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Downtown Restaurant and Bar Scene - More Coming


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Went to a preview event here last week.  Food was great but what stood out for me was the views from the outdoor deck.  Cocktail hour is definitely going on the list for out-of-town guests.  

There's no such thing as "taco critical mass."

@CrockpotandGravel, I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we greatly appreciate your contributions to this site, and I’m grateful for the information that you’re able to hunt down out of s

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5 hours ago, CREguy13 said:

I could see HEB being in a mixed-use project on the south side of Downtown, capturing both Downtown/Midtown, and WF on the north side more towards Market Square since that is more their clientele.  With the Astros winning the World Series and Crane's plan to put a park next to MMP, I am very excited for the next residential boom in downtown and all that will come with it. 

Could you share more about Cranes plan for a park? I haven’t heard about this. Exact location? Link?

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On 11/2/2017 at 5:43 PM, nate4l1f3 said:

Could you share more about Cranes plan for a park? I haven’t heard about this. Exact location? Link?

 

https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/other/astros-owner-jim-cranes-vision-for-downtown-79852#ath

 

Also, a reminder that Crane owns 2 buildings on Texas south of Home Plate (probably the bars on block 161). With Nau Center for Heritage dead, could this be the spot? 

 

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/03-30-16-astros-owner-gives-the-inside-scoop-on-his-two-new-restaurants-near-minute-maid-park/#slide=0

 

Quote

With that kind of optimism for the neighborhood surrounding the baseball stadium, Crane has been securing properties to insure that the quality of development remains high. He already owns the two old buildings on Texas, "south of home plate," as he describes it, properties for later development.

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On 11/3/2017 at 10:04 PM, tigereye said:

 

https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/other/astros-owner-jim-cranes-vision-for-downtown-79852#ath

 

Also, a reminder that Crane owns 2 buildings on Texas south of Home Plate (probably the bars on block 161). With Nau Center for Heritage dead, could this be the spot? 

 

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/03-30-16-astros-owner-gives-the-inside-scoop-on-his-two-new-restaurants-near-minute-maid-park/#slide=0

 

 

I don't think the Nau site is currently a parking lot. So it doesn't really fit the description. My guess is the current premium lot along Hamilton (or part of it).

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10 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

I don't think the Nau site is currently a parking lot. So it doesn't really fit the description. My guess is the current premium lot along Hamilton (or part of it).

 

That would make sense, since the New Hope building will be demolished to expand the premium lot to Congress, which could recoup any parking spots lost for a new park.

 

I’ll guess the new park goes in at the home plate gate/clock tower as part of a reworked front entrance there. 

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On 11/5/2017 at 9:21 AM, tigereye said:

 

That would make sense, since the New Hope building will be demolished to expand the premium lot to Congress, which could recoup any parking spots lost for a new park.

 

I’ll guess the new park goes in at the home plate gate/clock tower as part of a reworked front entrance there. 

 

I thought part of the agreement for getting public money for the stadium was having that affordable housing.  Are they going to move it to a new location?

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6 hours ago, cspwal said:

 

I thought part of the agreement for getting public money for the stadium was having that affordable housing.  Are they going to move it to a new location?

 

New Hope is moving to Harrisburg. 

 

The Astros helped raise money for the new building, then bought the Hamilton St property. Once Harrisburg is complete, New Hope will move in and Hamilton St Houses will be demolished for the premium lots, potentially freeing up land for the rumored new park.

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On 7/1/2017 at 0:50 PM, cspwal said:

I just looked at all the hours for all the restraunts in downtown

There are 106 places that serve food on the weekends, and 68 of them are open on sundays

Most are concentrated in NW downtown, with a lot of new ones around the ballpark.

