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Restaurant Diversity In the Heights


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Papa Geno's on Ella at W 18th is awesome if you like a good cheesesteak. Good size, good price, nice people. I'm not a spokesman for authenticity, but theirs are just way better than anything Jake's or Texadelphia (not too hard to beat them) has.

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I wish her the best of luck, but a couple of things in that article made my eyes roll.     She was on a block with four restaurants. With several others within a couple-hundred feet.

Not enough time to argue about it but still plenty of time to spread your misinformation, I see. Nah, making ironic grievances against the Heights Wal-Mart has become a sort of internet meme, like Pl

Don't worry. The new Walmart development will be filled with "chef driven" restaurants.

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Papa Geno's on Ella at W 18th is awesome if you like a good cheesesteak. Good size, good price, nice people. I'm not a spokesman for authenticity, but theirs are just way better than anything Jake's or Texadelphia (not too hard to beat them) has.

Easily the best kept secret in Houston. This cheesesteaks at this place are incredible and they make every other cheesesteak place in Houston look like amateurs.

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Easily the best kept secret in Houston. This cheesesteaks at this place are incredible and they make every other cheesesteak place in Houston look like amateurs.

I've wondered about this place, since I drive by it every day. I'll have to try it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to mention Tacos a Go-Go is open on White Oak.

D'amicos is stocked inside so it appears to be close as well.

Went to tacos a go-go last night and it was pretty good. Tacos al Pastor with Pinapple was a bit of a suprise, but the food was good and it is a neat place.

D'Amicos was open last night as well.

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Food Truck Park proposed for W. 14th and Shepherd.

http://blog.chron.co...out-the-wheels/

This is the lot What's Up Cupcake parked in for a while.

The developers also may be able to leverage that this lot is in Heights Annex which is a wet zone.

{Bump} with new info...

HBJ (secured content) is reporting that this should begin construction in October and launch in December. Isaac Preminger is designing it. The developers are also planning a quick-serve, coal-fired pizza joint in the small house on the property which will also feature 100 wines and beers. They've hired Aldo Cantiana (former owner of La Strada) as the operations manager.

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Anyone here know what is going in at the old Spectators Bar location on Washington? (6502 Washington 77007) I saw that they have cleared all of the weeds and bushes from the front and in the last few days partially torn down part of the old building there. I was hoping it might be a restaurant which is why I was posting here!

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Liberty Kitchen is getting ready to open and so glad someone is finally using that freaking cute building behind it on 11th

http://houston.cultu...ium=socialmedia

I really cant wait for a place in the Heights with good seafood...the seafood options here are pretty slim, and even then not that great....I wonder what the price point for liberty kitchen is going to be...I am thinking $15-$22...I have not looked for a menu online, but that is just my guess....seafood is never cheap.

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I really cant wait for a place in the Heights with good seafood...the seafood options here are pretty slim, and even then not that great....I wonder what the price point for liberty kitchen is going to be...I am thinking $15-$22...I have not looked for a menu online, but that is just my guess....seafood is never cheap.

That sounds about right. Frankly, I would not eat cheap oysters. Good oysters come at a price.

Neither are restaurants owned by chefs...especially "famous" ones.

BTW, I just drove by. Looks like it may be open.

Coolio. Maybe the soft opening? If so, you can usually get free booze...

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I was told via text by one of the staff at BRC that Liberty Kitchen will be open tonight.

Saw a guy with an apron in his hand walking in at 4 oclock! Crossing my fingers they'll have oysters Kilpatrick at some point. My fave way to eat 'em! I've already requested it of the chef :)

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Went to LIberty Kitchen last night for a drink. Great bar area. Cool, funky interior. HUGE menu and definitely set up to be kid friendly. Kids' menu items come served on old cafeteria trays. Menu also says something like "almost all of our items can be sized down for kids' meals." Nothing childish about it, though- especially the drink menu. Great cocktails mostly named after Heights streets/schools. Prices vary- some things seem like a great price for the item (fresh seafood and also a wine we had at another restaurant this weekend was $7 cheaper at LK), while some things seem a little pricey ($6 for an order of onion rings). Overall, though, seems like a very welcome addition.

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Went to LIberty Kitchen last night for a drink. Great bar area. Cool, funky interior. HUGE menu and definitely set up to be kid friendly. Kids' menu items come served on old cafeteria trays. Menu also says something like "almost all of our items can be sized down for kids' meals." Nothing childish about it, though- especially the drink menu. Great cocktails mostly named after Heights streets/schools. Prices vary- some things seem like a great price for the item (fresh seafood and also a wine we had at another restaurant this weekend was $7 cheaper at LK), while some things seem a little pricey ($6 for an order of onion rings). Overall, though, seems like a very welcome addition.

I went there last night as well. I expected to see a whole page of various types of oysters and styles, but there were only raw oysters and a couple chargrilled varieties. Otherwise the menu was huge and had a lot of gastropub style fare. Was fairly busy for a sunday night.

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Went to LIberty Kitchen last night for a drink. Great bar area. Cool, funky interior. HUGE menu and definitely set up to be kid friendly. Kids' menu items come served on old cafeteria trays. Menu also says something like "almost all of our items can be sized down for kids' meals." Nothing childish about it, though- especially the drink menu. Great cocktails mostly named after Heights streets/schools.

