INNOVATION BY DESIGN
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FALL 2017 VOL. 10, NO. 1
Managing Editor/Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions Design CORE Design Studio Contributing Writers Holly Beretto Sandra Cook Stefanie Pascacio Ryann Roussel Advertising Information Angie Bertinot 713.650.3022 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Great views from Hines’ office at 609 Main at Texas
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well Downtown, as evidenced by both a wave of unique new office spaces and the development of an important business incubator.
DESTINATION INNOVATION We Houstonians have always thought of ourselves as pioneers when it comes to carving out the future. After all, this is the city that dredged a ship channel out of nothing and sent a man to the moon. Somewhere along the way, however, we lost some of that drive—falling behind cities like Chicago and Austin when it comes to investing in start-ups. Luckily, the leaders of Houston along with the brains behind Station Houston are well on their way to reinvigorating that drive to innovate.
The performing arts organizations that make up Houston’s Theater District can always be counted on for their stellar lineups, but did you know they are also focused on new ways to promote inclusivity and to celebrate the incredible diversity for which Houston is famous? BY RYANN ROUSSEL
Check out our comprehensive listing of everything delicious in Downtown, including an exciting collection of Southern-themed concepts—The Moonshiners Southern Bar + Table, Dizzy Kaktus and Boots ’N Shoots.
BY HOLLY BERETTO
While there was a time that young professionals were happy to get an office with a window, today’s savvy developers know employees have a new level of expectations for the place in which they spend such a huge chunk of time. Flexible, collaborative spaces, unique technology and interiors that appeal to the latest design aesthetic are critical to both attracting, and keeping, talent.
Fall is often the best time to enjoy Downtown Houston. The weather is delightful and every day is chock full of events and activities. Check out theater listings, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and more.
DESTINATION DOWNTOWN MAP
BY SANDRA COOK
A business edge Whether it’s new construction technologies, modern design aesthetics or collaborative spaces, the future of workspaces is rapidly changing— especially in Downtown Houston. Holistic environments that take into account the fundamental wants and needs of employees are the expectation for businesses today. And Downtown is uniquely positioned to lead this evolution from space to place. Learn how we’re staying competitive in the marketplace starting on page 8. We’re also thrilled to introduce you to an exciting movement that’s gaining steam. A community of innovators, investors and entrepreneurs is looking for new ways to drive Houston’s economy into the 21st century, and they’re working to ensure the DOWNTOWN IS jobs of the future are created in Houston. UNIQUELY POSITIONED Spotlighted is thought leader Station TO LEAD THIS Houston, which gives new business owners EVOLUTION FROM not only a physical workspace but also SPACE TO PLACE. the resources to help them grow their businesses and meet other entrepreneurs working on their own start-ups. Station Houston members include IT specialists, app designers, scientists and more. Meet just a few of them starting on page 18. We love the unique ways Downtown supports a healthy business environment. In any given week we find ourselves running into colleagues and coworkers outside our own offices. Sometimes it’s while grabbing an early morning coffee. Other times it’s while running a quick errand at the end of the workday. But what we love the most is how often these unplanned meetings result in new ideas for projects, fresh solutions to thorny problems, or just the opportunity to network and chat. It’s that unique character that undoubtedly gives Downtown the edge in its continuing evolution. If you haven’t had a chance to check out all the newest spots to eat, now is the time. Plate, our rundown of restaurants, starts on page 33 and as always, you’ll find our extensive calendar of events and activities in datebook on page 42. 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
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
photo by Roger Rich
B AC K S TAG E
A Sense of Place Through the Arts “We have such a big Latino population we thought we needed to do some projects that reach out into the community. Theater is storytelling, and everyone has a story to tell.” —Dean Gladden, Alley Theatre
MISA FRONTERIZA photo by Anahi Montfort
Theater District organizations explore creative ways to promote inclusivity and community engagement across Houston
Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America and a model for what many U.S. cities will look like in the near future. Transforming this diversity into a vibrant sense of place, where different cultures are felt and represented, requires commitment and cooperation from individuals, cultures and organizations. It takes work to reflect a city’s unique character but luckily for Houston, Theater District companies are up to the task. These performing arts organizations are using art to promote inclusivity and celebrate the myriad of cultures throughout the city. In June the Alley Theatre announced they’d received the largest NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) grant of any group in Houston to launch their new city-wide Latino theater initiative, El Zocalo. Through a combination of performances, workshops and residencies, they are hoping to engage Houston’s Latino population in a new way. “We have such a big Latino population we thought we needed to do some projects
that reach out into the community,” explains Dean Gladden, managing director of the Alley. “Theater is storytelling, and everyone has a story to tell.” The main event of the initiative is a performance of Misa Fronteriza, a satirical comedy about life at the US/Mexican border. In a new twist, the play is performed in its original Spanish while English-speaking audience members listen to a simulcast translation on
headphones. Although some Alley patrons might be thrown by a play presented in another language, Gladden says this simulcast experience is very common in Europe. “The headset enables you to understand what is being said immediately and you aren’t forced to constantly be reading a running teleprompter,” he explains. In conjunction with this performance, the Alley’s Education and Community Engagement Department is setting up residencies throughout the city. Their staff is working with Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), Talento Bilingüe de Houston and BakerRipley to conduct a combination of performances of Misa Fronteriza and storytelling workshops. The decision to partner with these places with existing roots within the Latino community was a no-brainer, according to Gladden. “They already go to performances at all these venues,” he explains. “It just made a lot of sense.” And this is only the beginning. “We’re hoping to grow it,” says Gladden. “We’d love to continue bringing in outside companies and one day have an entire Latino Theater Festival.” The Alley is committing to a long-term relationship with a community that might otherwise feel marginalized by larger art institutions. By nurturing these relationships, they hope to promote meaningful dialogue that will explore the unique stories they have to share.
BRINGING THE WORLD’S BEST Society for the Performing Arts has delivered worldwide talent to Houston since its founding. As the largest presenting organization in the region, Society for the Performing Arts reflects the diversity of the city on stage with its variety of international programming. Many of the shows in their season feature artists from nations with a strong presence in Houston. June Christensen, CEO of Society for the Performing Arts, knows the demographics of Houston well and uses those figures as a tool to plan the organization’s upcoming season. She views the international performers they bring to Houston as a way to connect different cultures around Houston to their roots through art. It is oftentimes a shared experience for several generations, with groups attending a performance that connects them to their heritage as a family.
“Walking around the bar in Jones Hall on any given night, especially when it’s international programming, you rarely hear any English,” notes Christensen. She remembers the response to one performance, the young Croatian duo 2Cellos, especially vividly: “It sold out immediately! It was probably 85–89 percent Croatians and Serbs that bought the tickets.” But reflecting the city’s demographics on stage is just one part of their efforts to engage Houston’s diverse population. Over time, Society for the Performing Arts has expanded from merely presenting performances to requiring that visiting artists venture into Houston communities during their stay. “We average between 35–40 shows per season,” says Christensen. “Probably 90 percent of our performers also do some sort of community engagement initiative, such as a master class or seminar.”
By planning these activities in communities that have close connections to the performers, artists are able to venture out and meet Houstonians with roots in the same culture. “They want to have a dialogue about what’s happening in Houston in the arts scene with the people that live here with similar origins,” explains Christensen. Society for the Performing Arts’ community outreach activities have also helped audiences feel more connected to performers who may only be in the city for one or two nights and have developed Houston’s reputation as a great city for artists to tour. “You don’t think we’re as unique as we are until you bring people in that aren’t from here,” says Christensen. “Our artists, specifically those from Eastern Europe and Asia, really love to be in Houston because of the hospitality that Houstonians exude.”
“Walking around the bar in Jones Hall on any given night, especially when it’s international programming, you rarely hear any English.” —June Christensen,
Society for the Performing Arts
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
photo by Andrew Eccles
SOCIETY FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
B AC K S TAG E
B AC K S TAG E
The season asks questions about the meaning of home on a larger scale, such as what is America and what does it mean to be a global citizen?
photo by Marco Borggreve
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME One of art’s greatest powers is its ability to bring different people together in appreciation of a single experience. People have been gathering together to listen to music for centuries. It’s a concept that is remarkably natural, but also calculated. How does a company go about choosing what shows to perform in a season— which artists and groups to include? According to Sarah Rothenberg, artistic and general director at Da Camera, the organization’s upcoming season theme No Place Like Home is an effort to frame chamber music masterworks, contemporary music and jazz in a context that relates to the world around us. They hope the season will encourage audiences to question what makes a place a home and how this concept can be expressed through art. In addition to exploring this theme on a universal level, Da Camera also literally relates their season to home. The Cy Twombly and Music concert and performances of Schubert’s Winterreise relate to Menil Collection exhibits; three Houston-native jazz artists return home; and the Juilliard String Quartet, who performed for Da Camera in Season One, return to celebrate the 30th anniversary. It’s a celebration of works that relate specifically to Houston and artists with Houston roots. “Houston has a remarkable jazz tradition,” says Rothenberg. “Our programming treats Houston as a cultural capital.”
photo by Amy Schroeder
The organization also represents the rich Latin heritage of the city. Performers in both the organization’s jazz and classical programming include artists from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Brazil. Rothenberg explains that the season “asks questions about the meaning of home on a larger scale, such as what is America and what does it mean to be a global citizen?” What makes these concerts so meaningful are the connections that contribute to Houston’s sense of place. The concept of creating a sense of community is not a theoretical notion, but a strategic and practical effort. Music performances can create a shared experience and reinforce feelings of pride in a hometown, connections with one’s heritage, or simply appreciation for something beautiful.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: PROFILE
B AC K S TAG E
BY RYANN ROUSSEL
NEW COMPOSER-IN-RESIDENCE Sinfónica, Houston Symphony conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada selected Jimmy López to become the organization’s new ComposerIn-Residence. The award-winning Peruvian artist will join the Houston Symphony for the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons. Recognized as “one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today” (Chicago Sun-Times), López has had his works performed by leading orchestras all over the world. This season the Houston Symphony will perform the world premiere of your Violin Concerto, inspired by the popular auroras of Finland. Why did you choose this subject and what do you hope the audience will take from it? I lived in Finland for about seven years and was lucky enough to witness the Northern Lights. With this piece I am trying to translate into sound, somehow, the experience of witnessing this phenomenon in life. It is a challenge trying to interpret from one sense to the other. It’s not literally translating the experience, but the emotional response that witnessing that kind of occurrence generates in us—the sense of awe and beauty we experience. For many non-musicians, composing seems very foreign and mysterious. Can you describe your process for putting together a new work? There’s something mysterious about it even for us composers. It’s that little spark, or moment of inspiration, that lasts just a few seconds. The rest of it is just really hard work. You may have a musical idea, but what is interesting about great composers is not the idea itself; it’s everything they do with it. I have to sit down six to eight hours a day to write out my ideas. In a single week I might be able to produce a minute of music, two if I’m lucky. Sometimes I’ll put in six to seven hours of work and just come away with 10 seconds of music.
When did you first know you wanted to be a composer, and what have you learned about writing since then? I always say composing is a profession that chooses you, rather than you choosing it. I found out I had a capacity to come up with original music when I was about 12, when I started composing my first pieces on the piano. The years went by and I realized that out of all aspects of music, the thing that gave me the most satisfaction and fulfillment was actually writing music. I was inspired by the great master works of the past. I felt moved to produce in others the same effect that was produced in me. I knew I wanted to be a musician in my teens and probably made up my mind to be a composer by 16. As a composer, how important is it to have a familiarity and working relationship with a conductor? It is extremely, extremely important. The conductor translates all the abstract ideas a composer has and makes them into sound by harnessing the power of the symphony orchestra. And of course, the relationships the conductor has developed with the musicians in the orchestra is something a composer cannot aspire to develop in a short amount of time. Conductors are really the ambassadors of composers, of those both alive and dead. The more you collaborate on a piece, the more musically intimate your relationship gets, and a more accurate representation of what the composer wants is created. With Andrés it was an instant connection. Our communication flows really well and I absolutely look forward to working with him and his team. You’ve been called “one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today.” What do you think it is about you and your music that people find so interesting? I hear my music is intense, engaging and accessible. I take pride in all these adjectives. I feel a great work of art should have something intriguing and attractive that lures people into it. The more they dig into the work though, they will be able to find more layers or depth. I’m a listener with a short attention span—I get bored easily. I try to write music that challenges the listener at all times, not allowing them to drift away in their thoughts. So I’m assuming these must be the aspects people like most in the music I write.
photo by Franciel Braga
During last year’s annual Fiesta
What are the challenges to composing orchestral music for a 21st century audience? Every composer has to compose for a contemporary audience, but at the same time we want to create music that transcends that. I am as concerned about writing for today’s audience as I am for writing for the next century’s audience. The reason master works from the past survived is because they tapped into archetypal aspects of life. They deal with life, death, love—things that all humans in all countries can relate to. Once you tap into the universal, you can communicate on a deeper level. What’s a surprising fact about you? Composers are not usually thought of as fitness people, but I love working out. I am a fitness enthusiast. I have an eight pack! My work is so sedentary so I try to make an effort to go out every morning and clear my mind. If you could steal credit for any great piece of music, which one would you claim? I would love to have written The Rite of Spring. There are a lot of works I absolutely love, but that piece marked me so greatly I would have wanted to write that so badly. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? I am Peruvian and love Peruvian food. But my husband is Brazilian and he cooks this dish called Assado de Carne Delicioso, so I have to go with that. It’s his own recipe!