 

The list is pretty long so that I attached it here

Eaterys in Downtown.rtf

 

On 7/2/2017 at 2:36 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

Great work cspwal.  I hope you'll be willing to make additions and updates to that fantastic resource:

 

1600 Bar & Grill 

AMC Dine-In Houston 8 (formerly Sundance Cinema)

Arte Pizzeria

Ballpark Cafe at the Westin

Downtown Aquarium

Einstein Bros Bagels

El Burro and the Bull

Foundation Room at the House of Blues

Great American Cookie Co

Last Concert Cafe

Lucky Strike

Mars Bakery

Melange Creperie

Phoenicia

Salata GreenStreet

Shula's American Steakhouse

Starbucks 1600 Lamar

Starbucks 1200 McKinney

Humble Cafe @ The Courtyard by Marriott

The Isles Eatery and Rhum Bar

The Pearl

The Wine Cellar

Trofi 

Wok & Roll 1200 McKinney

 

 

 

 

On 7/5/2017 at 5:12 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

Cspwal, I have some more to add to your awesome list of the many places to eat in downtown Houston on weekends. From the prior list of additions I posted, I think we need to delete Wok & Roll and Great American Cookie Co, as it appears they are not open on weekends after all.

 

New additions:

806 Lounge

1820 Lounge

Buffalo Bayou Coffee 

Café Bene

Chick-Fi-A Houston Center

Cueva

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar

Lobby Bar Hilton Americas

MKT Bar

MOKU Bar 

OKRA Charity Saloon

Part & Parcel

Potbelly 1000 main

Potbelly Mckinney 

Russo's NY Pizzeria

Starbucks UH-D

Subway 1600 Smith

Subway 2314 Bagby

Thai Basil

Texas T

Wokker @ Craft Beer Cellar

 

 

So it appears we have approximately 273 restaurants, cafés, etc where one can get food in downtown Houston.  Approximately 124 of those are M-F only (and the vast majority of those 124 M-F establishments are in the tunnels).

 

 

On 9/28/2017 at 1:26 PM, Houston19514 said:

Add Oxbow 7 to the long and growing list of places to eat in downtown Houston in the evenings and on weekends.

 

On 10/2/2017 at 0:14 PM, Houston19514 said:

With today's opening of Hotel Alessandra, we can add Lucienne and Bardot to the long list of places to eat in the evenings and on weekends in downtown Houston.

 

On 10/5/2017 at 10:08 AM, Houston19514 said:

And another... Theodore Rex opens tomorrow.  

 

And another spot to grab a bite downtown on the weekends:  Cafe Cosmopolita

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/city-life/11-30-17-massive-live-music-venue-the-rustic-breaks-ground-downtown-get-ready-for-more-of-pat-green/#slide=3

 

Houston gets a new place to dine and catch live performances come summer 2018. The folks behind Bowl and Barrel and The General Public at Houston's CityCentre and The Rustic in Dallas and San Antonio, along with Kyle Noonan, Josh Sepkowitz, and Texas country singer Pat Green, all of FreeRange Concepts, held a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the new Houston location of The Rustic.

 

Houston-The-Rustic-groundbreaking-Novemb

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I noticed today that Market Square Bar and Grill, formerly between Warren's and Treebeard's, is now closed.  I don't know how long it has been closed, but they had a nice outdoor patio in the back and were a decent lunch place.  Also I noticed Fusion Taco, formerly between Barnaby's and Henke and Pillot, has also closed.  Their tacos were good, but their service was so incompetent that twice I vowed not to go back again for a long time.

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On 2/28/2018 at 6:00 PM, rechlin said:

I noticed today that Market Square Bar and Grill, formerly between Warren's and Treebeard's, is now closed.  I don't know how long it has been closed, but they had a nice outdoor patio in the back and were a decent lunch place.  Also I noticed Fusion Taco, formerly between Barnaby's and Henke and Pillot, has also closed.  Their tacos were good, but their service was so incompetent that twice I vowed not to go back again for a long time.

 

Market Square Bar and Grill was founded/run by the guy that owns landmark Montrose watering hole TK Bitterman's. There's a comment on Yelp from last November referencing the closure and commenting that it had just changed ownership about three months prior. I wonder if their business took a hit in the aftermath of Harvey? 