My fifth-of-bourbon sense is kicking in. I prefer partaking in cocktails without children, and am wary of the company of parents that bring their children to adult/bar settings. We’ll see how it pans out, if the bar's vibe is too cool to pass up I may just have to recon when to sneak in a drink in between the play date times.

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My fifth-of-bourbon sense is kicking in. I prefer partaking in cocktails without children, and am wary of the company of parents that bring their children to adult/bar settings. We’ll see how it pans out, if the bar's vibe is too cool to pass up I may just have to recon when to sneak in a drink in between the play date times.

I do like my adult time, so I know what you mean. However, I think LK is intentionally set up to be a family friendly restaurant. It's not going to be a Berryhill, where kids are allowed to take the place over, but it's not a strictly adult spot, nor is it a bar.

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My fifth-of-bourbon sense is kicking in. I prefer partaking in cocktails without children, and am wary of the company of parents that bring their children to adult/bar settings. We’ll see how it pans out, if the bar's vibe is too cool to pass up I may just have to recon when to sneak in a drink in between the play date times.

Haven't been to Liberty yet, but Beavers does a nice job of balancing a family friendly menu while having a good drink menu for the adults. Usually, by 9 pm, all the people with kids have gone home to fight bedtime wars, leaving the boozehounds free to roam. And it is just good business in the Heights. If you aren't a Glass Wall and cater too much to the barflies, you will be empty from 6-8. A few dishes for the little ones will bring in a ton of business before the adults hit the town.

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Haven't been to Liberty yet, but Beavers does a nice job of balancing a family friendly menu while having a good drink menu for the adults. Usually, by 9 pm, all the people with kids have gone home to fight bedtime wars, leaving the boozehounds free to roam. And it is just good business in the Heights. If you aren't a Glass Wall and cater too much to the barflies, you will be empty from 6-8. A few dishes for the little ones will bring in a ton of business before the adults hit the town.

S3MH is right on this one....restaurants in Houston, especially areas like the heights that are rapidly becoming very family oriented are doomed to be fads if they do not offer something for families....Even Cedar Creek is family friendly, and its mostly bar....I've said it a million times - if you don't want to dine around children then you need to eat only at very expensive restaurants, or late....families have as much a right to be there as people who don't have kids.

I did not know Liberty Kitchen was going to be family friendly....now that I know that, I am inclined to go much sooner, and hopefully more often, than I had planned....I was thinking I needed to line up a babysitter for pretty much all decent seafood places in Houston.

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The report of the Liberty Kitchen cool/funky bar with “kid-friendly” menu and cocktails named after schools was dissonant to me, especially understanding that the layout of BRC (the group’s last venture) is bar-centric. I am probably a bit paranoid about the “Berryhillification” of local joints; if you really want to expose your children to alcohol early in life, cut to the chase and go hang out at Shiloh Club ;).

So I reconnoitered the place last night, since it’s only a block away from my lair. As the name implies, Liberty Kitchen is kitchen-centric. The bar is actually more of a diner counter, or their upscale take on it, with the kitchen immediately behind it. With a fair number of booths, the layout and vibe are more conducive than BRC is to the tastes of Heights parents and their kids. So is the menu, as others have observed. If your kids are screaming for an upscale dining experience to salve the proletarian sting of another night of mac and cheese, chicken fingers or Whataburger, then by all means make reservations now.

Drinks are good, and they are named after local personalities (i.e. Hogg, Reagan) or schools if you prefer. Wine selection is extensive enough for fickle palettes. Karbach beers are on tap. The food is also good, the dishes on offer are reminiscent of BRC. It will take me some time to get a fair and broad sampling, but I had a shrimp remoulade sandwich that hit the right notes. And the menu says they are open for breakfast from 8am on weekends. Service is also good, and that’s a sign of good staff and management, considering they are still in the first week. They are still working through some things, but the place is sure to settle into a groove soon.

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if you really want to expose your children to alcohol early in life, cut to the chase and go hang out at Shiloh Club ;).

I never saw the point of shielding your kids from Alcohol...It is everywhere and they have to learn about it at some point....I have an 18 month old, and I have drink before dinner and a glass of wine with dinner - every night. We just call it daddy's juice.

While I am excited about the possibility of bringing my child to this restaurant, at this phase in her life its not a practical reality....I am conscious of her behavior around others and right now I am fully aware that 15 minutes at the table is all I can expect from her without a total break down..thus we do not currently eat out. Hopefully by the time she can actually talk we can work up to getting to eat out again - but I certainly welcome a restaurant that welcomes kids, as I hope to one day be able to have nice dinners out again...its about the only thing I miss about not having kids.

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S3MH is right on this one....restaurants in Houston, especially areas like the heights that are rapidly becoming very family oriented are doomed to be fads if they do not offer something for families....

This is why I still read HAIF. You never know when you'll read a gut busting funny comment like this one. A restaurant that doesn't cater to families will become a fad? Really? A quick glance at the 77008 zip code demographics would reveal that 75% of the households here have NO children. Let that sink in a bit. 75% of the homes in the Heights have no kids. Remember, with no kids, these people go out to eat more often (you admitted it yourself). Yet, you believe that restaurants that don't cater to the other 25% who don't eat out as often, are fads.

Brilliant.

