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288 Express

Living in Alvin, Manvel and beyond

Making music for Christmas

Manvel bands bring Christmas spirit to community Page 6

December 2019 Volume 2, Issue 12


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288 Express Living in Alvin, Manvel and beyond Editor and Publisher David Rupkalvis publisher@alvinsun.net

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Writers and Photographers David Rupkalvis Joshua Truksa Stephen Collins Prentice C. James

Account Executives

Copy Editor Sheri Saenz

Office Manager Donna Hopkins

Brenda Groves ads@alvinsun.net Betty Crawford classifieds@alvinsun.net

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Home for the Holidays

288 Express

Page 16

Inside Cover Photo Manvel band director Nathan Pair led the school’s bands in a rousing Christmas concert.

6 11

Cover Story Rocket Boom Coffee

14 16

Veterans Day Home for the Holidays


Cover Story

Holiday music

Manvel’s band director Nathan Pair conducts during the band’s Winter Concert. Below, inspecting his saxophone, Julian Garcia prepares to join his bandmates for the first set.


s the leaves begin to make their way to the ground and as earth’s light slips below the horizon just a little too early, we soon begin to see signs of the holiday season to come — the fresh smell of spruce and fir, wreaths and bell ringers. Many enjoy the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays, while others prefer the joy that comes with hearing the sounds of familiar tunes like “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer,” and “Feliz Navidad.” Holiday favorites hit the airwaves mid-November and continue through New Year’s. This holiday fever can also be felt throughout the local community. The Manvel High School Band presented its holiday concert in early December. The concert featured performances by the Symphonic Band, the Sym-


Story and photos by Prentice C. James

phonic Winds and the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Adam Blakey, Brittany Hunter, head band director Nathan Pair and Alex Kang. Each group performed multiple pieces including: “North Pole Sleigh Ride,” “Twenty Carols in Two Minutes,” “Lexington March,” “It Came Upon a Coventry Carol,” “A Christmas Festival,” “Minor Alterations,” and “Sleigh Ride.” While preparing for the holiday concert, band members continued to support the football and volleyball teams as they advanced through the playoffs. Additionally, many of the band students were also engaged in various regional band competitions. No matter how busy the season, rest assured there will always be time for the heartwarming, toe-tapping, music that gets everyone in the holiday spirit.

Matthew Becerra clangs the cymbals. Bottom left, Kelsey Williams smiles during one of the band’s performances during the Winter Concert. Bottom right, As part of the brass instruments, Marcus Sauceda plays the trombone with his bandmates.


Simon Whatley, left, awaits his moment during the Winter Concert. Adam Blakey, one of Manvel’s band directors, joins in the concert fun as he plays the bassoon.

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Nathan Ong and Mathew Perez, above, focus intently on their sheet music. One of the more difficult instruments, the flute, is played effortlessly by skilled musician Louan Dang, top right. From playoff volleyball to football, plus regional competitions, band members Joseph Ko and Taylor McChesney-Fleming can now smile after a successful Winter Concert.

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or sweet onion, finely chopped 21 Oz H‑E‑B Select Ingredients Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup 10 1/2 Oz whole milk, (fill up soup can) 10 1/2 Oz half & half, (fill up soup can) 8 4/5 Oz Central Market Microwave able Barley & Lentils

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Sun. - Thurs. 11 am - 9 pm | Fri. & Sat. 11 am - 10 pm

Chance is 6 years old and attends Passmore Elementary School. He is the son of Little and Renee Sanford. Chance's favorite subject and hobby is recess and P.E.


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Rocket Boom Coffee

Making a boom

Rocket Boom Coffee owner Henry Dillman shows off some of the Nasa gear he has found for his Alvin shop.

