Photo by David Shutts Photography

Attendees of the 6th Annual Champions for Recovery Breakfast will hear a story of recovery, honor the Hamill Foundation for their years of support, and become champions for recovery themselves.

All proceeds from the event go directly to sustaining programming, helping participants reach recovery milestones without the fear of cost getting in the way.

Courtesy of The Rado Market

Game-changing market and restaurant opens in historic Eldorado Ballroom serving farm-to-table fare and goods

it's rad

Chef Chris Williams has unveiled his latest project. The Rado Market is now open in the Third Ward for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner.

Located at the historic Eldorado Ballroom at the corner of Elgin and Emancipation (2310 Elgin St.), the Rado Market, which joins restaurants Lucille’s and the upcoming Late August as part of Lucille’s Hospitality Group, serves many purposes.

As its name implies, it’s a grocery store-style market that sells produce grown at the farm in Kendleton, Texas operated by Lucille’s 1913, Williams’ nonprofit that feeds underserved Houstonians as well as sauces, pickles, and other preserved items made by the nonprofit. In addition, the market sells prepared goods from Black-owned businesses such as Beeing Murray Honey, B’Tween Sandwich Co., Houston Sauce Co., and So Home Collective home goods).

The retail section also includes wine and beer that’s been curated by Lucille’s Hospitality’s employees and friends such as Project Row Houses board member Anita Smith and KTSU general manager Ernest Walker. Third Ward bookstore Kindred Spirits maintains a section of cookbooks written by Black chefs and other culinary leaders. Williams has contributed a few titles from his personal collection as well. Ultimately, Rado Market plans to feature a different cookbook each month along with ingredients to make its recipes.

If that weren’t enough, Rado also operates a counter service restaurant that serves breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, and more made with the same produce and other ingredients grown or created by Lucille’s 1913. In the morning, look for breakfast tacos and hot rolls that are made with a recipe created by Williams’ great-grandmother, culinary pioneer Lucille Bishop Smith.

Lunch starts with sandwiches, including fried green tomato, spiced turkey melt, and a Southern dip made with braised beef cheeks. Salad options include a chopped salad made with jerk chicken, egg, and avocado as well as the Kendleton Harvest with kale, greens, strawberries, and more.

“I love Local Foods in Rice Village. I love everything about it, that great little counter service market with artisanal products on the shelves. It’s a unique shopping experience,” Williams told CultureMap in April. “It’s very high end, very niche. I wanted to bring that model to Third Ward.”

Rado Market is only one of the new concepts on the Eldorado Ballroom property. Hogan Brown Gallery recently unveiled its first collection of works by local artists that’s titled Six Degrees of Separation. The Eldorado Ballroom itself will host musical performances and other happenings.

“I don’t even have words for how honored and grateful we are for the opportunity. It’s huge,” Williams added. “The history is huge. It taps into everything I love and I personally think is so important for the greater community . . . It’s about ownership. For the community to take ownership of this, I think the opportunity will be deep.”

Rado Market is open from 7 am - 7 pm Tuesday-Friday and 8 am - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. It’s closed on Monday.

Rado Market turkey melt

Courtesy of The Rado Market

Rado Market's spiced turkey melt.

Courtesy of Love Croissants

Talented Houston chef opens first bakery serving exquisite, freshly baked croissants and pastries in Midtown

feel the love

For chef Omar Pereney, what started as a hobby making pastries has become Love Croissants — a growing business that sells baked goods at the Urban Harvest farmers market and a growing group of local coffee shops. Now, the business is ready to take the next step by opening its first retail location this Wednesday, July 19.

Love Croissants

Courtesy of Love Croissants

Love Croissants is opening its retail shop this week.

Located in the bakery space at Weights + Measures in Midtown (2808 Caroline St.), the Love Croissants shop will operate Wednesday through Sunday from 7 am until 2 pm (or sold out). Initially, Pereney learned to make croissants by watching videos and consulting with friends as a form of stress relief, but now the business has grown to 11 employees.