Three things that I notice about new parents. First, they think everyone loves their sweet child (we don't). Second, they suddenly think everyone else has kids (we don't). Third, they think restaurant owners love families (as a former restaurant owner, I can unequivocally say they don't). And you wonder why singles and couples always complain about families in restaurants.

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Third, they think restaurant owners love families (as a former restaurant owner, I can unequivocally say they don't). And you wonder why singles and couples always complain about families in restaurants.

In the case of this specific restaurant, at least 3 of the 4 business partners are parents. One has 4 kids. Parents who own restaurants often want places they can bring their own kids.

Many families I know in the Heights eat out as much as childless people because often 2 working parents are too tired to cook, or a stay at home mom is too worn out to want to do dishes, yet meal time requires real food, not the kind of swill or bread and water I would have with my bottle of wine before I reproduced.

Where did you get that 75% stat? Not doubting you. Just wondering... In any case, a statistic doesn't take in to account a lot of the gray area important to this particular discussion. There are over 950 families in Heights Kids group. Of the childless homes in the Heights, many of them are elderly and don't eat out much anyway. THere are empty nesters who moved to a small house after their kids were grown, but are still welcoming toward young families. Another group is young couples who, like me, moved to the Heights from a less family friendly area to prepare for starting a family, so they just don't have kids yet.

I think MarkSMU was a little strong in his statement. I would not call Stella Sola particularly family friendly, although I have seen kids dining there, and it does an amazing amount of business. I would say it's here for the long haul. However, a casual dining restaurant will flourish more easily in the Heights if it welcomes and accommodates the needs of families. Of this there is no doubt.

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This is why I still read HAIF. You never know when you'll read a gut busting funny comment like this one. A restaurant that doesn't cater to families will become a fad? Really? A quick glance at the 77008 zip code demographics would reveal that 75% of the households here have NO children. Let that sink in a bit. 75% of the homes in the Heights have no kids. Remember, with no kids, these people go out to eat more often (you admitted it yourself). Yet, you believe that restaurants that don't cater to the other 25% who don't eat out as often, are fads.

Brilliant.

Three things that I notice about new parents. First, they think everyone loves their sweet child (we don't). Second, they suddenly think everyone else has kids (we don't). Third, they think restaurant owners love families (as a former restaurant owner, I can unequivocally say they don't). And you wonder why singles and couples always complain about families in restaurants.

A few things I notice about people who dislike kids in restaurants 1) they are bitter and relatively unhappy people. 2) They generally don't have kids because nobody wants to be around them long enough to reproduce 3) They believe the world caters to them, 4) No matter what their income level they are snobs.

I also have to agree with the previous comment about the various groups, and I will generalize based upon what I see in the Heights, at the grocery store, on the jogging trail, and actually out at the various restaurants...but out of the people who reside in the Heights, the ones who can afford to go out to eat at places that are not just an ihop - Im talking about the segment not using the check cashing stores - those the service industry are trying to attract....they are generally one or more of the following: 1) young, 2) newlyweds, 3) new parents, 4) professionals....at least half the population still living in the Heights can not afford to eat at places like Stella Sola, Glass Wall, Liberty Kitchen, etc....Out of the remaining half of the residents who can, I would venture to say 20-30% already have kids, and another large segment of that population will eventually have kids.

So while your statistic may be technically correct - I don't put much weight behind it. The Heights is not Washington Avenue...I don't expect a restaurant on Washington to cater to, or in many cases even allow Children, but the Heights....if you have not noticed is trending towards younger working professionals, many of whom have started or are starting families...and that is not going to change no matter what the grouchy kid hating crowd says...

There are not many restaurants that can make it without serving children. That is a fact. If you chose to not serve them, you better be serving up the absolutely best of everything else - because you have alienated an enormous, if not the super majority, of all dining consumers.

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I also have to agree with the previous comment about the various groups, and I will generalize based upon what I see in the Heights, at the grocery store, on the jogging trail, and actually out at the various restaurants...but out of the people who reside in the Heights, the ones who can afford to go out to eat at places that are not just an ihop - Im talking about the segment not using the check cashing stores - those the service industry are trying to attract....they are generally one or more of the following: 1) young, 2) newlyweds, 3) new parents, 4) professionals....at least half the population still living in the Heights can not afford to eat at places like Stella Sola, Glass Wall, Liberty Kitchen, etc....Out of the remaining half of the residents who can, I would venture to say 20-30% already have kids, and another large segment of that population will eventually have kids.

So while your statistic may be technically correct - I don't put much weight behind it. The Heights is not Washington Avenue...I don't expect a restaurant on Washington to cater to, or in many cases even allow Children, but the Heights....if you have not noticed is trending towards younger working professionals, many of whom have started or are starting families...and that is not going to change no matter what the grouchy kid hating crowd says...

There are not many restaurants that can make it without serving children. That is a fact. If you chose to not serve them, you better be serving up the absolutely best of everything else - because you have alienated an enormous, if not the super majority, of all dining consumers.

While I love a good debate, it is not nearly as much fun when the opposing viewpoint proves up my case before I get to respond. You state that 20-30% of the Heights residents who can afford to dine out have kids. Well, my post quoted a statistic that 25% of Heights households have kids. What's your point? You then claim that restaurants that do not cater to kids are alienating an "enormous, if not super majority" of the dining public. Since when did 20-30% of any sample become a super majority? Is that Republican math?

