COOL KIDS, HOT TICKETS plus FAMILY FUN
50 reasons to celebrate the summer
A DELICIOUS DINNER, GREAT ENTERTAINMENT + A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN
GATHER, DINE & PLAY — Located in the heart of Downtown Houston, GreenStreet features three-city blocks of premier office, shopping, dining and entertainment options, as well as The Lawn, a central open air green space. Home to III Forks Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s™, House of Blues, Lucky Strike, Guadalajara del Centro and Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar, GreenStreet is the perfect destination for a night out.
In the heart of Downtown.
CLASS IN SESSION
With support from:
Put on your planning hat ’cause if it’s worth doing or seeing, you’ll find it in our 2017 guide to summer. Fact is, we had a hard time narrowing down our list to just 50. Movies under the stars, tours down the bayou, shopping, theater and more—it’s all at your fingertips!
The Theater District doesn’t slow down just because it’s summer. Organizations like the Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Theatre Under The Stars and Houston Ballet all have both summer and year-round programs for young artists—some more intensive than others. Meet one of those teens, 17-year-old Jacob Beasley, who attends the Houston Ballet Academy. His rigorous training schedule and commitment to dance will leave you impressed. BY RYANN ROUSSEL
READY, SET, DO!
NEWS + NOTES
Massive changes to the North Freeway, innovative co-working space and exciting new restaurant concepts are all on the Downtown horizon.
BY HOLLY BERETTO
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.
Families looking to make a home Downtown are sometimes hesitant—believing the options for schools may be limited. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s what makes Learn Central so helpful. The comprehensive awareness campaign helps parents compare the more than 150 schools inside the loop and make the right choice for their families.
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure a viable, dynamic Downtown neighborhood, now and in the future.
Advertising Information Angie Bertinot 713.650.3022 email@example.com
Contributing Writers Amber Ambrose Holly Beretto Stefanie Pascacio Ryann Roussel
Design CORE Design Studio
Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions
Managing Editor/Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District
VOL. 9, NO. 4
Check out our comprehensive listing of everything delicious in Downtown, including the opening of Potente—a sophisticated option for Italian with an Asian twist.
Summer brings out the best in Downtown Houston. Check out theater listings, concerts, tours, festivals special events and much more.
BY AMBER AMBROSE
DESTINATION DOWNTOWN MAP
Progress Downtown Houston has undergone such a dramatic change over the past few years, it may sometimes be hard to see how far we’ve come in our efforts to create a dynamic, livable city center. More importantly, we continue to be laser-focused on the tremendous work that is yet to be accomplished. We’re involved in initiatives like Plan Downtown and the North Houston Highway Improvement Project to help ensure we can meet the challenges of tomorrow. We’re activating green spaces and supporting public art projects, and we’ve got innovative programs that bolster our business community. And with Learn Central we’ve got a great way to demonstrate how easy it can be to raise a family in the central city. Developed by Central Houston, Inc., Learn Houston helps parents evaluate the more than 150 public, charter and private school options inside the loop WE CONTINUE TO BE to find the best school for their kids. Find LASER-FOCUSED ON out more about the program starting on THE TREMENDOUS page 10. WORK THAT IS STILL TO Another reason to love Downtown—the amazing number of options for designing BE ACCOMPLISHED. the perfect summer. Whether it’s the annual Free Press Summer Fest, bingo at Market Square Park or pop-up shopping on the Avenida, you’ll find something to pique your interest. We’ve made it easy for you to fill in your calendar for the next three months with our Summer Fun roundup, starting on page 19. If you haven’t had a chance to check out some of Downtown’s hottest spots to eat, now is the time. Plate, our rundown of restaurants, starts on page 36 and as always, you’ll find our extensive calendar of events and activities in datebook on page 45. Of course, be sure to visit us online at downtownhouston.org, where we always keep you up to date on the latest when it comes to our city’s center. And let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to take your comments and suggestions.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
ON THE COVER
Celebrating their ninth year, FPSF once again brings a killer lineup to Htown with a focus on dance, hip-hop and indie rock. photo by Julian Bajsel
NEWS + Notes
DesignHive office of the future designed by Ziegler Cooper
Lazy hazy crazy days of summer? Not Downtown, where the pace of development and the implementation of important new initiatives are nowhere close to slowing down.
According to a 2015 study in the Harvard Business Journal, people who work in cooperative spaces (where independent professionals work together in a shared setting) tend to be happier and more productive than those who work in traditional offices. Luckily, Downtown is growing its co-working options. New to the market is Brookfield Properties’ DesignHive, located on the 37th floor of 1600 Smith, which features a unique collection of office suites, each with its own look and feel. And WeWork is expected to open later this year in 708 Main, a historic building currently under renovation.
Chef Bryan Caswell, the driving force behind some of Houston’s hottest restaurants, is bringing a dynamic new concept to the city’s center. Described by Caswell as “incredibly personal,” Oxbow 7 is scheduled to open late summer in Le Meridien Hotel, a historic hotel renovation at 1121 Walker. Downtown’s first food hall, popular Conservatory, will get some competition with the opening later this year of The Food Hall on Main and Rusk. While details are limited, the approximately 20,000-square-foot-space is expected to feature chef-driven food outlets and a craft beer and wine bar. photo by Julie Soefer
A BETTER WAY Mayor Sylvester Turner’s holistic strategy for helping the homeless has become more important than ever as Downtown solidifies itself as a distinctive neighborhood. At the center of his recently released plan is the expansion of The Way Home, the coordinated housing initiative that has reduced homelessness in Houston by more than 50 percent. In addition to announcing more shelter beds and new public health and safety regulations, Turner unveiled an anti-panhandling awareness campaign designed to remind Houstonians that there are more effective ways to help those living on the streets. The Meaningful Change campaign urges Houston’s citizens to donate their spare change directly to organizations that provide services. Learn more at meaningfulchange.org.
for the future
The first phase of TxDOT’s multimillion-dollar North Houston Highway Improvement Project is underway, but it’s not too late to have your opinion on the project heard. Visit ih45northandmore.com to see renderings and 3D visualizations of the massive highway redesign. You can submit your comments through June 27.
How can we better prepare for the challenges of the coming decades? By focusing on improvements in livability, green space, neighborhood connectivity, transportation, workforce development, tourism and education. Plan Houston, the 20-year urban vision plan that is now underway, will outline recommendations for short, middle and long-range initiatives within and around Downtown. Input from Houstonians is critical to the process so be on the lookout for details regarding the next community meeting in August, which will include street level improvement concepts and an overview of development recommendations. Learn more about Plan Houston at plandowntownhou.com.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ALLEY THEATREâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PL AY MAKERS SUMMER CAMP
photo by Christopher Diaz
B AC K S TAG E
Empowering Students Through the Arts:
photo by Christopher Diaz
ALLEY THEATRE’S PL AY MAKERS SUMMER CAMP
BY RYANN ROUSSEL
Houston’s Theater District focuses on the next generation with a variety of unique summer programs. It might seem that many Theater District organizations go on summer break as the number of main stage productions slow down during the peak of Houston’s heat. But the Alley Theatre, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Theatre Under The Stars and Society for the Performing Arts have a lot more brewing as they prepare to offer programs for the next generation of performers and arts appreciators. A DIFFERENT APPROACH The mention of summer camp conjures up images of swimming pools, campfires and a time for kids to escape the classroom while they forget everything they learned over the school year. But at the Alley Theatre, summer camp looks a little different. Over the course of eight weeks, around 380 lower and middle school students will spend 10 days polishing their creative talents in the Play Makers Summer Camps. This camp isn’t quite what you’d expect from a theater company. Rather than spending hours producing an established play, children act
out science concepts. Mary Sutton, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Alley, explains how the program takes ideas from STEM concepts and integrates the arts: “We start the first day by introducing them to the basics of theater, and then slowly but surely over a 10-day period we filter in curriculum that is science or math related.” These kids produce imaginative plays based on a variety of science or math concepts, ranging from sustainable energy, the water cycle, or even the solar system. The goal is to engage kids with multiple different learning styles in a fun, no-fail environment. It’s a collaborative process where
instructors supply the framework and students offer creative impulses, building toward the final product. This approach of acting out concepts that students traditionally learn from a school book has seen tremendous success. “We have up to 20–50 percent retention of concepts and vocabulary. Eight weeks and 16 weeks later they still retain that knowledge,” says Sutton. Just as important to the learning process is letting the students discover their own creative development. Cultivating social emotional skills are as central to the camp as anything else—learning eye contact, impulse control, and working with others. Sutton has seen the impact the arts can have on these young students first hand. She remembers one case vividly: a shy kindergartener moved to tears at the thought of speaking in front of her peers. After her first Play Makers camp, she was tackling improv with the best of them. And she’s gained more confidence with every session she attends. “She is now in Advanced Play Makers and is narrating,” recalls Sutton. There are no leads; kids aren’t competing for the biggest part in the show. The point is to allow students a chance to step into their own creativity in an environment where everyone is able to participate and grow. “We want them to be in the moment, be spontaneous, and be comfortable in front of an audience and in their own skin,” Sutton explains.
B AC K S TAG E
It’s really rare in the dance world, unless you’re at the highest level, to get to work with a composer and have somebody write music for you. It’s something that even professional choreographers would dream to be a part of.”
STUDENTS OF HOUSTON BALLET’S SUMMER INTENSIVE PROGRA M photos by Amitava Sarkar
THE ELITE This summer students from around the world will flock to Houston for an opportunity to train at one of the country’s most elite summer dance programs at Houston Ballet Academy. Over the past year more than 1,000 students in 17 different cities auditioned for the chance to join this rigorous program and further their ambitions of becoming professional dancers. “We are known as one of the most intense programs due to the length and number of hours of instruction we provide,” says Academy Summer Program Manager Molly LeBeau. The program also serves as a conduit for many students to join the prestigious yearround Ballet Academy—the summer intensive can feed students directly into the Academy and from there, the Company. The number of dancers accepted from the intensive each year varies but of those offered a spot in the school, the majority accept. It’s an opportunity that can guide these students to their dream of full-time dance careers, at Houston Ballet’s professional company or elsewhere. “More than 60 percent
of the current company dancers have trained in the Academy,” states LeBeau. Adding to the appeal is the opportunity students have to create a brand new work alongside student composers from AFA (formerly American Festival for the Arts). High school students studying music composition collaborate with budding teenage choreographers, contributing back and forth in a process that culminates in a world premiere. “It’s one of the things that makes our summer intensive so special,” explains Jennifer Sommers, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Houston Ballet. Ballet intensive students have benefitted from this unique experience with their peers in the Houston arts community for the past 20 years. “It’s really rare in the dance world, unless you’re at the highest level, to get to work with a composer and have somebody write music for you. It’s something that even professional choreographers would dream to be a part of,” says Sommers.
SHAKING THINGS UP With operas about Westerns, space exploration, and local events, HGOco at Houston Grand Opera is shaking up perceptions of this classical art form. Opera summer programs are a key way for the company to connect with a new audience: children. Though she might be introducing kids to a brand new art form, Director of HGOco Carleen Graham believes opera offers students a unique creative outlet and personal discipline by combining elements of music and storytelling. “Participation in the arts really allows them to think critically, to work as a team, to be able to find other alternative modes of expression,” says Graham. One such program lets students entering grades 3–6 work together to write, design and perform an original work. Instead of emphasizing the importance of arias or falsettos, this approach attempts to truly engage kids by connecting art to something else they may be excited about. The theme of this summer's Create an Opera is Greek Mythology, in a nod to the Percy Jackson books that have gripped many young readers. Graham believes that this is an element of how opera is learning how to evolve and remain relevant to new generations. Across the board, operas are infusing performances with jazz, rap, and other contemporary styles, shifting
B AC K S TAG E photo by Lynn Lane
from traditional 4–5 hour-long sagas. “We are exploring where those boundaries lie and where we can go beyond them,” says Graham. Engaging young minds is part of where this transformation begins. “Working with children, especially in a piece where they can create their own opera, they have an opportunity to bring things and stories that are meaningful to them; that are important in their neighborhoods and in their families,” Graham explains. “You see them learning how to manage, cope or process things that are going on in the world by how the story is created and implemented during the week,” she adds. PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE Houston is home to some of the most prestigious performing arts organizations in America, so it should come as no surprise that many students attending their summer programs have grand ambitions of becoming professional performers. At Humphreys School of Musical Theatre at TUTS, instructors aim to give kids valuable lessons from the real world and equip them with the skills needed to face future obstacles in whichever field they pursue. Dave Clemmons, dean of HSMT, is uniquely suited to guide students down a professional theater path. With 25 years of experience in acting, touring, casting, and producing on Broadway he wants to give students real world exposure in a safe learning environment. He explains: “We’re just trying to give them the skillset to do whatever it is they want to go do.” That may mean staying in Houston to become a part of the city’s thriving arts community, pursuing a Broadway career, or even following
HGOco OPERA CAMP
You see them learning how to manage, cope or process things that are going on in the world by how the story is created and implemented during the week.”
a non-arts related path. “At the same time,” he adds: “We hope we’re making them better people. That they’re going to work a little bit better with folks in any environment because of the discipline they’ve learned here.” Society for the Performing Arts also offers a well-rounded approach for students hoping to pursue dance at the next level. For the
SPA BALLET HISPÁNICO
photo by Lynn Lane
second year in a row the organization will host a summer intensive featuring Ballet Hispánico, a professional company based out of New York City. Director of Education and Community Engagement Jordan Drum explains the organization’s method of addressing the whole dancer: “Instead of coming in and studying just repertoire, we have things like forums for parents so they can learn how to better support their dancer.” That includes prepping them on everything from nutritional information, wellness counseling, college resumes and headshots. While students gain an appreciation for a different dance tradition and Latino cultures, the aim of the program extends beyond dance. Drum has witnessed the empowerment and confidence students gain through the intensive. “I see them go from the back of the room where they’re very intimidated on day one to seeing the change in their body language, and how they move to the front of the room, and address their peers more openly,” he says. Essentially, these programs will help students gain life skills that will help them succeed in school, the performing arts, or whatever they choose to do in life. Drum believes Houston’s Theater District certainly offers high-caliber opportunities for students: “I can’t speak enough about the incredible arts organizations here. Not every city has organizations that bring in this international and nationally recognized talent.”
photo by Scott Treadway
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: PROFILE
B AC K S TAG E
Jacob Beasley: Life inside the Houston Ballet Academy’s Professional Program
BY RYANN ROUSSEL photo by Amitava Sarkar
Houston Ballet Academy students don’t live the lives of typical American teenagers. Many move away from their hometowns and families to join the professional program, living at the Academy or Downtown and attending school online. Jacob Beasley is one of these students. At 17 he journeyed to Houston from Las Vegas to become part of the year-round program. But while he may spend countless hours perfecting his dance technique, Jacob is assuredly just as much a teenager as anyone else his age. When did you begin dancing, and how did you end up at Houston Ballet Academy? I started dancing ballet when I was 13 years old. After about a year and a half I attended the Houston Ballet summer intensive in 2015. I had plans to attend the following intensive the next summer and hoped to audition for their year-round program for a great opportunity and phenomenal training. What does your daily routine look like? Our daily routine will usually consist of technique class in the morning, followed by a variations class or a pas de deux class. Students have an hour break for lunch followed by either another technique class and a pas de deux class or rehearsals for a performance. Houston Ballet Academy Professional Program students dance from about 9 am–5 pm each day for 6 days a week.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? I am proud of pushing myself to this level of ballet in a short amount of time compared to others who have been dancing their whole lives. I am pleased with the progress I have made to be at Houston Ballet Academy, but I intend to keep pushing and keep striving. I am also proud of myself for moving out of my comfort zone away from my friends and family. This has given me a lot of experience and maturity. What do you like to do in your free time … if you have any free time! I rarely have any free time with a busy schedule, but on our day off (Sunday) I like to go to the movies or hang out with friends and shop at the Galleria Mall or Highland Village. It’s important to do something fun with friends with the little time off we have because it keeps us balanced as kids and dancers. Occasionally, on weekdays my friends and I will go out for ice cream or cupcakes for a little treat if it is a busy week with shows.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you since joining the Academy? Dancing at Houston Ballet Academy and keeping up with the teachers and other students is challenging enough, but one of my main challenges is keeping up with school along with such an intense schedule. Finding time to do school and being diligent can be tricky, especially when a show is coming up. Finding time to balance a social life, keep good grades, dance all day, and get at least eight hours of sleep can be tough at times. What is your guilty pleasure? Eating Oreo cookies with peanut butter. I think the combination of the two is so good because I love them both, but they taste even better together. Do you have any pre-show rituals? I take a moment after my makeup is done and my costume is on and just take deep breaths to calm myself. I fold my hands and pray to God that I have a good performance and pray for my ballet shoes to not slip off!
