera operators, editors, IT personnel, a sales force and a host of other positions. The entire 32,000-square-foot CSN complex was built from the ground up, including studio space that boasts a news desk set, screens that fly in and out on tracks to make backgrounds for interviews and reporter stand-ups, as well as spaces for talk shows. There are graphics suits and edit bays, conference rooms, even cozy alcoves with two or three chairs clustered around a table with white boards for walls, designed to generate creative collaboration among CSN staff throughout the day. In CSN’s open-plan newsroom, producers, writers and anchors can call up video right from their desks, thanks to the latest broadcasting software. Two live trucks mean CSN has the ability to
run their programming both from the studio and from locales such as Minute Maid Park or Toyota Center. All of it was set up to make CSN a one-stop shop for televising Houston sports. CSN’s ambitious goal of providing round-the-clock sports coverage is matched only by its goal to be on every broadcast outlet available. Currently airing on Comcast, Coastal Link, Consolidated Communications, EnTouch and Phonoscope cable systems, CSN has been in talks with Dish Network and other providers. Viewers who want to see every game of their favorite Houston teams are encouraged to visit CSN’s www.IWantCSNHouston.com to check out what new outlets have been added and to tell their cable providers they want the network. And CSN knows it’s got something original in the Houston media market. No other broadcasting entity matches its numbers for Houston teams: 600 hours of Astros programming annually, a combination of more than 135 regular-season games as well as spring training and weekly Astros magazine shows; 250 hours of Rockets coverage, including more than 65 regular-season games; original shows that offer more than 60 men’s and women’s college basketball games, covering schools across the network’s viewing area; and a full slate of high school basketball.
That kind of coverage is the sort of thing sports fans love. But Houstonians are also apt to love that CSN is so proudly, completely about the Bayou City. The network’s commitment to local teams and original programming demonstrates how vital the sports scene is to our city, and showcases how passionate our fans are about their teams. Programming airs on a 24-hour wheel, with game-day coverage for evening action beginning at 4:30 p.m. with a feature- and analysisdriven show, followed by talk shows, SportsNet Central, pre-game coverage, the game, post-game press conferences and locker room interviews, another live production of SportsNet Central, specialty programming, game replays and other sports news and shows. Chris Canetti, president of the Houston Dynamo, praises Comcast SportsNet for staking such a claim in Houston. “CSN is an incredible resource for Houston sports fans,” he says. “Not only does it carry the live game action of three major league teams, but it has the most indepth daily coverage of the entire Houston sports landscape. Having previously lived in the New York and Boston areas, I can appreciate the value of a great regional sports network. Prior to CSN’s arrival, Houston had been missing anything comparable. Now we have a channel that is comparable to the best sports markets in the U.S., and that is a real benefit to the fans.” Comcast SportsNet realizes it’s providing a benefit to its viewers. And Hutchings says everyone involved also realizes what an asset it receives from its downtown space. In addition to being so close to its sports partners, he says their wide-open spot makes them feel like part of the vibrancy of the downtown landscape. “Our employees love the location as well since there's so much to do nearby. It's easy to walk somewhere for lunch or meet up with people after work. We couldn’t have picked a better location.”
Want to see Comcast SportsNet Houston on your cable system? Visit www.iwantcsnhouston.com to contact
your cable provider and get the latest details on CSN viewing areas.
stats: : LOCATION 1201 San Jacinto street suite 200 : other networks Bay Area california chicago mid atl antic new engl and northwest phil adelphia : partners houston astros houston rockets nbc sports group : website csnhouston.com
arts & entertainment
b a c k s ta g e .
by Melissa Seuffert
Broadway Across America brings WICKED to Hobby Center.
ummer is officially upon us in our beloved Theater District, which can mean only one thing: A new lineup of performances are about to make their way to the stage, even though our resident arts organizations are (for the most part) taking a much-deserved rest. Here’s a glimpse of what you can enjoy during our hot summer months, all capping off with the family-favorite 20th Annual Theater District Open House on August 25!
ing-class girl trying to make her dancing dreams come true. With 10 original songs in the stage version, it’s a must-see to kick off your summer! Get ready to laugh when TUTS introduces Dixie Longate to Houston audiences in Dixie’s Tupperware Party, a show that takes the Tupperware party to a whole new level. Dixie is a fast-talking Tupperware lady who has left her Alabama trailer to journey across America and share her outrageous stories. Not only will Dixie’s Tupperware Party leave your sides splitting, you may even walk away with a prize or two – not to mention more Tupperware than you can handle. Alley Theatre
Our friends over at Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center are gearing up for the July 10-Aug. 11 return of WICKED, a show that’s guaranteed to sell out just as it did in 2005, 2007 and 2010. WICKED is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel of the same name and tells the untold stories of the witches of Oz – Elphaba, who would become the Wicked
Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. A must-see for any Wizard of Oz fan, WICKED is one musical that young and old alike agree is worth seeing each time it makes its way to Houston. Theatre Under The Stars is presenting two shows June 4-16 at the Hobby Center – Flashdance in Sarofim Hall and Dixie’s Tupperware Party over in Zilka Hall. What a feeling it will be to relive Flashdance, the story of a work-
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Resident Alley Theatre actor Todd Waite brings Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved Sherlock Holmes to life in Jeffrey Hatcher’s Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club May 24-June 23. Holmes and Watson try to uncover the chilling secret of the “suicide club” and determine whether or not dark forces are to blame for the deaths of prominent European men. The Alley’s ever-popular ExxonMobil Summer Chills series brings Agatha Christie’s The Hollow to the Hubbard Stage July 5-Aug. 4.
Todd Waite in the Alley Theatre production of Sherlock Holmes.
paul kolnik amitava sarkar
Blue Man Group phony is also bringing back one of the most successful vocal groups from the 1960s – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – on July 27. Hear Valli and the boys perform hits like Big Girls Don’t Cry, Sherry, and Oh What a Night. Looking for a free way to enjoy some music downtown? How about a Day of Music on July 13? This 12-hour day of fun is bookended with two Houston Symphony concerts, and also includes performances throughout the day by dozens of Houston-area groups like Clandestine, the Kaminari Taiko Drums of Houston and more! Wortham Theater Center
Ilya Kozadayek and Sara Webb in Peter Pan This classic whodunit filled with brilliantly eccentric characters unravels the mystery behind the murder of physician John Cristow. Jones Hall
Society for the Performing Arts welcomes back fanfavorite Blue Man Group for eight performances June 4-9 at Jones Hall. Known for their multi-media performances, the three bald and blue characters take audiences on a visually stunning journey that stimulates the senses and is fun for the whole family. The Houston Symphony’s Symphony Summer in the City brings a little bit of everything to concertgoers this summer, from the original Jersey boys to a video gamer’s paradise. Video Games Live on July 5 is a multi-media concert experience that blends music from popular games like Zelda, War of Warcraft and Final Fantasy, with synchronized video, lighting and more. The fun doesn’t stop there, though. In addition to the Music of the Rolling Stones on July 6 and Pixar in Concert on July 19, the Sym-
You better hurry if you want to catch the Houston Ballet before the curtain closes this season. Now through June 9, Journey with the Masters showcases three of the 20th century’s greatest choreographers – George Balanchine, Jirí Kylián and Jerome Robbins. Robbins’ The Concert is being lauded as one of the “funniest ballets ever created” according to Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch. The Concert depicts a group of concertgoers at a performance and gives great, laugh-out-loud insight into human behavior. Also on the program are the company premiere of Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial and Kylián’s Sinfonietta. From June 12-23, take a journey to Neverland as the Ballet closes its season with Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan. Based on the popular story by J.M. Barrie, the unique twist to this re-telling is that it comes from the perspective of a child, meaning everything on stage is depicted as larger than life! Between the flying sequences and swashbuckling swordfights, this is one the entire family will enjoy. A day to experience it all – on the house!
Don’t miss the 20th Annual Theater District Open House from noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25. It’s the one day a year that Houston’s resident arts organizations open their doors to showcase all that’s coming up in the next season, and it includes fun family activities and preview performances throughout the day. More information on all of the performances above, plus this year’s Theater District Open House, can be found at www.houstontheaterdistrict.org.
Frankie Valli summer 2013
arts & entertainment: p r o f i l e
T w o d e c a d e s o f f r e e , f a m i ly f u n a t Th e a t e r D i s t r i c t Op e n H o u s e
t all started before the Theater District as we now know it even existed. There was no theater district downtown – just Jones Hall, the Wortham Theater Center, the Alley Theatre and the Houston Music Hall – each of which played home to the major arts groups of the city. It was the late ‘80s when the idea to form a united front came to fruition, said Ange Finn, the founding executive director of the Theater District. “When I started at the Theater District in 1988, all along the idea was to create a sense of place that was as inviting and had as much presence as the arts groups themselves,” Finn said. “The marketing directors of the arts groups in the district were eager to work together to create marketing synergy for themselves. Central Houston (the umbrella organization through which I worked and the originator of the Theater District concept) and I wanted to create liveliness outdoors in downtown and give a sense of presence to the area as a district, rather than a set of individual destinations.” Over the next few years, Finn and Central Houston worked together to come up with new and enticing outdoor events to attract attention for the area, and in 1993 Theater District Open House became the next big step. “The open house was a grander version of that concept, which knit together the interests of all the member groups, so it was a logical progression,” Finn said. In August 1993, the first Theater District Open House was born, and immediately proved to be a worthwhile event for attendees, the individual arts organizations and the new Theater District as a whole. Not only was the event formed for the purposes of giving an identity to the district, but also to make the arts more accessible to Houstonians. “The open house was also envisioned as a way to take the intimidation factor out of experiencing the arts for the first time,” said Andrew Edmonson, director of marketing and public relations at the Houston Ballet. Edmonson emphasized that patrons should know they don’t have to be millionaires or wear tuxedos to experience the arts. The Theater District is open and accessible, Edmonson said, and people should feel welcome to bring their children, walk around and explore all that there is to offer. At the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre Under The Stars Director of Sales and Marketing David Greiss notes that not only is it a great day for ticket deals, but that all of Houston seems to thoroughly enjoy the event’s atmosphere. “It is the one day a year that we can showcase what we do and invite the entire city. The Hobby Center swings its doors open to everyone for an afternoon of artistic enjoyment, venue tours, kids' activities and
10 summer 2013
one-day specials,” Greiss said. “This event brings folks to downtown Houston for the afternoon, many of whom never venture there otherwise. The more folks we get coming to this event, the better positioned we are to get them in the door for one of our shows or to get their kids into our education programs.” One of the most appealing aspects of the day is behind-the-scenes access to artists, as well as the various free performances held throughout the day. Guests can even tap into their competitive side during a scavenger hunt, which tasks everyone to visit each group to solve the day’s most artful questions. Everyone who correctly completes the scavenger hunt then gets the chance to win tickets to performances throughout the season! Save the date and catch all the fun
This year’s 20th Annual Theater District Open House is set for noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25. As always, it will be a day full of family fun, backstage tours, free performances and ticket specials. There’s no greater way to get an insider’s look as to what’s coming up in the 2013-2014 season. Meet characters from The Nutcracker at Wortham Theater Center, see musical revues over at Hobby, rummage through the costume trunk at the Alley Theatre and enjoy a free, full-length Houston Symphony concert at 4 p.m. at Jones Hall. These are just a few of the many exciting opportunities you’ll have, so make sure to save the date and we’ll see you there!