While Pereney says he appreciates the time selling at markets to refine the concept, the ability to serve people freshly baked pastries that haven’t been exposed to heat and humidity outdoors is something he’s particularly excited about.

“With croissants in particular, of course the ingredients and technique have to be great, but what is really the secret is freshness. If you know the ingredients and the technique, it’s not rocket science,” Pereney tells CultureMap.

“It has to be fresh. It’s like a pizza. A croissant is not supposed to be eaten the next day or baked at 3 am and enjoying at 3 pm. That’s a f*cking day-old croissant.”

As for the decision to open at Weights + Measures, it came down to Pereney’s existing relationship with Xavier and Mari Godoy, the couple who purchased the restaurant from its former owners earlier this year. He respects the work that the couple, who also own Mastrantos in the Heights, have done to breathe new life into the Midtown brunch staple.

The setup will allow Love Croissants to bake fresh batches throughout the day, which means customers will also have a pastry that’s no more than a couple hours old. Just as it does at the markets, the bakery will display that day’s selection on a counter for people to say. When they sell out, diners either have to watch for the next batch or come back the next day. It may not be the traditional American approach to bakery operations, but Pereney thinks his customers will appreciate the model.

“For people who come from overseas or have lived in Europe or some countries in South America, we’re used to buying bread at a certain time of day,” he says. “We don’t see that as much here. A lot of people will tell you we’re shocked by buying bread in grocery stores. We don’t understand the whole bagged bread concept.”

The lineup may vary a bit from day to day, but diners can expect to find flavors such as traditional butter, pan au chocolat, ham and asiago, almond-cardamom, turkey and goat cheese, and the Crolache — jalapeño-cheddar beef sausage with cheddar. It will also stock sweet and savory tarts such as blueberry with key lime curd and a new tomato tart that Pereney says “needs to go live.”

Tenfold Coffee has supplied Pereney with two blends of drip coffee that Love Croissants will serve — one designed to pair with sweet croissants and another for savory. It will also serve freshly squeezed orange juice and hot chocolate.

Of course, Love Croissants will continue to sell at the markets and a select group of coffee shops that includes Tenfold, Fourth & Nomad, Refuge, Fifth Vessel, Un Caffè, and The Coffee House at West End. He’s also still working his day job as the owner of Culinary Matters, a consulting firm that works with restaurants.

“It’s a very exciting project. I can’t believe it took me so long to get off my ass and do something,” Pereney says with a laugh. Later, he adds, “I’m enjoying it. It’s more difficult than consulting and more cash intense, but I’m having fun at both.”

Photo by Carla Gomez

Favorite local kolache and pastry shoppe abruptly shutters north Houston location

Shoppe Shutters

A Houston kolache favorite’s expansion to Kingwood has come to an abrupt end. The Kolache Shoppe closed its franchise location on Sunday, July 2, the restaurant announced.

Opened last November in the Main Street Kingwood mixed-use development (4521 Kingwood Dr.), the bakery and cafe was the first franchised location for Kolache Shoppe owners Randy and Lucy Hines. A number of factors contributed to the decision to close after only eight months of operations.

“Unfortunately, we experienced several unanticipated challenges, including operational, geographic, and financial, which hindered our ability to perform well in the Kingwood market,” Randy Hines said in response to CultureMap’s request for comment. “Specifically traffic flow and suboptimal visibility of the location, but also building costs which skyrocketed, leaving less operating capital for our franchisees.”

While the Kingwood location has served its last kolache, the Hines are moving forward with plans to open a new franchised location in Pearland. Announced in February, it will open this summer in Pearland’s Broadway Plaza shopping center at 11940 Broadway St.

“Pearland truly is a special place, and we can’t wait to introduce our kolaches to the vibrant community there,” Hines said. “Looking ahead, we are filled with anticipation for the future and excited to announce that another new location is also on the horizon. We can’t wait to share the details soon.”

Open since 1970, Kolache Shoppe is known for its Czech-inspired, sweet and savory pastries that come with both traditional fruit toppings and a wide array of meat fillings. The bakery’s stores in the Heights and Greenway Plaza, both of which are owned by the Hines, remain open and are unaffected by the Kingwood location’s closure.