When Laura Schaefer, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University and her husband, Andrew, a professor of computational and applied mathematics at Rice, moved to Houston from Pittsburgh two years ago, they were not unfamiliar with the city. Both had gone to Rice for their undergraduate degrees. So, they knew they wanted to live inside the city core; neither was interested in a commute from the suburbs. “We valued a short commute a lot,” she says. The question then became where to send their children, a daughter, now 13, and a son, now 10, to school. The Schaefers wanted an environment that would challenge their children, as well as be close, geographically, to the university where they now live as magistrars in one of Rice’s 11 residential colleges. They decided on St. John’s School for their daughter and enrolled their son at Annunciation Orthodox School.
“We looked at a lot of options, took all the tests,” said Schaefer. “And we wound up something like 900 on the wait list for River Oaks Elementary School.” Schaefer readily admits that she and her husband, who both were educated in public schools, wrestled with the idea of sending their children to private schools. In the end, however, St. John’s and AOS were the perfect fit for their family. Helping parents figure out that same kind of perfect fit is exactly the goal of Learn Central, a new initiative developed by Central Houston, Inc. to help parents evaluate the educational options that exist inside the loop to better determine the best fit for their children. Originally named the Living Central Education Initiative, Learn Central was created to implement the commitment of Central Houston to livability and improved access to quality education options within the central
core of our city. A committee of neighborhood representatives, including residents of management districts, parents, and educators from schools inside the loop came together to determine what information should be included about each school to provide facts for parents making the often-challenging decision about where to educate their children. The result is a comprehensive awareness campaign of central city education options, including a website that will serve as a one-stop shop for families looking to compare schools and programs, get an idea of each school’s “personality,” learn more about a school’s organization and leadership, and determine which would be the best choice for their children. There are 152 public, charter and private schools inside the loop, an almost dizzying number for any parent to contemplate. While Houston, like most cities, has public neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools where residents are automatically
zoned, the city also offers parents myriad choices: dual-language immersion, visual and performing arts curriculum, health sciences, as well as gifted and talented courses, available via testing and lotteries. Private schools may be independent or religiously affiliated, which may appeal to parents, but there are entrance tests, tuition costs and financial aid to navigate. It’s enough to make any parent wonder where to begin. “Where will my child go to school is the No. 1 question we get from parents,” says Samantha Holy, regional human resources director for Gensler. Her job is to help the company, which is located in Downtown, find and onboard top talent from around the country. She says that people coming from out of the city, and even out of state, understand that Houston has many advantages, including a great cost of living and endless options for arts, culture, sports and dining, but they don’t know much about the fourth-largest city’s education system. “Learn Central helps us remain competitive as an employment center,” she says. Holy says that the initiative allows parents to see, in a very real way, what living inside the loop can be like. They may have already heard about the great museums, about how easy it is to get around, about new living options in Downtown that put them in the center of the action. Now, they can also see what schools are available to them, as well as information on how to visit, how to apply, and what’s made those schools great choices for other parents. “The Houston Independent School District (HISD) has wonderful options,” says Holy. “There are magnet programs, there are great neighborhood schools. Learn Central lets parents see, ‘If I live in this neighborhood, this would be my child’s school.’ But it also lets them see these other options they may not have known about, and gives them a path to explore how to apply for those programs. And, in terms of the idea between sending a child to a public school or a private one, obviously a family’s individual values come into play, but Learn Central gives parents the tools to see the different schools out there and determine which would align most closely with what they’re looking for.”
While Learn Central is an excellent tool box for parents, experts say it’s exactly that: a tool. Educating your child is one of the most important decisions a parent can make, so knowing who your child is and what his or her needs are become key factors in selecting a school. “As an admissions director, I want parents to have all the data readily available for them,” says Ky Wilson, the director of admission for St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, a private Christian school that adheres to the Montessori method and serves grades K–8. “We want our families to determine if we are right for them and if this program is best for their child.” She says she champions Learn Central because it helps parents get a real picture of what a particular school is like. What are the demographics? What programs are offered? Do parents like the school for their children? All of these factors can be vital for parents considering the best school for their children. “I counsel parents to ask themselves what their short- and long-term educational goals are,” says Wilson. “For instance, are they looking for a school for that will augment their religious beliefs? What are the individual needs of each child? I tell people, create a list of everything that’s important to you in terms of education, and prioritize it. Once they have that, Learn Central can help them select schools that match those values.”
Ruth López Turley, a professor of sociology at Rice University has two children enrolled in one of HISD’s dual-language Spanish schools. It was important to her that her children not just know and understand Spanish, but be bilingual. As a researcher whose work focuses on educational inequality, it was important to her that her children attend a public school. “HISD has some schools that are among the best in the country,” she says. “Sometimes people automatically dismiss public schools, but that shows they haven’t done their homework. Our schools have so much to offer.” López Turley points out there is a distinct difference between the program her children are enrolled in and in language lessons that are available at other public and private schools. With many language programs, children are taught a foreign language as another class, for an hour or two each day or every week. With a duallanguage program, students are taught in that foreign language. “My children are learning from both native English and native Spanish speakers,” she says. “And they are in a school with a mix of students of different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The program we selected for them not only allows for natural integration, it provides long-term exposure to Spanish. This kind of option isn’t available in a private school.” López Turley knew that the program she and her husband selected would be best for both her children and her family. In addition to her desire that the children be bilingual, she was adamant about being a champion of public education.
“We wanted a place where our children are exposed to so many different kinds of people, from different nationalities, different socioeconomic backgrounds and on and on,” she explains, noting that Houston’s diversity is one of its strengths. “Your kids have to be exposed to the real world.” Through her own academic research, López Turley says that when children go to diverse schools, schools that are fully integrated, where both the children and parents mingle and work toward a common good, everyone benefits. “There were two main points for me in the decision we made about our children’s education,” says López Turley. “First, I wanted to practice what I preach. I believe public schools are a societal good, and I believe we need to mix things up, so all of our children meet different kinds of people. But my second issue was that my first language is Spanish. And I wanted my kids to be fluent. I knew a program like this would be able to teach them in a way I couldn’t.” Wilson says the process like the one López Turley and her husband, as well as the Schaefers used, to decide where to send their children is a vital component to the array of options parents have inside the city core. Parents should ask themselves about their own values and concerns. Everyone wants the best academic experience for their children, but it’s important, Wilson says, to know that that can mean different things for different children. “Your child’s education will affect the whole household,” she says. “Some schools require more involvement from parents than others, whether financially or in terms of volunteering. How are you willing to integrate that into your lives? Does your child need a rigid environment, maybe one with uniforms and structured curriculum? Is your child more creative? All of those things need to be taken into consideration when selecting a school.”
Learn Central gives parents a place to consider those concepts. Parents can select public or private options, can look at schools by specific neighborhoods, can connect with other parents to hear what their experiences have been like. “People pay attention when their peers are talking about something,” says López Turley, which is another reason she supports the effort of Learn Central. “It provides an independent source for parents that can help them determine the best fit for their child.”
“When families relocate to Houston from someplace else, they want an idea of what their lives here will be like,” says Holy. “They want to move into neighborhoods where there will be
people who have similar lifestyles, and they may be looking to recapture something here that they have where the currently live.” For people moving to Houston from other countries, Europe in particular, Holy says that lifestyle takes on a cosmopolitan, urban vibe. That almost certainly means relocating inside the loop, as opposed to a longer commute from one of the suburbs surrounding the city, hardly surprising, says Holy, since many ex-pats don’t have driver’s licenses, because they didn’t need cars. This sort of scenario makes Learn Central an asset for these families, showing them snapshots of different Houston neighborhoods (Montrose is different from the Heights, which is different from Downtown), and providing them with not only an idea of what life there can look like in the day-to-day, but also offering comprehensive information on school options available for their children.
“One thing to think about with a school is definitely the other parents,” says Wilson. “Are they people you can see yourself socializing with, working with on volunteer committees? Those parents will be influences on their children, who will go to school with yours, so having an understanding of who they are is essential in helping parents make an informed decision about school choice.” Learn Central’s one-stop-shop helps parents to navigate the personalities of schools within the areas they’re considering. It also provides information about a particular neighborhood average commute time to a family’s place of work, something Holy says is a great advantage. “Some people don’t want a one- or two-hour commute,” she says. “Learn Central gives a realistic portrait of our city. I think it really positions Houston in a better way to showcase all that we have to offer.” Miah Arnold, a writer, has two children, a daughter Lila, who is 11 and entering 6th grade, and a son, Vishwa, who is 7 and about to be a second grader. She and her husband, Raj Mankad, recently returned to Houston after working in rural Georgia for a year. Both children attend Travis Elementary School. Mankad says that selecting a school for them was a paramount concern when they came back to Houston.
“It’s not easy,” he says of their process. “For several years of our lives, it seemed like every conversation with other parents came back to schools. It still does. One of the biggest challenges is that the situation is so dynamic. The possibilities and options keep changing. You could get your kid into certain excellent public elementary schools, like Roberts and Poe, through the magnet process until about two or three years ago. Now those schools get all or nearly all of their spots filled with children in their zone. Other schools that did not have many options for advanced classes in the past now do, like Hogg Middle School in the Heights, and have become big draws.” He says also that parents have to identify what constitutes a “good” school. For some, it might be test scores; for others, it might be the overall atmosphere of the place. Those things mattered to Mankad and Arnold, for sure, but there was another factor they wanted to be sure their children had: diversity in their classrooms. “Living in rural Georgia gave us a lot of perspective. Although there are plenty of things we don’t think are perfect about HISD— unhealthy food in the cafeteria and excessive standardized testing come to mind—there are many things to appreciate about Houston schools. For example, our children have a complex ethnic background that’s accepted and celebrated here. We don’t take that for granted.” Arnold agrees. She works with a program called Writers in the Schools, which places working writers in public schools around Houston to offer classes and provide writing programs. That experience gave her an edge she knows other parents might not have. While they are mostly happy with their decision, there have been a couple of bumps. Lila is in the school’s GT (gifted and talented), and Arnold calls her a very academically driven girl. Vishwa is also very
intelligent, but he didn’t test into the GT program because of some reading issues; he has dyslexia. “The easy part is after the [school] choice is made and you watch your kids make their mark at the school you end up in,” she says. “The kids are most of the magic, and if you support them, they’ll excel where they end up. I have loved the Travis community, and volunteer in it; but with my son not in the GT program I see the weakness that a school divided produces, especially in his confidence level. I’m not sure what the answer is.” Currently, they’re trying to determine which middle school will be best for Lila; they are considering Hogg, Lanier or TH Rogers. Arnold said she might home school Vishwa next year, to help him grow his confidence in his abilities and realize his full potential. And, while Arnold understands that she can make these choices for her family because she has something of an inside perspective on her neighborhood’s schools, she knows other families may not. “I think young families can get a good sense
of what kinds of schools they want to check out, thanks to Learn Central,” she says. “They can get a sense of the personality of a school, the goals, the administration. I had the benefit of teaching in a lot of schools, but most people don’t. Hearing stories about schools and principals and teachers and neighborhoods will be a great service. There are websites that rate schools by stars, but they don’t ask as many questions as a person has. Learn Central will help people make more confident choices.”
“There is no way to predict what a 5 year old will be like as a seventh grader,” says Wilson, who explains that she encourages parents to be open to the changing needs of their children as they continue their education journey. “Children change over time. And that’s ok.” As parents notice those changes, whether it’s a child’s deeper dive into a particular subject, or
maybe a stumbling block in a certain program, Learn Central can also be a place for parents to connect with other parents having similar issues—and discover what other educational opportunities might exist. Wilson says half-jokingly that she hopes parents will be “courageous” about when and how they might change their minds in terms of what their children need, as often, without meaning to, parents can project their own successes and interests onto their children. But knowing how your child is growing and changing gives parents a solid perspective from which to work when determining how to made a school switch, whether it’s a natural break between elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school, or even just because a child may no longer be thriving in his or her current environment. Schaefer says that her son will probably apply to St. John’s for his sixth grade year, as it’s a natural transition time. Certainly, she acknowledges the convenience of having both
of her children in the same school. But she knows that each school provides each child with particular things. “They are both very smart and curious and great students,” she says. “My daughter is very sporty, though, and one of the things she loves about St. John’s is the ability to be involved in athletics. David loves AOS, and as a family we’re impressed by the school’s commitment to charity and stewardship; it’s a great environment. So, for us, it’s still a win if we ultimately decide he’ll continue there through the eighth grade.” Mankad and Arnold are also facing a natural transition, as they determine the best next school for Lila. “Our choice is between keeping her at Hogg, a school where her most influential teacher will be teaching but that has not yet proven itself academically in the way TH Rogers and Lanier have,” says Arnold. “But Hogg has a really dedicated staff and a large number of Travis families are attending—it’d be a small school
filled with a core group of her best friends, and an administration working hard to turn the school academically as schools like Wharton, Wilson, or Travis were turned in the last 15 years. TH Rogers is her pick because she’s very academically gifted and she longs for intellectual challenges and she has heard all her life TH Rogers is the place for that.” Holy points out to parents that there are multiple options for great schooling inside the loop, both public and private, making the city core an attractive place for families with children. And López Turley says the biggest myth she encounters is that Houston’s public schools aren’t as good as either private schools or the public schools in the suburbs. “People really shouldn’t automatically dismiss them,” she says. “They can look up the school profiles, and see for themselves what the test scores and programs are, what credentials the teachers have. All that information is available.” And Learn Central puts in all in one place. But, because parents often listen to other parents, consider López Turley’s commitment to finding a dual-language program for her children and her desire that they be bilingual. “They are fluent in Spanish,” she says. “And when we travel to Mexico or anywhere else around the world, they jump right into this language, they play with other kids. It’s exactly what I envisioned.”