For the past century, communication and the means by which we communicate have shaped how we work together and the places where people work. From telegraphs to telephones, typewriters to super computers, fax machines to the Internet, mobile phones to mobile computers, it’s people communing with people that makes the world of business go ’round and drives workplace design. Yet even given the ever-expanding array of technologies literally at our fingertips, face-to-face conversations remain essential.
the Future of the Workplace
Jonathan Brinsden, CEO of Midway Companies, recounts how the late 20th century saw an explosion of working from home and growth for independent contractors due to the proliferation of the Internet while the 21st century has been more about collaboration and entrepreneurship. “We first saw technology as a means to disperse talent, or give people the freedom to work anywhere,” says Brinsden. “But there’s such a natural attraction to collaboration that today we see technology as a concentrating factor for talent, both in certain cities and specific districts within those cities. And it’s that concentration of talent that attracts more companies and more talent.”
by Sandra Cook
Dean Strombom, AIA Principal Gensler
MORE THAN JUST SQUARE FOOTAGE “Throughout history, the workplace has always had to change with the times,” says Dean Strombom, AIA and principal at Gensler. Strombom cites the newest buildings Downtown, such as Hines’ recently opened 609 Main and Skanska’s Capitol Tower (designed by Gensler and currently under construction), as the latest standards for today’s office environments. “Drawing from Hines’ more than 50-year legacy, our goal is to continue to take architectural design and efficiency to the next level,” says John Mooz, senior managing director for Hines. Pushing the envelope is exactly what Hines has done with 609 Main, Downtown’s newest landmark building. The thoughtful and innovative design gives office tenants “wow moments” throughout the building, including amazing views of the city, while providing musthave amenities such as a hotel-like lobby with a yet-to-be-named signature restaurant and the soon-to-open Prelude Coffee & Tea by local guru David Buehrer. “We feel 609 Main exemplifies that ideal to create an even better workplace and human experience.” To stay competitive in both productivity and in attracting and keeping talent, companies are seeking much more than X-thousand square feet, more than X-number of floors of Class A or B office space. Commercial real estate owners and developers are addressing the need to stay current and/or ahead of trends to be able to maintain or increase rental pricing and occupancy rates. And that requires investing, not just in fresh paint and flooring, but rounding
“It’s worth pointing out that the more technology fuels the mobile work style then more and more companies will require less real estate, less square footage, than in the past, but require more flexibility and functionality per square foot.”
out the package with appealing on-site amenities and design upgrades in lobby spaces and distinctive Downtown curb appeal. “The simple truth is that buildings compete on cost and performance,” says Strombom. “Older buildings can easily get on a downward spiral of lower and lower rents in order to keep attracting tenants. To avoid that slide, property owners need to invest in updates and redesign for the present day and for the future.” One large-scale example is Brookfield’s efforts with Allen Center. The global property owner and management firm is spending more than $48 million to change the way the seven-acre, multi-building complex looks and operates inside and out. To tap into the vibrancy of Downtown, Brookfield is updating the office complex, which contains the largest privately held green space in the CBD, by activating the street-level spaces with new restaurants and retail, in addition to amping up activity on its central green. “Our plan is to freshen up the office buildings we have and develop the common green space into a vibrant center for activity, which will deliver a truly interesting mixed-use environment that hasn’t previously existed Downtown,” says Travis Overall, executive vice president at Brookfield Property Partners. “A mixed-use environment like Allen Center needs to be open to the community and invite different people to come and have different experiences. Otherwise, if it’s just the same people every day, it’s not as interesting and there’s less potential for new connections to happen.” Brookfield plans to host live music and art events in Allen Center’s central green space, which is being reworked by Houston-based landscape firm OJB (the Office of James Burnett) to serve as a dynamic gathering space. Jonathan Brinsden is pleased to see the revamping of Allen Center and applauds Brookfield’s strategy. “Going back 10 years to the development of CityCentre, Midway saw that the workplace was beginning to change,” says Brinsden. “We saw this in other cities around the country and around the world. There was this desire to not office in a stand-alone office environment, but having access to amenities was important. That old way of simply renting generic office space—just square footage—is not enough anymore. The concept has transformed from ‘space’ to ‘place’ and it’s about providing a holistic environment.”
rendering courtesy Gensler
609 Main at Texas
STANDING ON INNOVATION Recent technology in building construction offers a tremendous improvement in air quality and HVAC efficiency. Gensler’s Strombom notes the under-floor infrastructure of Hines’ recently completed office tower, 609 Main. “This is an example of what office buildings of the future will be.” Under-floor systems currently being incorporated into new buildings offer a huge leap forward in air quality and energy efficiency, plus convenient location of electrical and data lines that can be accessed through floor panels by placing all of those systems within a one-foot compartment that runs beneath each floor of a building. The genius of under-floor air distribution, or UFAD, has excited both engineers and building owners with its highly efficient method for delivering conditioned air via floor diffusers directly to office areas, using much less energy than traditional HVAC systems. Each individual can easily control his or her air temperature by dialing a floor register open or closed. And with electrical and data lines placed beneath floor panels, reconfiguring office space is greatly simplified.
“Downtown is definitely the center of innovation in workplace design. We remain convinced that a strong Downtown creates and sustains a strong city.”
“For decades, the No. 1 issue that property managers of office buildings deal with are hot and cold calls about HVAC,” says Mooz. “This new type of system eliminates that.” In recent years, Hines has incorporated the under-floor systems in buildings for Hillcorp’s Downtown tower, plus other corporate build-tosuit projects outside the CBD for clients such as Amegy, Devon Energy and Shell. “For 609 Main we took the proven advantages and efficiencies of these systems into a Downtown, multi-tenant office tower,” says Mooz. “This very different, low-pressure system delivers better air quality for people to breathe and simpler tenant control of temperature.” He explains that a wide channel of air under the entire floor flows at a relatively low pressure into floor registers, so cool air gently rises through the room to cool people on its way to the return air system, resulting in all occupants on the floor getting the same quality of fresh air—a big improvement over traditional HVAC. “This is also extremely helpful when tenants need to reconfigure their office space, says Mooz. “There’s much less inhibiting infrastructure of HVAC, electrical, so there’s no need for re-engineering, permitting, or even build-out. With the quality and availability of demountable partitions (movable walls), carpet squares and versatile furniture, you can feasibly reset your office layout over a weekend.” Mooz says his company is convinced that buildings of the future will seriously consider under-floor systems and it will likely become the new standard. “It’s worth pointing out that the more technology fuels the mobile work style then more and more companies will require less real estate, less square footage, than in the past, but require more flexibility and functionality per square foot,” Strombom says. “Because Downtown is such a hub of the overall market, the more generic buildings in the suburbs may start to suffer because they Capitol Tower are not surrounded by the mix of amenities and cultural fabric of Downtown.”
John Mooz Senior Managing Director Hines photos by Katya Horner
CBD = CULTURAL BUSINESS DISTRICT
Jonathan Brinsden CEO Midway Companies
“That old way of simply renting generic office space—just square footage—is not enough anymore. The concept has transformed from ‘space’ to ‘place’ and it’s about providing a holistic environment.”
Jones on Main
The entire CBD is an extension of each business, and property owners and tenant companies can embrace their Downtown location by reinforcing connections to the greater Downtown landscape via building design and engagement with nearby happenings. Look at what Midway has achieved with GreenStreet, which is now near the midpoint in the company’s ultimate repositioning and execution of the project. “A large part of the repositioning was developing a different type of workplace,” says Brinsden. “And the last two years the office market has been more challenging that we had thought, which means we’ve moved slower than we’d hoped, but this has given us time to better determine and attract the right profile of tenants. The office space at Greenstreet is suitable for a very specific type of tenant. We’re not trying to compete with other types of buildings.” Midway is pleased to have recently signed Spencer Ogden, the London-based recruiter, who is known for a creative style of office
environments. Midway is also talking to medical technology firms looking for locations outside of the Medical Center, co-working concepts and technology incubators. “By building momentum with the right type of tenant, it draws others and builds synergy for the whole property,” says Brinsden. Part of the company’s challenge with GreenStreet was that initially a significant amount of demo and revamping was required to reinvent and reinvigorate the former Houston Pavilions property. “In addition to construction beginning on Hotel Alessandra, Dallas Street was also being rebuilt, so we had a good bit of construction around for the past two years,” says Brinsden. Brinsden says Hotel Alessandra is on-target for its planned opening this fall. “The hotel is an important third component for the existing retail and office space at GreenStreet,” says Brinsden. “It offers a dynamic 24/7 social environment and regularly draws new and unique people to the project who might be guests or coming in for the great bar or restaurant at the hotel.” Midway partnered with Valencia Group to operate the hotel, the same company that operates Hotel Sorella at City Centre. Similarly, Brookfield’s plan for Allen Center seeks to infuse the major office complex with a lively street-level scene and a host of activity on its significant green space. “Our place-making strategy transcends just owning and managing bricks and mortar structures,” says Travis Overall. “We aim to make a lasting impression on the neighborhoods and communities in which we do business. Today there is great focus on collaboration and creating experiences that are unique for our tenants and the communities.” Expanding the boundaries of Allen Center, Brookfield purchased the DoubleTree Houston in 2016 and has room upgrades and exterior remodeling in the works. The company also hopes to acquire additional nearby buildings to grow their project even further. “We are also excited about potential changes to the highway system, which could directly connect Allen Center to areas such as Buffalo Bayou Park and the Fourth Ward,” says Overall in reference to TxDot’s proposed North Houston Highway Improvement Project. Over on Main Street, Midway and owner Lionstone are redeveloping two historic buildings, 708 and 712 Main. The smaller of the two, 708 Main, known as The Great Jones Building, was built in 1908 and features 10 stories. Its neighbor, 712 Main, is familiar to most as the JPMorgan Chase Bank Building. This 36-story gem, built by Jesse Jones in 1929 as the Gulf Building, was the tallest building in Downtown from 1929 until 1963 and the first tower to feature architectural treatments on all four sides.
Co-working spaces have emerged in recent years as a new avenue in commercial real estate. Tapping in to independent entrepreneurs, artists, freelancers and small start-ups, shared office spaces have sprung up in a major way across the globe, including 1871 in Chicago and The Productive in New York. These spaces make a professional office environment and desirable location accessible to smaller businesses. Most offer a reception desk, package assistance, storage space, conference rooms, printing equipment, brainstorming areas, coffee bars and social areas. Rental rates vary based on the size and privacy level of the member’s desired workspace. Level Office has opened two locations in Downtown Houston, one in the 1909 Scanlan Building at 405 Main, and a second in the humble—yet hip—1935 two-story at 720 Rusk. And big news on the co-working front for Houston is industry leader WeWork’s lease of all 10 office floors at 708 Main, within Midway’s The Jones on Main. WeWork’s lease includes the entire building beyond the lobby level, some 86,000 square feet, where it hopes to serve up to 1,400 members. WeWork’s design team used The Menil Collection as its inspiration to create graceful juxtapositions of historical versus modern and urban throughout the décor. “WeWork is a global company with a local playbook,” says Adam Wacenske, general manager for WeWork’s southern region. “Each location is carefully chosen and tailored to the neighborhood’s unique attributes. The space will include WeWork’s traditional features, but the design will be inspired by the historic elements of the building and Downtown Houston’s unique culture and flair.”
WeWork, Moorgate, London
“WeWork’s mission is to help people make a life, not just a living. One way we do this is by providing a beautiful and collaborative workspace in areas where people work, live and play,” says Wacenske. “Our members represent a diverse array of industries so it makes sense to open a location in this area where there’s never a shortage of things to do. We are proud to be one of the many new companies to call Downtown Houston home, and we’re excited to play a role in its growth and resurgence.”
“Today there is a great focus on collaboration and creating experiences that are unique for our tenants and the communities.” “We stepped back and saw this as an amazing opportunity to breathe new life and vitality into this wonderful asset,” says Brinsden. Midway has joined the two properties under one name, The Jones on Main, which will also be physically connected and feature appealing public spaces, including the announced Currency Lounge, a future food hall and other retail merchants. “So many buildings Downtown are known by just a street address,” says Brinsden. “We wanted to infuse a sense of place by giving this destination an actual name, which we had in mind after we had only acquired 712 Main.” While assessing how to solidify that concept, Midway jumped at the opportunity to acquire 708 Main, allowing The Jones on Main to include two neighboring buildings on the same block. “Initially we didn’t know exactly what we were going to do with that building,” says Brinsden. “But then the opportunity to lease the entire building to WeWork presented itself, so that validated Midway’s ideas to focus on activating the project with a food hall and a great lobby lounge, both complemented by a co-working space.” (See sidebar, p. 15) photo by Katya Horner
Travis Overall Executive Vice President Brookfield Property Partners
DESIRABLE DOWNTOWN LANDSCAPE
Brinsden highlights that, today, peoples’ lives are less segregated than they were years before. “People want to connect the pieces of their lives—work, family, entertainment, socializing,” he says. “And it’s also about having the time. How do you provide an environment that allows tenants and employees to be efficient at enjoying these things regularly?” He explains that companies are not only interested in the utility of space, but also require their work environment to drive the company’s brand or culture. “In today’s competitive work environment you have to find work environments that help drive that culture and help draw and retain talent,” says Brinsden. Urban sociologists describe the concept of “third place” as the places outside of work and outside of home that people choose to go, such as fitness facilities, sports stadiums, restaurants, parks, performance halls and live music venues. Those places may be for leisure or business purposes. Downtown Houston’s distinctive context facilitates what business psychologists call valuable collisions—those opportunities where people cross paths, spark or refresh relationships, exchange ideas and trigger business growth. These everyday experiences make up a vital currency that is unparalleled in other business districts across the city.
“Downtown is really experiencing change,” says Overall. “Traditionally, it was known as an office environment with some arts and cultural venues, but over the last decade we’ve seen a lot of exciting things develop. We’ve seen the addition of sports venues, like Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center. Now that so many multifamily residential units have been added to the market, Downtown is more of a 24/7 environment.” Large-scale residential developments, such as the Finger Companies’ 400-unit building 500 Crawford (opened 2016), Woodbranch Investment Corp.’s 463-unit Market Square Tower (opened 2017), and Hines’ 274-unit Aris Market Square (opened in August 2017) continue to grow Downtown’s residential population by leaps and bounds. “There was a time when Downtown was a place where people went to work and left at the end of the day,” says Brinsden. “And today, Downtown is so much more vibrant. We’ve seen the whole environment shift, especially with more people walking from place to place.” This pedestrian sidewalk culture will continue to grow as more retail, restaurants, entertainment and engaging first-floor design for commercial buildings spreads across Downtown.
“Downtown is definitely the center of innovation in workplace design,” says Mooz. “It is the repository of a great deal of the intellectual and financial capital in our city. We remain convinced that a strong Downtown creates and sustains a strong city.” Mooz also points to the continued commercial real estate investment in Downtown, with construction cranes remaining active in spite of recent economic climate. “The Houston economy has been challenged, so landlords need to be more creative,” says Overall. “The commercial real estate market in Houston is in the early innings of addressing the workplace offerings for younger generations and those to come. Developers have to adapt to change with the times to offer the variety of amenities and flexible spaces that those workers need.” Vibrancy in and around the workplace motivates employees to actually be excited about coming back into work. Indoor and outdoor gathering spaces that host public events and programs provide vital threads that connect the seemingly faceless, anonymous urban population and give a sense of community. “For projects to be sustainable long-term there must be an authentic community both inside the office building and out in the surrounding district,” says Mooz. “There’s not a more authentic community for an office building than Downtown Houston.”
AT THE CENTER OF I T A L L HOW DOWNTOWN IS HELPING LEAD HOUSTON INTO AN INNOVATIVE FUTURE
BY HOLLY BERETTO PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATYA HORNER
JOHN REALE Co-Founder and CEO, Station Houston
Virtually everyone in Houston knows the stats: fourth-largest city in the country, routinely ranked as a great place for business, home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies. By any measure, they are impressive measurements for an impressive city. Those aren’t the stats that concern John Reale. “We’re the fourth-largest city in the country and the fifth-largest metro area, but the National Venture Capital Association ranked Houston 31st in the country in 2015,” he says. “Silicon Valley has $20.3 billion in investments. Chicago has $1.5 billion. Austin has $900 million. Houston? We have $161 million. The city was sixth in the country in 1990 in terms of high-tech start-up density. We’ve fallen out of the picture.”
That’s part of why he created Station Houston, a community of innovators and entrepreneurs designed to drive Houston’s economy into the 21st century. For sure, Houston has always been an innovative city. This was, after all, the city where the country’s first heart transplant was performed. But the way Reale and others see it, Houston’s future can’t just keep touting the milestones of Houston’s past. Station Houston is located in the heart of Downtown, in space formerly occupied by Deutsche Bank. The concept is simple: members join and in return they have a place where they can have office hours, meet like-minded entrepreneurs at various stages in their start-up careers and find resources to help them grow their businesses.
SNAPSTREAM R A K ES H A G R AWA L , F O U N D ER
Entrepreneur Investor Station Houston Member Mentor
Rakesh Agrawal founded SnapStream in 2001. The technology is like a cross between a DVR and a search engine, allowing clients to record video and then enter in particular words or phrases to search. When you watch programs like The Daily Show and see a montage of video with politicians or news commentators repeating the same phrase, the ability to garner those sound bites quickly came from Agrawal’s company. In fact, producers at The Daily Show and the former Colbert Report tested the technology for SnapStream. Fast-forward 16 years, and Agrawal has gone from being a start-up entrepreneur to a mentor and investor for up-and-coming companies. A passionate supporter of both technology and entrepreneurship, Agrawal was an early adopter when it came to being a member of Station Houston. “I’ve met awesome, smart, interesting people there,” he says of his association with the organization. “It’s a one-stop shop to meet someone, maybe invest in a company or find other people who do what you do.” Agrawal serves as a mentor to Station Members, setting up office hours twice a month to meet with any entrepreneurs at any stages of their careers. He says he enjoys being able to share his experiences about building a company and to offer advice on everything from personnel to technology to how to raise capital. He says that the value of mentorship is intangible—but important. “The mentors at Station Houston are really part of the community,” he says. All are volunteers, but all share the same passion for encouraging entrepreneurship, and helping Houston secure a stronger footing as an innovation center. Agrawal has spent a decade and a half growing his own company, and over the last five years, he’s taken a more active role in investing in other start-ups he feels show promise. What attracts him to an opportunity, he says, is not only that someone is offering a unique product, but also that he or she has the right attitude behind it, and demonstrates willingness and work ethic. He’s excited about the work that Station is doing, bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs and more seasoned companies. While he’s always been a supporter of Houston’s entrepreneurial scene (he mentored and hosted meet-ups before Station Houston began), he loves being part of the growing ecosystem. “I love being able to connect people who have common interests,” he says. And Station Houston allows for that. “Although, I might be getting replaced by them,” he jokes. One thing is certain: he intends to continue working with Station Houston, helping the next generation of start-ups find success in the Bayou City.
