downtown connecting you to the center of houston
opus Theater District's fall lineup
plus: Ogres, Doghouses, Vino, real estate moguls + more
downtown houston fall 2010
volume 3 number 1
16 Saintly sounds
departments Who says Houston doesn’t have history? We found plenty to talk about in this quarter’s issue.
Discovery Green’s new head honcho, Barry Mandel, shares just a few of his favorite things.
The City of Houston and University of HoustonDowntown are discovering innovative ways to achieve sustainability.
7 must list
2 publishers’ note
Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart dedicates a spectacular new organ this fall. by Holly beretto
20 History lives
From city hub to hippie hangout to parking lot and back again, Market Square has had quite a tale to tell for well over a century. by david theis
30 Old is new again
The redeveloped Market Square Park goes a long way toward acknowleging the site’s history while providing the Historic District with a much-needed neighborhood park. by sandra cook
Great hotel packages, lunchtime diversions, canine capers and more. by barbara mendel
8 hot companies
International real-estate company Hines has shaped many of the world’s biggest cities, including our own. by bill hensel
12 12 arts + culture
The Houston Theater District fills the fall with fun, frolic and one giant green ogre. by heather pray
Theater, concerts, sports, festivals & special events, tours and more.
A bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight. by phil hudson
48 destination downtown map
LAUREN’s GARDEN breathes new life into MARKET SQUARE PARK
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at email@example.com Managing Editor/Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District
Photography Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography
Arts and Culture Editor Heather Pray, Houston Downtown Alliance
Contributing Writers Holly Beretto, Sandra Cook, Bill Hensel, Phil Hudson, Barbara Mendel, Heather Pray, David Theis
Copy Editor Barbara Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions Design ph Design Shop
Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ firstname.lastname@example.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. Published by:
Houston is a relatively young city with a reputation for looking forward rather than embracing the past. And while we do like to think of ourselves as the city of the future, it’s critically important to our growth that we protect and nurture our history. While that hasn’t always been a priority for Houston and downtown, that mindset is finally changing in concrete ways. City leaders are taking preservation efforts more seriously than ever before and the redevelopment of Market Square Park in the Historic District is a great example of how we’re taking the old and learning how to respectfully make it new again. A lot of us in Houston simply don’t know enough about our history, and we thought we could help change that with this issue. The reality is that Houston (and especially downtown) has plenty of it. Flip through the pages of downtown and you’ll see what we’re talking about. David Theis takes us on a fascinating walk through the Historic District’s rather storied past – starting with the arrival of John and Augustus Allen (page 20). And Sandra Cook tells us a little bit about the evolution of Market Square from hub of city government to neglected parcel to today’s inviting new square (page 30). Of course, fall is also Houston’s busiest event season and our calendar is absolutely chock-full of downtown activities, festivals and theater productions. As always, keep your issue handy for whatever leisure activity you might be planning. And please be sure to send your comments and suggestions our way.
Fall is Houston’s busiest event season.
Houston Downtown Alliance
ON THE COVER We love the old advertisements that used to be on historic brick buildings. As you stroll through downtown's Historic District, you can still appreciate some of them like the Houston Citizens Bank and Trust ad on the backside of the gorgeous 402 Main building. We took creative liberty for our cover by adding our own message spotlighting the revival of Market Square. 2
Barry Mandel President & Park Director, Discovery Green
Barry’s Top 10
Discovery Green’s new commander-in-chief Barry Mandel has plenty of experience in the non-profit community. Before joining Discovery Green this summer, Mandel worked for Legacy Community Health Services as their chief operating officer and capital campaign director. And he’s no stranger to downtown. As the executive director of the Houston Theater District, he played a major role in its merger with the Downtown Houston Association to create the Houston Downtown Alliance, which he ran for three years. At Discovery Green, Mandel is responsible for the executive management of park operations, programming and fundraising. Most importantly, he’s back in the thick of things downtown. And there’s no place else he’d rather be.
Massa’s Seafood Grill Two words – pecan trout.
Eighth Floor of One Park Place
Specialty drinks at the Grove There are 13 on the specialty drink menu. I can personally vouch for seven and won’t be happy until I’ve worked my way through the whole list.
Theater District Open House Day I’ve been an arts supporter for years and on this one day I can engulf myself in the sights and sounds of this area’s very best performing arts ... plus get a great deal on season subscriptions.
Not only does the eighth floor have some beautiful entertaining and meeting spaces, but it also has the most incredible pool area. So what if it is 103 degrees outside?
Mixed pattern shirts and ties Who says stripes and plaids don’t go together?
Shorts and sweatshirt My winter uniform, only in Houston!
Mayor Annise Parker Nothing beats having a front row seat to watch my friend of more than 20 years lead the city I love.
Crackberry (I mean Blackberry) It has become another appendage and I’m not sure I could survive without it.
Discovery Green’s Holiday Season The high season for the park. The Ice Rink, Administaff helium-filled balloon, Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market, holiday movies and concerts.
An evening in a Four Seasons hotel bed Luxury and linens don’t get any better! downtownhouston.org
SUSTAINING THE FUTURE
Downtown Houston continues to improve its preservation efforts with stronger protections for historic structures and a redeveloped Market Square Park. And those efforts do more than just connect the city to its history and provide for charming character. Historic preservation is a remarkably green activity. Preservation reduces waste by using existing materials and infrastructure. It reduces the amount of demolition and construction waste sent to landfills and lessens the resources needed for a new building. Even better,
when an entrepreneur chooses to breathe new life into an existing building (check out Hearsay Gastro Lounge or Byrd’s Market and Café in the Historic District) it can even reduce traffic by helping create a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. And the City of Houston plays its role with their Reuse Warehouse. The warehouse accepts donated construction materials from builders, supply companies, remodelers, contractors and individuals. The materials are then made available at no charge for use by any non-profit organization. Rather than ending up in a landfill, the materials are stored by the city until they can be used.
HOW DOES your GARDEN GROW?
If it’s at the University of Houston-Downtown, it grows with a lot of love and compassion. The UHD Sustainable Community Garden has raised more than 100 pounds of carrots, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, kale, cabbage and bell peppers. And it’s all donated to Target Hunger – a United Way agency dedicated to feeding needy, inner-city families. Located in Johnny Goyen Park between the campus and Buffalo Bayou, the garden is dedicated to demonstrating sustainable growing practices and the importance of locally grown organic foods. Keep your eye on it. Plans are underway to expand the garden and use more of the park space to demonstrate sustainable initiatives. They’ve also switched to a green landscaping service that installed low-flow sprinkler heads and drought-resistant plants, uses propane-powered mowers and manually tills the soil. The City of Houston also has caught the gardening bug with a small vegetable garden on Walker being maintained by the Public Works Department. City workers are growing everything from basil to peppers and spend their lunch hours weeding and watering the potted plants.
Greenhoustontx.gov | Uhd.edu UHD takes the environment seriously. In addition to their community garden, they’ve became a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. It’s a pledge that the university will take certain measures toward achieving a carbon-neutral emission status. They’ve already reduced their electricity consumption by 24 percent by taking what may seem like small steps. Adding motion sensors to classrooms, replacing outdated equipment with new technology to regulate the temperature, replacing incandescent light bulbs, adding double-paned windows and replacing printers and computers with more energy efficient models has made a measurable difference. They’ve also stepped up their recycling efforts over the past couple of years. And it’s paying off. They’ve seen a 114 percent increase in plastic recycling and a 74 percent increase in paper recycling. Even more exciting is the 23 percent reduction in the amount of trash produced in that same period of time.
the X Fall's Must-Dos.
Looking for a boutique hotel getaway to share with your best friend, mom, bridesmaid or sister? Hotel Icon has a number of fantastic specials designed for your inner diva, including their Girls Getaway Package, complete with martinis and appetizer at Voice, breakfast for two and a superrelaxing facial and massage at Balance Day Spa – starting at $242 per person.
Hotel Icon, 220 Main hotelicon.com )
Throw away those midday blahs (and that sad, sack lunch) at Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge. Their Lunch and Bowl special offers tasty $9.95 menu options like their signature midi burgers and a free game every weekday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. And if the weekend is more your thing, check out their Brunch and Bowl every Sunday. $15 gets you a brunch entrée, a game of bowling with shoes and bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.
Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge 1201 San Jacinto, bowlluckystrike.com
UNDER the STARS
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney discoverygreen.com )
Houston Pavilions will be home to some furry friends this fall, courtesy of Barkitecture Houston. It’s year No. 2 for the festivities, which raise money for Pup Squad. Adoptable canines, pet couture, family activities, pet photos and, of course, the silent auction of some incredible doghouses are all on tap Saturday, October 23. The fun kicks off on Friday, October 22 with the Barkitecture Yappy Hour from 5-8 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to see the unique designer doghouses brought forth by some of the city’s most creative minds in advance of the next day’s auction. Four-legged friends are encouraged to bring their humans to both events!
Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin barkitecturehouston.com ) Kite flying, costume and trivia contests, celebrity appearances, great music and of course a cult classic – it’s the Rushmore Festival at Discovery Green on September 24 at 6:30 p.m. The acclaimed 1988 film, which launched the acting career of Jason Schwartzman and directing career of Wes Anderson, was shot in Houston. Half the fun of watching is seeing familiar landmarks like St. John’s School on the big screen. If you’re lucky, you could score the best seat in the house (or on the lawn) thanks to IKEA, which is providing lounge furniture for a super-comfy VIP screening experience. Cold beverages will be available thanks to co-sponsor Saint Arnold Brewing Company.
DEVELOPING STORY For nearly four decades Hines has played a major role in downtown’s evolution By bill hensel
Although many hands have helped shape downtown Houston through the years, Gerald Hines has one of the biggest footprints. Developments handled by Hines’s firm downtown span almost 40 years, starting with One Shell Plaza in 1971 and continuing with Two Shell Plaza in 1972, Pennzoil Place in 1975, 700 Rusk in 1979, 1100 Louisiana in 1980, JPMorgan Chase Center and Tower in 1982, Bank of America Center Houston in 1983 and 717 Texas in 2003. That doesn’t take into account other projects the firm has done outside the downtown area, including the famed Galleria shopping center, which opened in 1970. Now he’s at it again. Hines, 85, is involved in helping develop MainPlace, a 46-story office tower located at 811 Main Street. The development, which was designed by noted architectural firm Pickard Chilton, will contain about one million square feet, featuring horizontal sunshades of glass and aluminum wrapping around the curved north and south facades of the building. Hines stresses his son is actually the one heading up the latest project. “This is really Jeff Hines’ project,” he said, alluding to the firm’s president and chief executive officer, who joined the firm in 1981 and has overseen a significant expansion of its holdings and services. “I have been familiar with what has been going on and I am involved in most of the major things we do.” Those projects hardly are confined to Houston, let alone downtown. The Hines firm has a presence in more than 100 cities around the world. Projects underway, completed,
GERALD d. HINES
acquired and managed for third parties numbers more than 1,100. Those range from dominant skyscrapers to corporate headquarters to masterplanned resort and residential communities. But the firm, which controls almost $23 billion in assets currently, has its worldwide headquarters in downtown Houston. The city is where Gerald Hines got his start after graduating from Purdue University in 1948. Hines, founder and chairman of the company that bears his name, says the latest Houston project, MainPlace, which is scheduled to open to its first tenants in 2011, follows a Hines pattern of being located in a somewhat blighted area. But the pattern also has been that after a building is completed, it tends to lift up surrounding properties, too. “We have built in deteriorating areas and all came back to be outstanding locations and that is the same thing we are doing with Main Place,” he said. “Of course, with transport on Main Street, it
major hines projects include: the galleria and penzoil place in houston; five hundred boylston and two twenty two berkeley in boston; and 53RD at third in new york city.
So far, KPMG “It really is a has agreed to be a chicken and egg tenant at Main thing,” he says. Place when it “Residential in order opens. Hines offito be attractive needs cials acknowledge retail and retail needs the difficult ecopopulation to be sucnomic cessful. So the environment that district spends a ensued after the great deal of money recent recession, trying to provide with vacancy economic developrates in Houston ment to the retail and higher than they residential sector, have been in some particularly the retail time. Houston has sector.” not been hit as In addition to the hard as many citongoing developies, however. ments in Houston, One signature along with a host of of Hines projects redevelopments, is they are Hines expects Mainplace will open to its first tenants in 2011. designed with an to continue to work eye toward the for the betterment of environment. MainPlace’s LEED certification downtown. And its founder would have it no is pre-certified at the silver level, and offiother way. cials are expecting to at least get it certified “Houston’s done very well by me to give at the gold level upon comthe reputation that allowed us to go worldpletion, with a good chance wide,” he says. “Houston is a great place to of it being certified call home.” platinum. The Houston Downtown Management District conHeadquarters: 2800 Post Oak Blvd tinues to focus on street-level development employees worldwide: and enhancements along 3,450 Main Street, particularly around MainPlace, as it founder + chairman: works toward the cohesive Gerald D. Hines development of downtown, where hundreds of millions other locations: of dollars have been invested in recent years. Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San The city has not even begun to reap the Francisco, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, rewards of all the public sector and private Luxembourg, Mexico, Panama, sector money spent on downtown developPoland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, United ment, notes Mark Cover, the chief executive Arab Emirates, United Kingdom at Hines responsible for its Southwest region. He says while that investment has not taken Business: off like it could, it has laid a foundation. International real estate firm There needs to be continued development for residential downtown. website: www.hines.com “Not just four or five thousand (people), we would like to see 20,000 because it changes the whole complexion,” says Cover, who some would say walks the walk. He lives with his family in a downtown historic residential conversion, Bayou Lofts. Robinson notes the downtown district board is focused on helping to bring along residential and new retail together.
The Hines firm has a presence in more than 100 cities around the world. Projects for third parties number more than 1,100. nificant amount of money invested in the project. A number of different issues had to be considered as the project moved forward, says Stewart Robinson, senior director of leasing for MainPlace. But one in particular stood out. “The big thing we looked at was this: if we do the right product in the right place it will lease,” says Robinson, who sits on the board of the Houston Downtown Management District. “It will be a preferred product.” Hines has operated that same way through the years, forging ahead despite what the naysayers might come up with. When One Shell Plaza was under construction, they said it wouldn’t be successful because it was too far from Foley’s. Pennzoil Place? Too far north. Same thing for the JPMorgan Chase Tower.