Full information on the day’s performance schedules, as well as each organization’s ticket specials, will be available mid August by visiting houstontheaterdistrict.org.
12 summer 2013
green means Midway revs up the stalledout Houston Pavilions project with a new name and a stunning makeover
single line. The connection to East Downtown is a huge opportunity, and I hope the rail will continue to expand. I think that’s all part of a broader trend across the country, driven by demographics and consumer preferences, resulting in a densification and urbanization of Houston, and I think Downtown is going to benefit from that.” To help fuel the project’s revitalization, Midway teamed up with CanyonJohnson Urban Funds, the collaboration between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “We had been looking for an opportunity to work with CanyonJohnson, and this was a very good fit,” says Brinsden. “They are a fantastic partner.” “We were initially drawn to Houston Pavilions because it is a wellbuilt project with incredible potential,” says Neville Rhone, managing director of Texas acquisitions for Canyon-Johnson. “The location is ideal: the mixed-use center is strategically located in Downtown Houston, just steps away from the Main Street light rail system, and in close range of the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park and the convention center, along with several upscale hotels. The project fits right into what Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds are all about: acquiring and repositioning real estate in densely populated urban areas, and supporting job creation and economic development in the cities where we invest.” Canyon-Johnson’s previous investments in Houston include Hotel Icon in Downtown’s Historic District and the Marq*E Center on I-10 at Silber.
ow do you turn three lackluster blocks – plus a parking garage – into a lively destination people not only want to visit, but also don’t want to leave? You roll out the green carpet.
That’s just one key tactic Houston-based Midway is using to pump life into the former Houston Pavilions, a three-block mixed-used project that has struggled to find its footing since its debut in 2008. If you’ve ever wished the beleaguered Houston Pavilions could be as lively as CityCentre, the vibrant mixed-use project on the west side of town, your wish may be coming true. Midway masterminded and manages CityCentre – they’re even headquartered there. Midway management says the company has been interested in the Houston Pavilions for years, but it took the property falling into receivership for a purchase deal to be inked. Midway finally procured the property in August 2012. “To buy four contiguous blocks in Downtown Houston – that’s almost impossible to do today,” says Midway CEO Jonathan Brinsden. “We thought it was a great opportunity. We saw, from a macro standpoint, that Downtown was undergoing a pretty dramatic transformation, and we realized it was a good time to invest in Downtown. Today, when you look at the development map, you see the new convention center hotel and several new residential projects, which is fantastic. I think the expansion of the rail makes a difference, going beyond the
14 summer 2013
“The amount of development, including new residences, hotels and offices, in Downtown Houston is extremely encouraging, and bodes well for the future of GreenStreet,” says Rhone. “The city has invested heavily in its infrastructure, particularly in terms of transportation, which is also aiding the revitalization of the Downtown District. On a larger scale, I believe GreenStreet will also ultimately benefit from Houston’s burgeoning energy industry. Many of those jobs are located Downtown, and will result in an even stronger market for the retail and office space at GreenStreet.” B r a n d n e w d ay On April 4, Midway launched its rebranding of the project. Putting the name Houston Pavilions in the past and hoping to change the perception of the center, the project was renamed GreenStreet. Brinsden said at the press conference that the company plans to craft a more aesthetic, inviting and synergistic experience for guests and tenants. “Our big-picture plan is to create a regional destination by improving four critical elements: physical design, marketing and branding, tenant mix and events,” says Brinsden. Midway’s approach includes hosting events at the mixed-use property to build a connection with the public and develop return visitors. Brinsden notes that CityCentre hosted 160 events during 2012. If you are reading this article and you have witnessed the success of CityCentre firsthand, you are likely a Downtown resident, Downtown worker or an inner-Looper of some sort who has dared to venture west on I-10 all the way to the Beltway to experience
the Midway magic. Brinsden and Jamie Bryant, a vice president of development at Midway admit they are pleased to see people coming from various parts of town to CityCentre, including the inner Loop. And, if you have set foot on the property formerly known as Houston Pavilions, then you’ve likely only been to mega-tenant House of Blues. “House of Blues is an unbelievable anchor tenant, and what we had to figure out is what to add to create synergies with House of Blues,” says Brinsden. “We are working to improve the dining mix to complement House of Blues, which means more fun, casual preconcert or post-concert options.” Members of the team have joked that Midway’s goal is to “de-beige the project.” That’s humorous, but true. They’ve set out to create a more visually stimulating, tactile experience to entice visitors to want to hang around and come back often. To achieve this, Midway plans to transform the blah blocks into a colorful, connected place where people like to gather. The new atmosphere has been designed by landscape architects at the Office of James Burnett (who did CityCentre), architects at Munoz + Albin and lighting pros at Bos Lighting Design. During its April 4 unveiling of plans, Midway revealed its strategies to inspire vitality at GreenStreet, conveniently situated between Main Street and Discovery Green. The intriguing plan calls for a re-imagination of the interior corridor of the three main blocks to create a new linear urban park, including water features at Caroline and Main, a central courtyard and the addition of pavers, benches, planters, lawns and other natural architectural and environmental details
GreenStreet Tenants Andalucia Tapas Restaurant & Bar BCBGMAXAZRIA Comcast Sportsnet Crossroads at House of Blues Restaurant & Bar XXI Forever Guadalajara del centro House of Blues Houston III Forks Lucky Strike Bowling McCormick & Schmick’s Mia Bella Trattoria NRG Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar Qatar Airways Scott Gertner’s
along elevators, escalators and the interior walls. The parkscape will span all three blocks and include mid-block crossings on Fannin and San Jacinto between Dallas and Polk to improve the sense of connectedness. A courtyard, planned for the central block between Fannin and San Jacinto, is intended to become a natural gathering spot, while additional outdoor patios, updated wayfinding signage, and scaled lighting will enhance the visitor experience. Vertical blade and banner signage on the project’s exterior wall facing Dallas will be used for tenant exposure and GreenStreet marketing, and upgrades to the
Midway plans to transform the blah blocks into a colorful, connected place where people like to gather.
16 summer 2013
courtesy of aerosol warfare
GreenStreet Graffiti There is a transformation happening at GreenStreet in downtown Houston! On Monday, June 3, the public is invited to witness GreenStreet Graffiti, a unique and interactive event where acclaimed graffiti artists, hand-selected by Aerosol Warfare Gallery’s GONZO247, remake GreenStreet into a vibrant explosion of colors and graphic art. As the last splash of paint is applied, downtown hipsters and art aficionados will be treated to an evening of entertainment and a DJ on Thursday, June 6 from 5 – 8 p.m.
façade of the adjoining parking garage on Clay between Main and Fannin will make it more easily recognizable for guests. With close analysis and a thoughtful design approach, Midway looked to successful destinations with linear layouts, such as New York’s High Line, a park built along a repurposed elevated rail line, to produce their engaging plan for redevelopment. The Houston Pavilions experience was somewhat uninviting – the only live plants were tall bamboo stalks, which further hindered the already limited sightlines. “It felt like the Houston Pavilions had been left in “primer stage” and lacked final finishes,” says Bryant. “Our plans are to soften the look with pavers, wood accents on landscaping and soften the lighting levels for nighttime to move away from the hospital operating room feel.” Listen to tenants Midway has made efforts to use the experience and input of tenants. “We realized we needed to get tenants working together and sharing their knowledge with us and with each other,” says Bryant. “Now we have big meetings to get their feedback, combine our efforts, and collaborate. Early on, Midway called a big family meeting to tell tenants that they were no longer latch-key kids, but with Midway, they have parents who are more available and hands-on.
Midway’s plan seeks to enhance synergies among tenants, so that customers will be drawn to more than one tenant during any given visit to GreenStreet. The increased signage, banners, lighting and graphics along the project are geared to help people perceive the three blocks as one connected destination with much to offer. “We also have to let people know how to get there,” says Bryant. “They can ride the free Greenlink during the weekdays, take METRORail, use a bike share station, walk, or drive and park in our parking garage.” As with CityCentre, Midway hopes that hosting numerous events throughout year will raise visibility and the public’s connection to GreenStreet. “We will also connect and communicate with people through social media before they even go there, then we’ll work to build a daily relationship with customers through social media outlets. Residential is essential Downtown is set to experience a significant residential influx, with more than 1,000 additional units officially underway. Realtors expect the 397 units at the new Finger Companies project near Minute Maid Park, the 336 units at SkyHouse Houston, and the 320 units tentatively planned for the old Texaco Building to fill quickly.
