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SPRING 2018

MAIN STREET Living up to its name

Dream Big years

Discovery Green hits it out of the park


DESTINATIONDOWNTOWN

Everything you need. Right in your neighborhood. Taking care of you and your family is what we do best. For primary care, 24-hour ER, physical therapy, 24-hour advanced imaging and lab services, you can visit the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center that’s closest to you. It’s convenience without compromise – all from one of Houston’s most trusted health systems.

To schedule an appointment or check in online, visit memorialhermann.org/ccc or call 713.222.CARE.

1431 Studemont Street Houston, TX 77007 I-10 at Studemont


inside.

SPRING 2018 VOL. 10, NO. 3

MANAGING EDITOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Angie Bertinot, Downtown District

COPY EDITOR

Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions

DESIGN

CORE Design Studio

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sandra Cook A.J. Mistretta Stefanie Pascasio Ryann Roussel

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PUBLISHERS’ NOTE

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BACKSTAGE

ADVERTISING INFORMATION

Angie Bertinot 713.650.3022 angie@downtowndistrict.org

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? Drop us a line at dtmagazine@downtowndistrict.org

Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010. Published by:

With support from:

08 THE MAIN THING In most cities, Main Street is the center of activity, the place where everything happens. But for years, Houston’s Main Street was just a reminder of times long gone. Now, thanks to extensive planning and hard work, the thoroughfare is once again one of the city’s most vital connectors. BY A.J. MISTRETTA

Houston’s Theater District was knocked for a loop by Harvey, but the dedication, hard work and sheer heart of its member organizations mean audiences can still enjoy the best of the city’s performing arts. BY RYANN ROUSSEL

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DATEBOOK

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PLATE/SIP

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DESTINATION DOWNTOWN MAP

20 A PERFECT 10 When Discovery Green opened to the public, hopes were high for the new green space on the edge of Downtown. Some wondered if the park could deliver on everything developers were promising. Ten years later, Discovery Green is the beating heart of Houston—an always-busy destination filled with families, tourists, Downtown residents and business people. BY SANDRA COOK

We’ve come a long way over the last 15 years. Houston has a tremendous pool of talent, and Downtown’s greatest successes always seem to come when we pool that talent and welcome an exchange of ideas. Nowhere is that more evident than when we look at two of our greatest success stories—Discovery Green and Main Street.

Say goodbye to winter’s chill and head outside to enjoy warmer temps and Downtown’s vast array of activities. The always-popular Art Car Parade, the excitement of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and a new twist on a major music festival are all on tap this spring. Not sure where to start? We’ve got the deets on all the shows, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and more.

Whether you’re making plans for a special dinner, family brunch or quick working lunch, our extensive listing of Downtown’s eateries always comes in super handy. And check out our comprehensive roundup of happy hour standouts—they make for the perfect ending for any day!


PUBLISHERS’ NOTE

Run as one Now that winter has released its surprisingly strong and chilly grasp on our city, we can get back to the business of springtime in Houston—celebrating our World Champion Houston Astros as they begin a new season and cheering on the red-hot Houston Rockets as they strive to win it all for the first time in more than two decades. But we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the ways Downtown has come into its own. Many of the critical elements needed to create a destination where people can live, work and play are now largely in place. What we’ve found most striking about the work we’ve seen over the past decade is just how important it is WE’VE FOUND HOW to listen to the many voices needed to IMPORTANT IT IS TO ensure the success of a project. It really does take a village when it comes to LISTEN TO THE MANY urban redevelopment. Nowhere is that VOICES NEEDED TO more obvious than on Main Street and ENSURE THE SUCCESS at Discovery Green. While Main Street OF A PROJECT. development is still a work in progress, we’ve come a long way since construction on the first rail line began in 2001. Learn more about where Main Street is headed starting on page 8. And find out how Discovery Green became one of Houston’s most beloved treasures on page 20. It’s also important to give Houston’s Theater District a shout-out. Harvey’s floodwaters dealt our performing arts institutions a hard blow, but they’ve got the grit and resilience needed to survive. Their seasons are in full swing (albeit in a few new locations) and it would be a shame not to get yourself to the theater this spring. Read about their efforts at recovery starting on page 3. 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 46 and as always, you’ll find our extensive calendar of events and activities in datebook on page 32 and a listing of shows and performances on page 33. 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.

Bob Eury

Angie Bertinot

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DOWNTOWN DISTRICT

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT

ON THE COVER With its colorful gardens, vibrant and ever-changing art installations and playful activities, Discovery Green is an indelible part of Downtown culture.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

backstage.

NORMA Houston Grand Opera delivers a powerful performance from its Resilience Theater at the George R. Brown Convention Center

photo by Corey Weaver

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B AC K S TAG E

Half a Year After Hurricane Harvey BY RYANN ROUSSEL

Visitors to Houston may find it difficult to imagine the devastation in the city after Hurricane Harvey. It is tough to reconcile the images of catastrophic flooding with the seemingly operational buildings across Houston. But while the facades are recovering, there is a deeper damage that will take years to heal. There are few places this is better demonstrated than Downtown’s Theater District.

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Theater District Groups Face Long Recovery The spirit of the Theater District’s resilience is one that garnered national and international attention. After Harvey struck, seasons were rescheduled, companies moved, and the Houston Grand Opera even built an entirely new temporary performance space. All of this is a testament to the enduring spirit of the arts organizations and Houstonians. But though the show must go on, and is, despite enormous challenges, the recovery is far from over. Collectively, the Theater District has never experienced such a massive disruption. The companies are still grappling with the total damage and attempting to figure out what this means for the area as one of the largest performing arts destinations outside of Broadway. Nearly half a year after the storm, many are still coming to terms with the destruction and asking questions. In the days and weeks after Harvey, Theater District companies waded back into their theaters to assess the damage. Jones Hall’s rehearsal room flooded. The Hobby Center experienced minor electrical damage, but made it through the storm mostly unscathed. Wortham Theater Center and Alley Theatre had the most visible damage, both taking on several feet of water. Kathryn McNiel, CEO of Theater District Houston, was among the first to venture back into the Theater District after the storm. She

describes entering the decimated buildings with Perryn Leech and Dean Gladden, executive directors of Houston Grand Opera and Alley Theatre respectively. The group parked their cars a safe distance away and walked into streets still filled with water. “I didn’t have a clue what to expect,” McNiel says. First they went into the Alley Theatre. “We were relieved that the water hadn’t gotten to the glass doors and there didn’t seem to be water in the lobby area,” explains McNiel. But when they attempted to head downstairs to the Neuhaus stage, the group found their way completely blocked. “We were able to get to the top of the landing but couldn’t go any further. It was all water.” Later it was revealed that the structure had taken on more than 3.7 million gallons of water. “I think we were all in awe—just WOW,” recalls McNiel. “We didn’t really know the extent of the damage because there was still so much water. And we didn’t know how much water was in the parking garage.” The parking garages retained 270 million gallons of water. In an area with as much flooding as the Theater District, it’s difficult to imagine what might have happened had that water not been able to enter the underground parking facility. “Upon reflection it acted as a retention pool. Who knows how much higher the water on the street would have been if all that water didn’t go down into the garages,” McNiel wonders.


B AC K S TAG E

Leech, Gladden and McNiel then toured the Wortham. The venue had clearly been battered but the true extent of the damage had yet to be revealed. In addition to repairing the mechanical, electrical, elevator, and air handling systems—many of which were in the flooded basement—contractors had to find temporary systems to prevent mold from spreading and install temporary power inside the building. Peter McStravick of Houston First, the company that operates Jones Hall and the Wortham, revealed that in the midst of all these repairs contractors identified wet and contaminated insulation behind wall cavities and inside structural steel columns in the basement—all of which required additional demolition and disinfecting. Essentially, the more they fixed the more damage they found. Houston First maintains that the Wortham will reopen on September 1, 2018—at which point it will have been closed for more than a year. McStravick, chief development officer at Houston First, explains “the sheer scope of work to get the Wortham back online is time consuming.” The venue is home to Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Da Camera, Society for the Performing Arts, and many others. W H AT D O E S T H E R E C O V E R Y P R O C E S S E N TA I L ? It is estimated that the total recovery process could take up to three years. In addition to physical damage, each company experienced a massive business disruption. Not only were shows canceled and seasons hastily rearranged, but audiences were also shaken. “There’s been a huge disruption,” says McNiel. “The Opera has had to pay to move their offices twice, and they’ve had to build a new theater.” Houston Grand Opera housed its offices inside the Wortham. In the absence of a suitable performance space, they quickly constructed Resilience Theater in the George R. Brown Convention Center. In spite of the obstacles to recovery, each theater company immediately set out to work, never hesitating to offer each other help. They shared office space, equipment and information to navigate the uncharted lands of insurance

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B AC K S TAG E

and disaster funding. Alley Theatre, Da Camera, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Society for the Performing Arts, and Theatre Under the Stars—the seven resident performing arts organizations in the Theater District—banded together for a free benefit at Miller Outdoor Theatre. It was the first time all the groups performed together on the same stage. All funds from the benefit went toward Mayor Turner’s Harvey Relief Fund. The organizations realize they aren’t the only ones in Houston coping with an unprecedented amount of damage—many of their loyal patrons have been impacted by the storms, and each organization has noticed a marked decrease in attendance. “We don’t know how long it will take to build the audiences back,” explains McNiel. “Part of it is that people aren’t quite sure where to find the companies in this new landscape. But many of the audiences have been affected by Harvey too.” HOW DO WE KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN? The Theater District is close to Buffalo Bayou, so chances are this will not be the area’s last flood. But the performing arts companies cannot afford another disruption like this one—they won’t be able to bounce back. While recovery and restoration work are underway, Houston First is placing an emphasis on what can be done structurally to protect the Wortham. Houston First hired CSF Consulting Engineers, Inc., a forensic engineering firm to help determine how flood waters entered the building and what broad measures could be taken to help mitigate future flooding risks. At the end of the assessments CSF concluded there were a number of breaches, but five major water breaches were identified. According to McStravick, “Houston First is currently reviewing this information and preparing to integrate recommendations and incorporate them into the reconstruction design plans.” McNiel believes an essential component to preventing a repeat of this disaster is keeping the damage at the forefront of local conversations. “I know that the mayor and his flood czar Stephen Costello are putting a lot of pressure on making sure the focus of fixing this problem doesn’t get lost,” she explains. But in light of all the recent natural disasters across the United States, Houston leaders are concerned that Harvey recovery discussions may get lost in the shuffle. “Finding a solution requires money,” worries McNiel. “We need the state and federal government to step up and help us.”

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: PROFILE

Q+A with Karin Rabe ALLEY THEATRE PROPERTIES MASTER

BY RYANN ROUSSEL

Alley Theatre suffered some of the worst damage in the Theater District during Hurricane Harvey. The building took on more than 3.7 million gallons of water in the Neuhaus Theatre lobby and basement level, damaging more than 84,000 props and 60 years of Alley history. The Alley’s properties master Karin Rabe explains the extent of the damage, the hard work that went into salvaging the props, and the moving support of the Houston community during one of the most challenging periods in the Alley’s history.


B AC K S TAG E

How are you moving forward? We’re going to have to, as each show comes up, adjust the expectations of what we can provide for rehearsal. We’re going to be doing a lot more shopping, building, and soliciting of donations. It’s going to take a while. While I’m not surprised at the resiliency of the Alley, or my staff, I am happy to see how quickly we’re bouncing back and how my shop, in particular, fared when faced with an enormous challenge. Change is not easy, but everyone is taking it with such grace and providing so much assistance. It’s overwhelming and incredible at the same time. Final thoughts?

photo by College of the Mainland

How long have you been the properties master and what exactly do you do? I am closing in on 14 years as the properties master. If you imagine when you move into a house or apartment, it’s just an empty space. The prop department provides everything that makes a home: rugs, furniture, hand props, china, etc. We do a lot of murder mysteries here, so we provide a lot of weapons as well! We make sure every object is specialized for how the actor needs to use it, and that it works correctly each time. What was your first thought when you were able to get inside the theater and see the damage? Harvey hit Sunday; and Friday I saw the prop stock for the first time. I went down with Ten Eyck Swackhamer, our general manager. He was concerned with how I would take it, but I’d had a few days to imagine what it would look like. When I saw everything it actually wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. I equate it with going to an opencasket funeral. You put all this time, energy, and love into all this work and then once I saw what was gone, I could start accepting it and get to work seeing what could be saved.

What was lost, and what were you able to salvage? A week after Hurricane Harvey hit, most of the water had been pumped out of the Alley. We had 84,000 props in our basement. We ended up salvaging about 7,000 of those—primarily china, glassware, vases, and decorative items. Basically, things with hard surfaces that could be cleaned. We lost all of our luggage, foliage, rugs, paper goods, and all of our technology. We are in our 71st season, and there were props down there that go back 60 years. Many of our items were used and reused, so they’ve been in many shows.

The community has been instrumental in the recovery of the Alley as a whole, and of the prop department. I cried the first night of A Christmas Carol to see the audience back in our theater. It was an amazing reception. Beyond that, there were a few groups integral to recovery we could not have done without. Steve Pine from Museum of Fine Arts Houston contacted me within days after Harvey to offer assistance through National Heritage Responders. They brought in three experts to help us determine what could be saved and how to clean it. When we first went in our weapons room we had all these gorgeous swords that were rusting. A gentleman from College of the Mainland, H. Russ Brown, volunteered himself and his students to clean the swords. They cleaned them, restored them and brought them back. I can’t say enough about how much all of this means to me, to the prop shop, and to the Alley.

Talk about the restoration process. We spent eight days in the basement inventorying and salvaging items, then spent four weeks cleaning. This left us with about two and a half weeks to start getting ready for our holiday production, A Christmas Carol. It took us three months to build the original props, so two and a half weeks was a bit tight. We bought a lot of items and built the rest as quick as we could. I have an amazing team of artisans. We have six people on staff, and they put their hearts into it. Fortunately we were able to save the big pieces by moving them before the storm. That was our saving grace. photos by Karin Rabe

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MAIN STREET

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“Being a global city requires an active and dense urban core. That core needs to be accessible via public transportation and offer a wide range of uses from office to retail to residential. Rail was the beginning, but so much more had to happen for us to realize our potential.” —Bob Eury, president, Central Houston, Inc.

