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Check out Shasta in the Houston Zoo

A word from the


Houston is a great city. We have the best of everything — from restaurants to museums to water parks and more. You can find anything here.

ut for better or worse, our city is huge. There are so many places trying to get your attention, sometimes it’s impossible to figure out what to do.

That’s where Hot Spots comes in. We scoured the city for the most interesting places to spend your time. So whether you’re looking for something good to eat, a place to relax, or the perfect date location, don’t worry. Hot Spots has it all in here, just for you.

Jack Wehman

See what’s inside: 04 Blaffer Gallery 06 Chinese Star 14 Houston Zoo 20 Free Fun 26 Spirit of Houston

2  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

Admission: 48” and Above $17 Below 48” $12

June - August 11:00 Am - 7:00 pm 7 DAys A week weekenDs only mAy AnD september

REnTAls: Hooks, scAllywAgs AnD reDbeArD’s cAbAnAs: $100 per day during weekdays $150 per day during weekends


tHe crow’s nest InDoor pAvIlIon: $50 per hour during the week BEAUMONT $300 per day during weekends 207





Group rates are available Swimming and Surfing Lessons call 281-420-6597 for more information ER RD









281-422-1150 5300 East Road Baytown, Texas




10 10










146 piratesbay GARTH RD


This ad was paid for using funds from the ER RD W ARCHof Baytown’s Hotel/Motel Tax (HOT). City Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  3

PB 5 x 8 2011 copy.indd 1

5/11/11 2:24 PM


Art: Newly Renovated Blaffer By Alicia Wilson


he newly renovated Blaffer Art Museum is set to change the face of the art world this fall. Visitors to the arts corridor on the east side of the University of Houston campus will know they have reached the Fine Arts building by the two-story chanel glass façade and exterior glass staircase greeting them at the new grand entrance of Blaffer Art Museum. Newly renovated, the museum will open its doors this fall, less than a year after work began. Along with lending a dramatic face lift to the visual arts on campus, Blaffer’s renovation also gives purpose to the museum’s surrounding area. Save for the museum’s enduring role in the arts community, nothing has been left untouched. While the interior has been transformed to provide topof-the-line exhibition spaces, Blaffer will continue to showcase emerging and 4  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

underrepresented artists — just with a little more pizzazz. First to engage the space is also the artist consulted during its reformation: internationally celebrated American sculptor Tony Feher. The exhibition will be a first-ever attempt at a comprehensive visual ode to his two-decadelong career during which New Yorkbased Feher has established a notably unpretentious, accessible approach to art. The exhibition, organized by Blaffer Director and Chief Curator Claudia Schmuckli, will continue on to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass., and the Bronx Museum in New York. The exhibition is free and open to the public, and will be on view at Blaffer Art Museum Oct. 13 to March 17. A public opening reception will take place Oct. 12 from 6 - 9 p.m. For details, please visit

TONY FEHER OCT 13, 2012 - MAR 17, 2013


WWW.BLAFFERARTMUSEUM.ORG Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  5

Chinese Star


hen it comes to great tasting Chinese food on campus, the choice is clear — Chinese Star is the only way to go. Founded by Priscilla Yang in 1990, Chinese Star has been a UH supporter since day one. “The campus takes care of me, and I do the same,” Priscilla said. “I enjoy the students, and they love coming here.” Unlike most campus restaurants, Chinese Star is family-owned and operated. The ingredients are fresh, and Priscilla takes pride in every dish she serves. “Everything I eat here makes me younger,” Priscilla says with a laugh. “I like everything on the menu.” Students with an on-campus meal plan can take a break from the cafeteria and have a Chinese Star lunch or dinner because Chinese Star accepts Cougar Cash.

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The restaurant also serves beer, and there are multiple flat-screen TV sets throughout — meaning you’ll never miss a football game again. Priscilla says that some of the more popular items on the menu are the chicken and shrimp, the Kung Pao chicken, and the fried rice, but every person likes something different. “We have specials Monday through Friday of our most popular dishes — some days it’s Kung Pao chicken and the broccoli beef, some days it’s mixed vegetables and the beef chicken,” Priscilla said. “We have different specials every day so that people can eat here whenever they want without having the same special twice.” So whether you want to chow down on some delicious Chinese food or you’re looking to unwind with a beer and watch the game, Chinese Star has what you’re looking for.




Just a few steps away from a great meal!

