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New "Uchi" restaurant coming to Old El Felix


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Swamplot says the old el felix will be the new uchi restaurant. El Rey, Hay Merchant are both coming soon-- is the intersection of montrose and westheimer a magnet to new restaurants? how many will this area be able to support?

This whole area is getting to be known as the place to go for going out for dinner.

You got Damian's Brennan's, along with Piola and company on smith and Elgin, then you have Mark's at Dunlavy @ Westhiemer, along with good places on every range of the economic and gastronomic scale, in between.

It might turn into a foodie's district for all you know.

Edit:

This could be good, OR bad for Montrose, since it's slowly losing it's heritage of sorts.

Edited by ricco67
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I wish they would take it back to the original style...maybe add a second floor or parking garage in the back. It would blend really well with the revitalization of the tower theater

Tower Community Center

I'm glad to see some revitalization on this corner of Montrose! Now what we need is for that whole strip center with the abandoned Blockbuster to be replaced with something really cool...

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i do think this area could support another coffee bar----inversion is crowded! really crowded! always!

where is diedrich? and how can i tell him the building between alladin's and el felix is calling out to him

Edited by trymahjong
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^^ Definitely... Coffee bar, or a 24hr Tapioca tea place. Whatever it is, something that stays open late.

I go to the bars in the Montrose area, and it is much appreciated that the cops have been cracking down on the homeless/prostitute issues there. You can tell a significant difference since the start of new year. I think once people feel "safer" to wander the area at night, then we need to tackle that awful shopping center.

I miss Taco Cabana right here too. That would be a perfect fit if they would move into the old Blockbuster space!!!

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This is great news This topic should point to the one about the new bar & restaurants at the bend since a lot of the same points are being made with regard to that stretch of Westheimer, the shopping centre, etc. Point taken about Montrose losing the feel that it had but all areas evolve and I don't think it's evolving in a negative way.

Parenthetically, I have very fond memories of the Diedrich's in that Winlow Square location - it was such a good use of the space with the patio out front. Fingers crossed there will be something similar there at a future date.

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i do think this area could support another coffee bar----inversion is crowded! really crowded! always!

where is diedrich? and how can i tell him the building between alladin's and el felix is calling out to him

Diedrich's is now Dirk's, on Montrose. The Hazard one got pushed out by the salon.

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Diedrich's is now Dirk's, on Montrose. The Hazard one got pushed out by the salon.

there was another thread that talked about that but . . . . . . . if diedrich is out there. . . . . . . we miss you. . . . . take a look at the old Prive space. . . . rebuild it as a great coffee bar with killer views down Montrose and Westheimer. . . . . .

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Chris Shepperd of Catalan fame will also be opening up a new restaurant called Underbelly in one half of the old Chance's/soon-to-be Hay Merchant building. The Montrose area is quickly becoming a mecca for foodies... think about it:

Mark's

Hugo's

vinoteca poscol

El Real

Hay Merchant

Uchi

Dolce Vita

Indika

Feast

Underbelly

Da Marco's

Sorrento's

Royal Oak

and places like bb's, little bigs, nidda, biba's, katz's, tomi, micaelangelo's, crepe guy, niko niko's, etc. If you want you can even include places like Brasil, Empire Cafe, Angora (eventually), Paulie's... That's a tremendous amount of high quality establishments (expensive or otherwise) in a very small area.

Edited by swtsig
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^^ Definitely... Coffee bar, or a 24hr Tapioca tea place. Whatever it is, something that stays open late.

I go to the bars in the Montrose area, and it is much appreciated that the cops have been cracking down on the homeless/prostitute issues there. You can tell a significant difference since the start of new year. I think once people feel "safer" to wander the area at night, then we need to tackle that awful shopping center.

I miss Taco Cabana right here too. That would be a perfect fit if they would move into the old Blockbuster space!!!

I also agree that Montrose needs a good new late night coffee study/reading friendly place. Inversion closes too early for me and I miss Cafe Artiste even though it was a bit grungy. Right now there is actually no cafes in Houston that I frequent for reading/studying. :(

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I'm glad to see some revitalization on this corner of Montrose! Now what we need is for that whole strip center with the abandoned Blockbuster to be replaced with something really cool...

Excuse me? What could be cooler than a Discount Spec's? I just wish it would live up to it's name lol.

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cool?

i know i was whistful about a coffee bar. ., . . .,but if we're talking cool--------- how about closing Lincoln street by valero and making it a pocket park--not the kind everyone is afraid the homeless and druggies take over--

there can be another thread for discussion on that

make it one of those "thinking outside the box" parks--an OMG this is Montrose and that is a Montrose park!