BY A.J. MISTRETTA

gined

t the turn of the century, Downtown’s Main Street was the most prestigious address in the city. But sadly, by the ’90s it had deteriorated into a bus corridor where the streets and sidewalks were worn, the pedestrian experience was unpleasant, retail had fled, and abandoned buildings abounded. Something needed to change. For decades, the idea of bringing fixed guideway transit, or light rail, was zealously debated from City Hall to office water coolers. Proponents argued rail would better link key activity centers and help show Houston was serious about addressing its traffic issues. Detractors feared people wouldn’t use the line and that such a project would actually deter development on one of the city’s vital corridors. As discussions progressed, it became clear among supportive constituencies along Main Street that they needed to work together if they wanted to see economic revival. With urging from Mayor Lee Brown, groups such as Central Houston, the South Main Alliance, Texas Medical Center, Rice University, NRG Park, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and others formed the Main Street Coalition, a collaborative body that would use its collective force to advocate for the future of the street. Led by longtime real estate authority Ed Wulfe, the coalition helped overcome lawsuits against the rail line and saw construction begin in 2001. “With the coalition, finally these groups came together to support each other’s projects and really began to look at the bigger vision for the corridor, beyond just rail,” Wulfe says. “Very early on we realized we needed a master plan.”

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1100 Block of Main

2800 Block of Main

The arrival of rail created enormous opportunities to transform main into a world-class boulevard if public entities took the right steps to encourage private investment.

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Released in 2000, the coalition and city’s vision plan for Main Street painted a picture of a vibrant urban corridor where pedestrians, mass transit, business, retail, residential and public uses melded. The arrival of rail, the study argued, created enormous opportunities to transform Main into a world-class boulevard if public entities took the right steps to encourage private investment. Another report by the Urban Land Institute cited case studies from cities such as Dallas and Denver that showed how rail had improved entire neighborhoods and brought in new money. Among the recommendations called for in the study were enhanced sidewalks and other pedestrian streetscape improvements, new design guidelines encouraging ground level retail and cafes, and support for high-density, mixed-use developments at rail stops that would include residential units. The report predicted $1.6


MAIN STREET REIMAGINED

1800–1900 Blocks of Main billion in new investment was possible if such policies were adopted. It was a vision far removed from the reality of the time. Prior to rail construction, many properties along Main in Downtown sat vacant or underused. The street was an almost impossible place to set up shop since the city had instituted no-turn traffic policies designed to accommodate a nearly constant flow of buses. Vagrancy was rampant. In Midtown, vast swaths of the neighborhood remained derelict, hampered by underutilized real estate and crime. To the south, the Museum District was faring somewhat better thanks to a growing number of institutions and the stabilizing presence of Rice University and the Texas Medical Center. Meanwhile the area surrounding the Astrodome was a concrete expanse with little by way of aesthetics or a sense of place.

“When the Main Street Coalition started, the corridor was a patchwork of highly developed areas connected by stretches of urban blight,” says Susan Young, board member and former president of the South Main Alliance, which encompasses 12 square miles along Main from Midtown to NRG Park. The study was a start, but the vision continued to evolve. Civic leader and architect Peter Brown played a critical role in the transformed Main Street. He and others toured Europe looking at the grand boulevards in major cities for inspiration. Ideas for public squares along the corridor as well as a more modernistic look for Metro’s rail trains came out of these excursions, though the latter took some convincing of Metro officials. The coalition also helped the city go after federal funds to make improvements, something that might not have happened without cooperation. One specific effort

involved planting 600 live oak trees along South Main, setting the tone for that segment of the street and reinforcing the new concept of a “park” surrounding the Astrodome and the new stadium ahead of the 2004 Super Bowl. At the same time, pressure and threats from various forces to stop rail construction galvanized the coalition and Metro and prompted one of the most expansive construction projects in the city’s history. Instead of doing it in sections, Main Street was torn up from Downtown to the Med Center. The deadline of an approaching Super Bowl certainly played a role—but the focus was on ensuring the project couldn’t be halted. “It wasn’t the ideal situation,” Wulfe says. “But it was the only way we could be sure we’d get the line in. That created a lot of ill will. People avoided Main Street, and that stigma took years to get over.”

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At 1000 Main, what was once a forgotten city block is now a vibrant hub of activity.

REALIZED POTENTIAL In the last 15 years, more than $2.2 billion in new projects have been constructed along Main in Downtown alone. Factoring in developments in Midtown, the Museum District, Texas Medical Center and NRG Park, that figure more than doubles—significantly more than the $1.6 billion the ULI report predicted. “The vitality of Main today has been years in the making,” says Eury. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, a flurry of developments, propelled by the transit project on Main, opened. Catalytic projects such as The Rice, a highprofile residential conversion of the historic Rice Hotel on Main and Texas by developer Randall Davis, and Downtown’s first office tower in decades, Century Development’s 1000 Main, paved the way followed by a dozen more projects. In addition, a signature plaza, Main Street Square, was opened integrating light rail transit, including two station platforms with landscaping and a feature fountain, and renewed pedestrian activity.

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MAIN STREET REIMAGINED Transitioning Downtown from an office-only district to a place people would want to gather and reside has taken time, spurred in part by development projects such as Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou Park. Similarly, in Midtown, pioneering projects such as Post Properties’ mixed-use development at Bagby and West Gray showed the city was becoming interested in mixed-use, urban living. The neighborhoods would, in fact, mature around the rail line and the aesthetic improvements that individual management districts made on Main. Houston-based real estate development company Hines has a long history creating projects in its own backyard. Mark Cover, CEO of the company’s southwest region, says after years of Downtown “donating” growing companies to the suburbs, he’s seen a reversal as a more dynamic district draws and retains office users and residents. “In the last few years there was a huge public and private effort to bring Downtown back,” Cover

says. “The bones of the place keep getting better, and we’re investing here because we believe it is, and will increasingly become, a great place.” Through the early 2000s, Cover points out, few were interested in the east side of Downtown with most development concentrated along corridors such as Louisiana and Smith Streets west of Main. Suddenly with projects like Discovery Green and residential high-rise One Park Place, the east side of Downtown was in play. “I knew there was going to be an arms race to connect to the east side from either the north or the south,” Cover says. “Whoever successfully bridged the west side of Downtown to the east via Main Street would retain relevance longer than those who didn’t.” Hines purchased two of the most blighted blocks on Main Street. Starting with the east side of the 800 block of Main, the company built the 46-story office tower now known as BG Group Place in 2009. That helped spur neighboring projects like the JW Marriott

Downtown and prompted Hines to continue the strategy with 609 Main, completed last year. “These connections between the west and east sides of Downtown are critical, and that’s why Main Street is so important,” Cover says. Hines’ new projects certainly contributed to a healthier office market along Main. A study released last year by Jones Lang Lasalle ranked the Downtown portion of the street among the most expensive office corridors in the country. With an average full-service rent of $44.24 per square foot, or 45 percent above the rest of the market, Main has become a highly desirable corporate address. But Hines didn’t want to stop there. “When you look at the total number of people working Downtown and the total number of residential offerings Downtown, the disparity was more intense than anywhere else in the entire city,” Cover says. “We knew there was a market if the (residential) product was here.”

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Scott Repass and his friends in the hospitality industry began seeing potential in Main Street not long after major improvements were made at Downtown’s Market Square Park. Starting with OKRA Charity Saloon in 2011, members of a coalition of bar and restaurant owners that had been lobbying City Hall on various issues slowly began opening new concepts in the Historic District. “OKRA was sort of a trial balloon,” says Repass, who owns Poison Girl in Montrose and Antidote in the Heights and was one of the founding directors of the charity saloon. With a business model that encouraged patronage by those supporting local nonprofits, OKRA proved people would come Downtown for nightlife. Soon, more spots opened along the 300 block of Main including The Pastry War, Moving Sidewalk, The Nightingale Room, The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar, and Repass’ neighborhood joint Little Dipper.

Repass says one of the primary keys to success in the Historic District was critical mass—enough operators opening up quality concepts made historic Market Square a serious nightlife destination by 2014. “It would have been incredibly hard for any of us to survive without each other,” he says. He also cites the overhaul of Market Square Park itself as a catalyst for moving that entire section of Downtown forward. “Urban centers need to have something they’re centered around. That place exists in every town and for this part of Downtown its Market Square Park.” Surrounding the park are buildings that are more than a century old—something rare in Houston—and that gives the district and its new businesses a true sense of place as well. “I think we’ve built a nightlife environment for a neighborhood that doesn’t quite exist yet. But it’s coming,” Repass says.

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From Run-down Block to Nightlife District


“People today want to be more neighborhood focused, they want to play, dine, shop and live within a reasonable radius.”

LIVING ON THE LINE

MAIN STREET REIMAGINED

—Mark Cover

Hines is among many developers in recent years to take advantage of the Downtown Living Initiative, a program of the City of Houston, Downtown District and Downtown Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ #3 to provide financial incentives to those constructing multifamily projects. So far, nine mid- and high-rise projects have been built under the initiative, with more in the pipeline. Many of those developments have been built on Main or within a block or two, such as SkyHouse Houston, SkyHouse Main and Block 334, now creating critical mass and forming a new, up-and-coming Southern Downtown neighborhood. Completed last year, Hines’ 32-story Aris project brought 274 residential units to the corner of Travis and Preston in the Historic Market Square neighborhood located in the northern end of Downtown. The project includes a small pocket park with direct access to Main Street.

Cover says there’s a new desire for urban living in Houston as more residents lose their love affair with their cars. “People today want to be more neighborhood focused, they want to play, dine, shop and live within a reasonable radius.” The positive reception of Aris has Hines planning its next Downtown multifamily project. The residential population of Downtown is expected to grow from 7,500 to 30,000 over the next 20 years. Projects already in the works will move the count past 10,000 in just the next few years. “In order to get people to want to live Downtown, they need restaurants, they need services. So, which comes first?” Wulfe says. Luckily the residential incentives have jumpstarted progress. “The people coming Downtown now are going to justify the restaurants and services that come next. The synergism of them working together will help make everything succeed.”

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CHALLENGES REMAIN

In Midtown, the early success of Post Midtown Square has led to more mixed-use projects as that neighborhood matured. Marlon Marshall, director of engineering and construction for the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, says the group’s capital improvement projects along Main, including the recently opened Midtown Park and the Main Street Streetscape, have encouraged new private development, particularly near rail stops. The recently opened Mid-Main Lofts at the HCC/Ensemble Station features numerous retail and restaurant spaces fronting Main Street with hundreds of apartments above. In November, Caydon Property Group broke ground on a $200 million high-rise residential tower steps from the

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McGowen Station, just as Camden Property Trust wraps up construction on its $90 million, 315-unit Camden McGowen Station apartment project. “Midtown’s support of mixed-use has encouraged development within dense, more compact areas of land in the district,” Marshall says. “The mixed-use developments in Midtown have been key in the improved walkability.”   As urban multifamily projects are completed in Downtown and Midtown, Wulfe believes the Museum District will be the next area to see a surge in such development. Already projects like the 20-story The Carter apartment tower are transforming the landscape. “It’s a very desirable place to live and work, and I think that’s going to be the next stage of development,” he says.

“What we’re seeing is restaurants leading the charge, and i believe they will prompt boutiques and other small retailers to pop up around them.” —Ed Wulfe

But as Main’s evolution continues, can it remain a street that serves the needs of everyone? Residential affordability has become a hot topic along the corridor of late, particularly in Downtown where the vast majority of new midand high-rise projects are billed as “luxury.” Eury points out that high land prices in Downtown make it difficult for developers to recoup their investment with lower priced units. But he believes there are segments elsewhere along the rail line that could be developed as more affordable housing. The public sector could also step in and incentivize developers to provide a percentage of their total project at below market rate. The challenge for any new development is to create value without changing the fabric of a community. “How do we ensure that the culture and history of these neighborhoods remains intact?” says Wulfe. While gentrification and affordability

do not often work together, he says, reaching consensus is in everyone’s best interest. At the same time, new residents, office workers and hotel guests need something else that’s been hard to come by on Main Street—a place to shop. Once a hub for department stores and other soft-goods retail, Main saw most of these evaporate in the second half of the 20th century. The 2013 closure of Macy’s left Downtown with no major retailers, while projects such as GreenStreet seeking to reintroduce shopping have met with mixed results. The Downtown District has campaigned for years to get more retail in the district, but most of the success in that arena has centered on restaurants and nightlife, not clothiers and accessory boutiques. “The nature of retail has changed dramatically, due in large part to e-commerce,” Wulfe says. “We are not going to see big stores Downtown again. Instead what we’re seeing is


MAIN STREET REIMAGINED restaurants leading the charge, and I believe they will prompt boutiques and other small retailers to pop up around them, along with entertainment venues like theaters.” More street-level restaurants and retail experiences are going to be key to connecting existing nodes of activity in Downtown and Midtown in the future. Despite an improving Main Street and high-traffic pedestrian zones like Historic Market Square and the new Avenida Houston near the Convention Center, walking from one side of Downtown to the other can still seem daunting with blocks of uninviting parking garages or high-rise facades. But Wulfe points to the race to develop new food halls as amenities in Downtown office buildings—there are at least three currently in the works—as an example of a mind shift among property owners and developers. “These are long-term forces at work,” he says. “But everyone wants to stay competitive.”

Cover agrees. “Over the next 10 to 15 years more blocks Downtown will go into non-office use than will go into office use so by definition it will all better connect. And when it does I feel it’s going to feel more organic than forced or contrived.” One of the methods of connecting dense, urban landscapes served by rail is Transit Oriented Developments (TODs), a central tenet of the 2002 ULI plan. Such projects are designed to alleviate the need for vehicles and to incentivize residents to eat, work, shop and play within a smaller footprint. Yet despite some successes like those already developed and in the pipeline in Midtown, TODs have proven difficult to come by along Houston’s rail system, which now runs more than 22 miles following the opening of new lines in 2016. Wulfe says putting together mixed-use developments is often riddled with bureaucracy. Current ordinances governing development in

most parts of the city require a certain amount of parking, setbacks and other elements that make high density nearly untenable. Marshall with Midtown says developers have often struggled to assemble parcels of land big enough to develop high-density projects. What’s more, he says, “the rapid increase in land values along Main Street has been another challenge.” When METRORail was initially completed in 2004, Midtown was still in its early stages of redevelopment. But as Midtown’s capital improvements started to have an effect, the market took notice, and land value along Main Street escalated quickly, presenting additional risk for developers, he says.

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CORRIDOR OF THE FUTURE

Ironically, one of the most blighted sections of Main Street may have the most promising future. Since planning for METRORail began, the area surrounding the recently shuttered Sears near the Wheeler/Blodgett Station has been marked as prime for a TOD. But Wulfe says assembling a viable tract has proven complicated for developers. Meanwhile, the area remains an underutilized eyesore, with a persistent homeless encampment under the Southwest Freeway and trash often strewn on the sidewalks and around the rail stop.

photo by Slyworks

Now, the Texas Department of Transportation’s plan to depress that section of the freeway could mean new opportunity. While the project will create complicated issues for mobility during construction, Young says now is the time to start planning to take advantage of the possibilities. “There is a complex set of opportunities that need to be addressed comprehensively and quickly so that positive effects can be maximized, and conversely that unintended negative consequences can be avoided,” she says. In fact, the site played a major role in one of the city’s biggest economic development bids in recent history. Houston was among dozens of cities that responded last year to Amazon’s call for proposals to build its $5 billion second headquarters. The local bid hinged in large

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part on what economic development officials dubbed the Innovation Corridor, a fourmile-long zone along Main Street stretching from Downtown to the TMC that included a to-be-redeveloped Sears site owned by Rice University. Containing world-class universities, prime office space, research hubs and more, the Innovation Corridor made the case that Houston could compete for a high-tech, disruptive company like Amazon. When Amazon released its narrowed list of 20 potential cities in January, Houston didn’t make the cut. But officials were quick to point out the Innovation Corridor had legs beyond the Amazon bid. Thanks to the investments made along Main, the concept is likely to be used to lure other businesses to central Houston.