#1 TERRY STANFIELD
REAL ESTATE GROUP
713.227.5406 214 Travis, Houston, Texas 77002 heritagetexas.com
SO HOT R I GHT N O W
THINGS TO D O
THINGS TO DO
DOWNTOWN this Summer BY AMBER AMBROSE
THINGS TO D O
HOT, HOTTER, HOTTEST! Downtown is on fire with activities, destinations and events all summer long, and we don’t want you to miss any of it. From Astros to kombucha, Free Press Summer Fest to ballerinas, it’s all here,
photo by Katrina Barber
and it’s all Downtown. We dare you to try them all.
A HOT TICKET 20
FPSF (Free Press Summer Fest) is the music festival where sweating comes with the territory, and 2017 is no different. Taking place June 3–4, outdoors at Eleanor Tinsley Park, it’s a small price to pay—minus the literal price you pay for tickets—for access to such an extensive group of musicians and performers. Just a snippet of this year’s lineup includes Lorde, Cage the Elephant, Solange (Bey’s sis y’all!), St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Bishop Briggs, The Strumbellas, Grouplove, Milky Chance and all those other hip musicians playing tunes to the coolest kids in town. fpsf.com
THINGS TO D O
TO YOUR EARS
In Houston, the weather might not always be reliable, but finding local musicians performing nightly at the Nightingale Room (308 Main Street) is always a sure bet. The unique venue showcases bands and musicians of all genres rocking out from the balcony stage. In the spirit of efficiency, there’s also a tiny drink elevator delivering libations to band members, often offered as a token of gratitude from adoring fans. Check out NightingaleRoom.com for details and don’t forget to order the Cuba Libre on Nitro if you are of the imbibing sort.
Summertime brings the hot tunes of Prince— RIP—to the Jones Hall stage, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Houston Symphony will be rocking the hits with conductor Brent Havens at the helm and vocalist Marshall Charloff on stage alongside the full orchestra and band. The tribute may even move some doves to cry.
IT’S OK TO BE
Toyota Center fires up the big guns this summer with their mega-concert lineup that includes PitBull and Enrique Iglesias (June 18), Iron Maiden (June 21) and James Taylor (August 1), but in the name of Sweet Caroline, don’t miss Neil Diamond (July 16) on his 50 Year Anniversary World Tour. Never seen him before? This Solitary Man will make you a Believer with his Beautiful Noise, and you won’t even have to bring him flowers.
The gypsies are coming to town, but only for one night. No crystal balls here, just a mix of flamenco, salsa, pop and the energetic music stylings of the Gipsy Kings. Catch their show at House of Blues June 21 at 8 p.m.
Mimosas for Mom and Dad, live entertainment for kids ages 2–6. Truly a family-friendly activity. Explore the world of Garbage Island—which is way less smelly than you’d think—with the whole family. It’s a blend of sketch comedy, improv and audience participation guaranteed to wake you up, make you laugh and possibly get your body moving for the dance party finale. Tickets are $10 for ages 2 and up, but parents, that also covers a complimentary beverage of coffee, mimosa or juice box for the kiddos. Saturdays throughout the summer, 11:30 a.m. at The Rec Room at 100 Jackson Street.
THINGS TO D O
THE BIKE BAR!
A massive BCycle expansion is underway, and the kiosks are now open 24 hours a day, with new pricing options like flat fees of $3 per 30-minute trip or memberships for $9 a month or $99 a year. Riders on the monthly and annual membership plans are entitled to unlimited 60-minute trips. Not yet familiar with the bike share program? According to their website, â&#x20AC;&#x153;BCycle is designed for short, one-way trips that are 60 minutes or less,â&#x20AC;? and the density and activities in Downtown just so happen to make it the perfect spot to take a set of wheels and explore.
photo by Morris Malakoff
Just a few numbers to consider before you do:
16 ONE 3 TEN 20
Number of passengers the specialty bike can hold
Number of Bike Bar tour drivers on board
stops you can make along your Bike Bar tour
Bars along the route where you can make those stops
TWO How many hours each tour lasts, approximately
7 Days of the week you can book a Bike Bar tour
Number of minutes each stop will take
The number to call to make reservations.
The address of Christian's Tailgate where the Main Street Bike Bar tours begin.
THINGS TO D O
ELEV TO NINE
FIND OUT WHAT’S BREWING #9 Join a thousand of your fellow beer lovers July 8 from 2–6 p.m. as they descend on Downtown bars like The Flying Saucer, Bovine & Barley, El Big Bad, The Brewery Tap, Christian’s Tailgate, Conservatory and more for the annual Summer Pils Saint Arnold Pub Crawl. It all culminates in a concert at Market Square Park, plus you’ll receive a souvenir pint glass to remember the historic day you spent sweating with friends and drinking tasty beers.
# 10 If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, stop by Downtown’s newest nanobrewery, 160ft Beerworks at 1310 Nance Street. Their small-batch beers rotate often, and can be enjoyed in the comfort of their tap room, which seats around 35 people.
# 11 Every August, Flying Saucer turns one year older, and throws a super fun party to celebrate. August 20, guests can enjoy special tappings, food pairings, special guests and fellowship with other beer knurds toasting to the continued success of Downtown’s OG beer bar.
THINGS TO D O
BATS / BOATS / BAYOU 12 13 24
Cruise down Buffalo Bayou on a pontoon boat for a unique excursion to watch the bat colony take flight from their Waugh Bridge home at dusk. Summertime means the bat pups are just learning how to fly. Cue the “awwwws” and squeals of delight here, however, human pups, aka, kids under the age of four, are not allowed on the boat tours. Tours leave around a half hour before sunset and last around 1.5 hours. Tickets are $30 a person, and reservations can be made for June 10, 24, July 8, 22 or August 12, 26 online at buffalobayou.org/boat-tours
June 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., cruise down Buffalo Bayou from Allen’s Landing to the Port of Houston Turning Basin for the Port to Port boat tour. Find out the historical context from guide Andrew Groocock and see a side of the bayou’s upper channel that not many Houstonians have experienced. Cost of tickets—$45.
Ahh, the delights of Houston summer twilights. The sun goes down and summer seems somewhat bearable yet again. Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership on a half hour ride down the bayou between 6–8 p.m. Spots are first come, first serve, but there are several rides throughout the evening in case you don’t make it on the first ride out. Bring mosquito spray as well as $7 for adults and $4 for kids ages 4–12. Alligators have been known to lounge lazily on the banks, so there could be some excitement in store. Dates: June 15, July 17, August 19.
Summer is for scavenging along Buffalo Bayou, and the grand prize is a discount for bike rentals at Bike Barn or Buffalo Bayou Partnership pontoon boat tour passes. All you have to do is pick up a worksheet at the Lost Lake (3422 Allen Parkway) or Wortham Insurance (105 Sabine Street) visitor centers, explore a section of the bayou, answer the questions and enjoy the journey.
THINGS TO D O
Keep the kids of all ages (4–18 years old) engaged via song, dance and monologue through the range of Theatre Under The Stars’ Humphreys School of Musical Theater summer camps designed for “all ages and ambitions.” Visit tuts.com/hsmt for details.
Cue the Theatrics
Lott Entertainment Presents Shaping Sound, a one-night-only engagement in Jones Hall, June 7, with Emmy Awardwinning Artistic Director Travis Wall and a troupe of dancers telling stories through movement.
It’s Snoopy, on stage, set to music! You can’t miss the world’s favorite beagle in TUTS’ The World According To Snoopy. Show dates: June 7–18.
Get out your jazz hands, because there are not one, not two, but THREE Broadway shows at the Hobby Center this summer, and they are going to be fabulous.
In order of appearance: June 6–11 welcomes Something Rotten. Keeping the dream of the 1590s alive, the Bottom brothers sing, act and dance their way past artistic rival Shakespeare, with their efforts to produce the world’s first musical. June 27–July 23: Disney’s The Lion King is a stunning stage production where audiences get lost in the Serengeti and fall in love with Simba the lion. August 15–20: The Bodyguard, which tells the unlikely love story between superstar Rachel Marron and her hired protector through the music made famous by the late Whitney Houston. I Wanna Dance With Somebody, I Will Always Love You, So Emotional and other songs will melt your cold, cold heart if the summer heat hasn’t already.
photo by Jose Leon Photography
Hold tight y’all. There’s more, plenty more. Welcome back to the glory days of acrobats, contortionists, strong men, knife throwers and more without the guilt of animal labor (those elephants are not real, they’re actually extremely sophisticated puppets) with Society for the Performing Arts’ Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus. June 9–11.
So maybe you want less singing, more dancing. How convenient! There’s a show for that June 8–18 at the Wortham Center. Ballet meets Bollywood in Houston Ballet’s staging of La Bayadère. It has the intrigue of the Indian jungle, a pair of ill-fated lovers, a fire god, spectacular costumes, heartbreak, revenge, a serpent and of course, the gorgeous choreography befitting of Houston’s finest ballerinas.
There’s something for everyone come August 27 from noon to 5 p.m. as the annual Theater District Open House kicks off on yet another steamy Houston afternoon. You can expect face painting, ballet lessons, conducting lessons, and pop-up opera performances, all culminating in a free show from the Houston Symphony and the chance to sit in on a dress rehearsal with Houston Ballet.
THINGS TO D O
Staycate the premises 23
Vacations are so last season. Now that the Marriott Marquis is finished, it’s time to book a weekend staycation right here in your own hometown. If for no other reason than to float down the Texas-shaped lazy river. All. Weekend. Long. Do not miss the opportunity to dine at James Beard Award nominee, Hugo Ortega’s Xochi restaurant for Oaxacan cuisine. Mole, the original awesomesauce, plays heavily on the menu, as do meats like suckling pig roasted in a wood-fired oven. Also—mezcal. Also—desserts with edible ants as garnish. Also—woodroasted oysters. Also—a martini with house-pickled tomatillos. It’s legit. In fact, it’s too legit to quit.
THINGS TO D O
Go on a honeymoon that never ends as part of your lovely staycation. Enjoy Boomtown-roasted and baristaprepared coffees AND come back later for cocktails at The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar at 300 Main Street. The charming New Orleans influenced cafe also serves up breakfast and lunch options, transforming into a cozy cocktail bar as day turns into night (and in the case of weekends, back into mornings before they close at 2 a.m.). Take home a bag or two of those lovely roasted beans as a reminder of your field trip and as a great way to start the next morning—or at least hold you over until your next visit to The Honeymoon. Sundance Cinemas is another winner with indie films, a full bar and possibly the best part for those who love to find the perfect viewing spot, but hate having to get there a half hour early: reserved seating. Relax at the bar right up until show time, and if you’re not finished with that cocktail, it can go right into the theater with you. There are also full meal options available like pizzas and hot dishes as well as upscale movie snacks. Plus validated parking. What are you waiting for? 510 Texas Street.
Mosey on down the Avenida, which is easily within walking distance of the Marriott if you happen to be staycationing on a Thursday night—which, by the way, you totally should, because Thursdays are the new Fridays. While there, catch some tantalizing tango, some sensational salsa or a bit of bangin’ ballroom dance steps. Each Thursday between 7–9 p.m. on the Avenida, enjoy Dancing in the Streets! with free lessons and a heck of a good time. Check out the free concert series at Discovery Green featuring artists like Jesse Dayton, Leyla McCalla, Rosie Flores and Ian Moore. Openers start playing at 7 p.m. on Thursdays during June.
28 29 30
If you’re wanting some dance time on a non-Thursday night, here’s another option: Spice it up with Friday night salsa at the Downtown Aquarium. Professional dancers will be on site teaching all the Latin moves with a DJ spinning merengue, salsa and more. The last Friday of the month features a live band so you can show off your new moves and spin, pivot and salsa your way into the evening. No cover charge, 7-11 p.m. Your staycation fall on the first or last Friday of the month? You’re in luck! Joystix, a showroom with two stories and 10,000 square feet of classic arcade games, pinball machines, air hockey tables and other fun novelties is open for their Pacman Fever Fridays. From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $15 gets you in the door for free play. Enjoy various cocktails and whathave-yous at the Eighteen Twenty Lounge right next door to complement the evening. Do date night outside with the GreenStreet Friday Flicks on the Lawn program showing Spider Man June 16, Jurassic World July 21 and The Internship August 18, all at 9 p.m. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and a willingness to suspend your disbelief for an evening of cinema.
THINGS TO D O
Fashion Crawling The Tipping Point store, which was inspired by the Malcolm Gladwell book of the same name, recently reopened at 214 Travis Street, Suite A.
The retail selection here is highly curated with an inventory of limited-edition items like footwear,
fashion, music, books, art, music and accessories and offering them to a trend-hungry consumer. Self branded as a “creative lifestyle destination,”
The Tipping Point is also partnering with nonprofits and small businesses in the community “to create a springboard for creativity and innovation.”
THIRTY-TWO LAUNCH yourself into a world of handmade goods from local artisans at this pop-up boutique sponsored by Houston First. Located at 701 Avenidas de las Americas, the regularly rotating group of vendors sells items that range from vintage or artembellished kimonos, locally designed and handcrafted men’s and women’s wear, handbags, soaps, stickers, magnets, jewelry, art and more. It’s like all the best Etsy shops came to life and took root at the Avenida.
THIRTY-THREE Keep up with the latest fashion trends without making a dent in your bank account, by checking out the two-story urban flagship of Forever 21 inside GreenStreet at 1201 Fannin. Whether it’s music festival attire you seek (FPSF!), professional wear or just some fun accessories, put it on the fashion crawl list and see what summer apparel is so hot right now.
THINGS TO D O
After all that shopping, it may be time for a refreshment, which just happens to be the perfect time to stroll on down to Main Street (or hop and Uber or find a BCycle station or a $6 cab ride anywhere inside the Downtown area) for The Pastry War’s Mezquila Hour, which means half-priced mezcal and tequila seven days a week from 4-6:30 p.m. It should also be noted that there are no actual pastries at The Pastry War, but who needs a croissant when you have HALF-PRICED MEZCAL AND TEQUILA? P.S. Free games of pool and complimentary aguas frescas also available
during this hora feliz. Did we mention that the tequila and mezcal are half-priced? Because you should really just focus on that part.
If you’d like even more hours 35 that embrace the concept of happiness through food and beverage discounts, La Calle Tacos has al pastor tacos for $1, a bottomless Michelada station ($2) and buckets of cerveza for $11 between the hours of 3–7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Now, that’s a deal as caliente as a Houston summer.
photo by Julie Soefer
hours of happiness
HAPPY HOUR 3-7 p.m. every day How happy is it? $4 drafts and food specials What is a food hall? A fancy food court with local purveyors slinging handcrafted bites. What can I drink? Tons of draft beer. Selections of wine. Various non-alcoholic beverages.
How does it work? Very well, thank you for asking. But seriously, choose what food you want, go to that individual vendor to purchase, find a seat. Sit. Enjoy!
