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HEB at 23rd & Shepherd (Formerly Fiesta)


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We have been shopping at the Fiesta on Shepherd the past few weeks. (Trying, once again, to find the best grocery in this area.) We've noticed that since the refacing they've also changed some things inside. We're noticing more "yuppie" food. (Buddy's chicken, a new deli area -- among other items.)

Our neighbor went shopping there recently and the manager approached her and told her to request anything she didn't find.

I know that Fiesta has a more neighborhood centered approach to their stores. I've also been impressed with the management at various locations over the years...they seem to listen.

Maybe if we work with them, we don't need HEB or Kroger to do anything. Fiesta looks like they might be ready to carry the ball.

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Hey, is that McKayla Maroney standing in line above?  

HEB Heights by Marc longoria, on Flickr

If that's the case it doesn't surprise me it was so poorly planned with the fire hydrant. Houston motto: #goodenough

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Maybe if we work with them, we don't need HEB or Kroger to do anything. Fiesta looks like they might be ready to carry the ball.

Maybe not...but...I can't imagine any of those snobs coming down from their 1/2 million dollar McVictorian to go to Fiesta....

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I think the Fiesta at Studemont & 14th would really be a good location to "upscale". The entire area surrounding it has been mostly gentrified. For me in the SE part of the Heights, the Fiesta on Shepherd is still a bit of a haul...takes the same amount of time to get to the Kroger on West Gray.

Everyone wants around here wants a Whole Foods, but Fiesta already has the building, parking lot, and a license to sell alcohol. Call it Trader Joe's Central Fiesta of Whole Foods, and you've got a gold mine.

Edited by cwrm4
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Maybe not...but...I can't imagine any of those snobs coming down from their 1/2 million dollar McVictorian to go to Fiesta....

Well, if she doesn't mind me saying so, the author of the original post lives in one of those high priced new Victorians. Perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to judge...

The yuppies in Montrose have made that Feista one of the best markets in town to shop at. THe wine selection is awesome for a non-gourmet market.

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Maybe not...but...I can't imagine any of those snobs coming down from their 1/2 million dollar McVictorian to go to Fiesta....

My "snobby" self has always shopped Fiesta for part of my grocery list.

I'm just hoping to consolidate my shopping a bit. If Fiesta over here gets a few of my "Whole Foodish/Central Marketish" items, I'll be in heaven. We cook a lot of food that requires things from Fiesta -- if they carry my snob food too, I'm set for one stop shopping. (Provided we stop off at La Michoacana for the tortillas first.)

Currently, a big meal at our house can involve three to four grocery stores.

I was hoping that others might stop by and chat with the managers about their requests. That could make for a great shopping experience for everyone, since they seem willing to listen and act.

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Guest Malvoe
I think the Fiesta at Studemont & 14th would really be a good location to "upscale". The entire area surrounding it has been mostly gentrified. For me in the SE part of the Heights, the Fiesta on Shepherd is still a bit of a haul...takes the same amount of time to get to the Kroger on West Gray.

Everyone wants around here wants a Whole Foods, but Fiesta already has the building, parking lot, and a license to sell alcohol. Call it Trader Joe's Central Fiesta of Whole Foods, and you've got a gold mine.

Exactly. It would make tons of money. I live a couple of blocks away, and I would do all of my shopping there. Sadly, as it sits, it is one of the worst grocery stores I've been to, and it stinks (literally).

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Wouldn't the Fiesta on Studewood be more likely to go the way of the Montrose Fiesta than the Fiesta on Shepherd? That part of the Heights seems more comparable to lower Montrose than the Upper-Shepherd area. Based on changes I saw over time at the two Montrose Krogers, I would also guess that the 11th St. Kroger is more likely to go "upscale" sooner than either Fiesta.

The changes may be slow in coming, but each new large house (whatever the architectural style) that replaces a bungalow makes them more and more inevitable. Our Fiestas currently serve segments of the Heights community that have already been pushed out of Montrose to a much larger extent, and the "upscaling" of those stores will make them less serviceable to the people they currently serve (who are also less likely to have the disposable income to eat out frequently). And an upscale Fiesta or upscale Kroger is not going to eliminate the need to go to Central Market for certain things.