“Whereas CityCentre is an island of dining, entertainment and leisure activities, you have to think of Downtown as one large mixed-use project, so I think residential is undoubtedly important,” says Brinsden. Midway’s team traveled to 17 cities to explore 27 different mixed-used projects to determine which elements made some projects better than others. “What we came away with is that having residential as a component is critical,” says Brinsden. “There’s something about the authenticity of that 24-hour nature, that permanence, that makes residential essential.” Bryant notes the importance of being a good citizen of the Downtown neighborhood. “We have been reaching out to other downtown destinations like Discovery Green, Toyota Center and South Texas College of Law,” says Bryant. “We want to be good neighbors. We are working with those guys to share resources and coordinate so we’re not competing with them for attendance or parking.” Va l u e o f h o m e w o r k “When we purchased the property out of receivership, there was still a lot of legal and financial mess to clean up, so we spent the first several months doing just that,” says Bryant. “Beyond the legal and financial side, we spent a lot of time talking to the stakeholders, really understanding what they like/don’t like, what works/doesn’t work and thinking about a plan going forward. What we didn’t want was to just come in on the first day and then a month later say ‘we are going to do this’ and later announce we were going to do something different. We’ve tried to take a step back and be thoughtful about the planning process.” “We don’t like to announce things we’re not going to do,” says Brinsden. “Some people will use the press for marketing, but our approach is that we’re only going to talk about what we know we’re really going to do, because you lose credibility when you talk about a lot of things and end up not doing them. We’d just prefer to do our homework and then, when we’re ready to talk about it, we’ll talk about it.”
Events and Happenings For info on special events check
greenstreetdowntown.com facebook.com/greenstreetdowntown @GreenStreetHou 832.320.1200
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s g n i h fun t mer to do this
n w o t down ambrose by amber
ummer is the season of adventure. The kids are out of school,
the adults all have a case of wanderlust and the longer days are asking to be filled with excitement and activity. Luckily, Downtown has it all— food, drink, sports, art, movies, theater, music, dancing and most of all, fun. After all, some of life’s greatest adventures are hidden right under your nose, or in this case, right under the beautiful Houston skyline.
No 1 20
Sit next to one of the Dynamo’s most avid fan groups – the Texian Army (anywhere near Section 135 in the stadium) and learn chants like Oh Dynamo or We Want a Goal/Vamo Vamo. Or stand the entire 90 minutes to cheer on the city’s finest
(and only) Major League Soccer team. Summer home games at BBVA Compass Stadium include: June 22, 8 p.m.; July 6, 8 p.m.; July 27, 7 p.m.; Aug. 3, 8 p.m.; and Aug. 17, 8 p.m. houstondynamo.com | texianarmy.org
No 2 Pick up some cheese, crackers, salami, olives, fruit and exotic sodas or juices at Phoenicia Specialty Foods before heading across the street to Discovery Green for a picnic. If the park gets a little too hot, walk right back into MKT Bar — which is the sit-down, table-service side of Phoenicia — for some refreshing gelato, great wine selection and live music from local artists. phoeniciafoods.com | 1001 Austin
Grab a chef-prepared gourmet lunch at Saint Arnold Brewing Company and perhaps a complimentary sample of their seasonal Summer Pils. (We won’t tell the boss.) The menu changes daily, so check out the website for a listing of the week’s meals. Served from 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. on weekdays, the counterservice format is super casual, despite the wow-I-can’tbelieve-I’m-eating-this-well-at-a-brewery caliber meals. Be warned. They do occasionally sell out. Fridays are popular for obvious reasons, as are the days of chickenfried steak. Best bets are to call ahead or show up early. saintarnold.com | 2000 Lyons Ave.
No 4 Watch Southern-hewn rock band Alabama Shakes perform their breakout hit Hold On live at the Free Press Summer Festival. You can also catch The Postal Service, Bassnectar, Iggy and the Stooges, Passion Pit, Arctic Monkeys, Geto Boys, Cat Power, The Head and the Heart, Paul Wall and too many others to list. Dress skimpily and be prepared to sweat in the summer sizzle, although there’ll be plenty of refreshments in the form of beverages, food vendors, water bottle fill stations and natural shade.
o N 5 June 1-2 | Eleanor Tinsley Park | fpsf.com
Think summers in Houston are hot? Not as hot as the reservations for a table at nationally recognized Oxheart, a restaurant renowned for innovative and beautifully composed plates of locally grown vegetables, humanely raised meats and sustainable seafood. Chef Justin Yu was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award earlier this year and garnered a near-perfect, four-star review from Houston Chronicle critic, Alison Cook, last year. Commit to the tasting menu and try a little bit of everything. After all, you never know when another reservation is going to be available. oxhearthouston.com | 1302 Nance
Make Buffalo Bayou “burp” by pressing the little red button behind the Wortham Theater on the Preston Street Bridge. It is ok to push the button. But it still feels slightly illicit, which satisfies the mischievous 12-year-old inside us all. We’d explain further, but don’t want to spoil the surprise. Just wait a few moments after pressing the button to get the full effect. Preston between Bagby and Smith
Sip a cocktail and help a nonprofit at OKRA’s Charity Saloon. The freshly baked cookies aren’t too bad either, or the fresh panini, or the house-made beef jerky… ok, you get the point. It’s all pretty amazing considering that 100 percent of the bar’s profits go to Houston-based charities. We’ll drink to that. friedokra.org | 924 Congress
Make a date and go bar and restaurant hopping downtown. Theme ideas – channel ghosts at famous haunts like historic wine bar, La Carafe, casual and pub-like Brewery Tap and legendarily supernatural Spaghetti Warehouse; check out all the new hipster places in Market Square like OKRA Charity Saloon (see number 7), Latin tapas restaurant Batanga, ramen with a side of cool at Goro & Gun and some of Houston’s best libations at Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge; progressive dinner at some of downtown’s coolest hotels with appetizers and cocktails at The Sam Houston Hotel’s *17, entrees at Hotel Icon’s Line & Lariat, dessert at the Hyatt’s Spindletop (a rotating restaurant with the best view in the city) and after-dinner drinks poolside at the Four Seasons Hotel. Fun idea: to get from hotel to hotel, check out Houston B-cycle and roll in style! L a Carafe 813 Congress St.
Batanga 908 Congress
*17 1117 Prairie
Brewery Tap 717 Franklin St.
Goro & Gun 306 Main
Line & L ariat 220 Main
Spaghetti Warehouse 901 Commerce St.
Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & spirit lodge 308 Main
Spindletop 1200 Louisiana
OKRA Charit y Saloon 924 Congress
Four Seasons Houston 1300 Lamar
Quote along with Clark (Chevy Chase) and follow the wacky Griswold family on their way to Walleyworld as the Downtown District and Alamo Drafthouse present their Rolling Roadshow at Market Square Park: National Lampoon’s Family Vacation. July 10, 8:30 p.m. Bring a blanket or a folding chair for your seating pleasure. Saint Arnold on draft at Niko Niko’s. marketsquarepark.com | 300 Travis
No 12 Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle all or some of the 26 miles along Buffalo Bayou designated as an “official paddling trail” by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Wear your life jacket, study the map and use the Sabine Street Bridge access point before setting off on a one-of-a-kind urban adventure. Mosquito spray is probably a good idea, too. buffalobayou.org
Lunch and Bowl at Lucky Strike in GreenStreet (formerly Houston Pavilions). Buy lunch, bowl for free. It really is that easy. While there is no such thing as a free lunch, there apparently is such a thing as free bowling. Weekdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. bowlluckystrike.com | 1201 San Jacinto
No 14 Show your pride and gather with Houston’s GLBT community at Discovery Green for a free concert featuring Chris Cox, Crystal Waters and Derrick Barry for the 3rd annual Rainbow on the Green. Did we mention it’s free? June 21, starting at noon. discoverygreen.com | 1500 McKinney
Drink rare beers and help celebrate The Flying Saucer Downtown’s 13th anniversary during their annual summer celebration in mid August. Keep an eye on their website to catch the “rare juice” tapping list a few days before the event. Pro tip: plan ahead to take a cab home, these beers aren’t “light,” if you know what we mean.
beerknurd.com | 705 Main yellowcabhouston.com or 713.236.1111
Head to the Dirt Bar for late-night drinks and possible rock star sightings. No really, it’s been known to attract bona fide bands for after-show boozing. Metallica, Muse, Kings of Leon and many other legendary musicians have stopped by, providing guests with perfect dinner party anecdotes that start off, “Well, there was this one night at Dirt Bar where I bought a Jameson on the rocks for Lady Gaga …” dirtbar.com | 1209 Caroline
Get cultured at the 20th Annual Theater District Open House on August 25 from noon-4 p.m. Tour the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the Alley Theatre, Wortham Center and Jones Hall (basically, where all the magic happens), watch various performances, stock up on specially priced tickets for upcoming seasons and cap off the afternoon with a complimentary concert from the Houston Symphony. Hobby Center 800 Bagby, thehobbycenter.org Alley Theatre 615 Texas Ave., alleytheatre.org Wortham Center 500 Texas Ave., houstonfirsttheaters.com Jones Hall 615 Louisiana, houstonfirsttheaters.com
Enroll the kiddos in classes ranging from musical theater to audition skills at Theatre Under The Stars’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Summer classes start in mid June and run through mid August and are available for rising stars ages 4-18. Stage moms need not apply, though there are performances at the end of most workshops to showcase the kids’ newest skills. Jazz hands anyone? tuts.com | 800 Bagby
Support public radio station, KPFT, as well as the Last Concert Cafe at the 27th annual Watermelon Dance & Summer Social on Saturday, July 27. Celebrating Last Concert’s anniversary and donating every cent of the $15-20 cover charge to 90.1, KPFT, there are also margaritas, live music, Tex-Mex, arts and crafts vendors, ice cold watermelon and some of the best people watching in town. The quirky combination makes for one of the summer’s hottest events. Hula-hoop optional. lastconcert.com | 1403 Nance St.
See why the Dumpling Lady at Doozo Dumplings & Noodles has become the Houston equivalent to New York’s Soup Nazi, who was famously profiled in an episode of Seinfeld. And then enjoy some of the best dumplings available in all of Houston as the prize for such bravery. P.S. Don’t be turned off by the line – the Dumpling Lady may be militant, but she’s also very efficient. shopsathc.com | 1200 McKinney
Grab lunch from one of Houston’s eclectic food trucks or peruse the prepared foods and fresh produce and products of more than 25 farm, food and craft vendors at the City Hall Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. through June 26. greenhoustontx.gov | 901 Bagby
Get the most out of Houston’s annual Freedom Over Texas July Fourth celebration in Eleanor Tinsley Park not only by attending, but by volunteering. There’s truly nothing more American than that. The free parking for volunteers doesn’t hurt either. Nor does the lineup that’s just as bright as the fireworks they’ll precede: Superstars Sheryl Crow and Martina McBride will headline the festivities. freedomovertexas.org | Eleanor Tinsley Park
Get out of the hot sun and into a dark theater for some quality films, whether that means an indie flick or a summer blockbuster. Pleasing audiences with not only an eclectic selection of movies, Sundance Cinemas in Bayou Place also completes the package with gourmet food, some of the most creative, movie-themed cocktails, an extensive craft beer and wine selection and tasty snacks from local vendors like Cloud 10 Creamery, Good Pop and Michael’s Cookie Jar. Insider’s tip: the Dr. Jones is the holy grail of cocktails.