“I’ VE MET AWESOME, SMART, INTERESTING PEOPLE THERE. IT ’S A ONE-STOP SHOP TO MEET SOMEONE, MAYBE INVEST IN A COMPANY OR FIND OTHER PEOPLE
“We wanted to create an ecosystem to support the people who will help create the jobs of the future,” says Reale, his passion for his cause evident. A former financier who worked in wealth management, Reale is from New York and came to Houston 18 years ago. Station Houston launched in Midtown last October, before moving into its current location on Fannin last December.
“We wanted to create an ecosystem to support the people who will help create the jobs of the future.”
Allowing for open collaboration, the bank’s former trading floor serves as an open workspace for Station members, who come and go as fits their schedules. There’s a huge wall inviting entrepreneurs to share their successes. It’s color-coded: blue for revenue milestones, such as meeting a target or hitting a sales goal; red for team successes, such as new hires or finding a business partner; purple for product kudos such as an initial launch or a beta release; and green for funding accomplishments like reaching a crowd-sourcing target or closing a deal. The wall is covered with paper-circle shout-outs for Station businesses. “First peerreview journal article published.” “Hired drug development fellow from the TMC.” “Groupraise $5000 12/31/2016.” In the upstairs lobby, a big-screen offers an ever-changing slide show that lists calendar events such as seminars and talks, as well as a host of testimonials from Station members about the benefits of being a member. A huge classroom-style space has a stage for talks, and long white tables on rollers that can be moved around to create meeting places. White boards line the walls, encouraging members to share their thoughts about almost anything. “Alive 5 open for business” read one note in red marker. “I’m looking for a few people with web development skills who enjoy … breweries,” said another.
WHO DO WHAT YOU DO.”
The idea is to allow for a multitude of serendipitous meetings that can help start-ups achieve their goals. Mentors, who are often also Station Members, set up office hours where newbie (or sometimes mid-level) entrepreneurs can get advice from those who have been in the trenches. Reale says they’re already outgrowing the space—a clear indicator that the organization is on to something, reflected in its membership: at press time, there were 280 station members, 133 mentors and 132 member companies. This, says, Reale, is Houston’s future. “We’re building out an innovation and entrepreneurship economy,” he says.
THE SEEDS OF INNOVATION It’s a cliché that if something doesn’t adapt, it will die, whether that something is a dinosaur or a construction company or a city. No one in Houston would dare say the city is dying— it’s not; it’s thriving, and is still a top-ranked relocation destination. But Reale and many others believe that the Bayou City needs to pay some serious attention to how it can thrive in the 21st century. “Houston has always been the city that says, ‘If there’s a challenge, we can address it,’” says Gina Luna, CEO of Luna Strategies LLC, an advising and management company. A 20-year veteran with JPMorgan Chase, Luna went out on her own in 2016. But in 2014, she was vice chair of the Greater Houston Partnership where, she says, many of her colleagues were coming to her saying they wanted to have a discussion about how Houston could embrace not only technology and tech infrastructure, but also figure out how to attract and help tech businesses. “We basically said, what can we, as the city’s chamber of commerce and business organization do to be more helpful,” she says. “This is a huge opportunity for Houston. It’s very important that we attract talent and companies and be a place where innovation happens all the time.”
“This is a huge opportunity for Houston. It’s very important that we attract talent and companies and be a place where innovation happens all the time.”
Station Houston Member
J O E A L A PAT, F O U N D ER V IN C EN T T R A N , F O U N D ER
“The biggest challenge we face, like most other start-ups, is prioritizing and focusing on the most important and beneficial activity at each stage of our businesses’ growth,” says Joe Alapat, founder of Liongard, a cybersecurity firm that helps companies strengthen their technology safety. Alapat describes his company as one that helps clients simplify the management and protection of their IT, offering “deep inspection of cloud environments, applications and security.” Protecting a company’s technology, he says, is no longer optional—it’s a vital component to modern business. “The IT landscape in the last 15 years has quickly changed from traditional laptops and servers to data centers, apps, and security that run across cloud and on-premise environments,” he says. “We are always excited to hear feedback from potential customers indicating that we are solving a significant challenge that is progressively becoming even more significant with the continuing trend of cybersecurity incidents.” Alapat and Liongard joined Station Houston in June 2016 and immediately gained access to a wealth of deep knowledge and committed fellow tech innovators. Alapat says membership was a “catalyst for us to speed through our start-up journey.” In particular he cites Station’s mentorship program, as well as having the opportunity to attend member events and learning sessions. “[Station Houston gave us access to] mentors and advisors who have expertise in enterprise IT security and managed IT services,” he says. “[And] being in Houston and Texas in general is providing us with close access to a number of major, early stage customers in our target market.” The level of access and interaction provided by Station Houston has helped Alapat and his business partner Vincent Tran not only develop how they want to grow their business but also gives them a strong community to be part of. He sees great things for the city when it comes to technology and innovation. He and Tran are both native Houstonians and Alapat says he’s proud to see the city as an emerging tech hub. “We are personally very excited about the focus on technology and innovation in the city,” he says. “We’re sensing a great deal of momentum and awareness that really shows us the level of pent-up demand in Houston for attention in this area. I’m optimistic that we’ll look back on this time period as the beginning of something transformational in Houston for start-up culture, technology, and innovation”.
“STATION HOUSTON GAVE US ACCESS TO MENTORS AND ADVISORS WHO HAVE EXPERTISE IN ENTERPRISE IT SECURIT Y AND MANAGED IT SERVICES.” FALL 2017
“I MET AN 18-YEAR-OLD WHO WAS JUST STARTING COLLEGE AND BUILDING A BUSINESS, AND WAS ABLE TO INTRODUCE HIM TO SOMEONE WHO’D HAD GREAT SUCCESS IN HIS FIELD.”
Station Houston Member
STUART MOR STE A D , COO
“We tackle data-intensive problems,” Stuart Morstead says about his company, Arundo, where he is COO. “Things like predicted maintenance on large equipment or planning and production optimization.” Thinking of how to use data as a problem solver is important, says Morstead, whose clientele includes energy-sector and manufacturing companies. Those equipment- and investmentheavy organizations have had to look at ways to maximize their profits and output while streamlining expenses over the last half-dozen years. “When oil is $100 a barrel, the question you ask is how to get it. When it’s $50 a barrel, there’s a push to be cost effective.” He and his Arundo co-founder Tor Jakob Ramsøy, began their company 23 months ago. It’s Morstead’s third start-up, and he has a background in technology, having spent 10 years as a partner at McKinsey, in both the organization’s business technology and oil and gas sectors. He says that the kinds of companies his firm services have mostly always had technology divisions of some sort, but they haven’t necessarily harnessed them to maximum effect. “Technology was often seen as a cost sector, not a solution or a source of innovation,” he says. “But we’re seeing a huge shift now, with companies realizing that innovation is a prime place for investment, and that using technology is important to the bottom line.”
Houston wasn’t necessarily seen as the kind of place where entrepreneurs could come and set up shop and thrive.
The fact that Station Houston recognized the need for such innovations was one of the reasons Morstead signed on as a member (he thinks he may well have been the second company on board). A longtime Houston resident, Morstead moved here in 1986 and has raised three children in the Bayou City, and he’s committed to Houston as a place for business growth. “Station has the kind of density that’s important for business growth,” he says, touting the organization’s membership and noting that it’s a gathering point for entrepreneurs at all levels of business development, from brand-new start-ups to seasoned tech companies. “The wealth of experience you find in people at Station is impressive and a tremendous value to members,” he says. “I met an 18-year-old who was just starting college and building a business, and was able to introduce him to someone who’d had great success in his field. That kind of thing wouldn’t have happened [normally], but we met through Station.” Arundo has offices in Houston, Oslo and Palo Alto, and Morstead is working on growing clientele and improving services. The company should have 70 employees by the end of 2017, and Morstead is optimistic about its growth. He knows, however, that he’ll be staying a part of Station Houston and encourages other entrepreneurs to strongly consider membership. “If you’re starting out and you don’t have a network, you can get one,” he says. “No matter where you are in your business, you’ll find value there.”
Luna said that as she and fellow committee members began talking about innovation in Houston, there were two prevailing—and opposing—theories that emerged. One was that Houston was always a place where innovation happened, between research and development at the Texas Medical Center, at NASA and within the energy sector. “The other was that nothing happened here,” she said. “And that’s not true.” But she points out that Houston wasn’t necessarily seen, inside the city or outside of it, as the kind of place where entrepreneurs could come and set up shop and thrive. Cities such as Boston and regions like Silicon Valley are renowned as innovation economies. In addition
to thriving tech scenes, both places have a wealth of venture capital. The result is that success breeds success. A software designer can settle in Boston, find an investor, find clients and grow her business. She can also be around fellow start-up entrepreneurs and might be able to develop a partnership or another company. Houston, says Luna, has most of the pieces of the puzzle to do the exact same things. The key is tapping into all the talents of all the players and bringing them together. “Between the Greater Houston Partnership, the Mayor’s Technology and Innovation Task Force and Houston businesses, we can absolutely implement the findings in the report.”
The city has a great cost of living and vibrant quality-of-life amenities such as its sports teams, arts organizations, parks and restaurants that make it a place that people want to be. “We’re seeing a rise in the use of digital technology,” says Brian Richards, managing director of innovation for Houston and the Southwest for Accenture. “And these huge legacy companies—[think ExxonMobil or a large financial firm]—are looking at how they can invest in technologies that maximize profits and productivity.” One of the ways to that goal, he says, is digital innovation. Richards says companies want to cut costs to drive efficiency, as well as being able to create new revenue streams. But large corporations aren’t necessarily synonymous with the kinds of nimble movements a start-up might have. He says that if those large companies partner with a start-up service provider, many things happen: the firm gets a service it needs, often one driven by technology; the start-up gets business; a problem gets solved. Everybody wins. “Some of our clients are going through massive changes,” he says. “They know they need to harness technology to make their own transitions to the next level. They need to be connected with people who help, who can drive innovation on their behalf.” (continued on page 31)
Station Houston Member
The Accenture/Greater Houston Partnership report, delivered in June to Houston’s City Council, found that a lot of what Houston has is already an advantage as it moves forward as an innovation leader. There’s a thriving corporate scene in the city, which invests heavily in research and development. In addition, academic-based research and development is good. The city has a great cost of living and vibrant quality-of-life amenities such as its sports teams, arts organizations, parks and restaurants that make it a place that people want to be. All of that makes the city primed as a place to invest and support further technology innovation and entrepreneurship.
D EV IN B A PT IST E, F O U N D ER + C EO
BUILDING ON STRENGTHS, CREATING NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Devin Baptiste grew up in Houston. So, it’s no surprise that he wanted to keep his business here. But when he started it in 2011, no way did he think he’d have a company with a base of operations in Houston, as well as offices in Chile and the Philippines. He knows one thing, though: he’s grown a business that helps change lives. “We’re approaching $1 million in charitable donations,” he says about his company, which brings together organizations looking to raise funds and restaurants that want to bring in customers during slower times of the day or week. Groupraise allows restaurants to be part of its database, and groups can then select them to host an event or meal. “I like to say it’s the most delicious way to change the world,” he says. The idea was born when he was playing keyboard in a band and got to know several restaurant and bar owners as he played gigs in their spaces. One of them mentioned that he wanted to work with community organizations on fundraisers, but didn’t know how to best access them. “I was an Eagle Scout,” says Baptiste. “And I grew up in the Baptist church with a deep love for Jesus Christ. Helping people is part of who I am.” So, he worked within his own network to gather groups to go to his friend’s restaurant. The restaurant, in turn, agreed to donate a percentage of sales to a charity. “He expected about 30 people to show up,” says Baptiste. “The number was closer to about 3,000.” That foundation encouraged Baptiste to look at ways to connect more groups and more restaurants. Over the last six years, Groupraise has grown, but Baptiste says it’s really taken off in the last 24 months. In July 2015, 500 restaurants had signed on with the company. By January of 2016, the number had grown to 2,500. At the end of last year, there were 5,000. Baptiste recently signed a national deal with Jason’s Deli, a company that’s always had a commitment to community service, which made the partnership a natural fit. Groupraise is in 150 cities in the country and employs more than 50 people in Houston, Chile and the Philippines. As a native Houstonian, Baptiste loves the city, and he’s a proud booster of its innovation and entrepreneurial scene. But he says he finds it scattered; there are pockets of entrepreneurship and innovation all over the city’s wide expanse. One of the things he loves about being a Station Houston member is that so many like-minded start-ups are in one place. “I saw from the beginning that Station was a great investment,” he says. “When you have so many like-minded people in one place, it allows for these spontaneous collisions on a daily basis. And I wanted to be part of that.” He loves that he can learn from fellow entrepreneurs and that Station has a commitment to mentoring companies. “I think this is really just the beginning of a whole new innovation cycle,” he says about the city. “And the Station Houston community is a big driver of that.”
“WHEN YOU HAVE SO MANY LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE IN ONE PL ACE, IT ALLOWS FOR THESE SPONTANEOUS COLLISIONS ON A DAILY BASIS. AND I WANTED TO BE A PART OF THAT.”
VIDYA KEERTANA, FOUNDER OF RADIATE
“ THE KINDS OF R ANDOM COLLISIONS THAT HAPPENED FOR OUR PARTICIPANTS THIS SUMMER ALLOW FOR KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND C AN HELP BRING ON NEW COLL ABOR ATIONS.” —Kerri Smith
OWLSPARK + REDLABS Accelerating the Future RIC E UNIVE RSITY’S OW L S PA R K U N I V E R S I TY OF HOU STON ’S R ED L A B S
There might be a rivalry between Rice University and the University of Houston on the gridiron every fall, as the two institutions battle in the Bayou Bucket Classic. But for the last four summers, students taking part in Rice’s OwlSpark entrepreneurship accelerator and UH’s RedLabs start-up accelerator and technology entrepreneurship program have worked together in a single space, learning from each other, providing valuable feedback and cheering each other’s successes. This summer the groups converged in Downtown, jointly leasing a space on the 37th floor of 1600 Smith for their 12-week program. Kerri Smith, managing director of OwlSpark, says the move was a terrific decision. “OwlSpark has always had an educational component to it, as well as being a start-up accelerator,” she explains, noting how participants—who must apply and be accepted— spend part of their summer session learning about creating business plans and working on presentations. “But being Downtown really changes up the feel of the program. It no longer feels like just an academic program.” She says students who took part got to see firsthand what it meant to be in a professional setting. Many start-ups have a laid-back feel to them, but the Downtown geography exposed OwlSpark and RedLabs participants to suit-wearing business people, as well as the concept of being in an office setting every day. Smith says that component was invaluable to helping students with their mindset. “They realize that they are actually conducting business,” she says. “And that changes up their approach.”