What food can I eat? Current vendors are Melange Creperie, offering a variety of sweet and savory crepes and sides; Moku Bar, serving up poké bowls (an Asian-influenced raw fish dish that tastes way better than it reads) and tempura; Arte Pizzeria with fresh pizzas and Italian bar fare; El Burro and their delicious small-batch barbecue. Where is it? 1010 Prairie.
Not that you need an excuse to drink wine on a Wednesday during the summer, but the Heritage Society is giving you that added incentive with their Wine Wednesdays from 5–8 p.m. Escape the madness for a few hours and enjoy snacks from Phoenicia Specialty Foods, plus wine and beer on the patio while basking in the glow of Houston’s historic grandeur. If you make it before June 24, also take the time to check out their recent exhibit Tropical [IM]pression: A Gulf Coast Hurricane Retrospective—a look back at the city’s stormy past through photographs and submissions from Houstonians who experienced Hurricanes Rita and Ike.
THINGS TO D O
Go-getters, hustlers, coders, and generally hungry entrepreneurs now have a haven Downtown at Station Houston. The innovative co-working space is also its own community featuring lots of programming, meet-ups and events like Open Pitch Practice (June 16, 3:30–5 p.m.) which is like open mic night, but for entrepreneurs looking for investors. Stop in, stop by, make yourself comfortable and make a few connections while you’re there.
SO MANY BALLS,
so little time
40 There are seven home games for the only professional women’s sports team in Houston this summer—otherwise known as the Houston Dash. Let’s restate that. SEVEN opportunities for you to watch some stellar athletes, that as of press deadlines, were in FIRST place in the National Women’s Soccer League. Games are located in BBVA Compass Stadium with matches at 7:30 p.m. on the following dates: June 17 and 28, July 8, 15 and 22, and August 13. Also Sunday, August 27 at 7 p.m. And we know that you’re already furiously looking to your phone now to purchase tickets, but just in case you need another nudge, consider the fact that Carli Lloyd, the player that scored a hat trick in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final game, is a proud Houston Dash player. Not that we’re name dropping or anything…
Hot dogs and Astros games are a summer tradition, and on Wednesdays that tradition gets hopped up on steroids (which is OK with hot dogs, but definitely not OK with baseball players), with $1 dog night. So come out and root, root, root for the home team, and grab as many hot dogs as you can comfortably hold and still make it back to your seat. Come back on Fridays once your heartburn has subsided and stay to the end of the game to watch the spectacular fireworks display.
FORTY-ONE Not to leave the guys out here, there are also five home games for the Dynamo between June and August. June 23, July 5 and 29, and August 12 and 26 at varying times. Come experience one of the loudest, most festive sporting events in town.
THINGS TO D O
WHAT TO BRING? Yourself. Your friends. A blanket (duh!). OK, so possibly a camping or lawn chair if you don’t want to sit directly on the ground.
“BINGO!” Practice saying it over and over until you’ve perfected the ideal level of excitement while still holding your composure, because June 15, July 20 and August 17 starting at 7 p.m. there will be bingo games and music benefitting Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Here’s a handy checklist so you can be prepared for an evening full of win.
Your listening ears. How else will you hear the caller say, “B-9” or “I-19”? $10 cash. A childlike sense of wonder (optional). An attitude of fun and excitement (also optional).
THINGS TO D O
Eat, drink & be merry 43 You kombucha last dollar you’re going to love this. Kombucha is not a country in Latin America, though it totally sounds like one. It’s a drink made from fermented tea that many also claim is a magical elixir full of good bacteria to enhance your digestive system. Luckily for Downtown, it’s also a drink made by the legendary health food expert Pat Greer and it’s found on tap at Local Foods this summer. Get a refreshing taste at the newest location of the all-scratch-made sandwich shop that recently moved into the 10,000 square feet of space at 420 Main Street. Bonus: Pretty much everything else on the entire menu. Plus beer and wine. A special weekend menu. Brunch (OMG!). OK, so these are all way more than bonuses. Let’s rephrase. " S TEP 1
Go to Local Foods.
44 Push it, push it real good.
Cool down and chill out with adult push pops from Reserve 101 this summer. These boozy popsicles are available for $7 a pop, with fruity versions as well as a salted caramel bacon creamsicle that features bourbon as the star ingredient.
45 Two words: Prosecco popsicles. The frozen adult confections abound in Downtown, and you’ll find this one at the Four Seasons poolside bar. While you’re there, make sure to scope out the hotel’s newest lobby bar and restaurant, Bayou & Bottle. As if that weren’t enough to draw you in, there’s now a Topgolf Swing Suite that can be rented out by the hour for groups of up to 15 featuring two golf simulators, a lounge-y vibe, plenty of high definition televisions and perhaps the most enticing of all, air conditioning.
“ S TEP 2
Enjoy the heck out of your beverages and your meal.
“ S TEP 3
Thank us later.
THINGS TO D O
The Houston LGBT Pride Celebration is going on 39 years! It’s almost overthe-hill, but it still knows how to party. Join the epic event with 700,000 of your closest friends and allies and travel to Wonderland and beyond. The festival itself starts June 24 at noon with the parade kicking off at 8:30 p.m. Everything is free to the public, minus the VIP areas, which can be accessed for a fee. Dress as your favorite Alice In Wonderland character, or just as yourself. It’s safe to say that literally anything goes when it comes to Pride attire. Do plan ahead and don’t forget sunscreen, water, patience and remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Art you glad you came to this block?
Catch Sidewalk Cinema, the newest Art Blocks installment located in two windows of the Sakowitz garage at 1111 Main Street. This videofocused addition is a collaboration between the Downtown District, the Downtown District Public Art Committee and a partnership with the Aurora Picture Show. The inaugural installation, which runs through July is Color Play, a 40-minute reel of six video works by four female video artists played on alternating loops. “The location for Sidewalk Cinema isn’t your typical gallery or theater setup, so I selected work that might catch people’s attention as they rush by,” said Mary Magsamen, curator for the Aurora Picture Show. “My hope is that people will stop and watch—for 30 seconds or 30 minutes—and that they’ll find something that speaks to them from one of the four artists featured.” Color Play features the works of Kasumi, Kawita Vatanajyankur, Jodie Mack and Houston’s own Emily Peacock.
While you’re meandering among the three blocks of public art installations near 1000 Main Street known as Art Blocks, be sure to take a selfie under the vibrantly colored installation of woven wooden slats known as the
Trumpet Flower. In addition to its likeness of a whimsical upside-down tornado, it does provide the very practical function of providing shade from the intense Houston summer sun. #TrumpetFlowerHou SUMMER 2017
THINGS TO D O
So maybe it wasn’t the famous line from Marie Antoinette, but it might be the second-most famous thing to come out of France (OK, Belgium). The French fry takes center stage at Saint Arnold Brewing Company come July 13, in celebration of National French Fry Day. We do mean literal center stage, as there will be someone on site dressed as a carton of French fries. Word on the street is that there’ll be all-you-can-eat fries with a buffet of topping options, beverages and maybe even a random dude dressed as a ketchup bottle, all for a flat fee of $20.
Changes [not] prohibited
Prohibition has gone through some changes recently, rebranding the restaurant portion as a casual oyster bar open for dinner only, but the extravagant burlesque shows in the revitalized Isis Theatre are still part of the supper club. Come for the oysters, stay for the theatrics. But just know they’re two separate entities with separate menus and separate entrances. 1008 Prairie.
WAKE UP and explore
YOUR ADVENTURE BEGINS DOWNTOWN. When you live downtown, you’re just around the corner from a world of experiences. From alfresco dining and hip cafes, to a progressive arts scene and action-packed parks, you can find something new every day. THE HONEYMOON CAFÉ & BAR
EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
ï¿½A THE GUIDE TO EATING DOWNTOWN
Potente Italian-style fare infused with an Asian kick 36
plate. 1600 Bar + Grille American Located on the lobby-
level of the Hilton Americas–Houston hotel, 1600 Bar + Grille brings farm-fresh ingredients to the menu for a just-picked flavor. Featuring locally-sourced seasonal fresh produce, plus Certified Angus Beef and Gulf seafood dishes prepared from scratch, you can guarantee farm-to-fork freshness. hilton.com. 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon–Fri, D Mon–Sat. $$ v Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat (Open for L & D on Sun only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ v Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best Sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$
Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. westin.com/Houston-Downtown. The Westin Houston Downtown, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ v Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals adorn the walls of the restaurant along with large windows for a perfect view of the park. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. L Mon–Sat; D Fri–Sat. $ v Batanga Tapas + Drinks Latin This tapas joint whips up delicious dishes inspired from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile—anywhere that sangria is served. The spacious patio is as good as it gets when it comes to outdoor dining with its festive twinkle lights, great music and stellar views of the Historic District and Market Square Park. batangahouston.com. 908 Congress, 713.224.9500. L & D Daily; BR Sat & Sun. $$
Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants
allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$
v Biggio’s American Biggio’s is not your average sports bar. The two-story sports haven named after the Houston baseball legend, Craig Biggio, boasts a large drink selection, upscale bar food, and seats that come with views of flat screen TVs as far as the eye can see. 1777 Walker, 713.654.1777. L & D Daily. $$
Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish
bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as
the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$
The Bistro American The Bistro is a full-service
restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $
v Bistro Lancaster New American Located in the historic Lancaster Hotel, this cozy getaway is a great place to dine before catching a show in the Theater District. You’ll find hearty soups, sizzling steaks and savory seafood. thelancaster.com. Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas, 713.228.9502. B, L & D Daily. $$$$
These listings are not reviews but are a guide to Downtown dining spots. “Recommended” restaurants are selected by downtown editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value. v RECOMMENDED NEW! JUST OPENED B Breakfast BR Brunch L Lunch D Dinner LN Late Night
Average Price of an Entrée $ $10 or less $$ $11–$19 $$$ $20–$29 $$$$ $30+
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
v Blue by Massa Seafood This upscale and elegant restaurant offers up a fine selection of American and Seafood cuisine. Among the esteemed list of favorites, the Lobster Bisque is a standout. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable dining experience. Blue also offers occasional live entertainment and dancing is highly encouraged! massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
bar offers much more than caffeinated beverages for a morning fix. People on the go can grab fresh-baked pastries, Naked juices, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups along with their brewed delights. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$
v 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. $
v Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. You can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon–Sat. $
Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food Bouray’s offers made-to-order Mexican and Vietnamese food using ingredients that are prepared fresh daily. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon–Fri. $ v Bovine & Barley American Bovine & Barley is a beautifully designed urban bar and eatery with a heavy focus on beef and beer. The space has an industrial feel which is complimented by warm wood accents and huge HTX letters that hang illuminated on an exposed brick wall. Highlights from the menu include brisket tacos, meatloaf muffins on top of jalapeno mash, 1836 beer can chicken and a variety of burgers. Not to metion over 42 beers and six hand-crafted cocktails on tap! bovineandbarley.com. 416 Main, 832.742.5683. L Sat–Sun; D, LN Daily. $$ v Brasserie du Parc French Located in the luxury high rise, One Park Place, the interior design and the menu at this beautiful French restaurant were inspired by classic Parisian brasseries and offerings include classic dishes like risotto, steak frites and crêpes, along with delicacies such as escargots and chicken liver pâté. brasserieduparc.net. 1440 Lamar, 832.879.2802. L & D Daily. $$$
Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon–Fri. $ Burger Theory American Located at street-level of
Downtown’s Holiday Inn, Burger Theory specializes in gourmet burgers, casual American fare and boasts a beer-centric bar. They also serve a mean breakfast! 1616 Main St. B, L, D & LN. $
Buzz Barista Coffee House This full-service espresso
Caffé Bene Coffee House The first Houston location from the International chain, Caffé Bene, is housed at GreenStreet with a menu that includes a variety of coffees, Belgian waffles, sandwiches, Italian gelato and other sweet treats! This cozy coffee shop is the perfect place to sit back, relax and escape the bustling downtown streets. caffebeneusa.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.255.2363. B, L & D daily. $ China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon–Fri. $ v Christian’s Tailgate American Christian’s Tailgate has arguably one of the best burgers in town and now you can enjoy them Downtown! The notable Houston burger joint in Downtown’s Historic District boasts daily food specials, 30 beers on tap, 40+ TVs, a pool table, shuffle board, video games and an awesome outdoor patio! christianstailgate.com. 1012 Congress, 281.556.1010. L, D & LN. $ v Conservatory Beer Garden & Food Hall Conservatory Underground Beer Garden & Food Hall is the first food hall in Houston to showcase a curated list of food vendors, including Moku Bar, Arte Pizzeria, Mars Bakery, Noble Rot Wine Bar, Melange Creperie with South Side Coffee and El Burro and The Bull each of which serve elevated yet casual cuisine. The food hall also features pop-up food carts serving specialty items every week and a beer garden with 60 beers on tap serving an eclectic mix of local craft breweries, foreign imports, and wine. conservatoryhtx.com. 1010 Prairie, 713.398.7697. L, D, LN Daily. $$
Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Crêperie du Parc French Situated on the sidewalk terrace at Brasserie du Parc, Crêperie du Parc offers a variety of crêpes at their walk-up window including savory options like Jambon (ham), Prosciutto, and others, along with sweet options like Banane Nutella, Grand Marnier and more. Grab one on-the-go and hop across the street to Discovery Green for a picnic in the park! brasserieduparc.net. 1440 Lamar, 832.879.2802. L & D Daily. $
Dizzy Kaktus Mexican Dizzy Kaktus appeals to
Houston’s diversity with over 28 different tacos on their menu. From classics like chicken and beef fajita, to Korean BBQ and the Krispy Kaktus (fried cactus strips, roasted bell pepper, onion, cilantro, corn, and kickin kaktus sauce), there’s sure to be something for everyone! dizzykaktus.com. 301 Main, 713.227.0440. L, D & LN Daily. $
Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $ The District American The District offers classic
American cuisine in a modern setting. Perfect for lunch or dinner before a show! The menu includes a variety of options like burgers, salads, pasta and small plates. There’s definitely something for everyone! thedistricthtx.com. 610 Main St. L & D. $$
The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu
menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like pomegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com. 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L, D & LN Mon–Fri; D & LN Sat & Sun, BR Sun. $$
Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers, almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ v Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ v Fusion Taco Latin/Japanese Taking the best from Asian and Latin cuisine, Fusion Taco comes up with creations like jerk chicken tacos, chicken tikka masala quesadillas and Asian pulled pork flautas. An extensive beer and wine selection rounds out the menu. fusiontaco.com. 801 Congress, 713.422.2882. L & D Mon–Sat. $ v Grotto Ristorante Italian This trendy Italian eatery is conveniently located on Downtown’s restaurant row—Avenida Houston! Enjoy spectacular views of nearby Minute Maid Park and Discovery Green as you experience a revolutionized take on Italian cuisine from small and sharable plates, to fresh salads and traditional dishes like Neapolitan thin crust pizzas and house made pastas. grottorestaurants.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 713.658.0752. L & D Daily. $$$
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. $$
v The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$
Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean
v Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This familyowned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon–Fri. $
Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a
burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and great-tasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon–Fri. $
Edgar’s Hermano Mexi-South Edgar’s Hermano is a southern American restaurant with a Mexican-inspired twist located inside The Whitehall Hotel. It perfectly blends Houston’s native Tex-Mex cuisine with classic southern fare offering menu items like Texas corn cakes with pork chicharon and cotija cheese, mac and queso with chipotle-grilled Gulf shrimp, and award-winning southern fried stuffed chicken with masa grits and candied bacon jam. thewhitehallhouston.com. 1700 Smith, 713.739.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Einstein’s Bagels Deli Known as a great place to grab freshly-baked bagels and coffee for breakfast, they also serve up delectable lunch choices that include paninis, melts and pizza bagels. Be an office hero and use the catering service to treat your work pals. einsteinbros.com. 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. B, L & LN Mon–Sun. $
El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran
Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired
Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an allAmerican menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers,nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ v Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrées. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon–Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$ v Hearsay on the Green American Located inside the Embassay Suites in Downtown’s Convention District, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up the finest craft cocktails, New-American dishes and a chic dining experience. The drink menu features an extensive wine list, numerous bottle and draft beers and premium liquors. hearsayhouston.com. 1515 Dallas St, 832.377.3362. L & D Daily; LN Fri–Sat; BR Sun. $$
Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American
A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy a full menu of all-American favorites. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off–season so call first). $ v The Honeymoon Cafe+Bar American The Honeymoon brews local Boomtown Coffee, has perfectly hand-crafted cocktails and satisfies the appetite with light bites and delectably sweet treats! With all the natural lighting, the ambiance is like a dream! thehoneymoonhtx.com. 300 Main St. B, L & LN Daily. $
House of Blues Restaurant and Bar Southern Classic
House of Blues Restaurant and Bar serves Southerninspired classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, St. Louis ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss the World Famous Gospel Brunch! hob.com. GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ v Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but packs a punch. One of the best burger joints in town. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon–Sat. $ v Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $$
Irma’s Southwest Grill Mexican Irma’s second
location is a hip spot to satisfy a Mexican food craving. Enjoy tasty foods and great drinks for lunch or dinner. Only a few short blocks from Minute Maid Park. irmassouthwest.com. 1314 Texas, 713.247.9651. B & L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. Open on Astros baseball game days and nights three hours before first pitch. $$
The Isles Ice House American “Doing Nothing, Happy about Drinking Something!” That’s the slogan of The Isles Ice House. Enjoy wings, burgers, nachos and all your favorites at the lively sports bar located just 3 blocks from Toyota Center. theislesicehouse.com. 1515 Pease, 713.739.9039. D, LN Daily. $
v Jackson St. BBQ Barbecue This laid-back spot by renowned Houston chefs Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gaitlin offers smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and classic southern fixins like potato salad, baked beans, collard greens and cole slaw! Conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park, stop by this Downtown favorite before or after Astros games! jacksonstbbqhouston.com. 209 Jackson St, 713.224.2400. L & D Sat–Sun.
Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will
make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs
are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced seven-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon–Sat. $
v La Fisheria Coastal Mexican Located in Downtown’s Historic District, La Fisheria serves authentic Mexican seafood such as sweet shrimp tamales, perfectly prepared fish tacos and a variety of crudos and ceviches. lafisheriahouston.com. 213 Milam, 713.802.1712. L & D Daily. $$
plate. The Lake House Fast Casual Offering family-friendly
v Main Kitchen American Named Main Kitchen to reflect its location on Main Street and the hopes of becoming a staple in Houston’s culinary scene, the restaurant seats 120 and boasts an exhibition kitchen providing guests with an insight into the chefs’ creative process. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/main-kitchen. 806 Main St, 713.400.1245. B, L, D Daily. $$
La Calle Mexican Located in downtown’s Historic
v Mango Tree Thai Bistro Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. mangotreethaibistro.com. 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon–Sat. $$
v 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. $
v Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicagostyle 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. $
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 stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. L Tue & Wed; L & Early D Thu–Sun. $
Market Square, this cozy little restaurant serves authentic Mexican street tacos, tortas and tostadas. Your visit isn’t complete without an Agua Fresca and a side of rice and beans! lacalletacos.com. 909 Franklin, 832.735.8226. L, D & LN Daily. $
Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 416 Caroline, 713.237.0000. L Mon–Fri. $ v 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. $ v Line & Lariat Modern American An award-winning dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon–Sat. $$$
Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ v Local Foods American Local Foods is a culinary expression of all things local. The scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcases seasonal salads, fresh soups, farmers market sides, home-made snacks for the taking, and a raw bar with ceviche and oyster shooters. houstonlocalfoods.com. 420 Main, 713.227.0531. L & D Daily. $$
Lone Star Taco Tex-Mex Fast-casual Tex-Mex restaurant, specializing in great tacos! Lone Star Taco quickly serves artisanal quality, made-fresh tacos at an affordable price. txlonestartaco.com. 1001 Texas St, 713.223.8226. B, L & D Daily. $ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, madeto-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. $ Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$
v Massa’s South Coast Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
McAlister’s Deli American This fast casual deli serves
fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, and giant stuffed potatoes. mcalistersdeli.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 832.940.0660. L & D Daily. $
v McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon–Fri. $ v Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ v Minuti Coffee Coffee House The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D & LN Daily. $ v MKT BAR International Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, it’s the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L & D Daily. $ v The Moonshiners American The Moonshiners Southern Table + Bar offers up a rebellious respite in the bustling urban backdrop of Downtown Houston. The restaurant celebrates and elevates southern culinary traditions serving up moonshine and whiskey in mason jars alongside generous portions of southern comfort foods such as fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and pulled pork sandwiches. 1000 Prairie, 713.226.7717. L & D Mon–Fri; LN Fri & Sat. $$
Morningside Thai Thai Diners can expect the same great quality and service at the Downtown location that they enjoy at the original Houston staple. Menu favorites include a variety of different curry dishes like the Panang Curry and the Roasted Duck Curry. morningsidethai.com. 917 Franklin. 713.228.8424. L & D. $ v Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon–Fri all locations. $ v Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorites such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L & D Daily. $ NEW! Osso & Kristalla Italian Osso & Kristalla serves up authentic Italian fare in a modern, yet relaxed atmosphere. The casual trattoria features housemade pastries, pastas, wood-fired pizzas and more Italian eats, along with wine, beer, cocktails and local Katz coffee. Enjoy views inside their open concept kitchen or on their breezy outdoor patio. ossoandkristalla.com. 1515 Texas. 713.221.6666. B Mon-Fri; L & D Daily. $$ NEW! The Oyster Bar Seafood Housed inside Prohibition Supper Club, The Oyster Bar is a streetfriendly, neighborhood-centric concept serving an extensive seafood menu including fried shrimp, fried oysters, Gulf Coast & East Coast oysters, pan roasted market fish, and roasted cauliflower & mushroom fettuccine. Get your seafood and burlesque fix all in the same place. prohibitionhouston.com. Prohibition, 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. D Daily. $$
Padthai Thai Restaurant Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. padthaithairestaurant.com. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ v Pappadeaux This local favorite serves up some of the finest and freshest seafood with a Cajun twist! Start with the crispy fried alligator or a bowl of gumbo, try the Chilean Sea Bass or the pasta mardi gras, and top it all off with the praline bread pudding soufflé. pappadeaux.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 713.654.5077. L Fri–Sun; D Daily. $$$ v 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. $ v Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Steakhouse Pappas Bros. Steakhouse puts immeasurable care into everything they do, all to provide their guests with a dining experience like no other. They buy the highest-quality ingredients, use a timeless recipe, and cook it flawlessly each and every time. pappasbros.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.658.1995. D Mon–Sat.
Potente 1515 Texas St. potentehouston.com 713.237.1515
UPSCALE ITALIAN FARE MEETS DOWNTOWN Summer is in full swing, you’re rolling with your squad Downtown, and as you’re taking a stroll through the Ballpark District, you find yourself in front of two unfamiliar, black-trimmed doors. You walk inside and are immediately transported to a space with an authentic Italian villa feel. On one side, beams of natural light illuminate the open bar area. On the other side, a sumptuous reception awaits you. Welcome to Potente, Downtown’s newest Italian fine dining restaurant on the corner of Texas and Crawford. Since its grand debut in April, Potente has generated quite the buzz and captured the hearts and palates of Houstonians, including some of our very own Astros players. Its selection of Italian-style fare infused with an Asian kick includes sizzling steak and fresh seafood options such as their tonno crudo (raw tuna, foie gras, preserved lemon, and caper berries) and artistically crafted desserts like the almond semolina cake with a black cherry barolo reduction. This 150-seat restaurant is unlike anything we’ve seen Downtown. Aside from the great food and talented chefs, Potente also has a private indoor terrace and wine room available for small dinners, and offers exclusive wine lockers for guests looking for that over-the-top VIP experience. By now you’re probably wondering about the talented individuals responsible for this sophistication. Operating Potente’s kitchen is a dream team that includes Executive Chef Michael Parker, Chef de Cuisine Mica Rideout
BY STEFANIE PASCACIO photos by Morris Malakoff
and Executive Pastry Chef David Berg. It only takes a few seconds chatting with Chef Mica and Chef David to learn that the key ingredient to their successful kitchen is passion coupled with outstanding customer service. “In the kitchen, it’s not just about fine cuisine, but also about teaching and training staff accordingly so the chefs can continue to create,” Berg said. In an attempt to go the extra mile in customer service, Rideout invites guests not only to experience great food, but also a new culture of fine dining in Downtown Houston. “One of the coolest things about what Mr. Crane has built here is that it’s more than just a pretty restaurant,” Rideout said. “It’s somewhere that people can come and truly enjoy an experience, and that’s what we’re trying convey at Potente: a wonderful dining experience.” One of the most compelling features of Potente is its location—on the ground floor of 500 Crawford. Marvy Finger, property owner and founder of The Finger Companies, knew
there were major advantages to building a mixed-use residential building. His goal was to create an urban lifestyle for residents designed to complement the walkable, cosmopolitan lifestyle that comes with living Downtown. “From the outset we conceived the building to include ground-floor space slated for retail and, specifically, two different restaurant concepts. The reason for that is pretty simple: people looking to live Downtown are seeking a Big City lifestyle that comes with restaurants, watering holes, and recreation in addition to performing arts, entertainment, and sports venues,” Finger said. Identifying the right tenant for 500 Crawford wasn’t an easy task for Finger. “At the end of the day, we wanted concepts that would be good for our residents and for Downtown Houston as a whole,” he said. It wasn’t long before Astros owner Jim Crane jumped at the opportunity to partner with Finger. “Marvy and I had been in discussions about his midrise for several years. We’re both interested in driving activity in the Downtown area and recognized this as a good opportunity.” It came as no surprise to see the highly accomplished businessman open not one, but two Italian concepts simultaneously in his first foray into the culinary world (Potente and Osso & Kristalla, its more casual trattoria sister restaurant). Crane’s long-term vision is for Houstonians to come Downtown and spend time before and after the Astros games. And just like that, the Ballpark District has joined the realms of Downtown’s premier culinary destinations.
v Pappasito’s Cantina Tex-Mex One of Houston’s most popular casual Tex-Mex restaurants, Pappasito’s specializes in sizzling fajitas, creamy queso and tortillas that almost melt in your mouth! The Downtown location offers six unique ceviches and crudos that can’t be found at any of the other restaurants. pappasitos.com. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St, 713.353.4400. L & D Daily. $$ NEW!
The Pearl Seafood The Pearl at the Sam
Houston Hotel is a coastal-inspired restaurant with a passion for seafood and steak. The menu satiates guests with savory appetizers and salads, entrees like classic shrimp and grits, scallops carbonara and short ribs, and a la carte selections such as premium cuts of steak alongside simply grilled fish and shrimp dishes. pearlrestauranthouston.com. 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L, & D Daily. $$
v 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. $
NEW! Potente Italian A sophisticated Italian restaurant, Potente is a dining experience like no other focused on using local products and only the highest quality ingredients. Menu items include daily seafood selections, steaks, homemade pastas and the signature veal osso bucco. potentehouston.com. 1515 Texas, 713.237.1515. D Daily. $$$
Phoenicia Specialty Foods International If you are in search of yummy food on the go, Phoenicia Specialty Foods is the place for you! This urban gourmet market boasts an incredible salad bar, made-to-order shawarmas and pizzas, grab-n-go sushi, sandwiches and various meat and seafood entrees. This is a one-of-a kind downtown destination where you can appreciate down-to-earth gourmet food prices and a unique variety of flavors. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L, D Daily. $$
v Prohibition American Prohibition is the home of the Moonlight Dolls who dazzle audiences with their sexy yet fun burlesque performances. Beaming with glitz and glamour, this upscale supper club has an exquisite menu featuring fresh Gulf seafood and steaks cooked to perfection! prohibitionhouston.com. 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. D Thu–Sat; BR Sun. $$$ v Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$
Quizno’s Fast Food
811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon–Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon–Sun. $
Rachel’s Café American Rachel’s Cafe is an old fashioned hamburger joint inside the historic Londale Building. This quaint little café has an extensive menu with lots of simple classics like burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads—all made fresh! rachelscafehouston.com. 421 San Jacinto, 713.229.7067. L & D Mon–Sat. $ Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the
Preston Station on the METRORail, Roma’s Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $
Russo’s New York Pizzeria Italian Inspired by the traditional Italian values of family, friends & food, this Houston original doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fresh, delicious, homemade Italian meals. And they serve more than just pizza- try one of their specialty calzones, sandwiches or pastas! nypizzeria.com. 604 Polk, 713.759.9800. L & D Daily. $ Salata American This next-generation salad bar allows you to create your own, tossed-to-order salad or wrap complete with a variety of fresh greens, a large selection of veggies, fruits, nuts, cheeses and more. Top your order off with one of their signature dressings and your choice of chicken, seafood or tofu! salata.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.275.1088. L & D Daily. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Sam Houston
Hotel’s relaxed dining option where you’ll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$
v Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon–Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$
The Shops at Houston Center Food Court
Brooklyn Meatball Company, Bullritos, Chick-fil-A, Doozo’s Dumplings & Noodles, Freshii, Great American Cookie, Luisa’s Pasta, Murphy’s Deli, Otto’s Barbecue & Hamburgers, Pho Huy Vietnamese Noodle House, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pretzel Time, Quizno’s Subs, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Snap Kitchen, Starbuck’s Coffee, Subway, Thai Basil, The Mediterranean Grill, Treebeards, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon–Sat, hours vary. $
Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread,
Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe
offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com. 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ v Spindletop American A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue–Sat. $$$
Springbok South African Springbok features a
contemporary take on classic South African dishes such as local game, house-made sausages, burgers and curries. Enjoy an amazing selection of local and international beer and cocktails while watching rugby and other national and international sporting competitions. thespringbok.com. 711 Main, 818.201.6979. L, D & LN Daily. $$ NEW! Stack Burger American This Downtown burger joint is far from ordinary. Serving more than just your everyday burgers, Stack Burger also offers coffee, breakfast, fusion sandwiches and a whole lotta Houston art. stack-burger.com. 703 St. Joseph Pkwy, 713.651.0227. B & L Daily. $
Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. Daily. $ Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a
combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. Weekday happy hour includes $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and it’s happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $
Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Located
at The Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar.