Feel the wind on your face, the road under your feet and the sun on your shoulders as you glide across the sidewalks of Downtown on a Segway. Yes, there’s a tour for that, and the vehicle of choice is half the fun. The bonus is the learning component, which features everything from Buffalo Bayou to the in-depth history of this great Bayou City. Tours usually meet daily at the plaza in front of the Wortham Center at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. segwaytoursofhouston.com
sundancecinemas.com/Houston 510 Texas Ave.
Get sweaty on the dance floor inside House of Blues’ super exclusive Foundation Room and the spacious Bronze Peacock during BESO Saturdays. Brush up on your cha-cha skills and dress to impress for this Latinthemed dance party from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. every Saturday this summer. DJs, live bands and go-go dancers will keep the crowd grooving until their feet can’t take anymore. The crowd is strictly 21 and older and table reservations are available. Now get to practicing. One two three four, five six seven eight … houseofblues.com | 1204 Caroline
Adults can enjoy some grownup humor thanks to the exploits and sales pitches of Dixie Longate, a sassy Southern lady selling Tupperware in Zilkha Hall June 4-16 (brought to you by Theatre Under The Stars). In the appropriately named Dixie’s Tupperware Party, Ms. Longate recounts her meteoric rise to the top of the Tupperware sales ladder, affectionately refers to her audience/ clients as “hookers” and, well, sells the heck out of some Tupperware. TUTS recommends that no one under the tender age of 16 attend due to the adult content in the show. tuts.com | 800 Bagby
No 27 Learn how to skateboard or at least watch others do so at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park. Like a work of modern art, the geometric variety of the concrete structure is both visually and viscerally pleasing. Skateboarders, roller bladers and roller skaters hone their aerodynamic feats of skill from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, except on Sundays, when the park doesn’t open until 1 p.m. Helmets and a lack of fear are required. houstontx.gov/parks | 103 Sabine St.
Escape underneath the city for a tour of the downtown tunnels. Discovery Houston Tours takes you through architectural treasures that span the decades — 1929 all the way through 1976 — and plenty of food from tunnel vendors, not to mention a one-of-a-kind history lesson. The tour lasts around three hours, so wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to learn more than you ever thought possible about this intricate and surprising little underworld of Houston. discoverhoustontours.com
Relive your favorite Pixar movies through the magic of music. The Houston Symphony will perform scores from movies like Toy Story,
The Incredibles, UP and Brave alongside clips from the movies. Buzz Lightyear and Mr. Incredible in concert? What could be better? Performance dates: July 19 and 20, 7:30 p.m. at Jones Hall. houstonsymphony.org | 615 Louisiana
Watch some of the toughest folks in Houston — who just happen to be women — race their way around an indoor track while wearing roller skates, knee pads, wrist guards, helmets and of course, a determined attitude. Otherwise known as Houston Roller Derby, four home teams represent during ‘bouts’ at the Bayou Music Center (formerly the Verizon Wireless Theater): The Bayou City Bosses, The Brawlers, The Valkyries and The Psych Ward Sirens. Team names give only a small hint of the tenacity involved in the sport, which is most exciting viewed up close. June 15, July 20 and August 17, bouts start at 7 p.m. houstonrollerderby.com | 520 Texas Ave.
Just a stone’s throw away from where the big boys play basketball in the Toyota Center you can find your own game at Root Memorial Square Park. The gorgeous court is in prime condition, garnering it a nod from Houston Press last year as the Best Basketball Court in the city. The only thing you provide is a basketball and a group of friends ready to shoot some hoops and talk some trash. Unfortunately, while the proximity to the Rockets’ stomping ground might provide some inspiration, it does not guarantee your three-point shots, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. houstonfirsttheaters.com | 1400 La Branch
Revert back to the days of ripped jeans, baby-faced boy bands and the sweet harmonies of youth with The Package tour when it lands in Houston June 27. Innuendo notwithstanding, the “package” includes the soulful and sexy Boyz II Men, pop-tastic 98 Degrees and the forever heartthrobs of New Kids On The Block, aka NKOTB. Let Danny, Jordan, Joey, Donny and John serenade the inner Clearasilwearing adolescent in all of us, taking it Step by Step through the memories of middle school and pre-teen drama. Don’t worry, it’s ok to scream like a pre-pubescent girl when Hangin’ Tough begins … that’s sort of the point of it all. June 27, 7:30 p.m. houstontoyotacenter.com | 1510 Polk
Find out exactly what Greekfast means at Niko Niko’s in Market Square Park. Open by 7 a.m. during the week and 8 a.m. on the weekends, it’s the perfect spot for al fresco dining, a game of backgammon and an opa!-tastic spin on breakfast with dishes like the Spartan Pita,which marries gyro, Greek sausage, potatoes, grilled onions and bell peppers along with a sunny-side up egg all wrapped in a fluffy flatbread. Don’t forget the Greek coffee which is described as “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love.” nikonikos.com | 301 Milam
Is sustainability a buzzword in your office? Are you con-
stantly being badgered to recycle and reuse, carpool and co-op? Well the transportation end of it just got a whole lot easier with two environmentally-friendly options to get around downtown—Greenlink and B-cycle. Embrace your inner “green” and make it fun. Grab a few co-workers and see what new places Downtown you can discover over lunch or after work. Suggestions: a happy hour movie at Sundance—they’ve got a full bar plus local craft beer options (B-cycle station); the amazing dessert case at Phoenicia Specialty Foods (B-cycle station & Greenlink stop); the bocce ball court at Discovery Green (Greenlink stop & B-cycle station); the Lady Bird food truck at GreenStreet on Thursdays for killer grilled cheese sandwiches (Greenlink stop & B-cycle station); a Flaming Leah or Pink Delicious cocktail at Ladies Night at Hearsay in the Historic District (B-cycle station); or how about the Neil Armstrong exhibit at the Heritage Society Museum at Sam Houston Park (Greenlink stop & B-cycle station). Team building has never been this fun! downtownhouston.org/getting-around
What is Greenlink?
Environmentally friendly buses using compressed natural gas, which produces fewer emissions and less waste. When do they run? MondayFriday, 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., every 7-10 minutes. How much does it cost? It’s free! Where can I go? Anywhere within the downtown route, which includes 18 different stops at various intersections.
What is B-cycle?
A bike share program that provides a quick transportation alternative for getting around the city. Whether you’re grabbing coffee or commuting to work, Houston B-cycle sets you free from your car and relies on the best alternative fuel: YOU. Rolling in Downtown, Midtown, Montrose and the Museum District. Annual, weekly and daily memberships are available.
Alley resident actor todd waite
photo by janN whaley
Get Wicked at The Hobby Center’s Sarofim Hall with the previously untold story behind the two witches of Oz. This popular musical makes its way into downtown this summer after winning 35 major awards including a Grammy and three Tony Awards. With themes that examine the gray area between good and wicked, a memorable score, incredible sets, costumes and special effects, it’s sure to leave you spellbound. July 10 – Aug. 11. houston.broadway.com | 800 Bagby
Reduce body fat while increasing energy levels with free exercise classes at Discovery Green all summer long. Weekly classes include Core Focused Yoga, Blissful Warrior Yoga, Hoop Dancing, Bum-ba toning, Zumba and kayaking on Kinder Lake. It’s just in time for bathing suit season, and now that you know it’s free, you have no excuses. discoverygreen.com | 1500 McKinney
Speaking of yoga, adults aren’t the only ones who can try downwardfacing dog, mountain pose or planking. For toddlers who want in on the action, there’s a class for that. Parents can bring the little ones to this family-friendly gathering at the Central Library every Tuesday starting at 10:30 a.m. Namaste (and hopefully a great naptime to follow). houstonlibrary.org | 500 McKinney
No 40 Fancy yourself a mystery? The Alley Theatre has the cure with their summer production, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club. Filled with suspense, British accents and dapper detectives, this lavish production is sure to please, and that is simply elementary my dear Watson. Also elementary is taking advantage of the ticket promotions: discounted seats for $26 - $36 on Tuesday and Sunday evenings. alleytheatre.org | 615 Texas Ave
Grab your retro Astros cap, because it probably matches the new, retroinspired logo revamp of the home team, and head over to the ballpark for the Friday night game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Since both are high-soaring teams, at least in the symbolism-of-their-mascots sense, it should be an interesting match up. Also high in the sky will be the Big and Bright Friday Night fireworks display following the game. June 28, 7:10 p.m.
