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Downtown Restaurant And Bar Scene - More Coming


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  • 6 months later...
8 minutes ago, nate4l1f3 said:

Boomtown coffee closed for good? How long has this been the case?

 

The Boomtown location on Main St. shut down when COVID kicked off and hasn't re-opened since then. All of their tables and equipment were still in place last time I walked by.  The location inside Understory (Bank of America Tower) was open last week when I walked through. 

 

Cafe Express (Main Street Side of 601 Travis Garage) and Azuma (909 Texas Under the Rice Apartment Canopy) have both closed and removed all furniture, equipment, and signage.

Edited by jermh
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1 hour ago, jermh said:

 

The Boomtown location on Main St. shut down when COVID kicked off and hasn't re-opened since then. All of their tables and equipment were still in place last time I walked by.  The location inside Understory (Bank of America Tower) was open last week when I walked through. 

 

Cafe Express (Main Street Side of 601 Travis Garage) and Azuma (909 Texas Under the Rice Apartment Canopy) have both closed and removed all furniture, equipment, and signage.

Hate to see  it... downtown Houston worked so  hard to build up it core and just when it seems like it will finally  start to   explode... something comes along to set it back... seems to always happen 

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4 hours ago, jermh said:

 

The Boomtown location on Main St. shut down when COVID kicked off and hasn't re-opened since then. All of their tables and equipment were still in place last time I walked by.  The location inside Understory (Bank of America Tower) was open last week when I walked through. 

 

Cafe Express (Main Street Side of 601 Travis Garage) and Azuma (909 Texas Under the Rice Apartment Canopy) have both closed and removed all furniture, equipment, and signage.

I did notice a for lease sign as well on the window of Boomtown, just wasn’t sure if it might have been for the space above? I loved Honeymoon when it first open- didn’t feel like old Houston when I was in there. 

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I heard this a while back, like the first week of the shutdown. I loved the place and was a regular but I think there was always a problem with identity here. As honeymoon it looked like a classic cafe but they shut food down fairly early and tried to operate as a bar at night. The cafe feel just wasn’t conducive. When they rebranded to boomtown, they made it even less like a bar, shut down food earlier then still tried for evening crowds. It just never worked after about 2:00 each day. I think a more rounded design or a commitment to being either a cafe or a coffee shop or restaurant or bar would have made this more successful.  I’ll miss it.

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I don't think downtown is slowing down because some bars and restaurants have had to close. Once all of this is over, I'll bet anything it takes off even faster simply because people want to get out. 

 

How are Understory and Finn Hall doing during all of this?

Edited by j_cuevas713
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16 minutes ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I don't think downtown is slowing down because some bars and restaurants have had to close. Once all of this is over, I'll bet anything it takes off even faster simply because people want to get out. 

 

How are Understory and Finn Hall doing during all of this?

 I will say one key difference...the increase in population downtown.. which means even if a business closes...something else is likely to  pop up in it place. Because there is now a night crowd to serve.

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11 minutes ago, Moore713 said:

 I will say one key difference...the increase in population downtown.. which means even if a business closes...something else is likely to  pop up in it place. Because there is now a night crowd to serve.

And that's only going to increase with the next couple of residential mid-rises currently under construction. 

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17 hours ago, kbates2 said:

I heard this a while back, like the first week of the shutdown. I loved the place and was a regular but I think there was always a problem with identity here. As honeymoon it looked like a classic cafe but they shut food down fairly early and tried to operate as a bar at night. The cafe feel just wasn’t conducive. When they rebranded to boomtown, they made it even less like a bar, shut down food earlier then still tried for evening crowds. It just never worked after about 2:00 each day. I think a more rounded design or a commitment to being either a cafe or a coffee shop or restaurant or bar would have made this more successful.  I’ll miss it.

Touché. I hated the transformation to Boomtown. Either way it goes this is a great location once all this mess is over with. 

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3 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

How are Understory and Finn Hall doing during all of this?

