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Game-changing East End waterfront development welcomes 2 new specialty coffee and retail shops

Game-changing East End waterfront development welcomes 2 new shops

East River Phase One retail rendering
East River phase one will open next year. Courtesy of Midway
East River 9 golf course construction
East River 9 is taking shape. Courtesy of Midway
East River Phase One construction photo
Work continues on East River phase one. Courtesy of Midway
East River Phase One retail rendering
East River 9 golf course construction
East River Phase One construction photo

A  real estate development in the Fifth Ward announced two more tenants that have signed on to the game-changing project. El Condor Coffee Roasters and jewelry shop Tomi will be part of the first phase of East River, real estate development firm Midway's massive project that's slated to open next year along Buffalo Bayou near the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive. 

El Condor comes to Houston via New York. Founders Nicolas Simon and Mucjon Demira bring impressive resumes to the project. Simon worked as an operations director for legendary French chef Alain Ducasse, and their hospitality consulting company Wilcuma has high profile clients like acclaimed New York City cocktail bar Death & Co., Eater New York reports.

Drawing on Simon's French heritage, El Condor serves coffees that are lighter and sweeter than typical American coffee shops. The Houston location will serve El Condor's signature blends, including El Espresso (Brazil + Sumatra), Best Foot Forward (Brazil + Guatemala), and Worka Sakaro (Ethiopia), as well as a new roast created just for Houston. Food options will include freshly baked pastries, breakfast and lunch dishes, and healthy options that utilize local ingredients. Beer and wine will also be available. 

Located near the lobby of East River 1, El Condor aims to satisfy both grab-and-go and dine-in customers. The 1,500-square-foot space will feature power outlets at every seat, fast Wi-Fi, and table service.

"We are thrilled for our outpost at East River to be El Condor's foray into Texas," Simon said in a statement. "The [East River] development is an exciting project that we feel aligns perfectly with our flexible, all-day coffee shop concept, and we can't wait to be a part of this community as well as Houston's blossoming dining scene. We want to thank the trusted team at Midway for giving us this opportunity."

Turning to Tomi, it will occupy 880-square-feet on the ground floor of the development's The Laura apartment building. Founded by two Asian-American women, Tomi describes itself as selling "bold, versatile, mix-and-match pieces" that draw on a range of influences, including its founders' heritage. Made in both the U.S. and Italy, Tomi's pieces are designed to be high quality, affordable, and timeless. 

The company has been popping up at area markets, where it's developed a strong following with both millennials and Gen-Z buyers, according to a release. The East River location will sell pieces such as earrings, bracelets, rings, and more.

In other news, Midway announced that Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, a grocery concept from former Indigo chef Jonny Rhodes, will open a temporary location in a Midway-owned building at 2311 Canal Street. Once construction is complete, it will relocate to its permanent home in East River. Broham will offer an even extensive selection of prepared and cured items, freshly baked breads and pastries, locally sourced meat, seafood, and produce, and more.  

Broham builds upon the mission Rhodes started at Indigo, the neo-soul food restaurant where he earned a James Beard semifinalist nomination and national recognition from publications such as Texas Monthly, Eater, GQ, and Food & Wine. Time magazine included it as one of only seven American restaurants on its list of the World's Greatest Places for 2019.

All three businesses will be located in the first phase of the project, which will cover 26 of the development's 150 acres. They'll join a The Laura (a 360-unit apartment building), office space, and a shopping district with a 13,000-square-foot greenspace.

Work also continues on East River 9. Scheduled to open in September, the concept will feature a 9-hole, par three golf course, driving range, pickleball courts, and Riverhouse Houston, a family-friendly restaurant and bar.