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Salon expansion forces out Diedrich's Winlow


jlt1988

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I have just returned from Diedrich's Winlow Coffee House on Westheimer at Hazard and learned that the salon next door (The Upper Hand) will take over their space. Diedrich's wanted to renew their lease and was in the process of doing so last month but the salon owners were able to persuade the property manager (whom they apparently know) to lease it to them instead. Diedrich's last day will be November 6. Naturally there is an effort afoot to try to save it, but it seems to me like it might be too late if the new lease is already signed. Here is the contact information:

T-Con Properties, LTD

713-626-8888

The Upper Hand

713-520-0772

If you want to call Dirk Smith, owner of Diedrich's, he can be reached at 949-589-1525 or by email at dirkjons@aol.com.

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Some of those shoppes around there are gonna be hurt by this closure and here's why... how many people do you think got coffee/tea/etc then decided, "Hey, let's walk over here and see what's in this shoppe" - This type of walk in traffic is going to cease, cause most folks will just drive by instead of stopping in to shop.

Good luck to the rest of those places!

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Some of those shoppes around there are gonna be hurt by this closure and here's why... how many people do you think got coffee/tea/etc then decided, "Hey, let's walk over here and see what's in this shoppe" - This type of walk in traffic is going to cease, cause most folks will just drive by instead of stopping in to shop.

Good luck to the rest of those places!

Amen brother.

My dad said the Diedrich's in Cali is closing down too and they were bought out by Starbuck's, but rather than puting a new coffee shop in its place, they are simply going to leave the store vacant.

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A pox on the new renters..

I hope that no one wishes the salon ill will for being successful. If Diedrich's truly has a loyal following (I have only been there a few times, but really enjoyed it each time), they should be able to open up someplace else in the area and be just as popular as they were before. I think that we should congratulate Upper Hand for making it in that center. How many other shops/restaurants have failed there?

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I hope that no one wishes the salon ill will for being successful. If Diedrich's truly has a loyal following (I have only been there a few times, but really enjoyed it each time), they should be able to open up someplace else in the area and be just as popular as they were before. I think that we should congratulate Upper Hand for making it in that center. How many other shops/restaurants have failed there?

i would think the only ill-wishes would come from this:

Diedrich's wanted to renew their lease and was in the process of doing so last month but the salon owners were able to persuade the property manager (whom they apparently know) to lease it to them instead.

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I hope that no one wishes the salon ill will for being successful. If Diedrich's truly has a loyal following (I have only been there a few times, but really enjoyed it each time), they should be able to open up someplace else in the area and be just as popular as they were before. I think that we should congratulate Upper Hand for making it in that center.

It was Dietrich's that turned the gas station into a great property. too bad the mgmt didn't think more of them.

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Diedrich's does not have to be closed, it is a old style coffee shop, used by all, kids and adults of all ages, in a sense it is a community center, where a person can hang out, and are not throw out, college students, kids of all ages have a place to go, people with dogs, small children, where there is no allochol.

Now Diedrich's has been the only tenant, since the old 1920's gas station was converted into a coffee house.

I am told from a reliable source that Diedrich's was offered a new lease, for less than they were paying, and were also told they have been there best tenant. The lease was in progress when, the property manager, decided that he had changed his mind. Now Diedrich's does bring in a lot of cars, and that could be resolved.

If the tenants of the center would communicate. Now the building on the other side of the Upper Hand is for lease. I ask why do they want to take the lease of a tenant who wants to stay, and believe me Diedrich's very much wants to stay, instead of expanding the other direction that's vacate.

I mean no harm to the Upper Hand, several of there employee's and clients said that The Upper Hand Salon, indicated that Diedrich's had a chance to sign a lease and did not take it. I am told again from a reliable source that, they were not doing anything that any tenant probably would do, that is review the lease, not expecting that the Upper Hand had any intention of competing for the space. Plus there was no competion, Diedrich's had the door close on them.

I am sorry but, this makes me so sad, at a time when people are concerned about old theater's the River Oaks, Alabama, which are nice, and we all know that Most likely the River Oaks Theater if saved will be something more revenue producing, such as a resturant, or something. The old filling station that Diedrich's has put a soul into, used by everyone, there is a community, that exsit's inside and out side that historital structure, unlike and one we can only dream of for either of the River Oaks or West Alabama theater's , Diedrich's has become a santuary for the young, in a city that everyone is concern about rising crime.

Why would anyone do this or let this happen, when they are so good to so many, and I believe if everything was about board, as we all would expect, things might be different.

