Photo courtesy of Freebird

Houston shoppers now have two more reasons to visit the Houston Galleria for the ultimate retail experience. The bustling shopping center, which is always busy despite mall naysayers, has added two in-demand names to its already impressive lineup.

Iconic Swiss luxury brand Bally and Colorado-based bootmaker Freebird have set up shop in Houston's shopping mecca, in time for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and spring fashion hunts.

Bally has been making waves on the luxury leather goods market since 1851. Their iconic leather shoes are handcrafted in Casiano Switzerland by a team of multi-generational artisans. What started with shoes has since turned into a full collection of bags, accessories and ready-to-wear pieces for both men and women.

Shoppers can pursue the latest collection of Bally jewelry and the debut of the brand's Spring/Summer 2023 collection by creative director Rhuigi Villasenor. Their Galleria outpost is located on level 1 near the Galleria Financial Center.

Freebird kicks up in Houston just in time for rodeo season. Freebird boots aren't run of the mill cowboy boots; the Colorado-based brand is known for their hand finished and detailed boots and booties. Look for funky designs with distressed leather, exotic skins, and expandable back lacing panels — making many of their styles size inclusive.

The new store, located on Level 1 between Macy's and Nordstrom, is fully stocked with their spring and summer collection. For those looking for a unique western moment, highlights include peep-toe booties and multi-strap styles.

Galleria regulars can also expect a change to the mall footprint with several stores relocating or opening up in temporary spaces during renovations. Prada, Saint Laurent, and Burberry will be temporarily relocated on levels one and two, while athleisure favorite Lululemon has new permanent digs on level two between Galleria Financial Center and Neiman Marcus.

women wearing boots

Photo courtesy of Freebird

Freebird makes its Houston debut at the Galleria.

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Dim sum destination Kim Son — Stafford and Houston pho favorite announce surprising shutters

2 vietnamese restaurants shutter

Two prominent Vietnamese restaurants announced they will close by the end of the month. Both Kim Son’s Stafford location and Pho Binh by Night will soon serve their final meals.

Kim Son revealed in a social media post that its location in The Fountains shopping center will close this Sunday, September 24. Open since 1999, the restaurant is Kim Son’s third location, joining its original location in EaDo and a restaurant in Chinatown.

“This decision was not made lightly, and it comes with mixed emotions,” the statement reads in part. “We have cherished every moment of serving you, creating memorable dining experiences, and being part of your celebrations and gatherings.”

Kim Son COO Tao La told the Houston Chronicle that the company chose to close the Stafford location due to a proposed rent increase from the landlord. Known for its lively dim sum service, the restaurant has been a staple for diners through Stafford, Sugar Land, and Missouri City.

To partially compensate for the closure, Kim Son’s Chinatown location (10603 Bellaire Blvd) will begin serving dim sum for lunch on October 2.

Pho Binh by Night will close Sunday, October 1, one week after Kim Son, according to a social media post announcing the closure.

“This decision was extremely hard for us to make as we have fed off of this foundation for so long,” the post reads in part. “The challenges we’ve faced in recent times have made it increasingly difficult to continue our journey. It is heart-wrenching to bid farewell to a place that has been our passion and purpose for so long.”

Open since 2010, Pho Binh by Night continued the legacy of the original Pho Binh Trailer that recently closed after 40 years in business. The restaurant’s well-seasoned broth — which could be upgraded with an optional side of bone marrow — and late night hours made it popular with members of Houston’s restaurant community.

James Beard Award winner Justin Yu visited the restaurant for an episode of the Youtube series “Worth It” that’s garnered more than 11 million views since it debuted in 2018. He explained why he drove from his downtown restaurant Theodore Rex to the western edge of Chinatown to visit Pho Binh Night.

“It’s such a clean broth. They’ve obviously taken the time to blanch the bones or skim the bones,” he says. Later, he adds, “This broth is perfect.”

Although both Pho Binh’s original location recently closed and Pho Binh by Night is closing soon, Houstonians still have four other locations at which to dine. They’re all run by different members of the same extended family.

Country star Kane Brown and his biceps set to land in Houston as part of new 'In the Air' tour

big daddy kane

Country singer Kane Brown will return to the road in 2024 with the 29-city In the Air tour, which will culminate with a stop at Toyota Center on April 28.