Your anecdotal evidence somewhat proves my point that you see what you want to see. When I hang out at my local Kroger, I see lots of middle aged singles and couples. Oh, sure, there are some kids, but nothing like I see when I visit a grocery store near my suburban office. And, the demographics bear me out. The Heights is known for two groups, gay couples moving from the more expensive Montrose, and empty nesters moving in from the suburbs. Neither of these groups bring kids with them. Just in the 8 years I've lived here, the number of families with kids on my block has dropped from 6 (out of 20 homes) to 2. The predominant group on my block is middle aged singles and couples, 'middle age' being defined as 40s to 60s. However, I am confident that in those parts of the Heights where the housing stock is less expensive that the number of younger couples with kids is higher.

Here is a demographic chart of zip code 77008.

http://www.movoto.com/neighborhood/tx/houston/77008.htm (scroll down to Household Distribution)

You'll note that, of the 12,500 households, only about 2500 have children, or roughly 20%. For comparison purposes, here is the demographic breakdown of zip code 77382 in The Woodlands...

http://www.movoto.com/neighborhood/tx/houston/77382.htm

Note that roughly 60% of households there have children.

Additionally, Claritas, a market research firm, defines the Heights as containing predominantly the following groups...

D

Demographic Profiles of the Heights Area

Young Influentials Once known as the home of the nation's yuppies, the Young Influentials now reflect the fading glow of acquisitive yuppiedom. Today, its young, middle-class singles and couples are more preoccupied with balancing work and leisure pursuits. Having recently left college dorms, they now live in apartment complexes surrounded by ball fields, health clubs and casual-dining restaurants. American Dreams is a living example of how ethnically diverse the nation has become: more than half the residents are Hispanic, Asian or African-American. In these multilingual neighborhoods - one in ten speaks a language other than English - middle-aged immigrants and their children live in middle-class comfort. Multi-Cultural An immigrant gateway community, Multi-Cultural Mosaic is the urban home for a mixed populace of singles and families. With nearly a quarter of the residents foreign born, this segment is a mecca for first-generation Americans who are striving to improve their lower-middle-class status. Home Sweet Home Widely scattered across the nation's suburbs, the residents of Home Sweet Home tend to be upper-middle-class married couples living in mid-sized homes with few children. The adults in the segment, mostly between the ages of 25 and 54, have gone to college and hold professional and white-collar jobs. With their upscale incomes and small families, these folks have fashioned comfortable lifestyles, filling their homes with toys, TV sets and pets..

© Claritas Inc.

Note that young families are nowhere to be found. That is not to say they don't exist, but that they are not a "super majority" as you suggested. They are not even a strong minority. This is why you do not see CiCi's Pizza and other kid friendly restaurants here. There are too few kids to make a go of it. Heights restaurants are not so much 'family friendly' as they are family tolerant. No one makes a killing off kids. The menu items are $2-3. The kids make a mess, taxing wait and bus staff. The parents drink little, if any, alcohol. The profit is in high priced meals, but especially in alcohol. One mixed drink made by one bartender making $2.13 per hour can bring $4 profit (or more). A kid meal is likely break even or sold at a loss. A fine dining restaurant will discourage kids by having no kid menu. A casual restaurant will tolerate them by having some kid items.

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A few things I notice about people who dislike kids in restaurants 1) they are bitter and relatively unhappy people. 2) They generally don't have kids because nobody wants to be around them long enough to reproduce 3) They believe the world caters to them, 4) No matter what their income level they are snobs.

I could post a point-by-point counter argument regarding breeders, but it wouldn't be fair to profile an entire group of people based upon this single attribute.

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I'm just going to do some quick demographic calculations based on 2011 Census and TEA data. I'll improvise some cross-tabulation to try to get a relevant indication of market size, where the only group that matters is the family status of non-Hispanic adults. It's not perfect, but it should be relevant.

Adults : Children by census tract

3100:531 core houston heights

3256:714 core houston heights

3261:576 core houston heights

2330:519 core houston heights

4361:923 woodland heights

2482:519 norhill

3430:1211 brookesmith

5265:1207 sunset heights

Total Population: 33,685

Hispanic Population: 13,213

Non-Hispanic Population: 20,472

Total Age 0-18 Population: 6,200

(66% non-white, non-asian @ Harvard Elem.)

(88% non-white, non-asian @ Hamilton MS)

(96% non-white, non-asian @ Reagan HS)

Let's just say 85% of students in the Heights area are Hispanic; I think that's lower than actual, and it doesn't even factor in the dropout rate or zoning of less gentrified elementary schools. That leaves 930 students to factor out of the non-Hispanic population, leaving us with 19,542 non-Hispanic adults.

To be conservative I'll assume that each individual non-Hispanic student is an only-child with two parents. That should make up for any private school effects. That means that there would be a maximum potential for 1,860 non-Hispanic parents in the Heights area, or just shy of 10% of the adult non-Hispanic population of the Houston Heights.

(Also of interest: When I looked at Harvard Elementary's data on ethnicity by grade. The white student population halves between the fourth and fifth grade. It's harder to make the comparison from 5th to 6th, unfortunately, due to the school change, but I'd imagine that there's further attrition. Why should any retailer bother to build customer loyalty with people with young children if they're only likely to move away?)

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NIche, Harvard isn't really a good analog for the Heights, as something like half the students are zoned to other schools.