The Upper Hand Salon. may feel that some how in the SCHEME OF THINGS THAT THEY NOW HAVE THE UPPER HAND, but shouldn't Diedrich's that had the place fitted built out for them be the first in line, we'll only talking opportunity to be at the table with the property manager, to discuss the lease, now remember they were in the process of finilizing the lease.

I am writting this because the pain of regret for being complaisant is much more than the pain of speaking out.

There is one correction from the original e-mail, the Property manager's is 713-520-7360.

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Diedrich's does not have to be closed, it is a old style coffee shop, used by all, kids and adults of all ages, in a sense it is a community center, where a person can hang out, and are not throw out, college students, kids of all ages have a place to go, people with dogs, small children, where there is no allochol.

Now Diedrich's has been the only tenant, since the old 1920's gas station was converted into a coffee house.

I am told from a reliable source that Diedrich's was offered a new lease, for less than they were paying, and were also told they have been there best tenant. The lease was in progress when, the property manager, decided that he had changed his mind. Now Diedrich's does bring in a lot of cars, and that could be resolved.

If the tenants of the center would communicate. Now the building on the other side of the Upper Hand is for lease. I ask why do they want to take the lease of a tenant who wants to stay, and believe me Diedrich's very much wants to stay, instead of expanding the other direction that's vacate.

I mean no harm to the Upper Hand, several of there employee's and clients said that The Upper Hand Salon, indicated that Diedrich's had a chance to sign a lease and did not take it. I am told again from a reliable source that, they were not doing anything that any tenant probably would do, that is review the lease, not expecting that the Upper Hand had any intention of competing for the space. Plus there was no competion, Diedrich's had the door close on them.

I am sorry but, this makes me so sad, at a time when people are concerned about old theater's the River Oaks, Alabama, which are nice, and we all know that Most likely the River Oaks Theater if saved will be something more revenue producing, such as a resturant, or something. The old filling station that Diedrich's has put a soul into, used by everyone, there is a community, that exsit's inside and out side that historital structure, unlike and one we can only dream of for either of the River Oaks or West Alabama theater's , Diedrich's has become a santuary for the young, in a city that everyone is concern about rising crime.

Why would anyone do this or let this happen, when they are so good to so many, and I believe if everything was about board, as we all would expect, things might be different.

The Upper Hand Salon. may feel that some how in the SCHEME OF THINGS THAT THEY NOW HAVE THE UPPER HAND, but shouldn't Diedrich's that had the place fitted built out for them be the first in line, we'll only talking opportunity to be at the table with the property manager, to discuss the lease, now remember they were in the process of finilizing the lease.

I am writting this because the pain of regret for being complaisant is much more than the pain of speaking out.

There is one correction from the original e-mail, the Property manager's is 713-520-7360.

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Here we have a reply from the owner of the Upper Hand Salon. Rachel Gower.

I think that the people writing and distributing this information really believe that it is true. Unfortunately, it's simple not true at all. Diedrich's corporate office sent our landlord, T-Con a letter six months ago stating that they did not wish to renew the lease. Also, about a month ago we were told that he had found another location and was definitely planning on moving. I think that the new location must not have worked out, and he may be using this as an opportunity to drum up some publicity for his business (and to try to hurt us). Regardless,we have never had any control over whom T- CON leases to. We were very surprised to learn that the space was available and it was only after much thought and discussion that we actually expressed interest in the space ourselves. T-Con had a couple of other businesses interested in the space and would have leased it very quickly.

The Unfortunate result is that our landlord has had to hire 24 hour security because Diedrich's customers and employees intimidating our employees and clients. The police have had to come twice to intervene. It's all very unfortunate, but, as I said, I think these people have been purposely mislead. We're hoping that Dirk will take responsibility for the situation and try to make it right. He certainly knows the truth. He lives in California, however, so it may not be affecting him too much.

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The Truth is that the fliers indicate that Diedrich's is being pushed out by the Salon, that the Salon is planning to lease this space, most likely sub-lease it to meassage therapist's, maybe even keep the coffee bar for their customers. Dirk the owner of the Diedrich has not mislead me. The facts are that after November 6, Diedrich's lease will expire. The Salon will have pushed out a tenant, that wants to stay. Believe me Diedrich's wants to stay.

They are not interested in the lease of the space on the other side, because it is inconvenient, there customers & employees would have to walk ouside, about 10 feet. So they have their eyes on Diedrich's space, with no regard, for how much this is going to inconvenient Diedrich's customers, employees, and all the relationships that ARE tied to this cummunity that excites inside & out side this historial structure. Diedrich's is a wonderful tenant loved by this community.