»» HINES at a glance
just adds to the definition of Main Street, which is important to us.” The 46-story building will have 36 floors of office space, 10 floors of aboveground parking, two levels of below-grade parking, 960,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of retail space. One unique aspect of the building is that on the 39th level, there will be a “skygarden.” Hines notes that many people and firms are involved in helping improve downtown. He cites the recent residential development by developer Marvy Finger, called One Park Place, as a definite plus for downtown. That type of project is important as the area continues to evolve, he says. “Downtown is getting better and better and the more residential we can get and buildings like MainPlace, we will see the continuing betterment of the downtown area and more activity at night,” Hines says. There’s always an element of risk in development, but that’s the nature of the business. When the Hines firm began planning for MainPlace several years ago, the global economic meltdown had not begun and when it did, the firm already had a sig-
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Downtown Our new web portal connects you to the center of Houston. See you there. The Downtown District, Houston Downtown Alliance and City of Houston Convention & Entertainment Facilities Department have joined expertise and resources to create a one-stop-shop for information on what to do and where to go in downtown Houston. This new downtown web portal, downtownhouston.org consolidates four websites into one. We hope this site and blogs will be helpful to you. Let us know what you think!
Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona.
The Houston Theater District's fall season sets the stage for fun and frolic. by heather pray
t’s all about feeling good this fall in Houston’s Theater District; whether it’s laughter or whimsical stories, you’ll get the best of all worlds in dance, music, theater and song. Martin McDonagh’s plays are no strangers to the Alley Theatre’s stages, including The Beauty Queen of Leenane (January 1999), The Pillowman (February 2006) and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (January 2008). Unlike his other plays, A Behanding in Spokane is McDonagh’s first play set in America and the first presentation of it since its premiere on Broadway. Alley resident company member James Black stages this volatile, black comedy (i.e. mature audiences, folks) on the Neuhaus stage starting August 27 through September 26. The Alley opens the Hubbard stage’s season with a happy, darling of a tale, J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, October 1-31.
arts & culture
Houston Ballet brings us back together for their 41st season, starting with a mixed repertory program, Body, Soul & Gershwin, September 9-19. The program features Stanton Welch’s lively and colorful neo-classical work Tu Tu, Jirí Kylián's emotionally charged abstract ballet Forgotten Land and The Core: Gershwin, the Heart of the Big Apple, Mr. Welch's Broadwaystyle ode to 1930s New York City glamour. Tu Tu, set to Maurice Ravel’s Concerto for Piano in G major, outfits 22 dancers in brilliantly colored (gold, turquoise, red and orange) tutus and briefs inspired by Art Nouveau painter Gustav Klimt’s gold-hued paintings. Jirí Kylián’s Forgotten Land is a somber and soulful work
for 12 dancers. The Core: Gershwin, the Heart of the Big Apple lifts our spirits in a highly theatrical depiction of the Big Apple and incorporates archetypical New York characters with plenty of Broadway flash and dazzle in a work featuring the full company. This crowd-pleasing blockbuster inspired by the movie musicals of Hollywood’s Golden Age is set to George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and was last seen by Houston Ballet audiences at its premiere in 2008. Between September 23 and October 3 several new works will enter the Houston Ballet repertoire with the Balanchine evening-length Jewels, featuring Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds. The three separate and distinct works create a unified
Ensemble Tembembe of
instruments with live computer processing are also part of the program. It’s all sorts of newness for the Houston Symphony: a new executive director, new concertmaster, and a new series, the Sound + Vision series. Show-stopping numbers from the latest hits to come off Broadway kick off the season. Enjoy songs from Wicked, RENT, The Lion King and Mamma Mia with Broadway Rocks! on September 3, 4, 5. Opening Night: A Vienna Soiree officially kicks off the 20102011 season with captivating sounds of Vienna featuring Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz and Mozart’s Sonfonia concertante with newly-appointed concertmaster, Frank Huang. The pops series gets down to business with Michael Bolton leading the season with hits like Time,
Kick off the new season Mexico join music with Capital One superstar Bank Jordi Savall. Theater District Open
Love and Tenderness and When A Man Loves A Woman. The classical series starts with Tchaikovsky 1 on September 16, 18, 19 performed by Yefim Bronfman on his giant keyboard. Wagner’s “Ring” Without Words takes us on an orchestral adventure September 24, 25, 26, into a mythical world of gods, giants and heroes in the quest for a magic ring that holds immense power. Amazing child prodigy turned breathtaking virtuoso, Joshua Bell, takes center stage on October 1, 2, 3, with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. The pops season continues with Paul Anka and Chris Botti. Anka, one of music history’s most prolific and successful songwriters, appears without the Houston Symphony on October 21. Grammy Awardwinning trumpeter/composer Chris Botti continues a pops weekend with his charismatic style on October 22, 23 and 24. A landmark musical work that transformed classical symphony forever weaves its thread of epic drama and revolutionary genius into the season with Beethoven’s Eroica on October 28, 30, and 31, and the Houston Symphony teams up with the esteemed University of North
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti is back by popular demand.
Photo courtesy of Ensemble Tembembe
full evening work and originally premiered on April 13, 1967 by New York City Ballet. The gems in Jewels pay tribute to three golden ages of dance and also to the beauty of the ballerinas Balanchine adored. "Jewels will showcase the versatility and stylistic depth of our dancers. The audience will see the whole company on stage. This piece celebrates where Houston Ballet's dancers are today," Mr. Welch states. Travel to new worlds in music and art with the extraordinary international artists and musical styles brought to Houston by Da Camera, including chamber music and jazz; early music and contemporary works. Folk meets baroque when Jordi Savall makes his long-awaited Houston debut alongside the Ensemble Tembembe of Mexico for a celebration of mixed musical traditions on October 2. The Arcanto Quartet debuts in Houston on October 19 as part of their first North American tour. Tierney Sutton, vocalist of the Tierney Sutton Band, brings her style to jazz standards on October 29. Cutting edge and versatile describes the next program – ICE: New Sounds. Four stellar wind players drawn from the International Contemporary Ensemble visit with a program featuring virtuosic works by Reich, Zorn and French experimentalist Philippe Hurel. Two pieces by Nathan Davis, featuring acoustic
top: Johann Sauty; bottom: Johan Jacobs courtesy of La Monnaie
LEFT | Alley Theatre’s James Black. BELOW | Jessica Collado and Christopher Coomer in Houston Ballet’s Forgotten Land. Photo: Amitava Sarker
Photo: Carol Rosegg, courtesy of Opera Australia
Texas’ One O’Clock Lab Band to form the biggest band in Texas as they play songs from jazz greats and
more on November 12, 13 and 14. Bartók’s portrayal of greed, lust, crime and the ultimate power of love will enthrall you on November 18, 20 and 21, with his Miraculous Manderin. There may be No Reservations if you wait too long to get your tickets for Society for the Performing Arts’ season opener, Anthony Bourdain: Up Close and Confidential on September 20. There’s a birthday in the house when Omara Portuond, the Diva from Buena Vista Social Club, visits for her 80th birthday celebration on October 8. After a night of music that gets you on your feet, you’ll be happy to know that it’s story time with Ira Glass: Radio Stories and Other Stories on October 9. You can leave the dancing to the professionals when MOMIX defies categorization as its dancers defy gravity on October 15 and 16. There’s no magic needed on October 26 with Drumline LIVE – just a lot of energy! The Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching band tradition returns to Houston for one night only with a new show filled with great drumline music. Another group back by popular demand is Diavolo. Fearful Symmetries will make its Houston premiere on November 5, and it’s Diavolo’s newest and largest project to date. SPA goes back to its
Benjamin Britten’s opera, Peter Grimes.
musical program with Houston favorites, The 5 Browns on November 6. Soon to be a Houston favorite, Buika makes her Houston debut on November 12 with music from her fourth studio album, El Último Trago (The Last Sip), a tribute to Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas. The Ahn Trio (three Juilliard-trained sisters from Seoul, South Korea) breathe life into standard chamber music when they return to Houston on November 17 for the first time since 2005. Theatre Under The Stars brings fresh Broadway musicals to Houston. Big hair and big heart overflow when TUTS’ debuts Hairspray October 5-17. Friends and families will sing and dance together with hits like, Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now, and Good Morning, Baltimore. Ever think “you’re just a step on the boss-man’s ladder?” Well pour yourself a cup of ambition when TUTS presents 9 to 5: The Musical, November 9-21. This hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is based on the hit movie and features the blockbuster title song plus a new score of original numbers by Dolly Parton. Gexa Broadway at the Hobby Center presents the world’s favorite ogre October 19-31. Shrek The Musical is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and irreverent fun for all with 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery. TOP LEFT | 9 to 5: The Musical is taking care of business. Photo: Joan Marcus BELOW LEFT | Tracy Turnbald transforms from outcast to sudden star in Hairspray. Photo: Squid Ink Creative, courtesy of Music Theatre of Wichita
LEFT | Diavolo’s Fearful Symmetries makes its Houston premiere on November 5. RIGHT | Founding Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, Matthew Dirst.
Theatrical heavyweights come to town by way of Houston Grand Opera’s new production of Madame Butterfly. Director Michael Grandage, designer Christopher Oram and lighting designer Neil Austin swept the prestigious Tony Awards earlier this year with six awards for their Broadway production of John Logan’s Red. This visually stunning new HGO production marks the London-based design team’s first opera for a U.S. company and draws its inspiration from traditional Japanese art. “It is thrilling to bring about the U.S. operatic debut of such a dynamic creative team,” said HGO general director and CEO, Anthony Freud. “I am delighted they accepted our invitation to create HGO’s new production of Madame Butterfly and look forward to sharing this vision of Puccini’s much-loved opera with our audiences in Houston.” The new production of Madame Butterfly opens the HGO season on Friday, October 22, and runs for five performances. The new production features soprano Ana Maria Martinez in her role debut as Cio-Cio San and the HGO debuts of tenor Joseph Calleja (Pinkerton), baritone Levi Hernandez (Sharpless) and mezzo-soprano Lucy Shaufer (Suzuki). Tony Award nominee Neil Armfield (Exit the King) directs an HGO co-production of Britten’s masterpiece, Peter Grimes. It garnered enthusiastic accolades
at its Australian premiere and this new production opens October 29 for five performances through November 12. Peter Grimes brings to the stage the human struggle of the individual versus the masses against the backdrop of the raging sea. Patrick Summers conducts. It’s an artful cornucopia with offerings from The Hobby Center for Performing Arts’ Uniquely Houston. Ars Lyrica starts their season with an operatic bon-bon on September 24 in Zilkha Hall. Mezzosoprano Jamie Barton stars in Domenico Scarlatti’s comic intermezzo La Dirindina, the only surviving work of its kind from the master of the harpsichord sonata. Ars Lyrica continues their season on November 13 and partakes in the worldwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s monumental 1610 Vespers. They collaborate with the critically acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Singers and the Whole Noyse, one of the world’s finest Renaissance wind bands, for an evening of splendor and drama. Stakes are high with Masquerade Theatre’s first production of the year with Chess, an original story by lyricist Tim
Photo: Amitava Sarkar
Dominic Walsh’s Terminus.
Rice and a score by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA fame, in Zilkha Hall October 1-10. Masquerade continues their season with The Drowsy Chaperone, November 19-November 28. After a whirlwind summer across the globe and an electrifying year, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater returns home to Zilkha Hall on October 21-23 with a tantalizing mixed repertory program. The centerpiece will be the Houston premiere of an intense duet from 27’52” by Jiří Kylián. 27’52” (the title refers to the exact length of the full piece) was created in 2002 and is made up of t hree abstract duets. The program also features the U.S. premiere of Walsh’s Medea, a new creation that premiered at the Gala di Danza in Naples, Italy in December 2009, and closes with a revival from 2008 of Walsh’s Terminus which is set to a score composed and performed live by Two Star Symphony and set against a video/painting installation created by Houston artist Nicola Parente. Whether you love music, dance, song or you love it all – visit houstondowntown.org and join us for what’s going to be a fantastic season of the finest arts in Houston.
By Holly Beretto
j oy f u l noise Houston’s Co-Cathedral celebrates the arrival of a grand new instrument
For almost as long as people have worshipped God, they have done so with song. Through thousands of years, music has been part of the fabric of nearly every religion’s existence. Court composers wrote music specifically for services, churches held their musicians and choirs in the highest of esteem. When the notes sound from the new organ at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart this fall, that tradition will continue into a new century. The organ will be dedicated with great fanfare in October, the centerpiece of a series of events designed to showcase its extraordinary sound, the exacting attention to detail of its creator, and the belief that this instrument will connect the cathedral to the community. “Sacred music is integral to our celebration of the liturgy, and this magnificent instrument will most certainly help all who come to worship at the co-cathedral to enter more deeply into their fruitful participation in the Mass,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, bishop of the Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston. “This new instrument, in evoking such a wide range of sounds and the harmony and beauty of music, will act as an acoustic icon of the majesty and beauty of the Lord.” The Opus XIX Organ is the work of Martin Pasi, renowned among organ builders for his passionate devotion to detail, and his genuine love of music. He’s created organs for churches and cathedrals all over the world, instruments that pour forth multi-layered and endlessly nuanced sounds. His opus for Houston consists of 5,500 pipes, the longest of which stand 32 feet high. Four keyboards and a pedal board allow the organist five different points for playing and control. In total, more than 20,000 pieces came together to make the Opus XIX. That’s the largest installation in Houston in the last 25 years. 16
The Opus XIX has been nearly six years in the making. Constructing a custom instrument of this magnitude is more than an exercise in artistry and engineering. It's a labor of love—and faith.
A project nearly six years in the making, the new organ has created a storm of excitement throughout the diocese and in the music community. “Literally, people from all over the world have been watching this project,” says Crista Miller, associate director of music and cathedral organist. “They come and they talk and they want to play. They’re in awe.” And it is an awesome instrument. Ordering an organ is a lot like designing a custom-tailored suit. Each piece is hand-crafted for a specific purpose, to fill a specific space. Pasi named the organ the Opus XIX, because it’s the 19th organ he’s designed. “But we call them an opus because there’s so much care and craft to them,” Pasi says. “Each one is its own being. They’re like snowflakes in that no two are alike.” Constructing the organ took nearly three years, beginning in Pasi’s Roy, Washington workshop. Building on his nearly four decades of experience as an organ builder, he rolled the metal for the pipes, then cut it and rolled each one individually. The pieces were boxed up in crates, then sent to Houston, where they spilled over into the cathedral’s choir loft like so many boxes of jigsaw puzzles. Using an intricate system of pulleys and levers and ropes, each piece was lifted into its spot on either side of the cathedral’s massive stained glass window. And that’s just what’s visible. Behind the frame is the real detail, stories of pipes, valves and magnets are interconnected, the minute mechanics that enable the sound to happen. “The installation takes a long time,” said Pasi, who showed up back in January with his five-member crew and two trailer truckloads of boxes of organ parts. “Every stop and pipe you place has to talk to other pieces of the organ to produce the sounds and flourishes, so you lay something in, then play it and determine if it’s right and you move from there.” The action of playing an organ works like this: the organist strikes a key on the console, the multi-level keyboards most people think of as the organ. Each key connects with a specific pipe valve. In a mechanical action instrument, like the Opus XIX, long rods or “trackers” pull down the valves under the pipes. The player can feel the opening of the pipe valves and can make different kinds of attacks and releases by pressing and releasing the key slowly or quickly to create the desired sound and tempo. To understand just how clear the sound is, imagine the bluest South Pacific beach, with water that lets you see straight down to the bottom as though you are looking through glass. This is that sound, notes so pure and ringing, they burst forth from the pipes, then cascade through the cathedral’s soaring space, like ripples spreading out over the water. downtownhouston.org
Co-Cathedral Organ Dedication Week September 21, 7:30 p.m. Prelude: A Renaissance Feast with Houston Chamber Choir. Tickets: houstonchamberchoir.org October 2, 4:30 p.m The Liturgical Organ : inaugural liturgy blessing and sung vespers with the co-cathedral choirs and archdiocesan choir; Festive Mass at 6 p.m. sacredhearthouston.org October 5, 7 p.m. The Organ as Choral Accompaniment featuring University of Houston Moores School of Music Chorale, Houston Masterworks Chorus and CANTARE. sacredhearthouston.org October 8, 8 p.m. Gala organ recital by guest artist David Higgs, chair of the organ department, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York Tickets $25, RSVP to opusXIX@sacredhearthouston.org or 713.337.3585.