1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$ v III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
Toasters Café American Toasters is a quaint little
café in downtown’s Warehouse District which serves up classic favorites in a modern setting. Try their fresh baked pastries and French toast for breakfast, or enjoy a salad and a wide variety of sandwiches for lunch. toastershouston.com. 1004 N. San Jacinto, 713.261.1562. B, L Mon–Fri. $ v Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon–Fri. $
Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$
Walker St. Kitchen American Walker Street Kitchen serves the freshest offerings from the Gulf Coast, fusing cultural and geographical influences into a culinary feast. 1777 Walker, 713.654.1777. B, L & D Daily. $$ Which Wich Deli A fast and easy build-your-ownsandwich joint where doodling is encouraged and the possibilities are endless! Which ‘wich will you make? 811 Main, 713.227.0860. B & L Mon–Fri; L Sat. $ 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. $ NEW! Wokker Asian Food truck favorite, Wokker, is now housed inside CraftBeer Cellar. Combining spices and cultures that blend harmoniously, Wokker is known for creating unique dishes that incorporate the wok, proteins and Texas cooking techniques. wokkerhtx.com. 907 Franklin, 713.227.0199. L & D. $
Your Pie Italian Your Pie is a “down-the-line” pizza concept offering customers the opportunity to build their own 10″ hand-tossed pizza which cooks in a gas-fired oven in less than five minutes! Their bar menu includes 25 taps of craft beer and a selection of boutique red and white wines. yourpie.com. 1625 Main (inside SkyHouse Houston), 832.767.2544. L & D. $ 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. $ v 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–Sat; D Tue–Sat; $ v Xochi Mexican Named after Xochitl, the goddess of the flowers, Xochi specializes in the authentic cuisine of Oaxaca, the culinary capital of Mexico, and incorporates traditional Oaxacan herbs and ingredients throughout its menu. Highlights include the barbacoa de res de zaachila, lechon, and sopa de piedra, an ancient traditional fish and shrimp soup. ¡Buen provecho! xochihouston.com. 1777 Walker. 713.400.3330. L & D Daily. $$$
FOR A SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF DOWNTOWN HOUSTON RESTAURANTS BY CUISINE, LOCATION AND PRICE, VISIT DOWNTOWNHOUSTON.ORG
AND CLICK ON GUIDE.
Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites!
160ft Beerworks | 1310 Nance
Located in downtown’s eclectic Warehouse District, this excellent small-batch craft beer brewery offers a limited selection of hefeweizen, stout, blonde, and imperial IPA. 160ft Beerworks may only be a nanobrewery, but the hospitality shown by their local beer-loving staff will make you feel nothing but grand! Fri 5 pm–11 pm, Sat 10 am–10 pm, Sun noon–6 pm. 160ftbeerworks.com
ALJ Jazz Bar & Lounge | 711 Franklin
ALJ Jazz Bar and Lounge offers a unique live music experience in a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Here, you’ll find some of the best contemporary jazz musicians of our time, from local favorites to internationally renowned legends. Thu 6 pm–12 am. Fri–Sat 6 pm–2 am. houstonjazzbar.com
Allen’s Place | 114 Main
Located on the ground floor of the historical Dorrance Building, Allen’s Place is the perfect spot to catch a drink with coworkers after work, hang out with friends, or simply watch the game. No matter where you sit to enjoy their Texas beers or custom crafted cocktails, you won’t help but to feel Houston pride amid the original brick and wood of this historical landmark. Tue–Wed 3pm–midnight, Thu–Sat 3 pm– 2 am. allensplacehouston.com
The Boulevardier | 410 Main, Downstairs
This beautiful lounge provides an upscale yet comfortable respite to Main Street every Thursday through Saturday serving the finest craft cocktails. Thu–Sat 6 pm–2 am. thecommonerbar.com/#upstairs
Barringer Bar | 108 Main
Barringer is a classic bar and lounge located in historic Downtown Houston where patrons can enjoy a wide selection of beer, wine and libations. Antique furniture and photos fill the cozy space and live music, DJs and aerialists entertain throughout the weekend! Tue–Fri 5 pm–2 am; Sat 8 pm–2 am. barringerhouston.com
Bayou & Bottle | 1300 Lamar
Bayou & Bottle is a chic bourbon concept located in the lobby of Four Seasons Houston. The bar serves over 150 varieties of bourbons and whiskeys along with flavorful cuisine inspired by Houston’s melting pot of cultures. Unique features include the first-ever Topgolf® simulation golf experience, Angels’ Share private dining room, and personalized bourbon lockers. Mon–Wed 11 am–midnight; Thu–Sat 11 am–1 am; Sun noon–midnight. fourseasons.com
Boots ‘n Shoots | 506 Main
This Texas-themed bar conveniently located right off the METRORail, features a wide variety of whiskey. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the super fun larger-than-life PLINKO board which decides your fate when the time comes to take a shot! Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. bootsnshootshouston.com
Brewery Tap | 717 Franklin
Housed in the historic Magnolia Brewery Building, Brewery Tap HTX is an old downtown watering hole reimagined. The bar is known for having a laid-back, friendly atmosphere, 32 beers and multiple wines and cocktails on draft, plus multiple in-house games. Daily 4 pm–2 am. brewerytaphtx.com
Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main
A fun and quirky bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously (hence the name), but the cocktails are seriously good. Patrons enjoy the speakeasy vibe and the patio terrace for prime people watching. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/badnewsbar
LIKE US AT FACEBOOK.COM/VISITDOWNTOWNHOUSTON
The Dirt to host hundreds of memorable after-show events, including Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Daily 6 pm–2 am. dirtbar.com
806 Lounge | 806 Main
A favorite of the locals, 806 Lounge located inside the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, ignites the senses with sophisticated creations. Their mixologists are experts in creating cocktails, lively in conversation, and can recommend a favorite dish to accompany your handcrafted drink. Daily 11 am–11 pm. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/806-lounge
1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin
This Guatemalan-inspired bar offers drink specials every day of the week, plenty of flat screen TVs to keep up with the latest sporting events and features live DJ’s on the weekends. Tue–Sat 4pm–2 am, Sun 4 pm–midnight. casablancahouston.com
This cozy little bar is located just one block north of Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect place for a pre-game drink or a strong night cap during the week. Eighteen Twenty Lounge shares a door with Joystix Classic Games which is open on the first and last Friday of every month where $15 gets you all night access to practice your Pac-Man skills. Daily 4 pm–2 am. 1820lounge.com
Char Bar | 305 Travis
El Big Bad | 419 Travis
Casablanca Lounge | 312 Main
Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon–Wed 10 am–midnight; Thu–Sat 10 am–2 am. twitter.com/TheCharBar
Chupacabra | 208 Travis
Inspired by the Latin American legend of the Chupacabra, this festive bar in Historic Market Square, features seasonal margaritas and a wide variety of Tequila and Whiskey. Daily 4 pm–2 am.
The Commoner | 410 Main, Downstairs
Simple, straightforward. Cocktails, beer and wine. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am; Sun noon–midnight. thecommonerbar.com
Craft Beer Cellar | 907 Franklin
Located in the Historic Market Square neighborhood, Craft Beer Cellar is a bottle shop and bar with a full wall of local, national and international beer options. Stop by and have a drink at the bar or fill up a growler and take one to go! Mon–Sat 10 am–10 pm; Sun 11 am–7 pm. houston.craftbeercellar.com
Dean’s | 316 Main
Under new ownership and with a new look and feel, Dean’s adds to the cool vibe found on the 300 block of Main. Great attention from the bartenders and the trendy crowd make it a unique place to socialize. Mon–Thu 8 pm–2 am; Fri–Sat 5 pm–2 am. deansdowntown.com
The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline
The non-venue rock ‘n’ roll lounge is a popular preand post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed
El Big Bad is a Gastro-Cantina that specializes in infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and cocktails, Mexican and Texan Craft Beer and scrumptious fare. Sun–Thu 11 am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11 am–2 am. elbigbad.com
Flying Saucer | 705 Main
Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon–Wed 11 am–1 am; Thu & Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 am; Sun noon–midnight. beerknurd.com
Henke & Pillot | 809 Congress
Where past meets present, and drinks and dining blend in flawless harmony. Henke & Pillot is more than a dynamic Downtown cocktail lounge. Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space in the 800 block of Congress over 150 years ago, the simple yet sophisticated setting offers patrons inspired cocktails that are paired with mouthwatering dishes. Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. henkehouston.com
The Honeymoon Cafe + Bar | 300 Main
The Historic District welcomes The Honeymoon—a new, adorable bistro with great cocktails, wine and coffee from local Boomtown Coffee. Mon–Thu 7 am–midnight; Fri 7 am–2 am; Sat 10 am–2 am; Sun 10 am–10 pm. thehoneymoonhtx.com
Houston Watch Company | 913 Franklin
Houston Watch Company is located in the lobby of the Bayou Lofts at 913 Franklin and gets its name from the former timepiece company that occupied the space over 100 years ago. From its name to its drinks, Houston Watch Company is the essence of old-school. We suggest trying one of their four different versions of an old fashioned or the strawberry shrub cocktail made with fresh fruit! Mon–Sat 4 pm–2 am; Sun 4 pm–midnight. houstonwatchcompany.com
HTX Fan Tavern | 1800 Texas
HTX Fan Tavern is a sports-centric bar conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect place to pre-game before cheering on the home team or to celebrate after a big victory! htxfantavern.com
La Carafe | 813 Congress
The oldest building in Houston, this dark and cozy hideaway boasts a great jukebox, moody atmosphere and an extensive beer and wine selection. Sit on the outside patio or balcony and look up in awe at the amazing downtown skyline. Cash only. Mon–Fri noon–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am.
Last Concert Café | 403 Nance
You have to knock three times on the red door to gain entry to the unmarked house in the Warehouse District (well, not anymore). With a backyard stage and sandpit, hoola-hooping and tiki bar, Last Concert has live music most nights. Tue–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat 5 pm–2 am; Sun 3–9 pm. lastconcert.com
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen | 909 Texas
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen is an establishment with flair. A place that gives rise to the iconic visions of Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen leaning on the bar with a stiff, well-crafted Rye Manhattan. Lawless is detailed with glitzy style, featuring revolutionary cocktails accompanied by comfortable finger foods and satisfying bites. lawlesspirits.com
Lilly & Bloom | 110 Main St.
Located in the historically chic Raphael Building, this beautiful two-story lounge is known for its specialty cocktails and guest bartenders every Tuesday night. Prepare to be amazed! Daily 4 pm–2 am. lillyandbloom.com
Little Dipper | 304 Main
This spot is a cool, blue neighborhood bar with pinball machines, cheap bourbon and a bad-ass jukebox. Daily 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/LittleDipperBar
LIVE Sports Bar & Grill | 407 Main
Located in Historic Market Square, Live Sports Bar & Girll makes you feel like you’re sitting at the game amongst all the action! Watch your favorite team on a number of TVs while you enjoy good eats and a drink from their ever-evolving selection of beer on tap. Daily 11 am–2 am. livesportsbarhouston.com
Lobby Bar | 1600 Lamar
Lobby Bar inside Hilton Americas-Houston is ideal for relaxing conversations or a casual meeting. You can treat yourself to the finest in tequilas, your favorite martini or sip a glass of wine while enjoying a light bite. Mon–Fri 2 pm–2 am, Sat 11 am–2 am, Sun Noon–2 am. hilton.com
Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis
The Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share have-been-to-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon–2 am.
MKT BAR | 1001 Austin
Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, MKT BAR is a hip wine and beer bar offering light bites and an urban, yet relaxed setting to hang out with friends on the weekend or unwind with coworkers after a long day. The bar is a local favorite with DJs, bands and fun theme nights. Mon–Wed 7 am–9 pm; Thu 7 am–2 am; Fri & Sat 9 am–2 am; Sun 9 am–8 pm. mktbar.com
Molly’s Pub | 509 Main
This classic Irish pub offers a variety of Irish whiskeys and international beers. Tables and coves lead you to the back, where pool and darts can be found and a second-floor balcony provides excellent views of Main Street and Downtown. Daily 11 am–2 am. mollyspubs.com
Moving Sidewalk | 306 Main
This upscale bar has an intimate setting complete with antique chandeliers, dark lighting and candles. The cocktails at Moving Sidewalk are sure to please as they have hand-crafted ingredients such as rosehip infusion and a fig and marigold shrub. Perfect for a romantic night out or to catch up with friends over drinks! Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/movingsidewalk
The Nightingale Room | 308 Main
The Nightingale Room—named for the famous songbird—also references Houston music legend Sippie Wallace, known as the Texas Nightingale during her prime in the 1920s. This entertainment-focused bar is a casual, comfortable spot to listen to vinyl during the week and will turn up the energy on weekends with live music— dancing is encouraged! Expect a variety of music from all genres. The drink menu features a small selection of house drinks, shots, as well as beer, wine and champagne. Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. nightingaleroom.com
Notsuoh | 314 Main
The name is Houston spelled backwards. A bar full of random weirdness: Think grunge lounge and artsy. You’ll find people playing chess, and drinking beer, live music, lots of crazy, weird artwork and maybe walk in on a night of punk-rock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm–2 am. notsuoh.com
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon | 924 Congress
The Pearl offers a large variety of innovative cocktails, unique craft beers, wines and spirits. Mon–Thu 6:30 am–11 pm; Fri 6:30 am–12 pm; Sat 7 am–12 pm; Sun 7 am–11 pm. pearlrestauranthouston.com
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin at GreenStreet
Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed–Sat 7 pm–2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com
Public Services Wine & Whiskey | 202 Travis
Nestled in the historic Cotton Exchange Building, lies Public Services Wine & Whiskey. Public Services isn’t just any cocktail bar, in fact, they’re the complete opposite. Here, patrons can find classic wines and a vast yet distinctive whiskey selection served straight, on the rocks, or with a small selection of mixers. Craft beer and cider help round out the carefully crafted drink menu. Mon–Sat 4 pm–2 am. publicservicesbar.com
Reserve 101 | 1201 Caroline
A whiskey and martini bar touting more than 220 specialty liquors that will make any cocktail aficionados mouth water. Stop by on Tuesday for complimentary tastings of special selections. Order up delicious bites from the new, chef-driven menu featuring tasty flatbreads, appetizers and sandwiches. Sun 5 pm–2 am; Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am. reserve101.com
The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street at The Sam Houston Hotel
Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. Sun–Thu 11 am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11 am–1 am. thesamhoustonhotel.com
Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas at Rice Lofts
Dublin native and owner John McElroy created this space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland. The crowd is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am. mcelroyspub.com
Houston’s first charity bar is a true collaboration from Houston’s finest, including owners from Anvil, Paulie’s, Grand Prize and more. Expect classic cocktails and brews in a gorgeous historic building. Every drink purchase earns you a vote that can go toward select charities to win the bar’s monthly earnings. Daily 3 pm–2 am. friedokra.org
Sunny’s Bar | 901 Capitol @ Main
Part & Parcel | 1700 Smith
Tongue Cut Sparrow | 310 Main (upstairs)
Part & Parcel is a trendy patio bar located at The Whitehall Hotel—it’s the perfect place to mingle, sip and relax under the Texas stars. Their menu includes classic cocktails, original libations, and small plates with big taste! Mon–Thu 4 pm–midnight; Fri–Sat 4 pm–2 am. thewhitehallhouston.com
The Pastry War | 310 Main
A Mezcaleria from Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta that serves up agave spirits along with classic Mexican cocktails and beers in a festive and intimate environment. This specialty tequila joint not only accepts pesos, but is on a brave mission to serve the best margaritas in town. Salud! Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. thepastrywar.com
The Pearl | 1117 Prairie
Laid-back place with a friendly atmosphere and great prices that keep the regulars coming back. Sunny will likely be behind the bar serving up the beer and cocktails and great conversation. Foosball, darts and shuffleboard are in the back of the house to keep you entertained. Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am.