Pay with your UH Cougar Card! http://www.chinesestarrestaurant. com/index.html 4711 calhoun road Houston, texas 77004 (opposite calhoun lofts) 713.741.0702 Mon.-Sat. 11am-9:30pm Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  7

Sports at The Ritz


hether you want to hang out with a few friends or party like a rockstar, the Ritz is fast becoming Houston’s favorite venue. With more than 20,000 square feet of air-conditioned comfort, dozens of big screen TVs and Houston’s ultimate man cave, the new sporting lounge is the best place to relax and enjoy your favorite sports and pay-per-view events. Plus, the new Big Deck and palapa lounge are like a vacation in a tropical paradise. When the sun goes down, you can chill out on the deck while enjoying great food from a wide menu. What is the best part about the new sports bar? The best part is the new lounge with more

8  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

than a dozen high definition monitors showing every possible sporting event. Plus, during many sporting events, we offer our famous ‘tailgate buffet,’ with complimentary sliders, veggies, hot dogs and much more. Are drink and food specials available? The Ritz has a different buffet selection everyday in addition to a full menu featuring certified Angus beef, great seafood and much more. On weekends with live entertainment, specialty menus are offered along with special drinks. The Ritz has daily specials, including $2.50 and $3.50 adult beverages from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays and Sundays, and noon to 2 a.m. on the patio on

Saturdays. Will UH football be televised? Of course. If Cougar football is available on local TV or a satellite feed, it will be featured in the sporting lounge. What type of live music will be available? Our live bands and entertainment provide an eclectic mix that will reach a broad audience. We have featured top local bands, tribute groups and specialty music like zydeco and steel drums. The key here is that when there is a band playing on the big deck, we guarantee you will have a great time. Best of all, there is never a cover charge for any event if you have a UH Student ID!

finest sports & entertainment

BIG TV’s screen

for all your favorite sports


live music

on weekends

10520 Gulf Freeway at Edgebrook (713) 944-6445 Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  9

41 Word with “tooth” or “heart” 42 Brand of hair removal cream 43 True-to-life 44 Deliverer of many pkgs. 45 Computer burner output 46 Comical

Time kill:

Messing 5 Exert to excess 6 Left or right of the goalposts 7 Legendary Horne 8 Turbaned sage 9 Annoying in-


ACROSS 1 Having no hair 5 Barn-dwelling birds 9 Big bang, no theory 14 Ahab’s safe side? 15 Hotel room bonus 16 One lending a hand 17 Contact lens company Bausch & ___ 18 “Diff’rent Strokes” character 19 Mall tenant 20 Baked potato topper, sometimes 22 Distribute, as confetti 23 Frightened 24 Great Britain, for one 26 Large South African antelope 29 Politically correct suffix 33 50-50 test guess 37 Start for “pasto” 39 Lingering sound effect 40 Caruso solo 41 Word with “tooth” 42 Hair removal cream 43 True-to-life 44 Deliverer of pkgs. 45 Computer burner output 46 Comical Lawrence 48 Absolute ruler before the revolution 50 Chinese cooking pans 52 Like liters and grams 57 Winning, for now 60 On tip of the tongue 63 Raccoon resembler 64 Emulate a lion 65 Word with “decision” 66 Ruhr River Valley city 67 Tutor in “King and I” 68 “Legal” or “medic” lead-in 69 Tractor pioneer John 70 Half of a fortnight 71 WWII submachine gun 10  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012


© 2012 Universal Uclick


DOWN 1 Kon-Tiki wood 2 Coolly detached 3 Endangered mammal of Madagascar 4 Winger or Messing 5 Exert to excess 6 Left or right of goal 7 Legendary Horne 8 Turbaned sage 9 Inconveniece 10 Final unpleasant moment 11 Strong scent 12 “... for a ___ pittance” 13 Begin to form 21 Commend for bravery 25 BBQ skewer 27 Animal feet 28 All thumbs 30 Incision aftermath 31 The “O” in B&O 32 “Cheers” barfly

33 Where things crop up? 34 “Length times width” 35 One with fiery pants 36 Kind of taffy 38 Trueheart of “Dick Tracy” 41 Like pocketed pool balls 45 Tribe in Manitoba 47 Cut medicine 49 Passenger train co. 51 Last one breaks backs 53 Fluid oz. has two 54 Move rapidly on foot 55 “___ you!” (“Go ahead, make my day!”) 56 Channel covering Capitol Hill 57 Better than passed 58 Car engine part 59 With greatest of ___ 61 “... in ___-horse open sleigh 62 With all one’s marbles