 

Finn Hall was just starting a turnover when all this started.  As of now, Sit Lo is gone, as is Low Tide.  Oddball took over Low Tide's space and is open, as are the pizza place, Lit Chicken, and Craft Burger.  The Mexican place taking over Goode's space, Dish Society, and Yong are all apparently closed but still have their equipment in place; best guess is that they plan to reopen once enough people come back to work.

 

In Understory Seaside Poke, Boomtown Coffee, Flippin Patties, Mona Italian, and the new farro bowl place are up and running.  Of course the bar appears closed because bar, and East Hampton Sandwich and Mama Ninfa's haven't reopened.

 

In both cases there aren't many customers, as is the case with downtown in general.  Parking hasn't been this easy in decades. :ph34r:

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47 minutes ago, mollusk said:

 

Finn Hall was just starting a turnover when all this started.  As of now, Sit Lo is gone, as is Low Tide.  Oddball took over Low Tide's space and is open, as are the pizza place, Lit Chicken, and Craft Burger.  The Mexican place taking over Goode's space, Dish Society, and Yong are all apparently closed but still have their equipment in place; best guess is that they plan to reopen once enough people come back to work.

 

In Understory Seaside Poke, Boomtown Coffee, Flippin Patties, Mona Italian, and the new farro bowl place are up and running.  Of course the bar appears closed because bar, and East Hampton Sandwich and Mama Ninfa's haven't reopened.

 

In both cases there aren't many customers, as is the case with downtown in general.  Parking hasn't been this easy in decades. :ph34r:

Thank you for the update Mollusk!!! 

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  • 1 month later...

It doesn't matter what time of the day you go downtown now. Late at night or during the peak lunchtime hour, downtown is dead right now. I expect more restaurants and businesses to shutter downtown. Hopefully in 2021 or later this year, we have a vaccine so that people can start feeling comfortable coming back to work there and out to the bars at night. 

 

One thing I am concerned about for downtown is if we could possibly be in a fundamental shift of working from home. Granted, once this starts to calm down, more and more businesses will start hiring again and will want some of their workforce to return... but if that's the case that more people are staying out in the suburbs to work, there might be a permanent sting to downtown even with the increase residents.

 

Hopefully we get a boom in 2021.

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10 hours ago, Triton said:

It doesn't matter what time of the day you go downtown now. Late at night or during the peak lunchtime hour, downtown is dead right now. I expect more restaurants and businesses to shutter downtown. Hopefully in 2021 or later this year, we have a vaccine so that people can start feeling comfortable coming back to work there and out to the bars at night. 

 

One thing I am concerned about for downtown is if we could possibly be in a fundamental shift of working from home. Granted, once this starts to calm down, more and more businesses will start hiring again and will want some of their workforce to return... but if that's the case that more people are staying out in the suburbs to work, there might be a permanent sting to downtown even with the increase residents.

 

Hopefully we get a boom in 2021.

 

Not only downtown is dead, but midtown/montrose/galleria bar and restaurant scenes are dead too. I mean Chris Shepard was saying he might have had to close UB Preserve if HEB didn't let them sell their meals at HEB. And Chris kinda rules Montrose. So to me, its not just a downtown thing. The biggest shift when I go around is that there are less people "out" at the bars/restaurants/stores in the core, but more people in the parks (My god, Memorial and Bayou Parks).

 

I think I was worried about work from home too, but the more my clients get comfortable with COVID, the more and more I have seen medium sized businesses and financial places bring people back on a limited basis. Work from home makes sense for Tech and certain other businesses that have established business culture, I'm not sure if it really translates well to anyone else. Even your Exxon's/Shell's/Chevron's who have huge HQ teams involving sectors that could easily be remote (HR/IT/Upper Management/Project Engineers) have been working towards bringing everyone back eventually. We'll see. Most of my restaurant clients, if they made it this far, are OK. Alot of these closings are places that were on the fence before, like Im surprised Saint/Springbok didn't close earlier.  

Edited by X.R.
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23 hours ago, Triton said:

It doesn't matter what time of the day you go downtown now. Late at night or during the peak lunchtime hour, downtown is dead right now. I expect more restaurants and businesses to shutter downtown. Hopefully in 2021 or later this year, we have a vaccine so that people can start feeling comfortable coming back to work there and out to the bars at night. 