Named after a Japanese fable, this 25-seat formal cocktail bar provides an extremely elevated experience from the tidy menu made up of 16 classic cocktails and a few select beer and wine options, to the bartenders clad in black bowties. Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am.
Warren’s Inn | 307 Travis
This tavern is long known for its top-notch jukebox full of American classics, strong mixed drinks and its diverse crowd of customers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 pm, Sun 2 pm–2 am.
The Wine Cellar | 540 Texas
Unwind and relax with more than 400 varieties of wine and imported beers. Wine tastings Mon–Thu, 2–7 pm. Daily 11 am–midnight. thewinecellarhouston.com
EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
Performing Arts 46 Festivals + Special Events 49 Market Square Park 51 Discovery Green 52 and more
Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour photo by Jeremy Daniel
SUPER OPEN MIC SUNDAYS
PERFORMING ARTS THE TEMPEST
Jun 1–4 In remembrance of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, David Bintley is creating a fantastical production of The Tempest, set to a commissioned score by British composer Sally Beamish. At once stormy and sweet, Bintley’s Tempest promises to be an exciting recount of Shakespeare’s supernatural tale. Banished to a deserted island with his daughter, Miranda, Prospero conjures up a horrific storm in which a magical story unfolds. It’s an enchanted yarn filled with drama, passion, a struggle for power and, of course, love. Tickets start at $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS.
Jun 2–Jul 2 Based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Walt Disney films, Freaky Friday is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic that follows an overworked mother and teenage daughter on a wild journey after magically swapping bodies. The musical, with book by Bridget Carpenter (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and score by the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then), is a sure-fire hit for the whole family. Tickets start at $30. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
Jul 8, 15, 22 & 29 Featuring absurdist humor and improvisation as well as audience participation, Garbage Island takes place in a literal garbage dump where off-the-wall characters come to life to solve mysteries using creative and critical thinking skills. Children are invited to bring an old toy with them every week that may be used during the performance. No two performances will be the same, and each performance will culminate in a big kid dance party and trash orchestra with Garbage Man Joe and the cast. $10 per child, parents and children under 2 get in free. 10:30 am. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297.
SUPER OPEN MIC MONDAYS
Jun 5 It’s a super open mic at Rec Room not just for comics and musicians, although they are definitely welcomed! Rec Room wants your act, any art, any performance, any creation you’ve got. Juggle, dance, sing, read. If it’s an art, a performance, or a creative endeavor, Rec Room wants you to show it to them. Put your heart out there. Or come watch others do it. Sign up starts at 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm. Free. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
Jun 5–18 A brilliant fire god, opium dreams, and a crashing temple. Stanton Welch’s colorful staging of La Bayadère is classical ballet with a touch of Bollywood. La Bayadère dramatizes the love story of Nikiya the temple dancer, her lover Solor, and the vengeance that keeps them apart—at least in this life. With lavish scenery depicting the jungles of India and costumes by Peter Farmer, La Bayadère features mesmerizing classical performances highlighted by the famous Shades scene, staged for the entire corps de ballet. Tickets start at $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical! With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, Something Rotten! is “The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon. Squared!” (New York Magazine). Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org
SHAPING SOUNDS—AFTER THE CURTAIN
Jun 7 Through his Emmy Award-winning work on So
Jun 6, Jul 11, Aug 8 Experience the premiere of a truly
You Think You Can Dance, Travis Wall has established himself as one of America’s favorite choreographers. His artistic direction of Shaping Sound has already produced one spellbinding show in Dance Reimagined, which has captivated audiences all across North America. Now, Travis and Shaping Sound are back with their brand new show, After the Curtain. These visual musicians continue to dazzle audiences as they tell the story of a man fighting to find his creative voice after the death of his one true love. Heart-wrenching, breathtaking and ultimately uplifting, this is one dance show that audiences will remember forever. Tickets start at $35.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
experimental immersive experience for the audience brought together by artistic director/sound artist Lynn Lane. Tickets start $10. 7:30 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
Jun 7, Jul 12, Aug 9 Tired of swiping left or right?
TRANSITORY SOUND AND MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE
Jun 6 Set in the ’90s—the 1590s—this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write their own hit play while the “rock star” Shakespeare keeps getting all the hits. When
Love watching old episodes of The Dating Game on YouTube? Ready to see something actually happen for real in real life? Join the Rec Room for Houston’s first and only live dating show with host Dusti Rhodes. The show runs once a month—always on Wednesdays. Must be 21+. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
datebook. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SNOOPY
Jun 8–18 This musical features Charles Schulz’s iconic Peanuts characters Charlie Brown, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock, under the guidance of the consummate showman Snoopy, as they sing and dance their way through witty philosophies about love and life as only The Peanuts gang can. In addition to a beloved score featuring songs like Just One Person, Edgar Allan Poe, and Poor Sweet Baby, this new production introduces a new song for Sally with music by award-winning composer Larry Grossman. With fresh orchestrations and a revised book, audiences can expect the Peanuts characters to dance more than ever before! Tickets start at $28.75. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org
photo by Mathew Murphy
SHAPING SOUNDS—AFTER THE CURTAIN
CIRCUS 1903—THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS
Jun 9–11 The producers of the world’s biggest magic
show, The Illusionists have teamed up with the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse to present a thrilling turn of the century circus spectacular. Sensational puppetry puts elephants back in the ring as never seen before, along with a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts from all four corners of the world, from strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers, high wire and much more! Tickets start at $33. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA.
SO LIKE BASICALLY WITH KATHRYN WAY
Jun 10 A monthly stand-up comedy show hosted by funny lady, Kathryn Way. Proceeds always go to a local charity. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
THE RITE OF SPRING
Jun 15–Jul 8 The limits of group responsibility are tested in a new dance adaptation set to Stravinsky’s iconic score. Laura Gutierrez, named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, teams up with Rec Room Artistic Director, Matt Hune, to repurpose an unapologetically primitive exploration that examines how modern America assimilates, worships, and sacrifices. Tickets start at $20. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
WEST COAST JAM
Jun 18 Coming off his new CD release Summer Madness, Richard Elliot wanted to tour with a threepiece horn section and supporting cast of musicians. He reached out to his long-time collaborator Rick Braun and guitarist Norman Brown to join him, creating West Coast Jam. The Bayou City should be prepared to hear a wall of sound that’s funky and rocking! Don’t miss it. Tickets start at $55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
CHARCOAL HEATHER / THERMA-SPHERE MAX
Jun 21 Charcoal Heather / Therma-Sphere Max
is a new work by Frances Disley, a visual artist based in Liverpool. The piece takes the hybrid form
of a screening of digital video with live narrated visualization. The video acts as a stand-in for the process of painting and establishes a shifting series of backdrops. Then, through the visualizations, Disley invites the audience along with her as the work itself continues to emerge in the studio. The whole process explores how random oddities often mingle with the artist’s plans, to create the surprising and unexpected. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297.
Jun 22 This is the chance to hear stories a la formats like The Moth from a community that is as public as they are private. For one night only, Houston’s LGBTQIA community is going to let you have it. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
Jun 24, Aug 26 From the disturbing and celebrated minds of Stalk Show comes ShitShow, a new monthly sketch comedy show about finding love within yourself, but still looking better than your enemies while doing it. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
THE “PROBABLY A SHOW” SHOW
Jun 24, Jul 29, Aug 26 A Saturday Night Live style sketch comedy show featuring sketches, musical comedy, and stand-up comedians. Produced by Britt Vasicek. Tickets $10. 10 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
Jun 25 Don’t miss a rare concert presenting classical, semi-classical, and folk music of India in choral style of singing. Presented by Gandharva Mahavidyala, New Delhi, the oldest classical music and dance school of India. 7 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. CIRCUS 1903
photo by Scott Levy
© Disney, photo by Joan Marcus
DISNEY’S THE LION KING
DISNEY’S THE LION KING
Jun 27–Jul 23 Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles
Jul 15 With a legendary voice that embodies the spirit
Aug 10 One of the best Latin pop voices from Mexico,
leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. Disney’s The Lion King is making its triumphant return to Houston! More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the aweinspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular—one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage. Tickets start at $44.50. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.
of a nation, Eva Ayllón is one of Peru’s most enduring stars. She’s been called the ‘Tina Turner from Peru’ and the ‘Queen of Landó’ (a traditional Afro-Peruvian musical form) for her larger-than-life stage personality and fearsome dance chops. Infused with colorful sounds and flavors from the coastal plains of Lima, Ayllón’s music overflows with her country’s indigenous, African, and Spanish musical heritage in a style called música criolla, in which call-and-response, complex syncopation, and polyrhythms combine with sweet, melancholic melodies to create a unique and powerful sound. Tickets start at $40. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
Cristian Castro arrives in Houston on his #USTOUR2017 to perform some of his greatest hits like Por Amarte Asi to Volver a Amar. Tickets start at $45. 8:30 pm. 615 Louisiana St. 832.487.7050. houstonfirsttheaters.com
Jul 8 For a career and repertoire as varied as Neil Gaiman, it’s best to let the man himself describe what he does: “I make things up and write them down.” As one of the most celebrated writers of our time, it’s fitting that his inimitable creativity and unequaled imagination are the first thing used to describe Neil Gaiman. From his bestselling contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods, to his bestselling young adult story (and eventual movie) Coraline, Gaiman’s works have racked up every major literary award. On top of more than 20 books, Gaiman is also celebrated for his groundbreaking work on the Sandman comics, which were described by Stephen King as having turned graphic novels into a fully realized art form. Tickets start at $28. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
DEAD ROCK STAR SING-A-LONG CLUB
Jul 20 The second annual Dead Rock Star Sing-A-Long Club honors some of the most beloved and iconic musicians who have died this past year: George Michael and Sharon Jones. Join Rec Room in this musical eulogy that is part concert, part theater, and total celebration. Tickets start at $20. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1297. recroomhtx.com
Aug 15–20 Based on the smash hit film, the awardwinning musical will star Grammy Award nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox. Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A breathtakingly romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time—I Will Always Love You. Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE
Jul 14 Turn on your radio and listen to this twicemonthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the sheriff’s secret police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Featuring musical guest Jason Webley. Tickets start at $35.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
NEIL GAIMAN photo by Beowulf Sheehan
datebook. All events free and open to the public. Central Library 500 McKinney
Julia Ideson Library 550 McKinney
Houston Public Library Summer Calendar
FAMILY STORY TIME
SUMMER READING PROGRAM
Jun 1–Aug 1 Houston Public Library’s Summer
Baby Time, 10:30 am Toddler Time, 11:30 am Preschool Story Time, 1 pm
Reading Program Game On is a free, incentive-based way to encourage kids and teens to read and explore various free programs. The more they read the more prizes they’ll win. Parents can participate in reading this summer too. Together the parent and child will be entered into a drawing for a fun family pack.
CLASSIC LITERATURE BOOK CLUB
Jun 24, Jul 15, Aug 5 Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and why
for an afternoon of reading and classical literature discussions. Noon.
not you? Explore talented artists and try your hand at mimicking their signature styles to create your own work of art. 3 pm.
Family Story Time, 11 am
Jun 13, Jul 11, & Aug 8 Join other classic enthusiasts
Thursdays, Jun 8–Aug 17 Join HPL for exploratory DIY activities that inspire teens to explore, create, invent and learn! 2 pm.
Jun 7–Sep 1 Wine down every Wednesday this
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays through Jun 28 It’s a food lovers delight at Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market. The public can enjoy a variety of locally prepared, ready-toeat or packaged to-go foods, pick up farm-fresh weekly groceries and at the same time support sustainable food, all amid Houston’s dramatic Downtown urban setting. The farmers market features more than 30 vendors including fresh produce grown by local farmers, cheeses, breads, roasted coffees, and a variety of prepared meals, as well as food trucks. 11:30 am–1:30 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540.
summer at The Heritage Society! Stop in after work and unwind with friends on their shady patio with food and drinks from Phoenicia. Then mingle on over to their Museum Gallery for a taste of Houston history. Admission to the gallery is free. 5–8 pm. 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org SAINT ARNOLD BREWING CO. 23RD ANNIVERSARY
WORLD OCEANS DAY
Jun 8 Celebrate Oceans Day at the Downtown
Fridays through Aug Strap on your dancing shoes and move to the beat at the Downtown Aquarium! Enjoy free salsa dance lessons, a live DJ and salsa music, plus great food and drinks. No cover charge. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. downtownaquarium.com
Jun 7–Aug 30 Kick the day off with an energizing boot camp class. No equipment is needed and classes are open to all skill-levels. Free. 6:30–7 am. The Lawn at GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201.
Aquarium with a day full of fun learning activities. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby.
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING CO. 23RD ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Jun 10 Saint Arnold celebrates 23 years of brewing independently in Houston and will feature the Local & Independent Music Showcase with all local, all independent bands and artists on two stages at the brewery. Proudly announcing a 100 percent Houston lineup—you won’t want to miss one of the largest collections of local music in one place. Tickets $10–$35. 4 pm. Saint Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494.
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING CO. 23RD ANNIVERSARY RARE CELLAR TASTING
Jun 11 Sample a wide range of one-of-a-kind selections and aged beauties pulled from deep within the belly of the Saint Arnold brewery. You’ll get 2 oz samples of each beer, access to the Houston Dairymaids Cheese tasting table, and a special souvenir 23rd Anniversary tasting glass. Tickets $60. 2 pm. Saint Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
FRIDAY FLICKS ON THE LAWN
Jun 16, Jul 21, Aug 18 Whip out the blankets and spread out on The Lawn at GreenStreet and the fourth Friday of each month this summer for a free movie night under the stars. Feel free to bring a blanket. Free. 9 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201.
greenstreetdowntown.com Jun 16 Spider Man Jul 21 Jurassic World Aug 18 The Internship
DOWNTOWN SUMMER MOVIE SERIES AT MAIN STREET SQUARE
Jun 17 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, PG, 1982, 115 min Jul 22 King Kong, 1933, 100 min Aug 19 Ghostbusters, PG, 1984, 105 min We’ll be rolling out the jumbo LED screen for three special nights this summer. Enjoy blockbuster hits in the heart of Downtown, your fave food trucks and more. Chairs will be provided. Free. Movies begin at 8. McKinney and Main. downtownhouston.org
Jun 17, Jul 15, Aug 19 Get your gloves out and sign up for a Volunteer Workday at Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Help maintain and revitalize Buffalo Bayou this summer while having fun. No tools necessary. Just sign up and complete the online volunteer waiver required. 8:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
CITGO FREEDOM OVER TEXAS
Jul 4 Fireworks will ignite the sky, and country tunes will set the stage for Houston’s annual patriotic celebration, Freedom Over Texas. Celebrating 30 years of July 4th music, fireworks and fanfare on Buffalo Bayou, this big bash will turn it way up with live music, fun family activities and stunning pyrotechnics. Tickets $5–$10. 4–10 pm. houstontx.gov
CITGO FREEDOM OVER TEXAS
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING CELEBRATES NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY
July 13 Celebrate National French Fry
Day with Saint Arnold’s signature handcut frites. Elevate your frites with their toppings bar and wash them down with their beer. Tickets $25. 6 pm. Saint Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494.