WAKE UP and explore

YOUR CITY

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

DowntownHouston.org


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The Power of DISCOVERY GREEN’S FIRST DECADE AND THE IMPRINT IT HAS MADE ON OUR CITY by Sandra Cook photography by Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography


In response to the compliment, Theis points to the planning of Discovery Green. “The planning was so well done that all we had to do was step in and follow the roadmap,” she says. “They baked in all this great infrastructure that makes it possible.”

w

IT TAKES A VILLAGE GREEN

ithout a doubt, Discovery Green has set a new standard for parks in our city. It has become such a rich and vibrant part of Houston’s culture that today it’s difficult to imagine our city without its delights. “I don’t think the founders ever had any idea that it would come to mean as much as it has to the city, to the city’s reputation and to the people that live in this city,” says Barry Mandel, president and park director at Discovery Green. “If you go back 10 years—it was a huge undertaking to sell the idea of this place to folks.” Discovery Green’s 12 acres offer 11 gardens, four water features, two restaurants, two outdoor event venues, two outdoor market areas, a performance stage, two dog runs, two bocce ball courts, two outdoor library reading rooms (complete with library services and wi-fi), a putting green, a playground, a jogging trail, and a shuffleboard court. Beyond the undeniable aesthetics of its dynamic and versatile 12 acres, the impact of Discovery Green’s immediately being well-loved and consistently well-used by Houstonians has caused waves of positive energy across Downtown and all of Houston. Since its debut in March 2008, the park’s now-iconic footprint (resembling a cross between a space capsule and a funnel) has served as a vast renewable canvas for countless memorable experiences, and, yes, discoveries for Houston-area residents and visitors. All while achieving the pure and simple goal of becoming Houston’s backyard. Houston’s diverse citizens make up the color palette that turned the park into a vivid, lively scene that gets renewed and reinvented each day in a variety of themes from serene to spectacular.

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PROGRAMMING IS THE PAINTBRUSH If the park is a canvas and the people comprise the color palette, then the programming is the paintbrush that sparks the individual imaginations of Houston’s diverse people and brings them to the park. The fascinating spectrum of events, exhibits and performances has captured the hearts of many and keeps them coming back. Park planners used the Power of 10 philosophy in approaching the project. “A great city has 10 great places and that goes beyond design—it’s uses,” says Fred Kent, president of Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit that collaborated on the planning of the park. “You come to do three or five things one day; you come back to do the others on your next visit.” “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t say, ‘Wow, it’s more beautiful than before,’” says Susanne Theis, who has served as Discovery Green’s programming director since before it opened. Mandel cites the park’s programming as one of the biggest factors in Discovery Green’s success. “I have one of the most creative people in the world that I get to work with every day,” says Mandel about Theis, who for 25 years was executive director at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, overseeing the quirky folk-art venue and the wildly popular Art Car Parade. “Her history of grass-roots relationships in the Houston arts community helped set the stage and the standard,” says Mandel.

The founding board of directors put their time in doing their due diligence, says Mandel. “They looked at best practices of other parks in other places, researched the best operational approaches and made the commitment to include community input into the design,” he says. “That gave the community an instant sense of ownership. “There was a noticeable energy that radiated around the park project with the significance of four major foundations (Houston Endowment, Wortham Foundation, Brown Foundation and Kinder Foundation) and the City coming together,” says Mandel. “They were aware of that and felt a huge responsibility to make sure they got it right.” The board, equipped with a combination of deep pockets and deep commitment, collaborated with then-Mayor Bill White, acclaimed project manager and Discovery Green’s first park director, Guy Hagstette, and the urban planning drive of Bob Eury, executive director of the Downtown District, to realize their vision. As the staff fell into place, the board was elated. “From Guy Hagstette and Susanne Theis, and then later Barry Mandel, we knew we had found the perfect people for the project. They just lifted it up and went with it,” says Jackie Martin, founding board member and former president of The United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. Additional founding board members were Nancy Kinder of the Kinder Foundation, Maconda O’Connor of the Brown Foundation and Brady Carruth of the Wortham Foundation. Then known as the Houston Downtown Park Conservancy, the pioneering board consulted Project for Public Spaces for guidance on the composition of the park. “When you go about it with a community approach, you tend to go beyond what’s expected and the level of excellence is much higher,” says Kent. “With an endeavor like Discovery Green, the ultimate goal is contentment and satisfaction—not a certain profit margin.” “One of the subtle things they discovered in their best practices research was the need to create a place where the businessperson taking a break could sit next to the mom and kids,” says Theis.


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“If you go back 10 years—it was a huge undertaking to sell the idea of this place to folks.” —Barry Mandel

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“When you share experiences and witness our diversity it changes you and you don’t even realize it. The impact is much deeper than you realize at first.” —Fred Kent

PIONEERING PARK If all those events sound typical, try to keep in mind such rich programming was a rarity in Houston pre-Discovery Green. Since the park opened in 2008 it has influenced other parks across the city and the country. Discovery Green led the way for Houstonarea parks, ranging from the renovated Market Square Park in Downtown’s Historic Market Square neighborhood, to the recently built Levy Park in the Upper Kirby District and Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, and the reimagined Emancipation Park in Houston’s Third Ward. “We receive calls almost daily from local, national and international groups who want to know how they can do the same in their area,” says Mandel.

IN LIVING COLOR Taking an urban planning approach that centered around people, the board settled on its mission to create a village green on the 12-acre site. They visualized an appealing public space with remarkable public art moments, capacities for hosting health and wellness activities, arts and culture activities, including performances, exhibits and learning opportunities—all with strong considerations for environmental sustainability. The board’s directive to create moments of wonder and joy for park visitors is an early goal that Mandel and Theis say continues to drive the work they do every day. That sentiment resulted in the name of the park. When the public was called on to suggest names for the new Downtown destination, Houstonian Kim Borja submitted “Discovery Green.” He explained that the word “discovery” was inspired by watching his two sons experience moments of discovery at neighborhood parks and he chose the word “green” because he wanted something other than “park” in the name.

“Discovery Green is more than a park—it’s a gathering space where every person is a character in the diversity of the city,” says Kent. “You end up experiencing things you never imagined. When you share experiences and witness our diversity it changes you and you don’t even realize it. The impact is much deeper than you realize at first.” The stage at Discovery Green invites Houstonians to enjoy free concerts of all kinds, spoken word performances, and movies and dance performances that represent a diverse array of cultures and disciplines. Across the park visitors can experience youth poetry slams, Toddler Tuesdays, evening flea markets and Recycling Saturdays, and workout classes, such as Zumba and yoga. And there’s the joy of an outdoor ice rink throughout the holiday season and an outdoor roller rink during the spring. The park hosts special events, such as the FUNomenal Family Festival and festivities for major sporting events, such as the NCAA Final Four and the Super Bowl. Even with all of this programming, Discovery Green is still a peaceful spot to pause, especially during weekdays.

Like filling in a page of an urban designer’s coloring book, the vibrancy of the park has spread to block after block of the surrounding district. The human element drawn Downtown by Discovery Green’s delightful happenings spurred game-changing commercial real estate development. Luxury residential tower One Park Place, opened in 2009 and brought with it Phoenicia Specialty Foods. Hess Tower, which debuted in 2011 and sold for a record-breaking $442.5 million, set records at the time for highest dollar amount and highest price per-square-foot paid for an office building in Houston. Other key properties surrounding the park include the Embassy Suites Hotel (2011), the lavish Marriott Marquis (2016), which includes Chef Hugo Ortega’s Xochi, and Partnership Tower (2016), home to the Greater Houston Partnership and Houston First Corporation. All told, Discovery Green has witnessed approximately $1.2 billion in new construction since it opened. “The development of the park only cost 1.25 million—that’s a 10-fold return,” says Mandel.

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Discovery

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10 celebrating

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SIDEWALK CULTURE On the heels of Discovery Green’s successful launch, Market Square Park’s renovation and reinvention helped usher in a new wave of development in the oldest pocket of Houston. Reopened in 2010, Market Square Park, though on a much smaller scale, follows the functional flexibility and event programming of Discovery Green, and has been equally catalytic to its neighborhood in the north end of Downtown. With two flourishing parks providing neighborhood allure, the Downtown Living Initiative, approved by Houston City Council in 2012, opened the gates for residential developers. The initiative had a cap of 2,500 units but was expanded to 5,000 in 2014 and quickly maxed out by 2015. As of the first quarter of 2018, Downtown now has more than 5,900 residential units, double from just two years ago. With residents comes sidewalk culture. “When you design your city around cars you get more cars,” says Kent. “When you design a city around people and pedestrians you get more people, and the streets become places of activity for people. When those multi-use hubs are active with human life, the concept spreads into other neighborhoods and suburbs.”

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The changing landscape has not only sparked new residential development, but also the construction and redevelopment of major office towers with a new focus on street-level design. Buildings such as 609 Main include sidewalkfacing restaurants and coffee bars. Even the massive ’70s-era Allen Center—on the west side of Downtown from Discovery Green—is being reimagined with a full acre of activated green space between its buildings, a two-story glass façade and a signature restaurant.

EVOLUTION OF DINING AND NIGHTLIFE Five Downtown restaurants made Alison Cook’s Top 100 restaurants for 2017—Xochi, Theodore Rex, Oxbow 7 at Le Meridien, Lucienne at Hotel Alessandra and Potente, next to Minute Maid Park. The Houston Chronicle food critic noted when she announced her list that Downtown wasn’t historically known as a dining destination, but a lot has changed in recent years. “We even have nightlife that is not an overhyped club scene,” says Barry Mandel who also happens to be a long-time Downtown resident. “That appeals to locals and convention attendees who are choosing to stay extra nights to explore and have fun.”


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THROUGHOUT 2018, 10 SPECIAL EVENTS WILL CELEBRATE DISCOVERY GREEN’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY. HIGHLIGHTING THE PARK’S MISSION AND IMPACT, THESE EVENTS WILL PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEEPER ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PARK’S AUDIENCE.

for the 10th

THE FOLLOWING 10 FOR 10 EVENTS WILL TAKE PLACE IN SPRING 2018.

Bayou City Music Series

THURSDAY, MARCH 1 • 6:30 TO 9:30 PM An exciting new concert series kicks off the spring honoring the great jazz, gospel, blues and zydeco musicians of Houston. Bun B headlines this event that features musicians who have inspired his journey. The event takes place on the 10th anniversary of One for Doc, the first event ever held at Discovery Green, honoring Robert “Doc” Morgan and the HSPVA program he ran for 25 years. Building on this commitment to Houston musicians, the Bayou City Music Series continues throughout 2018, in a total of six free concerts, held in three family-friendly iconic public spaces: Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park and Emancipation Park. This series is made possible by the Kinder Foundation.

DG Birthday Celebration

SUNDAY, APRIL 15 • NOON TO 6 PM Celebrate 10 years of Discovery Green and the impact it has had on Houstonians! See a spectacular performance of Danza de los Voladores, enjoy multiple cultural performances, live music, games, a dog costume contest and fun around every corner. Joining the celebration will be park founders and children who have grown up with the park in a special presentation.

Earth Day at Discovery Green

SUNDAY, APRIL 22 • NOON TO 6 PM Houston’s Earth Day is a day of celebration, inspiration and action to save the earth. The event will feature more than 100 displays, exhibits and booths on topics ranging from alternate energy to recycling methods coordinated by the Citizens Environmental Coalition, an Urban Harvest Farmers Market, the Discovery Green Flea, Canned Acoustica, recycling, and more.

Harvey Heroes: Discovery Discussion presented by Southwest Airlines FRIDAY, APRIL 27 • 6:30 TO 8:30 PM A special installment of Discovery Discussions presented by Southwest Airlines features Dr. Stephen Klineberg’s presentation on Harvey’s impact on Houstonians and short testimonials by some of the Houstonians who stepped up to rescue, assist, feed, clothe and shelter those affected by Harvey.

Funomenal Family Festival

SATURDAY, MAY 26 MEMBERS ONLY 11 AM TO 1 PM GENERAL PUBLIC 1 TO 5 PM Family fun with rides, games, contests, activities and more. Headliners Born in a Taxi of Australia presents the Curious Game, a chess game come to life with pomp, ceremony and silly characters.

8th Annual Land Rover Houston’s Rainbow on the Green

presented by Legacy Community Health FRIDAY, JUNE 22 • 6 TO 10 PM Houston’s LGBT community celebration and dance party under the stars, featuring iconic entertainment, live music, games and more.

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Green GEORGE R. BROWN AND DISCOVERY GREEN Luther Villagomez, chief operating officer of the George R. Brown Convention Center has been working with Downtown Houston’s convention facilities since before the convention center opened in 1987. “There was a green space there for a long time, but it was a passive space surrounded by parking lots,” says Villagomez. “The addition of Discovery Green to the front door of the convention center has been a phenomenal enhancement to our business.” Back in 2011, a new master plan for the convention center was developed. Top priorities were developing more hotel rooms and a safe, walkable area immediately adjacent to the George R. Brown. “Previously, Avenida de las Americas was a full eight lanes of roadway with narrow sidewalks, so there was little room for the pedestrian between the park and the convention center,” explains Villagomez. “When we decided to rededicate most of the Avenida to plaza space for pedestrians and reduce the number of lanes for car space it created a stronger connection between the convention center and Discovery Green. Now when you’re inside the convention center on the first level, you feel like the park is closer than it was before the lanes were redesigned.” Gaining a second 1,000-room hotel to complement the Hilton Americas’ 1,200 rooms brought the George R. Brown into a whole new category of convention destination. “When the Marriott Marquis opened it was a big step toward completing the circle for an undeniably

attractive hotel-convention center, hotel-events plaza, outdoor destination,” says Villagomez. “It feels more organic and appealing than many of our competitors.”

MORE TO DISCOVER “In developing, debuting and delivering the quality of the park and its programming year-after-year we’ve reminded others how to dream,” says Martin. After 10 years of use, the park staff and board have lined up various improvements. Among those are an update for the playground, additional LED lighting now that the tree canopy has grown and an expansion of the women’s restrooms. The corners of the park will soon

FOREVER

Green

feature distinctive markers to help announce the park to pedestrians. Theis continues to engage temporary public art installations to delight locals and visitors throughout the year and has many moments of discovery on tap for young visitors. “We’ve made a big commitment to create first experiences for kids,” says Theis. “We’ll have hands-on opportunities to introduce kids to art, dance, music and poetry.” “Houston is a city of possibilities­—a city of dreamers,” says Martin. “Dream big and find a way. Involve people in your dreams and they’ll take ownership. Discovery Green is Houston at its best.”