With 5,500 pipes, four keyboards and a total of 20,000 pieces, the Opus XIX is the largest installation in Houston in the last 25 years.
October 9, 9 a.m.- noon Educational offering: organ master class with David Higgs. Co-sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. sacredhearthouston.org October 12, 7:30 p.m. Postlude: CANTARE concert: Night Watch featuring Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (All Night Vigil), Op. 37 Tickets: cantarehouston.org October 23, 5 p.m. Final Mass of the Church Music Association of America’s 2010 Fall Practicum on Gregorian Chant. Open to the public. Dr. Crista Miller, organist. musicasacra.com
...imagine the South Pacific beach, with water that lets you see straight down to the bottom as though you are looking through glass. This is that sound...
For a full schedule: sacredhearthouston.org 18
“We’ll be able to do such a variety of repertoire on this organ,” says Christopher Popelka, the cathedral’s music director. “We’ll be able to play church and liturgical music, naturally. But we’ll have the ability to play early music pieces; I’m imagining a Bach trio sonata, maybe.” Miller says music enthusiasts – both musicians and fans – will be delighted by the range of sounds on the instrument, which has Spanish trumpet flourishes, along with a wide range of symphonic sounds, sounds that simply can’t be reproduced with an electric instrument. “This is really like having an entire symphony at your fingers,” she enthuses. Houstonians will have ample opportunity to hear just what all the fuss is about. On September 21, the Houston Chamber Choir will perform A Renaissance Feast. Selections include Allegri Miserere and Tallis’s Spem in alium, for 40 voice parts. DiNardo will celebrate a blessing Mass with sung vespers featuring the co-cathedral and archdiocesan choirs. Festive music will be offered in all of the weekend Masses. On October 5, the University of Houston Moores School of Music Chorale, Houston Masterworks Chorus, and CANTARE offer selections of sacred music. The concert is free, although offerings are appreciated. There are several other events, including a gala concert by David Higgs, chair of the organ department, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York. “This is a grand instrument that will provide beautiful music in praise and worship of God,” said Rev. Lawrence W. Jozwiak, pastor of the co-cathedral. “And we hope that will help people of all faiths to experience this glorious sound and elevate their ability to pray better.”
Bac k to the
Future Market Square’s storied past reflects Houston’s own boom, bust and boom again history By David Theis
August 1836, when John and Augustus Allen bought their 6,000 acres of land on Buffalo Bayou, they had a great city, and even a nation’s capital, in mind. Other Texas cities and towns had already put in their bids to be the new capital, so the Allens wasted no time. They named their imagined city Houston, in honor of the hero of Texian independence, and had newspaperman Gail Borden survey and plat their holdings. The Allens set aside the block bordered by Franklin and Congress on the north and south, and Milam and Travis on the west and east, and offered it to the Republic of Texas gratis if the new nation would agree to make Houston its capital. They called the block Congress Square. The Republic accepted the Allens’ offer, but when the brothers took a longer look at the site, which was filled with pine, oak, and sweet gum trees, they decided to build the capitol at Texas and Main, where the Post Rice Lofts stand today. The Allens repurposed the original site (as we would say today) and made a part of it into a public market and trading post. As such, it was a natural gathering place for the capital’s rowdy inhabitants. On the first anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, a grand ball was held for the upper reaches of Houston society, who, according to Marie Phelps McAshan’s A Houston Legacy: At the Corner of Texas and Main, “at midnight went to Ben Fort Smith’s City Hotel, to dine on turkey, ducks, rabbit, flounder, candied yams and champagne.” But, McAshan adds, “Over on Congress (note: the area was not yet formally named Market Square), the San Jacinto veterans couldn’t care less about satin and ruffled shirts. They were celebrating to the explo-
sion of guns and dancing around a big bonfire while oxen pawed the mud, bellowing and jangling their bells.” By 1841 the space had been formally named Market Square. The two-story City Hall stood there, with a retail market on the ground floor and government offices above. The area was home to another kind of market as well. One of the boom town’s best known brothels, Pamela Mann’s Mansion House, occupied the block’s northwest corner. For a time the widowed Susanna Dickinson, lone Anglo survivor of the Alamo, earned her daily bread at the Mann house. By the 1860s, John Kennedy’s Trading Post (now home to La Carafe) was the favored gathering place of the Native Americans who came to town to trade and make merry. McAshan writes, They spread their wares on Kennedy’s floor. When Kennedy had put sufficient money on the counter, the Chief signaled enough. The Indians then pointed to the articles they wanted. The Chief slapped down money until Kennedy signaled enough … Late in the day, the Indians staged splendid rambunctious races on horseback around Market Square until the deputy sheriff escorted them safely out of town. Even in a city where change is the abiding constant, Market Square has been
unusually protean. In 1871, the original City Hall was demolished by “carpetbaggers,” and a new one built by those Civil War victors. In 1876, the “reconstruction” City Hall was torched, presumably by disgruntled children of the Confederacy. The new City Hall kept its dual function, with the city market on the ground floor and city government on the second. The market was the old city’s heart. (Or, as Balzac wrote about Paris’ Les Halles, the city’s “belly.”) In 1879, the Weekly Telegraph declared it the best market in the South, except for New Orleans’ French Market. The newspaper did a survey of its businesses, and in the daily market found 22 meat stalls, 14 vegetable stalls, and two bakers. The Saturday market expanded to include seven to eight fruit sellers, six to eight homemade candy purveyors, and four to five dry goods stalls. The Saturday market was the place to be. During a time of intense racial tension, everyone came together there – and not just for dutiful shopping. In 1890, Harper’s Magazine paid a visit. The writer noted that the vendors included “German farmers, Chinese peddlers, Negro gardeners, German and Irish women, [and] Italian fruit and fish vendors.” The highly impressed visitor went on: In and out of the building surge the crowd,
historic photos courtesy of the houston metropolitan research center, houston public library
John and Augustus Allen lay great plans for the land on Buffalo Bayou, 1836.
for all Houston is here. It is a singular custom, this making a fashionable promenade of the market, yet … the fine ladies do not seem to mind the mixture of peoples or the place itself, but dress in ‘purple and fine linen’ for the occasion. The dude is in force, and the ‘masher’ is not wanting; the men who stare and the girls who love to be stared at; sober matrons on housekeeping thoughts intent; flirtatious maidens who push through the crowd, and seem to have no idea that their manners are not of the best … merchants, lawyers, physicians, servant-girls and cooks, the haute-volée and the demi-mond [sic], and both in their best attire; policemen and tramps; old women, men on crutches and babes in arms; black, white, brown and yellow – Negros, Americans, Mongolians, Irish, Dutch, French, Germans, Italians and Spanish – they are all there, laughing, talking, quarreling, gesticulating, bargaining, gossiping, staring, keeping appointments and making new ones, being proper or improper, polite or rude, as the case may be. And this goes on from four to nine in winter, from five to ten in summer.” Makes Central Market sound pretty tame. It’s no surprise that the Weekly Telegraph claimed that all Houstonians took “the keenest pride” in their market. The building burned in one of the city’s frequent fires in 1901 and was reconstructed in 1902. In her Houston: the Unknown City, author Marguerite Johnson quotes a Houstonian who remembered “the strong smell of fish and of roasting coffee,” and how “Every night they would take the haunches of meat and put them on a hook and raise them to the top of the city market to get them away from the rats. But the rats could climb the ropes. That was a picture to remember.” But in 1939 a change came that moved the city’s heart out of Market Square, and in effect began the identity crisis the Square has suffered ever since. That year the city government offices moved to today’s City Hall on Bagby, and the city leased the old building to a bus company. In 1960 the city demolished the old building, calling it a “fire hazard.” Market Square was converted into a very Houston kind of “park” which consisted largely of a surface parking lot. The city attempted to sell the land to a private interest that promised new development for the “wrong end of Main Street,” as the area had come to be known. But in an early act of civic consciousness, voters rejected the sale when it was put to a referendum. Then, in terms of Market Square itself, a kind of stalemate set in. Area businesses and the daily papers all called for a real park, like Jackson Square in 24
clockwise from far top left : Houston's first City Hall in 1852; an aerial view of downtown Houston circa 1920's; the Houston Ice & Brewing Company.
New Orleans, to be built there. But the city was slow to move. Ten years later, Market Square did finally become a park. In the meantime the area around it, then known as Old Market Square, went through a meteoric revival before crashing once again to earth. Old Market Square was just about as diverse as the old city market, and a variety of scenes flourished there side by side. The posh crowd could opt for glamour, while down the street hippies partied in psychedelic bliss. Starting in the mid-‘60s, some of the oldest buildings in Houston, including many that were out of use, were converted into boîtes de luxe for the “bold-faced types,” as the Chronicle’s Big City Beat columnist Maxine Mesinger styled them. Café Hannibal (311 Travis, now Market Square Bar and Grill) billed itself as “very posh and swinging” in its advertising. Les Quatre Saisons opened in a two-story building at 316 Milam (later Warren’s Inn and now a parking lot), and featured classical music and operatic singing along with its French menu. The very elegant Viennese-German restaurant The Bismarck opened in what is now the Magnolia Ballroom (715 Franklin). Well-known ragtime pianist Pinky Hull opened a Roaring ‘20s-style club that had then-governor Preston Smith in attendance at its opening. These places, and others, opened to red carpets and blazing klieg lights, and it looked like some combination of Hollywood and Broadway had taken root in the native gumbo.
eserving special mention is La Bastille, opened in a basement at 716 Congress in 1965 by Ernie Criezis and his wife, Dutch chanteuse Toni Renee. The building is long-since demolished, but apparently it ran deep enough underground that it passed for a “Parisian prison.” In the ‘70s La Bastille was known for bringing in jazz greats such as Dizzie Gillespie for two-week stints, but in the ‘60s the entertainment was more cabaret style. Renee appeared there frequently (even at lunchtime) doing songs by Piaf, Brel, and the rest of the Gallic gang. At other times the club featured acts such as Los Chamacos from Mexico City and performers who were likely to turn up on the Johnny Carson show. Carson himself did standup in La Bastille. After a visit, What’s My Line regular Betsy Palmer said, “There is nothing in New York that even comes close to competing with La Bastille for entertainment and atmosphere.” Comedian Jackie Mason appeared there and met with Criezis to downtownhouston.org
discuss the possibility of becoming his partner. Criezis and Renee must have been quite a couple. According to the Market Square Gazette, a weekly paper published between 1967 and 1970 to cover the Old Market Square revival, they were constantly flying to New York and Paris in search of new acts. They developed a relationship with Liza Minnelli during her heady days between Sterile Cuckoo and Cabaret. After a concert appearance at Jones Hall, she visited La Bastille and later raved about it in the press. She was so impressed by the group appearing there that night – Houston’s own Bojangles – that her manager signed them to tour with Minnelli in Europe and to appear in Cabaret. But perhaps Minnelli was attracted to something other than their harmonies. She was later sued by the wife of a band-member for “alienation of affection.” The jilted wife claimed that Minnelli only contracted the group “for the purposes of securing (the husband’s) company.” There’s no mention of how the suit was settled.
There were celebrities everywhere in Old Market Square. Today’s La Carafe may be a beloved watering hole, but it’s unlikely that Beyonce has ever taken Jay Z there. But in the ‘60’s, stars such as Debbie Reynolds, Mitzi Gaynor, Johnny Mathis, the Kingston Trio, Liberace (a frequent visitor, apparently), members of the Tijuana Brass, even author James Baldwin knocked back drinks in the old bar. There were also bars and restaurants with unique themes. The owners of the Viking Club (807 Congress) cut a hole in the roof of their building and lowered in a Galveston fishing vessel that had been reconfigured to look like a Viking ship. The Moulin Rouge was home to a can-can show. Later it featured an “incredibly cruel” show (in the words of the Gazette) in which a French entertainer hypnotized his sister and pierced her cheek with a sharp blade. Houston’s greatest jazz performer, Arnett Cobb, played all over downtown. At one point he was appearing six nights a week at Grif’s Green Derby (owned by Michael Griffin, who later opened Grif’s Shillelagh Inn).
And so it went. In 1968, Houston Post columnist Marge Crumbaker wrote “to say Old Market Square is flourishing seems a terribly inadequate way to describe its new face. What it is really doing is jumping, going hog-wild with a boom, spreading, leaping and lunging with an overwhelming vitality.” In the meantime, the counterculture had arrived. Many Houstonians remember David Addickes’ eye-poppingly psychedelic Love Street Light Circus and Feel Good Machine (in the International Coffe Building at Allen’s Landing) where young patrons would lie on cushions and gaze upon the images Addickes projected on the ceiling while bands such as the Red Krayolas, the Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons’ first band) and Johnny Winter played. At the time Addickes called the club a “zonk out emporium.” There were also plenty of head shops and the like, and they drew more hippies than the city fathers’ approved of – although one official did cite the hippies as a possible tourist attraction.
Deserving special mention is La Bastille, opened in a basement at 716 Congress in 1965 by Ernie Criezis and his wife, Dutch chanteuse Toni Renee.
the market square gazette often featured hot spot La bastille in its pages
marke t square - the timeline One space, many iterations 1873 - 2009
arket square has changed dramatically throughout its colorful history. it has served as a home for the city's first market house and more than one seat of government. It's been ravaged by fires. And, of course, it's done its duty as a parking lot. Its redesign takes the best parts of its 1990-era redevelopment and brings it into the new century.