Break up that summer boredom and haul the kids under the sea for an all-day excursion at the Downtown Aquarium. Two for Tuesdays translates to buy one, get one free All-Day Adventure Passes, which grant access to all the various exhibits like Louisiana Swamp with its gators, snapping turtles and gar; the sunken hull of a 17th-century ship and its subsequent coral reef and habitat; tropical rainforest animals and environments; the ruins of an ancient Mayan temple; an offshore rig replete with swirling sharks; and the majestic white tigers of Maharaja’s Temple. Access to all four rides also is included in the adventure pass.
astros.com | 501 Crawford
aquariumrestaurants.com | 410 Bagby
No 41 Immerse yourself this summer in the world of the Blue Men, their homemade music, quirky mannerisms and spectacular visuals. Brought to Jones Hall by the Society for the Performing Arts, The Blue Man Group puts on a show like no other, and it is highly recommended for those who like music, humor, technology and fun. And sometimes being made fun of. (Don’t worry, they’ll be gentle.) June 4-9. spahouston.org | 615 Louisiana
A bit of an enigma, Critical Mass is an event, a leaderless activity that involves people with bikes meeting at a set place — in this case at Market Square Park — on the last Friday of every month to join forces and ride through the city together on bikes. Don’t forget the lights for your bike and a helmet for your head. June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30, between 6:30-7 p.m. houstoncriticalmass.com | 300 Travis
Park on the street (it’s free on Sundays) and catch the METRORail to Reliant Stadium for the Texans’ August 25 pre-season game against the New Orleans Saints. Get off at the Preston Station downtown and head to the Historic District’s funky bars and pubs for post-game drinks to celebrate the future of our beloved home team. Or drown your sorrows. It all depends on the game. We can only hope it’s the former. ridemetro.org
He was an American hero, an adventurer, an inspiration to many and one of the most famous astronauts in the history of the world. As the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong lives on in the hearts and minds of those who can only dream of reaching outer space and through an exhibit at The Heritage Society Museum Gallery. Experience Armstrongâ€™s rare and not-so-rare autographed photos collected by Houstonian Anthony Pizzitola on display through June 28. heritagesociety.org | 1100 Bagby
Performing Arts 33 Festivals & Special Events 36 Market Square Park 38 Discovery Green 39 and more
Pixar in Concert For the first time ever, the Houston Symphony presents Pixar in Concert, with visually stunning clips and memorable scores from each of Pixarâ€™s 13 movies, including their latest release, Brave.
presentation licensed by disney music publishing ÂŠ disneypixar
Edited by Angie Bertinot
WARRIOR CLASS Through Jun 2 Kenneth Lin returns to the Alley with his newest play, Warrior Class, a play that centers on Julius Weishan Lee, a New York assemblyman who’s been dubbed “The Republican Obama.” Lee is the son of Chinese immigrants and a decorated war veteran with a seemingly limitless political career ahead of him. Then someone from his past threatens to reveal a college transgression, and Lee must decide how far he’ll go to keep the incident out of the public eye. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
amy fote, photo by amitava sarkar
SUMMER CHILLS: AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE HOLLOW Jul 5-Aug 4 A weekend gathering at The Hollow family estate of Lady Lucy and Sir Henry Angkatell explodes in the murder of one of their guests, physician John Cristow. When the good doctor is found shot, almost everyone is suspect with opportunity and motive including his dim but loyal wife, his current mistress, and his ex-mistress, who lives on a neighboring estate. Don’t miss this classic Christie whodunit filled with brilliantly eccentric characters. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
PERFORMING ARTS SISTER ACT Through Jun 2 Sister Act is Broadway’s musical comedy smash! Featuring original music by eighttime Oscar winner Alan Menken, Sister Act tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look – a convent! Tickets start at $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org JOURNEY WITH THE MASTERS Through Jun 9 From the banks of the Vltava River to the grandeur of a Russian palace to the raindrenched sidewalks of Central Park, Houston Ballet’s spring repertory program is a fantastic voyage led by the grand masters of choreography. Jirí Kylián’s Sinfonietta is an exuberant tribute to the Czech choreographer’s homeland. Ballet Imperial is George Balanchine’s homage to St. Petersburg, to the choreographer Marius Petipa, whom he referred to as “the father of classic ballet,” and to Russia’s greatest composer, Peter Tchaikovsky. Tickets $19$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org SCOOBY-DOO! LIVE MUSICAL MYSTERIES Jun 1 Jeepers! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang have been called in to help solve an epic mystery in Houston. A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theater, and the gang is on its
way in the Mystery Machine to help solve it. This hilarious live theater show brings everyone’s favorite animated series to life. Tickets $18-$73. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org SHAPING SOUND Jun 4 The dance dream that spawned Oxygen’s hit show All The Right Moves goes from screen to stage with Shaping Sound’s first live national tour.
Emmy-nominated choreographers and So You Think You Can Dance superstars Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson lead a dynamic company of contemporary dancers from SYTYCD, Dancing With The Stars, and international tours with recording artists and world-renowned dance companies. Tickets $40-$85. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 832.487.7041. shapingsoundco.com
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS Aug 16-17 C.S. Lewis’ brilliant novel The Screwtape Letters, reveals spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view. A sold-out hit in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., this funny, provocative and wickedly witty theatrical adaptation, starring Max McLean as Screwtape, will change the way you think about how demons influence your everyday life. Tickets $44-$94. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
datebook. of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com GLAMOROUS GLEE Jun 8 For their annual Pride show, Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston will perform a tribute to the tradition of glee club choruses. Enjoy favorite male glee club songs of the past and from present popular fabulous stage shows, presented as only these men can. Tickets $30-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 7:30 pm. 713.521.7464. bayoucityperformingarts.org LAW OF AGES Jun 12-15 Don’t miss the Houston Bar Association’s annual, all-lawyer musical comedy. This year’s show Law of Ages: Feel the Energy will explore global energy issues from the origin of fossil fuels from dinosaurs in Houston through current issues surrounding climate change, global warming and energy exploration. All proceeds of this show benefit legal charities in Houston. Tickets $24-$34. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. nightcourt.org BLUE MAN GROUP Jun 4-9 Blue Man Group returns to thrill Houston with its high-octane theatrical experience. Escape the ordinary and surround yourself in an explosion of comedy, music and technology. If you’ve never seen Blue Man Group, it’s a must-see. If you’re already a fan, don’t miss it. Tickets $30-$75. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org FLASHDANCE Jun 4-16 It all started with a dream to be bigger, to burn brighter and to dance harder. Now is the time to live the dream all over again. Based on the movie that defined a generation, Flashdance-The Musical
tells the unforgettable story of Alex, a working-class girl from Pittsburgh striving to make her dancing dreams a reality. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com DIXIE’S TUPPEWARE PARTY Jun 4-16 Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took off-Broadway, London and Melbourne by storm. Join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good old-fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, free giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB Through Jun 23 Jeffrey Hatcher crafts a smart new Sherlock Holmes mystery based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Suicide Club and featuring beloved characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Todd Waite will play the iconic and illustrious detective in a spectacular, lavish production. Dark forces may be manipulating the deaths of prominent men in a plot so far reaching that the fate of Europe is at stake. It is up to the brilliant Detective Holmes and his old friend Dr. Watson to uncover the chilling secret of the suicide club. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
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PETER PAN Jun 13-23 Join Wendy, Peter and the Darling boys as they embark on a magical adventure to Neverland. It’s a magnificent world where people fly, where fairies are real, where crocodiles tick like clocks, and where boys never grow up. With swashbuckling sword fights, giant puppets, vibrant masks and colorful sets by Thomas Boyd, Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan is an invigorating journey from beginning to end. Peter Pan may not have grown up, but his story has. Tickets $19-$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org SHREYA GHOSHAL Jun 29 Don’t miss the sweetheart nightingale of Bollywood and one of India’s most-famous playback singers Tickets $35-150. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 510 Preston. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com THE TENORS Jun 29 Since its inception five years ago, the Tenors have been thrilling audiences around the world with their powerful voices and memorable melodies. Their blend of classical music and contemporary pop has garnered them international success. Their music is rich and soulful with powerful anthems and beautiful melodies. For their live performance, the Tenors will draw selections from their new album, Lead With Your Heart, as well as some of their past hits. Tickets $53. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org VIDEO GAMES LIVE Jul 5 Join the Houston Symphony for a video game, multimedia concert experience. This immersive concert event features an all new program with music from the most-popular video games of all time, combined with exclusive synchronized video, music arrangements, lighting and much more. Pre- and post-concert events include a costume contest, Guitar Hero competition, and a meet-and-greet with top composers and designers of the game industry. Tickets $25-$125. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 7:30 pm. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
HOUSTON Summer PUBLIC Calendar LIBRARY All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org
ART THING! Jun 8, 22, Jul 6, Aug 10, 24 Learn about art and artists and make your own creation to take home. 3 pm. Central Library.
TUNES AT NOON Wednesdays in June In conjunction with the City Hall Farmers Market, enjoy live music on the plaza. Noon. Central Library Plaza, 500 McKinney. HPL SUMMER READING PROGRAM - GO UNDER COVER! Jun 1-Aug 1 Program for children and teens up to 18 years of age. Central Library, 500 McKinney.
EXHIBIT: FINE TUNING: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY Jun 8-Oct 18 Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America’s oldest performing arts organizations, with a distinguished musical history. Over the years, the orchestra has grown and matured under the direction of distinguished leaders from Ernst Hoffmann (1936-47) to Maestro Hans Graf, who took the podium in September 2001. This exhibit reflects on the past 100 years of the Houston Symphony. Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinney.
FUN WITH SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS Jun 1, 29, Jul 13, 27 and Aug 3, 17 Work on a science experiment with us. For school-age children. 3 pm. Central Library.
RINGLING CLOWNS Jun 8 Catch the Barnum & Bailey Circus clowns before the Big Top show! 2 pm. Central Library, 500 McKinney.
JUNGLE JIM’S WILD ENCOUNTERS Jun 5 Jungle Jim brings bugs and small animals from all over the world for this exciting program. It’s a learning experience you will never forget! 10:30 am. Central Library, 500 McKinney.
MAD SCIENCE OF HOUSTON Jun 12 We have fun down to a science. These entertaining activities instill a clearer understanding of what science is really about and how it affects the world around us. The show may include experiments featuring static electricity, bubbling
potions, chemical reactions and more. 10:30 am. Central Library, 500 McKinney. ABUBAKR KOUYATE Jun 15 Abubakr is a highly energetic, expressive, entertaining storyteller and drummer with 40 years of experience in the West African village style of Guinea and Mali. 2 pm. COMMUNITY CINEMA PRESENTS: LIVE FREE OR DIE Jun 19 A sneak preview of Love Free or Die, a film about a man whose two defining passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner, Mark. Gene Robinson is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom. 6 pm. Central Library, 500 McKinney. CLAUDE SIMS Jun 19 Enjoy a thrilling show of juggling, costume, stunts, antics and audience interaction. 10:30 am. Central Library. HAPPY THE CLOWN Jun 26 This exciting clown show includes wonderful magic tricks, delightful jokes, tons of fun, games, contests and lots of audience participation. 10:30 am. Central Library. AN AFTERNOON WITH AUTHOR TRINELLE THOMAS Jun 29 Author Trinelle Thomas discusses and signs copies of her book, A
Serpent’s Whisper, based on events that happened in her life. Trinelle took her most private thoughts and prayers that she wrote in her diary as a teenager and turned them into her first novel. 2 pm. Central Library, 500 McKinney
PUPPET PIZZAZZ Jul 24 A fun and theatric puppet program for all ages. Hand puppets, giant full body puppets, puppets made from found objects and recycled materials, and shadow puppetry are included. 10:30 am. Central Library.