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Fusion took water damage during Harvey; between that and opening a new location on North Main they decided to close the Market Square location.

 

And yes, the service could be very aggravating there.

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On ‎10‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 0:14 PM, Houston19514 said:

With today's opening of Hotel Alessandra, we can add Lucienne and Bardot to the long list of places to eat in the evenings and on weekends in downtown Houston.

 

I just called Lucienne to make a reservation for dinner on Sunday. They are closed for dinner this Sunday and every Sunday. Please add Lucienne to the long list of places not fully open on the weekends in Downtown. Very frustrating. 

 

On ‎10‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 10:08 AM, Houston19514 said:

And another... Theodore Rex opens tomorrow.  

 

Is this place even in downtown?

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4 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

Is this place even in downtown?

 

It's on Nance, so, very technically, no... 

 

However, those of us who populate downtown would call it close enough for gummint work - particularly when using IAH for context.

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On 3/3/2018 at 5:54 PM, 102IAHexpress said:

 

I just called Lucienne to make a reservation for dinner on Sunday. They are closed for dinner this Sunday and every Sunday. Please add Lucienne to the long list of places not fully open on the weekends in Downtown. Very frustrating. 

 

 

places not open on Sunday in downtown:

 

1. Chic-fil-a

2. Lucienne

3. Hobby Lobby

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11 hours ago, samagon said:

 

places not open on Sunday in downtown:

 

1. Chic-fil-a

2. Lucienne

3. Hobby Lobby

 

Hobby Lobby serves food? I didn't know there was a Hobby Lobby in Downtown? I didn't think the restaurant scene in downtown was this bad if a Hobby Lobby counts as a restaurant. But I guess, I've seen fast food restaurants inside Targets and Wal-Marts so I guess they do count too. I've seen some fanatics regarding Costco's pizzas. 

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Anyway, plenty of restaurants (particularly more chef-driven ones) are closed one day of the week. Often that's a Monday, but Lucienne went with Sunday, and not even the whole day. They are doing a Sunday brunch. Their hours are actually pretty expansive - 6:30am-10pm M-F (with a mid-afternoon break), 11am-10pm on Saturday (with a mid-afternoon break), and 11am-2:30pm Sunday. In no way is that suggestive of any sort of "Nobody stays downtown on the weekends" mentality.

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23 minutes ago, Texasota said:

Anyway, plenty of restaurants (particularly more chef-driven ones) are closed one day of the week. Often that's a Monday, but Lucienne went with Sunday, and not even the whole day. They are doing a Sunday brunch. Their hours are actually pretty expansive - 6:30am-10pm M-F (with a mid-afternoon break), 11am-10pm on Saturday (with a mid-afternoon break), and 11am-2:30pm Sunday. In no way is that suggestive of any sort of "Nobody stays downtown on the weekends" mentality.

 

It's a standard hotel restaurant not the former ElBulli in Catalonia. A guest should be able to have dinner at a "luxury" hotel any night of the week, especially Sunday. 

Look, it is what it is, I just don't think downtown should market itself as some plentiful restaurant destination any night of the week. To do so would be to willfully ignore facts to the contrary. It's just not there yet. Not knocking downtown, it's great for bars; restaurants not so many yet; and street level restaurants on the weekends even less than that.

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I agree with that; I just don't agree with your assessment that Lucienne is part of the problem. Part of that might just be my hope that Lucienne will actually be a good restaurant, rather than *just* a hotel restaurant. Oxbow 7 is open nights a week, and I think the food is mediocre and overpriced. That's one thing Downtown does not need any more of. 

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1 hour ago, Texasota said:

I agree with that; I just don't agree with your assessment that Lucienne is part of the problem. Part of that might just be my hope that Lucienne will actually be a good restaurant, rather than *just* a hotel restaurant. Oxbow 7 is open nights a week, and I think the food is mediocre and overpriced. That's one thing Downtown does not need any more of. 