Just my thoughts on the issue - not meant to be judgmental, as I think the original post was just focused on the natural desire anyone has to have a grocery store convenient to them that will fit their needs and thus save them time shopping. I'd shop at an upscale grocery store if there was one in the area, and it is probably a niche market that could be better served - but I've always viewed the lack of upscale grocery shopping as part of the trade-off I make in order to live in a diverse neighborhood. Life's not too bad - the Montrose/Kirby shops aren't that far away, the 11th St Kroger isn't all that bad, Fiesta has nopalitos, and the little market on Heights Blvd. has good meat...

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However, after numerous bad experiences at multiple Fiesta locations, I would never, ever buy meat from them. My last experience was getting a package of Blue Ribbon sausage from the Austin location that was two months out of date.

Ummm, I got a package of Blue Ribbon sausage from the austin fiesta in my fridge right now. thanks for the tip

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Our Fiestas currently serve segments of the Heights community that have already been pushed out of Montrose to a much larger extent, and the "upscaling" of those stores will make them less serviceable to the people they currently serve (who are also less likely to have the disposable income to eat out frequently). And an upscale Fiesta or upscale Kroger is not going to eliminate the need to go to Central Market for certain things.

Actually, the nice Fiesta in Montrose has all the same stuff as a regular Fiesta. They just also have a great wine selection and an organic/natural foods section. That's as "upscale" as Fiesta gets, I believe.

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Actually, the nice Fiesta in Montrose has all the same stuff as a regular Fiesta. They just also have a great wine selection and an organic/natural foods section. That's as "upscale" as Fiesta gets, I believe.

I shouldn't pretend to know anything about the ways in which grocery stores operate, as I really have no idea - I was thinking that adding sections like that would result in the loss of other offerings and maybe an overall increase in prices, so that such changes wouldn't be entirely welcome to everyone, but I could be wrong. And it's probably beside the point, as a store will change as its customer base changes, especially if it can find ways to be more profitable. I certainly can't fault the manager at the Shepherd Fiesta for wanting to know what the store's customers want to see in the store. (A bigger cheese selection - that's what I always want.)

The Montrose Fiesta also has a really good British foods section - lots of random imported products you don't tend to see outside of specialty shops.

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A bit off the beaten path for Heights-area residents, but since the Montrose Fiesta has been mentioned, we went by the Signature Kroger on 43rd near Ella this weekend after hearing that they'd recently completed a renovation. It is by far the nicest Kroger I've ever been in - very well-stocked, clean, and with an impressive produce section and meat counter. If they're able to maintain this standard, it will be worth the trip to shop there. The Kroger at 11th and Shepherd, where we usually shop, isn't nearly as nice.

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A bit off the beaten path for Heights-area residents, but since the Montrose Fiesta has been mentioned, we went by the Signature Kroger on 43rd near Ella this weekend after hearing that they'd recently completed a renovation. It is by far the nicest Kroger I've ever been in - very well-stocked, clean, and with an impressive produce section and meat counter. If they're able to maintain this standard, it will be worth the trip to shop there. The Kroger at 11th and Shepherd, where we usually shop, isn't nearly as nice.

We used to go to the Kroger in Oak Forest all the time when we moved into Timbergrove, but then we just kind of shifted towards the one on 11th because it's about 1/4th as far away. I didn't know they were renovating the other store, might have to go check it out. I always thought it was only slightly nicer than the store on 11th, but maybe that's changed. I haven't been up there in about a year or so.

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we went by the Signature Kroger on 43rd near Ella this weekend after hearing that they'd recently completed a renovation. It is by far the nicest Kroger I've ever been in - very well-stocked, clean, and with an impressive produce section and meat counter. If they're able to maintain this standard, it will be worth the trip to shop there.

I wish somebody would renovate that sucker into an HEB. Yeah, its nice-ish (not as nice as the one on W Gray) but the prices are outrageous.

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The Kroger at 11th and Shepherd, where we usually shop, isn't nearly as nice.