Become a Member! It’s amazing what a little green can do.

Member benefits include:

discoverygreen.com/membership

� Member-only previews of public art exhibits � Member-only early-bird access to art festivals

Did you know that Discovery Green is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization? If it wasn’t for the generous support of its visitors, members, and donors, Discovery Green would not be able to maintain this active and vibrant gathering place,

� Invitation for four to annual

member-only skate party at the 2018 ICE at Discovery Green

and markets

� Discounts on ICE and Roller Rink tickets � Discount on all Discovery Green branded merchandise

� Discounts and special offers at select in-park establishments

much less offer the amazing free public programming that

� Early-bird access to select

attracts more than a million people each year.

� Preferred seating at select

Discovery Green programs Discovery Green programs

As part of their 10-year anniversary, you can become an inaugural Forever Green member for just $120 per person (just $10 a month).

� Access to Express Lines at select Discovery Green events

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2018

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datebook.

Performing Arts 33 Market Square Park 38 Festivals + Special Events 39 Discovery Green 42 and more

EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO

31ST ANNUAL ART CAR PARADE photo by Morris Malakoff

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datebook.

RIVERDANCE

PERFORMING ARTS THE OSCARS: BEST ORIGINAL SONGS

Mar 1–3 In honor of the 90th Annual Academy Awards, Steven Reineke has assembled some of the Oscars’ best original songs for a stunning, star-studded evening. The program includes more than 80 years of cinematic sounds, including Over the Rainbow (1939); Moon River (1962); The Way We Were (1973); I’ve Had the Time of My Life (1987); Beauty and the Beast (1991); My Heart Will Go On (1997); Skyfall (2012) and Let it Go (2013). 8 pm. Tickets start at $26. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

MEMPHIS

Mar 1–4 A loosely based musical rendition on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. tuts.com

ROCK, ROLL & TUTUS

Mar 1–4 Rock, Roll & Tutus features three Houston Ballet premieres—Tim Harbour’s fast-paced work Filigree and Shadow; Trey McIntyre’s In Dreams, which pairs McIntyre’s bold choreography with legendary Roy Orbison’s bluegrass soul and rockabilly swagger; and Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s, La Cathedral Engloutie. Alexander Ekman’s comical Cacti also returns by popular demand. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $39. Resilience Theater, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org

LOVED, BELOVED: AN EVENING WITH CARSON MCCULLERS

Mar 1–11 Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter Suzanne Vega pays homage to renowned Southern writer Carson McCullers (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding) in this new play with music about the outspoken, perceptive and wild dreamer who became one of the brightest literary lights of the 20th century. The songs, co-authored by Duncan Sheik (Tony Award for Spring Awakening), richly capture McCullers’ instinctively rebellious nature and forward-thinking philosophies on race, gender and love. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $35. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org

REC ROOM’S RESIDENCY FESTIVAL

photo by Rob McDogall

SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF

Mar 1–18 March 1971. Backstage at the Empire Room of New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Louis Armstrong, the greatest trumpet player in the world, sits in his dressing room trying to pull himself together to do one final show. His mind wanders through the amazing journey of his life and his complex relationship with his manager Joe Glaser. In a tour-de-force performance, one actor journeys into the mind and heart of an American musical genius and the man behind the legend. 8 pm. Tickets start at $35. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org

REC ROOM’S RESIDENCY FESTIVAL

Mar 2–3, 9–10, 23–24 & 31 Rec Room Arts’ six artists-in-residence present world premiere performances in a six-week festival of interdisciplinary works of theater, dance, music, opera, performance art, film and more. Each weekend, a new artist who works to bend and break the rules of conventional performance will present a premiere performance developed within the artist residency program, which is funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. 8 pm. Tickets vary. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomarts.org

POD TOURS AMERICA

Mar 8 Jon, Jon, Tommy, Dan and special guests are bringing the pod to Jesse H. Jones Hall for a live, no-bullshit conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency. 8 pm. Tickets start at $39.50. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 832.487.7041 joneshall.org

RIVERDANCE

Mar 9–11 The international Irish dance phenomenon is back by popular demand in Riverdance—The 20th Anniversary World Tour. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures in an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song. 8 pm. Tickets starts at $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

BE OUR GUEST

Mar 3 Enter a land of enchantment with horses, castles and the unforgettable music from Beauty and the Beast as the Houston Symphony performs along with a local high school chorus. In the fairytale fantasy, we discover that things are not always as they seem, as in the adventure of Tubby the Tuba. Meet Tubby and his orchestra friends, including Peepo the Piccolo, as you learn what it’s like to find your own song. 10 am. Tickets start at $22. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Mar 4 The Texas Medical Center Orchestra will be celebrating its 18th season with a Night at the Opera featuring soloists from Opera in the Heights. Sit back and relax while you hear works by Verdi, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Saëns. Tickets $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

SUZANNE VEGA

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JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET

DANCE SALAD photo by Alessio Amato

COMPAÑÍA NACIONAL DE DANZA, CARMEN

CHRIS BOTTI RETURNS

Mar 10 Hailing from Madrid, Compañía Nacional

Mar 24–25 Grammy Award-winning Chris Botti,

de Danza is led by Artistic Director José Carlos Martínez and embraces both new and international creations. The mesmerizing masterpiece, Carmen, is witnessed through the eyes of a young watcher and reveals the tale stripped to its mythic and universal elements of passion and violence. Tickets start at $34. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA.

who “has a trumpet sound that suggests the softer side of luminosity” (The New York Times), returns to the Houston Symphony to share the stage with his electrifying band members, the orchestra and one of his favorite conductors, our very own Steven Reineke. 8 pm. Tickets start at $26. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

spahouston.org

BRIGHT STAR

Mar 13–25 Inspired by a real event, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past—and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. The uplifting theatrical journey holds you tight in its grasp and is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. tuts.com

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

Mar 16–17 Experience the power of Alvin Ailey

American Dance Theater and see why this extraordinary company is hailed as America’s cultural ambassador to the world. From the pulse-racing thrill of contemporary favorites to the spirit-lifting joy of beloved classics, these magnificent dancers offer something for every taste. Tickets start at $34. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA.

spahouston.org

BRIA SKONBERG

Mar 23 Canadian singer, trumpeter and songwriter, Bria Skonberg wields a unique blend of modern-day pop sensibility and sizzling musicianship. Her elite jazz chops, artfully mixed with worldly rhythms and contemporary songwriting, result in a sophisticated pop sound. Tickets start at $34. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org

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DANCE SALAD

Mar 29–31 Dance Salad Festival is very excited to launch the 23rd year in Houston with special performances by Royal Swedish Ballet (Stockholm), Ballet Zürich (Switzerland), Semperoper Ballet Dresden (Germany), Spellbound Contemporary Ballet (Rome, Italy), Norwegian National Ballet, and others. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Mar 29–31 For Easter and Passover, the Houston Symphony will offer a musical meditation on faith in the modern world. Continuing their celebration of Bernstein’s centennial, his Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety, follows four young people as they grapple with a war-torn world. Featuring world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in a virtuoso solo part, the work ends by discovering “a core of faith.” The program concludes with choral settings of psalms by Stravinsky. 8 pm. Tickets start at $23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

STORY HOLE 4: LET’S FIGHT!

Apr 5 Story Hole is a quarterly celebration of queer storytelling; stories a la formats like The Moth from a community who is as public as they are private. For one night only, Houston’s LGBTQIA community is going to let you have it. 8 pm. Tickets $10. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291.

recroomarts.org

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET

Apr 6 Founded in 1946, the Juilliard String Quartet has become an American legend. In celebration of Da Camera’s 30th anniversary, the Quartet returns to Houston in its newest configuration, with a thrilling program of three major works. Widely known as the “quintessential American string quartet,” the Juilliard brings us young Beethoven in high spirits, Bartók’s electrifying fifth quartet and the lush late Romanticism of Dvořák. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $37.50. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com

TCHAIKOVSKY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY

Apr 6–9 A “prodigious artist” (Le Monde), Benjamin Beilman performs Mendelssohn’s sparkling Violin Concerto. Conductor Andrey Boreyko leads the orchestra in selections from one of Tchaikovsky’s treasured ballet scores and a luminous, romantic excerpt from Franz Schreker’s opera, The Distant Sound. The program features guest concertmaster Alexander Kerr. 8 pm. Tickets start at $23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

CLEO

Apr 6–29 Set during the filming of 1963’s Cleopatra, Cleo is the story of the scandalous romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Their relationship brought condemnation from the Vatican and the United States 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. Acclaimed director and actor Bob Balaban direct this new play by the Texasbased, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright. 8 pm. Tickets start at $26. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org


datebook. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

WEST SIDE STORY

Apr 7 This regal program commemorates two

Apr 20–May 6 Maria and Tony fall helplessly in love

beloved female patrons with J. S. Bach’s rarely heard Trauerode, written for the 1717 funeral of Christiane Eberhardine of Saxony, and Handel’s 1713 Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne. Both works call for multiple soloists, chorus, and unusually expressive orchestral forces, including two violas da gamba and lutes in the Bach cantata and an echo trumpet at the beginning of Handel’s ode. A stellar array of soloists and the award-winning UH Moores School Concert Chorale join the ensemble for some noble and hauntingly beautiful music. Tickets start at $39. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO

Apr 13 Celebrating 40 years as one of the most original forces in contemporary dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has long been known for its exceptionally talented dancers and a diverse repertoire of adventurous choreography. Under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, this contemporary ballet company that “is going to take your breath away” (The Washington Post) is arguably at the top of its game. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $34. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org

DON QUIXOTE

Apr 13–15 Returning after 12 years, Houston Ballet is pleased to conclude its season with the revival of former Artistic Director Ben Stevenson’s Don Quixote. Enjoy the charming flare of 17th century Barcelona, Spain as imagined in the original novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The tale follows the elderly adventurer Don Quixote and his search for his idyllic woman, Dulcinea, only to be caught between the budding romance of temperamental Kitri and mischievous Basilio. Audiences are sure to enjoy this famously jovial ballet, full of dazzling choreography, sets, and costumes. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $39. Resilience Theater, 1001 Avenida de las Americas 713.227.ARTS.

houstonballet.org

TAO: DRUM HEART

at a school dance, but their love is doomed. Maria’s brother is leader of the Sharks—a street gang—and Tony is one of their hated enemies, the Jets. Their story, just like Romeo and Juliet’s, ends in tragedy, with everyone reflecting on the senselessness of it all. But Bernstein’s music—some of the most beloved in musical theater, points the way to hope in the midst of confusion. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $18. Resilience Theater, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.228.OPERA.

houstongrandopera.org

TAO: DRUM HEART

Apr 14 In 2004, TAO attended the world’s largest festival of the arts—the Edinburgh Festival Fringe— and made a No. 1 box-office smash hit of the festival in spite of their first participation. Drum Heart is the newest production from TAO and it has critics raving about their extraordinary precision, energy, and stamina. With hundreds of sold-out shows and more than 6.5 million spectators worldwide, TAO has proven that modern entertainment based on the timeless, traditional art of Japanese drumming, entertains international audiences again and again. Tickets start at $34. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA.

spahouston.org

THE BEST OF JOHN WILLIAMS

Apr 20–22 A rebel fleet destroying the Death Star, a shark’s fin slicing the water, a bicycle flying past the moon and a boy’s first day at Hogwarts: it’s impossible to imagine these iconic movie moments without the equally iconic music of John Williams. Take a thrilling tour through Williams’ most unforgettable scores in this must-see concert that highlights music from the Star Wars franchise in celebration of its 40th anniversary. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $26. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

FIESTA!

Apr 21 You’re invited to Houston Symphony’s Fiesta! Bring your passport and join the fun as they head south of the border for a colorful, cultural celebration that highlights the vibrant sounds of the Americas, including Brazil (Tico Tico) and Mexico (Conga del Fuego Nuevo). The party continues with a mariachi band as well as the Flamenco-inspired dance hit, Macarena. 10 am. Tickets start at $22. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

WARTIME STORIES: REICH AND MESSIAEN

Apr 21 Two masterworks of the 20th century depicting profoundly contrasting personal experiences of the WWII era are presented together. Steve Reich’s groundbreaking Different Trains, presented with original synchronized video, interweaves live and prerecorded string quartet with sounds of trains, whistles, sirens, recorded voices from the American past and fragmented memories of Holocaust survivors. Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, composed in a German prisoner of war camp in 1940, is dramatized with lighting by renowned designer Jennifer Tipton. 7:30 pm. Tickets starts at $37.50. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com

DON QUIXOTE photo by Amitava Sarkar

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HAMILTON

Apr 24–May 20 Hamilton is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now. 7:30 pm. Tickets vary. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA

Apr 26–29 Praised for his passion and musical intelligence, conductor Juraj Valčuha returns to Jones Hall with Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra. Featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, this tone poem is famous for its unforgettable opening sunrise. Acclaimed Chopin interpreter Evgeni Bozhanov performs Chopin’s poetic Piano Concerto No. 2, which features some of the composer’s most tender melodies. 8 pm. Tickets start at $23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

NORMA

Apr 27–May 11 An ancient priestess’s betrayed love culminates in human sacrifice in this fierce and tragic story told through magnificent melodies and vocal fireworks. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $18. Resilience Theater, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.228.OPERA.