STORYTELLER SALLY BATES Jul 3 Librarian Sally Bates is a dynamic and wonderful storyteller for children of all ages. 10:30 am. Central Library.
TED SCHWANK MAGIC & ILLUSIONS Jul 31 He isn’t called the most energetic magician on the planet for nothing! This highenergy magic show will surely entertain. 10:30 am. Central Library.
DINOSAURS ROCK Jul 10 Dinosaurs Rock is an exciting presentation of authentic fossils and museum exhibits. Children will be selected out of the audience to assist in the presentation, which will cover several topics including dinosaur extinction, meat eaters vs. plant eaters, fossils and The Ghost Ranch. Following the presentation, each child will be able to dig for authentic fossil specimens to take home. 10:30 am. Central Library. NON-TOXIC BAND Jul 17 Non-Toxic Band plays lively, original music about who we are, where we live, and how things work: guitar, singing, harmonica and percussion. 10:30 am. Central Library. PACODU EXOTICS Jul 20 This exotic animal zoo brings 10 small animals to the library. Learn about each animal in this educational and interactive program. 2 pm. Central Library.
FAMILY FUN Mondays Baby Time, 10:30 am. Toddler Time, 11:30 am.
Tuesdays Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am. Family Yoga, 11:30 am. Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am. Wednesdays Legos & Duplos, 2 pm. Thursdays Baby Yoga, 2 pm. Pajama Time, June and July 7 pm.
datebook. market hosts more than 40 vendors around the City Hall reflection pool with an array of locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as a variety of prepared lunch items made from local ingredients. Free. Wednesdays. 11 am-1:30 pm. 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540. greenhoustontx.gov FREE PRESS SUMMER FEST Jun 1-2 This music and arts festival will feature more than 50 local and national acts, including The Postal Service, Bassnectar, Iggy and the Stooges, Passion Pit, TV on the Radio, Calvin Harris, Alabama Shakes, Cat Power, Arctic Monkeys and more! Ticket prices vary. Eleanor Tinsley Park. 11 am-10 pm. 713.936.5965. fpsf.com HPD MOONLIGHT RIDE Jun 7 The Houston Police Department presents Neon Nights, the 5th Annual Moonlight Bike Ride sponsored by Haynes and Boone, LLP. Show your colors and support HPD in this fun, family-friendly ride. Registration starts at $15. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 8 pm - midnight. hpdmoonlightbikeride.org HERITAGE FAMILY DAY Jun 9 Enjoy an afternoon of old-fashioned fun and storytelling. Free. Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby Street. 1-4 pm. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
MUSIC OF THE ROLLING STONES Jul 6 Hailed as the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012. Conductor Brent Havens and vocalist Brody Dolyniuk join the Houston Symphony for a rock ‘n’ roll tribute concert to The Rolling Stones with full orchestra featuring their hits. Tickets $20-$93. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 7:30 pm. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org WICKED Jul 10-Aug 11 Winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, WICKED is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times). Long before that girl from Kansas arrived in Munchkinland, two girls met in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, was smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other –beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete - and completely satisfying - new musical in a long time.” (USA Today). Tickets start at $44. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org PIXAR IN CONCERT Jul 19-20 From the Toy Story trilogy to The Incredibles and UP, Pixar has forever impacted filmmaking and given audiences of all ages some of the most beloved characters in cinematic history. For the first time ever, the Houston Symphony presents Pixar in Concert, with visually stunning clips and memorable scores from each of Pixar’s 13 movies, including their latest release, Brave. Tickets $15-$79.
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Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. 7:30 pm. houstonsymphony.org H.M.S. PINAFORE Jul 19-28 The 2004 International Champion Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston proudly presents H.M.S. Pinafore – the masterpiece of classic English comic opera from the clever pens of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, creators of The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Tickets $36-$46. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. gilbertandsullivan.net FRANKIE VALLI Jul 27 One of the most successful vocal groups of the 1960s, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons join the Houston Symphony for an evening of smash hit singles. With his unmistakable falsetto voice, legendary status, and impeccable harmonies, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Frankie Valli will perform chart-topping favorites, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Sherry, Oh What a Night and many more. Tickets $35-$149. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Through Jun 26 It’s a food-lovers delight at Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market. The
SOUTHWEST AIRLINE FREEDOM OVER TEXAS WITH ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTED BY NRG Jul 4 Fireworks will ignite the Houston sky, and an array of diverse music will set the stage for an extraordinary patriotic celebration at the City of Houston’s official Fourth of July event, Southwest Airlines Freedom Over Texas. The event, presented by NRG, features Martina McBride and ninetime Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow. Tickets $8, children under 5 are free. Eleanor Tinsley Park at Buffalo Bayou. 4-10 pm. 832.393.0868. freedomovertexas.org
2013 ArCH FILM FESTIVAL: BOOM AND BUST Aug 9 Kick off ARcH’s Film Festival with Dark City at Market Square Park. Free. 8:30 pm Aug 15-17 Architecture Center Houston will host its 3rd Annual Film Festival. Featured films will focus on the Boom and Bust of developments, from megacities to suburban communities. Student and local artists’ short films will prelude each feature film. $10 Aug 15-16; $20 Aug 18. Free for ArCH Members. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. 7 pm. 713.250.0155. aiahouston.org
SHARK WEEKEND Aug 10-11 Celebrate everything sharks at the Downtown Aquarium with education booths, fun activities for the kids, arts and crafts and animal shows. Free. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
holder of the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston and the author of eleven books, will read from his new novel Tumbledown. McBride, New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Water, will read from his new book The Good Lord Bird: A Novel. Tickets are $5. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
20th ANNUAL THEATER DISTRICT OPEN HOUSE Aug 25 Visit the Alley Theatre, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Jones Hall and the Wortham Theater Center for backstage tours, lively performances and delicious eats from downtown restaurants. There also will be an opportunity to purchase season subscriptions to member performing arts organizations. Free. Noon-4 pm. houstontheaterdistrict.org
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS NEIL ARMSTRONG AUTOGRAPH EXHIBIT Through Jun 28 The Heritage Society presents an extensive display of Neil Armstrong autographs from the collection of Anthony Pizzitola who began pursuing the modern day Christopher Columbus in 1979. Free. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org 2012 ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2012: JAMES SURLS EXHIBITION Through Jul 26 Exhibition featuring the work of AIA Houston Artist of the Year 2012 James Surls, creator of Points of View the 25-foot sculpture in Market Square Park. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am-5 pm, Friday 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch
TWO FOR TUESDAYS Thursdays Buy one aquarium adventure pass and get one free. The Adventure Pass gives visitors access to the Aquarium Exhibit and all the rides, including the Shark Voyage train ride. Please print coupon from website and present at ticket booth to receive offer. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
SPEAKER SERIES AUTHORS IN ARCHITECTURE: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT Jun 20 Faculty fellow at Texas A&M University, Dr. Ana Geva, will present her book, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sacred Architecture: Faith, Form and Building Technology, the first comprehensive study of Frank Lloyd Wright’s sacred architecture, at ArCH. Reception and book signing to follow presentation. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. 5:30 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch INPRINT ROBERT BOSWELL & JAMES MCBRIDE READING Aug 26 The 2013-2014 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series kicks off with fiction writers Robert Boswell and James McBride. Boswell, co-
JERRY & MARVY FINGER LECTURE SERIES - MAUDE BROWN’S BABY Jun 20 Experience Houston’s Fourth Ward and Galveston’s nascent underworld in the turbulent month of September 1918, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring photojournalist mysteriously orphaned by the 1900 storm. Members are free, non-members $5. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby Street. Noon. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org BITTERS, BREWS AND BEYOND: HOUSTON HISTORY IN A BOTTLE Jul 2-Oct 26 This exhibit will feature a wonderful collection of glass bottles ranging from soda, milk and beer bottles, to medicine bottles from Houston pharmacies, to flasks, sauce bottles, canning jars and so much more. Free. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
Arts in Transit program, which looks at the art integrated into the design of the METRO rail stops. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am-5 pm, Fri 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch
CONCERTS BAYOU MUSIC CENTER Jun 6 Cody Simpson Jun 7 Fall Out Boy Jun 8 Juanes Jun 13 LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul Jul 21 Robert Plant Bayou Music Center concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 713.230.1600. bayoumusiccenter.com HOUSE OF BLUES Jun 1 Killswitch Engage Jun 4 Darren Criss Jun 6 The Dan Band Jun 11 Jesse & Joy Jun 15 Caifanes Jun 18 Thunder From Down Under Jun 20 Mike Pinto Jun 21 Tricky Jun 22 Royal Teeth Jun 26 Leon Russell Jun 27 Portugal. The Man Jun 28 Cyndi Lauper Jul 8 Emeli Sande Jul 13 Boney James Jul 21 Rodriguez y Gabriela Jul 23 Hollywood Undead Jul 24 Adler Jul 27 The Dillinger Escape Plan Aug 9 Bob Schneider Aug 22 Ted Nugent
LET’S EAT! MENUS AND MORE FROM HOUSTON’S CLASSIC RESTAURANTS Jul 2 This exhibit will feature The Heritage Society’s collection of memorabilia from Houston restaurants like Kaphan’s, the Rice Hotel Coffee Shop and Prince’s Hamburgers and will be sponsored by Goode Company. Free. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org THE METRO ARTS IN TRANSIT PROGRAM EXHIBITION Aug 8 – Sep 20 An exhibit featuring the METRO
MARKET Summer SQUARE Calendar PARK BIKE RIDES
BAYOU BIKERS Jun 6, Jul 7 and Aug 4 Take a 25- to 40-mile bike ride exploring the bayous of Houston. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are necessary. This is an informal group whose purpose is to show Houstonians and visitors the beauty of Houston’s waterways. Free. 8 am.
meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city to raise awareness and advocate a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm. houstoncriticalmass.com HOUSTON B-CYCLE STATION Ongoing You can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships and explore downtown. Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, the program is expanding from three to 14 stations in Downtown, Midtown, the Museum District and Montrose neighborhoods. bcycle.houston.com
MUSIC & MOVIES CRITICAL MASS Mar 29, Apr 26, May 31 Jun 28, Jul 26 and Aug 30 Critical mass is an informal bike group that
ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS For those of us who don’t want to schlep out to the ‘burbs, we’re bringing the Alamo
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 Jun 5 Fleetwood Mac Jun 27 New Kids on the Block Jul 15 Beyonce Jul 21 One Direction Jul 28 Carlos Vives Aug 3 Pesado Aug 15 Bruno Mars 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
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experience to Market Square Park. Enjoy these quirky classics under the stars. Jun 5 Bernie (PG-13), 104 min. 8:30 pm. Jul 10 National Lampoon’s Vacation (R), 98 min. 8:30 pm. Big Movie Classics! Jun 21 American Grafitti (PG), 110 min. 8:30 pm. Jul 27 Singin’ in the Rain (G), 103 min. 8:30 pm. 2013 ArCH Film Festival: Boom and Bust Kick-Off Event Aug 9 Architecture Center Houston is kicking off their 3rd Annual Film Festival with a free screening of Dark City (R), 100 min. 8:30 pm. The festival will run Aug 15-17 and will be featuring films that focus on the boom and bust of developments, from megacities to suburban communities. Student
and local artists’ short films will prelude each feature film. aiahouston.org Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s Market Square. No glass
HIGH CALIBER KNIFE & GUN SHOW Jun 22-23, Jul 20-21 Aug 31-Sep 1 See hundreds of displays of new and old guns, ammo, gun parts, books, knives, knife-sharpening tools, coins, camouflage and related items at discount prices. Tickets $8. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 281.331.5969. highcalibergunshow.com TEXAS BLACK EXPO Jun 22-23 In its 10th year, the Texas Black Expo is having a Juneteenth Summer Celebration with performances from R&B legends Mint Condition and Doug E. Fresh and radio personality Sybil Wilkes leading the Diva Dialogue Women’s Forum. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. texasblackexpo.com BRIDAL EXTRAVAGANZA Jul 20-21 The Bridal Extravaganza is a one-stop shop for brides, grooms and their families. All of Houston’s top wedding vendors come together in
containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed, please. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. $5 parking is available across the street at Market Square Garage. 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com
Be sure to visit Market Square Park’s Facebook page for info on special deals and happenings at the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
one location for this two-day extravaganza. Tickets $12. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5. bridalextravaganzashow.com PREMIERE GUN SHOW Aug 10-11 Enjoy a huge selection of firearms, ammunition, shooting supplies and knives. Dealers will have direct-from-the-factory guns as well as preowned and collectibles. Buy, trade and sell. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. fwgunshow.com
TOURS KAYAK TOURS Jun 1 Celebrate Houston in a whole new way and join the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for a kayak adventure through Houston’s stunning urban wilderness. All equipment is supplied, including
DISCOVERY Summer GREEN Calendar
The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green summer 2013 events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted.
paddle a solo kayak or a tandem kayak with a friend. The cost is $5 per person. Just show up and have fun. 11 am-5 pm.
FREE FITNESS IN THE PARK
Bum-ba Toning Mondays Tighten and tone your bum and body. 6:30-7:30 pm. CORE-FOCUSED YOGA Tuesdays Strengthen your body, relax your mind and find your center. 6:30-7:30 pm.
ZUMBA Wednesdays The exercise craze that has everyone moving to the beat! 6:30-7:30 pm.
DISCOVER YOUR WORLD Jun 2, Jun 16 Celebrate Houston’s international communities through music and performances. This free series is made possible in part through the City’s Initiative Grant Program of the Houston Arts Alliance. 4-10 pm. FLEA BY NIGHT Jun 15, Jul 20, Aug 17 A vintage market where everything old is new again – recycled, renewed objects, live music, food trucks and bicycle repair workshop, plus furniture, collectibles, clothing, jewelry and more. 6-10 pm. LAND ROVER HOUSTON CENTRAL RAINBOW ON THE
GREEN, PRESENTED BY LEGACY COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES Jun 21 The party before the party! GLBT celebration featuring performances by Derrick Barry, Crystal Waters and Chris Cox. 7:30 pm. SUNDOWN AT THE GROVE Wednesdays Jul 17 – Sep 18 5:30-8 pm thegrovehouston.com/ sundown
COMPUCYCLE PRESENTS RECYCLING SATURDAYS Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. On the fourth Saturday of each month bring
electronics for recycling. 10 am-2 pm KAYAK CLASS Wednesdays Learn to kayak on Kinder Lake. It can be relaxing, peaceful and serene, while awakening your awareness of nature. Must be 18 or older to participate. 6:30-7:30 pm. KAYAK BOAT RIDES ON KINDER LAKE Saturdays and Sundays Learn about paddling and enjoy all the beautiful fish swimming in the lake with a guided kayak ride around Kinder Lake. Children must be signed in by a parent or guardian. $5 per person. 11 am-5pm. KAYAK CAMP ON KINDER LAKE Jun 2, Jul 7, Aug 4 Participants will have the opportunity to
BLISSFUL WARRIOR YOGA Saturdays A practice for enhanced awareness and a strong, healthy body. 9-10 am. DISCOVERY HOOP DANCE Sundays, June only Have a blast while burning calories with an adult-sized hula hoop! 10:30-11:30 am.
IKEA HOUSTON SCREEN ON THE GREEN Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a free movie under the stars! Arrive early to enjoy fun activities. Jun 1 Grease (PG) 1978; 110 min. Celebrate the 35th anniversary of one of the most successful motion pictures of all time. 9 pm.
UHD PRESENTS THURSDAY CONCERTS AT DISCOVERY GREEN Rock out at familyfriendly concerts showcasing the best music of Texas and the Gulf Coast. June 6 Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Curtis Poullard (opens) June 13 Papa Grows Funk, Electric Attitude (opens) June 20 The Suffers and Chase Hamblin June 27* Grady Gaines and the Texas Upsetters *Saint Arnold Recycling Night, receive double reward points when you recycle six-pack carriers at these concerts.
FAMILIES & CHILDREN
YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP Saturdays through Jun 30 Writers in the Schools, HPL Express and Discovery Green team up to offer Houston’s only free open writing workshop for kids! 10:30-11:30 am.
other public events
TEXAS BLACK EXPO Jun 22 Live concert featuring legends Mint Condition and Doug E. Fresh. Ticket price applies. 6-10 pm. texasblackexpo.com FRIENDS FOR LIFE Jul 1 - Aug 17 A state-ofthe-art adoption center on wheels brings pets to the people in style. 12- 6 pm. nokill1.org
KSBJ BOOMIN CONCERT SERIES Jul 16, 23, 30; Aug 6 NGEN Radio will present its fourth annual free Boomin Concert Series this
summer. With Christian Rock, Hip Hop, and Electronic Dance Music, the Boomin Concert Series is a positive family fun experience that provides a sequence of non-stop fun experience will make it a summer to remember. ksbj.org CINEMA ARTS FESTIVAL JULYDOSCOPE Jul 20 High-energy, multicompany dance concert followed by the original version of Hairspray – the film that inspired a Broadway musical. Presented by Houston Cinema Arts Society, QFest, and Theatre Under The Stars, with generous support from Discovery Green and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Free. 6:30 pm. cinemartsociety.org
the tandem sit-on-top kayaks. $60 per person. Reservations and payment for tours must be made in advance. Allen’s Landing. 9 am-noon. 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org TWILIGHT TOURS Jun 1, 15; Jul 6, 20; Aug 3, 17 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the evening with your family and friends. $7/$5 for children 4-12 (cash only). Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
SECOND SATURDAY BUFFALO BAYOU BOAT RIDES Jun 8, Jul 13 and Aug 10 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family and friends. $7 for adults, $5 for children. Downtown’s Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou. 10 am-2 pm. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org BAT TOURS BY PONTOON BOAT Jun 14, 28; Jul 12, 26; Aug 9, 23 Enjoy an amazing view of the bats’ dusk emergence and learn more about these magnificent flying mammals that share the city with us. $35 for adults, $25 for children. Depart at dusk, time depends on day of the month. Allen’s Landing. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
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LOOKING BACK HISTORY TOURS WITH LOUIS AULBACH Jun 22 Learn about Houston’s rich history from local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising down the bayou. Reservations required. Tickets $40. 1011:30 am. 713.752.0314.buffalobayou.org
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
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
SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON Like the rest of Texas, downtown Houston is a pretty big place to walk around. Experience the Bayou City, once the capitol city of a sovereign country, while you have effortless fun on a Segway. $75-$80. Meet at Wortham Center, 501 Texas. Daily. 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com
HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 for children and free for kids under 5. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Times vary. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park, including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth or press boxes, Astros’ or visitors’ dugout, luxury suites and much more. Tickets $9 adults, $7 seniors and $5 for kids 3-14. Mon-Sat 10 am, noon, 2 pm. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8687. astros.com SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOURS Come visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery in their new location. Every Saturday the doors open at 11 am and groups will rotate in and out of the facility in an open-house format until 2 pm. If Saturdays don’t work for you, check out their weekday open house at
SPORTS HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767. astros.com HOUSTON DYNAMO For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL. houstondynamo.com U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL RUGBY VS. IRELAND Jun 8 See one of the only international matches being held in the United States this year. This matchup offers rugby fans a great opportunity to witness Ireland, a Tier 1 nation currently ranked 6 in world, battle on American soil against The Eagles, who are currently ranked 16. Tickets start at $20. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 7:30 pm. 888.929.7849. bbvacompassstadium.com
the guide to eating downtown
Edited by Angie Bertinot & L auren Covington
Batanga Located at the corner of Congress and Travis, Batangaâ€™s inviting patio makes it tempting to order sangria during lunch and dance under the twinkling lights at night.