It's all relative, I suppose. The Kroger at Merchant's Park (11th @ Shepherd) is 1000 times nicer than the Kroger that was there previously. But then, that older Kroger was still operating in the footprint of the Henke and Pilot that was there originally. The newest renovation at least doubled the size of the store.

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It's all relative, I suppose. The Kroger at Merchant's Park (11th @ Shepherd) is 1000 times nicer than the Kroger that was there previously. But then, that older Kroger was still operating in the footprint of the Henke and Pilot that was there originally. The newest renovation at least doubled the size of the store.

True that - I have a friend who owns a house on Waverly a few blocks from there. When he bought the house back in 1999 we would make beer runs to that old Kroger on days when we were helping him tear out the old walls. It was indeed pretty dumpy and they did improve it quite a bit when they remodeled the store. My friend's house looks great these days, too.

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True that - I have a friend who owns a house on Waverly a few blocks from there. When he bought the house back in 1999 we would make beer runs to that old Kroger on days when we were helping him tear out the old walls. It was indeed pretty dumpy and they did improve it quite a bit when they remodeled the store. My friend's house looks great these days, too.

If you're ever feeling nostalgic for old Krogers, there's always the one at 20th and Yale. It's the most convenient one for us, but most of the time I'd just as soon drive a little further and go to the (much larger) Merchants Park one instead.

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I've heard from a couple of different people that the Kroger on 11th/Shepherd is considering expanding once again into the empty spaces next to it...they are wanting to double the size of it. That would work for me. Maybe a few letters to Kroger might help persuade them?

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I think the Fiesta at Studemont & 14th would really be a good location to "upscale". The entire area surrounding it has been mostly gentrified. For me in the SE part of the Heights, the Fiesta on Shepherd is still a bit of a haul...takes the same amount of time to get to the Kroger on West Gray.

Everyone wants around here wants a Whole Foods, but Fiesta already has the building, parking lot, and a license to sell alcohol. Call it Trader Joe's Central Fiesta of Whole Foods, and you've got a gold mine.

Whole Foods is a bunch of crooks. They stiffed us when we were building their store on Kirby years ago. They apparently had financial troubles and their new store sat vacant for several months. We were told by the general contractor that they couldn't get out of their lease on the Sheperd store. By the time we filed our mechanics lean it was too late. I'll never recommend them to anyone, but then most people in the building trades don't shop at these kinds of places anyway. ;)

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I've heard from a couple of different people that the Kroger on 11th/Shepherd is considering expanding once again into the empty spaces next to it...they are wanting to double the size of it. That would work for me. Maybe a few letters to Kroger might help persuade them?

I've heard the same thing. I called about available lease space in that center, and was told that there was nothing available in the Kroger Center as Kroger was going to expand.

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  • 8 years later...

I might be laughed at for suggesting this, but I think Randalls may be ready to come out of the woods and come out swinging by acquiring an inner loop location (the prices seem comparable to Kroger, at least comparing the Bellaire Randalls to the C.S. Kroger, which I know isn't a perfect comparison, but they were able to beat Kroger on a few items).

The unfortunate thing that may dent expectations for a supermarket (ANY supermarket, really) is that for that part of Houston, it's dry...no beer/wine.

EDIT: What is the square footage of this store?

Edited by IronTiger
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12 hours ago, txcat84 said:

I feel like I've asked this before but can't remember the response. Any way for a grocery to sell as a "private club"?

I think the "private club" exception only applies for mixed drinks IIRC.

Either way, even if H-E-B did want the site, it would either have to fight local ordinances for allowing beer and wine or do without. I can imagine the whiny Yelp reviews now...

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13 hours ago, txcat84 said:

I feel like I've asked this before but can't remember the response. Any way for a grocery to sell as a "private club"?

Good point.  Forgot about that.  You cannot sell retail wine/beer with a private club license.  You have to serve food in order to have a club license and the booze you serve (can be wine, beer, mixed drinks) has to be consumed by club members on site.  No cash n carry.  

The dry zone restriction could be voted out by residents according to a Texas Supreme Court decision.  However, people in the Heights would never go for it.  There is already enough fussing about new restaurants and parking.  