OWLSPARK TEAM, SPECMOBILE Both programs provide participants with the opportunity to grow start-ups. They’re schooled in how to solve problems of development and present their ideas or products to potential investors. They need to learn to identify a customer base, and examine what marketplace problem they and their businesses are working to solve. Smith says 55 percent of OwlSpark’s cohorts have gone on to further develop their businesses. A start-up called Arovia began at OwlSpark. Its product, the spontaneous pop-up display, or SPUD, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to further develop its portable, 24-inch foldable display. And Big Delta Systems, with technology that enhances the workings of lithium-ion batteries, now has offices near NASA and continues to innovate. Smith says that being in the city center this summer, as well as working again alongside RedLabs, helps OwlSpark participants see how much innovation matters to Houston’s future, and to realize how important it is to build their business networks. “Density generates opportunities,” she says. “The kinds of random collisions that happened for our participants this summer allow for knowledge sharing and can help bring on new collaborations.” On a larger level, that’s exactly what those who support Houston as an innovation center want to see happen in the future.
“WE HAVE THE ABILIT Y TO PUT THESE COMPANIES IN FRONT OF INVESTORS AND PROVIDE THEM WITH A FOUNDATION TO GROW.”
D IA N A M U R A K H O V S K AYA , CO - F O U N D ER “I spent 10 years on Wall Street,” says Diana Murakhovskaya, co-founder of Monarq. “It was a pretty toxic environment.” Murakhovskaya worked in commodities trading; her business partner Irene Ryabaya was an oil trader. Frustrated with the dynamics of Wall Street, they created an app designed to connect like-minded women business owners with each other. Monarq was born. After launching, they went around the world to conferences and hackathons and realized a few things pretty quickly: first, they liked being able to mentor other people; second, they saw a gap in funding and business advice for start-ups. They shifted their focus. Today, Monarq is a business incubator, focusing on helping women grow their start-ups through capital, mentoring and business planning. Currently with a cohort in New York City, Monarq recently expanded to Houston, and is seeking its next round of candidates. “Usually, the businesses in our cohort have a technology component,” says Murakhovskaya. “They’ve made a prototype, they have a founder working full-time. We connect them with investors and help them get to the next level.” Companies that have shown a demonstrated path to revenue generation and are ready for a round of seed funding in six to 12 months are also typical. Monarq’s incubator is a six-month boot camp, where business founders receive advising, can network with other women-led companies, and get connected to influencers and experts who provide
invaluable assistance as they continue to build their brands. The next cohort is expected to launch here in January and interested business founders can apply at monarqincubator.com. “Our first cohort has made amazing progress,” says Murakhovskaya. “We have the ability to put these companies in front of investors and provide them with a foundation to grow. So often with any start-up, but sometimes more so with women-led companies, there’s a lack of access to capital. We work to fix that.” Giving women networks the need to succeed is paramount to Murakhovskaya’s mission. And Murakhovskaya believes that women-led businesses are a solid investment. “Research shows that women-led companies are often more diverse than other start-ups, and they also out-perform other start-ups in terms of revenue building and customer growth. They have a higher ROI than their male-led counterparts.” She also feels that women are often poorly marketed to as consumers, and women-led companies are uniquely primed to address that challenge. That doesn’t mean that every company Monarq works with is all-female, but they are all led by women. Murakhovskaya thinks Houston is ripe for Monarq’s incubator. She cites the city’s educated population and broad wealth available as examples. But, having relocated here and spending time as a Houstonian, she also sees the city’s can-do spirit as a strong foundation for a place that can be a start-up showplace. “Houston has all the building blocks for success,” she says.
The report finds that Houston’s talent pool has a huge supply of young, tech talent, but that there are obstacles to those people developing their own businesses. Sometimes it’s the issue of visa status; sometimes it’s a lack of capital. All of those things, the report indicates, can be overcome if policy makers, businesses and entrepreneurs work together to help grow Houston as an innovation center. “This is a multi-year journey,” says Richard. “And Houston will be an innovation leader.” Luna agrees. “We can really create an environment and a culture here that says if you want to start a business, we have an ecosystem to support it.”
“We can really create an environment and a culture here that says if you want to start a business, we have an ecosystem to support it.”
A CULTURE OF INNOVATION Meanwhile, back at Station Houston, Reale knows he and his team are already growing the ecosystem that will be so vital to the city’s innovation success. Station members are seeing gains in their business connections, as well as in their own growth and goals. But he wants more. Reale wants to see Houston have a thriving innovation district, where start-up entrepreneurs can live and work and interact with each other. As Station Houston hits the end of its first year in the city center, Reale knows the organization might need more or different space. He says Downtown has been a great supporter of his organization and he sees the area’s density as a great strength. That word—strength—is one that comes up a lot as people talk about innovation in Houston. Both Luna and Richards highlighted the city’s strengths in their discussions and recommendations for increasing the innovation economy. They and Reale understand something else, as well: “Jobs are created by new business, not small businesses, even though a vast majority of jobs come from there,” Reale says. Being a place where people want to be to create those jobs will create a domino effect of success, says Accenture’s report. So, fostering innovation and giving start-ups the tools they need to succeed isn’t optional. “If we want the best talent to come here, we need this,” says Richards.
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
Dizzy Kaktus Sizzling tacos and Instagram-worthy Margarita Swirls
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 justpicked 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–Sat; D Tue–Sat (Open for L & D on Sun only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ v Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best Sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumadowntown.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L & D Mon–Sat. $$
Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine
and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. westin.com/Houston-Downtown. The Westin Houston Downtown, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B, L & D 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. B & 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. $$$$ v Blue by Massa Seafood This upscale and elegant restaurant offers up a fine selection of American and Seafood cuisine. Among the esteemed list of favorites, the Lobster Bisque is a standout. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable dining experience. Blue also offers occasional live entertainment and dancing is highly encouraged! massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
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. $$
v Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the saag paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $
Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food Bouray’s offers These listings are not reviews but are a guide to Downtown dining spots. “Recommended” restaurants are selected by downtown editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value. v RECOMMENDED NEW! JUST OPENED B Breakfast BR Brunch L Lunch D Dinner LN Late Night
Average Price of an Entrée $ $10 or less $$ $11–$19 $$$ $20–$29 $$$$ $30+
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
made-to-order Mexican and Vietnamese food using ingredients that are prepared fresh daily. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon–Fri. $ v Bovine & Barley American Bovine & Barley is a beautifully designed urban bar and eatery with a heavy focus on beef and beer. The space has an industrial feel which is complimented by warm wood accents and huge HTX letters that hang illuminated on an exposed brick wall. Highlights from the menu include brisket tacos, meatloaf muffins on top of jalapeno mash, 1836 beer can chicken and a variety of burgers. Not to metion over 42 beers and six hand-crafted cocktails on tap! bovineandbarley.com. 416 Main, 832.742.5683. L Sat–Sun; D, LN Daily. $$
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. $$$
Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon–Fri. $
NEW! Bud’s BBQ Pitmaster Bud’s BBQ Pitmaster brings a southern-style smoked BBQ to the Avenida District with items like Brisket Sliders and Pulled Pork Tacos on the menu. Featuring an upscale atmosphere, you can get your BBQ fix any day of the week. budsbarbq.com. 1001 Avenida de Las Americas, 832.968.4366. L & D Daily. $$
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 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. $
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 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. $
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. $
plate. 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. $$
The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu
features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$
Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean
This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon–Fri. $
Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a
burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and great-tasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon–Fri. $
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. $$
v Einstein’s Bagels Deli Known as a great place to grab freshly-baked bagels and coffee for breakfast, they also serve up delectable lunch choices that include paninis, melts and pizza bagels. Be an office hero and use the catering service to treat your work pals. einsteinbros.com. 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. B, L & LN Mon–Sun. $
El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran
Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like pomegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com. 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L, D & LN Mon–Fri; D & LN Sat & Sun, BR Sun. $$
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. $$$ v The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ 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 coworkers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you
get when you mix a music-themed diner with an allAmerican menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers,nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $$
v Hearsay on the Green American Located inside the Embassay Suites in Downtown’s Convention District, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up the finest craft cocktails, New-American dishes and a chic dining experience. The drink menu features an extensive wine list, numerous bottle and draft beers and premium liquors. hearsayhouston.com. 1515 Dallas, 832.377.3362. L & D Daily; LN Fri–Sat; BR Sun. $$
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. $$
The Isles Eatery & Rhum Bar Caribbean
The restaurant offers flavorful Caribbean dishes including Mofongo and Ensalada Calamari de Pulpo, along with an astonishing collection of 56 plus island rums used to create custom cocktails rooted in the regional rhythms of the islands. isleseateryandbar.com. 1515 Pease, 713.739.9039. L, D, LN Tue–Sun. $
v Jackson St. BBQ Barbecue This laid-back spot by renowned Houston chefs Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gaitlin offers smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and classic southern fixins like potato salad, baked beans, collard greens and cole slaw! Conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park, stop by this Downtown favorite before or after Astros games! jacksonstbbqhouston.com. 209 Jackson St, 713.224.2400. L & D Sat–Sun.
Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs
are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced seven-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon–Sat. $
v La Fisheria Coastal Mexican Located in Downtown’s Historic District, La Fisheria serves authentic Mexican seafood such as sweet shrimp tamales, perfectly prepared fish tacos and a variety of crudos and ceviches. lafisheriahouston.com. 213 Milam, 713.802.1712. L & D Daily. $$
The Lake House Fast Casual Offering family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. L & Early D Mon–Sun. $
La Calle Mexican Located in downtown’s Historic
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. $ 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 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. $ NEW! Leaf & Grain Salad Bar A gem inside the shops, Leaf and Grain offers grain bowls derived from whole ingredients that offer a healthy alternative without sacrificing delicious flavor. eatlg.com. 1200 McKinney, Fourth Floor. 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 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. $$ v Mango Tree Thai Bistro Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. mangotreethaibistro.com. 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon–Sat. $$ v 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. $
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. $
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. $
Osso & Kristalla Italian Osso & Kristalla serves
fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, and giant stuffed potatoes. mcalistersdeli.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 832.940.0660. L & D Daily. $
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam,
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. $
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. $$$$
McAlister’s Deli American This fast casual deli serves
Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now
Lone Star Taco Tex-Mex Fast-casual Tex-Mex
great quality and service at the Downtown location that they enjoy at the original Houston staple. Menu favorites include a variety of different curry dishes like the Panang Curry and the Roasted Duck Curry. morningsidethai.com. 917 Franklin. 713.228.8424. L & D. $
v Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorites such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L & D Daily. $
v McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
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. $$
Morningside Thai Thai Diners can expect the same
v Massa’s South Coast Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
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. $$$ enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$
v 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. $$
713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon–Fri. $
v Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L & D Daily; BR & LN Fri & Sat. $$ 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. $
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. $$
The Oyster Bar Seafood Housed inside Prohibition
Supper Club, The Oyster Bar is a street-friendly, neighborhood-centric concept serving an extensive seafood menu including fried shrimp, fried oysters, Gulf Coast & East Coast oysters, pan roasted market fish, and roasted cauliflower & mushroom fettuccine. Get your seafood and burlesque fix all in the same place. prohibitionhouston.com. Prohibition, 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. D Daily. $$
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. $
SALT ’N PEPPER GROUP Over the past two years, Downtown’s Main Street has been infused with Southern flair, thanks to local entertainment and management company Salt ’N Pepper Group, or what many like to call “the brains” behind The Moonshiners Southern Bar + Table, Dizzy Kaktus and Boots ’N Shoots.
The Salt ’N Pepper group began as an offshoot from KCH Entertainment—the operating partners of Pub Fiction, Third Floor, and other well-known Midtown establishments. Daut Elshani, Marketing and Product Director along with five partners and close childhood friends, took over operations from KCH and formed the entertainment and hospitality team that is now the Salt ’N Pepper Group. The Houston-based management group recognized the booming entertainment and nightlife scene in Downtown and was quick to jump in on the action, opening three Southern-themed concepts in the eclectic Historic Market Square neighborhood. “The main thing that drew us Downtown was the growth that Downtown Houston has seen over the past few years. Whether it’s dining or nightlife, it’s been noticeable for sure,” shared Elshani. The Moonshiners Southern Bar + Table sits on the corner of Main and Prairie, and brings an outdoor atmosphere indoors with its elaborate wooden textures and modern rustic accents. Whether you’re on your lunch break, stopping by for happy hour after work, or having dinner with
BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
friends, guests will enjoy an array of finger-licking Southern comfort dishes, like their popular Grilled Cheese Brisket Sandwich or Chicken ’n Waffles, along with a side of warm hospitality. “We wanted to give customers a little treat of what the South is about,” says Daut Elshani. “Our sign says ‘Southern Hospitality’ and we pretty much prove that.” Folks can keep the party going after dinner by walking across the street to Salt ‘N Pepper’s whiskey and shot bar, Boots ’N Shoots. This modern-day Texas saloon turns it all the way up with live DJs every weekend and a dance floor on the second level for anyone looking to bust a move. Although known for their handcrafted whiskey cocktails such as Fixin’ to Boot, Howdy Pig or Bless Your Heart, you can also take your chance and let the massive Plinko board decide your fate. An insiders tip: get there before 11 p.m. as it gets packed. Two blocks up the street from Boots ’N Shoots and The Moonshiners sits Dizzy Kaktus. Walk inside the double doors and you’re instantly hit with a splash of vibrant colors and
photos by Morris Malakoff
The Moonshiners Southern Bar + Table 1000 Prairie themoonshinershouston.com 713.226.7717 Dizzy Kaktus 301 Main dizzykaktus.com 713.227.0440 Boots ’N Shoots 506 Main bootsnshootshouston.com 713.223.1200
a striking art piece of Frida Kahlo. Expect to find a variety of Instagrammable-worthy Margarita Swirls, as well as a sizzling taco menu and other delightful Tex-Mex options. Dizzy also has great happy hour specials and is open late (3 a.m.) on Friday and Saturdays. Operating not only one but three different concepts within a three-block radius in the heart of Downtown has many benefits, and throughout his journey Elshani has learned a thing or two. “Initially the biggest lesson has been to have patience and simply letting a venue build to what it is,” he said. Elshani and partners try to stay relevant in Houston’s highly competitive market by listening to their customers and adjusting to what they ask for. As for the years ahead, Elshani has no doubt that Downtown will continue to “grow exponentially” within the next five years. “I believe we will see a lot more residential, a lot more Houstonians that will live and work here. In addition to that, with all the new hotels, we’re also going to build a greater atmosphere for visitors. Downtown is not a trend, it’s here to stay.”