The Upper Hand Salon yes has called the Police, ONCE they called and reported that the guy handing out fliers was disrupting their business. There business was being disrupted by Diedrich's customers that were also customers of the Upper Hand Salon, they were upset, with what the Salon was trying to do, push out their Favorite coffee house. The hiring of the security guard was as well, to intimidate, those who are just trying to save something very dear to them.

How can the owners of the Upper Hand Salon. their employees, their customers, fool themselves and believe that this is in Any Way Ethical.

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:lol: i'm sorry, but the picture of coffee aficionados and salon personel cat fighting cracks me up.

diedrich customer - "your ruining my favorite coffee place."

upper hand employee - "we want to make more people feel special."

sounds trite.

i hate to see diedrich's go, but passing out flyers in front of the salon is embarrassing. are the salon customers going to boycott diedrich's? how about a picket line with signs of a steaming coffee cup and a "X" through it.

i know i want to have a cup of joe while getting dirty looks from the neighboring business.

it's sad to see loyal customers of any business making an issue worse than it already is. showing your support (or lack of support) with how you spend your money is about the best you can do. IMO

Edited by bachanon
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:lol: i'm sorry, but the picture of coffee aficionados and salon personel cat fighting cracks me up.

diedrich customer - "your ruining my favorite coffee place."

upper hand employee - "we want to make more people feel special."

sounds trite.

i hate to see diedrich's go, but passing out flyers in front of the salon is embarrassing. are the salon customers going to boycott diedrich's? how about a picket line with signs of a steaming coffee cup and a "X" through it.

i know i want to have a cup of joe while getting dirty looks from the neighboring business.

it's sad to see loyal customers of any business making an issue worse than it already is. showing your support (or lack of support) with how you spend your money is about the best you can do. IMO

Exactly!

the place had a very untexan scale on the inside so naturally i felt a bit off

This is great! Are you a texan?

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I'm very upset with the impending closure of Diedrich too. It is my understanding that Dirk Smith definately wants this location. It is true that Diedrich said they were not interested in the lease, but that's because Diedrich is a franchise of Mr. Smith's. He was in negotiations, however, with the landlord. He said that he had the green light, and then within a matter of 24 hours the landlord suddenly changed its mind.

I personally will never do business with the salon, and I will make sure I always bad mouth them so that anyone in the future who might wish to visit them will hopefully reconsider. It is the salon that should be put out on the street in my opinion. It is very unethical, and this kind of landlord abuse should be illegal. They couldn't do this to a human being, but for business owners, I guess they aren't human beings in the eye of the law.

Find out more about Diedrich here, and come join in the dicussion. All views are welcome -- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/diedrichforum/

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Yes, Diedrich's is gone. Upper Hand parking signs have replaced the Diedrich's parking signs and the granite talbes on the east side have been removed.

After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided that the landlord likely took this action to solve his biggest problem - parking. With the new pub at the other end opening soon, more parking will make it more likely that the pub will survive.

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Diedrich Coffee is opening a store in Rice's Fondren library: link

I didn't know the connection with Starbucks, but it looks correct: link

i think this will have a negative affect on the student-run coffee house that's already on campus

and this diedrich won't be in the library - it'll be in the new pavilion which will be on the grassy expanse between the student center and the library (groundbreaking set for february i think), which is even closer to the other coffee shop.

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:angry2: Can somebody explain the following to me? Diedrich was kicked off the property against its will because the Salon next door agreed to move into. Both parties agree this is what happened regardless of who stole what from whom. Now, as I drive by the location, there is a "for lease" sign. The salon doesn't appear to be moving in.

So if the place is up for lease with no tenant, why was Diedrich not told "hey, you know what, the salon isn't moving in after all. You can keep your space since you want it." Is this persecution against Diedrich? It seems more and more like the case to me. I'll never set foot on that property again, but I'd like to know why nobody has the space right now.

Is there someone with a legal background that may see a case that Diedrich has against the landlord? This reminds me of the days when people of a different color had to drink from a different fountain.

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:angry2: Can somebody explain the following to me? Diedrich was kicked off the property against its will because the Salon next door agreed to move into. Both parties agree this is what happened regardless of who stole what from whom. Now, as I drive by the location, there is a "for lease" sign. The salon doesn't appear to be moving in.

So if the place is up for lease with no tenant, why was Diedrich not told "hey, you know what, the salon isn't moving in after all. You can keep your space since you want it."