Overall, keep in mind that the Heights restaurants pull in folks from Timbergrove, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, etc, and lots of us have kids. We generally won't go somewhere that isn't kid friendly, as our well behaved son goes with us except on special occasions. It's cheaper to feed him a (usually full price) good restaurant meal than it is to hire a baby sitter.

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When I was a child if it wasn't chuck e cheese or a place with a "arcade" area, i was expected to sit at the table and behave. The whole "kid friendly" concept was completely foreign to me, if it was a restaurant I could go. I doubt anyone really cares if they see a child in a restaurant, it's if they are acting out in some way that they see as annoying. I occasionally see kids with their parents late night at Onion Creek and I think its pretty cool, as long as they aren't running around uncontrolled. I think for heights restaurants it is a good idea to have some "kids" portions or items on the menu, but no further accommodations need to be made.

I think a lot of the households that "will have kids" will probably move once they have had kids, and be replaced with more young couples without kids...

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NIche, Harvard isn't really a good analog for the Heights, as something like half the students are zoned to other schools.

You obviously know a great deal about the subject. I'll gladly run the numbers however you suggest.

Overall, keep in mind that the Heights restaurants pull in folks from Timbergrove, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, etc, and lots of us have kids.

I absolutely agree, which is something that I was hoping to allude to. The Heights by itself is a very small market given the number of restaurants that serve it. Even if there is a growing population of affluent Heights-area parents, it is drowned out by the affluent populations of neighborhoods not-so-far-along as well as by commuters that travel into the big city for work or play.

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NIche, Harvard isn't really a good analog for the Heights, as something like half the students are zoned to other schools.

Overall, keep in mind that the Heights restaurants pull in folks from Timbergrove, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, etc, and lots of us have kids. We generally won't go somewhere that isn't kid friendly, as our well behaved son goes with us except on special occasions. It's cheaper to feed him a (usually full price) good restaurant meal than it is to hire a baby sitter.

The fact that half of Harvard's students are zoned elsewhere is an even bigger indicator that there are not as many households with children in the Heights as some wish to suggest. As for Timbergrove, et al, this the the reason I chose 77008 as my demographic sample. The Heights is very small, and in fact, none of the restaurants are even located in the Heights proper. 77008 includes everyone from Studewood to 610, so it is a better sample size.

This entire debate is rather silly, as the only concessions being made by any of the restaurants is a few smaller items on the menu and perhaps a few high chairs for the little ones. There are no slides or monkey bars next to the restaurants. The fact that a kids menu qualifies as 'family friendly' suggests that Heights Yankee is very easy to please when it comes to accomodating her children (and I applaud her for that), rather than any concerted effort by the restaurants. And, given the small population of children in the area, it is not as if any of these places are overrun with kids. Even Berryhill, considered ground zero for families, never has more than 8 or 10 kids in it at any given time. The problem with Berryhill is that the parents let their kids run a little wilder there for some reason, making it seem like more kids than it is. Even so, it has never bothered me, as I don't go to Berryhill for the romantic atmosphere.

My only point in this exercise is to correct the misperception that the Heights is teeming with kids. It is more than than Midtown or West End, perhaps, but it is still a small percentage, as my comparison of Heights zip codes to Woodlands zip codes shows. And, none of us is trying to run the families off, either. I actually like kids, since they are not mine. The only kids on my block live on either side of my house, and I enjoy them. I really only jumped into this discussion to correct the common misperception that the Heights is full of families. It is not, for better or worse.

Now, get off my lawn.

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While I love a good debate, it is not nearly as much fun when the opposing viewpoint proves up my case before I get to respond. You state that 20-30% of the Heights residents who can afford to dine out have kids. Well, my post quoted a statistic that 25% of Heights households have kids. What's your point? You then claim that restaurants that do not cater to kids are alienating an "enormous, if not super majority" of the dining public. Since when did 20-30% of any sample become a super majority? Is that Republican math?

Your anecdotal evidence somewhat proves my point that you see what you want to see. When I hang out at my local Kroger, I see lots of middle aged singles and couples. Oh, sure, there are some kids, but nothing like I see when I visit a grocery store near my suburban office. And, the demographics bear me out. The Heights is known for two groups, gay couples moving from the more expensive Montrose, and empty nesters moving in from the suburbs. Neither of these groups bring kids with them. Just in the 8 years I've lived here, the number of families with kids on my block has dropped from 6 (out of 20 homes) to 2. The predominant group on my block is middle aged singles and couples, 'middle age' being defined as 40s to 60s. However, I am confident that in those parts of the Heights where the housing stock is less expensive that the number of younger couples with kids is higher.

OK, just to be clear on my own points here, I am not saying that the Heights is a majority of families- there are too many old people/empty nesters for that. However, there are hella more kids than there were when I moved here 7 years ago. My anecdotal evidence is the same as yours, but for the other side of the coin:

On my block, there was one young family on the block when we moved in. My block has 14 houses. They moved to a bigger house- in another part of the Heights. Since we have lived here, we have produced 2 small children and may have another if we get around to it. One young couple who bought there house 2 years before us had a baby and 3 other families with kids moved in. In the 14 houses there are 2 old bachelor brothers who live across the street from each other, 2 other bachelor types who have lived in their houses for more than 15 years each, another couple who raised their kids but the kids re grown and a gay couple who have lived there for around 10 years. So, these houses do not hold kids but with 1 exception, were all lived in by the current owners before the Heights had the "family friendly" vibe is does now. Of the 5 houses that have changed hands since I've lived here, 3 have brought children with them (and then there are the 2 of us who had kids after living here).