 

One thing I am concerned about for downtown is if we could possibly be in a fundamental shift of working from home. Granted, once this starts to calm down, more and more businesses will start hiring again and will want some of their workforce to return... but if that's the case that more people are staying out in the suburbs to work, there might be a permanent sting to downtown even with the increase residents.

 

Hopefully we get a boom in 2021.

 

This is a shame, after we'd finally taken off for the first time in decades. Although I guess looking on the bright side it is lucky we did take off before the pandemic hit, because people will remember what was possible downtown and will come back looking for it in the future. If a pandemic had hit back in 2017 or so, all those new apartments would be empty and the downtown renaissance would have been stillborn.

 

On a different note, I was in Denver a couple weeks ago and their downtown is doing just fine. 16th Street had plenty of people walking along and sitting at restaurants, the wine bars on Larimer Square had plenty of people, and the free trolley on 16th was mostly full at night. Houston's got a long way to go.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/31/2020 at 10:14 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

This is a shame, after we'd finally taken off for the first time in decades. Although I guess looking on the bright side it is lucky we did take off before the pandemic hit, because people will remember what was possible downtown and will come back looking for it in the future. If a pandemic had hit back in 2017 or so, all those new apartments would be empty and the downtown renaissance would have been stillborn.

 

On a different note, I was in Denver a couple weeks ago and their downtown is doing just fine. 16th Street had plenty of people walking along and sitting at restaurants, the wine bars on Larimer Square had plenty of people, and the free trolley on 16th was mostly full at night. Houston's got a long way to go.

 

Haven’t been on this board in a while.  Relocated from Houston Downtown to Denver downtown in May 2020.  I will say this:  Denver downtown (Post-Covid)  is MUCH more lively than Houston (pre--Covid) ever was.    However, Denver downtown is also only a fraction of its former self. Maybe 30-40% of what it was pre-Covid.  Some generational and  iconic entertainment venues have closed in Denver.  Still a lively scene compared to the best of houston (pre-Covid) but not as lively as years past.

 

office workers in downtown Denver are trickling back and are increasingly on the streets.  I am told that downtown Denver hosted 140,000 office workers each day.  I am also told that it seems to be only about 20% of that now.  The saving grace for Denver seems to be that about 15,000 -18,000 people live downtown (in about the same footprint as downtown houston) and it keeps things “lively”, especially when you add the amount of folks who come downtown from the ‘burbs to recreate .....

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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On 9/26/2020 at 5:43 PM, UtterlyUrban said:

Haven’t been on this board in a while.  Relocated from Houston Downtown to Denver downtown in May 2020.  I will say this:  Denver downtown (Post-Covid)  is MUCH more lively than Houston (pre--Covid) ever was.    However, Denver downtown is also only a fraction of its former self. Maybe 30-40% of what it was pre-Covid.  Some generational and  iconic entertainment venues have closed in Denver.  Still a lively scene compared to the best of houston (pre-Covid) but not as lively as years past.

 

office workers in downtown Denver are trickling back and are increasingly on the streets.  I am told that downtown Denver hosted 140,000 office workers each day.  I am also told that it seems to be only about 20% of that now.  The saving grace for Denver seems to be that about 15,000 -18,000 people live downtown (in about the same footprint as downtown houston) and it keeps things “lively”, especially when you add the amount of folks who come downtown from the ‘burbs to recreate .....

And on another note Denver is a fraction the size of Houston. Most people in Denver travel to downtown Denver because it’s the main entertainment area. That’s not the case here. 

On 8/31/2020 at 11:14 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

This is a shame, after we'd finally taken off for the first time in decades. Although I guess looking on the bright side it is lucky we did take off before the pandemic hit, because people will remember what was possible downtown and will come back looking for it in the future. If a pandemic had hit back in 2017 or so, all those new apartments would be empty and the downtown renaissance would have been stillborn.

 

On a different note, I was in Denver a couple weeks ago and their downtown is doing just fine. 16th Street had plenty of people walking along and sitting at restaurants, the wine bars on Larimer Square had plenty of people, and the free trolley on 16th was mostly full at night. Houston's got a long way to go.