HAMILTON photo by Joan Marcus

houstongrandopera.org

A GERMAN REQUIEM

THE GLAM SEDUCTION

Apr 28 Aperio, Music of the Americas presents, The Glam Seduction, featuring music by D.J. Sparr, John Mackey, Daniel Schnyder, and the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by six-time Grammy Award-winning American composer, Jorge Calandrelli. This program features a collection of recent music by American composers whose works blur the boundary between popular culture and contemporary music. Evoking traditions of popular songs, rock ‘n’ roll, minimalism, Latin jazz and tango, these works represent a vanguard of composers whose music speaks to a broad audience. 8 pm. Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.

thehobbycenter.org

May 4–6 Houston Symphony Principal Clarinet Mark Nuccio takes center stage with the beautiful melodies and virtuoso passagework of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. The Houston Symphony Chorus then joins the orchestra for Brahms’ A German Requiem, a sublime work. Its moving solos feature Nicole Heaston’s breathtaking soprano and Canadian Russell Braun’s elegant, burnished baritone. 8 pm. Tickets start at $23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.

houstonsymphony.org May 10–13 Hear Sibelius’ passionate Violin Concerto when the brilliant young violinist Augustin Hadelich returns to Jones Hall. From its snowy opening to its final “polonaise for polar bears,” this masterpiece is a true tour-de-force of violin playing. Andrés leads an exciting performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3. A showcase for the orchestra, this epic score features a hauntingly beautiful horn solo and ends with a twist. 8 pm. Tickets start at $23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE

photo by Jesse Michener

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its season finale concert Romantic Masterworks. In the first half, pianist Mei Rui will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. The orchestra will also perform Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila and end the night with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G major. Come and see why the Texas Medical Center Orchestra is just the medicine you need. 7 pm. Tickets start at $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.

thehobbycenter.org photo by Klaus Obermaier

BRAHMS & SIBELIUS

May 11–Jun 3 Paris. 1904. Picasso and Einstein walk

IRA GLASS

ROMANTIC MASTERWORKS

May 12 The Texas Medical Center Orchestra celebrates

into a bar. Humorous, contemplative and wholly imaginative, comedian and film-star-turned-playwright, Steve Martin’s play surprises and provokes. Jumping off from the notion that these two great men were close in age and in Paris at the same time, Martin leaps into a fantastical contemplation of what they might have discussed and who else might have joined them at the Lapin Agile bar. 8 pm. Tickets start at $26. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org

RITE OF SPRING


datebook. SEVEN THINGS I’VE LEARNED—AN EVENING WITH IRA GLASS

May 12 Ira Glass brings an all-new show to Houston! Go

behind the scenes of the public radio broadcast, This American Life, with its incredibly talented host, Ira Glass. He is also the creative producer of the show, contributing much more than just his distinct and entirely unusual radio voice. Glass is returning to demonstrate the creative processes that go into in making the show, dissecting raw materials such as monologues, interviews, and recorded events to craft compelling narratives with careful editing and music. Come and see the creative wonders behind the radio show that is heard each week by more than 2.2 million listeners. Tickets start at $29. 7:30 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA.

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY Spring Calendar

spahouston.org

All events free and open to the public.

EMANUEL AX PLUS THE RITE OF SPRING

May 18–20 Experience Stravinsky’s revolutionary Rite like never before when Andrés teams up with Klaus Obermaier and Ars Electronica Futurelab for a performance featuring innovative dancing and 3-D visual effects. World-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax offers the perfect contrast to Stravinsky’s wild score with Mozart’s refined Piano Concerto No. 27, his final work in the genre. To open the concert, Ax joins Houston Symphony musicians for some lively chamber music. 8 pm. Tickets start at $23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

A DAY WITH MARIE ANTOINETTE

May 19 Ars Lyrica Houston’s season finale conjures up an artful day for France’s most famous queen, from intimate morning music lessons to a spectacular evening concert. By turns rustic and elegant, this program offers a violin concerto by Marie Antoinette’s music teacher Joseph Bologne (the Chevalier de Saint-Georges), a Mozart flute quartet, a dance suite from Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, and Haydn’s “Paris” Symphony No. 85, The Queen. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $39. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.

thehobbycenter.org

ONE-HIT WONDERS

832.393.1313 houstonlibrary.org

Central Library 500 McKinney

Julia Ideson Library 550 McKinney

EXHIBIT: CHASING PERFECTION—AN EXHIBIT ON LEGENDARY JOHN S. CHASE, FAIA, NOMAC

FAMILY FUN

photographs, scrapbooks, and objects from his personal collection, Chasing Perfection: The Work and Life of Architect John S. Chase offers insight into the man who built an unparalleled legacy by becoming one of the most important African-American architects of the 20th century. Free. Julia Ideson Building.

Baby Story Time, 10:30 am Toddler Story Time, 11:30 am Preschool Story Time, 1 pm

JULIA IDESON BUILDING (JIB) TOURS

Toddler Play Time, 11:30 am Tabletop Games, 4:30 pm

Mar 1–Jun 3 Featuring architectural drawings,

Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5 Tour HPL’s historic building the first Saturday of the month. This beautiful Spanish Renaissance Revival (Plateresque)-style building sits in the heart of Downtown. Learn about the history and use of the building, the renovations and additions, as well as the significance of its art and architecture. Tours are available on a first-come basis and are limited to 20 people. Group tours are also available. 11 am. Free. Julia Ideson Building.

MONDAYS

TUESDAYS

WEDNESDAYS

LEGO Mania, 3 pm

THURSDAYS

Minecraft, 3:30 pm

ART CLUB

May 25–27 You know them. You love them. But you

Mar 3 & May 5 Van Gogh, Davinci, and why not you?

have no idea who sang them. Houston Symphony’s final program of the season showcases those familiar songs—Come on Eileen, Forever Young, She’s So High, Walking in Memphis, Take on Me, Closing Time—from artists of the past century who disappeared, but nonetheless left a mark on radio air play and in our hearts. The show-stopping Storm Large from U.K. Rocks and Pink Martini help us remember what made these hits so much fun. 8 pm. Tickets start at $26. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

Explore talented artists and try your hand at mimicking their signature styles to create your own work of art. Children ages 5–10. 3 pm. Central Library.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS

Mar 4, Apr 1 & May 6 This course explains the various characteristics of digital photography. It describes the benefits, features, and workings of a digital camera. Students will learn how digital images can be managed and edited. 2 pm. Free. Central Library.

BETTY JO JONES COLLECTION SPOTLIGHT

Mar 15 An introduction to the Betty Jo Jones Collection, currently the only architectural collection at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center featuring the work of a female architect. 6:30 pm. Free. Julia Ideson Building.

9TH ANNUAL BOOKS ALIVE! CHILDREN’S BOOK CELEBRATION May 19 Children are invited to enjoy an afternoon of fun

ONE-HIT WONDERS

photo by Laura Domela

and exciting activities with New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Nathan Hale. Festivities at the library’s plaza include contests, crafts, and much more. Noon. Free. Central Library.

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MARKET SQUARE PARK Spring Calendar Market Square Park is open daily from 6 am–11 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine

BLANKET BINGO

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.

DON’T MISS

PUPPIES FOR BREAKFAST

#marketsquarepark

BODY BY BROADWAY

Mar 13 & 27, Apr 10 & 24, May 15 & 29 In partnership with Theatre Under the Stars and Define Mind & Body, the popular Body by Broadway is back at Market Square Park! Sing, squat and plank along to some of your favorite Broadway tunes. Enjoy an hour-long sweat sesh while unleashing your inner Broadway star at the park. 6:30 pm. Free.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY LEPRE-CON PUB CRAWL AND CONCERT

Mar 17

Parade, noon–2 pm Lepre-Con Pub Crawl, 2–5 pm Free Concert, 6 pm Get lucky this St. Patrick’s Day weekend with a ton-o-Irish fun in historic Market Square. Spend the afternoon visiting the neighborhood’s eclectic bars for your fair share of green beer at the official Lepre-Con Pub Crawl. Then head over to Market Square Park for some festive fun and live music by Murder the Stout. Free.

DOOMSDAY WRESTLING LIVE AT MARKET SQUARE PARK

Mar 23 Join us for an evening of headlocks and hi-jinks with the wackiest wrestlers that you’ve ever seen. Similar to the WWE but intentionally funny, Doomsday Wrestling has been named Best Comedy Show by the Houston Press and has been entertaining Houston with its unique brand of over the top comedy wrestling since 2003. Now the best little wrasslin’ show in Texas is set to body slam Market Square Park into submission! 7 pm. Free.

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marketsquarepark.com

BACKYARD JAMS: MARKET SQUARE PARK CONCERT SERIES FEATURING DOLLIE BARNES & VODI

Apr 13 Rock out this spring in the Historic District’s

own backyard with a recurring concert series sure to get you on your feet. Local artists, Dollie Barnes and Vodi will kick the series off with a special performance sure to get movin’ and groovin’. Kick back on the lawn, play a round of corn hole, and sip on local brewskis from Buffalo Bayou Brewery. 7 pm. Free.

BLANKET BINGO

Apr 19, May 17 This popular park favorite is back! Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (approx nine games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. Benefits Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Note: Blanket Bingo is a monthly event through September. 6–9 pm. Bingo begins at 7 pm.

PUPPIES FOR BREAKFAST

Apr 21 Join Market Square Park, Neue Creative and Modular Dog for Puppies for Breakfast—a unique outdoor festival, which brings all things dog-centric to one place in Downtown Houston. This year’s event will include 50 dog industry vendors and artists, a costume contest, an area for four four-legged friends to play, music and much more! A few of Houston’s best food trucks along with Niko Niko’s will be on site serving breakfast and lunch throughout the festival. The event is free and open to the public, with a suggested $5 donation to help a local dog rescue. 10 am–3 pm. Free.

CHEF’S CHALLENGE

Apr 29 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. 2:30–4:30 pm. Free. houstonchefchallenge.com

CINCO DE MAYO KICK-OFF CONCERT FEATURING LOS SKARNALES

May 5 Kick off the Cinco de Mayo festivities with a concert in the park with an amazing musical lineup featuring hometown favorite, Los Skarnales. Grab a cerveza from Niko Niko’s and claim your spot on the lawn for the dance party. After the concert, spend the evening cruising the neighborhood’s bars and restaurants for specials of some of your favorite festive fare. 5 pm. Free.

5TH ANNUAL BAYOU JAMBOREE FEATURING NOLA HUSTLERS BRASS BAND & BAYOU ROUX May 19 No need to make the trek to NOLA to get

your Cajun fix. Join us for beer, crawfish, Cajun eats, a super-fun kids zone and lots of horn-blowing, Cajun two-stepping fun in historic Market Square. Live music from Bayou Roux and New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band will keep your feet moving all afternoon. A few neighborhood favorites may even be on site selling some of their Cajun specialties. 3–7 pm. Free.


datebook.

46TH ANNUAL BUFFALO BAYOU PARTNERSHIP REGATTA

MOVIES MARKET SQUARE PARK PRESENTS THE QUIRKY & THE CLASSICS

Forget about trekking to the theater for your movie fix and come Downtown instead! Join us at Market Square Park for these fantastic films under the stars:

Mar 9 Wayne’s World (PG-13) 1992, 94 min. 7 pm Apr 12  The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (R) 2004, 119 min. 8 pm

May 24 Batman (PG-13) 1989, 89 min. 8:30 pm

RECREATION BAYOU BIKERS

Mar 4, Apr 1, May 6 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. First Sunday of the month, 8 am.

CRITICAL MASS

Mar 30, Apr 27, May 25 Critical Mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city, raise awareness and advocate for a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm.

FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET

Wednesdays It’s a food-lovers delight at Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market. The public can enjoy a variety of locally prepared, ready-to-eat or packaged togo foods, pick up farm-fresh weekly groceries and at the same time support sustainable food, all amid Houston’s dramatic Downtown urban setting. The farmers market features more than 30 vendors including fresh produce grown by local farmers, cheeses, breads, roasted coffees, and a variety of prepared meals, as well as food trucks. Free. 11 am–1:30 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540. urbanharvest.org

TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY AT SAINT ARNOLD

Mar 2 If there’s one thing Texans agree on it’s this:

DOLLIE BARNES

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.

Texas is awesome. Each March, it grows one year more awesome. Saint Arnold is celebrating our great state with a Texas-sized lunch special featuring Texas Independence Steaks, roasted potatoes, and Texas wheat beer. Admission is free. 11 am–2 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494.

saintarnold.com

SAM HARRIS AND THE WAKING UP PODCAST

Mar 4 Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and bestselling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. This will be a live recording of the Waking Up podcast with surprise guests. 7 pm. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000.

photo by Katya Horner

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY

Wednesdays, Mar 7–May 30 Start the day off right with a challenging boot camp. No equipment is needed and classes are open to all skill levels. Free. 6:30–7 am. The Lawn at GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1201.

greenstreetdowntown.com

FLY FISHING FILM TOUR

Mar 8 Fly fishing enthusiasts will gather around for the annual Fly Fishing Film Tour to soak up films from around the world, spin a few yarns amongst friends and dream about casts still unmade at Saint Arnold Brewery. $10. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com

SHOP LOCAL MARKET AT SAINT ARNOLD

Mar 9 & Apr 13 A fun night of local beer and shopping for handmade crafts, clothing, and gifts. Admission is free. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com

46TH ANNUAL BUFFALO BAYOU PARTNERSHIP REGATTA

Mar 10 Compete in Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race—a 15-mile paddling excursion from San Felipe and Voss to Downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park. Not a paddler? Cheer on racers along Buffalo Bayou and join in the free finish line festivities and awards ceremony at Allen’s Landing with live zydeco music, activities, and food and drink. $50–$60 to race. 11 am–2 pm. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

reventionmusiccenter.com

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DIY DOWNTOWN

DIY DOWNTOWN WITH POP SHOP AMERICA

Join the DIY movement and unleash your inner crafter with Pop Shop America’s DIY Downtown. Gather your friends, family and co-workers for a one-of-a-kind arts and crafts workshop at unique pop-up locations in the heart of Downtown Houston. Listen to music and snack on savory treats from Local Foods while making everything from hand-crafted candles to cocktail infusions. $35. 6:30–8:30 pm. downtownhouston.org

March 14 Local Foods Downtown, 420 Main Workshop: DIY Cocktail Bitters & Infusions at Local Foods

April 11 Aris Market Square, 409 Travis Workshop: DIY Terrarium Building

May 9 Rec Room, 100 Jackson Workshop: DIY Cut Paper Artwork

59TH ANNUAL HOUSTON ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Mar 17 The Houston St. Patrick’s Day Commission

presents the 59th Annual Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the biggest in the nation, with over 100 entries to delight both the Irish and the Irish-at-heart. Free. Noon. Rain or shine. Minute Maid Park and surrounding area. hsppc.org

31ST ANNUAL ART CAR PARADE

photo by Morris Malakoff

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY AT SAINT ARNOLD

Mar 17 In true St. Patrick’s Day fashion, join Saint

Arnold Brewing Company for an Irish breakfast buffet, specially themed dishes, live music, and special cask beer on tap served in a custom St. Patrick’s Day glass. Prizes awarded for the best Donegal beard. Free. 10 am–6 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com

VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

Mar 17, Apr 14, May 19 Get your gloves out and sign up for a Volunteer Workday at Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Help maintain and revitalize Buffalo Bayou this spring while having fun. No tools necessary. Just sign up and complete the online volunteer waiver required. 8:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

TOUR DE HOUSTON

Mar 18 The 13th annual bike ride presented by Apache

TOUR DE HOUSTON

Corporation offers Houstonians and visitors a unique way to view the city, with routes winding through Houston’s historic neighborhoods, scenic districts and parks. The Tour de Houston is a recommended training ride for the BP MS 150 and all proceeds benefit the city’s Reforest Houston program. City Hall, 901 Bagby.

tourdehouston.org

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datebook. JUST DANCE LIVE

Mar 22–25 Welcome to the world’s first live

COMICPALOOZA

interactive Just Dance experience. Join the dancers, the dreamers and the spotlight-loving scene stealers for an evening you will never forget. With our colorful characters dancing live on stage, you can follow their iconic moves and share the thrill with your friends and family. Cut loose and lose yourself in the dazzling costumes, groundbreaking visuals and incredible party atmosphere. Tickets start at $36.75. 7 pm. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000.