As far as the supermarket, I *never* bring my kids to the market with me if I can help it. In fact, I am just back from the bare shelved 11th St Kroger, where I also saw 2 other moms I know, childless. We relish that time. Kids are a handful and moms love their alone time, even if it's cruising the aisles at the grocery. Most of my mom friends shop a) when the kids are at school/MDO or B) at night when other parent is bathing and getting them ready for bed. I don't know about suburban moms, but moms in the Heights prefer the kids be elsewhere so we can shop efficiently.

And the large majority of families that I know do not have kids who are school age yet, so the Harvard stats don't really bare that out necessarily. My neighbor's daughter goes to Harvard but isn't zoned there. I have 2 friends who just bought houses in the Harvard zone because their older kids will start kinder in the next year or two. They moved from Heights houses to new Heights houses.

The point is, there is a point and counter point for all of these arguments. What it comes down to is families are not a majority, but they may hold the majority of the wealth. They are also growing in numbers as the Heights becomes more acceptable to even the most skittish city dwellers (we bought our house because at the time we were priced out of Montrose and wanted to have kids. People I worked with said things like "Oh, you can't have a family in the Heights." You'll rarely, if ever, hear that these days, even from the most suburban types).

The definition of "family friendly" has also changed, as Red noted in his last post. I don't take my kids to Chuck E Cheese and I would never eat at a Cici's. I don't feed my kids stuff that I won't eat. I expect them to sit at a restaurant (except Berryhill, which is such a playground because the patio is completely enclosed and they can't run out in to the street) and eat. A "family friendly" atmosphere just means they are willing to do a smaller portion and have a cup with a lid- doesn't even have to have a cartoon on it. The vast majority of my friends with kids are the same way. The ones who eat regularly at someplace like CEC live in the 'burbs.

Look at some of the recent successes and failures in the Heights. 6th St Bar & Grille- not good for kids. Failed. Beer Island- not good for kids and in serious financial trouble. Jenni's Noodle House- not the best food (although owners are super nice, neighborhood oriented and charitable people, still better food can be had), but thrives because of catering to families like their own. BB's- great for kids before 6-6:30 and does more early business for that reason, always packed.

So, back to the point of the thread--- yes, restaurants in this neighborhood will thrive if they allow parents to eat decent food and allow their kids to do the same. If they don't accommodate for families in some small way-- or make them feel unwelcome, which I have thankfully never experienced-- they will need to offer something really special that will draw from all over the city to make their business a cash cow. Otherwise, all it takes are cups with lids.

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You know, I was asked to post actual data, and I did so. Niche did as well. So, what do you do? You go dig up my sarcastic anecdotal response and write a big long response to that. Then you take any establishment that fails and claim it was because kids were not welcome, without having any clue as to the internal ownership problems within those businesses. But, I guess this just keeps on proving my point. When parents have children they begin to associate with other parents, and soon enough they believe everyone has kids, even when the US Census tries to tell them otherwise.

Whatever works for you. Data is only useful to those who read it.

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I think the demographics of the Heights are changing more rapidly than census or school data can accurately capture. I can think of a two block stretch near my end of the Heights that has had seven babies born just this past year. The Heights will never be the Woodlands, but is definitely seeing growth in the number of families, especially compared to 5-10 years ago. High-end places like Glass Wall, Stella Sola and Shade do not need to bother with kiddie menus because they pull clientele from all over Houston and are looking for people who will order three courses and a couple of bottles of wine. But, places that are going for the more casual dinning crowd would be foolish to set up shop in the Heights without trying to bring in families. The smart business model definitely seems to be to cover all the bases and have kids menu but also have plenty for the adults once the families go home.

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You know, I was asked to post actual data, and I did so. Niche did as well. So, what do you do? You go dig up my sarcastic anecdotal response and write a big long response to that. Then you take any establishment that fails and claim it was because kids were not welcome, without having any clue as to the internal ownership problems within those businesses. But, I guess this just keeps on proving my point. When parents have children they begin to associate with other parents, and soon enough they believe everyone has kids, even when the US Census tries to tell them otherwise.

Whatever works for you. Data is only useful to those who read it.

I think you are right on.

From the before posts you and niche narrowed the relevant kid households to 5-10% I'd say liberty kitchen probably holds 50-75 people and you might see 3 to 7 tables with children. Some see it as kid friendly someone from the woodlands may see it as kid starved. I doubt liberty kitchen has more than 3-7 high chairs so I think all the analysis is pointing to a small minority of kids in any restaurant (Berryhill on friday being an exception). The trend (household income >~$70k w/ kids) is certainly increasing but nowhere near a plurality or majority.

Though the time of day may skew your sample. If you go out at 9 or 10 to a restaurant you'll rarely see a kid out, and if you are out at 5pm you may see only kids and families out. I really think you could all be right.

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I think the demographics of the Heights are changing more rapidly than census or school data can accurately capture.