plate. L 17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Alden Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; 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. $$ Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ Bangkok Chef Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. bkchef.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ new! Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals are splashed on the walls that aren’t graced with large windows for perfect park views. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. B Mon-Sat, L Mon-Fri. $
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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. $ Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol, 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food A burrito bar with tons of ingredients and sides that allow you to create the burrito of your dreams. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texaschic atmosphere. Newly refurbished, black booths and white tablecloths offer elegance and décor
not typically found in hotel restaurants. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith, 713.495.7854. B, L & D Daily. $$$ L Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ new! The Burger Guys American The guys are known for stellar burgers, made with 100 percent pure Akaushi beef, hand-cut fries fried in duck fat, in-house sauces, cane-sugar fountain drinks and home-spun milkshakes. The best part? You can add a fried egg on anything! theburgerguys.com. 706 Main, 713.223.4897. L Mon-Fri. $ new! Buzz Barista Coffee House This full-service espresso bar offers much more than caffeinated beverages for a morning fix. People on the go can grab fresh-baked pastries, Naked juices, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups along with their brewed delights. B & L Mon-Fri. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. $ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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
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.
falls into place Ta s t y ta pa s j o i n t d i s h e s o n i t s l o v e f o r d o w n t o w n a n d w h y i t ’ s h e r e t o s tay By L auren Covington
Restaurant owner Brian Fasthoff has been visiting his brother in Houston for more
than 20 years. An Atlanta native, he saw something special happening in Houston. “The scene is exploding, and not just the culinary scene. Every time you turn around there’s another national article about Houston,” says Fasthoff. Along with his wife, Ianna, Brian partnered up with his brother Hank, and his wife, Maya, to create Batanga Tapas + Drinks in Downtown’s Historic District. The Fasthoff family joins a slew of new concepts in the area, along with OKRA Charity Saloon, Goro & Gun and Clutch City Squire. “Everybody has been great. We’re the new guys in town. We’re the ones that have to come in and prove ourselves. Everybody has been welcoming. It feels like we’re kind of part of a family,” says Fasthoff of his nearby neighbors. Located at the corner of Congress and Travis, Batanga’s inviting patio makes it tempting to order sangria during lunch and dance under the twinkling lights at night. Inside, the atmosphere is cozy despite its large size. With exposed brick walls, candles and an expansive bar, the kick-back mentality will have you relaxed well before the Latin bites hit the table. The bar is stocked with South American wines, local beers and spicy cocktails. Sharing is the name of the game at Batanga. The tapas menu is cleverly organized by things that grow, swim, oink and fly. Anyone skeptical of eating pig ears ought to surrender. Served with pickled chilies and cucumber, these bites make the perfect appetizer. They’re salty, sweet, crunchy
and fresh. Other favorites include the duck confit, beef empanadas and pao de queijo, the famously gluten-free, baked cheese buns. Those looking to start off light must try the zucchini tortilla. This veggie casserole is packed with zucchini, chives and is balanced with a healthy serving of creme fraiche. If you’re not willing to share, there’s a hearty list of knockout sandwiches to choose from – all served with house-cut bravas fries. For the most festive Batanga experience, visit on a Sunday for the weekly pig roast. You can sit on the patio and admire Market Square Park. Fasthoff encourages people to stick around the area and explore what the Historic District has to offer. “Within 200 yards, you have seven or eight restaurants. People can come down, grab a drink at Warren’s, watch a movie out in the park, have dinner with us, do late night at OKRA, stay at Hotel Icon,” he says. “There’s a sense of community, somewhere where you can go and stay.” Batanga 908 Congress Houston, Texas 77002 713.224.9500 batangahouston.com HOURS Monday through Wednesday, Sunday 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
plate. 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. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $ Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center. B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$ L The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$ Downtown Hunan Café Chinese Fast casual spot offering all your Asian favorites. 613 Clay, 713.759.0515. L Mon-Fri. $ L Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon-Fri. $ Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and great-tasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon-Fri. $
including beef and chicken kabobs, hummus and, of course, falafel. 914 Prairie, 713.237.8987. L Mon-Fri. $ � L Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers, almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ Gelato Blu Gelato/Coffeehouse Brought to you by the masterminds behind Bombay, this Italian-style shop serves up gelato, sorbetto and caffe Italiano that will satisfy your sweet cravings with any of its delicious flavors. 914 Main, Ste. 115, 713.655.1400. Daily. $ L Georgia’s Market Downtown American The market is stocked with fresh organic produce, grass-fed meats, prepared foods and snacks and home basics while the cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from its organic buffet and a bistro menu. Don’t miss the underground cellar – the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine or craft beer with friends. georgiasdowntown.com. 420 Main at Prairie, 713.225.0990. B, L & D Daily. $ 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. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This familyowned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
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. Mon-Sun B, L & LN. $
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. $$
Falafel Frenzy Mediterranean This quaint spot serves up all your Mediterranean favorites,
L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this
44 summer 2013
upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon-Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$ 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. $ Kobecue Korean Fusion Kobecue specializes in freshly cooked, quick and healthy dishes. The menu focuses on serving Korean BBQ , sizzling platters, rice bowls, fusion tacos, salads and bibimaps using fine authentic spices and high quality ingredients. kobecuedowntown.com. 1001 Texas (@ Main), 832.447.2900. L & D Mon-Sat. $ The Lake House Fast Casual The Lake House offers family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to
some live music from the nearby amphitheater stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. Tue-Wed 11-3; Thu-Sun 11-8. $ L La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon-Fri. $ 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. $$$ new location! 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. $$ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Mandarin Hunan Restaurant Chinese This upscale eatery gives its guests an engaging experience in Chinese cuisine. Located in the Skyline District, Mandarin’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a great view of the streetscape. 777 Walker, 713.224.1212. L & D Mon-Fri. $ L Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicago-style neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $ L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L Massa’s Seafood Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$ McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$
L Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$
L Minuti Coffee Coffee House The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D & LN 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! macondobistro.com. 208 Travis, 713.229.8323. B & L Mon-Sun, D Fri-Sat. $
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 Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. D Mon-Sun. $$$$ Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe last fall at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D Daily. $ Nit Noi Cafe Thai Head Chef Mama Alice has a secret sauce that has made this Thai gem successful for more than 20 years. Diners can go light with fresh cucumber salads or fill up on classic noodle dishes with a choice of beef, chicken, pork tofu or shrimp. nitnoithai.com. 301 Main, 713.225.1069. L Mon-Fri. $$ L Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon-Fri. $ Paul’s Snack Shop Deli Sandwiches, salads and snacks to-go.1213 Prairie, 713.224.4701. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ Popeye’s Fast Food 1116 Travis, 713.571.8600. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$
plate. Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $ new! Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the Preston Station on the MetroRAIL, Roma's Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Sam Houston Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$ Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $ The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Au Bon Pain, Captain D's, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Kitchen, d’lish, Doozo Dumpling & Noodles, Droubi Bros. Grill, Freshii, Great American Cookies, Mediterranean Grill, Murphy’s Deli, Ninfa’s, Otto’s Barbeque, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Quizno’s, Robek’s Juice, Roman Delight, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Starbucks, Subway, Teppanyaki, Treebeards, Wall Street Deli, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon-Sat, hours vary. $ L Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $ new! Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L, 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 Downtown’s newest spot for sports fans with large appetites and an arsenal of high fives. Located at The Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$ L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis,
713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Vic & Anthony’s Steak House This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Fri, D Daily. $$$$ Warren’s Inn Fast Casual Let the good times roll with a killer jukebox, excellent drinks and a fun, bohemian environment. Quick sandwiches and other items are served during the day; you can order in from nearby restaurants at night if you have the munchies. 307 Travis, 713.247.9207. L Mon-Fri, LN Daily. $ new! Which Wich Deli A fast and easy build-yourown-sandwich joint where doodling is encouraged and the possibilities are endless! Which ‘wich will you make? B & L 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. $
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on GUIDE.
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The 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 The Cellar at Georgia’s Market | 420 Main @ Prairie Georgia’s underground cellar offers a wide selection of organic and biodynamic wines and local brews. The newly renovated space mixes modern and vintage for a cozy place to spend happy hour or host your next event. Mon-Fri noon9 pm, Sun 9 am-5 pm. georgiasdowntown.com/cellar Chapel Spirits | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Chapel Spirits is a sophisticated bar, ideal for happy hour, an engagement party, a bachelor party or late nite VIP experience. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching. Fri & Sat 10 pm-2 am. chapelspirits.com Char Bar | 305 Travis Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon-Wed 10 am–midnight, Thu-Sat 10 am-2 am. 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 12 pm-midnight. twitter.com/clutchcityhtx Dean’s | 316 Main Much of the original building was preserved when the '30s department store was converted into a bar. If you’re lucky, you can snag the table in Houston’s first electric elevator tucked away in the corner. Listen to live music by local artists, buy the local art on the walls, and drink frozen cosmos while taking in the ever-changing downtown scene. Sun-Wed 8 pm-2 am, Thu-Sat 5 pm-2 am. The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline The non-venue rock 'n' roll lounge is a popular pre- and post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed The Dirt to host hundreds of memorable after-show events, including Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Daily 6 pm-2 am. dirtbar.com 1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin Located just one block north of Minute Maid Park. Small flat-screen TVs dot the bar, allowing patrons to keep tabs on games while not being the center of attention. On the first and last Friday of every month Joystix Classic Games and Pinball next door is open, and $15 gets you all night to practice your Ms. Pac-Man skills. Daily 4 pm-2 am. Flying Saucer | 705 Main Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. A cool and relaxed atmosphere along with a hip crowd gives downtown visitors a great place to enjoy the night. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon-Wed, 11 am-1 am, Thu & Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat noon-2 am, Sun noon-midnight. beerknurd.com
summer 2013 Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites—from the quintessential dive to swanky lounges, you’re sure to find something that will quench your thirst!
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 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 am2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 3-9 pm. lastconcert.com Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis The Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share have-been-to-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon-2 am. 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 punkrock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm-2 am. The Original OKRA Charity Saloon | 924 Congress Houston’s first charity bar is a true collaboration from Houston's finest, including owners from Anvil, Paulie's, Grand Prize and more. Expect classic cocktails and brews in a gorgeous historic building. Every drink purchase earns you a vote that
can go toward select charities to win the bar’s monthly earnings. Daily 3pm-2am. friedokra.org 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. 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.
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your downtown connection. Hop aboard Greenlink, an environmentally friendly bus that runs on compressed natural gas, the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon fuel that is helping reduce CO 2 emissions. When you're downtown and need a FREE ride, look for the green bus. It's the smart way to roll.
Funding for Greenlink is generously provided courtesy of:
For Greenlink route and stop information, go to www.downtownhouston.org