Cheers to that ! FALL 2017
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. 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. $$
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. $$ v Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $
Phoenicia Specialty Foods International If you
are in search of yummy food on the go, Phoenicia Specialty Foods is the place for you! This urban gourmet market boasts an incredible salad bar, made-to-order shawarmas and pizzas, grab-n-go sushi, sandwiches and various meat and seafood entrees. This is a one-of-a kind downtown destination where you can appreciate down-to-earth gourmet food prices and a unique variety of flavors. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L & D Daily. $$ v 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. $$$ v Prohibition American Prohibition is the home of the Moonlight Dolls who dazzle audiences with their sexy yet fun burlesque performances. Beaming with glitz and glamour, this upscale supper club has an exquisite menu featuring fresh Gulf seafood and steaks cooked to perfection! prohibitionhouston.com. 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. D Thu–Sat; BR Sun. $$$ 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. $$$
Quizno’s Fast Food
1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon–Sun. $
Rachel’s Café American Rachel’s Cafe is an old fashioned hamburger joint inside the historic Londale Building. This quaint little café has an extensive menu with lots of simple classics like burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads—all made fresh! rachelscafehouston.com. 421 San Jacinto, 713.229.7067. L & D Mon–Sat. $
Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the
Preston Station on the METRORail, Roma’s Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $
Russo’s New York Pizzeria Italian Inspired by the
traditional Italian values of family, friends & food, this Houston original doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fresh, delicious, homemade Italian meals. And they serve more than just pizza—try one of their specialty calzones, sandwiches or pastas! nypizzeria.com. 604 Polk, 713.759.9800. L & D Daily. $
Salata American This next-generation salad bar allows
you to create your own, tossed-to-order salad or wrap complete with a variety of fresh greens, a large selection of veggies, fruits, nuts, cheeses and more. Top your order off with one of their signature dressings and your choice of chicken, seafood or tofu! salata.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.275.1088. L & D Daily. $ v Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon–Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$
The Shops at Houston Center Food Court
Brooklyn Meatball Company, Bullritos, Chick-fil-A, Doozo’s Dumplings & Noodles, Freshii, Great American Cookie, Leaf & Grain, 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. $$$
Springbok South African Springbok features
a contemporary take on classic South African dishes such as local game, house-made sausages, burgers and curries. Enjoy an amazing selection of local and international beer and cocktails while watching rugby and other national and international sporting competitions. thespringbok.com. 711 Main, 818.201.6979. L, D & LN Daily. $$
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. $ NEW! Sub Roc Fast Casual Located inside 1021 Main you’ll find Sub Roc, a quaint little space offering a diverse menu of breakfast and deli lunch options like soups and salads. Whether you’re taking a coffee break or a grab and go sandwich in hand, Sub Roc strives to make every guest’s experience pleasant with a smiling face and a relaxing environment. sub-roc.com. 1021 Main, Suite 200. 713.337.3530. B & L. $
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. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon–Fri. $
v III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe
Toasters Café American Toasters is a quaint little
Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread,
offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an
old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com. 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$
café in downtown’s Warehouse District which serves up classic favorites in a modern setting. Try their fresh baked pastries and French toast for breakfast, or enjoy a salad and a wide variety of sandwiches for lunch. toastershouston.com. 1004 N. San Jacinto, 713.261.1562. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon–Fri. $
Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is
described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$
sip. 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-own-
sandwich 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
Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a
Wokker Asian Food truck favorite, Wokker, is
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. $
a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon–Fri. $ 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. $
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 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. $$$
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! Sat 10 am–10 pm, Sun noon–8 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
Casablanca Lounge | 312 Main
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
Char Bar | 305 Travis
Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon–Wed 10 am–midnight; Thu–Sat 10 am–2 am. 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
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! Sun–Tue 4 pm–midnight; Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. 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
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 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
The Isles Eatery & Rhum Bar | 1515 Pease
806 Lounge | 806 Main
La Carafe | 813 Congress
Immerse yourself in this Caribbean hotspot and choose from an astonishing collection of 56 plus island rums used to create delightful cocktails rooted in the regional rhythms of the islands. Tue 4 pm–2 am; Wed & Thu 4–11 pm; Fri 3 pm–2 am; Sat & Sun Noon–2 am. isleseateryandbar.com
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
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.
1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin
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
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
Last Concert Café | 403 Nance
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen | 909 Texas
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
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. Daily 4–11 pm. lawlesspirits.com
Flying Saucer | 705 Main
Lilly & Bloom | 110 Main St.
El Big Bad | 419 Travis
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
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 & Grill 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 entertainmentfocused 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
Noble Rot Wine Bar | 1010 Prairie
Noble Rot is a laid back wine bar inside the Conservatory with a list of fantastic & easy drinking wines. The bar staffs a superstar team of stewards who are there to guide anyone that may not drink much wine to a glass that’s their perfect fit. Sun–Wed 11 am–midnight; Thu 11–1 am; Fri–Sat 11–3 am. conservatoryhtx.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
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
Part & Parcel | 1700 Smith
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
sip. 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
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-timealong 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
Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas at Rice Lofts
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
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
Sunny’s Bar | 901 Capitol @ Main
Laid-back place with a friendly atmosphere and great prices that keep the regulars coming back. Sunny will likely be behind the bar serving up the beer and cocktails and great conversation. Foosball, darts and shuffleboard are in the back of the house to keep you entertained. Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am.
Tongue Cut Sparrow | 310 Main (upstairs)
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.
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Performing Arts 43 Market Square Park 49 Festivals + Special Events 50 Discovery Green 52 and more
EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT photo by Mathieu Bitton
datebook. FIESTA SINFONICA
Carol-Anne Miller. photo by Bill Cooper
POETRY IN MOTION
Sep 15 The internationally acclaimed dance
Seattle Symphony leads a free, festive concert in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The diverse program features Spanish, American and Latin American classics by Gershwin, Ravel, Piazzolla and more. Plus, hear techno-inspired music by the Houston Symphony’s new composer in-residence, native Peruvian Jimmy López. Free. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
company, MOMIX, launches Society for the Performing Arts’ 2017–2018 season. Having thrilled fans in over 22 countries, MOMIX will delight Houston audiences through its trademark use of magical lighting and imagery. Artistic Director Moses Pendleton pushes boundaries by combining athletic dance, riveting music, outrageous costumes, inventive props and pure talent to create an entertaining multimedia experience. MOMIX’s revitalized version of Opus Cactus brings the landscape of the American Southwest to life with a signature illusionistic style creating images of cactuses, slithering lizards and fire dancers. Tickets vary. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4772.
MISNOMERS PRESENTS: KILLERS FROM SPACE
Sep 11 Misnomers presents Killers From Space for
their September episode of They Read From A Script: A Staged Reading Series. The 1954 cult film features bug-eyed beings from Astron Delta who bring a nuclear scientist back to life as a spy. Join us at Rec Room to see this campy tale come to life! Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291.
PERFORMING ARTS ELLA AT 100
Sep 1–3 The symphony kicks off Steven Reineke’s inaugural season with a program to celebrate one of his all-time favorite artists, Ella Fitzgerald. In honor of her 100th birthday, Steven has lined up three formidable vocal powerhouses. Together, Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins and N’Kenge are delivering music that the world has come to cherish, such as Dream a Little Dream of Me, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) and Summertime. Tickets $31–$150. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
THE STARS AT NIGHT
Sep 3 The Houston Pride Band presents a concert in conjunction with the annual conference of the Lesbian and Gay Bands of America. Musicians from all over the country will converge to present an unforgettable evening of music. As vast and diverse as the heavens are above, so is the state of Texas ... and Houston is no exception. Houston has been one of the most ethnically diverse large cities in the United States for years. The concert will celebrate the rich diversity that Houston and Texas offers. Tickets $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamtheater.org
Sep 10 Guest conductor Pablo Rus Broseta of the
TRANSITORY SOUND AND MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE
Sep 12, Oct 10, & Nov 14 The
Transitory Sound and Movement Collective will premiere a new work with different dance artists accompanied by a group of incredibly talented musicians and a filmmaker to ELLA AT 100 create a truly experimental immersive experience for the audience, all brought together by artistic director/sound artist Lynn Lane. Tickets $10–$15. 7:30 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomhtx.com
MAHLER & DVORÁK
Sep 14–17 Our classical series begins with two visions of the Heavenly life. Imbued with the rhythms of Czech folk music, Dvorák’s Te Deum evokes a rustic spirituality and features an electrifying ending. Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 conjures a world of innocence and wonder, especially in its vocal finale. A child’s vision of heaven, this song for soprano and orchestra features Mojca Erdmann, who has been praised for the “filigree delicacy” of her voice, which spins “a silver net of glittering jewels” (Opera News). Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT
Sep 15–Oct 15 In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel wanders the countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk. Rajiv Joseph (Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Monster at the Door, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) returns to the Alley with his epic new play, Describe the Night, which traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories. Tickets vary. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
THOUSANDS OF HELPING HANDS
Sep 16–17 The art performance will honor Tzu Chi Houston’s Bodhisattva journey, and feature enchanting performances by the worldrenowned China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe (CDPPAT), and Tzu Chi volunteers. The program includes the CDPPAT’s My Dream, a most extraordinary dance presenting the omnipotent benevolence of the One-ThousandHands Bodhisattva, and performances by Tzu Chi volunteers. All the performances combine to convey the importance of universal and boundless love and to motivate us to collaborate and undertake the Bodhisattva path. Tickets $60–$180. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
POETRY IN MOTION
Sep 8–17 Houston Ballet’s 2017–18 mixed repertory program Poetry in Motion features George Balanchine’s Symphony in C (1947), Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) (2002), and the Houston Ballet premiere of Stanton Welch’s Powder (1998). Tickets begin at $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS.
HOUSTON SYMPHONY: OPENING NIGHT
Sep 9 Hailed as “America’s favorite mezzo”
(Gramophone Magazine), opera star Susan Graham lends her lustrous voice to our 2017–18 season’s opening night concert. Featuring arias from her signature stage roles and favorite show tunes, this delightful program will begin the season with gorgeous melodies and Graham’s infectious “joy in her art” (The Telegraph). Tickets $29–$165. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Sep 22 Opening night of Ars Lyrica Houston’s 2017–18 season of Artful Women features exotic musical works inspired by Philomela, mythical princess of Athens, whose transformation into a nightingale has fascinated poets and musicians for centuries. Soprano Sherezade Panthaki returns to the Zilkha Hall stage for evocative arias from Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato and Johann Adolph Hasse’s lyric cantata L’Armonica, while Dennis James makes his Ars Lyrica debut on the glass harmonica, an instrument whose ethereal sounds fascinated both Hasse and Mozart. Tickets $39–$65. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
ANDRÉS CONDUCTS SCHUMANN
Sep 22–24 Andrés leads the orchestra in two
GARBAGE ISLAND photo by Annie Mulligan
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
photo by Andrew Weeks
Sep 16, 23, 30 & Oct 7 A live, sketch comedy show for children ages 2–6 years old with plenty of laughs for mom and dad, too! 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. Each performance will culminate in a big-kid dance party and trash orchestra with Garbage Man Joe and the cast. Tickets $8–15, Children under 2 are free to sit on parents’ laps. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291.
Sep 17 Featuring Ronu Majumdar (Hindustani, Bansuri), Rajesh Vaidhya (Carnatic, Veena), Abhijeet Banerjee (Tabla), Vinod Venkataraman (Mridangam), Ravi Balasubramanian (Ghatam), Srinivasan Govindraj (Moorsing). Tickets start at $30. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. iaahouston.com
Romantic symphonies by Schumann to frame an exciting world premiere. Jimmy López, the new Peruvian-born, California-based Composer-inResidence, unveils his Aurora, a concerto he specially composed for violinist Leticia Moreno and the Houston Symphony. Inspired by brilliant polar auroras, this new work is a feast for the eyes and ears. Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
FROM HARLEM TO HAVANA: HARLEM QUARTET
Sep 21–Oct 1 Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling is
Sep 23 The members of Harlem Quartet hail from
a three-act narrative ballet, set to John Lanchbery’s powerful arrangement of Franz Liszt compositions, based on the historic 1889 incident involving the murder-suicide of the sole heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Crown Prince Rudolf, and his 17-year-old mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera. Sir MacMillan’s last full-length ballet boldly requires dancers to fully embody intense characters through dramatic acting and dancing. Houston Ballet is pleased to be the first American company to perform this historic and lavish production about disastrous obsession and unrequited love. Tickets begin $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the American Midwest, but they call Harlem—with its spectacular diversity and rich artistic history—home. They are dedicated to advancing diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with varied repertoire. Cuban piano prodigy Aldo López-Gavilán, brother of Harlem Quartet’s Ilmar Gavilán, is known for his mastery of both classical piano repertoire and the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition. His performances with Harlem Quartet offer a dynamic mix of classical repertoire, jazz standards and López-Gavilán’s own compositions. Ticket prices vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND
Sep 21 The 12-piece ensemble, led by the husbandand-wife team of guitarist Derek Trucks and guitarist-singer Susan Tedeschi, is a true collective. Every musician is featured nightly while serving the band’s unified vision and pushing the boundaries of group dynamics and improvisation to inspiring new heights. Praised by reviewers for their “joy-filled blast of blues, soul and rock” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and “stellar musicianship” (Denver Post), TTB is a touring juggernaut, on the road over 200 days a year and never playing the same set list twice. Tickets $19–$136. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
Sep 25 NPR veteran Garrison Keillor returns to Houston for the first time after stepping down from hosting A Prairie Home Companion following an incredible 42-season run. With his trademark storytelling and candid, observational comedy, Keillor captivates audiences using his unique blend of humor, charisma and wisdom for this one-night event. Tickets $35–$149. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
Sep 22 San Francisco-based dance company, ODC, brings a Bay Area tradition to Houston to share the Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. The Velveteen Rabbit is a heartwarming story that celebrates the relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love. ODC’s exciting production is filled with wit, elaborate costumes and madcap characters that will charm everyone. Tickets begin $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
spahouston.org photo by Omar Ayyashi
datebook. All events free and open to the public. Central Library 500 McKinney
HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Julia Ideson Library 550 McKinney
Fall FAMILY FUN Calendar MONDAYS
Baby Time, 10:30 am Toddler Time, 11:30 am
Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am
LEGO Mania, 3 pm
Minecraft!, 3:30 pm
Sep 28 Established in 1962, the Van Cliburn
International Piano Competition is widely-recognized as one of the world’s highest-visibility, classical-music contests and remains committed to its original ideals of launching the careers of young pianists and sharing the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience. For over 50 years, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has identified and ushered a host of exceptional artists to international prominence. Tickets begin $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
Sep 28–Oct 1 Representing the great Russian conducting tradition, Vassily Sinaisky makes his Houston Symphony debut with a thrilling, all-Russian program. Two astonishing first symphonies provide a study in contrasts. Shostakovich’s irreverent wit is the perfect foil for Tchaikovsky’s dreamy melodies. In the hands of Sinaisky, listeners will be “able not only to hear but almost to touch the music” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Sep 1–Oct 31 Straight from the runway, garments
and accessories from Fashion Fusion are on display at the Central Library. The annual competition is presented by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the award-winning Fashion Design Program at Houston Community College. Fashion Fusion original outfits are inspired by the Museum’s recent exhibition Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950. Winning garments were painstakingly handcrafted and feature elements such as hand painted fabric, cigar boxes, and hair. Central Library
Sep 20 Share favorite food traditions, recipes, and kitchen memories. Mikaela Selley, Hispanic Collections Archivist, introduces A Taste from the Archive: Mexican American Food History in Houston. Guest speakers from professors to chefs lead discussions and share their own food histories across different Latino traditions. Learn about menus and metates as we discuss the collecting of food history at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, part of the Houston Public Library, and the Museo Guadalupe Aztlan. 6–8 pm. Julia Ideson Building.
Sep 23 Bring your imagination and get crafting! Children are invited to create Ruffled Rumba Conga Shakers at the library that they can show off at home. Kids ages 5–10. 11 am. Central Library.
Oct 21 An evening of chills, thrills, and fun … if you dare! Youth ages 10–15 are invited to a screamingly good time at our annual after-hours event. The evening includes dinner, games, crafts, contests, and of course, a ghost walk through the historic and haunted Julia Ideson Building. 7 pm. Julia Ideson Building.
LAURA GUTIERREZ DANCE PERFORMANCE
photo by Jenna Dewji
VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION WINNER
EXHIBIT: REVOLUTION, ROMANCE, AND RUMBA: REIMAGINING CUBA THROUGH FASHION
EN NUESTRA COCINA: LATINO FOOD TRADITIONS AND KITCHEN MEMORIES
Sep 29–30 Laura Gutierrez is a performing artist
and choreographer based between Houston and New York City. In 2014, Gutierrez was named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch. Her work challenges the audience’s theater experiences in non-traditional performance venues, such as museums and galleries. She plays with movement themes inspired by postmodern dance, classical ballet, and the visual arts. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291.