You are correct, but coming to the wrong conclusion. Increasing home values are driving out the large hispanic families with limited income, only to be replaced by singles, couples and some upper income families with one or two children. This may cause an increase in children whose parents have disposable income, but the number of children overall are dropping, as is the percentage of children and families. But, keep using anecdotes to prove your point. I love cute stories during the holidays.

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When we moved onto our block we were two young professionals just like the stats said we should be....There was one child on the block when we moved in back in early 2007. Since we moved we have had 1 child, and have another on the way, another house has had 2 children, and five other houses have 1 each...of the 22 houses on my street there was one with a child in 2007...now in 2011 there are 7/22 houses with kids.

We also have a rental house 3 blocks away and I got to know neighbors there when I was rehabbing it....that block had 2 houses with kids when we bought it in 2009 and it now has 6/20 houses with kids....My Cousin also lives up on 21st and his block had no houses with kids in 2008 and now has 8/21 with children.

I am not arguing that the Heights is majority Child occupied, or ever will be, but I do not think Census data necessarily bears out the true numbers...it is too slow and even though we just had a census in 2010, a-lot has changed since then. We have 9 friends who went to law school with us who moved to the heights, and only 1 of them has not had a child.....

The big question is will the couples with Children stay? Personally I guess it depends on what they are looking for....we probably will not stay. I will not put my child in HISD, so we will either stay and goto private school, or we will move to the Memorial area....That is a decision we have not made yet.

I think restaurants in the area are certainly wise to cater to families and I agree with both Yankee and S3MH - you dont have to have a playground to be kid friendly...a kids menu and a handful of high chairs is really all that is necessary....the parents should be able to handle the rest. Right now my girl is not good so we get our food to go, but I look forward to getting to eat out again soon. Especially at Liberty Kitchen.

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You know, I was asked to post actual data, and I did so. Niche did as well. So, what do you do? You go dig up my sarcastic anecdotal response and write a big long response to that. Then you take any establishment that fails and claim it was because kids were not welcome, without having any clue as to the internal ownership problems within those businesses. But, I guess this just keeps on proving my point. When parents have children they begin to associate with other parents, and soon enough they believe everyone has kids, even when the US Census tries to tell them otherwise.

Whatever works for you. Data is only useful to those who read it.

I didn't take "any." I took 2 and I know that both those establishments had internal issues but they may have been able to make more money had they gone with a different business model. That's all I was saying. I asked where you were getting the info because I was interested and was interested in the stats. I read them and I did say that I agreed that families with kids are not the majority but added that they/we are often the ones spending the money. A moderate income Hispanic family with 4 kids probably eats out 2x a month. My family eats out 2x a week with kids and usually once without. Less kids, but more eating out. Hell, I know a single mom with a high paying job that eats out almost every night so she can spend those 2 hours between daycare pick up and bedtime talking to her kid rather than cooking. That was my point. Basically, I was saying everyone is right. The census proves something but it isn't a compete sociological study on the behaviors of the families that make up the numbers. Don't be so defensive. It's not personal. Geesh.

I think you are right on.

From the before posts you and niche narrowed the relevant kid households to 5-10% I'd say liberty kitchen probably holds 50-75 people and you might see 3 to 7 tables with children. Some see it as kid friendly someone from the woodlands may see it as kid starved. I doubt liberty kitchen has more than 3-7 high chairs so I think all the analysis is pointing to a small minority of kids in any restaurant (Berryhill on friday being an exception). The trend (household income >~$70k w/ kids) is certainly increasing but nowhere near a plurality or majority.

Though the time of day may skew your sample. If you go out at 9 or 10 to a restaurant you'll rarely see a kid out, and if you are out at 5pm you may see only kids and families out. I really think you could all be right.

Totally. That's like when we go to BBs or even Christian's. I would not be there with my kids past 6:30ish, mostly out of respect for the later-coming adults, but any time before that is fair game for a burger for the kiddos and and beers/burgers for mom & dad.

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You are correct, but coming to the wrong conclusion. Increasing home values are driving out the large hispanic families with limited income, only to be replaced by singles, couples and some upper income families with one or two children. This may cause an increase in children whose parents have disposable income, but the number of children overall are dropping, as is the percentage of children and families. But, keep using anecdotes to prove your point. I love cute stories during the holidays.

In all fairness, these anecdotes may tell a story that is ignored by the school enrollment data. Neither Marksmu's or HeightsYankee's kids are school-age. All of Marksmu's SMU buddies' kids aren't school-age. There may be a vastly disproportionate number of very young children in affluent households. (Not that it should matter that much to a restauranteur if kids of that age suppress dining out in those households, and if those households are just going to move away in another few years or exhaust their disposable income on needless private schooling.)

Or...it may be that these posters are all from basically the same subculture, interact only within that subculture, and are oblivious to the demographic impact of several large and medium-sized apartment complexes on the periphery of their neighborhoods and the fact that the "Greater Heights Area" is still extremely heterogeneous.

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In all fairness, these anecdotes may tell a story that is ignored by the school enrollment data. Neither Marksmu's or HeightsYankee's kids are school-age. All of Marksmu's SMU buddies' kids aren't school-age. There may be a vastly disproportionate number of very young children in affluent households. (Not that it should matter that much to a restauranteur if kids of that age suppress dining out in those households, and if those households are just going to move away in another few years or exhaust their disposable income on needless private schooling.)