reventionmusiccenter.com

IN BLOOM MUSIC FESTIVAL

Mar 24–25 Free Press Summer Fest is now In Bloom Music Festival, reborn in the springtime! The stellar music festival highlights 50+ music performances across four stages, right in the heart of Downtown Houston. 11 am. Tickets start at $125. Eleanor Tinsley Park, 500 Allen Parkway. 512.674.9300.

inbloomfestival.com

EASTER SUNDAY BRUNCH

Apr 1 Celebrate Easter at the Downtown Aquarium with an egg hunt, photos with the Easter bunny and a delicious buffet featuring more than 40 items. Reservations required. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com

HEARTMADE ART MARKET

Apr 7 Back by popular demand, Heartmade Art Market will host its fourth festival right in the heart of Downtown Houston. Spend the day exploring the works of local artists, crafters and creatives. The funfilled festivities will host a little something for everyone with live music, food truck fare and special interactive activities for the kiddos from Young Audiences of Houston. Celebrate the Houston art community and some of its best ambassadors, all in one place. Free. 11 am–6 pm. Main Street Square, Main at McKinney.

heartmadehouston.com

HOUSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL

Apr 7–8 This event is a child’s dream day filled with celebrity appearances, a petting zoo, five stages for entertainment and tons of fun activities. Tickets vary. Located in the area surrounding City Hall, Houston Public Library, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park.

houstonchildrensfestival.com

31ST ANNUAL ART CAR PARADE

Apr 14 250+ originally decorated cars, bikes, and other wheel-based entries will fill the streets of Downtown Houston in this impressive parade presented by The Orange Show. Participating vehicles include entries from all over the United States, Mexico and Canada, making this the largest Art Car Parade in the world. Free. 2 pm. thehoustonartcarparade.com

HAPPY HOUR WITH PINOT’S PALETTE

Apr 18 & May 16 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, $22. 5:30–8 pm. artblockshouston.org

HOUSTON DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

May 5 Competing for the revered Dragon Cup, corporate and community teams will race on a 250-meter stretch of Buffalo Bayou at historic Allen’s Landing in downtown Houston. The festival also features Asian cuisine, music, arts and crafts, and cultural performances for the whole family. Free. Allen’s Landing, 1005 Commerce. 713.752.0314.

texasdragonboat.com

EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS

photo by Daniel Horande

THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF LOUISE OZELLE MARTIN

Through Apr 20 A retrospective exhibition of

photographs by prominent African-American society photographer, Louise Ozelle Martin, provides historic glimpses of black society life in Houston from the 1950s through 1980s Free. One Allen Center (Lobby), 500 Dallas. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm.

brookfieldproperties.com

A VIEW FROM THE TRENCHES: THE OBERWETTER WORLD WAR I COLLECTION

Through Apr 29 The exhibition features powerful

images photographed by a Texas man fighting in France during World War I. Free. 10 am–4 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912, heritagesociety.org

OUT OF MANY ONE

Through May 14 Houston mosaic artist Chris Silkwood presents a solo exhibition of works that reflect the classical in the materials she uses mixed with the contemporary energy of the world around her. Free. Total Plaza Lobby, 1201 Louisiana. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. brookfieldproperties.com

LATIN BEATS

May 25 Strap on your dancing shoes and move to the beat! Enjoy free salsa dance lessons, a live DJ and salsa music, plus great food and drinks. No cover charge. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474.

downtownquarium.com

COMICPALOOZA

May 25–27 Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the largest pop culture festival in Texas returns to the George R. Brown Convention Center for a weekend of comics, sci-fi, fantasy, new media, gaming, cosplay and more. Noon. General Admission $12–45 at door; $10–30 online. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.228.6737. HEARTMADE ART MARKET

A VIEW FROM THE TRENCHES

comicpalooza.com

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DISCOVERY GREEN

Spring Calendar

The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green’s spring events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted. Most events are free, unless noted otherwise. 1500 McKinney.

CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF DISCOVERY GREEN IN 2018

SPECIAL EVENTS

BAYOU CITY MUSIC SERIES

AVENIDA HOUSTON’S ROLLER RINK OPENING PARTY!

Mar 1 An exciting new concert series honoring the great jazz, gospel, blues and zydeco musicians of Houston. Bun Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown will open the show, followed by a special performance by local sensation Bun B, which features musicians who have inspired him. 6:30–9:30 pm.

DISCOVERY GREEN’S 10TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Apr 15 Celebrate 10 years of Discovery Green

and the impact it has had on Houstonians with spectacular cultural performances, live music and fun activities. Joining the celebration will be park founders and children who have grown up with the park. Noon–6 pm.

GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY’S EARTH DAY

Apr 22 Houston’s Earth Day presented in

partnership with the Citizens Environmental Coalition is a day of celebration, inspiration and action to save the earth. The event showcases more than 100 displays, exhibits and booths on topics ranging from alternate energy to recycling methods and more. Noon–6 pm.

HARVEY HEROES: DISCOVERY DISCUSSION PRESENTED BY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

Apr 27 Presented in partnership with Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Studies, Harvey Heroes features short testimonials by some of the Houstonians who stepped up to rescue, assist, feed, clothe and shelter those affected by Harvey. Additionally, guests can follow along to Dr. Stephen Klineberg’s presentation on Harvey’s impact on Houstonians, which was conducted in the 37th Annual Kinder Houston Area Survey. 6:30–8:30 pm.

FUNOMENAL FAMILY FESTIVAL FEATURING FUN WITH THE CURIOUS GAME

May 26 What a FUN-omenal festival! Family fun in

the park featuring rides, contests, and activities. Plus, award-winning physical theater ensemble, Born in a Taxi of Australia, presents the Curious Game, an interactive chess game featuring pomp, ceremony and silly characters. 1–5 pm.

Mar 2 Let’s get this party started! Grab your skates and help kick off The Rink at Discovery Green with some roller-skating fun, live music by Skyrockets! The Band, Roller Derby Girls demo and so much more! 5–10 pm.

AVENIDA HOUSTON PRESENTS THE RINK: ROLLING AT DISCOVERY GREEN

Mar 2–25 Show off your moves on Houston’s first

outdoor roller rink. Visit website for weekly and special events and hours of operation. $12 per person.

SUNDAYS IN THE PARK

Sundays, March 4–June 24 Make Sundays your favorite day in the park. Enjoy rounds Jenga, corn hole and Bocce and jam out to live local music! Free. 2–5 pm.

FLEA BY NIGHT PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY

Saturdays, Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19 Treasure hunt for all things vintage, handmade, recycled, repurposed and renewed. Live local music, food trucks and fun under the stars and twinkling lights! Enjoy a special Earth Day edition of Flea by Night on April 22. 6–10 pm.

ART CAR SNEAK PEEK

Apr 12 Want to catch a glimpse of the zaniness before the big Art Car Parade? The Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts and Discovery Green present an evening of outdoor fun, entertainment, food, drink, and live music! 6–10 pm.

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datebook.

ENTERTAINMENT

WEEKLY EVENTS

SCREEN ON THE GREEN PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA

Mar 2, Apr 6, May 4 Think on your feet! Writers in

Beloved family movies under the stars and Houston’s skyline. Arrive one hour early for contests and activities.

the Schools (WITS) writing and performance poetry workshops for poets ages 13–19. Free. 6:30–8 pm.

Mar 31 Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (PG) 2017,

RECYCLING SATURDAYS

129 min., 8 pm

Apr 28 Coco (PG) 2017, 119 min., 8:15 pm May 19  Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13) 2017, 119 min., 8:30 pm

CANNED ACOUSTICA

An evening of acoustic music from some of Houston’s top talent on the Grace Event Lawn. This much loved local series challenges bands to rearrange and re-imagine songs using acoustic instruments only; resulting in unique, intimate and soulful performances.

Mar 11 Rosewood Thievz, Sik Mule, The Wheel Workers, Texture, Yellow, The Blaggards. 5:30–9 pm Apr 22  Fat Tony, Hogan & Moss, Max Flin, Arthur Yoria, The Broken Spokes, Heapin Helpin, Giany Kitty. 1–6 pm May 13  Clay Melton Band, Andrew James, Blaze X Black, Second Lovers, Miears. 5:30–9 pm

THURSDAY CONCERTS PRESENTED BY UHD

Family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of the Gulf Coast! Concerts start at 7 pm.

discoverygreen.com/concerts May 17 Slim Thug May 24 Marcia Ball May 31  Terry Allen

YOUTH POETRY PERFORMANCE SESSION

Mar 3–May 26 Bring your paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. 11 am–2 pm.

FITNESS IN THE PARK YOGA

Mondays, 11:30 am–12:30 pm. Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30 pm.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Mondays, 12:30–1:30 pm.

CIRCUS ARTS

Tuesdays, 6–8 pm.

YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP

Saturdays, Mar 3–May 26 Kids learn to express their thoughts and develop language skills, thanks to Writers in the Schools (WITS), HPL Express and Discovery Green in Houston’s only free and open writing workshop for kids. 10:30–11:30 am.

STEM SATURDAYS

Saturdays, Mar 3–May 26 Girls Inc. hosts a fun, handson Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education program for kids. Free. 12:30–1:30 pm.

KAYAK RIDES AND R/C BOATS ON KINDER LAKE

Weekends, Mar 3–May 27 Leisurely kayak around Kinder Lake and enjoy all the fish swimming beneath the surface. No reservation required. $5 per person for kayak.

MY FIRST MUSIC LESSONS

Mar 4, Apr 1, May 6 Divisi Strings leads My First Music Lesson, a chance for kids to pick up a violin and start their musical journey. This hands-on experience brings young, professional musicians to Discovery Green to teach the basics of music in a fun and friendly environment. Children grades 1–8. 2–3 pm.

SPRING BREAK WEEK

ZUMBA

Wednesdays, 6–7 pm.

PARKOUR

Thursdays, 6:30–8 pm.

HATHA YOGA

Saturdays, 9–10 am.

OTHER EVENTS SPRINGWORLD INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

Mar 31 A premier international cultural and modern festival, known for bringing a variety of unique and emerging culture to one place. 10 am–4 pm springworldfest.com

UTHEALTH STOMP OUT STROKE FESTIVAL

Apr 28 The Stroke Festival features

free health screenings, health education, and entertainment. 9:30 am–3:30 pm.

strokefestival.org

Mar 12–16 Celebrate Spring Break with five days of fun for the whole family. Visit the website for daily details. Noon–4 pm.

TODDLER TUESDAYS

Apr 3–May 29 Fun for toddlers and parents with the Houston Public Library! Story time, activities and more with your favorite characters. 10:30 am.

SPACE CITY GRAND SLAM

Apr 8 Young slam poets vie for a spot on the 2018 Meta-Four Houston Team. 3–5 pm.

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HOUSE OF BLUES HOUSTON

LEWIS BLACK

CONCERTS REVENTION MUSIC CENTER

Mar 1 AWOLNATION Mar 2  Steve Aoki Mar 3  Dropkick Murphys Mar 4  Sam Harris Mar 17  Excision Mar 22–25 Just Dance Live Mar 30  Rosario Flores Apr 7  Imparables featuring

Adrian Uribe y Omar Chaparro

Apr 23 The Piano Guys Apr 25  HAIM Apr 28  Lewis Black Apr 30  Jack White May 1  Jack White May 4  Kathleen Madigan May 7  Fleet Foxes May 11  Ha*Ash May 12  Papa Roach 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

Mar 2 George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic Mar 3  Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Mar 4  Tape Face Mar 8  Flogging Molly Mar 9  Pop Evil Mar 10  Los Lonely Boys & Los Lobos Mar 11  A$AP Ferg Mar 14  New Politics Mar 15  Iced Earth Mar 17  Grupo Niche Mar 20  Dashboard Confessional Mar 22  Jeezy Mar 24  Led Zeppelin 2 Mar 29  Why Don’t We Mar 30  Cradle of Filth Mar 31  Badfish Apr 5  Yacht Rock Revue Apr 6  Mat Kearney Apr 7  Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Apr 13  SoMo Apr 15  Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Apr 23  The Breeders May 1  Greta Van Fleet May 10  Bunbury May 12  Dweezil Zappa May 14  Natalia Lafourcade 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.

hob.com/houston

TOYOTA CENTER

Mar 4 Winter Jam Tour Spectacular Mar 8–11 Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo (6 Total Shows) Mar 19  Lorde Mar 20  Romeo Santos Mar 23  Bon Jovi Apr 13  Marco Antonio Solis Apr 28–29 P!nk May 23  Justin Timberlake 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 Mar 1–4 43rd Annual Fishing Show Mar 17–18  Cross Court Classic Mar 24–25  The American Spectacular Mar 24–25  High Caliber Gun & Knife Show Mar 30–31  Anime Matsuri 2018 Apr 7–8  37th Annual THG Houston Home Show May 20–21  The IMAGE expo The George R. Brown Convention Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.853.8000. grbhouston.com

TOURS ROCK BUILDING STONES: DOWNTOWN GEOLOGY & MATERIALS TOUR

Mar 3 This architectural and geological walking tour of Downtown goes beyond the typical architectural focus to include the provenance and geology of the buildings’ materials. These sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks have come from all over the world and now call Houston home. The tour is inspired by similar walks in Europe and adapted from the Houston Geological Society’s 1995 tour, Houston Building Stones. $10. 10 am. Southeast corner of Austin and Mckinney. 1001 Austin. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org

SECOND SATURDAY BOAT RIDES

Mar 17, Apr 14, May 12 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. 10 am–2 pm. Sabine Promenade Boat Launch, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

BUFFALO BAYOU WALKING TOURS

Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19 The tour will highlight how

houstontoyotacenter.com

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 TOURS

Mar 24, Apr 28, May 26 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, 1005 Commerce. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

URBAN ART (DOWNTOWN) WALKING TOUR

Mar 31, May 19 This series of tours will look at public

JEEZY

art, architecture, place making and urban planning in Houston. Each new tour will focus on a small walkable section of Houston. Downtown Part 1 includes Market Square Park, Buffalo Bayou and areas West of Main Street. Artists featured on this tour include Mel Chin, Paul Kittleson, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg and Dean Ruck. Tickets $10. 6 pm. Meet in the NE corner of Market Square Park, 301 Milam. 713.520.0155.