Photo by Pop Studios PR

Blooming Bellaire cafe gets edged out by Philly eatery on Good Morning America's big breakfast battle finale

a winner in our hearts

A Bellaire restaurant came up a little short in its quest to serve America’s best breakfast. Although Good Morning America did not select Dandelion Cafe’s chicken and waffle as the winner of its United States of Breakfast competition, the restaurant stood tall on the national stage.

A panel of celebrity judges — consisting of lifestyle expert Carson Kressley, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, chef Leah Cohen, and TV food personality Adam Richman — awarded the title, and a check for $10,000, to the pastrami, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich prepared by Philadelphia restaurant Middle Child.

Represented by its owners, husband-and-wife chef JC Ricks and founder Sarah Lieberman, Dandelion earned a vote from Corcoran. Richman waffled (sorry) between Dandelion and Middle Child before siding with Kressley and voting for the pastrami sandwich.

“I’m a Brooklyn guy. I practice the Jew-craft. I’m telling you, the pastrami — for me to give Philly love on pastrami, it’s remarkable,” Richman said during the segment.

Boston’s North Street Grill earned Cohen’s vote for its Banana Bourbon French Toast. Cleveland’s Grumpy’s Cafe served a breakfast hash.

As a reminder, Dandelion advanced to the competition’s finals by besting Midtown favorite The Breakfast Klub in a chicken and waffle battle. Chef Ricks tells CultureMap that he created his recipe — a cornbread-buttermilk waffle that’s topped with a spicy maple butter and paired with a 24-hour marinated chicken that’s breaded in a mix of rice and all-purpose flour — specifically for the show. Dandelion has been serving (and selling out of) its chicken and waffle all week.

"We may not have taken home the grand prize, but we still consider this journey and surreal experience to be a huge win for us," Ricks said in a statement "We are extremely proud to represent our city in front of the country and hold the title of best breakfast in Houston, and it's absolutely a win in our book to be in the top four breakfast spots in America. We can't wait to get back to Houston to serve you all."

Dandelion is poised to build on the momentum of this week's media attention. The restaurant has identified a location in the Heights that will allow it to expand to a second location. Details on the address and timing will be released in the coming weeks.

Dandelion Cafe Good Morning America

Photo by Pop Studios PR

Owners JC Ricks and Sarah Lieberman represented Dandelion Cafe.

Watch the whole segment in the clip below:


Good Morning America crowns Bellaire cafe local winner of 'United States of Breakfast' competition

winner winner, chicken — and waffles

Houston has a new king of chicken and waffles. Good Morning Americaselected Dandelion Cafe as the winner of its “United States of Breakfast” competition.

Held on the morning of Monday, June 26 at Saint Arnold Brewing Company, the battle featured Midtown favorite The Breakfast Klub competing with Dandelion Cafe, the Bellaire coffee shop and cafe that opened in 2016, in a chicken and waffle showdown. A panel of judges — including Food Network star Eddie Jackson, ABC13 report Erica Simon, and former Houston Texans star Owen Daniels — picked the winner.

Represented by owner Marcus Davis, The Breakfast Klub served its classic, Creole-spiced chicken and waffle that has been a Houston favorite for more than 20 years. Dandelion Cafe owners Sarah Lieberman and chef J.C. Ricks countered with a cornbread waffle and chorizo-spiced fried chicken that they topped with a spicy maple compound butter and dusted with powdered sugar.

“Two totally different chicken and waffles, [Dandelion] has more of a sweet and heat combination, and this compound butter with a little chili kick is everything,” Jackson said.

By a two-to-one vote, the judges selected Dandelion to advance to the finals on Friday in New York City, where they’ll compete with winners from Cleveland, Boston, and Philadelphia. The winner will take home $10,000.

Last year, Good Morning America selected Trill Burgers as the winner of its “Ultimate Burger Spot” in a similar, four-city battle. The victory helped pave the way for the smash burger concept’s recent brick and mortar opening.

Watch the full segment below:

\u200bChef JC Ricks, Sarah Lieberman, and daughter Juniper win the golden cup on Good Morning America.