Sep 29–Oct 22 Set during the filming of the disastrous 1963 movie Cleopatra, Cleo is the story of the scandalous romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Their relationship brought condemnation from the Vatican and the US Congress, and it opened the age of paparazzi and tabloid celebrity, ensuring that the names Burton and Taylor would always be associated with the greatest sex scandal in ancient history. World premiere directed by prolific actor, director and producer, Bob Balaban. Tickets prices vary. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
THE MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
Oct 1 Martha Graham’s influence on dance has been
compared with the influence of Picasso on modern visual arts, the influence of Stravinsky on music, and the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on architecture. IAA is proud to bring this iconic contemporary American dance company to Houston. Visit website for ticket info. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
Oct 5 For one night only, Houston’s LGBTQIA community is going to Let. You. Have. It. Join Rec Room for this holiday-themed night of storytelling like you’ve never heard before. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomhtx.com
HOOK’D: PIRATES IN CONCERT
Oct 6 From the disturbing and celebrated minds of
Oct 7 Ahoy matey! ’Tis time to grab your parrot
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. 713.344.1291.
and walk the plank into Jones Hall with your little Jack Sparrow for a morning of heroic music. Let your imagination set sail with a pirate program that includes a medley from Pirates of the Caribbean and a selection from The Flying Dutchman. We’re also inviting you on a magical journey with Peter Pan as we take the Flight to Neverland by John Williams. Tickets $22–$34. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT
Oct 6 Since his first appearance on the Da Camera jazz series in 2006, Houston native and HSPVA grad Robert Glasper has become one of the most influential and busiest figures in jazz. He has worked as music director for Mos Def and Bilal, hit the studio with Q-Tip, Kanye West, and Erykah Badu, all while releasing jazz recordings that have drawn steady acclaim. On its latest release, ArtScience, the Experiment sounds like a bit of everything that’s vibrant and challenging and great about music woven into a billowing fabric of jazz, funk, soul, rock, hip-hop, blues, disco, electronic and pop. Tickets prices vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. dacamera.com
MISNOMERS PRESENTS: THE PHANTOM CREEPS
Oct 9 Misnomers presents The Phantom Creeps for their October episode of They Read From A Script: A Staged Reading Series. The 1939 cult film features mad Dr. Zorka, who uses his arsenal of bizarre inventions to conquer the world in this feature-length version of the serial. See this campy tale come to life at the Rec Room! Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291.
THE SECRET GARDEN
Oct 10–22 The Secret Garden is a musical based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical’s script and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway in 1991 and ran for 709 performances. Tickets $30–$108. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.2600. tuts.com
PENN & TELLER
Oct 13 Penn and Teller have redefined the genre of magic while inventing their own distinct niche of comedy for nearly 40 years. From sold out runs on Broadway to Emmy-winning TV specials, Penn and Teller show no signs of slowing down with their comedic acts. The comical duo will have the audience laughing the night away in Jones Hall. Tickets begin $31. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
RUSSIAN GRAND BALLET PRESENTS SWAN LAKE
Oct 19 Russian Grand Ballet’s full-length classical production for the first time includes the rarely seen Waltz of the Black Swans, and features Russia’s brightest ballet stars. Odette, a beautiful princess, falls under the spell of an evil sorcerer. Only Prince Siegfried’s devotion can save her. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake combines pure romanticism and tragedy, in a magical tale of love and deception. The glorious score and gravity-defying choreography have enchanted audiences for over a century, and continue to inspire new generations of dancers and music lovers of all ages. Tickets $32.50–$92.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamtheater.org
Thursday–Saturday, Oct 19–Nov 11 A new comedy by Ike Holter, one of America’s finest emerging playwrights and winner of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for drama. In this regional premiere, a young man shows up a year after his assumed death in his former Chicago apartment alive, well, and ready to fix what went wrong. A hilarious play that ultimately asks: What does growing up mean, and is it even desired in this day and age? Tickets $20–$25. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomhtx.com
MOZART’S JUPITER SYMPHONY
Oct 20–22 Praised for his imagination and fresh insights, conductor Matthew Halls returns to Jones Hall with Viennese masterpieces by Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. Dynamic cellist Johannes Moser brings his virtuoso technique and innate musicality to Haydn’s graceful Cello Concerto No. 1. Completing the concert is Mozart’s final symphonic masterpiece, his dazzling Symphony No. 41, Jupiter. Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
VERDI’S LA TRAVIATA
Oct 20–Nov 11 The courtesan
GERALD ALBRIGHT & SELINA ALBRIGHT
Oct 13 The Bayou City Jazz Series welcomes
PENN & TELLER
Oct 6–8 Whether high-flying, wall-crawling or Batmobile-riding, superheroes always get the coolest capes, the coolest cars—and the coolest theme songs. Get ready to say, “Holy Houston Symphony, Batman!” as we bring you some of the most memorable superhero themes from blockbusters like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Supergirl and X-Men: The Last Stand. Tickets $26–$145. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
BRAHMS AND MENDELSSOHN
Oct 7 Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Op. 73 in D major and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 107 Reformation. Tickets vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org
the explosive and electrifying saxophonist Gerald Albright, one of the most fierce sax players of our generation. With a last name associated with musical excellence, Selina Albright is a soulful singer-songwriter with versatility that comes from years of listening to many origins and languages of music. Her angelic tone adds character and emotion to any ballad. Tickets $55–$80.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
Oct 14 Based in Taiwan, U-Theatre is a unique theater company that utilizes drumming, meditation and theatrics to portray stories. In 1988, Liu Ruo-Yu founded U-Theatre to create a group that explore their bodies and minds through performance. Liu Ruo-Yu collaborated with Huang Chih-Chun, a professional traditional Chinese percussionist, to teach U-Theatre company members drumming. The result is a visually brilliant and unique mode of contemporary theater that is process-based, finely-tuned, and performer-dependent. U-Theatre is grounded in a collective experience based on each member’s personal search for enlightenment and inner balance. Tickets begin at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
Violetta Valéry has everything money can buy: beauty, fame, and wealth. But Violetta is dying, and she knows it. When she finally has a chance at true love, she jumps at it, only to give it up in a final act of selflessness. Find out for yourself why Verdi’s La traviata is the most frequently performed opera in the world. Tickets begin $15. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737.
ALISA WEILERSTEIN AND INON BARNATAN
Oct 21 Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan bring
their captivating duet to Houston. Cellist Weilerstein’s passion, commitment and breathtaking technique combined with undeniable musicianship make her one of today’s most exciting artists. Barnatan is a true poet of the keyboard: refined, searching, and unfailingly communicative. His sincerity and expressiveness brings audiences into each phrase as if hearing them for the first time, rivaling his technical abilities and sensitive phrasing. Together, these two artists offer an alluring and passionate musical event not to be missed with works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and more. Tickets begin at $25. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
datebook. AN EVENING WITH SALLY FIELD
photo by Felix Sanchez
Oct 26 Two-time Academy Award-winning, three-time Emmy-winning, and two-time Golden Globe-winning actress, director and producer, Sally Field has been one of the most versatile and durable talents in Hollywood for more than 50 years. In this rare conversation, she will speak candidly about her life and art and deliver empowering messages on balancing the demands of family and career. An independent woman of fierce determination and dazzling talents, Sally Field is an inspiration to audiences everywhere. Tickets $54.50– $119.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
BEETHOVEN & PROKOFIEV
Oct 26–29 Ludovic Morlot, the Seattle Symphony’s Grammy Award-winning music director, makes his Classical Series debut with Prokofiev’s epic Symphony No. 5. Composed in the midst of World War II, this symphony was conceived by Prokofiev “as glorifying the grandeur of the human spirit ... praising the free and happy man—his strength, his generosity, and the purity of his soul.” Returning to Jones Hall, musical polymath Jonathan Biss performs Beethoven’s lyrical Piano Concerto No. 4. Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
PSYCHO—FILM W/LIVE ORCHESTRA
Oct 27 What better way to celebrate Halloween than to scream along with Janet Leigh in the infamous shower scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s supreme suspense thriller Psycho? Every spine-tingling moment is more vivid with Bernard Herrmann’s bone-chilling, iconic score performed in its entirety by the Houston Symphony. Tickets $35–$125. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
HANDEL’S JULIUS CAESAR
Oct 27–Nov 10 Blood, sex, and political pawns—a
photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Game of Thrones episode? No, it’s Handel’s Julius Caesar—and it’s all based on Caesar’s very real exploits in ancient Egypt. The twist in this clever production by James Robinson is that the story of Caesar, Cleopatra, Ptolemy, and their allies and enemies is presented as a movie being filmed on a back lot in Hollywood, during its golden age in the late 1920s–early ’30s. Art deco sets and glitzy costumes bring the story of power and passion to life. Tickets begin $15. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org
ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE
Nov 6 David Sedaris has become one of America’s
comedy getaway featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, including Come Monday, Volcano, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and many more. With a book by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia and Emmy Award nominee Mike O’Malley, this rousing and refreshing new production is choreographed by Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine (Come From Away, Rock of Ages) and directed by the Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away, Memphis). Tickets vary. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400.
pre-eminent humor writers with his sardonic wit and incisive social critiques. Sedaris has mastered satire by using cultural euphemisms and political correctness to address the human condition today. With a bestselling collection of fables and multiple award-winning essays, he is admired for his intelligence around the world. Sedaris’ new book, Theft By Finding Diaries, is a collection of his diaries from 1977–2002. It is the focus of yet another entertaining evening with him in Houston. Tickets begin $27. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. spahouston.org
TANGO BUENOS AIRES
PAW PATROL LIVE! “RACE TO THE RESCUE”
Nov 3 One of Argentina’s great cultural exports and
Nov 9–12 It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay
a SPA fan favorite, Tango Buenos Aires, returns to Houston for one night only. Tango Buenos Aires has gained international recognition for its key elements of love, passion and romance, with the precise movement of its dancers and live music. Tango Buenos Aires has toured throughout the U.S. and will bring a brand-new program entitled The Spirit of Argentina to Jones Hall. Tickets begin $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. spahouston.org
Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol to the rescue! Ryder summons Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma, and the newest pup, Everest, to rescue Mayor Goodway and to run the race in her place. Tickets $19–$150. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400.
Nov 10–12 An exciting program of Broadway Today
Nov 4 Four-time Grammy winner Renée Fleming will captivate Houston with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry and compelling stage presence. From the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games, Fleming is one of the most sought after voices around the world. Fleming will be accompanied by Richard Bado, a chorus master in the Houston Grand Opera for over 30 seasons, who has been collaborating with Fleming for over 35 years since their college days in recitals, concerts and operas. Tickets begin at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. spahouston.org
Oct 31–Nov 5 Escape To Margaritaville is the musical
with the incredible Betsy Wolfe (Broadway’s Waitress, Falsettos). She will celebrate the best of the Great White Way, with songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Once, Chicago, The Book of Mormon, Les Misérables and the showstopper Maybe This Time from Cabaret. Tickets $40–$150. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
photo by Elvis Suarez/Glassworks Multimedia
Nov 10 Three-time Grammy-nominated AfroCaribbean ensemble Tiempo Libre is one of the hottest Latin bands performing today. Tiempo Libre is celebrated for its sophisticated tropical music featuring an irresistible, exhilarating mix of jazz harmonies, contemporary sound and seductive Latin rhythms. Tickets vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
BAYOU CITY JAZZ SERIES: NICK COLIONNE & ERIC DARIUS Nov 12 Wortham Center presents the Bayou City
Jazz Series: Nick Colionne & Eric Darius in the Cullen Theater. Presented by Teco Theatrical Productions, The 2017 Bayou City Jazz Series closes out with red hot guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne and Eric Darius. Saxophonist, composer, producer, and vocalist Eric Darius likes to play by his own rules. With six critically acclaimed albums under his belt and a No. 1 hit single, Darius is highly regarded by his peers. Tickets $55–$80.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041.
Nov 12 At prominent Italian courts and in forwardlooking cities like Venice, the decades around 1600 saw a remarkable flowering of female musical talent— virtuoso singers especially—who took advantage of new opportunities for professional musicians. Italian Sirens is devoted to these unique voices, as realized in the work of three remarkable early 17th-century composers: Isabella Leonarda, Francesca Caccini, and Barbara Strozzi. This musical tricolore spotlights a trio of exceptional Houston singers in the company of a colorful continuo band of violins, cello, Baroque harp, theorbo, and harpsichord. Tickets $39–$65. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
MISNOMERS PRESENTS GAMERA: THE GIANT MONSTER
Nov 13 Misnomers presents The Phantom Creeps for their October episode of They Read From A Script: A Staged Reading Series. In this 1966 cult film, Tokyo feels the wrath of Gamera, a giant fire-breathing turtle monster, who is awakened from his million-year
slumber by an atomic explosion. Join us at Rec Room to see this campy tale come to life! Tickets $10. 8 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomhtx.com
Nov 17–19 Andrés and Denis Kozhukhin reunite for a program featuring three works inspired by the same haunting melody: the theme from Paganini’s demonically difficult Caprice No. 24 for Solo Violin. A symbol of virtuoso technique, this melody inspired both Rachmaninoff’s and Lutoslawski’s showpieces for piano and orchestra as well as Blacher’s purely orchestral fireworks. Andrés continues his multi-season exploration of Ives’ quintessentially American music with his Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting. Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
A CHRISTMAS CAROL photo by T. Charles Erickson
WORTHAM TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY
Nov 17–Dec 30 Houston’s seasonal favorite, A
Nov 22 Don’t miss the 30th Annual Tree Lighting
Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season. Tickets $26–$60. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700.
Ceremony at Wortham Theater Center. Costumed characters from Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker will be on hand to greet the public for this holiday tradition. 11 am. Free. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7000.
HAYDN & MOZART
Nov 18 Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 22, in E-flat major, The Philospher, Symphony No. 49, in F minor, The Passion and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, K. 364. Tickets vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org
ON YOUR FEET!
Nov 21–26 From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. From international superstardom to life-threatening tragedy, ON YOUR FEET! takes you behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet. Tickets vary. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2400. thehobbycenter.org
BOB SCHNEIDER’S MOONLIGHT ORCHESTRA
Nov 24 Mucky Duck presents Bob Schneider and his annual Moonlight Orchestra Holiday for a magical evening that will kick off your holidays in style. You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite holiday standards, but you’ll also be dancing in your seats. Tickets vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamtheater.org
A SCHEHERAZADE THANKSGIVING
Nov 24–26 This Thanksgiving, Andrés conducts Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Inspired by 1001 Nights, this sumptuously orchestrated tone poem takes listeners along on the voyages of Sinbad and ends with an electrifying festival at Baghdad. Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes presents his unforgettable interpretation of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Tickets $23–$120. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
MARKET SQUARE PARK Fall Calendar 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.
marketsquarepark.com 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.
DON’T MISS LABOR DAY WEEKEND KICK-OFF CONCERT ASLI OMAR + WALKER LUKENS
Sep 1 Kick off your Labor Day festivities with a free
concert in the park. Houston’s own, Asli Omar of the Tontons will kick things off with a DJ set you won’t want to miss at 6 pm. Grab a spot on the lawn or challenge your friend to some giant jenga before settling in for a live performance by rising indie pop-rocker Walker Lukens. Free. 6–10 pm.
Sep 21 This is your last chance to catch Bingo at MSP! Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (approx 9 games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. 6–9 pm. Bingo begins at 7 pm and benefits Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
BODY BY BROADWAY
Sep 26, Oct 31 & Nov 28 In partnership with Theatre Under the Stars and Define Mind & Body, we are excited to bring Body by Broadway to Market Square Park! Sing, squat 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. Free. Class begins promptly at 6 pm.