The friction between Liza Minnelli’s crowd and the hippies may have been a small factor in Old Market Square’s eventual decline, as many of the district’s proprietors felt the city did little to embrace and promote the area. Then-chief Herman Short’s police force certainly took a dim view of the longhairs. In a 1984 Houston Post essay, Charles Segers, then a writer and editor for Prudential Insurance, said of the area in general, “Old Market Square was like Bourbon Street, except that it had an atmosphere of the forbidden that I had never experienced on Bourbon Street.” Writing about the Cellar coffeehouse, he said, “to recreate the Cellar you would have to have the conjuring powers of the Prince of Darkness himself. It was sin and decadence made tangible, at least to my relatively innocent senses … Inside was seething evil.” From reading the essay it’s hard to tell exactly why it was so “evil,” or if Segers perhaps was writing tongue-in-cheek, but he talks about how dark it was inside, and how menacing the patrons seemed. (The Cellar did in fact receive some 127 police visits in 1967 alone.) Segers writes, “The Houston establishment never really approved of what was going on down at Market Square, despite the tourist dollars it was bringing in.” Sure enough, by the early 1970s, Old Market Square had already seen its heyday. Former night clubs were converting to strip clubs and peep shows. The thrill was gone, but who was to blame? In 1965, Chronicle arts writer Ann Holmes wrote presciently that “downtown could go either way. It could be another Left Bank, another Village … (or) its current excitement could fizzle out … if landowners get greedy and put up prohibitive prices.” Many, among them preservation architect Bart Truxillo, did blame club owners and landowners. Around 1967 Truxillo bought and restored the old Houston Ice & Brewing Company building (popularly known as the Magnolia Brewery). It became home to the Bismarck and various other entities, such as Willie’s Pub and a cellar flea market where Mickey Rosmarin of Tootsie’s got his start. In a recent interview, Truxillo said that the introduction of cover charges at the bars put the brakes on development. “At first you just walked around and had a drink, until you found the place you wanted. You couldn’t do that if you were paying a cover.” Others agreed. In a 1975 Chronicle article on the decline of Old Market Square, one former club owner said, “People didn’t have 28
• In hindsight, it’s probably inevitable that Old Market Square would
fizzle before becoming a mature, Villagetype district, simply because it took off so fast.
covers. People could browse. Cover charges and high prices killed that.” Willie Rometsch, owner of the Bismarck, also said that some clubs became “clip joints charging $60 for champagne you could buy for $1.75 at Weingarten’s.” Ernie Criezis said, “Three years ago La Bastille was worth $175,000. Now I’d be lucky to get $35,000 for it.” (Criezis eventually left downtown and opened The Great Caruso on Westheimer near the Beltway. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he died in 1996 at 61. A man with a flair for the dramatic in death as well as in life, he is now buried next to Marilyn Monroe.) Others, including Truxillo, think the city never really was interested in revitalizing the area. Truxillo says that the city “wanted to push the Astrodome as an entertainment area.” In one of the final issues of the Gazette, the editor fulminates against the city’s spending money to develop Tranquility Park while allowing Market Square to languish as a surface parking lot. Truxillo says that after the Old Market Square scene died out, and the Astrodome entertainment district never developed, city officials came to him and other owners and asked what they could do to bring the Square scene back. “I told them you can’t just turn it on and off like water.” Truxillo, among others, also says that the police presence was inadequate, and that people were afraid to go downtown even though the area was safe. A late editorial in the Gazette claimed that whenever there was a crime anywhere in downtown, “lazy editors” said that it happened “near Old Market Square.” In hindsight, it’s probably inevitable that Old Market Square would fizzle before becoming a mature, Village-type district, simply because it took off so fast. But one of the final reasons for its decline is the same reason that Market Square may have a hard time reaching the critical mass it enjoyed in 1968 – the demolition of historic buildings. The demolitions began in the late ‘60s and continued through the ‘80s. Market Square was recognized as a historic district in 1984 but by 1989 seven more historic buildings had been torn down for parking lots. Truxillo says now, “Bars and restaurants come and go, but when you take down the building then you’re stuck with a parking lot.” Or a drive-through bank in the case of La Bastille’s old address. Texas Commerce Bank (212 Milam) demolished the old building and introduced “convenient” banking to downtown (it now belongs to J.P. Morgan Chase). In his 1984 film Paris, Texas, direc-
clockwise from top : La Bastille during its mid 1960s heydey; the Love Street Circus and Feel Good Machine (need we say more?); the original Warren's Inn at 316 Milam.
tor Wim Wenders used the drive-through as a symbol of urban alienation. But the demolition that causes the most pain today is probably that of Warren’s Inn (316 Milam) in 1988. Warren was Warren Trousdale, whose first downtown bar was called Ali Baba (823 Congress). According to his sister, Carolyn Wenglar, who now owns and manages both La Carafe and the current Warren’s Inn, Trousdale managed to buy the Bethje-Lang building (where Warren’s was located), after the Ali Baba building was demolished. As the owner, Trousdale was probably feeling safe operating the old building he loved so much. But as early as 1982, the Chronicle reported that a development company that wanted to build an office building and parking garage was attempting to buy the property. Trousdale is quoted as saying, “I told them they’d have to build over me because I won’t sell. We need some old buildings left, something for future generations to see besides steel and glass – something old and dear, like these buildings.” With its large statues representing the four seasons (left over from the previous occupant, Les Quatre Saisons) and its beautifully
aged atmosphere, Warren’s Inn was a building that many Houstonians held close to their hearts. That’s why the news that Trousdale had finally sold the property to Guardian Savings came as an unwelcome surprise. Why had he sold? Those closest to him said that he had been the subject of a campaign of harassment. “Somebody – we don’t know who – was putting t-shirts in his toilets (to clog them). They even put cement in his sewer,” says his sister. She’s kept the current Warren’s Inn alive “in a little bit of tribute” to her brother, who was “quite a guy.” Ultimately deprived of a sewer connection, Trousdale sold the property and moved across Market Square. He died in 1988, not long after Guardian Savings demolished the building – without taking out the proper permits. Not long after, the oil bust caught up to Guardian Savings and it went bankrupt. “Maybe there was a little bit of karma there,” Wenglar says with a tiny note of triumph in her voice. When the Market Square area made another comeback in the late 1990s, historic preservation had finally taken hold, so a
number of historic buildings were preserved and brought up to code. Bart Truxillo is proud to have been the first business owner to designate his property as a landmark that can’t be demolished, by him or by anyone he would sell the building to. And the new redesign of Market Square Park (its fourth since the 60’s) will bring new life to the north end of downtown. It doesn’t promise to create a red-hot scene; instead, with its dog runs and low-key gathering places, the park confirms Market Square’s status as a neighborhood, rather than a pure entertainment district. Of course, because of its rich history Market Square won’t be just another residential neighborhood. Residents there can share in the good feeling that Wenglar takes in owning the oldest commercial building in the city. “It does make you a little bit proud.” By the way, if you miss the old statues and the elaborate iron gates from the original Warren’s, Wenglar is storing them at the old family rice farm, which she still works from time to time. Maybe one day they’ll re-appear.
by Sandra Cook
i n to p l a c e T h e r e v a m p e d M a r k e t S q u a r e Pa r k m a r k s a m a j o r p i e c e o f t h e p u z z l e i n a ss e m b l i n g a c o h e s i v e s u st a i n a b l e n e i g h b o r h o o d w i t h i n t h e H i st o r i c D i st r i c t
he historic district may boast the oldest blocks and buildings in Houston, but now one of those original blocks is the newest asset in the downtown area – the reinvented Market Square Park. Giving modern purpose to historic spaces has been a key preservation tactic for the entire Historic District’s renaissance over the past 20-plus years. The conversion of historic buildings into lofts undoubtedly brought new momentum to preservation efforts that had stalled for years. When the Hogg Palace and Dakota Lofts opened in 1995, with 80 units and 54 units respectively, the general public and the business community were moderately intrigued by this novel concept in Houston. Next, the long-vacant Rice Hotel was converted into lofts (312 units), along with the Hermann Lofts (25 units), in 1998, followed by half a dozen more over the next several years. The courage and determination of preservationists, real estate developers and entrepreneurs who have embraced the remaining historic buildings and blocks since the late 1980s have all played a role in bringing about a paradigm shift in the way historical buildings are treated in Houston. Houston’s most historic blocks are within the designated Historic District, which contains the highly significant (yet longtime lackluster) Market Square Park. Thanks to an almost 50-year preservation relay race of sorts carried out in stalls and starts, the residents of Houston have been handed an astonishing baton pass. Though the status of the park was not in jeopardy, it simply wasn’t living up to its potential. “What’s important about Market Square Park is that it is Houston’s first public space,” says Minnette Boesel, the mayor's assistant for cultural affairs. “Today it has evolved into an attribute to the neighborhood, anchoring the north part of downtown, bringing lots of activity and providing a lovely visual scene for the residents of the surrounding historic lofts.” Today the Historic District alone is home to nearly 1,000 residents and an estimated 300 pets. Houston: we have a neighborhood.
Left: Downtown dogs will be spoiled with two dog runs, each with water features. above: The iconic gargoyle monument stands at the entrance into the park on the corner of Travis and Congress.
Say hello to today’s Market Square Park The goals for the newly opened, redesigned Market Square Park were to acknowledge the history of the site; to provide an active, urban green space; and to conserve its existing artwork and incorporate new artwork. At the center of the block is a rectangular lawn, which represents the footprint of the 19th-century City Hall, grounding the park in its history. A crescent-shaped dog run on the Milam Street side now provides a place for the canine contingent to play. Behind the dog run, an illuminated crescent-shaped fence and walkway curves through the park from north to south and serves as a history walk. Niko Niko’s Greek & American Café is operating a small window-service cafe in the park with outdoor seating, shade-providing trellis, and a dual plaza/performance area, all located on the Travis Street side. A double row of oak trees lines Preston on the block’s south end, extending to Sesquicentennial Park.
Momentum t h i s m i l l e n n i u m
Les Givral’s Kahve opened its Market Square location in 2008 at 801 Congress. Patrons crave the fantastic and familiar French-Vietnamese and deli cuisine all at unbelievable low prices. Look for new concepts ERA and Convey coming soon from the Les Givral’s crew. lesgivrals.com Hearsay Gastro Lounge opened in late 2009 at 218 Travis in Houston’s second-oldest standing commercial building. The chic, yet comfortable Hearsay features top shelf spirits, craft beers on tap and an impressive menu. It has quickly become a hot-spot for downtown movers and shakers. hearsayhouston.com
Byrd’s Market & Café opened in late 2009 at 420 Main at Prairie as a casual restaurant and market. Byrd's features chef-driven, fast-casual dining, an eclectic assortment of craft beers and wines and a small selection of grocery essentials. byrdsmarket.com
Coming soon Kitchen Incubator is a center for culinary entrepreneurship with licensed commercial kitchens for hourly and contract rent, culinary business advisory and a unique multi-chef café showcasing client products. Cooking classes, cooking parties and other community happenings will be hosted from
Houston’s one-of-a-kind Kitchen Inc. Opening this fall at 907 Franklin. kitchenincubator.com ERA will be a dining and entertainment venue. The first level will feature fast-casual dining with a continental menu to include personal pizzas, sandwiches, pastas and more – all for less than $10. The second level will host live music by a broad range of artists, ranging from local to national acts. Convey will be a Japanese cuisine restaurant, serving sushi, robata, rolls and more. Patrons will receive their food via the conveyor belt delivery system – hence the name!
Heroes of Market Square La Carafe – Since 1955 Warren’s Inn – Since 1978 Treebeards – Since 1980
Even before the residential influx, fixtures such as La Carafe, Warren’s Inn and Treebeards, have provided a type of reliable refuge in the historic, yet not-always-fashionable district. Patrons seeking a satisfying lunch or low-key drink spot have remained faithful to these authentic, decidedly untrendy slices of Houston culture. For more than three decades, Market Square has been known for downhome cuisine served up cafeteria style and bars whose atmosphere offers the simplest, most elemental stop-infor-a-drink criteria: a barstool and a beverage. We salute these marvelous mainstays!
All of Market Square Park’s previous artwork remains. The artwork, coordinated by DiverseWorks in the late 1980s, is unified by the message of holding on to our city’s history. Those same artists – Richard Turner, Paul Hester, James Surls and Malou Flato – played a role in the redesign, along with newcomer Ketria Scott. The park also includes Lauren’s Garden, a memorial effort from the foundation set up to honor Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas – a passenger on United Flight 93. This tribute garden, which makes up the Congress (north) end of the central lawn, includes a water feature, Ketria Scott’s sculpture, seasonal flowers, flowing trees, and a memorial to all victims of 9/11. Lauren Griffith Associates created the design, while Ray + Hollington Architects (RHA) and Tribble & Stephens Constructors were also instrumental in the completion of the park project. Niko Niko’s owner Dimitri Fetokakis loves the idea of the new park. “I travel to Europe a lot and actually I’m writing this to you from Greece,” Fetokakis said via email. “Here, there are so many outdoor cafes and parks where you can sit with friends, have coffee and enjoy a glass of wine under a grapevine trellis – even in New York they have places like that. I like the fact that in between all the big buildings you will find a treasure like Market Square Park where 32
Left: James Surls' Points of View reaches for the sky in its new location. above: Ketria Scott's sculpture is integrated into a beautiful fountain in Lauren's Garden. right: Dimitri Fetokakis provides a tasty and relaxing spot for downtowners.
you are going to be able to relax for a while and unwind from the daily grind.” Just across Travis Street, Treebeards' founders Dan Tidwell and Jamie Mize are looking forward to this new era for Market Square. “Our balcony overlooks the park, so the area feels safer with more people and activity,” says Mize. “We see opportunities to expand hours in connection with the concert series at the park.” The Treebeards duo is also thrilled to see the new Houston Ballet Center for Dance under construction at the corner of Smith and Preston, which will bring stunning architecture and some 300 students to the area.
Maximizing the Potential Our Historic District has matured into a multi-dimensional neighborhood, boasting close to 1,000 residents. It is no longer just a bar scene or just a restaurant row, or just the oldest part of Houston. The Historic District is a thriving neighborhood with residents of all ages and stages. If you want to live in an authentic downtown loft, you’ll find the greatest concentration of them in the Historic District, where the residential population has helped fuel a broader vision for the area.
Fall Events In trodu ci ng The Houston Sound Fall Concert Series at Market Square Park September 8 6:30-10 p.m. Soular Grooves Beetle Double act: eclectic dance and the ultimate Beatles cover band
September 22 6:30-8:30 p.m. Two Star Symphony Roky Moon & BOLT! Double act: edgy chamber music meets glam rock
October 16 6-10 p.m.