Chef JC Ricks, Sarah Lieberman, and daughter Juniper win the golden cup on Good Morning America.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Mega-celebrity photographer of Beyoncé's all-time favorite portrait holds court in Houston to honor Queen Bey

royal portraits

Only a select few humans — ever — have been photographed as often as pop culture’s undisputed queen, Beyoncé, over her illustrious, 26-year career. Even at her young age, Houston’s queen possesses a singular trait that elevates her above even the most apex celebrities: immortality.

Just how do the ultra-famous unlock the loftiest achievement of immortality? For many, it’s often through a single, transcendent photograph, which can transform a performer into an icon — and rocket a mere mortal into immortal status. And few photographers on the planet can bestow immortality on the globally famous like A-list artisan Markus Klinko.

To celebrate Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour homecoming — and his now legendary photos of her over the years — Klinko will meet fans from 1 pm to 3 pm Saturday, September 23 at Tootsies for a showcase of some of his most famed works — including the ultra-rare Beyoncé “Diamond Dust” series, on view at Nicole Longnecker Gallery.

A statuesque, towering presence (he’s six-foot-four) with chiseled features and a flair for fashion, the Swiss-born Klinko looks every part a celeb himself. That star quality has no doubt helped him break the ice when photographing superstars like our Beyoncé, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Naomi Campbell, and Iman — to name a few. Not a bad resume for a former professional classical harp soloist who — sort of amazingly — only fell into photography after a hand injury (more on that later).

Before she became a one-word brand, Beyoncé Knowles was just 22 when she experienced Klinko’s wizardry firsthand in 2003. Already drawing It Girl attention as a member of Destiny’s Child, the young Houstonian had met Klinko during a Destiny’s Child photo shoot for Vibe magazine in 2000. With his trademark, sixth-sense for superstardom, Klinko pointed to Beyoncé while she was lounging with the group and told her mother, Tina Knowles, “Her, she’s going to be huge.” Tina’s response: “We know.”

Three years later, Sony reunited Beyoncé and Klinko to shoot the cover of Dangerously in Love, Beyoncé’s now legendary 2003 debut solo album. The match, now, seems predestined: both Beyoncé and Knowles were in the early stages of their careers. Beyoncé and Klinko vibed immediately, and in a simple snap of his Fuji camera, Klinko shot the stunning and shimmering photo that Queen Bey recently told French newspaper Le Figaro is her most favorite of any portrait taken of her.

Staying true to his organic, in-the-moment approach, Klinko flawlessly captured Beyoncé’s effortless pose in her now-famed diamond top and created one of music’s most iconic celebrity photos and yes, helped cement Beyoncé’s immortal status. And it only cost him his pants. (More on that later, too.)

CultureMap caught up with Klinko ahead of his Houston appearance and fresh off the opening of his latest installation: His celebrity images are on display at the legendary Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in, naturally, the vaunted Elvis Presley Suite. Perfect timing, then, for Klinko to star as a cover model in the familiar Tootsies window displays.

CultureMap: Congratulations on landing the Tootsies window display. It looks gorgeous.

Markus Klinko: Oh yeah, it’s spectacular, isn’t it?

CM: Quite! So, what’s it like seeing yourself as one of the main features of an exhibit — as opposed to being behind the camera?

MK: You know, I’ve never been in the window of a major fashion department store, so this is pretty fun.

CM: Never in the window, but you’ve certainly been the focal point of attention as an acclaimed harpist.

MK: Yes, I started my life on the ‘other’ side, and as you say, as a classical concert harpist. I was signed to EMI Classics and represented by Colombia Artists and traveling around the world making recordings. I was on television very often and on magazine covers and all that throughout my 20s and early 30s — everything from Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar and GQ and all those fashion magazines for which I later worked as a photographer. So it’s not completely. new. But this is sort of a different twist.

CM: You clearly had an understanding of being in the spotlight, and the butterflies-in-the-stomach pressure to put on a great performance and give of yourself to an audience. Did that experience help you relate to your celebrity performer subjects in a way that just maybe a Mark Seliger or an Annie Leibovitz — not disparaging either — could not? Do you have a window into these performers’ worlds where they relate to you, and you to them?