Baytown water park on track for family fun

Pirates Bay


ant to beat the summer heat and bring the whole family together at the same time? Pirates Bay water park is a Caribbean themed 3-acre water park that has just what you’re looking for. Operated by the Baytown Parks and Recreation Department, the familyfriendly, resort-styled park opened June 23, 2010. Pirates Bay features something for everyone — just a few of the attractions include a large and colorful pirate-themed water play center, complete with a large dumping bucket and an awesome array of spray nozzles and water guns, a 671foot lazy river and two large slide towers. Tower activities include fun for both the little ones and daredevils with everything from run-outs to racing tubes. Beach-style “zero–entry” pools (gradually sloping from the deck into the water, becoming deeper with each step, in the manner of a natural beach) are ideal for older people or families with young children. The park’s feature attraction is the

Flowrider surfing machine. The Flowrider provides an endless moving mountain of water with all the excitement of ocean surfing that will challenge all who enter. Surfer boys and girls ride the waves with an audience cheering them on, as two covered bleachers flank the machine. The park also includes a climbing wall, a small rectangular pool for lap swimming and programs such as swim lessons and water volleyball. A concession stand providing tasty burgers and other snacks is near covered picnic areas, inviting visitors to rest between activities. An air-conditioned meeting room is available year-round for rentals for family reunions and company outings. The park also offers three large picnic pavilions available for rentals for birthday parties or family get-togethers. Pirates Bay is located at the Wayne Gray Sports Complex, 5300 East Road in Baytown. Visit the City of Baytown website ( or call Pirates Bay water park at (281) 4221150 for more information. Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  11

Top-shelf quality

Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill


teve Christian knows how to make hamburgers. You could say it’s in his blood. He’s the owner of Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill, which has been serving up cold beer and great food for more than 17 years at his three Houston locations. However, Houston has been enjoying a Christian family hamburger for close to 80 years. “There has been a Christian’s in Houston since the 1930s,” Steve said. “My grandfather started Christian’s Hamburgers back then.” Now there are three locations around Houston — one at 2000 Bagby St., one at 7340 Washington Ave., and one at 2820 White Oak Blvd. And as 12  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

soon as you walk into a Christian’s Tailgate, you can tell all that experience has paid off. Whether you’re in the mood for a hamburger, some chicken strips, steak fingers, or hot wings, Christian’s Tailgate won’t fail to provide the best. “Everything here is great, because we never pre-make or pre-cook anything. Everything you order is made fresh every single time,” Steve said. “Obviously, our hamburgers are one of my favorites since I designed them. We don’t overcook our chicken, so it comes out perfectly. Our steak fingers are freshly cut and freshly made, too. I’d put our hot wings up against anyone else in town.” Serving top-notch

food and providing an atmosphere that can’t be beat comes naturally to Steve. He’s a people person — the kind of guy that sits down next to you and instantly becomes your friend. “We believe in the best possible customer service, and we always try our hardest to make everything as perfect as possible,” Steve said. “I have always made sure the kitchen and the atmosphere is up to the highest standards every single day.” So whether you’re in the mood for a juicy burger or you’d just like to sit back and unwind with a cold beer, don’t pass up a chance to hang out at Christian’s Tailgate.

Greek nights & ts $1.50 domestic draf $1.50 Domestic drafts & 2$ Well Liqour

Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  13

Photos by Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo


ounded in 1922, the Houston Zoo provides a unique educational and conservation resource, welcoming more than 1.9 million guests annually. Set in a lush 55-acre tropical landscape in the heart of the city, the Zoo is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals representing more than 800 species. Zoo visitors can experience the wonders of Africa at The African Forest, a 6.5-acre addition featuring chimps, rhinos, and giraffes. Travel to Africa. No Passport Required. Have you ever fed a giraffe by hand? You can at The African Forest. There’s nowhere else in the city, and only few places in the world, where a group of giraffes will reach their tongues out toward you and take food from your hand. A visit to The Houston Zoo is filled with amazing experiences, interactive moments, and exciting stories. Zoo guests can dine overlooking the rhino habitat, watch the baby elephants play in their 80,000-gallon pool, see the lions eat from just steps away, and the youngest Zoo guests can safely get an ‘inside out’ view of the piranha in their aquarium in the Natural Encounters Building. The Houston Zoo is also the home of Shasta VI. Coming to Houston from the state of Washington, this young cougar plays an important role as the official mascot of the University of Houston. Shasta VI will appear at UH events via webcam, and Zoo guests can see him in person in his newly renovated habitat.