A Night at Market Square
Celebrate historic downtown with tastings and specials from area bars and restaurants and live music at Market Square Park featuring local favorite Robert Ellis & the Boys and Americana singer/songwriter Tim Easton. October 27 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tody Castillo Band Black Queen Speaks Double act: indie folk gets down with rock alternative
Jaime Mize of Treebeards is also the chair of the board of directors of the Downtown Houston Redevelopment Authority. Mize said as the park project was announced, “With the renovation of Market Square Park, we will further our goal of helping create a true urban neighborhood in the north end of downtown and encourage property owners in the area to develop their properties, many of which are large tracts of parking lots.” Those parking lots and vacant buildings are poised for development. Funding continues to be available to business owners through the Houston Downtown Management District’s (HDMD) Retail Grant Program. HDMD now offers a Storefront and Streetscape Grant open to existing businesses considering improvements for signage, exterior lighting and general curb appeal. This is big news, because grants have largely been available only to new businesses. The program rewards merchants who have already made the commitment and established a business downtown. After decades of suburban sprawl, our city has finally started growing up instead of growing out. Today, historic preservation efforts are stronger than ever. The city of Houston has repeatedly improved its commitment to help owners of historic properties with tax relief and funding. And it shows.
November 10 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sarah Sharp Grandfather Child Double act: jazzy indie and soulful Cajun blues
All concerts are free. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome! Food, beer and wine are sold at Niko Niko’s at Market Square. (Alcohol is not allowed to be brought into the park.)
The Houston Sound mission is to focus attention on Houston’s incredibly diverse and eclectic music scene through education and community development.
For more information, follow Market Square Park on Facebook. downtownhouston.org
‹ third annual›
bb Nov 24 Wortham Theater Tree Lighting Ceremony Kick off the holiday season with The Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy as she illuminates the Wortham Theater’s 25-foot Christmas tree. Where: Wortham Theater Center Foyer, 501 Texas Ave. Nov 25 H-E-B Holiday Parade Fantastic floats, high-flying hot air balloons, marching bands and costumed characters make their way down the streets of downtown Thanksgiving morning. Where: Parade begins at Minute Maid Park Dec 3 Mayor’s Holiday Celebration Join Mayor Annise Parker for music, fireworks and the lighting of the City’s official holiday tree. Where: Hermann Square at City Hall, 901 Bagby Dec 10-11 Heritage Society’s 48th Annual Candlelight Tour Experience a picture-perfect holiday set in eight of Houston’s oldest historic homes, trimmed to perfection in traditional 19thcentury décor. Children may also visit with Santa, play in the snow, enjoy a holiday story reading and make crafts at Santa’s Workshop. Where: Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby Dec 12 Chevron Jingle Bell Run & Walk The Downtown Houston YMCA’s 2010 Chevron Jingle Bell Run and Walk gives Houstonians the perfect opportunity to shed those extra holiday calories while raising funds and awareness for a valuable Houston program. Where: Downtown YMCA, 808 Pease Dec 31 Gloworama New Year’s Eve 2011 A “new” New Year’s Eve extravaganza that will light up your world! Highlights include the fabulously funky H-E-B Art Car Glow ’n Roll, live music and a spectacular light show at midnight. Gloworama promises to be an entertaining and unique evening for adults and children alike. Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney and George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas
FREE Holiday TROLLEYS
Nov 19-Dec 27 A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas alleytheatre.org Nov 21-Dec 31 Santaland Diaries alleytheatre.org Nov 24-Dec 5 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical tuts.com Nov 26-Dec 26 The Nutcracker houstonballet.org Dec 1 Handel’s Messiah Rocks spahouston.org Dec 4 The Snowman houstonsymphony.org Dec 10-12 Very Merry Pops houstonsymphony.org Dec 17-19 Handel’s Messiah in Candlelight houstonsymphony.org Dec 31 Musical Resolution on New Year’s Eve arslyricahouston.org
Our holiday trolleys make it simple to park once and ride to and from all the downtown holiday destinations. Hop on Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s weekend.
datebook Theater 36 : Festivals & Special Events 38 : Concerts 39 : Tours 41
Celebrated Latin American writer and author, Carlos Fuentes, will read from his work, followed by an onstage interview. inprinthouston.org
THEATER A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE Through Sep 26 Martin McDonagh returns to the Alley with his first play set in America, the outrageously funny A Behanding in Spokane, recently on Broadway. The mysterious, gun-toting Carmichael has been searching for his missing left hand for decades. Enter two bickering lovebirds with a hand to sell, and a hotel clerk with an aversion to gunfire, and we’re set for an uproarious ride of love, hate, desperation and hope. Recommended for mature audiences. Tickets $40-$55. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org SALAAM INDIA Sep 25 An English play saluting the many paradoxes that define modern India. The play peeps into the psyche of countrymen who are poised for success in a race against the world, but who must fight battles on the home front. Inspired by Pavan Verma’s best seller Being Indian. Tickets $25-$75. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com UNIVERSES: AMERIVILLE Sep 30-Oct 1 Ameriville is a new work by creative troupe UNIVERSES which explores race, poverty, politics, history and government all through the lens of Hurricane Katrina. Tickets $15-$10. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org CHESS Oct 1-10 An original story by lyricist Tim Rice, Chess centers around the political and personal tensions between an American and a Soviet chess master and the woman caught between them during a world championship match played at the height of the Cold War. Tickets $36.25-$66.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. masqueradetheatre.com PETER PAN, OR THE BOY WHO WOULD NOT GROW UP Oct 1-31 Peter’s sudden arrival into the lives of Wendy, John and Michael is the beginning of a thrilling adventure. Together they embark on a fantastical flight to Never Land, a magical place of vivid dangers and unsettling beauty. This is J. M. Barrie’s rarely produced original fantasy – the inspiration for all other versions – and still, by far, the strangest and best. Recommended for general audiences, children over six. Tickets $21-$70. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org HAIRSPRAY Oct 5-17 Don’t miss Hairspray, the musical-comedy phenomenon that inspired a major motion picture and won eight 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. As The New York Times says, “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like Hairspray. It’s irresistible!” Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558. TUTS. tuts.com SHREK THE MUSICAL Oct 19-31 Shrek The Musical brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage. Full of new songs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, it’s part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone! Tickets $30-$140. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. broadwayacrossamerica.com MADAME BUTTERFLY Oct 22-Nov 5 At her wedding to Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton, the Geisha, Cio-Cio-San, promises to be his for life; just three years later, abandoned and on the verge of poverty, she and her young son wait with fierce hope for his return. Tickets $30-$313. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org PETER GRIMES Oct 29-Nov 12 The mysterious death of an apprentice ignites the town’s suspicions against the fisherman Peter Grimes. School mistress Ellen Orford is his only ally. Peter Grimes brings to the stage the human struggle of the individual versus the masses against the backdrop of the raging sea. Tickets $30-$313. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL Nov 9-21 The story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their company and learn there’s
COME AS YOU ARE: HOUSTON
datebook Sep 17-18 Some of Houston’s edgiest queer artists will come together for two nights only to perform works as original as the theater presenting them. Tickets $5. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org nothing they can’t do – even in a man’s world. 9 to 5: The Musical features a brand-new score by seven-time Grammy Award-winner Dolly Parton. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.TUTS. tuts.com THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Nov 19-28 To chase his blues away, a modern day musical theater addict known simply as Man in Chair drops the needle on his favorite LP – the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone. From the crackle of his hi-fi, the musical magically bursts to life on stage, telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters who double as pastry chefs. Tickets $3.25-$66.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. masqueradetheatre.com PERFORMING ARTS BROADWAY ROCKS! Sep 3-5 With show stopping numbers from the latest generation of Broadway musicals like Wicked and Mamma Mia, this concert will have you tapping your toes and dancing in the aisles. Come hear upbeat selections from such high-energy shows as The Lion King, Rent and more. Tickets $29-$122. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org MICHAEL BOLTON Sep 8 Michael Bolton not only has sold more than 53 million records, won multiple Grammys, and earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, but he also has sung with artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Ray Charles, written songs with Bob Dylan, Ne-Yo and Lady Gaga, penned hits for Barbra Streisand and KISS, and played guitar with B.B. King. Tickets $40-$145. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BODY, SOUL & GERSHWIN Sep 9-19 From sexy to soulful to spirited, this program offers a diverse menu of contemporary ballet. The Core is Stanton Welch’s fun and energetic tribute to the music of George Gershwin and Broadway movie musicals of the 1930s. Welch’s Tu Tu is a glittery and dynamic display of talent. Jiri Kylián’s Forgotten Land is somber and soulful, an intensely moving
ballet. Tickets $38-$168. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org OPENING NIGHT: A VIENNA SOIRÉE Sep 11 Be captivated by the sounds of Vienna with Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante featuring our newly appointed concertmaster, Frank Huang. Tickets $29-$116. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BRONFMAN’S TCHAIKOVSKY 1 Sep 16-19 You’ll be inspired by Tchaikovsky’s luscious melodies, performed with passion by giant of the keyboard, Yefim Bronfman. Tickets $29-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org SING FOR HOPE – AN EVENING OF ART SONGS AND ARIAS Sep 18 Native Houstonian and internationally-recognized American soprano Camille Zamora will once again bring some of the brightest young stars in the opera world to Houston for Sing For Hope. The evening features classic opera arias and popular showstoppers from favorite musicals followed by an on-stage champagne and dessert after-party that allows guests to mingle with the artists. Tickets $150-$250. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.341.3763. beringomega.org JEWELS Sep 23-Oct 3 Like precious stones, each gem in George Balanchine’s triptych Jewels shines brilliantly on its own. The world’s first abstract full-length ballet, Jewels pays tribute to three golden ages of dance, to Balanchine’s career and to the beauty of the ballerinas he loved. Tickets $38-$168. Wortham Center, 510 Preston. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org LA DIRINDINA Sep 24 Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton stars in Domenico Scarlatti’s comic intermezzo La Dirindina, the only surviving work of its kind from the master of the harpsichord sonata. Also featured are baritone Brian Shircliffe, tenor Joseph Gaines, and the Ars Lyrica ensemble in sinfonias by the Scarlatti family. Tickets $31.25-$41.25. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. arslyricahouston.org WAGNER’S “RING” WITHOUT WORDS Sep 24-26 Take a symphonic journey into a mythical world of gods, giants and heroes in the quest for a magic ring that holds immense power. Tickets $29-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Oct 6 A Little Day Music concerts fulfill an important aspect of Da Camera’s mission to develop the audience for chamber music and jazz by making it accessible to everyone and part of everyday life. Enjoy Da Camera’s free lunchtime concerts on the first Wednesday of each month, October through May, at noon in the lobby of the Wortham Theater Center. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Tickets free. Noon. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com OMARA PORTUONDO: THE DIVA FROM BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB Oct 8 Omara Portuondo danced and sang at the famed Tropicana Club and even performed with Nat King Cole. As the only female member of the Buena Vista Social Club, Portuondo transcended the landmark album and film with two Grammy Award-nominated records of her own, all the while enchanting audiences around the globe with her effervescence and timeless charm. Join this 2008 Latin Grammy winner as she and her band bring down the house with a nonstop 80th birthday celebration. Tickets $34-$54. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org EXOTIQUE! Oct 9 Exotique! features beautiful French Baroque orchestral stage music meant to portray exotic foreign lands. Lully’s satirical ballet Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme features Turkish-influenced music. The four acts of Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes each feature a different setting, including another Turkish-
influenced act, as well as portrayals of the Incas in Peru and the savages of America. Tickets $20-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercurybaroque.org YASUKO YOKOSHI: TYLER, TYLER Oct 14-16 Tyler Tyler resumes Yasuko Yokoshi’s artistic partnership with Masumi Seyama, revered master teacher of Kabuki Su-Odori dance and the heir to the legacy of Kanjyuro Fujima VI, one of the renowned Kabuki choreographers of the 20th century in Japan. Together they deconstruct new choreographic material from Fujima’s classical dance repertories. Tickets $15-$10. Diverseworks, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org MOMIX Oct 15-16 MOMIX returns to Houston with its newest evening-length production, the whimsical and mythical Botanica. With an eclectic score ranging from birdsongs to Vivaldi, Botanica follows the rhythms of the New England seasons, the evolution of the world and the passing of a day. Tickets $34-$54. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org PAUL ANKA Oct 21 Paul Anka is one of history’s most prolific and successful songwriters. His songs have been performed by some of the greatest names in entertainment history, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand. Tickets $40-$145. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org FALL MIXED REP Oct 21-23 This tantalizing mixed bill features the Houston premiere of an intense duet from Jiri Kylian’s 27’52” along with the U.S. premiere of Walsh’s Medea and a revival of his Terminus set to a score composed and performed live by Two Star Symphony and presented against a video/ painting installation by Nicola Parente. Tickets $24.25-$51.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. dwdt.org CHRIS BOTTI Oct 22-24 Grammy Award-winning trumpeter composer Chris Botti is back by popular demand. His charismatic style has lead to four No. 1 albums. Chris Botti is headed back to Houston to play his sultry versions of your favorites such as Time to Say Goodbye, When I Fall in Love and Funny Valentine. Tickets $40-$145. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org VILLAGE OF WALTZ Oct 22-23 The world premier of choreographer Jane Weiner’s evening length work Village of Waltz. Hope Stone Dance, a company of 12 dancers and performers, join forces to bring to life an evening of exquisite dance. It’s an evening of live music by composer/musician Peter Jones with vocalist Ana Trevino-Godfrey. Tickets start at $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.526.1907. hopestoneinc.org DRUMLINE LIVE Oct 26 Drumline LIVE, the theatrical production based on the Historically Black College and University (HCBU) marching band tradition, returns to Houston for one night with a new show filled with even more great drumline music. Tickets $39-$59. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.22.4SPA. spahouston.org BEETHOVEN’S EROICA SYMPHONY Oct 28-31 Beethoven’s Eroica, threaded with epic drama and revolutionary genius in every note, has changed the rules of the classical symphony forever. Tickets $29-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org TIERNEY SUTTON BAND Oct 29 Known for her way with jazz standards, vocalist Tierney Sutton has received two Grammy nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Album and her CDs regularly hit the No. 1 spot on jazz radio playlists and garner critical praise throughout the world. Tickets $30-$50. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.7575. dacamera.com
JORDI SAVALL THE ROUTE TO THE NEW WORLD: SPAIN TO MEXICO Oct 2 The incomparable early music superstar Jordi Savall makes his long-awaited Houston debut. With La Capella Reial and Hespèrion XXI, Savall joins together with the Ensemble Tembembe of Mexico for this unique celebration of mixed musical traditions. Folk and baroque meet in this dialogue between Old Spain, Mexican Baroque and the living Husteca and Jarocho traditions, reflecting African, Spanish and native influences on indigenous Mexican music. Tickets $25-$45. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.7575. dacamera.com
