Thursday, February 27, 2014

Restaurant and retail commercial properties: Vacancies, Space for Lease (Feb 2014)

1140 Eldridge Parkway at near intersection with Enclave Pkwy
Houston Texas 770077 USA

Energy Ten Office Park North of Katy Freeway at Old Katy Road
and SH-6 
Restaurant property North of Katy Freeway at Highway 6 Northbound Feeder Road
End Cap Space on Corner of Park Row and Teas 6
For Lease Sign at Park 10 Plaza - SH-6 Southbound feeder at Park Row

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Restaurant Closings: Making a go of a restaurant venture is tough, even with ongoing West Houston construction boom

Notwithstanding the current construction frenzy, and the bright prospects for growth in the Energy Corridor and surrounding areas, numerous restaurants have failed or otherwise closed in this part of town too.


The restaurant business is a tough business to make it in, even in an area like the Energy Corridor, which is booming with construction and bracing itself for the influx of thousands of more workers and residents. Several large luxury apartment developments are under way, in the preleasing state, or already open for business and move-in. Others are breaking ground or about to. Cranes dot the horizon everywhere one looks as new office tower sprout from what was until recently overgrown vacant land North and South the Katy Freeway.

The population in the areas must have been increasing for a while because the addition square footage is not a novel phenomenon. Domain on Eldridge opened last year, and before that luxury residential development there was Eclipse, and Broadstone Memorial a bit farther North past Memorial Drive.

Numerous new restaurants have opened over the course of the last couple of years, especially on Eldridge Parkway, the last addition being a Chick Fil A in the parking lot of the Kroger Store at Briar Forest and Eldridge, right across one of the new apartment complexes that is nearing completion there. Not to mention the increasing congestion on Eldridge, Briar Forest, and Highway 6 during rush hour, -- a tell-tale sign of the economic vibrancy of the local employment market.

But it seems an equal, if not larger, number of eateries and dining establishments have folded. Here is the RIP or-shall-we-say memory-lane list:

Benny's Mexican Cafe on Eldridge Parkway just North of the intersection with Westheimer (vacant for many months, but currently being remodeled for some other purpose).

Alma Cebiche, a Peruvian concept, made a brief appearance in what was Chatters Cafe near the CITGO campus. Now it is back to Chatter's.

Sharky's American Grill on Eldridge at Enclave, took over space from Enclave Sports Grill in 2011, but did barely lasted for a couple of years as the landlord's lockout notice posted on the door early this year attests.

Lockout notice (2/14/2014 pic)

The Cattle Guard Texas Restaurant between Drury Inn and the Wyndham hotel on Highway 6 Northbound between Katy Freeway and Park Row. As of Feb 2014, the property is posted for lease. The iconic Astroworld duck-on-wheels (with flat tires) is also gone from the parking lot fronting the highway.

What used to be Cattleguard now for Lease

On the other side of the Katy Fwy overpass, the restaurant that used to occupy the end-cap space of the corner of Park Row and Highway 6 Southbound. The space too awaits a new entrepreneur. 

Sombreros, the Mexican Grill and Cantina on Park Row just West of Highway 6.

Timmy Chan, a fast-food Asian food joint with drive-through on Highway 6 North of Westheimer (boarded up and posted for lease).
TIMMY CHAN ASIAN FAST FOOD ON SH 6 (before it shuttered)
Timmy Chan's Sign at Hoover Complex on SH6 - No more

Nardino, the Italian Restaurant on Westheimer across from West Oaks Mall in the Strip Mall/Retail Center along the route to Westheimer Parkway and George Bush Park  It's now something else.

Nardino Ristorante Italiano before it closed
The Mexican Restaurant behind the Wendy's Westheimer location between Eldridge and Highway 6 appears to be under new ownership or management: there is a new name up again, the third in just a few years. It used to be Mi Luna or Dos Lunas, and a Tapatia franchise before (if I recall correctly); now it's something else, but still Mexican or Tex-Mex.

Hibatchi Buffet, the Asian all-you-can-eat venue designed for high-volume traffic on Westheimer between Synott and Eldridge is history. The building, which abuts Westheimer is boarded up and the letters of the signage on top wrapped in super-ugly blue tarp. A veritable eyesore. What was the landlord thinking?!