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What about Whole Foods? I'm thinking that might work due to the relative wealth in the area (the Heights ain't cheap), the smaller size of the lot (though the store according to HCAD is almost 70k square feet, and that's no slouch in the size department), and the fact that it's a "special" grocery store in that you go for their high-quality perishable departments rather than your day to day grocery shopping (and there's where the money is made, generally). The Randall's of old used to basically use the same tactic since the stores were all dry, though that won't cut it with the way the store is now.

Edited by IronTiger
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  • 2 months later...

The Chronicle has confirmation from HEB that they're behind the petition drive to hold a local option election. This location is close to a lot of under-served areas (Shady Acres, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest), and would probably be very successful for HEB. While it's smaller than the 6 acres they'd like to have, it's bigger than the 3 acres they're building on in Bellaire.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Triton said:

The article is confusing. How is Garden Oaks area dry?

 

It's not, but a store at this location would serve that population a lot better than the other rumored site (Washington @ Waugh).

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
16 minutes ago, s3mh said:

Demo is underway.  Backers claim to have all the signatures needed to partially repeal the dry restriction. 

 

Enough signatures to get it on the ballot, at least.

 

Assuming the local option election is concurrent with the general election in November, since the local option boundaries don't coincide with electoral precinct boundaries, does anyone know how the election will be administered? Will the eight (I think) voting precincts with territory inside the dry area have different ballots for people inside and outside the boundary? How will poll workers know? How will it apply to early voting? 

 

Despite there being a presidential election going on, this may be the only thing on the ballot that would motivate me to get to the polls this year.

 

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21 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

Enough signatures to get it on the ballot, at least.

 

Assuming the local option election is concurrent with the general election in November, since the local option boundaries don't coincide with electoral precinct boundaries, does anyone know how the election will be administered? Will the eight (I think) voting precincts with territory inside the dry area have different ballots for people inside and outside the boundary? How will poll workers know? How will it apply to early voting? 

 

Despite there being a presidential election going on, this may be the only thing on the ballot that would motivate me to get to the polls this year.

 

Right.  They still need to get the signatures past the City Secretary and get the local option election set.  The election has to be on a regularly scheduled election date and cannot be a stand alone election.  November would be the next regularly scheduled election.  I would think that it would be a simple matter of searching the voter rolls by address and flagging everyone registered voter who lives in the dry area.  Then, those voters would have their ballot include the question on the dry area.  Or they could just put it on all the ballots and then only count those who live in the dry area.  

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I'm a little surprised they ended the petition drive as early as they did. The time limit is 60 days (I think they used less than 30).

 

Given the confusion about the boundaries, it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of the signatures were invalid, especially those collected at bars/restaurants. Also, a lot of apartment dwellers in new buildings in the dry area (6th & Yale, 23rd & Nicholson), who are likely to be favorable to the change, have probably not updated their voter registration address.

 

This is supposedly a professional petition-drive-organizing firm, so I presume they have an idea of how many over and above the minimum they're likely to need. 

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I'm not a betting man.  If I were, then I'd wager these details have already been hammered out.  HEB wouldn't invest in a firm just to get signatures given the numerous variables of how to conduct the local election on this narrow issue.   It isn't impossible for them to find space just outside of the Heights dry zone.  I think its clear they want that specific space.  The sequence of events from the close of Fiesta to the petition suggests that this wasn't a coincidental series of events.  

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  • 3 months later...
30 minutes ago, Avossos said:

 

confirmed?

From indications on this thread, H-E-B won't consider building until that part of the Heights goes wet, and that would need the signatures and a slot on an election time. I wouldn't be surprised if they bought the land and will squat on it until they get what they want, though.

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Why would anyone vote to allow a single large business to blow open the entire dry area?  What comes next for the residents?  The bungalow next door is for sale.  Will it turn into a wine and beer shop?  Be clear - No zoning means anything can happen.  Let's not kill the few protections we do have today.  Montrose did not have those protections.  Do you want to live in Montrose today?  Twenty years ago, the Heights and Montrose were much more similar.  Not so today.  Quite a few people have moved from Montrose to the Heights just to escape the ills that come with not having a dry area.  Just look at the crime stats if you are not sure.

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