Sep 30 Houston-area top-chefs compete against one another to find out who can render the best possible cooking under less than favorable conditions. Stipulations include using pre-selected ingredients and non-perishable food items typically found in a survival preparedness kit and camp stoves to simulate food preparation conditions during a disaster. The Chef’s Challenge is part of the ongoing regional Ready Houston campaign to inform residents about the need to prepare for emergencies before they happen. Free. 3 pm.
A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE
Oct 14 This annual neighborhood favorite it back! Join us for a historic night out by exploring the neighborhood’s eclectic bars and restaurants. Enjoy lawn games and a cold beverage at Market Square Park before settling on the lawn for a live performance by Shinyribs! Free. 6–10 pm.
SAVE THE DATE DESIGNCRAFT HOLIDAY MARKET
Dec 2 DesignCraft is AIGA Houston’s 8th Annual Holiday Market featuring the work of local artists, crafters, creatives and more. Find the perfect gifts and enjoy demonstrations by local artisans, live music and local food trucks. Free. 10 am–5 pm.
MOVIES ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMAS ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS THE QUIRKY & THE CLASSICS
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. Free.
Sep 15 The Breakfast Club (R) 1985, 109 min., 7:30 pm Oct 25 Psycho 1960, 109 min., 7pm Nov 17 Planes, Trains and Automobiles (R) 1987, 93 min., 7 pm
Dec 13 Scrooged (PG-13) 1988, 109 min., 7 pm
RECREATION BAYOU BIKERS
Sep 3, Oct 1 & Nov 5 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40-mile 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. Free. First Sunday of the month, 8 am.
Sep 29, Oct 27 & Nov 24 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. Free. 7:15 pm.
VIVA VENEZUELA FEST
Nov 24–Dec 28 The holiday season reignites with Stanton Welch’s spectacular new production of The Nutcracker. Enjoy all the splendor of this timeless classic, with opulence brighter than ever. Journey with Clara, Drosselmeyer, Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker Prince as they embark on a magical adventure through a growing Christmas tree, interactive snow scene, and whimsical Kingdom of Sweets. The music, costumes, and hundreds of delightful characters will bring out the child in everyone! Tickets $25–$135. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
Nov 30–Dec 17 Addie Mills is smart and energetic, just like the mother she never knew. Addie has no idea why her father resents the holidays so intensely, refusing even to allow a Christmas tree in the house. But when she brings home a tree she won in a school contest, it paves the way for a miracle of sorts—her father’s broken soul is transformed. The House without a Christmas Tree, a world premiere opera by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek, is based on the original story by Gail Rock and the beloved 1972 television movie of the same name. Tickets vary. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737.
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
Sep 24 Barbecue joints from around the area will be
a glimpse into the extraordinary Venezuelan culture, while giving Venezuelans living in Texas a glimpse of home. Enjoy a wide variety of traditional Venezuelan singers, dancers and culinary delights as you discover the ins and outs of the culture. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. Noon–10 pm. Tickets $15. vivavenezuelafest.com.
serving dishes that represent their interpretation of Houston-style barbecue. Along with a panel of judges, guests will sample all of the dishes and decide on their favorite. Tickets $65. 1 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
Sep 16 This stellar celebration of beer, music
and food will be pouring an astounding selection of 250+ beers, featuring some of the most popular and most unique craft brews for patrons to sample throughout the evening. Post HTX, 401 Franklin. 4–11 pm. 713.961.3877.
Sep 16, Oct 21, Nov 18, Dec 16 Houstonians, ages 9
photo by Amitava Sarkar
THE HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE
short-film tour showcasing wildlife, adventure, and conservation stories from across the state. Meet the characters in the films, the folks behind the cameras, and some of the best photographers, anglers, outdoorsman, and wildlife enthusiasts in the state of Texas. Tickets $20. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamtheater.org
LOVE STREET LIGHT CIRCUS WITH BAYOU BUDDIES
HAPPY HOUR WITH PINOT’S PALETTE
Sep 20 Make plans for an unforgettable evening of fun and fine art where the wine and the canvases are provided! All you need to do is bring your friends and get ready to be inspired by local artists from Pinot’s Palette, who will guide you step-by-step through a featured painting. At the end of the evening, leave with your own masterpiece. Please note that this is an outdoor event. Main Street Square, 1000 block of Main. Space is limited, $20. 5:30–8 pm. artblockshouston.org
PORSCHE CONCOUR D’ELEGANCE
Sep 23 Car fanatics will mix and mingle with one another as they browse one of the world’s most high performance cars. Live DJ will be mixing it up and raffles will be available. Free. 9 am–noon. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201. greenstreetdowntown.com
the challenging but energizing boot camp class on The Lawn. No equipment is needed and classes are open to all skill-levels. Free. 6:30–7 am. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201. greenstreetdowntown.com
CITY HALL FARMER’S MARKET
Wednesdays, Sep 13–Dec 20 The public can enjoy a variety of locally prepared ready-to-eat or packaged to-go foods, pick up farm-fresh weekly groceries and at the same time support sustainable food, all amidst Houston’s dramatic Downtown urban setting. Free. 11 am–1:30 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby.
FRIDAY FLICKS ON THE LAWN
Sep 27 The 2017 Wild Texas Film Tour is an 11-city,
Sep 28 Be a part of the Love Generation for an evening
TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION: WILD TEXAS FILM TOUR
and up, are invited to join Buffalo Bayou Partnership for community-wide volunteer days at Buffalo Bayou Park the third Saturday of each month. Volunteers will help with a variety of tasks, including but not limited to: trash pickup, mulching, and weed removal. Free. 8:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 105 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
Wednesdays, Sep 6–Nov 29 Skip the gym and join
Spread out on The Lawn at GreenStreet the third Friday of the month for a free movie night under the moon. Movies begin at 8 pm. Free. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201. greenstreetdowntown.com Sept 15 The Blind Side (PG-13) 2009, 129 mins Oct 20 Ghostbusters (PG-13) 2016, 134 mins Nov 17 Home Alone (PG) 1990, 115 mins
HOUSTON BBQ THROWDOWN
Sep 16 The Viva Venezuela Festival gives attendees
at the original home of Love Street Light Circus and Feelgood Machine, Houston’s most popular psychedelic club in the late 1960s, now home to Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Dance the night away with music from DJ Felix while enjoying incredible views of Buffalo Bayou and local food and drink. Tickets vary. 7–10 pm. Sunset Coffee Building, 1019 Commerce. 713.752.0314.
NIGERIA CULTURE PARADE
Sep 30 Celebrate Nigeria’s 57th year of independence in the heart of Downtown. Attendees will witness a rich cultural experience through the street-wide celebration. Free. 8:30 am–1 pm. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. culturallynaija.com
OKTOBERFEST AT SAINT ARNOLD
Oct 6–7 Put on your best dirndl, lederhosen or other Tyrolean duds and come out to Saint Arnold’s Annual Oktoberfest party in their Beer Hall. Feast off their specialty menu and dress up for a chance to be crowned King or Queen of Oktoberfest. Free Admission. 5 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
VIET THANH NGUYEN
H-E-B THANKSGIVING PARADE
KBR KIDS DAY
KBR KIDS DAY
Oct 7 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership and KBR for the 11th annual KBR Kids Day at Guadalupe Plaza Park. Children and adults will be delighted by hands-on nature and learning activities, live music and entertainment, food trucks, birds of prey shows, pontoon boat tours on the bayou, and a Halloween costume parade! Free. Guadalupe Plaza Park, 2311 Runnels Street. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL
Oct 14–15 A sophisticated outdoor gallery under the iconic Houston skyline, transforming the streets of Downtown into artistic avenues bursting with color and culture. The two-day festival showcases the works of over 300 of the finest artists and craftsmen in the world. Adding to the festive outdoor gallery are a variety of food options, a creative zone for children, and a stage with ongoing entertainment. Tickets $12 adult, $5 child, children under 5 free. 10 am–6 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. artcolonyassociation.org
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL
SPEAKER SERIES INPRINT PRESENTS NATHAN ENGLANDER & NICOLE KRAUSS READING
Sep 18 Nathan Englander, Pulitzer Prize finalist reads
SMASH THE SQUASH
from his new novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth, and Nicole Krauss, National Book Award finalist reads from her new novel Forest Dark, as part of the 2017/2018 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5. Mon 7:30 pm. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
Oct 14, 15, 21–22, 28–29 & 31 The white tigers at the Downtown Aquarium love Halloween! Come watch them train, eat and pounce on pumpkins! Exhibit ticket required. 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474.
HOUSTON LATIN FEST
Oct 15 The Houston Latin Fest is a family-oriented Latin music festival that gives the surrounding Latin communities in Houston a place to gather with family and friends to listen and dance to live Latin music, connect with other fans in an open social space, and celebrate their Latin heritage. Tickets $10. Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana. 832.422.8936. houstonlatinfest.com
SAINT ARNOLD & HOUSTON DAIRYMAIDS BEER & CHEESE PAIRING
OCT 22 October is American Cheese Month, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company is getting all cheesy with the Houston Dairymaids. Guests can enjoy a five-course guided beer and cheese pairing with two of Houston’s finest! Tickets $30. 3 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
VIA COLORI STREET PAINTING FESTIVAL
Nov 18–19 Amazing chalk artists transform the
streets of Downtown into colorful optical illusions and masterpieces in a festival benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech. Enjoy live music on multiple stages, food, a beer and wine garden, as well as activities for all ages. Presale $7; Door $10. Children under 17 free. 10 am. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby.
68TH ANNUAL H-E-B THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE Nov 23 The Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade is
comes to Jones Plaza for a weekend filled with delicious Turkish food and great entertainment. Tickets vary. Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana. 832.422.8936.
one of the oldest parades in the country. A stunning showcase of sensational floats, high-flying balloons, marching bands, artistic entries and live entertainment will take over Downtown for this special day of celebration. The parade route begins at Lamar and Smith. Viewing areas include: Smith to Walker, Walker to Milam, Milam to Pease, Pease to Louisiana, Louisiana to Clay. Parade ends at Smith and Dallas. Free. 9 am.
TURKISH FESTIVAL 2017
Nov 4–5 The 26th Annual Houston Turkish Festival
INPRINT PRESENTS JENNIFER EGAN & CLAIRE MESSUD READING
Nov 6 Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author reads from her new novel Manhattan Beach, and Claire Messud, New York Times Notable Book author reads from her new novel The Burning Girl, as part of the 2017/2018 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5. Mon 7:30 pm. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 501 Texas 713.521.2026.
INPRINT PRESENTS VIET THANH NGUYEN READING
Nov 13 Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winner
and author of the novel The Sympathizers and the story collection The Refugees, reads from selected works, as part of the 2017/2018 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5. Mon 7:30 pm. Stude Concert Hall, Rice University. 713.521.2026.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SCREEN ON THE GREEN PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA
Catch a free movie under the beautiful Downtown skyline. Arrive early for contests and activities. Free.
Sep 9 Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG) 2016, 113 min., 8 pm
Oct 14 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13) 2016, 138 min., 8 pm
Oct 27 Hotel Transylvania 2 (PG) 2015, 89 min., 7:30 pm
Nov 4 Zootopia (PG) 2016, 108 min., 7:30 pm
H-E-B MOVIE NIGHT
FLEA BY NIGHT
Presented in conjunction with the Houston Independent School District. Free. 8 pm. Sep 22 Hidden Figures (PG) 2016, 127 min.
CANNED ACOUSTICA 2017
SPECIAL EVENTS ARCADE BY THE COLOR CONDITION
Through Nov 15 Arcade, a series of dynamic
streamer sculptures by Texas-based artistic duo Sunny Sliger and Marianne Newsom of The Color Condition, brings dramatic color and whimsy to the Avenida and Discovery Green. The street will be closed through Sep 4, Oct 6–8 and Nov 3–5 for you to stroll and enjoy. Free.
COLOR THE AVE
Sep 9 This event celebrates The Color Condition’s Arcade with a site-specific dance performance by Karen Stokes Dance Company, music, a wearable art workshop and concludes with a spectacular aerial performance off the George R. Brown by Vault. Free. 4–8 pm.
FLEA BY NIGHT PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green’s fall 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.
SCREAM ON THE GREEN
Oct 27 Have a spook-tacular time at Houston’s annual citywide Halloween celebration featuring a costume contest for all ages! Free. 6–10 pm.
Nov 18 Kick off the winter season and celebrate the opening of The ICE powered by Green Mountain Energy with a park-wide celebration featuring live music, ice sculptures and more. Free. 4–10 pm.
THE ICE POWERED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
Opens Nov 18 The ICE at Discovery Green powered by Green Mountain Energy uses recycled water from Kinder Lake to create a 7,716 square-foot ice skating surface, making it the largest outdoor skating rink in the Southwest. Ticket fees apply.
THURSDAY NIGHT CONCERTS PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
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. discoverygreen.com/concerts
Green’s eco-conscious Flea is irresistible to the avid shopper! Enjoy live local music, food trucks and shopping under the stars and twinkling lights. Free. 6–10 pm.
park, Canned Acoustica brings the best musical acts in town to perform in an unplugged concert series challenging them to rethink, rearrange and deliver a unique performance of their songs using only acoustic instruments. Free. 5–9 pm.
Sep 7 Charlie Robison with opener Charlie and the
Saturdays, Sep 16, Oct 21, Nov 18 Discovery
photos by Katya Horner
Sundays, Sep 10, Oct 1, Nov 12 New to the
Sep 14 Los Texmaniacs with opener Amanda Cevallos and the High Hands Band
Sep 21 Co-headliners Peterson Brothers & Charley Crockett
Sep 28 Paul Wall with opener Genesis Blu Oct 5 Ty Herndon | Show Your Pride Night
METDANCE SEASON KICK-OFF
Oct 7 METdance dives into its 22nd season under the stars, including audience favorites from Joshua L. Peugh, Camille A. Brown, Houston’s own Mario Zambrano and our 2017 Emerging Choreographer awardee Hattie Haggard. Free. 8–10 pm.
Friday and Saturday, Nov 3 and 4 From jewelry to furniture, paintings to sculptures, shop from over 80 fine art and contemporary craft artists. Free. 10 am–6 pm on Nov 3 and 10 am–5 pm on Nov 4.
FAMILY & CHILDREN EVENTS FITNESS IN THE PARK ORBIT SLAMS
Fridays, Sep 1, Oct 6, Nov 3 Free WITS writing and slam workshops for poets ages 13 to 19. Free. 6–8 pm.
YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP
Saturdays, Sep 2–Nov 11 Houston’s only free and
PRESENTED BY SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET YOGA
Mondays, Sep 4–Oct 30 Free. 11:30 am–12:30 pm.
open writing workshop for kids. Free. 10:30–11:30 am.
Mondays, Sep 4–Oct 30 Free. 12:30–1:30 pm.
STEM SATURDAYS PRESENTED BY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM
Tuesdays, Sep 5–Oct 31 Free. 6–8 pm.
on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education program for kids. Free. 12:30–1:30 pm.
Tuesdays, Sep 5–Oct 31 Free. 6:30–7:30 pm.
SUNDAYS IN THE PARK
Saturdays, Sep 2–Nov 4 Girlstart leads a fun, hands-
Sundays, Sep 3–Oct 29 Make Sundays your favorite day in the park. Enjoy live music while playing fun games and picnicking with your loved ones! Free. 2–5 pm.
CORE FOCUSED YOGA
Wednesdays, Sep 6–Nov 1 Free. 6:30–7:30 pm.
Thursdays, Sep 7–Nov 2 Free. 6:30–8 pm.
Tuesdays, Sep 5–Oct 31 Houston Public Library (HPL) teams up with Discovery Green for a morning of fun with story time, activities and crafts! Free. 10:30 am–12:30 pm.
Saturdays, Sep 2–Nov 4 Free. 9–10 am.
Sundays, Sep 10, Oct 8, Nov 12 Children grades 1
through 8 will enjoy a hands-on musical experience during this new class taught by Divisi Strings. Free. 3–4 pm.