MK: You know, that’s an amazing question and I’m glad you’re asking me this.

I switched from my classical music career, which was very successful at that time, to becoming a photographer at 33 under dramatic circumstances. It was tragic; basically a hand injury forced me to abandon my career at the height of my success in the summer of 1994.

I was forced to cancel recording sessions, touring engagements and all of that. I had no clue where my income would be coming from, so it was not like the happiest moment in my life. It was actually sort of a panic-stricken time.

CM: And then came the moment.

MK: Yes, I had this epiphany that I will become a fashion photographer, actually had no intention at all to ever become a celebrity photographer. In the beginning of my photo career, I was 100-percent interested only in shooting models — mainly female models to be honest. I would have liked to be a Playboy magazine photographer or something.

So in other words, I just wanted to have fun. It was the last thought on my mind to help other musicians succeed.

CM: You almost seem like you were dragged into fashion and celebrity photography.

MK: A few years into my photo career, around 1999, I was still completely focused on shooting models, models, models. I wasconfronted with proposals from record labels and magazines to shoot covers for them. And I distinctly remember telling my agent at the time that I was not interested and that why would I shoot musicians, when I could just shoot models who are more beautiful in general. And that was that.

CM: And how did that go over?

MK: At some point my agent picked up the phone and screamed at me and said, ‘Markus, you’re an idiot! We have record companies wanting to pay you $100,000 a day and you would rather shoot some girl.’ And I said, ‘Okay, fine, I’ll try it.’ My first record cover shoot was Vitamin C; at that moment she had the biggest hit of the year.

I asked my friends from Interview magazine to style it and she was lovely and I had no problem with it. But about a month later, I got up in the morning and I went to the gym. As I walked through the streets of New York, there were thousands and thousands of posters of Vitamin. I saw my image of Vitamin C a million times on the way to the gym. And I was like, ‘Hmm, that’s not so bad.’

A couple of months later, GQ called me from the UK and wanted me to shoot these different celebrities. And I told GQ — it was very funny — I said under one condition, I’ll shoot the celebrity you want me to shoot, but I want you to let me shoot some nude girl for the centerfold of GQ. And they just said, ‘Okay, whatever you want.’ So I invented the GQ Pin Up 2000 and for a whole year as a reward of shooting some British pop star girl for them — who I couldn’t care less but whatever, I did it. But then I shot Little Kim and Molly Sims and a bunch of really big models and supermodels.

CM: And then you shoot the world’s biggest supermodel, Iman, for her book, which leads to shooting a rock god David Bowie — her husband — for his now-famous album cover [Heathens, 2002] in 2001. Talk about a word-of-mouth reference.

MK: By that time, I was already inundated with. requests from labels. I shot nonstop for different labels and then Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez. That all came as a reaction basically to that first celebrity shoot with Vitamin C, and I guess just my style. The way I shot models was very different from what was in fashion at the time. I just sort of did my own thing. And that really appealed to major advertising record covers, iconic photo shoots, big comeback shoots for artists like Mariah. Mariah really needed a big comeback shoot in 2005 when she launched The Emancipation of Mimi.

CM: Let’s go back to that magical moment in 2003 when you shot perhaps the most legendary photo of Beyoncé ever.

MK: Sony music called me and they said, 'Beyonce from Destiny’s Child is going solo and she requested you shoot her album cover. Apparently, you had worked with her before for Destiny’s Child and she wanted to only work with you for this.'

So then, Sony Music organized a phone call between me, Beyoncé, the Sony team, and her mom Tina [Knowles] who was styling it. Beyoncé on the phone mentioned specifically my photograph of Leticia Costa, the French supermodel and actor in the "Spider Web" shot. And she said she really loved that photo — She called it the Diamond Spider or something. And she said she would love something like that, but smaller on her. And to be honest, I had no idea what that meant, but I was just like, 'Okay.'