Isn't there space on the opposite side of the salon that is available for lease?

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The for lease sign, that is hanging on the post in front of where Diedrich's was, is for the furniture store on the other side of the Salon. That sign has been up for a long time, the furniture store I understand has found another location.

I peeped inside of where Diedrich's was and the bar is gone, they appear to be remodeling.

I know each side, the Upper Hand Salon, Property Manager, and Diedrich's all were threathing each other with law suits. Now since Diedrich's is gone, if anything comes of it, they would only know, for now. The Property Manager, definitly had the intent, of signing a lease with Diedrich's, that is shown by him e-mailing Dirk a copy of the lease to review & sign.

It certaining is true that, that center needs more parking, and that effects all the tenants.

Many great ships go down quietly, I am glad this ship made a big splash, on it's way down.

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Thank you, that makes more sense. To the previous poster, I don't think the space across the street is the issue. It was the ambience of the store that made all the difference. That location across the street is ugly. There is no fountain, and it would be a step down. I don't even think parking is an improvement there. I can't see any advantage it has.

Is it just me, or is anyone else going to boycott this property? I know "innocent" tenants will suffer, but that's what our government does to the innocent citizens of tyrant governments. It's my only recourse, and I would feel sick to my stomach knowing that some fraction of my money will be lining the pockets of the company that kicked out my favorite coffeehouse against its will.

Is anyone else willing to boycot this property? If not, I'll just be all by myself. Still, that's a few dollar less for these unethical bastards. :angry2:

The for lease sign, that is hanging on the post in front of where Diedrich's was, is for the furniture store on the other side of the Salon. That sign has been up for a long time, the furniture store I understand has found another location.

I peeped inside of where Diedrich's was and the bar is gone, they appear to be remodeling.

I know each side, the Upper Hand Salon, Property Manager, and Diedrich's all were threathing each other with law suits. Now since Diedrich's is gone, if anything comes of it, they would only know, for now. The Property Manager, definitly had the intent, of signing a lease with Diedrich's, that is shown by him e-mailing Dirk a copy of the lease to review & sign.

It certaining is true that, that center needs more parking, and that effects all the tenants.

Many great ships go down quietly, I am glad this ship made a big splash, on it's way down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Houston Chroncile article, November 11, 2006

I didn't see this article, I guess I was out of town.

Business

Jennifer Gonzalez-Reinhart, left, and Anastasia Pappas curl up with coffee and their work at Diedrich Coffee on Westheimer before the hangout closed last week. The details of what led to the lease not being renewed are not clear.

Carlos Antonio Rios: Chronicle

PLAY | BACK | NEXT

Nov. 12, 2006, 2:03AM

Community hangout

Coffeehouse's 10-year run in same spot is over; tenant wanted to stay, but landlord has final say

Popular or not, the lease is up

By DAVID KAPLAN

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

RESOURCES

More on small business

Q&A: Know routes that can lead to funding

Resources For the past 10 years, Diedrich Coffee on Westheimer has had a huge following. Many of its regulars considered it the most beautiful and pleasing coffeehouse in Houston. The thriving business doubled as an unofficial neighborhood community center.

Last Sunday, it shut down.

Its lease was not renewed, and Diedrich owner Dirk Smith said he doesn't know why.

Smith said he was about to sign a new lease until landlord Bradford Schmalfuss, vice president of T-Con Properties, suddenly changed his mind with no explanation. Smith said he is perplexed because Schmalfuss once told him that Diedrich was the center's best tenant, although Schmalfuss denies ever saying that.

"It's our decision who our tenants are" and "what the community feels is irrelevant," Schmalfuss said.

A decade of popularity

Diedrich Coffee, located in the Winlow Westheimer District, has been a popular hangout for 10 years.

It served as an informal study hall for neighboring Lanier Middle School students and teachers, as well as undergraduate, medical and law school students from across the city.

Sometimes, however, the community's and the landlord's wishes are different.

The Upper Hand, a salon and spa next door, will expand into the soon-to-be-vacated Diedrich space.

A flier distributed by a Diedrich customer implied that the landlord and Upper Hand jointly forced out the coffeehouse, but the Upper Hand's owner said it isn't true.

"It makes us look like corporate moguls pushing Diedrich out," owner Rachel Gower said, but in fact, she and her husband, Brian Williard, learned that the space was becoming vacant after Schmalfuss decided not to renew Smith's lease, and only then did they get the idea to expand, she said.

T-Con's attorney, Alex Cosculluela, offered three reasons Diedrich's lease isn't being renewed:

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