 

We’re going to be fine. If anything the momentum isn’t gone, it’s just stagnant at the moment. But construction continues to boom downtown. There is still a lot happening that will draw people post Covid. The is just another round of change for downtown. 

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On 9/26/2020 at 5:43 PM, UtterlyUrban said:

Haven’t been on this board in a while.  Relocated from Houston Downtown to Denver downtown in May 2020.  I will say this:  Denver downtown (Post-Covid)  is MUCH more lively than Houston (pre--Covid) ever was.    However, Denver downtown is also only a fraction of its former self. Maybe 30-40% of what it was pre-Covid.  Some generational and  iconic entertainment venues have closed in Denver.  Still a lively scene compared to the best of houston (pre-Covid) but not as lively as years past.

 

office workers in downtown Denver are trickling back and are increasingly on the streets.  I am told that downtown Denver hosted 140,000 office workers each day.  I am also told that it seems to be only about 20% of that now.  The saving grace for Denver seems to be that about 15,000 -18,000 people live downtown (in about the same footprint as downtown houston) and it keeps things “lively”, especially when you add the amount of folks who come downtown from the ‘burbs to recreate .....

 

What's crazy is that their downtown population is so huge but they have hardly any residential highrises. They're just stacked shoulder to shoulder with midrises in places like the area around Union Station. I spent some time in Denver back in 2008 and it was nothing like it is now. Looked up the demos and their urban core population has grown even faster than ours over the past decade (at the 1, 3, and 5 mile radii), both percentage-wise and in sheer numbers.

 

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  • 1 month later...

The city council approved a plan to temporarily close off main street between Commerce and Rusk for use as outdoor seating for the restaurants and bars on main street.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Houston-OKs-plan-to-let-downtown-bars-15736736.php

 

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City Council on Wednesday approved, after some delay, plans for the More Space Main Street program which would close the road to automobiles and allow bars and restaurants to create outdoor seating spaces in the street.

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The program, which city officials approved as a pilot until March 2022, includes possibly closing Main downtown from Commerce to Rusk, depending on which businesses seek to participate. 

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Barriers would be placed to close Main Street off to traffic, while allowing cross streets to continue for vehicle use.

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Aimed at helping the bars and restaurants weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the plan to close Main builds on the More Space program Houston’s planning department created to allow restaurants to use their parking lots to provide al fresco dining.

 

 

Here's the relative agenda item: https://houston.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=21005&MeetingID=453

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 8/31/2020 at 11:14 PM, H-Town Man said:

 

This is a shame, after we'd finally taken off for the first time in decades. Although I guess looking on the bright side it is lucky we did take off before the pandemic hit, because people will remember what was possible downtown and will come back looking for it in the future. If a pandemic had hit back in 2017 or so, all those new apartments would be empty and the downtown renaissance would have been stillborn.

 

On a different note, I was in Denver a couple weeks ago and their downtown is doing just fine. 16th Street had plenty of people walking along and sitting at restaurants, the wine bars on Larimer Square had plenty of people, and the free trolley on 16th was mostly full at night. Houston's got a long way to go.

 

Know what might help likely the Downtown Houston core? 

Closing down the sparsely used singular vehicle lanes on Main St and turning the ENTIRE 2.5 mile stretch, from Buffalo Bayou to the Ion Innovation District, into a pedestrian thoroughfare like Denver’s 16th St Promenade.

Main St has a lot of promise with the bar district to the north in Market Sq, the CBD and Main St Sq, multi family units springing up in South Downtown, Midtown Park and Caydon’s multiple condo buildings going up, MATCH/Ensemble Theater with Mid Main, and the Ion Innovation District with Wheeler Station (and soon a Freeway Deck Park over trenched 59). The single vehicular lane of Main St traffic isn’t needed considering commuter streets parallel it on both sides and Rail impedes left turns on Main. Get rid of it. It does this city no good and there are much better ways to get the full potential of Main St for the betterment of this city’s future.