A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Nov 3 A Little Day Music concerts fulfill an important aspect of Da Camera’s mission to develop the audience for chamber music and jazz by making it accessible to everyone and part of everyday life. Enjoy Da Camera’s free lunchtime concerts on the first Wednesday of each month, October through May, at noon in the lobby of the Wortham Theater Center. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Tickets free. Noon. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com DIAVOLO Nov 5 Back by popular demand, Diavolo is more than a dance company – it is an experience of perception, contortion, strength and ingenuity. Their Houston performance will feature Fearful Symmetries, Diavolo’s newest and largest project to date. Tickets $29-$49. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE 5 BROWNS Nov 6 A youthful quintet of brothers and sisters, each a Juilliard-trained virtuoso concert pianist. Flawless in precision and steeped in passion, the Browns stun critics and shatter the preconceptions of those who think classical music inscrutable or intimidating. Needless to say, they are a force to be reckoned with. Tickets $34-$54. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org ONE O’CLOCK SWINGS! Nov 12-14 In an unprecedented musical event, the Houston Symphony teams up with the esteemed University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band to form the biggest band in Texas. This extravaganza will feature songs from jazz greats like Duke Ellington’s Take the A Train, Count Basie’s Moten Swing and John Coltrane. Plus, hear standards from the Great American Songbook with songs from Cole Porter and more. Tickets $29-$122. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BUIKA Nov 12 2008 Latin Grammy nominee Concha Buika has been hailed as the “Flamenco Queen.” She is the daughter of political refugees from the African nation of Equatorial Guinea and grew up in a gypsy neighborhood on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Her musical sound is a blend of copla, an old-fashioned Spanish song style, flamenco, jazz, Cuban music, soul and blues. Tickets $24-$49. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org MONTEVERDI VESPERS Nov 13 The 400th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s monumental 1610 Vespers is being celebrated worldwide in 2010. In November Ars Lyrica brings its splendor and drama to Houston and Dallas, in collaboration with the critically acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Singers and the Whole Noyse, one of the world’s finest Renaissance wind
JOSHUA BELL’S MENDELSSOHN
Oct 1-3 Joshua Bell has performed with every major orchestra worldwide. Marvel as he plays Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto on the Gibson Stradivarius. Stolen twice from Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, this remarkable Stradivarius went missing for 51 years, only to resurface after the thief’s death. Tickets $29-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org bands. Tickets $31.25-$41.25. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. arslyricahouston.org AHN TRIO Nov 17 Born in Seoul and educated at Juilliard, the Ahn Trio has redefined the art and architecture of chamber music, breathing new life into the standard piano trio literature. Sisters Maria (cello), Lucia (piano) and Angella (violin) return to Houston to perform a new program with works by some of the most visionary composers. Tickets $24-$54. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org BARTÓK’S MIRACULOUS MANDARIN Nov 18-21 You’ll be enthralled by Bartók’s musical portrayal of greed, lust, crime and the ultimate power of love. Tickets $29-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org VIVALDI’S MONTEZUMA Nov 20 First performed in 1733 and lost until its rediscovery in 2002, Montezuma is Vivaldi’s opera based on the story of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire. After having been stolen by the Red Army after WWII and being taken to Kiev, Montezuma’s fragmented score was re-discovered during restitution to Germany’s Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. Tickets $20-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercurybaroque.org KADDISH Nov 23 In collaboration with the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Symphony is presenting this work – a chronicle of the journey of heroic Holocaust survivors. “Here I am! I am here, I survived, and look who is with me!” – Naomi Warren, survivor of Auschwitz, Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen. Tickets $40-$145. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION Nov 26-28 Take a stroll through an orchestral gallery of musical paintings. Let your imagination soar through depictions of mythical creatures, ruins, the famous
SALLIE GORDON & PENNY JONES: COURTLANDT PLACE Nov 18 Free for members, $5 for non-members. Noon-1 pm. 1100 Bagby, 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
SPEAKER SERIES AN AFTERNOON WITH FIROOZEH DUMAS Sept 11 Author Firoozeh Dumas will discuss her books Funny in Farsi and Laughing without an Accent as part of the Houston Public Library’s Books on the Bayou program. Free. 1 pm. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS LAUREN’S GARDEN DEDICATION Sep 11 A remembrance of 9/11 and our 9/11 heroes and a dedication of Lauren’s Garden at Market Square Park. Hosted by the City of Houston and the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation. Free. 10:30-11:30 am. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com
AUTHORS IN ARCHITECTURE Sept 16 University of Houston professor Michelangelo Sabatino presents Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy. Free. 6-8 pm. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol Suite 120. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
3rd Annual District I Family Day Sep 18 I Day is hosted by Council Member James G. Rodriguez in collaboration with the American Association of Civil Engineers and the League of Women Voters. A celebration of District I’s arts and culture with additional information on careers, education, health and wellness and more. Ends at dusk with a family-friendly movie. Free. 3 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com
LOUIS AULBACH: CAMP LOGAN Sep 16 Free for members, $5 for non-members. Noon-1 pm. 1100 Bagby, 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
Tuileries Gardens in Paris and underground catacombs. Finally, find yourself at the Great Gate of Kiev. Tickets $40-$145. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
HPL GRAPHIC NOVEL DAY Sept 18 An exciting day of workshops and discussions on graphic novels featuring teen-favorite graphic novelists, sponsored by Houston Public Library and Domy Books. Free. 11 am-5 pm. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org ANTHONY BOURDAIN: UP CLOSE AND CONFIDENTIAL Sep 20 Think about what he was willing to reveal in Kitchen Confidential. Then consider what he’s willing to consume on No Reservations. Inhibited? Not really. So you might want to brace for yourself for what Travel Channel star Anthony Bourdain will have in store for us. Tickets $25-$65. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org AMY TAN READING Sept 20 Amy Tan, award winning Chinese American novelist, author of The Joy Luck Club, will kick off the 2010/2011 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Tan will read from her work, followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org ERIC SCHLOSSER Sep 30 Eric Schlosser’s book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, helped start a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat, remaining on The New York Times bestseller list for two years. Tickets $14-$74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org AN EVENING WITH RICHARD DAWKINS Oct 5 Renowned British biologist Richard Dawkins is the author of The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution and The God Delusion. Attendees receive a free copy of The Greatest Show on Earth. Tickets $14 - $74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org CARLOS FUENTES READING Oct 11 Carlos Fuentes, celebrated Latin American writer and author of more than 25 books, will read from his work, followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing, and a reception in the lobby, hosted by the Mexico Tourism Board. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org DENISE LABRIE: FRENCH TOWN Oct 21 Free for members, $5 for non-members. Noon-1 pm. 1100 Bagby, 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org RICHARD LEAKEY Oct 28 The world’s most famous paleoanthropologist, Richard Leakey, was named one of Time’s 100 greatest minds of the 21st century. Tickets $14-$74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org AN EVENING WITH JOHN PAUL STEVENS Nov 16 John Paul Stevens was the third-longest-serving U.S. Supreme Court Justice, widely regarded as the leader of the liberal wing. Tickets $14 - $74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org
MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY Sep 18-19 Renowned actor, director, playwright, screenwriter, producer and author, Tyler Perry has brought smiles to people across the country Don’t miss your chance to see Tyler Perry live on stage when he stars as Madea in Madea’s Big Happy Family. Tickets $55-$80. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 866-4HOUTIX. toyotacentertix.com BUFFALO BAYOU BOAT DEMO DAYS Sep 25-26 Austin Canoe & Kayak and Buffalo Bayou Partnership invite you to try out some of the newest canoes and kayaks along Buffalo Bayou along with other outdoor equipment vendors showing their gear. Free. Sat 10 am-4 pm, Sun noon-4 pm. Allen’s Landing, 1001 Commerce at Main. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON Oct 2 Put down the video game and come outside. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will have bald eagles, cowboys and much more on hand, thanks to the Houston Safari Club. Free. 10 am-3 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com NATIONAL NIGHT OUT Oct 5 Join the Houston Police Department and your neighbors to fight against crime. Free. 6-9 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. houstonpolice.org 39TH ANNUAL BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL DOWNTOWN Oct 9-10 The downtown skyline serves as a vivid backdrop for art, music and dance. Adults $10, free for children 12 and under. Sat 10 am-8 pm, Sun 10 am-6 pm. 713.521.0133. bayoucityartfestival.com PLANTING ON THE PARKWAY Oct 16 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s young professionals Bayou Buddies and Trees For Houston’s Redbuds for the Eighth Annual Planting on the Parkway. We will be planting native trees along the riparian fringe at downtown’s Tapley Tributary, just west of Sabine Street. Free for members, $10 for non-members. 2-4 pm. Buffalo Bayou, 150 Sabine Street along the trails west of Sabine Street Bridge. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org/bayoubuddies A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE Oct 16 A Night in Market Square is a celebration of downtown Houston’s Historic District with lights, tastings and music featuring Robert Ellis & The Boys and Tim Easton. The event gives visitors insight into Houston’s history with live music and complimentary bites and drinks from downtown’s great restaurants and bars. Sponsored by The Downtown District, The Houston Sound and KPFT. Free. 6-10 pm. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com 20TH ANNUAL TURKISH FESTIVAL Oct 16-17 Celebrate the culture of Turkey. Sample authentic Turkish food and pastries, Turkish beer and wine and Turkish tea and coffee. Live local bands, belly dancers and folk dancers will also be on hand to entertain. Tickets $5. Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana. atahouston.org HSPVA AT DISCOVERY GREEN FEATURING JASON MORAN Oct 21 HSPVA jazz students welcome graduate Jason Moran for a solo concert in his hometown. A Blue Note recording artist, Jason Moran is reinventing and
reinvigorating jazz. Andrea and Bill White funded this series highlighting the brilliant young artists emerging from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts to honor Nancy G. Kinder for her contribution in the creation of Discovery Green. Free. 7 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com BARKITECTURE HOUSTON Oct 23 The Second Annual Barkitecture Houston is a full day of festivities to raise money for Pup Squad. There will be cute dogs up for adoption, wonderful vendors displaying pet portraits, pet couture, fun activities for the family, a photo booth to get your picture with your pet, and, of course, the event culminates in the silent auction of the beautiful and creative doghouses. This year the auction will include outdoor as well as indoor doghouses … perfect for the downtown loft dweller. Free and open to the public. 10 am to 6 pm. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com 2010 KOREAN FESTIVAL Oct 23 This event showcases the taste of Korean food and cultural performances. Sat 11 am-6 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. koreanfestivalhouston.com 16TH ANNUAL HOUSTON WOMEN’S FESTIVAL Oct 24 A celebration of music featuring women-fronted bands as well as art, culture and community that has been held annually since 1995. Tickets $16-$23. Noon. Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana. hwfestival.org SCREAM ON THE GREEN Oct 30 Houston’s third annual citywide costume contest and Halloween celebration. Free. 6-10 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: ALEGRIA Nov 10-14 Alegría is a mood, a state of mind. The themes of the show, whose name means “jubilation” in Spanish, are many. Power and the handing down of it over time, the evolution from ancient monarchies to modern democracies, old age, youth – it is against this backdrop that the characters of Alegría play out their lives. Tickets $44-$99. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 866-4HOUTIX. toyotacentertix.com VETERANS DAY CEREMONY AND PARADE Nov 11 Ceremony on the steps of City Hall at 10 am. followed by a moment of silence; Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at Smith and Texas; Free. houstonspecialevents.org FILM ANGELIKA FILM CENTER Stylish cinema playing an eclectic mix of art films and commercial movies from major studios. Tickets $9 adults, $7 matinee, $6.25 kids, $6.5 seniors (note: if you park in the Theater District garage, they will deduct from your ticket price but you must bring parking ticket with you). Call or go online for list of films and show times. Bayou Place, 510 Texas. 713.225.1470. angelikafilmcenter.com
KUHF SILENT FILM CONCERT SERIES Oct 22 Wings with Golden Arm Trio and guest artists Nov 19 Film TBA with a new original score by Two Star Symphony. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. Check discoverygreen.com for movie times. MFAH FILMS AT DISCOVERY GREEN: RASHOMON Oct 1 MFAH Films celebrates the centennial of Japanese master Akira Kurosawa with films at the museum and this free screening of his most famous film, Rashomon, at the park. This 1950 masterpiece is a mystery: the story of a murder told from the different perspectives of four witnesses. Subtitled. Free. 7:30 pm.
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS FESTIVAL Nov 11 Cinema Arts Festival Houston presents Thunder Soul, the true story of Conrad O. Johnson and the legendary Kashmere Stage Band. The screening, introduced by director Mark Landsman, will be followed by a live performance by the Kashmere Reunion Band. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. cinemartsociety.org EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS GREETINGS FROM HOUSTON: VINTAGE POSTCARD VIEWS OF THE CITY Through Nov 14 Free. Tue-Sat 10 am- 4 pm, Sun 1-4 pm. The Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
Las Comadres Recycled: Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition On display at Discovery Green, Sep 3-17 Artists create life-size comadre statues promoting ideas and practices for sustainable living. A comadre is considered a head of the family, carrier of traditions and setter of rules. Presented by Talento Bilingue de Houston. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. tbhcenter.org
BEFORE, DURING, AFTER Sep 10-Oct 24 Before, During, After is a visual narrative of how Hurricane Katrina has transformed the lives and work of 11 photographers from Southeast Louisiana. The exhibition explores the changes in subject matter, media, and technique from the work created before the storm to after in an effort to investigate how shared experience is individually captured, filtered and re-conveyed by artists working with visual media. Free. Wed-Sat noon-6 pm. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org PUBLIC SERVICE: RECENT CIVIC ARCHITECTURE Oct 28-Jan 14 A juried exhibition of recent architecture designed for city, county, state, and federal agencies in the greater Houston area. Opening reception Oct 28, 5:30-8 pm. Free. Mon-Thu 9 am- 5 pm, Fri 9 am- 3 pm. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol Suite 120. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org BRENT GREEN: GRAVITY WAS EVERYWHERE BACK THEN Nov 5-Dec 18 Pennsylvania-based filmmaker Brent Green returns to Houston with his latest project Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, a major video and sculpture installation that is based on the true story of Leonard Wood, an eccentric yet extremely driven man from Louisville, Kentucky, who built an elaborate house as a sort of healing machine he hoped would cure his terminally ill wife. Free. Wed-Sat noon-6. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org CONCERTS THE HOUSTON SOUND FALL CONCERT SERIES Sept 8 Soular Grooves and Beetle Sep 22 Two Star Symphony and Roky Moon & BOLT! Oct 27 Tody Castillo Band and Black Queen Speaks Nov 10 Sarah Sharp and Grandfather Child An eclectic music series supporting the mission of The Houston Sound, a non-profit focusing attention on Houston’s incredibly diverse music scene through education and community development. Sponsored by KPFT. Free. 6:30-8:30 pm. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com ADAM LAMBERT Sep 8 A front runner in the eighth season of American Idol, The Glam Nation Tour is Lambert’s first headline tour, an audio and visual spectacular, both theatrical and atmospheric. Tickets $39.50. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. ticketmaster.com VERIZON WIRELESS THEATER Sep 20 Pixies Sep 24 The Black Crowes Sep 25 Citizen Cope Oct 2 Daniel Tosh Oct 3 The Ultimate Doo Wop Show Oct 7 Vampire Weekend Oct 9 B.B. King Oct 17 Straight No Chaser Oct 28 Black Label Berzerkus Nov 13 Celtic Thunder Nov 18 Louis CK: Word Nov 19 Russell Peters Verizon’s concert calendar is continuously being updated. Check online for more info and to purchase
FIRST THURSDAYS AT DEAN’S Sep 2, Oct 7 and Nov 4 Every first Thursday of the month you can check out the screening of award-winning, Texas-made short film entries from the Houston Film Commission’s Texas Filmmakers Showcase or from other film festivals. Free. 8:30 pm. Dean’s Credit Clothing, 316 Main. 713.437.5249. IKEA SCREEN ON THE GREEN Sep 10 H-E-B presents The Wizard of Oz with live sing-a-long and costume contest with great prizes Sep 24 Rushmore Festival co-sponsored by St. Arnold’s Brewing Company Oct 2 Where the Wild Things Are Nov 6 Fantastic Mr. Fox Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. Check discoverygreen.com for movie times.