Story and photos by Joshua Truksa


ocket Boom Coffee celebrated its oneyear anniversary Dec. 10, and founder and owner Henry Dillman said the business continues to expand both in new customers and in giving back to the community. According to data aggregated from credit card transactions, 40 percent of people buying a drink at Rocket Boom are people who just walked into the shop for the first time. Chef Kelsey Lowes, who is responsible for the creation of the establishment’s mouthwatering quiches, scones, muffins, donuts and “grown-up pop tarts” said new faces walk through the door all the time. With a name like Rocket Boom and only a half-hour’s drive from Johnson Space Center, it was only a matter of

Delicious treats are a crowd favorite at Rocket Boom Coffee.


time before a few astronauts and NASA employees visited. Dillman has now acquired various artifacts from the history of NASA space exploration that are on display at the café, including tiles from the side of space shuttles and a processor once used for space travel but exponentially less powerful than the phones we all carry in our pockets today. In response to the growing presence of space artifacts and out of this world patrons, Dillman has given more appropriate names to many of the menu items. To try Lowes’ vanilla scones, café-goers should ask for an ET Scone Home. If one is hungrier, maybe a Spaced Out Chick Chicken Salad Sandwich will do the trick. For something sweet, Houston We Have a Parfait. Rocket Boom Coffee hasn’t been just sitting around collecting space junk, inventing catchy names and waiting for customers all year, however. The business has been proactive in expanding its services to the community with Christmas movie days and free coffee tasting classes to instruct coffee lovers how to develop a palate that can enjoy the subtler flavors of beans and roasts from around the world. Earlier this year, Rocket Boom participated in the world’s largest coffee tasting event hosted on live stream by Square Mile Coffee Roasters of London, United Kingdom.

Barista Andrew Parker stands at the counter with a variety of delicious drinks and treats, Rocket Boom Coffee has been a hit in Alvin.

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in/Ma v l A f o Best 2019


Veteran’s Day

Thank you veterans

Congressman Pete Olson, a Navy veteran, talks to the crowd at Alvin High School during a Veterans Day ceremony.

Photo by Joshua Truksa

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Merry Christmas

Home for the Holidays

During Home for the Holidays, smiles were a common scene as children rode sleds, ran through mazes, jumped and bounced.


Photos by David Rupkalvis

Family and friends got an early start to the Christmas season during Alvin’s Home for the Holidays celebration.


“Our recipe sauces compliment our Seafood, Steaks, Chicken, Burgers, Vegetables, Sandwiches & Salads. Experience our made in-house pies, cakes and tarts.” Fine Dining In Alvin In A Casual Environment. ALL ITEMS MADE FROM SCRATCH.

2370 W. Hwy. 6 - Alvin • 281-968-7740 www.jryanbistro.com

Hrs: Sun. - Thur. 11 am - 8 pm • Fri. & Sat. 11 am - 9 pm

Serving Savory Italian and Southern Comfort Food ~ F U L L S E RV I C E C AT E R I N G ~

TWO LOCATIONS: RESTAURANT 20709 Morris Avenue (Hwy. 6) Manvel, TX • 281-692-2559

MOBILE UNIT 319 W. Willis • Alvin 713-702-8659


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J Ryan’s Bistro

Fine dining in Alvin in a casual environment is the best way to describe J Ryan’s Bistro, located at 2370 W. Hwy. 6. Since it opened in October the restaurant has earned great reviews and a loyal customer following that is growing every day. At J Ryan’s Bistro, all items are made from scratch and can be flavor enhanced with rich creamy sauces such as Gorgonzola cheese Alfredo sauce or Tuscan mushroom and butter cream sauce. They offer tender juicy steaks, chicken fried steaks and thick delicious hamburgers. Maybe you’re in the mood for Chicken Marsala with hearty Marsala wine and mushroom sauce or tickle your taste buds with Chicken Piccata or good ol’ Chicken Fried Chicken. If you’re fishing for seafood, J Ryan’s Bistro reels in the best shrimp and fish dishes from their catfish Pontchartrain and grilled ahi tuna steak to shrimp brochette, sautéed shrimp along with traditional fried. Even the kids will eat their veggies the way J Ryan’s Bistro serves them up bursting with flavor. Enjoy your fill of unique appetizers like the bruschetta sampler or perhaps the crab cakes or boneless wings are more your style. Order up deli-delicious sandwiches or choose from a variety of salads. But be sure to save room for dessert! Homemade cheesecakes, pies and tarts are always in season here. They can also accommodate Gluten free diets. So for fine dining and excellent service in a family friendly environment visit J Ryan’s Bistro today.