TEXAS TACO MUSIC FESTIVAL
MY FIRST MUSIC LESSON
Saturdays, Sep 22–Nov 25 Bring your sorted glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. Free. 11 am–2 pm.
TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON
Sep 23 Sample great outdoor activities with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Free. 10 am–3 pm.
Sep 16 The Texas Taco Music Fest is a Latin foodie and cultural celebration. Ticket fees apply. 12–9 pm.
HOUSTON BLACK HERITAGE MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
Sep 30 The Houston Black Heritage Music & Arts Festival is a celebration of African and AfricanAmerican culture expressed through art, music, poetry, food and community. Ticket fees apply. 4–10 pm.
2017 KOREAN FESTIVAL HOUSTON
Oct 21 The annual Houston Korean Festival celebrates the Korean culture through food, performances and activities for all ages. 10 am–7 pm.
2ND ANNUAL EGYPTIAN FESTIVAL
Oct 28 Egyptian foods, belly dance shows, camel rides, history and more. Ticket fees apply. 11 am–9 pm.
WORLD CORPORATE GAMES
Nov 17 The largest multi-sport festival for business, organizations and institutions. 6–8 pm.
KIDNEY ACTION DAY
Nov 18 The American Kidney Fund is hosting Kidney
SCREEN ON THE GREEN
Action Day, offering free kidney health screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations, fitness activities and entertainment! 11 am–4 pm.
YOGA IN THE PARK
DISCOVERY GREEN ON THE AVENIDA RETRO SPECTACULAR
Sep 23 The George R. Brown Convention Center celebrates its 30th anniversary and kicks off its new season of exciting events on the Avenida Plaza with live music and fun. Free. 5–10 pm.
PARTY ON THE PLAZA
Wednesdays, Oct 4–Nov 15 The best live music in Texas makes for a Party on the Avenida Plaza each Wednesday night. Note: no event on October 11. Free. 6–10 pm.
BLUES AND MORE ON THE BROWN
Thursdays, Oct 5–Nov 16 Experience the best lunch break in all of Houston with live weekly concerts on the Avenida Plaza. Free. 11:30 am–1 pm.
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
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS FOOD AND FAMILY: A HOUSTON JOURNEY
Sep. 8–Jan 27, 2018 Food and Family will sample
several cultural manifestations in the diverse communities that make up greater Houston. Admission to the gallery is free. 10 am–4 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
DRACULA! INSPIRATIONS BY EDWARD GOREY
Sep 15–Nov 17 Arts
Brookfield in partnership with the Alley Theatre presents DRACULA! Inspirations by Edward Gorey, a selection of costumes and sets designed with great wit and elegance by Edward Gorey. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith. 713.336.2280.
A BRINGING TO LIGHT
Sep 19–Nov 15 Arts Brookfield presents, A Bringing to Light, Collected works by Daniel H. Phillips, which will highlight Phillips’ hand-built wood furniture and the paintings, sketches and tools he uses to create his designs. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Total Plaza Lobby, 1201 Louisiana. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
KNOWN AND UNDERKNOWN
Sep 8–Nov 13 Arts Brookfield presents Known and Underknown—Everyone knows someone, but not everyone knows everyone! A provocative exhibition of 19 emerging and established Houston and Gulf Coast artists. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. 1600 Smith Lobby, 1600 Smith. 713.336.2280. artsbrookfield.com
CONCERTS REVENTION MUSIC CENTER
Sep 16 Imparables Featuring Adrian Uribe Y Omar Chaparro
Sep 22 Jon Bellion Sep 29 The Flaming Lips Oct 2 Kaleo Express Tour Oct 3 A Day To Remember Oct 14 John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous Oct 24 Zedd Nov 4 Jeanne Robertson Nov 12 Amanda Miguel Y Diego Verdaguer Nov 25 Peppa Pig Live! 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
Sep 2 Buddy Guy Sep 5 Lifehouse & Switchfoot— Looking For Summer Tour
Sep 6 Lake Street Drive Sep 8 Manchester Orchestra Sep 13 War On The Catwalk Sep 14 Ben Folds—Paper Airplane Request Tour Sep 15 Jonny Lang—Signs World Tour Sep 16 Grieves Sep 16 Jay Mohr Sep 17 Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley—Stony Hill Fall Tour Sep 19 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Sep 21 Dr. John Sep 22 Descendents Sep 23 Tajmo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band Sep 24–25 Café Tacvba Sep 26 Ones To Watch Presents The Lany Tour: Part 2 Sep 28 Natalia Lafourcade Sep 30 JJ Grey & Mofro Oct 1 Max Frost Oct 2 Gov’t Mule Oct 2 LEON Oct 4 Boyce Avenue Oct 5 Andrew W.K. Oct 7 MUTEMATH Oct 20 The Magpie Salute Oct 21 Sinbad Oct 22 Max Oct 23 Thievery Corporation Oct 27 Simply Three Oct 27 Hanson 25th Anniversary—Middle of Everywhere Tour
Oct 28 Blues Traveler—30th Anniversary Tour Nov 1 Issues—Headspace Tour Nov 2 HIM—Bang & Whimper 2017 The Farewell Tour Nov 5 The Minimalists—Less Is Now Tour Nov 6 Toad The Wet Sprocket Nov 17 Jacob Banks Nov 18 Timeflies Nov 19 Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson 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.
Sep 8 Nicky Jam & Plan B Sep 9 Janet Jackson Sep 15 Ruff Ryders Tour Sep 22 Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull Sep 23 Ricardo Arjona Sep 29 Marco Antonio Solis Oct 6 Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Oct 17 The Weeknd Oct 19 Marc Antony Oct 24 Bruno Mars Oct 25 Halsey Nov 7 Fall Out Boy Nov 8 JAY-Z Nov 10 Guns N’ Roses Nov 12 Imagine Dragons Nov 18 WWE NXT Nov 19 WWE Survivor Series Nov 20 WWE RAW Nov 21 WWE Smackdown Toyota Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX.
EXPOS Sep 15–16 Houston Arts Partners Conference Sep 15–16 Navratri 2017 Celebration Sep 16–17 High Caliber Gun & Knife Show Oct 19–22 Texas Contemporary Art Fair Nov 1–5 Quilt Festival Houston Nov 23–26 58th Annual AutoRama
TOURS WAUGH BAT COLONY BOAT TOURS
Sep 9 & 23 Guests will enjoy an amazing view of over 250,000 magnificent Mexican free-tailed bats as they emerge from underneath Waugh Drive Bridge. $30, (children under 4 are not permitted). Boat departs 30 minutes before sunset. Allen’s Landing Boat Launch. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
Sep 16 Escape from the city and enjoy the cool breeze as you glide along Buffalo Bayou’s waters. Bring the entire family and look for graceful herons, jumping fish, and even an occasional alligator on the banks. Tickets: $7 adults, $5 for kids ages 4–12. 6–8:30 pm. The last tour departs at 8 pm. Sabine Promenade Boat Launch. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
BUFFALO BAYOU WALKING TOUR
Sep 16, Oct 21, & Nov 18 The tour will highlight how the landscape and ecology of 19th-century Texas 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. buffalobayou.org
LOOKING BACK HISTORY BOAT TOUR
Sep 30, Nov 4 Take a look back with local historian and author Louis Aulbach to the late 1800s when Houston was founded. He will share stories about the Allen brothers and provide historical information about the people, places and events that helped shape our city. $40. 10–11:30 am. Allen’s Landing Boat Launch. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
SECOND SATURDAY BOAT RIDES
Oct 14 These 30-minute boat rides are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family. Escape from the city and enjoy the cool breeze as you glide along Buffalo Bayou’s waters. Look for graceful herons, jumping fish, and even an occasional alligator sunning on the banks. Adults $7, children (ages 4–12) $5. Cash only. 10 am–2 pm. Sabine Promenade Boat Launch, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
PORT TO PORT BOAT TOURS
Oct 21 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 on Houston. Tickets: $45 per person. 10–noon. Allen’s Landing Boat Launch. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOUR
Visit Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s Brewery and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. Their knowledgeable staff will explain the history, ingredients, and equipment used to produce the freshest beer. Tours are available Monday–Friday at 1 pm and 3 pm, and on Saturdays at noon, 1 pm, and 2 pm. After the tour, guests are welcome to stay for a free tasting. Admission is free Mon–Fri and is $10 on Sat. No reservations required. All minors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons.
SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON
Like the rest of Texas, Downtown Houston is a pretty big place to walk around. There are a lot of things to see up close and from a distance. Experience the Bayou City, once the capitol city of a sovereign country, from a walking perspective within a few hours while you have effortless fun on a Segway. $80. Daily: 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. Meet at Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com LOOKING BACK HISTORY BOAT TOUR
SPORTS TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
Sep 2 TSU vs. Prairie View A&M (Labor Day Classic) Sep 7 TSU vs. Houston Baptist (Community Day) Sep 29 TSU vs. Alcorn State Oct 14 TSU vs. Alabama State (Homecoming) Nov 11 TSU vs. Southern (Senior Day) Visit website for schedule info and tickets. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. tsuball.com
Sep 9 Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids (Soccer Kicks Cancer Night)
Sep 27 Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy Sep 30 Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United (Noche Naranja—Hispanic Heritage Night)
Oct 22 Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire (Fan Appreciation Night) For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
GHOST AND SPIRITS BOAT TOUR
Oct 28 & 31 Join historian and “ghost writer” Andrew Groocock, as he shares to stories of haunted tales and legends along Buffalo Bayou. Libations courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company and light bites from Spaghetti Warehouse. Costumes are encouraged in keeping with the Halloween spirit and to continue the ghoulish fun in downtown after your tour. Tickets: $45 per person. 6 to 7:30 pm. Allen’s Landing Boat Launch. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS
Ghost tours, tunnel walks and rail tours, architectural tours and more are available. Tour guide Sandra Lord is the resident expert and has been conducting Downtown and Houston tours since 1988. Ticket prices vary. 713.222.9255. discoverhoustontours.com
HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR
Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of Downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 children 6–8 and kids under 5 are free. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Times vary. 713.655.1912.
MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth and press boxes, Astros’ and visitors’ dugouts, luxury suites and much more. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors and $10 for kids 3–12. Mon–Sat, 10 am and noon. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8687. astros.com
Sep 3 Houston Dash vs. Seattle Reign Sep 23 Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
Sep 2–3 Astros vs. New York Mets Sep 16–17 Seattle Mariners Sep 19–21 Chicago White Sox Sep 23–24 Los Angeles Angels For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767.
With a fusion of culture, lifestyles and commerce, life around here is anything but typical. Look up and discover soaring skyscrapers designed by icons like Philip Johnson and I.M. Pei. Turn a corner and bump into Houston’s historic past or uncover a piece of contemporary public art. Enjoy major league sports, world-class theater, innovative chefs, funky hotspots, movies in the park, sidwalk cafés, outdoor festivals, pontoon boat tours and more.
Welcome to Downtown Houston! Tours
Attractions & Sights
1. Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours 713.752.0314 2. Heritage Society Historic Homes Tour 713.655.1912 3. Minute Maid Park Tour 713.259.8687 4. Saint Arnold Brewing Company Tour 713.686.9494 5. Toyota Center Backstage Tour 713.758.7715
12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.
6. Minute Maid Park 7. Toyota Center 8. BBVA Compass Stadium
Recreation Sunset Coffee Building at Buffalo Bayou (hiking & jogging trail) 10. Root Memorial Square (basketball court) 11. Discovery Green (exercise class, bocce ball & putting green) 9.
Avenida Houston Buffalo Bayou Discovery Green Downtown Aquarium George H.W. Bush & James A. Baker, III Monuments George R. Brown Convention Center Historic District Bayou Place Main Street Square Saint Arnold Brewing Company Southern Pacific Steam Engine 982 Union Station at Minute Maid Park
Eat & Drink 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.
Ballpark District Bayou Place/Theater District Avenida Houston Downtown Aquarium Historic District GreenStreet The Shops at Houston Center Warehouse District
Museums & Libraries
A great way to get form point A to point B or just explore downtown! You can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships. For more info, visit houston.bcycle.com
32. 33. 34. 35. 36.
Houston Central Library Julia Ideson Library Heritage Society Museum Houston Police Museum Museum District (via METRORail)
FREE DOWNTOWN CIRCULATOR Green Route
Mon–Fri, 6:30 am–6:30 pm Thu–Fri, 6:30 pm–midnight Sat 9 am–midnight, Sun 9 am–6 pm
Education 37. Incarnate Word Academy 38. South Texas College of Law Houston 39. University of Houston– Downtown Medical 40. St. Joseph Medical Center Religious 41. Antioch Baptist Church 42. Annunciation Catholic Church 43. Christ Church Cathedral 44. First United Methodist Church 45. Holy Cross Church 46. Islamic Dawah Center 47. Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral 48. Houston First Baptist Church Spiritual 49. Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer
67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74.
Parks 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60.
Allen’s Landing Discovery Green Halliburton Plaza Hermann Square Market Square Park Root Memorial Square Sabine Promenade & Buffalo Bayou Park Sam Houston Park Sesquicentennial Park Sisters of Charity Park Tranquillity Park
Groceries & Conveniences 61. CVS/Pharmacy 62. Phoenicia Specialty Foods Grocery Store 64. Wolfe’s Cleaners
Shopping 65. GreenStreet 66. The Shops at Houston Center
METRORail Lines North/Main Southeast East End
Alley Theatre Hobby Center Jones Hall Jones Plaza The Landing Theatre Company Prohibition Supper Club Rec Room Wortham Center
Film 75. AMC Dine-In Houston (formerly Sundance Cinemas)
Music Venues 76. House of Blues 77. Revention Music Center
City, County & Federal 78. 79. 80. 81.
City Hall City Hall Annex Bob Casey Federal Courthouse Harris County Court Campus
Where to Stay 82. The Sam Houston Hotel 83. Club Quarters 84. Courtyard by Marriott/Marriott Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites 85. The Whitehall 86. DoubleTree 87. Four Seasons 88. Embassy Suites 89. Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites 90. Hilton Americas 91. Holiday Inn 92. Holiday Inn Express 93. Hotel Icon 94. Hyatt Regency Downtown 95. JW Marriott 96. Westin Houston Downtown 97. Lancaster Hotel 98. Magnolia Hotel 99. Athens Hotel Suites 100. Aloft Hotel 101. Marriott Marquis
Visitor Information ALWAYS BE AWARE OF PEDESTRIANS, DRIVERS, BICYCLISTS AND TRAINS WHEN NEAR TRACKS!
102. Explore Houston: GRBCC
to n Jacin
DOWNTOWN INTERACTIVE PARKING MAP
UH DOWNTOWN STATION
Bayou Trail Access
13 50 1
24-Hour Accessible ATM
9 ← Commerce
100 ← Walker
← to Allen Parkway
GREENSTREET 65 29
55 ← Bell
91 ← Pease
→ Pierce I-45
← St. Joseph Parkway
DOWNTOWN TRANSIT CENTER
← La Branch
→ San Jacinto
→ Jefferson ← Milam
85 ← Fannin
s ew dr
5 TOYOTA CENTER
GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER
alla W. D
→ from Allen Parkway Bagby
THE SHOPS AT HOUSTON CENTER 30 66
Avenida de las Americas
MAIN STREET SQUARE STATION
← La Branch
23 6 → San Jacinto
→ Texas → Travis
25 BAYOU PLACE
MINUTE MAID PARK
BUFFA LO BA YOU
Our new Google Map will help you find where you’re going, where to park and what’s nearby
Public Parking Garages
Public garages, surface lots and metered on-street parking are abundant in downtown. Reminder: on-street parking is free after 6 pm Monday–Saturday and all day Sunday.
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