Might have to do with the fact that Caswell is no longer running Oxbow 7, or maybe he wasn't getting the job done and got the axe, with no improvement since. 

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As someone who sometimes gets tasked with laying out downtown food options to visitors who are sick to death of hotel food, I'm finding that it's much easer to make those recommendations now than it was in the past.

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17 hours ago, mollusk said:

As someone who sometimes gets tasked with laying out downtown food options to visitors who are sick to death of hotel food, I'm finding that it's much easer to make those recommendations now than it was in the past.

 

I think this is the important thing.

 

Eating in downtown at night and on weekends, you aren't wanting for options as you would have in the past. 

 

And it's going to continue getting easier.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well that was fast.  It ought to be an easy approval, since it's a black awning replacing Fusion Taco's orange one.  

 

Let's hope that the service is less weird.

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On 4/19/2018 at 3:25 PM, Triton said:

Gotta say, I really enjoy the new Boomtown Coffee location where Honeymoon used to be. I know a lot of people are upset it's less of a bar and more of a casual place to relax, but I have to admit, me and my fiance like it. We pulled open our laptops and got stuff done. Wi-fi strength was great, plus the coffee had to have been among the best I've had in Houston.

 

We have plenty of bars on N Main but we don't have that many late night coffee places (which also happen to serve alcohol).

 

It is still solid but Honeymoon was more of a cafe with table service then a bar.  The coffee is the same with the same people making it so that hasn’t changed.  Really it went from a cafe with a bar to a fast casual coffee shop with a bar.

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Sadly the Shops at Houston Center seems to be having a terrible time getting tenants.  Places just keep closing, and nothing is taking their places.  On the flier posted by Urbannizer above, at least 6 of the listed tenants are no longer open, and 5 of those were restaurants (Radio Shack being the only non-restaurant, and I don't count that against the Shops because that's a nationwide issue).  In addition to those most recent vacancies, I can think of 3 other restaurant spaces in the food court that closed in recent years and have still not been replaced.  Building management even temporarily covered up two of the vacant spaces with drywall to make their closures less obvious.

 

Does anyone know why the Shops is having so much trouble keeping tenants?

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36 minutes ago, rechlin said:

Sadly the Shops at Houston Center seems to be having a terrible time getting tenants.  Places just keep closing, and nothing is taking their places.  On the flier posted by Urbannizer above, at least 6 of the listed tenants are no longer open, and 5 of those were restaurants (Radio Shack being the only non-restaurant, and I don't count that against the Shops because that's a nationwide issue).  In addition to those most recent vacancies, I can think of 3 other restaurant spaces in the food court that closed in recent years and have still not been replaced.  Building management even temporarily covered up two of the vacant spaces with drywall to make their closures less obvious.

 

Does anyone know why the Shops is having so much trouble keeping tenants?

 

It might be related to the recent change of ownership.  I believe they are making plans for substantial changes to the complex, so they may not be renewing leases or seeking new tenants for the time being.

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24 minutes ago, rechlin said:

Sadly the Shops at Houston Center seems to be having a terrible time getting tenants.  Places just keep closing, and nothing is taking their places.  On the flier posted by Urbannizer above, at least 6 of the listed tenants are no longer open, and 5 of those were restaurants (Radio Shack being the only non-restaurant, and I don't count that against the Shops because that's a nationwide issue).  In addition to those most recent vacancies, I can think of 3 other restaurant spaces in the food court that closed in recent years and have still not been replaced.  Building management even temporarily covered up two of the vacant spaces with drywall to make their closures less obvious.

 

Does anyone know why the Shops is having so much trouble keeping tenants?

There are increasing options elsewhere for the weekday lunch crowd that aren't in an outdated mall-style food court next to outdated retailers. "The shops" needs to be gutted and re-purposed into something that will attract more than just the lunch-crowd. Its proximity to DG and the downtown "retail corridor" on Dallas make it a prime location to integrate both and really tie together that portion of downtown. I know there are 3 food/chef halls opening within the year, but a Indoor/Outdoor concept with greenery, food stalls, and a farmers market would do well here. 