Corey’s Kitchen

Corey’s Kitchen has become a familiar name, and taste, on the lips of many in the Alvin/Manvel and surrounding communities. Corey Scopel grew up in Manvel and his culinary skills have only sharpened as he has paired traditional food favorites with unique flavors and combinations. Corey first began serving food out of his iconic yellow food truck that can usually be found at Scopel Square at 319 W. Willis in Alvin. Well, good news travels fast and so has word of the good flavors rising up from Corey’s Kitchen, which has given opportunity to open a restaurant location at 20709 Morris Ave. (Hwy. 6) in Manvel. A rebel in the kitchen, Corey is cooking up juicy chicken breast topped with Dijon infused brown sauce or maybe you’re more in the mood for a four-cheese artichoke stuffed chicken breast served with loaded mashed potatoes and green beans. Corey’s Kitchen can flip out burgers like you’ve never seen, starting with handmade certified Angus beef patties served with onion rings or crisped to perfection crinkly cut fries. Appetizers like Chicken wings, homemade pizza bites and Italian Queso fries are a must with many more entrees and wraps to try. They have daily specials such as Meatloaf Monday along with everyday lunch specials. If you call them they will come and Corey’s Elite Catering Company will provide excellent food and service whether you’re having burgers and fries or rib-eyes and bowties, they guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Martinez Mexican Restaurant

How do you build a reputation for excellent food and great customer service? Simple. Feed and treat your customers the way you would want to eat and be served. That is just the way Martinez Mexican Restaurant & Bar has established itself in the Alvin and surrounding communities. They have dished up some of the finest traditional and specialty dishes for several years now and with a large menu and superb catering service we can look forward to more. Located at 2625 S. Bypass 35 in Alvin, Martinez Mexican Restaurant & Bar are proud that, “Our customers love our Tex-Mex dishes. Some of their favorites include chicken or steak fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, and burritos! Choose your own favorite and make it as spicy or tame as you like with our selection of hot sauces.” Appetizers and Seafood specials such as Spicy Boiled Crawfish or Boiled Garlic Butter Shrimp are just some excellent suggestions from their menu. A variety of soups and sizzling fajita plates can warm you up on cold winters day. Daily drink specials will soon have you crooning a tune with friends or co-workers. So Martinez Mexican Restaurant bids you, “Come on over and have some snacks and drinks with us. We have plenty of cerveza y cócteles at our bar to keep you singing karaoke all Thursday night! Actually, every night is a good night at Martinez Mexican Restaurant & Bar.”

Rocket Boom Coffee

There is a place in Alvin where coffee bean concoctions and palate tempting pastries come together. We have blast off! Rocket Boom Coffee located at 419 W. Sealy St. just celebrated their first year anniversary with much success. The local community has embraced this oasis as their personal favorite for homemade quiches, pastries, scones, cookies, muffins, cakes, parfaits and chicken salad. Not to mention their specialty and seasonal coffees and teas. You can also purchase smoothies and their own homemade granola. Try a handcrafted Maple Bacon Scone with a thin sheet of icing over a delightfully sweet texture that crumbles in your mouth and dissolves into buttery goodness. You must sample their very own brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookie! Rocket Boom’s chef uses her imagination to create unique Rocket Pockets and Pop Tarts that come in a wide variety of flavor combinations from traditional bacon, egg and cheddar cheese to Jalapeno, cream cheese and bacon and more. Maybe a Blueberry Crumble muffin is more your taste but the muffin madness does not stop there, Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread muffins are moist and delicious. Or why not try your morning egg baked inside a savory Herb Muffin. So stop by today and say hello to the friendly staff, relax in the cozy atmosphere and see why Rocket Boom Coffee orbits around pleasing their customers and providing the very best!


Living Working & Playing

in Alvin & Beyond

3205 FM 528 Alvin, TX 77511 20

281-331-8111 RONCARTER.COM

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288 Express  

288 Express