datebook WISE FOOL NEW MEXICO
Oct 7 Presented in partnership with the Bayou City Arts Festival Downtown, Flexion is an outdoor, aerial and stilt movement spectacle, created and performed for the first time in Houston by the nationally acclaimed troupe, Wise Fool New Mexico. Free. 7 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com
tickets. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. 713.230.1600. livenation.com TOYOTA CENTER Sep 4 Budweiser Superfest featuring Anthony Hamilton Sep 17 A.R. Rahman Oct 6 Carrie Underwood Oct 8 Shakira Oct 23 Vicente Fernandez Nov 6 Justin Bieber Nov 20 Roger Waters Toyota Center’s concert calendar is continuously being updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center,1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX. toyotacentertix.com HOUSE OF BLUES Every Sunday Gospel Brunch Sep 2 Rodrigo Y Gabriela Sep 3 Justin Nozuka w/Alex Cuba and Ry Cuming Sep 10 Margaret Cho’s Cho Dependent Tour Sep 11 1999 – Prince Tribute Sep 13 Crystal Castles Sep 17 The Dan Band Sep 20 Karmaloop.com presents The Mike Posner Up In the Air Tour Sep 21 O.A.R. & The Dirty Heads Sep 22 Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers Sep 23 Drive-By Truckers Oct 1 Nikki Yanofsky Oct 2 Michael Franti & Spearhead Oct 5 Radney Foster Oct 7 Local Natives with The Love Language and The Union Line Oct 8 The National w/Owen Pallett Oct 16 Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious Tour Oct 16 Matt Hires Oct 17 Chris Isaak Oct 21 Built to Spill Oct 22 Anjelah Johnson Oct 23 Bloody Beetroots Oct 31 Waken Baken Tour; WIZ KHALIFA & special guest Yelawolf Nov 19 Social Distortion w/Lucero Nov 20 Big Head Todd & The Monsters HOB’s concert calendar is continuously being updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com EVERY WEEK AT DISCOVERY GREEN Urban Harvest Farmers Market Sundays Local vendors showcase organically grown produce, fruits, clothing, specialty items and regional specialties from area farms and craftsmen. Free. noon- 4 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com. SEASONAL GARDENING WITH URBAN HARVEST Sep 5, Oct 3 and Nov 7 Learn what to grow, and when to grow it. Free. 2-2:45 pm. PERMACULTURE: DISCOVERING SUSTAINABILITY WITH URBAN HARVEST Sep 5, Oct 3 and Nov 7 Learn how to bring sustainability into your life with this workshop. Free. 3-3:45 pm. Recycling Saturdays Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a
recycling station at Discovery Green. Free. 10 am- 2 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com Young Writers Workshops Saturdays 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. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com Hip ‘n Fit Fun Club Saturdays David LaDuca leads a workout for kids that everyone enjoys. Free.11:30-noon. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com Bicycle Repair Workshop Saturdays Bring your bike and learn how to fix it. Free. 10 am-2 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com FITNESS IN THE PARK Zumba! Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 pm Family Yoga with TUTS Thursdays, 10-11 am After School Martial Arts Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 pm Pilates + Yoga=PiYo with TUTS Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 pm Yoga in the Park with TUTS Saturdays, 9:30-10:30 am Houston Hooper Stahs Meet Up Sundays, 10:30-11:30 am Tango Tuesdays 6:30-7:30 pm Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com
Thursdays Rock at Discovery Green presented by Capital One Bank Sep 9 Los Skarnales & Karina Nistal Sep 16 Cyril Neville Sep 23 Texas Tornados Sep 30 Wild Moccasins & The Mathletes Oct 14 Two Tons of Steel Free. 6:30 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com Blues and Burgers Wednesdays Enjoy Houston’s best in blues music with a lunchtime concert. Sep 15 Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy Sep 22 Milton Hopkins Band Sep 29 Trudy Lynn Oct 6 Sonny Boy Terry Oct 13 Rich DelGrosso and Jonn Del Toro Richardson Oct 20 Curly Cormier Oct 27 Tha Lady D Donna McIntyre Nov 3 Texas Johnny Brown Nov 10 Pearl Murray & the Jewels Free. Noon- 1:30 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com
Sundays in the Park Oct 3 Buxton Oct 10 Zydeco Lady D Oct 17 Low Man’s Joe Oct 24 Leah White & the Magic Mirrors Oct 31 Umbrella Man Nov 7 Spain Colored Orange Nov 14 Runaway Sun Free. 3-5 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com SPORTS HOUSTON AEROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.974.7825. aeros.com 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. University of Houston Robertson Stadium, 4800 Calhoun. 713.276.7500. houstondynamo.com HOUSTON ROCKETS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 866.4HOU.TIX. rockets.com HOUSTON TEXANS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Reliant Stadium, Two Reliant Park. 832.667.2002. houstontexans.com RICE OWLS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Rice Stadium, 6100 S. Main. 713.522.OWLS. riceowls.com UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON COUGARS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. University of Houston Robertson Stadium, 4800 Calhoun. 713.GO.COOGS. uhcougars.com
tours and more are available. Tour guide Sandra Lord is the resident expert and has been conducting downtown and Houston tours since 1988. Ticket prices vary. 713.222.9255. discoverhoustontours.com HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. $6 adults, $4 seniors and free for kids under 18. Tue-Sat 10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm and Sun 1 pm, 2:30 pm. 1100 Bagby. 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. $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 TOYOTA CENTER’S BACKSTAGE TOUR The one-hour backstage tour will take you behind the scenes of Houston’s premier destination for sports and entertainment. $7 adults, $5 for kids 12 and under and seniors. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.758.7715. houstontoyotacenter.com
BIG TEXAS TRAIN SHOW
Oct 16-17 The Big Texas Train Show features more than 100,000 square feet of fun and educational railroad-related displays and vendors, along with door prizes and other surprises. Tickets $8 and free for 16 and under. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 832.675.1905. bigtexastrainshow.com
EXPOS HIGH CALIBER GUN & KNIFE SHOW Sep 4-5 and Nov 13-14 See hundreds of displays of new and old guns, ammo, gun parts, books, knives, 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
51ST ANNUAL AUTORAMA Nov 25-28 Come and check out America’s premier custom show car series. Check out hot rods, competition cars, specialty and concept vehicles and even manufactures displays. If you are a car junkie, this is a do-not-miss event. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 248.373.1700. autorama.com
HADA FALL ANTIQUE SHOW 2010 Sep 17-19 Founded in 1964, the show consists of 150 dealers from across the country and around the world displaying virtually every type of antique. Tickets $10. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.869.5661. hadaantiques.com
TOURS BUFFALO BAYOU WALKING TOURS Sep 4, Oct 2 and Nov 6 Architecture Center Houston (ArCH) docents will lead you on an architectural stroll along Buffalo Bayou Parkway for an overview of downtown Houston’s history and architecture from its beginnings in 1836 to the central city today. $15 per person, $10 for AIA, Architypes and Bayou Buddies members. 10 am-noon. AIA, 315 Capitol Street, Suite 120. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
MALICJEWELS GEM & MINERAL SHOW Oct 8-10 MalicJewels brings jewelry and gift exhibitors and buyers together with more than 40 shows a year across the country. Free. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 480.458.7600. malicjewels.com INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL Nov 3-7 Celebrate the 36th annual edition of the International Quilt Festival Houston – the most famous quilt show, sale and quilt-making academy in the world. Tickets $10. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.781.6864. quilts.com THETA CHARITY ANTIQUES SHOW Nov 17-21 This year’s Theta Charity Antiques Show is proud to present more than 50 premier antique dealers from around the globe, selling the finest in antiques from the 17th through 20th centuries. Tickets $10 at the door, $9 in advance. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.622.3560. thetaantiquesshow.com
DISCOVERY GREEN TOURS Sep 5, Oct 3 and Nov 7 Meet the Houston Greeters in front of the Alkek Building to learn about the history of the park, its architecture, its art and its gardens. Presented by Houston Greeters. Free. 1-2 pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com KAYAK TOURS Sep 11, Oct 9 and Nov 13 A kayak adventure through Houston’s stunning urban wilderness. Reservations and payment for tours must be made in advance. Cancellations must take place 48 hours prior to the tour. All equipment is supplied, including the tandem (two-person) sit-on-top kayaks. $60 per person. 9 am-noon. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS Ghost tours, tunnel walks and rail tours, architecture
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 the final group is allowed in at 2 pm. If Saturdays don’t work for you, check out their weekday open house at 3 pm. After the tour, guests are welcome to stay for a free tasting. $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 FREE SELF-GUIDED AUDIO WALKING TOURS Put on your headphones, hit play and let local insiders, captivating voices and an original soundtrack envelop you in stories of Houston’s past and present. No need to worry about which way to go or what to look for, we’ll point out everything along the way. Three tours are available: The Ultimate Downtown Tour, Museum District Walk & Roll and A Walk in the Park: Discovery Green Walking Tour. Tours are free and available to download to your iPod or MP3 player at houstondowntown.com or as a podcast on iTunes. Be sure to also download the accompanying map for reference. SOCIAL NETWORKING FALL HAPPY HOUR … HOUSTON PAVILIONS IS COOL THIS FALL Oct 1, 8 and 15 Celebrate cooler weather with an outdoor happy hour in the Center Court at Houston Pavilions. The DJ will spin great tunes while you enjoy happy hour pricing for drinks and good eats from McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant. Free. 5-9 pm. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com BARKITECTURE YAPPY HOUR Oct 22 The Second Annual Yappy Hour will raise money for Pup Squad and begin the auction for Houston’s most creative doghouses made by Houston’s most creative architects, builders, designers and individuals. Pets are welcome to bring their humans. There will be a suggested donation of what you can afford to give. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 5-9 pm. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com EMERGING LEADERS RESTAURANT CRAWL Nov 4 The Houston Downtown Alliance’s Emerging Leaders will be eating their way through Houston Pavilions at this year’s annual Restaurant Crawl. Guests will enjoy food and drink pairings at each of the four delicious stops. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8938. houstondowntownalliance.com/el
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The Guide to eating downtown
Angie Bertinot & Heather Hinzie
Downtown uncorked At first glance, La Carafe looks like a historic hole in the wall. Well, it is, but it also has a sophisticated wine list and knowledgeable servers. Note: cash only and make sure you check out their jukebox which is one of the best in town. 813 Congress at Market Squareâ€‰>>
L17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Alden Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; D Daily. $$$$ a+ bar and grille American Casual The Alden Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love their happy hour and cocktail offerings. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.1200. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ L Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Houston downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat (Open for L & D on Sunday only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking 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. $$ L Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$ new! BB’s Café Cajun A relaxed café atmosphere with a menu of “Tex-Orleans” fusion food, which includes nearly two dozen overstuffed signature po’ boys, mouth-watering Mexico City-style tacos, homemade gumbo and more. They are open until 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights to satisfy those late night crawfish po’boy cravings! bbscafe.com. 509 Louisiana, 713-2368269.L, D, LN Daily. $ 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 Avenue, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ Banzai Sushi Japanese/Sushi Count on Banzai Sushi at Bayou Place for the freshest sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls. If sushi isn’t your thing, try their vegetable tempura, Chilean sea bass, Korean ribs or chicken teriyaki. Bayou Place, 550 Texas, 713.225.1167. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana. com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$ 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. $$ L Bistro Lancaster New American Located in the historic Lancaster Hotel, this cozy getaway is a great place to dine before catching a show in the Theater District. You’ll find hearty soups, sizzling steaks and savory seafood. thelancaster.com. Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas Ave, 713.228.9502. B, L & D Daily. $$$$ L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of
India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the Saag Paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $ Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol , 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food A burrito bar with tons of ingredients and sides that allow you to create the burrito of your dreams. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texas-chic atmosphere. Newly refurbished, black booths and white tablecloths offer elegance and décor not typically found in hotel restaurants. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith, 713.495.7854. B, L & D Daily. $$$ L Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for their fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 810 Capitol, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ Burger King Fast Food 810 Capitol, 713.223.4114. B & D Mon-Sat; L Daily. $ B.U.S. Sports Grill and Bar American The ultimate hangout spot before or after a ballgame. Come and enjoy your favorite cold beverage or bite to eat while cheering the home team to victory. B.U.S. is also a great place to catch the latest sporting event on the big screen! Two locations. Before/after Rockets games, 1410 Bell. Before/after Astros games, 1800 Texas. $ L Byrd’s Market & Cafe American Byrd's features a chefdriven, casual dining restaurant. Also, a prepared food market where you can find freshly baked breads and pastries and a limited selection of wines, grocercy essentials and basic household necessitates. Grab a seat on the mezzanine level, overlooking Main Street and enjoy a butternut squash roasted pork sandwich with sweet potato fries! byrdsmarket.com. 420 Main, 713.225.0100. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ Cabo Mexican The “Mix-Mex” grill is a spicy blend of South and Central American flavors. A fun downtown spot with the ultimate outdoor balcony for dining overlooking the streets of downtown. cabomixmex.com. 419 Travis, 713.225.2060. L & D Mon-Sun; LN Mon-Sat. $$ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. One of the originals in the fast casual restaurant category, you can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon-Sat; D Mon–Fri. $ L Cava Bistro American Bistro Enjoy a diverse menu when dining at this rustic eatery situated on Main Street in downtown’s Historic District. Menu items include escargot, leek tart, ahi tuna, short ribs, gnocchi and whole red snapper. An impressive wine list, great service and affordable prices make this bistro unique. bellarestaurants.com. 300 Main, 713.229.9504. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for their large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. Chipotle is an affordable choice and with patio seating available, guests can enjoy their meal al fresco. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ L Cielo Mexican This new upscale Mexican bistro offers patrons Latin American favorites in a sophisticated,
urban setting. Cielo has a fantastic bar and happy hour menu for late nights, also a large patio for al fresco dining. Tequila and wine tasting dinners will be offered monthly. bellarestaurants.com. 300 Main, 713.229.9500. L & D Mon-Sat; LN Fri & Sat. $$ 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. $ Decafe Fast Casual Located in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, visit this marketplace cafe anytime, day or night, when you are craving something delicious. Decafe offers brick oven pizza, deli sandwiches, salads, homemade pastries and, of course, an entire selection of your favorite coffee beverages. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.654.1234 x 4088. B, L, D & LN Daily. $ Domino’s Pizza 804 Main, 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 Donuts Bakery This little shop puts out a large assortment of breakfast goodies. Daily fresh baked choices include glazed, iced or filled donuts, bear claws, cinnamon rolls and turnovers and they also have kolaches—be sure to try the spicy boudin kolache. 1207 Prairie, 713.236.0500. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Downtown Hunan Café Chinese Fast casual spot offering all your Asian favorites. 613 Clay, 713.759.0515. L MonFri. $ 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 their juicy burgers and greattasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon-Fri. $
} key to symbols These listings are not reviews but are a guide to downtown dining spots. "Recommended" restaurants are selected by Downtown Magazine editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.