Fast forward to a week later when the photo shoot actually happened and they arrived in the morning. I noticed that there was this diamond top and I grabbed it and I went up to Beyoncé. I said, 'This is exactly what you were talking about. We could do this.' And then she said, 'Oh yeah, I was thinking about it, but my mom has these skirts and I don’t wanna wear those because it reminds me of a prom and I don’t wanna look like a prom on my album cover.'

And I said, 'Yeah, of course not. Let’s do it with denim.' And then Beyonce said, 'No, we don’t have any, we didn’t bring any denim.'

CM: And then...?

MK: And so I said, 'Oh, don’t worry, maybe you’ll fit into mine.' And she said, 'Oh, really? Can I try them?' And so that’s the story.

CM: I’m guessing you had another pair handy?

MK: Oh, sure, I just grabbed another pair from upstairs I had. You know, back then and until now, my favorite pair of jeans are always DNG — Dolce & Gabbana.

CM: I love the story of how she returned them to you.

MK: She brought them back a couple months later. She had dry cleaned them and she packed them into some sort silk paper thing and a ribbon. She brought him back and said, 'Please don’t sell them on eBay, ever.' And she laughed.

I thought that was really sweet and I just took them and I put them somewhere. This is crazy, but I’m actually talking to Botswana Diamond Dealers to fill up a bathtub at the Vegas suite and to put those Beyoncé jeans into the bling bathtub as a joke. You know, almost as a shrine.

CM: Markus, it certainly seems to me that right when you looked through the viewer and fired off that exposure, she went from Beyoncé Knowles from Houston, Texas to the immoral global brand all in one second.

MK: You are right, yes. Absolutely she did. I had a jolt in my, in my whole body when that moment happened. And I told her that right then as soon as I clicked that shot. I said, 'We got the cover, you’ll see.' There's alternate shots of that, which are all beautiful, and some of them will be in Houston.

CM: It seems you predicted her future while announcing her to the world. Is that fair to say?

MK: Well, the way I see it is with that image, I sort of anticipated who Beyoncé was going to become. I think that my job that day was to take a young girl from Houston, Texas, a member of an R&B group, and present to the world who she will be. And she would have become that regardless of whatever I did photographically, because she’s such an enormous, enormously talented musician and performer and icon. She’s a great actress. But, my opportunity was to showcase to the world quickly and immediately who she will be. And so that’s what I’m proud of.

CM: You have shot countless celebrity portraits — many the most memorable of said celebrity, like Britney Spears. How does it feel to hear that your 2003 shot is Queen Bey’s favorite of all time?

MK: The fact that Beyoncé is probably the biggest celebrity in the world today, and having photographed the most famous photo — of the most famous celebrity — is an honor that I take with great humility. I’m not saying that to show off — I’m saying that to thank God for the opportunity. I am glad that Beyoncé loves the photo so much. I’m glad that the world recognizes it as her most famous photo: It's been said many, many times that it is the most recognizable Beyoncé photo. So I'm very honored that people feel that way about it.

CM: What do you remember of the Beyoncé then, and the Beyoncé you've worked with since for other projects?

MK: I remember Beyoncé and being around her, seeing her as an extremely kind, very humble, very normal person. I’ve never felt any sort of diva behavior from her. Beyoncé was just really, really nice and normal. And she’s extremely hardworking, obviously extremely talented, not just with music and singing and acting, but also in the process of collaboration of a visual product such as these photographs I’ve done with her. She’s a very, very good collaborator.

There are people who are very famous, especially actors who sometimes, in front of the still camera, feel awkward. Sometimes comedians and actors need the movement, the momentum, the storytelling, the words in order to showcase their brilliance and their talent.

Not everyone is able in a 2/50th of a second to express all of that, but Beyoncé certainly has that incredible ability and I think that’s innate and subconscious and subliminal. She just knows where the light is coming from and she knows how to position it all in the most phenomenal way. And I guess I subliminally know how to catch it. So it’s really one of those very, very easy collaborations.

CM: Speaking of collaborations, you are able to crystallize a pop icon’s entire era in a single exposure unlike perhaps anyone I’ve ever seen. Did you know that Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lizzo are all from Houston — they all grew up just a mere 30 minutes from each other.