Jul 25–26 Get excited about Tiger Weekend at the Downtown Aquarium. Come out for a fun-filled day learning about tiger conservation, their adaptations, and how you can help save tigers in the wild. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby.
Aug 8–9 Shark Weekend is back and better than ever with dive shows, shark arts and crafts, conservation booths and plenty of giveaways. Plus, meet shark divers and learn fun facts. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby.
Market Square Park
Market Square Park is open daily from 6 am–11 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm.
Be sure to follow Historic Market Square on Facebook and Twitter for special event announcements, weather-related updates and other happenings in the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
MOVIES Forget about trekking to the ’burbs for your Alamo Drafthouse fix and come Downtown instead! Join the Rolling Roadshow for these fantastic films under the stars:
Jun 21 Dirty Dancing (PG) 1987, 100 min. 7:30 pm Jul 12 Almost Famous (R) 2000, 122 min. 8:30 pm
RECREATION BAYOU BIKERS
Jun 4, Jul 2, Aug 6 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. Rides are open to all. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are necessary. This is an informal group whose purpose is to show Houstonians and visitors the beauty of Houston’s waterways. First Sunday of the month, 8 am.
Jun 30, Jul 28, Aug 6 Critical Mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city, raise awareness and advocate for a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm.
DON’T MISS BLANKET BINGO
Jun 15, Jul 20, Aug 17 Downtown favorite Blanket Bingo is back at Market Square Park! Break out the blankets, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a fun night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (nine games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. Proceeds benefit Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. 7 pm.
BODY BY BROADWAY
Jun 27, Jul 25, Aug 29 In partnership with Theatre Under the Stars and DEFINE body & mind, we are excited to bring Body by Broadway to Market Square Park! Sing, squat, dance and plank along to some of your favorite Broadway tunes. Enjoy a free, hour-long sweat sesh while unleashing your inner Broadway star at the park, then spend time shopping some of the local wellness vendors on site. This is a monthly series taking place on the last Tuesday of the month through November.
SAINT ARNOLD PUB CRAWL
Jul 8 Beer lovers rejoice! Celebrate summer at Saint Arnold Brewing Company as their famous Pub Crawl returns to Downtown Houston. Hitting several bars in and around the Historic District area, the fun will begin at 2 pm and end at Market Square Park, where crawlers can celebrate a job well done and enjoy live music by The Waxaholics, Ishi and special guests.
Discovery Green Summer Calendar The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green’s spring events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted. Most events are free, unless noted otherwise. 1500 McKinney.
SPECIAL EVENTS SUNDAYS IN THE PARK
Through Jun 25 Make Sundays your favorite day in the park. Enjoy rounds of Jenga, cornhole and Bocce ball and jam out to live local music! Free. 2–5 pm.
FLEA BY NIGHT PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
Jun 17 Treasure hunt for all things vintage, handmade, recycled, repurposed and renewed. Live local music, food trucks and fun under the stars and twinkling lights! Free. 6–10 pm.
FITNESS IN THE PARK—YOGA
Saturdays through Jun 24 Start your child on a
THURSDAY CONCERTS PRESENTED BY UHD
journey toward learning a new language. Free. 11:30 am–12:30 pm.
Family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of the Gulf Coast! Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages. Food, beer and wine are available for purchase. Free. 7 pm.
Jun 1 Luke Winslow King Jun 8 Leyla McCalla & Chubby Knuckle Choir Jun 15 Jesse Dayton Jun 22 Rosie Flores Jun 29 Ian Moore
KAYAK RIDES AND SUP (STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING) ON KINDER LAKE
Weekends in Jun Enjoy SUP or a relaxing, guided kayak ride. No reservation required. $5 per person for kayak and $10 for SUP.
Jun 3 The Secret Life of Pets (PG) 2016, 90 min., 8:45 pm
Jul 8 Trolls (PG) 2016, 112 min., 8:15 pm Aug 12 Finding Dory (PG) 2016, 97 min., 8:15 pm
Jun 3–24 Bring your glass, paper, plastic and
returns to the park! Always an unforgettable celebration of Houston’s LGBTQ community, featuring live performances and community celebrations. Featured performers include Crawford Nation, DJ Astra, Angelina DM Trailz, Colonial Blue and CeCe Peniston. Free. 7–10 pm.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education program for kids. Free. 12:30–1:30 pm.
stars and Houston’s skyline. Arrive early and partake in the fun contests and activities. Free.
Jun 23 The annual city-wide LGBTQ celebration
Through Jun 24 Girlstart hosts a fun, hands-on
Jun 3, Jul 8, Aug 12 Beloved family movies under the
perform The Beatles’ recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50 years after its earthshaking premiere launched the Summer of Love. Free. 8 pm.
LAND ROVER HOUSTON CENTRAL’S RAINBOW ON THE GREEN® PRESENTED BY LEGACY COMMUNITY HEALTH
STEM SATURDAYS PRESENTED BY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM
SCREEN ON THE GREEN PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA
Jun 17 The Fab 40 returns to Discovery Green to
SGT. PEPPER’S AT 50
LEARN A LANGUAGE
aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. 11 am–2 pm.
YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP
Saturdays through Jun 24 Kids learn to express their thoughts and develop language skills, thanks to Writers in the Schools (WITS), HPL Express and Discovery Green in Houston’s only free and open writing workshop for kids. Free. 10:30–11:30 am. STEM SATURDAYS photos by Katya Horner
FITNESS IN THE PARK YOGA
Mondays, 11:30 am–12:30 pm.
Mondays, 12:30–1:30 pm.
FUN AND FIT
Mondays, 6:30–7:30 pm.
Tuesdays, 6–8 pm.
Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30 pm.
Wednesdays, 6–7 pm.
Thursdays, 6:30–8 pm.
Saturdays, 9–10 am.
DISCOVERY GREEN ON THE AVENIDA COMPAGNIE XY
Fridays through Jun 30 See the circus along the
acrobats will be performing on the Avenida in the U.S. premiere of It’s Not Yet Midnight, a mesmerizing show by the new French circus group, Compagnie XY. This is not to be missed! 8 pm.
Avenida. Acrobats, contortion and more! Free. 7–10 pm.
Through Jun 24 Avenida Houston is alive with strolling musicians, living statues and more! Free. 7–10 pm.
Tuesdays through Jun 27 Discover ice carving, live
DANCING IN THE STREETS!
painting and more rotating art performances at the Avenida. Free. 7–9 pm.
Thursdays through Jun Learn to dance along the
annual Julydoscope is a free evening of music, dance and film. 7–10 pm. cinemaartssociety.org
Avenida. Two lessons each Thursday, ranging from line dancing to tango; two step to salsa; hip hop to ballroom. Free. 7–9 pm.
Jul 15 Houston Cinema Arts Society’s 7th
June 2 & 3 Twenty-two fierce and daredevil flying
THURSDAY CONCERTS PRESENTED BY UHD
AVENIDA LIVING ART
BLUES AT THE BROWN
Wednesdays through Jun 28 Live lunchtime concerts on the Avenida featuring classic blues and more. Free. 11:30 am–1 pm.
PARTY ON THE PLAZA
Wednesdays through Jun 28 Emerging Lone Star bands perform live on the Avenida. Free. 7–9 pm.
Jun 7 Ishi with Romina Von Mohr Jun 14 Say Girl Say with El Lago Jun 21 Brownout with Vodi Jun 28 Fat Tony with Young Mammals AVENIDA INFORMATION
Chiseled into the Downtown skyline and tucked between three professional sports venues is a destination that will take your Houston experience to the next level. Avenida Houston is the city’s newest dining, entertainment and arts district. The development includes the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, Hilton Americas-Houston and Marriott Marquis. avenidahouston.com photo by Katya Horner
AUTHORS IN ARCHITECTURE: ARCHITECTURE OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY WITH PINO SHAH AND STEPHEN FOX
June 22 Through photographs, Architecture of the Lower Rio Grande Valley: An Introduction celebrates the architecture of the Texas-Mexico border region. The architectural images by Pino Shah provide a journey through 160 years of history and heritage, revealing the border’s built environment as filtered through diverse cultures and historical styles. These architecturally significant buildings are often culturally and historically significant as well. Free. 6 pm. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol. 713.520.0155.
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS TRANSFORMING ILLUSIONS IN SPACE
Through Jun 15 Arts Brookfield presents
Transforming Illusions in Space, a selection of diverse three-dimensional works by early and contemporary Texas sculptors. Free and open to the public. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Heritage Plaza Lobby. 1111 Bagby. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
TROPICAL [IM]PRESSION: A GULF COAST HURRICANE RETROSPECTIVE
Through Jun 24 The exhibition features 67 color and black-and-white photographs that convey the collective impression recent hurricanes made on the Gulf Coast region from Galveston to Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Admission to the gallery is free. 10 am–4 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
Through Sep 11 Arts Brookfield presents It’s Unreal!, an electrifying installation of works by Adela Andea. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Total Plaza Lobby. 1201 Louisiana. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
CONCERTS REVENTION MUSIC CENTER
Jun 10 At the Drive In Jun 11 A Night of Worship With Bethel Music and Housefire
Jun 13 Brit Floyd Jun 23 Russ Jun 24 Jermaine Dupri Presents SoSoSUMMER 17 Tour
Jul 1 Bush Jul 18 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Aug 5 311 Aug 25 The Piano Guys Revention Music Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com
HOUSE OF BLUES
Toyota Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX.
Jun 4 Todd Rundgren Jun 9 Old 97’s Jun 15 The Revolution Jun 17 SoMo Jun 21 Gipsy Kings Jun 24 Everclear Jun 25 Morbid Angel Jun 30 All Time Low Jul 20 AJR Aug 20 Seether Aug 25 Simple Plan Aug 28 City and Colour HOB’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837.
Jun 18 Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull Jun 21 Iron Maiden Jul 6 Roger Waters Jul 10 WWE RAW Jul 15 Kendrick Lamar Jul 16 Neil Diamond Jul 19 G-Dragon Jul 22 Shawn Mendes Aug 1 James Taylor Aug 4 Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey Aug 5 Queen + Adam Lambert Aug 18 J Cole Aug 19 Ed Sheeran Aug 31 Emmanuel & Mijares
EXPOS Jun 10–11, Jul 15–16 High Caliber Gun & Knife Show Jun 10–11 Texas Black Expo The George R. Brown Convention Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.853.8000. houstonconventionctr.com
TOURS PORT TO PORT BOAT TOURS
Jun 10 Cruise around from the old port of Houston to the new port with bayou guide Andrew Groocock as he takes a historical tour of the upper channel of Buffalo Bayou. The seven-mile-long trip will focus on the historical significance of this industrial stretch and Houston. Tickets $45 per person. 10–Noon. Sabine Promenade Boat Launch. 713.752.0314 ext. 103.
SPORTS CRUZ AZUL VS. MONTERREY
Jul 2 Eight-time champ Cruz Azul F.C. and C.F. Monterrey, one of Mexico’s most popular teams face off in the second match of the MoneyGram SocioMX Tour. Tickets start at $38. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. bbvacompassstadium.com
CONCACAF GOLD CUP
Jul 11 Gold Cup returns to BBVA Compass Stadium this summer with a Group A doubleheader, lead by Copa Centroamericana Champion Honduras. Come watch Costa Rica vs. Canada and Honduras vs. French Guiana. Tickets start at $33. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. bbvacompassstadium.com
Jun 23 Dynamo vs. FC Dallas (Texas Derby night) Jul 5 Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact
For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
Guests will enjoy an amazing view of over 250,000 magnificent Mexican free-tailed bats as they emerge from underneath Waugh Drive Bridge. Cost: $30 per person (children under 4 are not permitted). Boat departs 30 minutes before sunset (1½-hour boat ride). Location: Sabine Promenade Boat Launch. 713.752.0314 ext. 103. buffalobayou.org
the cool breeze as you glide along Buffalo Bayou’s waters during their exclusive Twilight Tours. Bring the entire family and look for graceful herons, jumping fish, and even an occasional alligator on the banks. Tickets: $7 adults and $5 for kids ages 4–12. 6–8:30 pm. Sabine Promenade Boat Launch. 713.752.0314 ext. 103.
(Social Media Night)
WAUGH BAT COLONY BOAT TOURS
For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767.
(Honor our Hero’s Night)
Aug 26 Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City
Jun 17, Jul 15, Aug 19 Escape from the city and enjoy
Jun 9–14 Astros vs. Texas Rangers Jun 16–18 Astros vs. Boston Red Sox Jun 27–29 Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Jun 30–Jul 2 Astros vs. New York Yankees Jul 14–19 Astros vs. Seattle Mariners Jul 31–Aug 3 Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays Aug 4–6 Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays Aug 16–17 Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Aug 18–20 Astros vs. Oakland Athletics Aug 22–24 Astros vs. Washington Nationals Aug 29–31 Astros vs. Texas Rangers
Jul 29 Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers Aug 12 Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes
buffalobayou.org Jun 10 & 24, Jul 8 & 22, Aug 12 & Aug 26
WAUGH BAT COLONY BOAT TOURS
Jun 17 Dash vs. Orlando Pride Jun 28 Dash vs. Boston Breakers (Pride Night) Jul 8 Dash vs. Portland Thorns Jul 15 Dash vs. Washington Spirit Jul 22 Dash vs. Boston Breakers Aug 13 Dash vs. FC Kansas City Aug 27 Dash vs. North Carolina Courage For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
Jun 17, Jul 15, Aug 19 Enjoy a free walking tour of Buffalo Bayou Park highlighting the landscape and ecology of 19th century Texas that created Houston, as well as the importance of prairies in rebuilding this astonishing and all but vanished ecosystem. Free. 10:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 713.752.0314 ext. 104. buffalobayou.org
Historic Market Square
F RE E and EASY Minute Maid Park
AVENIDA DE LAS AMERICAS
The Shops at Houston Center
George R. Brown Convention Center
Main Street Square
Sam Houston Park
1 Toyota Center
ORANGE ROUTE T H U– FR I
SAT U R DAY 9 am–Midnight
Night out with friends?
9 am–6 pm
EVERY 7–10 MINU TES
FREE DOWNTOWN CIRCULATOR
New Evening and Weekend Route!
For everything you need to know about where to go, what to do and how to get there, visit downtownhouston.org
Greenlink is a partnership between the Downtown District and Houston First and operated by METRO