L recommended new! just opened average price of an entrée $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+ B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner LN: Late Night
>For a searchable database of downtown
Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Dining.
WINING DOWN(TOWN) The top picks from Houston’s unseen wine scene By PHIL HUDSON
lenty of Houston areas are hopping, but the neighborhood on every oenophile’s GPS is downtown Houston. A number of restaurants and bars have introduced distinctive, top-quality experiences revolving around wine including smart tastings, stylish wine dinners and intimate hands-on experiences. Here’s a short list of possibilities. Strip House recently introduced its own signature wine label. The result of more than a year of tastings, the Strip House Napa Valley Reserve is a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon bold enough to complement Strip House’s signature steaks, yet graceful enough to be enjoyed on its own. The custom blend was created by food and wine aficionados “III Somms,” a group of sommeliers from three of the country’s best restaurants: Jean-Georges, Daniel and Ciao Vito. It is full of ripe fruit, lush tannins and good intensity. Enjoy it by the glass ($15) or the bottle ($60). You can taste it at the restaurant and take the remainder home in a custom to-go bag. At Quattro in The Four Seasons Hotel, the All Four You Happy Hour is designed just “four” you. From 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, everything on the menu is just $4. From reds to whites, this happy hour has a wonderful selection of well-priced wines to sample. And the enoteca-style menu serves up favorites such as wild mushroom crostini, quattro formaggi flatbread and meatballs ... all for, you guessed it, $4. For a hub of wine action, there are several new and trendy spots at Houston Pavilions. A great place to start is LIV Wine Bar, a warm and cozy candlelit bar with a modern décor, serving 54 wines by the glass. Why 54? Well, LIV (pronounced like “live” your life) when written in Roman numerals means 54, and that’s the perfect temperature for wine to age. While you work
your way through the wine list, you can listen to music in THE ROOM @ LIV until 2 a.m. At III Forks Steakhouse you can enjoy complimentary wine tastings every Monday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. And you won’t go hungry because it dishes up passed appetizers. Entering the restaurant is literally like walking into a wine cellar – the glass cellar engulfs the main walkway from the front door to the formal dining room. It houses 1,500 bottles of the finest wines available from around the world. The sommelier’s pick of the cellar is $5 during happy hour Monday through Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. Also at Houston Pavilions, the Foundation Room at House of Blues hosts a weekly wine event every Wednesday. The private club is open to the public during Wine Down Wednesdays, and it offers half-off glasses and bottles of some of its best wines. To keep it exciting, the menu changes each week and is paired with a cigar menu as well. At Hearsay, it’s possible to have an around-the-world wine tasting with its vast global wine selection from Chile, Mendoza, Italy, Napa Valley, Russian River, Oregon and Sonoma to name a few. Hearsay offers wines by the glass from $8 to $13, and it has an exceptional happy hour with wines by the glass for $6 Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. A perennial favorite established approximately 130 years ago in premises that were once slaves quarters, La Carafe is the perfect place to steal away. Head to the tiny upstairs room or snag one of the outdoor tables with a view of Market Square. Built in 1860, the structure has been home to everything from a Pony Express stop to an apothecary. It’s strictly wine and beer at La Carafe, and its wine list is substantial.
get there Strip House, 1200 McKinney 713.659.6000
III Forks Prime Steakhouse, 1201 San Jacinto 713.658.9457
QBAR at Quattro in The Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar street 713.276.4700
Foundation Room at House of Blues, 1204 caroline 832.667.5837
LIV Wine Bar, 1201 San Jacinto 281.360.1146
La Carafe, 813 Congress Street 713.229.9399
Hearsay, 218 Travis 713.225.8079
plate L El Rey Taqueria Cuban/Mexican This fast casual Cuban and Mexican eatery is home to tasty plantains and juicy roasted chicken. El Rey opens early for those craving breakfast tacos and is open late on weekend nights for night owls craving a Cuban sandwich. elreytaqueria.com. 233 Main, 713.225.1895. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Falafel Frenzy Mediterranean This quaint spot serves up all your Mediterranean favorites, including beef and chicken kabobs, hummus and of course falafel. 914 Prairie, 713.237.8987. L Mon-Fri. $ Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers, almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer-drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green, downtown Houston’s newest park. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. The Tree House roof deck bar features casual bar snacks and a see-and-be-seen atmosphere for cocktails. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This family-owned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$ Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an All-American menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers, nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon-Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$ Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy American food with all menu items (except for sampler platters) less than $10. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during offseason so call first). $ Hong Kong Diner Chinese A favorite of downtown locals, Hong Kong Diner will not disappoint with its expansive menu and delicious chef’s specials. Be sure to try their dumplings. 909 Franklin, 713.236.1688. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L House of Blues Southern Classic HOB serves Southern-inspired signature classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, Tennessee baby back ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss House of Blues’ famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ Houston Tamales Factory Mexican Family recipes made with fresh ingredients. Great breakfast tacos and of course the tamales are the specialty of the house. houstontamalesfactory.com. 1205 Travis. B & L Mon-Sat. $ L Hubcap Burger Grill American Classic Small but quaint burger joint. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ Humble Cafe American The Humble Cafe 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 Hunan Downtown Chinese You’ll be impressed by the elegant décor, and their Chinese cuisine is as impeccable
as the restaurant itself. Guests can indulge in traditional favorites or try new creations. 812 Capitol, 713.227.8999. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon-Fri. $$ 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. $$ L James Coney Island Fast Food This local favorite has been serving delicious hot dogs to downtown Houston patrons since 1923. The chili recipe has stayed the same, but new menu additions include Polish sausage, a Chicago-style dog and a New York-style dog. jamesconeyisland.com. 815 Dallas, 713.652.3819.B, L & D Mon-Sat. $ Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced 7-grain bread or try the low carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon-Sat. $ Josephine’s Ristorante Italian Enjoy traditional favorites made from scratch at this family-owned eatery. Great service and a cozy, casual atmosphere make you feel right at home. josephinesitalian.com. 1209 Caroline, 713.759.9323. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ new! Korma Sutra Indian The name comes from the chef’s love affair with fine Indian cuisine. The fine Indian establishment takes a menu-less approach were every dish can be custom ordered to your liking. Wait staff will let you know the daily specials, but if your palate is set of Chicken Masala or Lamb Curry, they will happily oblige. We also recommend trying the cilantro-mintlimeade! korma-sutra.com. 706 Main, 832-721-9977. L & D Mon- Sat. $$ L The Lake House Fast Casual The Lake House offers family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby amphitheater stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. Tue-Wed 11-3; Thu-Sun 11-8. $ L La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & Live Music Tue-Sat. $ L Last Concert Cafe Mexican Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this Tex-Mex cafe was born in 1949 and still supplies tasty food and local music today. Spend some time on the leafy back patio and you’ll swear you’re in your neighbor’s backyard throwing back a cold one. lastconcert.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & Live Music Tue-Sat. $ L Les Givral’s Kahve Vietnamese Winner of the 2006 “City’s Best” award for Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, Les Givral’s offers up a delicious menu and great service. Located in downtown’s historic Market Square. lesgivrals.com. 801 Congress, 713.547.0444. B Mon-Fri; L Mon-Sat; D Fri & Sat. $ Little Napoli Italian Offering southern Italian items in a
casual setting, you can opt for indoor seating or take a spot on their large patio right on Main Street. Their healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 1001 Texas, 713.225.3900. L, D & LN Daily. $$ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ L Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American 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. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto Street, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$ Mandarin Hunan Restaurant Chinese This upscale eatery gives its guests an engaging experience in Chinesecuisine. Located in the Skyline District, Mandarin’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a great view of the streetscape. 777 Walker, 713.224.1212. L & D Mon-Fri. $ L Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicago-style neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $ L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.6500.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ 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 great spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$ McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ Mingalone Italian Bar & Grill Italian A dedication to authentic Italian cuisine makes Mingalone a special place. Just seconds away from all the major theaters, Mingalone is the perfect spot to enjoy dinner before or after a show. mingalone.com. Bayou Place, 540 Texas, 713.223.0088. L & D Mon-Sun. $$ new! Minuti Coffee Coffehouse 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 perfect pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas St., 281.265.3344. B, L, D, LN Sun–Sat. $ new! 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 also has a full coffee bar, featuring delicious Colombian coffee, a juice bar and a great
selection of affordable wines and beers. macondobistro. com. 509 Main, 713.222.1033. L, D & LN Daily. $
Open 90 minutes prior to the start of Toyota Center events; call ahead for reservations. $$$
dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $
Molly’s Pub Pub Fare A good ol’ Irish bar with tasty food to soak up the beer. Your standard pub fare—sandwiches, dogs and pretty much anything that’s not good for you. mollyspubs.com. 509 Main, 713.222.1033. L, D & LN Daily. $
L Red Cat Jazz Café Cajun Cajun style blends with Houston flavor at the Red Cat. Indulge in the distinct ambiance, cuisine and sounds offered at this laid-back spot. Live music nightly. redcatjazzcafe.com. 924 Congress, 713.226.7870. D & LN Daily. $$
L Morton’s The Steakhouse Steak House This awardwinning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features their new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with their specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. D Mon-Sun. $$$$
L Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon-Fri ; D & LN Daily. $$$
L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this well-known steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly-cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto Street, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ New Orleans Cajun Po-Boy Fast Food A great place to grab a fried shrimp or crawfish po-boy. 648 Polk, 713.750.0007. L Mon-Fri. $ new Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opens his second cafe this 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.$ 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. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ 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. $ Polk Street Pub American Upscale put that offers plenty of pub favorites like burgers and Reubens, with amazing sweet potato waffle fries and pub fries. Perfect place to go for after work happy hour or pre or post an event to Toyota Center. polkstreetpubhouston.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 713-652-4044.L, D & LN Mon – Sat. $$ Ponte Vecchio Ristorante Italiano Italian Don’t let the cafeteria-style service at Ponte Vecchio fool you, everything is prepared from scratch. You’ll find many delicious, healthy selections on the menu at this luncheon eatery, all at a reasonable price. alpontevecchio.com. 507 Dallas, 713.659.9400. L Mon-Fri. $ Popeye’s Fast Food 1116 Travis, 713.571.8600. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Red & White Bistro International A Chef’s Table buffet features a variety of world cuisines and an assortment of delectable desserts. Compliment your meal with a selection from Red & White’s two 1,500 bottle wine towers. houstontoyotacenter.com. 1510 Polk, 713.758.7534.
SG’s Express Vietnamese Vietnamese You’ll find all your Vietnamese favorites here: vermicelli bowl, the sandwich, egg drop soup, egg rolls and many different smoothie flavors. 1225 Travis, 713.659.0200. L Mon-Fri. $ Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $ The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Kitchen, Doozo Dumpling & Noodles, Droubi Bros. Grill, Great American Cookies, Longhorn Uptown Café, Mediterranean Grill, Murphy’s Deli, Ninfa’s, Otto’s Barbeque, Planet Smoothie, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Quizno’s, Roman Delight, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Starbucks, Subway, Teppanyaki, Wall Street Deli, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon-Sat, hours vary. $ L Shula’s American Steak House Steak House Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand-painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall of Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ L Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Steak House An ideal location to enjoy a great steak, Spencer’s offers top-quality beef and boasts an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is light, engaging and conducive to conversation. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.577.8325. L & D Daily. $$$$ State Bar Pub Fare Located on the second floor of Post Rice Lofts with a beautiful balcony overlooking Texas Ave., this upscale lounge also serves appetizers and hearty sandwiches with your martinis and margaritas. thestatebar.com. 909 Texas, Suite 2A, 713.229.8888. Mon-Sat. $ L Strip House Steak House Only minutes from the convention center and Toyota Center, Strip House’s mouth-watering steaks are accompanied by a seductive ambiance. Red walls and carpet give this steak palace a unique interior. An international collection of wines puts the finishing touches on the restaurant. striphouse.net. The Shops at Houston Center, 1200 McKinney, 713.659.6000. L Mon-Fri; D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$$$ Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $ L Table 7 Bistro American Open seven days a week , Table 7 Bistro is a combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. The bistro serves a selection of artistically and generously presented cuisine. Guests can enjoy the warm, comfortable scenery while viewing the floor to ceiling windows and the colorful array of art. Happy hour weekdays offer $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and its happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713-227-4800. B, L & D Daily. $ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a
Travis Chinese Restaurant Chinese All your favorites at affordable prices. 1122 Travis, 713.655.8787. L Daily. $ L Treebeards Cajun Homestyle A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try their famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is casual simple yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Vic & Anthony’s Steak House This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dinning 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 for a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Fri; D Daily. $$$$ L Voice Restaurant & Lounge Modern American A fine-dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon-Sat. $$$$ Warren’s Inn Fast Casual The good times roll with a killer jukebox, excellent drinks, and a fun, bohemian environment. Quick sandwiches and other items are served during the day; you can order in from nearby restaurants at night if you have the munchies. 307 Travis, 713.247.9207. L Mon-Fri; LN Daily. $ Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Yao Restaurant and Bar Asian The menu at Yao’s is a mix of standard American Chinese fare, like sesame chicken and kung pao chicken, along with more exotic dishes like braised abalone. Sushi rolls include the Yao Roll, with snow crab and black caviar topped with lobster. yaorestaurant.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Main, 713.739.9267. L Mon-Fri, D Mon – Sat. $$ 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. $ new! Ziggy's Bar & Grill American Ziggy’s offers healthy comfort food in their new Main Street location. Counter service is offered during the day and table service at night. Happy hour specials include pomegranate martinis and Ziggyritas made with fresh citrus juice. The location is conveniently located along the light rail line and just a few short blocks from the Theater District. Brunch Sat and Sun 9-3. ziggysbarandgrill.com. 702 Main, 713.527.8588. B, L & D Daily. $ Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This cafeteria-style Cajun joint brings Louisiana dishes to the Hospital District of downtown Houston. Traditional Cajun items such as po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo make Zydeco a great lunch stop. A casual atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 1119 Pease, 713.759.2001. L Mon-Fri. $