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datebook. PORT-TO-PORT BOAT TOURS

Apr 7, May 19 Cruise around from the old port of Houston to the new port with bayou guide Andrew Groocock as he takes a historical tour of the upper channel of Buffalo Bayou. The seven-mile-long trip will focus on the historical significance of this industrial stretch and Houston. Tickets $45 per person. 10 am–noon. Allen’s Landing, 1005 Commerce. 713.752.0314 ext. 103. buffalobayou.org

ARCH BUFFALO BAYOU WALKING TOUR

Apr 28 Explore the city from a vantage point most people don’t see: the waterway that gave Houston life and has been its backbone for 175 years. Stroll along Buffalo Bayou Parkway for an overview of Downtown Houston’s history and architecture from its beginnings in 1836 to the efforts to revitalize the central city today. Tickets $10. 10 am. Northeast corner of Market Square Park. 301 Milam. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org

TOWERS & TREES DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR

May 12 The Towers and Trees tour explores the magnificent architecture between Hermann Square and Discovery Green as well as the changing dynamics of our Downtown. We’ll look at the partially realized civic center plan surrounding Hermann Square, the historic backbone of Main Street, the ambitious 1970 proposal that would become Houston Center, the internationally recognized icons from the skyscraper boom of the ’70s and ’80s, and Discovery Green. Tickets $10. 6 pm. Hermann Square, 900 Smith. 713.520.0155.

ASTROS OPENING DAY STREET FEST

SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON

HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR

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 capital 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

heritagesociety.org

One of Houston’s oldest tour companies offering Historic Pub Crawl tours, Ghost tours of Downtown, Historic walking/ driving tours of Downtown and more. Only certified professional tour guides are used on Discover Houston Tours. Ticket prices vary.

aiahouston.org

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

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.

saintarnold.com

DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS

discoverhoustontours.com

SPORTS COPA DE CAMPEONES: CHIVAS VS. TIGRES

Mar 24 Tigers UANL returns to Houston to take

on one of the most iconic teams in the Mexican League, Las Chivas de Guadalajara in the can’t miss international match, Copa De Campeones. 5 pm. Tickets start at $39. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas.

bbvacompassstadium.com

ASTROS OPENING DAY STREET FEST

Apr 2 Celebrate the return of baseball and our World Series Champs, Houston Astros during the highly anticipated Opening Day Street Fest! Come early and enjoy a variety of family friendly activities including live music, local food trucks, games, photo booths and much more before settling down for the first home game of the season. The festival takes place on Crawford between Texas and Congress. 2–6:30 pm. A game ticket is required to enter the street festival. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. astros.com

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Mar 3 Rockets vs. Boston Celtics Mar 12  Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs Mar 15  Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers Mar 22  Rockets vs. Detroit Pistons Mar 24  Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans Mar 25  Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks Mar 27  Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls Mar 30  Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Apr 3  Rockets vs. Washington Wizards Apr 5  Rockets vs. Portland Trailblazers Apr 7  Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.758.7200. rockets.com

HOUSTON DYNAMO

Mar 3 Dynamo vs. Atlanta United (Home Opener) Mar 10  Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Mar 31  Dynamo vs. New England Revolution Apr 21  Dynamo vs. Toronto FC (Theme Kids Day) May 5  Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy (Theme is Cinco de Mayo) May 25  Dynamo vs. New York City FC For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.

houstondynamo.com

HOUSTON ASTROS

Apr 2–4 Astros vs. Baltimore Orioles (Home Opener) Apr 6–8  Astros vs. San Diego Padres Apr 13–15  Astros vs. Texas Rangers Apr 23–25  Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels Apr 27–29  Astros vs. Oakland Athletics (Bayou Bash) Apr 30–May 3  Astros vs. New York Yankees May 11–13  Astros vs. Texas Rangers May 18–20  Astros vs. Cleveland Indians (Faith & Family Night) May 22–23  Astros vs. San Francisco Giants May 31  Astros vs. Boston Red Sox For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767.

astros.com

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2018

SPRING

plate.

EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO

�A THE GUIDE TO EATING DOWNTOWN

Get Happy We’ve gathered up Downtown’s best spots for wrapping up your day, including the Four Season’s beautiful Bayou & Bottle, where you can choose from more than 130 brands of bourbons and whiskeys

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plate. 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.

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. artistahouston.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/

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. $

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. $$

Bud’s BBQ Pitmaster Bud’s BBQ Pitmaster brings a

The Bistro American The Bistro is a full-service

Burger Theory American Located at street-level of

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

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. $$

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. $$ 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. $$

NEW! Café Cosmopolita Coffee House Inspired by the cultural and gastronomical diversity in European cafes, this local coffee shop offers a surplus of coffee, pastries made from scratch, breakfast items, and natural smoothies. cafecosmopolita.com. 1625 Main Street, Suite A-1. 708.890.2041. B 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. $

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v Christian’s Tailgate American Christian’s Tailgate has arguably one of the best burgers in town and now you can enjoy them Downtown! The notable Houston burger joint in Downtown’s Historic District boasts daily food specials, 30 beers on tap, 40+ TVs, a pool table, shuffle board, video games and an awesome outdoor patio! christianstailgate.com. 1012 Congress, 281.556.1010. L, D & LN. $

v 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. $

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, Eazy Does It, Noble Rot Wine Bar, The Pho Spot, Gordi’s Arepas 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. $$

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. $$

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. $

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. $$

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. $$

El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran

NEW! Fabian’s Latin Flavors Latin Looking for dinner with a side of salsa dancing? If so, Fabian’s Latin Flavors is the place for you! From carne asada tacos and empanadas to popular Salvadorian beer and salsa nights, you’ll get a taste of Latin America at this Downtown hotspot. fabianslatinflavors.com. 301 Main. 713.227.0440. L & D Daily. $$

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. $

NEW! Frank’s Backyard Pizza Forget about ordering pizza to-go and enjoy a slice or two at Frank’s Backyard. Whether you take a seat at the beer garden’s nifty airstream trailer housing 40 beers on tap or enjoy a glass of bourbon on their upper level deck, this local hotspot will take your traditional “pizza night” to the next level. franksbackyard.net. 413 Travis. 713.225.1115. 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 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. $$

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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 all day on Astros baseball game days M–F. Time varies for Saturday games. $$

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.


plate. 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. $ NEW! Kulture Caribbean Dubbed “an urban komfort kitchen,” the restaurant explores food, spirits, art and music through cultural contributions of the African diaspora, including Caribbean and Southern cuisine and daily happy hour specials in a casually elevated, yet comfortable dining atmosphere. 701 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.528.8561. L & D. $$

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. $ v La Calle Mexican Located in Downtown’s historic Market Square, this cozy restaurant serves authentic Mexican street tacos, tortas and tostadas. Your visit isn’t complete without an Agua Fresca or pit stop at the funky digs’ lucha libre themed bar, La Cantina! In addition to the savory tacos, you’ll find plenty of Mexican beers, drafts, and frozen margaritas. 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. $

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. $ v Lucienne Mediterranean Not only will the chic brass accents throughout this glamorous gem impress you, but the French-inspired dishes like Gravlax with rye toast, caper berries, dill and mustard sauce will tempt your taste buds into coming back for more. You’ll find this glamorous gem sitting on the second level of Hotel Alessandra. hotelalessandra-houston.com. Hotel Alessandra, 1070 Dallas, Second Floor. 713.242.8555. B, L & D Mon–Fri; BR Sat–Sun. $$

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. $$ v Massa’s South Coast Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$

McAlister’s Deli American This fast casual deli serves fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, and giant stuffed potatoes. mcalistersdeli.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 832.940.0660. L & D Daily. $

v 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. $$$

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. $$$

Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now

McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam,

enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ v Local Foods American Local Foods is a culinary expression of all things local. The scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcases seasonal salads, fresh soups, farmers market sides, home-made snacks for the taking, and a raw bar with ceviche and oyster shooters. houstonlocalfoods.com. 420 Main, 713.227.0531. L & D Daily. $$

Lone Star Taco Tex-Mex Fast-casual Tex-Mex

restaurant, specializing in great tacos! Lone Star Taco quickly serves artisanal quality, made-fresh tacos at an affordable price. txlonestartaco.com. 1001 Texas St, 713.223.8226. B, L & D Daily. $

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. $ 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. $$ v Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$

Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1900 Main, 713.650.3354. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. 700 Louisiana, 713.547.0660. 1415 Louisiana, 832.663.6113. 500 Dallas, 713.654.0033. B & L Mon–Fri all locations. $

v Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorites such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L & D Daily. $ v Osso & Kristalla Italian Osso & Kristalla serves up authentic Italian fare in a modern, yet relaxed atmosphere. The casual trattoria features housemade pastries, pastas, wood-fired pizzas and more Italian eats, along with wine, beer, cocktails and local Katz coffee. Enjoy views inside their open concept kitchen or on their breezy outdoor patio. ossoandkristalla.com. 1515 Texas, 713.221.6666. B Mon–Fri; L & D Daily. $$ v Oxbow 7 Bayou Cuisine Upscale restaurant inside Le Meridien Hotel offering guests a touch of elevated cuisine and a sophisticated dining experience like never before. oxbow7.com. Le Meridien, 1121 Walker. B, L & D Daily. $$ NEW! Thai Cafe Asian Make your way to the Historic District and treat your tastebuds to the authentic flavors of Thai fusion at this local hub. Menu favorites include a variety of Thai dishes including their Crispy Shrimp & Spicy Tamarind Sauce and Kao Soi. thaicafe917.com. 917 Franklin. 713.228.8424. L & D Mon–Sat. $$

v 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. $$

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BY STEFANIE PASCACIO

For a complete list of all the awesome bars and restaurants in Downtown, visit our online guide at downtownhouston.org.

t i H t Mus

HAPPY HOURS IN DOWNTOWN THIS SPRING

4 Local Foods

Get boozy and check

420 Main

out these poppin’ Downtown hotspots

HAPPY HOUR: MONDAY–FRIDAY 4–7 PM ALL DAY SATURDAY & SUNDAY

2 The Moonshiners Southern Table + Bar 1000 Prairie

Spring is here and that means enjoying the patio breeze and spectacular views that come with dining and drinking al fresco at Downtown’s many restaurants and bars. And because there’s nothing better than boozing on the cheap, we’ve created this handy-dandy list of the best Downtown happy hour deals for you and your work buddies to check out.

1 Pastry War

310 Main

HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 4–6:30 PM

Hankering for salt, lime and tequila? Then Pastry War is where you want to be. While you won’t find any pastries at this festive gem, partake in their agave spirits and house cocktails, like their fiery Pelirojo (a perfect blend of jalapeno-infused vodka accented with lime, and pineapple-Mexican saffron soda) for half the price when the clock strikes four. For that extra kick, snack on diced pineapple showered with Tajin for $4 or a tasty order of tamales which is always complimented with Pastry War’s homemade salsa for only $7. We’ll be the first to admit that each item on the menu is as tasteful as its namesake and no choice is the wrong choice unless you don’t make one.

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HAPPY HOUR: MONDAY–FRIDAY 2–6 PM SATURDAY & SUNDAY BRUNCH 10 AM–3 PM

With its inviting atmosphere, the array of moonshine-infused cocktails, and eye-catching “Southern Hospitality” sign, it’s hard not to pull up a seat at this cozy neighborhood restaurant after a stressful day at the office. Order a tropical Coconut-Hibiscus Shine-a-Rita or Peach Shine Tea for just $5 during happy hour. When the weekend rolls around and the weather permits, opting for brunch on the patio is free, but a mimosa will cost you $3. Don’t forget to up your order to include the $3.50 deviled eggs—a deal too good to miss! Even if you’re new to the shine or to Moonshiner’s sweet brunch deals, the friendly staff oozing of warm hospitality will keep you coming back for more.

3 The Grove

1611 Lamar

HAPPY HOUR: MONDAY–FRIDAY 4–7 PM SUNDAY 3–9 PM

A place to see-and-be-seen during cocktail hour is the roof deck bar at The Grove. During happy hour, you can select domestic beers for $3, well drinks for $4 and a glass of their house wine or prosecco is just a buck more. We recommend a hand-crafted cocktail like their Pineapple Orchid (house-infused vodka with pineapple and vanilla). Its proximity to Discovery Green and the picturesque Downtown skyline are an extra bonus.

There’s no shortage of local ingredients at this three-story corner hub, favored by Downtown’s urban dwellers. Local Foods features a killer happy hour with $5 house wines, $6 specialty cocktails such as the 420 Main Mule (hibiscus-infused rum, fresh lime and ginger beer), and a great menu of small plates under $10.

5 Kulture

701 Avenida De Las Americas

HAPPY HOUR: DAILY 4–7 PM

Why sit in traffic when you can add a little Kulture to your weeknight? Sip on a $6 classic Manhattan or a $7 glass of chardonnay at The Breakfast Klub’s Marcus Davis’ newest Downtown restaurant and lounge. The new “urban comfort kitchen” brings the exotic flairs of the Caribbean to Avenida Houston and hosts an exciting happy hour that’s available seven days a week. As Barbados native Rhianna would say, “Pour it up, pour it up!”


plate.

6 Xochi

1777 Walker

HAPPY HOUR: MONDAY–FRIDAY, 3–6:30 PM

It comes as no surprise that the crown jewel restaurant led by James Beard Award Winner Chef Hugo Ortega offers an exciting selection of Mexican spirits for guest to sip on during its happiest hour. The Oaxaca Lending Library highlights more than 30 spirits, ranging from artisan mezcals, sotol, tequilas and rum, and allows guests to discover the exotic distilled beverages in one-ounce tastes for a short fare of $6. With so many great options to choose from, it’s hard not to raise a glass and say, “Salud!”

8 La Cantina

909 Franklin

HAPPY HOUR: MONDAY–FRIDAY, 3–7 PM

Get excited taco lovers because the highly anticipated authentic Mexican cantina is now open at La Calle Tacos’ funky digs! The new sports bar is draped in vintage lucha libre threads and when happy hour comes around, guests can enjoy $2 Tecates, $3 select drafts, $4 frozen margaritas, $6 Caguama beers and $11 beer buckets. This is the perfect hangout to catch your favorite soccer, boxing or UFC match on the large 82” TVs. Major bonus: $1 tacos during happy hour!

10 Moving Sidewalk

photo by Alex Gregg

306 Main

HAPPY HOUR: WEDNESDAY–SATURDAY, 5–8 PM

Known for drinks that stick with you and their innovative menus like the KLOL (a list honoring the former rock radio station), this is one place that will definitely get you out of the post-work funk. Happy hour specials start midweek and include $2 off all house cocktails, half off bottles of wine and sevenounce bottles of Miller High Life Ponies for only a buck. The bar has also incorporated a new DJ booth, so expect to hit the dance floor on the weekends.

9 Bardot at Hotel Alessandra 1070 Dallas

HAPPY HOUR: MONDAY–FRIDAY, 3–7 PM

7 Bayou & Bottle 1300 Lamar

HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 7–9 PM

Dubbed “Bayou Hour,” this stunning and intimate bar situated off the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel is not your average hotel bar. Bayou & Bottle is home to 130 plus brands of international bourbons and whiskeys, and when happy hour comes around, the bar’s bourbon steward will top you off with an $8 Moscow Mule, $8 select well spirits and house wines, or a $5 draft beer of your choosing. Looking for more than just a good drink? Intrigue your taste buds with the juicy flavors of a carnitas quesadilla, Korean BBQ wings, loaded fries or a delectable Bayou Burger for a reduced price. Then burn off some of those calories at the hotel’s exclusive Top Golf-branded simulator next to the bar.