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Just my opinion, but the issue I see with the Shops is the design and the average pedestrian has no clue what's inside, similar to the Houston Pavilions/Greenstreet, because it is enclosed. I've lived downtown since 2016 and haven't been inside since I worked on a project nearby back in 2014, but I frequent many restaurants that are open to the street all over downtown as I'm walking by. Pappa Bros Steakhouse is always packed in the evenings and is located in the same building as The Shops, but its at the ground level and open to the street.

 

I LOVE the fact that 5 Houston Center is re-purposing this corner into a nice restaurant and patio. Hopefully this trend continues with buildings downtown as the residential population and other activity increases.

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14 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

It might be related to the recent change of ownership.  I believe they are making plans for substantial changes to the complex, so they may not be renewing leases or seeking new tenants for the time being.

 

That's correct 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

It might be related to the recent change of ownership.  I believe they are making plans for substantial changes to the complex, so they may not be renewing leases or seeking new tenants for the time being.

I feel sorry for the tenants whose leases haven't yet expired. There are few places more depressing than a dying 80's shopping mall, and I doubt that this is what they expected when they signed on to the place.
My ignorance of real estate contracts and economics notwithstanding, I wish the developers could have just torn the Band-Aid off, bought out the leases, shuttered the place, and commenced with the renovations.

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  • 2 months later...
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Treebeards will start serving lunch on Saturday’s now.

 

“NEWS FLASH HOUSTON: Treebeards Market Square is open on Saturdays!! 
Starting May 4th, our doors will be open for all of our Treebeards’ customers and friends from 11:00AM- 2:30PM.“

 

Facebook Link:

 

Edited by Nole23
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20 hours ago, Nole23 said:

Treebeards will start serving lunch on Saturday’s now.

 

“NEWS FLASH HOUSTON: Treebeards Market Square is open on Saturdays!! 
Starting May 4th, our doors will be open for all of our Treebeards’ customers and friends from 11:00AM- 2:30PM.“

 

Facebook Link:

 

You know downtown is getting busy when Treebeards opens on Saturdays

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6 minutes ago, Nate99 said:

I'm seeing Shake Shack's arrival as the tipping point.  It's something of a draw in it's own right but still necessitates a critical mass of foot traffic. 

 

I completely forgot they were coming downtown, that's a huge improvement over whatever is currently at the location.

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16 minutes ago, CaptainJilliams said:

 

I completely forgot they were coming downtown, that's a huge improvement over whatever is currently at the location.

 

It was a Brown Bag Deli, which isn't bad, but is strictly a lunch for office drones like nate99 type of a place, they moved to underneath 919 Milam, over by Becks Prime. 

 

A 7 day/week, open nights and weekends type popular franchise/concept displacing the five day, three-hour spot on Main is what the city needs more of. 

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17 minutes ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

 



Shake Shack is in downtown already inside Minute Maid Park.

The one on Main will be their second downtown Houston location, but will be a stand alone restaurant that's open to the public and not attendees of Minute Maid Park.

 

Clearly doesn't count.

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Yeah but that's not really "Downtown." It's inside Minute Maid Field explicitly for people attending an event there. It *is* a Shake Shack in Houston, but it's not actually generally accessible to people living and working Downtown.

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2 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:


It does count when Shake Shack lists Minute Maid as one of their Houston locations. Also counts when news website include Shake Shack Minute Maid into the total count of locations in Houston. 

Torchy's Tacos advertises their Minute Maid location as their downtown location

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It's not hard to comprehend, but it's also not hard to comprehend that whether or not a business is generally open to the public is a meaningful distinction. Yes, this location is physically downtown, but it is entirely irrelevant to the actual Downtown restaurant and bar scene. 

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