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In addition to being an exciting live animal adventure for young and old alike, the Houston Zoo is also dedicated to conservation. The Houston Zoo currently supports two dozen conservation projects around the world, helping endangered species such as the Houston toad, Attwater’s prairie chicken, orangutans, and rhinos. The Houston Zoo is the perfect place to unwind, escape to another world, and experience the wonders of wildlife, all without leaving the city. Get details online at Have You Seen Your Zoo Lately?

Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  15

Baking a difference El Bolillo Bakery


l Bolillo started out in 1998 as a humble bakery. People soon realized that this bakery was something special — and now there are three El Bolillo locations around Houston. “Our new Wayside location has been open since April 25,” Louis Vogtman III said. “This is our third Houston location.” The three bakeries are located at 2517 Airline Dr., 7610-D Office City Dr., and 2421 S. Wayside Dr., but no matter which one you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Everything in the bakery is made from scratch daily, and fresh new baked goods are sent 16  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

straight out to waiting customers. One of the most well-loved items on the menu are the bolillos themselves, but there are many different popular baked things. “Bolillos are one of our most popular items. They come fresh out of the oven several times during the day,” Louis said. “Another one of our popular items is our conchas — they are a shell-shaped sweet bread topped with sugar.” Louis prefers the ojos himself. It’s crispy and coated with sugar, but has a soft sweet cake in the middle that “makes my mouth water and goes well with a great

cup of coffee.” Making fresh baked goods isn’t the only thing El Bolillo focuses on. They are an active member of the Houston lifestyle, and they never miss an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face. “(El Bolillo) is hands down the best bakery in Houston,” Louis said. “We do a lot in the Hispanic community, and we provide many jobs in the Houston area.” So whether you’re looking for a greatlooking wedding cake, some pastries, or a loaf of bread, don’t forget to stop by El Bolillo and pick up the freshest, tastiest goods in Houston.

Huge variety of the best authentic Mexican Pan Dulce in Texas!! New location at 2421 S. Wayside Dr. Less than 5 minutes from UH!

Amazing Cakes • Wedding • Quinceañeras • Birthdays • Baby showers • Holidays • Special Occasions Visit our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook just type in El Bolillo Bakery and Register. Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  17

The University Eye Institute (UEI) Comprehensive Vision Care on the UH Campus

Even if you’re lucky enough to have perfect 20/20 vision, taking care of your eyes and protecting them against injury or infection is important. It is also important to wear a pair of good quality sunglasses, as they can block between 99 and 100 percent of UV radiation. The UEI provides a wide range of services from comprehensive vision examinations to the medical and surgical management of eye disorders. The University Eye Institute is located at 4901 Calhoun, on the corner of Calhoun and Wheeler Street. The UEI is open to the public, and appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free patient parking can be accessed from the Wheeler Street entrance. We accept most health and vision plans, including the UH student health insurance.

Visit for more information or to make an appointment, please call 713.743.2020 See the difference ...See the best 18  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

Do’s & Nightlife

‡‡ Bring cash for parking

‡‡ Pay attention to your tab

‡‡ Bring a “date” to ward off creepers

‡‡ Tip the bartender

‡‡ Bring an I.D.

‡‡ Have a good time

‡‡ Designate a driver

‡‡ Wear heels if you’re underage

Don’t: ‡‡ Bring a purse

‡‡ Arrive before 10 p.m.

‡‡ Mix your liquors

‡‡ Profess your feelings to your crush

‡‡ Leave your tab open

‡‡ Drunk text



‡‡ Leave your drink unattended ‡‡ Wipe your X’s off ‡‡ Cause a scene

By Arianna Hurst Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  19


FUN We believe the greatest things in life are free, so here’s a list of places you can always visit with your friends.

Houston Museum of Natural Science Museum features permanent exhibit halls and traveling exhibitions. Visit for free on Tuesdays 2-6 p.m.

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Free performances run from March through October in the center of Hermann Park.

The Beer Can House

More than 50,000 beer cans provide a perfect photo opportunity. Admission is just $1.

Discovery Green

Free movie screenings, yoga classes and live music are just some of the attractions.

Holocaust Museum

Honoring the 6 million Jews and other victims, the museum opens free seven days a week, teaching the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

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Art Car Museum Full of contemporary art-designed cars. Come and check it out, you may find your next ride here.