When you’re looking to treat your palate to something a bit more elevated, a glass of Bardot’s finest chardonnay, merlot or cabernet sauvignon will do the trick. The bar’s happy hour menu is poised to please with select house wines that start at $7, well drinks running at $6 and small light bites like their ceviche for only $5.

11 Part & Parcel 1700 Smith

HAPPY HOUR: TUESDAY–SATURDAY, 4-7 PM

Good drinks, good music and good times are what you’ll find at this casual courtyard bar situated on the ground floor of the Whitehall Hotel. Ongoing this spring is their Original 1963 happy hour, which includes $19.63 pails of craft canned and bottled beers, as well as their house wines. To help you unwind or wind up after work Tuesdays through Thursdays, simply groove along to the beats of the local bands that take over Part & Parcel’s center stage starting at 4:30 pm.

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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. $

Prelude Coffee & Tea Coffee House Get your

coffee fix at this espresso bar located inside Hines’ 609 Main building and pair it with your favorite breakfast and lunch options from local favorite, Morningstar. instagram.com/preludecoffee. 609 Main, 832.382.3466. B & L Mon–Fri. $

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 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 Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon–Fri. $

v 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. $$$

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. $$ v Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $ v Phoenicia Specialty Foods International If you are in search of yummy food on the go, Phoenicia Specialty Foods is the place for you! This urban gourmet market boasts an incredible salad bar, made-to-order shawarmas and pizzas, grab-n-go sushi, sandwiches and various meat and seafood entrees. This is a one-of-a kind downtown destination where you can appreciate down-to-earth gourmet food prices and a unique variety of flavors. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$

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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, 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. $$$

Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon–Fri. $

Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe

offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Spindletop American A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue–Sat. $$$

Springbok South African Springbok features

a contemporary take on classic South African dishes such as local game, house-made sausages, burgers and curries. Enjoy an amazing selection of local and international beer and cocktails while watching rugby and other national and international sporting competitions. thespringbok.com. 711 Main, 818.201.6979. L, D & LN Daily. $$

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. $

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. $$ v Theodore Rex American Enjoy an intimate dining experience at James Beard Award–winning Chef Justin Yu’s modern American bistro, Theodore Rex. Expect fresh local produce in your dishes coupled with warm hospitality as you walk in. trexhouston.com. 1302 Nance St, 832.830.8592. D Mon–Thu. $$

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. $$$$


sip. v Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon–Fri. $

Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is

described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$

sip.

Walker St. Kitchen American Walker Street Kitchen

Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a

Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up

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. $

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. $$ a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon–Fri. $

Wokker at Craft Beer Cellar Asian Food truck

favorite, Wokker, is now housed inside CraftBeer Cellar. Combining spices and cultures that blend harmoniously, Wokker is known for creating unique dishes that incorporate the wok, proteins and Texas cooking techniques. wokkerhtx.com. 907 Franklin, 713.227.0199. L & D. $

Your Pie Italian Your Pie is a “down-the-line” pizza

concept offering customers the opportunity to build their own 10″ hand-tossed pizza which cooks in a gas-fired oven in less than five minutes! Their bar menu includes 25 taps of craft beer and a selection of boutique red and white wines. yourpie.com. 1625 Main (inside SkyHouse Houston), 832.767.2544. L & D. $

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!

Bardot | 1070 Dallas

Perched on the second floor of Hotel Alessandra above the atrium, Bardot offers luxurious ambiance and menu options poised to please. Unwind with a hand-crafted cocktail at the end of the day, or start your evening with a glass of wine and a light bite sure to delight your taste buds. Sun–Thu 3 pm–midnight; Fri–Sat 3 pm–2 am. hotelalessandra-houston.com/bar-bardot

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

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

Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main

Craft Beer Cellar | 907 Franklin

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

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

Casablanca Lounge | 312 Main

Dean’s | 316 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 NEW!

Cellar 7 Wine & Bar Bites | 610 Main

From wine 101 classes and event tastings to enjoying cocktails with friends before a theater show, Cellar 7 is a go-to destination in the skyline district. Wind down after work with a glass of wine or a Texas brew and pair it with a side of grilled oysters or any of the delectable bar bits on their menu. Daily 4–11 pm. district7grill.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

The Commoner | 410 Main, Downstairs

Simple, straightforward. Cocktails, beer and wine. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am; Sun noon–midnight. thecommonerbar.com

Under new ownership and with a new look and feel, Dean’s adds to the cool vibe found on the 300 block of Main. Great attention from the bartenders and the trendy crowd make it a unique place to socialize. Mon–Thu 8 pm–2 am; Fri–Sat 5 pm–2 am. deansdowntown.com

The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline

The non-venue rock ‘n’ roll lounge is a popular preand post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed 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 NEW!

The Dive | 809 Pierce

A dive bar built for good vibes, you get the best of both worlds at this lounge with a mixture of free play arcade games, drinks and music by some of the best local DJs and international artists. Fri–Sat 9 pm–2 am. divehtx.com

806 Lounge | 806 Main

A favorite of the locals, 806 Lounge located inside the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, ignites the senses with sophisticated creations. Their mixologists are experts in creating cocktails, lively in conversation, and can recommend a favorite dish to accompany your handcrafted drink. Daily 11 am–11 pm. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/806-lounge

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1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin

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

El Big Bad | 419 Travis

El Big Bad is a Gastro-Cantina that specializes in infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and cocktails, Mexican and Texan Craft Beer and scrumptious fare. Sun–Thu 11 am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11 am–2 am. elbigbad.com

Flying Saucer | 705 Main

Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon–Wed 11 am–1 am; Thu & Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 am; Sun noon–midnight. beerknurd.com

Henke & Pillot | 809 Congress

Where past meets present, and drinks and dining blend in flawless harmony. Henke & Pillot is more than a dynamic Downtown cocktail lounge. Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space in the 800 block of Congress over 150 years ago, the simple yet sophisticated setting offers patrons inspired cocktails that are paired with mouthwatering dishes. Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. henkehouston.com

Hoggbirds | 1121 Walker

A unique rooftop bar by award-winning Chef Bryan Caswell filled with a delectable menu, craft cocktails, specialty beers and a unique wine selection along with breathtaking 360-degree views of Downtown Houston. Sun–Thu 4 pm–10 pm; Fri–Sat 4 pm–11 pm. hoggbirds.com

The Honeymoon Cafe + Bar | 300 Main

The Historic District welcomes The Honeymoon—a new, adorable bistro with great cocktails, wine and coffee from local Boomtown Coffee. Mon–Thu 7 am–midnight; Fri 7 am–2 am; Sat 10 am–2 am; Sun 10 am–10 pm. thehoneymoonhtx.com

Houston Watch Company | 913 Franklin

Houston Watch Company is located in the lobby of the Bayou Lofts at 913 Franklin and gets its name from the former timepiece company that occupied the space over 100 years ago. From its name to its drinks, Houston Watch Company is the essence of old-school. We suggest trying one of their four different versions of an old fashioned or the strawberry shrub cocktail made with fresh fruit! 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 NEW!

Iron & Oak | 208 Travis

Located inside the historic Hermann Lofts building, the neighboring bar sets the perfect ambiance for dates, private parties, and features a traditional menu full of freshly made craft cocktails. Tue–Wed 4 pm–midnight; Thu–Sat 4 pm–2 am.

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The Isles Eatery & Rhum Bar | 1515 Pease

Molly’s Pub | 509 Main

La Carafe | 813 Congress

Moving Sidewalk | 306 Main

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 The oldest building in Houston, this dark and cozy hideaway boasts a great jukebox, moody atmosphere and an extensive beer and wine selection. Sit on the outside patio or balcony and look up in awe at the amazing downtown skyline. Cash only. Mon–Fri noon–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am.

Last Concert Café | 403 Nance

You have to knock three times on the red door to gain entry to the unmarked house in the Warehouse District (well, not anymore). With a backyard stage and sandpit, hoola-hooping and tiki bar, Last Concert has live music most nights. Tue–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat 5 pm–2 am; Sun 3–9 pm. lastconcert.com

Lawless Spirits & Kitchen | 909 Texas

Lawless Spirits & Kitchen is an establishment with flair. A place that gives rise to the iconic visions of Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen leaning on the bar with a stiff, well-crafted Rye Manhattan. Lawless is detailed with glitzy style, featuring revolutionary cocktails accompanied by comfortable finger foods and satisfying bites. Daily 4–11 pm. lawlesspirits.com

Lilly & Bloom | 110 Main St.

Located in the historically chic Raphael Building, this beautiful two-story lounge is known for its specialty cocktails and guest bartenders every Tuesday night. Prepare to be amazed! Daily 4 pm–2 am. lillyandbloom.com

Little Dipper | 304 Main

This spot is a cool, blue neighborhood bar with pinball machines, cheap bourbon and a bad-ass jukebox. Daily 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/LittleDipperBar

LIVE Sports Bar & Grill | 407 Main

Located in Historic Market Square, Live Sports Bar & 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

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 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

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


sip. 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, drinkalong, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed–Sat 7 pm–2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com

Public Services Wine & Whiskey | 202 Travis

Nestled in the historic Cotton Exchange Building, lies Public Services Wine & Whiskey. Public Services isn’t just any cocktail bar, in fact, they’re the complete opposite. Here, patrons can find classic wines and a vast yet distinctive whiskey selection served straight, on the rocks, or with a small selection of mixers. Craft beer and cider help round out the carefully crafted drink menu. Mon–Sat 4 pm–2 am. publicservicesbar.com

Reserve 101 | 1201 Caroline

A whiskey and martini bar touting more than 220 specialty liquors that will make any cocktail aficionados mouth water. Stop by on Tuesday for complimentary tastings of special selections. Order up delicious bites from the new, chef-driven menu featuring tasty flatbreads, appetizers and sandwiches. Sun 5 pm–2 am; Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am. reserve101.com

Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas at Rice Lofts

Dublin native and owner John McElroy created this space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland. The crowd is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am. mcelroyspub.com

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.

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.

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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

#1

DOWNTOWN’S RESIDENTIAL

REAL ESTATE GROUP

TERRY STANFIELD

ALEXA HINOJOSA

713.582.6871

tstanfield@heritagetexas.com | ahinojosa@heritagetexas.com 214 Travis St., Houston, Texas 77002

heritagetexas.com

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DESTINATIONDOWNTOWN

d.

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.

Sports

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.

6. Minute Maid Park 7. Toyota Center 8. BBVA Compass Stadium

Recreation 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)

Institutions

Theater

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

City, County & Federal

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

Green Route Orange Route

Mon–Fri, 6:30 am–6:30 pm Mon–Fri, 6:30 pm–midnight Sat 9 am–midnight, Sun 9 am–6 pm

North/Main Southeast East End

Film 75. AMC Dine-In Houston (formerly Sundance Cinemas)

Music Venues 76. House of Blues 77. Revention Music Center

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 102. Le Meridien

Realtors

METRORail Lines

FREE DOWNTOWN CIRCULATOR

Alley Theatre Hobby Center Jones Hall Jones Plaza The Landing Theatre Company Prohibition Supper Club Rec Room Wortham Center

103. Heritage Texas Properties

ALWAYS BE AWARE OF PEDESTRIANS, DRIVERS, BICYCLISTS AND TRAINS WHEN NEAR TRACKS!

Visitor Information 104. Explore Houston: GRBCC


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22

37

101 ← Walker

MAIN STREET SQUARE STATION

61 → McKinney

THE SHOPS AT HOUSTON CENTER 30 66

DISCOVERY GREEN

62

11

14 51

Avenida de las Americas

12

45

26

17 104

GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER

US 59

102

100

20

88

→ Dallas

86

84

94

GREENSTREET 65 29

35 44

90

76

7

38

s ew dr

55 ← Bell

BELL STATION

en hv

92

t Ru

we Ho

→ Leeland

91 ← Pease

48

→ Chenevert

← Jackson

← La Branch

← St. Joseph Parkway

→ Austin

← Caroline

47

→ San Jacinto

Main

→ Travis

→ Jefferson ← Milam

→ Louisiana

← Smith

85 ← Fannin

aw Sh

10

99

5 TOYOTA CENTER

→ Clay

s

→ Texas

89

→ Rusk

← Lamar

An

3

24

71 83

87

41

96

→ Crawford

← Capitol

← La Branch

98

→ Austin

Main

→ Travis

← Fannin

→ Texas

23 6 ← Caroline

18

→ San Jacinto

72 49

MINUTE MAID PARK

52

63

Chartres

82

← Hamilton

PRESTON STATION

→ from Allen Parkway

alla W. D

Houston B-cycle

28

54

← to Allen Parkway

Bagby

Bayou Trail Access

Baker

Brazos

2

Public Parking Garages

UH DOWNTOWN STATION

39

33

32

Map Key

31

→ Crawford

34

d Gran

← Milam

← Smith

→ Louisiana

BUFFA LO BA YOU

Bagby

I-45

57

71

to n Jacin

DOWNTOWN INTERACTIVE PARKING MAP PUBLICATION:

Our new Magazine Google Map will help you find where Downtown you’re going, where to park and what’s nearby INSERTION: downtownhoustonparking.org Spring 2018 MATERIALS DUE: 02.02.18 LATITUDE JOB NUMBER: MHH-2018 Advertising-February CLIENT: Memorial Hermann 16 JOB NAME: 58 Greater Heights CCC 16 LIVE: 7.75” x 10.25” 74 15 TRIM: 27 8.375” x 10.875” 97 67 BLEED: 25 8.875” x 11.375” BAYOU PLACE COLORS: 70 69 77 19 75 4cp; 133ls; SWOP 80 60 FORMAT: Press Ready PDFX, 68 to to Pub 60 56TRG Link QUESTIONS CALL: Pat Hartman 79 78 53 @ 214-696-7913

21

40

DOWNTOWN TRANSIT CENTER

59 → Pierce I-45

36

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.

8


The inner looper’s guide to finding the right school

learncentralhouston.org Click around to learn more about the schools, neighborhoods, green spaces and cultural institutions that make living and learning centrally easier than ever before.

Learn Central 101: Detailed information on what kinds of questions parents should ask, how to enroll and a glossary of useful terms Individual descriptions of every school inside the loop, along with maps, school make-up and programs offered Snapshots of each neighborhood, including school listings, homes for sale and description of the community Transportation information and an interactive Commute Calculator Living in the loop amenities and attractions

Downtown Magazine- Spring 2018  

In the spring issue of Downtown magazine, we take a closer look at the Theater District's dedication, hard work, and resiliency post Harvey...

Downtown Magazine- Spring 2018  

In the spring issue of Downtown magazine, we take a closer look at the Theater District's dedication, hard work, and resiliency post Harvey...