-------one that everyone would take one look at and say COOL!

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  • 5 months later...

I think that space on the roof of the old el phoenix was used for the a/c?

the pictures of the construction are great--

guess i'm still wondering. . . . . . what happens to the building in between uchi and aladin and what happens to rooftop of prive?

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Used to live in the Montrose and at one point our community association (Hyde Park) talked to the owner about their current plans for the specs strip center, since it seemed mostly vacant and tenents were moving out. This was back before the recession... I want to say 2006 and at that time their plan was to not renew leases as they expired, which is why the blockbuster went away years ago before the more recent blockbuster mass closings. Once all tenents were gone, they were going to tear the whole center down and build a high/mid rise with street retail and a look that fit in the area.

Edited by SoonerFanInHouston
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That would be awesome! I know that strip center has some historical value blah blah blah but it looks like crap now and it has for years. And it's a great intersection for a non-strip center style development. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

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Used to live in the Montrose and at one point our community association (Hyde Park) talked to the owner about their current plans for the specs strip center, since it seemed mostly vacant and tenents were moving out. This was back before the recession... I want to say 2006 and at that time their plan was to not renew leases as they expired, which is why the blockbuster went away years ago before the more recent blockbuster mass closings. Once all tenents were gone, they were going to tear the whole center down and build a high/mid rise with street retail and a look that fit in the area.

Yes, that center and portions of land around it are owned by a large REIT with plans to build high density mixed use when the time is right.

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there is another thread that speaks to the development plans of that property--

I think that company was one of the ones that spoke to the panel (Neartown was one of the sponsors and Urban Land league) that gathered a couple years ago with proposals for the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer . . . . . . . . . ?

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I don't see why they couldn't just scrap it now... work out something with the few remaining tenants, bull-doze the thing, build the mixed-use venue, then ask those very same tenants (and more) to move back in. It's a win-win situation if you do it that way. But as it stands now, that shopping center is horrible.

Kroger is finally upgrading, so there is hope.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I noticed today that there are for lease signs in the vacant parts of the strip center on Montrose and a Westheimer. I wonder if they are really trying to lease it out.

They must want to lease it out. . . . . there have been improvements inside and all of the patio/entrance has been redone. Ali from Aladin's next door says that Uchi didn't lease the old cafe den space nor the old Prive--only the el felix.

still wondering if the Old El Felix sign will be moved and saved. . . . . . . . . . . it sort of screams to be saved by a restaurant like REAL.

Edited by trymahjong
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I'm talking about the strip center where Blockbuster used to be - theres no patio there. I think that's what we were talking about even though the thread is really about the old Felix location (which I wouldn't really call a strip center).

Basically somebody said the owner of that center was waiting for all of the tenants to move out so it could be demolished and rebuilt, but I see for lease signs on the windows which looks to me like it's less likely that they are planning on rebuilding that place.

I think this is sort of relevant to this thread because the Blockbuster strip center is across the corner from where all the construction is going on (Felix/Uchi, etc).

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I'm talking about the strip center where Blockbuster used to be - theres no patio there. I think that's what we were talking about even though the thread is really about the old Felix location (which I wouldn't really call a strip center).

Basically somebody said the owner of that center was waiting for all of the tenants to move out so it could be demolished and rebuilt, but I see for lease signs on the windows which looks to me like it's less likely that they are planning on rebuilding that place.

I think this is sort of relevant to this thread because the Blockbuster strip center is across the corner from where all the construction is going on (Felix/Uchi, etc).

That's one of the few strips of land that I wished they could actually do something interesting with...up to, and including, blowing it up so they can make SOME sort of improvement on it.

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I'm talking about the strip center where Blockbuster used to be - theres no patio there. I think that's what we were talking about even though the thread is really about the old Felix location (which I wouldn't really call a strip center).

Basically somebody said the owner of that center was waiting for all of the tenants to move out so it could be demolished and rebuilt, but I see for lease signs on the windows which looks to me like it's less likely that they are planning on rebuilding that place.

I think this is sort of relevant to this thread because the Blockbuster strip center is across the corner from where all the construction is going on (Felix/Uchi, etc).

sorry I was confused :/ thought the discussion was still about strip next to "uchi" I would also like to see improvements made to the strip with the old blockbuster was----I looked up the other thread that sort of dealt with this and found the graphic from Urban Land Institute when they did that charette thing.

post-1-12488817423439_thumb.jpg

the rendering is looking east down Westheimer toward Midtown and the round thing is a traffic circle at Montrose and Westheimer--There were all sorts of people who attended the charette and all kinds of notes were of everyone's input and this is what they came up with. . . . . . . hmmmmmmmmmm

Edited by trymahjong
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