On 11/18/2020 at 1:15 PM, cspwal said:

The city council approved a plan to temporarily close off main street between Commerce and Rusk for use as outdoor seating for the restaurants and bars on main street.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Houston-OKs-plan-to-let-downtown-bars-15736736.php

 

 

 

Here's the relative agenda item: https://houston.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=21005&MeetingID=453

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, BeerNut said:

Would be awesome if they would close off from MidMain to downtown Friday evening through Sunday.  

Where would the poorly driven ubers drop people off at?!!? 

Pre-pandemic it was wild to me how many uber drivers weren't familiar with downtown and would try to drive right up to the main street to drop people off. I had two drivers mid 2019-early 2020 go the wrong way on one way streets in midtown.

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1 hour ago, X.R. said:

Where would the poorly driven ubers drop people off at?!!? 

They not doing the drop off/pickup zones anymore? https://cityofhouston.news/city-of-houston-to-pilot-pick-up-drop-off-zones-in-downtowns-historic-district/

Also, Downtown District replied and said that Little Dipper patio will open on Friday and two more in the next few weeks. Restaurants do have to get TABC approval to serve out there evidently, so maybe a paperwork issue.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

So Shay McElroy's appears to be next up with the seating on Main Street.  They are going more permanent than Little Dipper and have a full raised 2X4 deck built so far.

Also, the long-abandoned 309 Travis spot (between Warren's and the new CRU lounge) has been fully gutted and they are starting up something inside.  No clue what yet.

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On 4/21/2021 at 2:08 PM, kbates2 said:

So Shay McElroy's appears to be next up with the seating on Main Street.  They are going more permanent than Little Dipper and have a full raised 2X4 deck built so far.

Also, the long-abandoned 309 Travis spot (between Warren's and the new CRU lounge) has been fully gutted and they are starting up something inside.  No clue what yet.

I think the city will close Main to Midtown very soon

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On 4/22/2021 at 3:39 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

I think the city will close Main to Midtown very soon

The city should abandon Main St to vehicular traffic from Commerce to Ion District and Wheeler Station. The single lane with restricted turns is useless to traffic, especially with wide transit corridor streets paralleling Main St on both sides. 

The Midtown District had a nice idea of converting one lane to bike lane, the other into an expanded pedestrian promenade. 

 

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Yeah, I think this is one of the few streets most driver's couldn't care much about.  Unlike closing the Spur access in Midtown, which got a lot of resistance from drivers and local business, I don't think any driver will care because no one uses that street to go anywhere fast. And so few businesses, if any, use Main street as their main entrance/access point (the Hotels, maybe?). 

Pre-Covid people walked in the street for those three blocks of Main where the bars are anyway, making traffic miserable. These bars are going to need the street space real soon when more people get vaxxed and all of a sudden every person over 21 will be wanting to get a drink again at a bar. Its already sort of happening, which is why we're seeing Pastry War re-open finally. Big fan of all of this.

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:44 AM, tigereye said:

108 Main (formerly Cottonmouth Club) will be a new nightclub from the owner of Etro. The name will be Pris. 

Ugh, I guess Mike Raymond is out of the bar business now. He and Steve sold their interests in Reserve 101 about a year ago. (Mike Raymond and Mike Neff (?) owned Cottonmouth)

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  • 4 months later...

New coffee shop and wine bar lands in Downtown Houston

A new cafe in Downtown Houston is now open, serving up locally-roasted coffee, Belgian waffles, and wines from South America.

3 Fibs Coffee & Wine is a project from Michael Caplan, who co-founded Siphon Coffee in the Montrose, and Tim Leyden, the mind behind EaDough Waffles. The cafe will serve waffles by day, alongside coffee roasted by Cleo Roasting Co, (also owned by Caplan), and will transition to a wine bar at night, complete with charcuterie boards and wine from Mexico and South America. 

According to CultureMap, the name 3 Fib refers to the dubious newspaper ad the Allen Brothers placed in 1836 offering land for sale in Houston. The cafe sits directly across from Allen’s Landing, known as the site where the city was founded.

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  • The title was changed to Downtown Restaurant And Bar Scene - More Coming

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