Cloud over Hibachi Grand Buffet
La Prima Grill on Westheimer Rd. in Houston near the intersection of Westhurst Lane and Ashford Hills Drive. It was a brief interlude. The space, in which others have previously failed, now features a make-shift banner declaring its transformation into an "Urban Cafe". 

And while we are on Westheimer, we note that the Slick Willie pool hall, though not an eatery, closed too, and is looking for a replacement tenant.  

La Prima Grill when it opened (now closed)

And then, for good measure, there goes Chuck-E-Cheese on Memorial at Dairy Ashford. That's gone too now. Sorry kids.

CHUCK E CHEESE on Memorial Drive at Dairy Ashford CLOSED

New Apartments at 1715 Enclave have helpful name: "SEVENTEEN15 ENCLAVE"


New Energy Corridor Apartments on Enclave Parkway
South of Briar Forest

Like elsewhere in Houston, this new residential development 
is branding itself by its street address

New Apartments Now Leasing Sign - Meeks Partners banner also up
It did not take long: 1715 Enclave Construction site in June 2013 

Chipotle on Eldridge at Enclave Parkway (near KBR Office Building)

Jimmy John's and Chipotle on Eldridge with KBR Office Building in the distance 
Retail space next to Jimmy John's in this picture now occupied by Chipotle

Monday, February 24, 2014

Walgreens on Eldridge Parkway

Walgreens near Kroger Store on Eldridge North of Briar Forest interesection

Drive into retail center on Eldridge Parkway (southbound) near Briar Forest: Walgreens pharmacy,
Kroger grocery store and several restaurants and other retail establishments

New Chick-Fil-A on Briar Forest at Eldridge

In anticipation of hundreds of new residents moving into the luxury apartment complexes nearing completion on Briar Forest between Eldridge Parkway and Highway 6 (Alexan and Elan), a newly constructed Chick-Fil-A restaurant opened its doors February 20 on the South side of the Kroger parking lot. It has two drive-through lanes. The new fast food restaurant joins La Madeleine just a bit farther West on Briar Forest; Tossed right on the corner, and three other restaurants on the Eldridge Parkway side that have in business at the Briar Forest/Eldridge location quite a bit longer: The Pecan Grill, the Bamboo Garden Chinese Restaurantand a McDonald's.  

New Chick-Fil-A Restaurant on Briar Forest across new luxury apartment development
West of intersection with Eldridge Parkway

chick-fil-A's wagon at the 2014 Rodeo Parade in Downtown Houston

Alexan Enclave Apartment Development (status of construction mid-Feb 2014)
Bamboo Garden Chinese Restaurant

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Looking for Fish Oysters Lobster and Crawfish along Highway 6 ?

Although there are fish and other water-inhabiting creatures in the lakes in George Bush Park, and in Buffalo Bayou downstream, you can leave your angling gear at home, and leave the fishing in the murky waters of the bayou to the herons and egrets. They are experts at it, for they do it all the time. For those who prefer to have the catch delivered ready for human consumption, there are plenty of seafood lunch and dining options on State Highway 6 (SH-6) North and South of Westheimer and up to Katy Freeway. 

Here are some, and they don't include sushi: 

Joe's Crab Shack even has a playground area for kids.

Red Lobster Signage - Restaurant location near West Oak Mall
Red Lobster Restaurant - Front entrance with flags
Paul's seafood and oyster boat - back side away from Texas 6 facing Barker Dam
La Fisherman

High-End Apartment Complexes on Eldridge Parkway: Eclipse, Domain, Broadstone

Located on South Eldridge Parkway South of Briar Forest

 DOMAIN next to ECLIPSE (opened 2013)
across from Ray Miller Park

Broadstone Memorial 
between Memorial Drive and I-10


New Broadstone apartment project during construction
across from Eldridge Place Office Towers South of Memorial

Kroger store and Walgreens on Eldridge Parkway

Enclave Parkway southbound - turn right to enter Kroger Signature Store parking lot
Kroger store and other retail shops seen from Briar Forest Drive looking Norht