MK: Wow, I did not know that.

CM: Yes, we’re home to three of the biggest female pop stars in the world. So I wonder: Megan Thee Stallion is truly in the midst of her moment. Is she someone you’d like to shoot next?

MK: Well, let me answer it this way...I hope that Megan reads your interview, because I absolutely love Megan and I would love to work with her — and they should call me. I love her.

CM: I would be remiss if I didn’t ask: What is your favorite Beyoncé song?

MK: Oh, I would say “Crazy In Love” is one of my favorites. There are obviously many, but I'm probably biased to that album. That's one of my proudest collaborations, so, of course, I’m biased. Can you blame me? [Laughs]

Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Beyonc\u00e9 Dangerously in Love

Courtesy of Markus Klinko

Markus Klinko captured Beyoncé's favorite portrait in 2003 for her Dangerously in Love debut solo album.

Courtesy of Markus Klinko


Countdown to Beyoncé: Trill Burgers shortens hours to serve massive NRG Stadium crowd

respect the beyhive

Since it opened in June, Trill Burgers has been unstoppable. Bun B’s burger joint has seen lines out the door, fed celebrities ranging from Drake to Mike Tyson, and caused literal traffic jams with its drive-thru.

But even a juggernaut like Trill Burgers knows better than to mess with the Beyhive. For this weekend only (September 23 and 24), the Montrose-area restaurant will only be open from 11 am to 2 pm. Operating with such limited hours will allow Trill Burgers to feed the sold out crowds flocking to NRG Stadium for Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour.

“We want to make sure that we have our stations fully stocked so that people don't miss this amazing show that she's bringing,” Bun said in a video posted to social media. “We know the Beyhive don't play and Trill Burgers don't play either.”

In order to ensure people get their burgers as quickly as possible, Trill Burgers is slimming down its menu to only serve beef burgers — sorry, vegans. In addition, it will impose a limit of two burgers per person.

Due to the stage setup, Trill Burgers will only operate two of its usual four stands. They are Sections 135 and 548.

Of course, CultureMap has you covered for everything related to this weekend’s concerts. Don’t miss our guides for what to wear, events celebrating Beyoncé, and the latest traffic and parking info.

Countdown to Beyoncé: Parking, closures, rideshares, and more for NRG Stadium

bey prepared

The countdown is on for Beyoncé's highly anticipated shows in Houston this weekend, and ABC13 has everything you need to know for an easy ride over to NRG Stadium to see Queen Bey.

This weekend's gridlock alert isn't like any other, as more traffic is anticipated than usual in the South Loop area towards the venue on both Saturday and Sunday.

Here's what you need to know:


Drivers, if you decide to park directly at NRG Stadium, know all lots will have $40 cashless parking.

Parking is available in the orange, red, maroon, blue, yellow, green and purple lots. ADA parking is available in all of the lots.

If you're getting a ride, you can get dropped off and picked up at the Yellow Lot. The entrance will be through Gate 16B off Main Street.

METRORail riders can take the Red Line from the Fannin South Lot, which has $20 parking, and get off at the Stadium Park/Astrodome Station exit.EMBED <>MORE VIDEOS

Ready to Renaissance? Here's what you should know before Queen Bey's Houston concerts.

SEE ALSO: Beyoncé's favorite things: 9 places star has stopped before in Houston


But what about getting there on time?

If you're driving in from Fort Bend County or the southwest side, the Southwest Freeway will be closed at the West Loop, so you might want to avoid that.

All mainlanes will be closed starting Friday at 8 p.m. to Monday at 5 a.m. You can use US-90 as your alternate route.

For those coming from the east side, including San Jacinto and all points beyond that along the East Freeway, avoid the East Loop altogether.

You'll see northbound and southbound closures between Market and Clinton Street from 9 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

So, for Saturday night's concert, you can drive toward downtown and south on Highway 288 to catch the West Loop over to NRG Stadium.

If you plan to use METRO to head to NRG, they plan to put more of their trains in service about three hours before the start of Beyoncé's concerts each day.


Continue reading this story on our news partner ABC13.