Starting on March 28 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the tour will play 2-3 shows a week through the beginning of June at arenas, including in Houston on April 28 and Austin on April 29. He'll end his tour in Arlington, Texas on September 14.

For the final five shows on the tour, Brown will switch to stadiums, including the last show at Globe Life Field. Brown will be joined by Tyler Hubbard and Parmalee in both Houston and Austin.

Just like his previous Drunk or Dreaming Tour, which he just finished in early September, Brown will be touring in support of his 2022 album, Different Man. Although it was the first of his three albums not to go to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts (it charted at No. 2), it still notched four top 10 songs.

The new tour's title, In the Air, is a reference to Brown's new single, “I Can Feel It,” which samples Phil Collins’ legendary drum solo and single from “In the Air Tonight.”

Fans can register now at kanebrownmusic.com for the artist pre-sale starting on Tuesday, September 26 at 10 am ET time. Tickets forthe tourwill go on-sale to the general public onThursday, September 28 at 10 am local time.


  • Thursday, March 28, 2024: Charlottesville, VA, John Paul Jones Arena
  • Friday, March 29, 2024: Pittsburgh, PA, PPG Paints Arena
  • Saturday, March 30, 2024: Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024, Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
  • Friday, April 5, 2024: Toronto, ON, Scotiabank Arena
  • Saturday, April 6, 2024: Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024: Kansas City, MO, T-Mobile Center
  • Friday, April 12, 2024: Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
  • Thursday, April 18, 2024: Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
  • Friday, April 19, 2024: Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
  • Saturday, April 20, 2024: Grand Forks, ND, Alerus Center
  • Friday, April 26, 2024: Lubbock, TX, United Supermarkets Arena
  • Saturday, April 27, 2024: Houston, Toyota Center
  • Sunday, April 28, 2024: Austin, TX, Moody Center
  • Thursday, May 9, 2024: Eugene, OR, Matthew Knight Arena
  • Friday, May 10, 2024: Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
  • Saturday, May 11, 2024: Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
  • Friday, May 17, 2024: Salt Lake City, UT, Delta Center
  • Saturday, May 18, 2024: Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
  • Sunday, May 19, 2024: Tempe, AZ, Boots In The Park
  • Thursday, May 30, 2024: Orlando, FL, Amway Center
  • Friday, May 31, 2024: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
  • Saturday, June 1, 2024: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
  • Friday, June 7, 2024: Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
  • Saturday, June 8, 2024: Atlanta, GA, State Farm Arena
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024: Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
  • Saturday, July 20, 2024: Boston, MA, Fenway Park
  • Friday, August 16, 2024: Seattle, WA, T-Mobile Park
  • Saturday, August 24, 2024: Los Angeles, CA, BMO Stadium
  • Friday, September 6, 2024: Denver, CO, Coors Field
  • Saturday, September 14, 2024: Arlington, TX, Globe LIfe Field

Rice University opens newest and largest campus research facility in Houston

research @ rice

As the academic year officially kicks off, professors have started moving in and Rice University has opened its largest core campus research facility, The Ralph S. O’Connor Building for Engineering and Science.

The 250,000-square-foot building is the new home for four key research areas at Rice: advanced materials, quantum science and computing, urban research and innovation, and the energy transition. The university aims for the space to foster collaboration and innovation between the disciplines.

"To me it really speaks to where Rice wants to go as we grow our research endeavors on campus," Michael Wong, Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, whose lab is located in the new facility, said in a video from Rice. "It has to be a mix of engineering and science to do great things. We don’t want to do good things, we want to do great things. And this building will allow us to do that."

At $152 million, the state-of-the-art facility features five floors of labs, classrooms and seminar rooms. Common spaces and a cafe encourage communication between departments, and the top level is home to a reception suite and outdoor terrace with views of the Houston skyline.

It replaces 1940s-era Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory on campus, which was demolished in 2021 to make way for the new facilities. The iconic sculpture "Energy" by Rice alumnus William McVey that was part of the original building was preserved with plans to incorporate it into the new space.

The new building was dedicated to its namesake Ralph O'Connor on September 14 in Rice's engineering quad. O'Connor, a Johns Hopkins University grad, became a fan Rice when he moved to Houston to work in the energy industry in the 1950s.


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