Or...it may be that these posters are all from basically the same subculture, interact only within that subculture, and are oblivious to the demographic impact of several large and medium-sized apartment complexes on the periphery of their neighborhoods and the fact that the "Greater Heights Area" is still extremely heterogeneous.

None of my SMU friends live in the Heights, in fact only a few even live in Houston - most got jobs in Dallas before graduation so they stayed - most of the friends we have here are from my time at UH in Law School - that said - my child does not suppress my patronage of these places, rather I just get my food to go. I order to go frequently from many places... probably 3 or 4 meals a week.. I have been to every single restaurant on this thread with the exception of happy all cafe...I just cant bring myself to order from there - it just looks terrible.

The disposable income we have, and that of many of our friends, enables us to eat out frequently...even with private school tuition, we can afford to eat out. We eat many meals out b/c both parents in our house work and there is not always enough time to cook and clean when we are already tired from work, and just want to enjoy our family time....Private school will not impact that at all...ya, its another $1200 or $1500/ month but we already pay that in day care, so its of no consequence....if we could not afford two kids without a lifestyle change we would not be having a second.

The only reason for the move is that I can have a hard asset in the form of a bigger house in a slightly better area for the same price that I would pay to send my kids to private school. I see no reason not to keep the money in an asset, rather than give it to a school....HISD schools can not compete with the Spring Branch ones and I have no loyalty to the Heights other than its been a good place to live the last several years.

Also were not oblivious to the apartments in the area, or the multitude of children living in them - one need only drive by them to realize how populated they are - but the restaurants that have been opening in the area generally are not trying to draw that demographic....they are pricing the food to attract the increasing demographic, not the decreasing one....I have seen many a run down rental torn to the ground to be replaced by a nice house...the trend in home building is toward the nicer more expensive homes in the $400-$600,000 price range....that is not changing despite the influence the apartments have on the area.

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HISD schools can not compete with the Spring Branch ones and I have no loyalty to the Heights other than its been a good place to live the last several years.

Little bit of a generalization there Marksmu.

I'd take Harvard, Travis, River Oaks, Timbergrove, Kolter, Love or half a dozen others over Spring Branch Elementary.

http://www.har.com/school/campus-Spring-Branch-Elementary-School-101920114.html

Additionally, if your kid is say 1 years old it. It is really hard to say that the "good" public schools now will be the same ones 5,10,18 years from now. I certainly wouldn't bet the house on it.

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Little bit of a generalization there Marksmu.

I'd take Harvard, Travis, River Oaks, Timbergrove, Kolter, Love or half a dozen others over Spring Branch Elementary.

http://www.har.com/s...-101920114.html

Additionally, if your kid is say 1 years old it. It is really hard to say that the "good" public schools now will be the same ones 5,10,18 years from now. I certainly wouldn't bet the house on it.

I should have stated that more succinctly ...I would not consider a move to an area that did not go to either Frostwood elementary....OR Bunker Hill Elementary...there is no sense in making a lateral move to a more expensive home in an equal school district.

http://www.har.com/s...-101920104.html

http://www.har.com/s...-101920102.html

And I agree that its difficult to know what a school will look like several years from now - which is why we are not moving now....we love our house and our street...But my personal belief is that a school can only be as good as the parents who are behind the students pushing and encouraging them....if you have a large population of children whose parents are not involved in their education, for whatever reason, you will not have the same quality of a school as population of students whose parents are very involved.

EDIT: To link this back up with restaurants though - the increase in the home values generally mean an increase in a demographic that has both 1) more disposable income for restaurants, and 2) a stronger belief in a good education....so I think that both restaurants and schools are going to continue to get better here as the demographic changes to a more affluent one.

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In all fairness, these anecdotes may tell a story that is ignored by the school enrollment data. Neither Marksmu's or HeightsYankee's kids are school-age. All of Marksmu's SMU buddies' kids aren't school-age. There may be a vastly disproportionate number of very young children in affluent households. (Not that it should matter that much to a restauranteur if kids of that age suppress dining out in those households, and if those households are just going to move away in another few years or exhaust their disposable income on needless private schooling.)

Or...it may be that these posters are all from basically the same subculture, interact only within that subculture, and are oblivious to the demographic impact of several large and medium-sized apartment complexes on the periphery of their neighborhoods and the fact that the "Greater Heights Area" is still extremely heterogeneous.

I still have nothing more than anecdotal evidence, but I still believe that there is a real demographic shift happening in the Heights. Of the mini-baby boom I described, all but one live in houses that would probably go on the market from $400k up to $700k. These are not typically the homes you buy when your intention is to bolt for the burbs when the kids hit grade school. Thus, I suspect that the population of families in the Heights is growing as families are staying and more families are moving in.

Further anecdotal evidence is the fact that the recent additions to the restaurant scene are either passively (token kids menu) or actively kid friendly. Just look at Menchie's. You do not put the Romper Room version of a yogurt shop in the middle of a neighborhood that does not have a lot of families. Jenni's didn't put a big sewer pipe on their back patio as a Dada-ist art installation. Liberty Kitchen doesn't have a kids menu to be PC. And Down House doesn't serve beer in children's sizes just to make a buck. They are responding to a real market in the Heights (maybe not Down House). So, while you can be stingy with statistics and show that there may be a net loss of children in the Heights as the demographic moves from the old population demographic to the newcomers families, I think there is definitely real growth amongst the newcomers that will continue.

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