The Menil Collection

More than 15,000 paintings, sculptures, books and photos, including works by Jackson Pollock, Picasso and Andy Warhol.

The Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark

The $2.2 million state-of-art skatepark contains one of the largest cradles in the world.




THE HOUSTON ZOO thanks the University of Houston Alumni Association for their partnership.





5x8_HZI_UHShastaAd.indd 1

Must show valid student ID for free entry. One free admission per ID.

Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  21 6/25/12 4:48 PM

Change is good


repare for a new experience. Bubba’s On Washington is back and is being completely revamped by its new owner. It’s so new that not even the name — Bubba’s — is staying for long. No matter what the name is, Bubba’s, or the sports bar previously known as Bubba’s, is still a great place to hang out and get some delicious food. It’s the same location at 6225 Washington Ave., but that’s where the similarities end. It’s all shiny and new on the inside. The entire bar has been redesigned. Floor-to-ceiling windows let patrons see what’s going on outside. A patio has been opened up outside, complete with a full bar. It’s the perfect place to enjoy some of

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their delicious food specials. If you’re a live music aficionado, then you’re going to love the new layout. Whether you prefer to lounge with your friends or come to party, the new management is making sure that you’ll be taken care of in style. If you’re a UH student, come on by from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., and bring your ID, because domestic drafts will be just $2. And if you’re coming to watch the game, you’re going to love it — because you can watch just about anything on over 20 bigscreen TVs. Happy hour fans, rejoice. From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day, domestic pitchers are $6.25, domestic buckets are $12 and well drinks are just $2. Cheap drinks aren’t the only thing going on, either

— appetizers are just $4 while happy hour is going on. Speaking of food, the entire menu has been upgraded. The nachos and other favorites are still there — but now there are wraps, leafy green salads, and grilled chicken. The entire menu has been slimmed down and streamlined, but there’s no sacrifice on the tastebuds. Everything is just as amazing as it was before. Even the bathrooms have been fully renovated; they’re brand new too, just like everything else. So whether you’re in the mood to watch the big game, or you’re just looking to grab something to eat and relax with your friends, come on down to what you used to know as Bubba’s Bar and Grill.









Open Daily: MONSUN: 11am  2am


Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  23

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Time kill:

SUDOKU THE COVER Photo Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo Design Paul Vilchez

STAFF HOT SPOTS Editor Jack Wehman HOT SPOTS Design Andres Garcia Farah Kamani Paul Vilchez HOT SPOTS advertising Jose Estrada

ABOUT HOT SPOTS HOT SPOTS is a production of The Daily Cougar, the official student newspaper of the University of Houston. © 2012 University of Houston Student Publications. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the permission of the Director of Student Publications. Phone: 713-743-5450 E-mail: Web:

Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  25

Spirit of Houston The Band


he Spirit of Houston is 250 members strong and serves as the largest spirit group on campus. The Cougar Band is a diverse group, comprised of individuals from across the state and the country, as well as an almost equal mix of music majors and non-music majors. The band is open to all interested individuals and distributes grants applicable toward tuition to all contributing members. University of Houston football games, both home and away, serve as the band’s primary performance outlet as it performs both prior to kickoff and at halftime. It also leads pep rallies and other various events around the campus and city. Additionally, the Spirit of Houston has been invited to make appearances at various region 26  Houston’s Hot Spots  •  Summer 2012

and area marching competitions. The band has marched in numerous parades, including the Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rodeo Parade. Spirit groups have traveled around the nation to locations such as Ann Arbor, Michigan; West Point, New York; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; New Orleans, Louisiana; Greenville, South Carolina; and Austin. The band also performed in the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime show. UH Spirit and Traditions Under the leadership of band legend Dr. Bill Moffit, the Cougar Marching Band has a storied past in which the present-day style of marching band, a move away from the military style, was pioneered. They performed this new style all across the

country, and at one point their recording of the Star Spangled Banner was played at Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks, as well as the historic tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. In addition to creating an amazing performance record, Dr. Moffit also created a spirit classic played by bands all across the nation. “Eat Em’ Up,” inspired by food-time calls in the army, has become a second fight song for the University of Houston. The band ends each gathering with the singing of the Alma Mater. Members of the Spirit of Houston, with hands raised in the Cougar hand symbol, sing their part to the school song to close practices, performances, and gatherings.

Summer 2012  •  Houston’s Hot Spots  27

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Hot Spots 2012  
Hot Spots 2012