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Photo courtesy of On The Kirb

In-the-know foodies were likely already aware of On the Kirb's commitment to organic, local, and made-from-scratch menu items, but how about that this house-made approach also extends to its bar offerings?

For new spring cocktails like the Gin Weasley, that means organic cane syrup prepared in-house and fresh strawberries and lemon juice to go with the Bombay Sapphire gin, basil, and ginger beer.

A similar situation is found with the Lemon Ginger Basil, which uses the same house-made syrup paired with freshly muddled ginger, basil, lemon juice, tonic, and Grey Goose Le Citron.

You can try these two drinks for $7 each during Happiest Hour from 4-7 pm, Monday through Friday. During those magical hours, red or white wine is $5 by the glass and $16 by the bottle, and Texas draft beer is only $5 so you can display your Lone Star State pride in a pint glass.

As a bonus, you can sample a few of the scratch kitchen's apps, some of which are only available during Happiest Hour. Enjoy a personal-sized portion of Na'acho Nachos and a smaller Margherita, veggie, or pepperoni pizza, or chow down on the house-made chips with salsa rioja and queso before devouring three of the eatery's most popular burgers in slider form.

For $28, nibble at a meat and cheese board with fresh fruit and toasted veggies and a bottle of red or white blend wine, a deal you can only get during this special time.

If you run a little later, pop in for reverse happy hour, where all pizzas and wines are half-off from 10 pm-close. And that pizza? It's formed with artisanal Caputo flour that's imported from Napoli, Italy, and then fermented for three days to ensure an authentic taste.

There are even several vegan and vegetarian options, not only for the pizza but throughout the menu.

Owner Joe Arbeely opened On the Kirb with the goal of giving sports bar-lovers healthier (but still super tasty) options, and the inclusive menu appeals to herbivores and carnivores alike, with antibiotic and hormone-free meats and organic veggies.

Combine all that with awesome outdoor dining areas at each location, and you've got a happy hour situation that's so enticing you might want to show up every day.

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On The Kirb has two locations: 5004 Kirby Dr. in Upper Kirby (713-526-1414) and 2521 Bagby St. in Midtown (281-888-7898).

Enjoy Happiest Hour from 4-7 pm, Monday-Friday.

Photo courtesy of On The Kirb
Enjoy Happiest Hour from 4-7 pm, Monday-Friday.
Photo courtesy of Pour Behavior

Pour Behavior introduces 'Halfy Hour' to hype up your weekdays

The Happiest of Hours

Quick check: Is it a weekday? Then you probably worked really hard, and should reward yourself. Head to Pour Behavior, the 18,000-square-foot sports bar and restaurant where an entire front wall opens out onto a giant patio.

That's the perfect backdrop for sipping new spring cocktails and indulging in the eatery's daily specials, which give each Monday through Friday something new to look forward to.

"Halfy Hour"
Score half-off all cocktails, draft beer, wine, and spirits from 4-7 pm, Monday-Friday. Yes, all of 'em.

You'll especially want to try the Smash N Dash, a mix of Bombay Sapphire gin, tonic, mixed berry puree, sage syrup, lemon juice, and a few dashes of celery bitters, or the Figueroni, which is Bombay Sapphire gin, Cocchi Americano, Aperol, nitro cold brew, and a flamed orange peel.

Get Caught Red Handed (Grey Goose vodka, raspberries, mint leaves, simple syrup, lemon juice, black tea, and ginger beer) or channel tropical vibes with a Mango Coconut Breeze, Berry Caparinha, or frozen Risqué Rita.

The app to end all apps
Feeling nibbly? Order the Sampletizer, a filling assemblage of calamari, chicken wings, fried pickles, onion rings, and spinach artichoke dip, served with your choice of dipping sauces.

Park it
Did we mention there's complimentary valet during Halfy Hour? Because there is, and you should take advantage of it.

And now for the daily specials:

Mondays
Monday are for burgers and brews, with $10 getting you a frosty pint of beer and one of Pour Behavior's scratch-made burgers. Chuck and brisket are ground in-house daily to make such specialty burgers as the South Texas Fire, which combines tomato-bacon jam, avocado-tomatillo salsa, white cheddar, and sambal aioli; and the Caprese, which features mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, pesto, and fig balsamic. Or go vegan with the Aloha or Veg'N Out burgers. Keep the suds coming with $4 draft pints.

Tuesdays
When you're in Texas, Tuesdays are for tacos. Take your pick from slow-cooked carnitas, carne asada, and grilled shrimp and chorizo, all atop tortillas that are prepared from scratch daily. And the best part? Each taco is half-off. Enjoy $5 specials on Tito's and Cazadores.

Wednesdays
You've come to expect wine-down Wednesday, and you'll certainly get that with $5 house wines. But what you weren't expecting was steak night, with a filet and lobster dinner for only $30. You'll want to wear your fancy T-shirt for this.

Thursdays
Ladies, this is your chance to broaden your cocktail horizons, as each craft cocktail is half off all throughout Thursday. Or if you and your squad want to savor some tried-and-true classics, a bottle of wine plus the charcuterie board is only $20.

Fridays
Finally, it's the weekend! Pour Behavior is ready to celebrate with you, offering half off wine and Champagne bottles and half off all pizzas. These aren't your typical American pizzas, mind you — each 12-inch pie is made from artisanal flour that's imported from Naples, Italy, and fermented for three days to ensure an authentic Neopolitan taste.

Saturdays
Brunching is a lifestyle, so post up at Pour Behavior from 11 am-4 pm for $60 mimosa towers. Also be sure to order the Nashville hot chicken biscuits, jumbo cinnamon roll, avocado toast, and breakfast tacos to help balance out the booze. A DJ is in the house playing chill techno music, setting just the right atmosphere.

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Pour Behavior is located in Midtown at 2211 Travis St., and its toll-free phone number is 833-O-BEHAVE.

Order one of everything.

Photo courtesy of Pour Behavior
Order one of everything.
Photo courtesy of Finn Hall

Downtown's biggest patio at massive food hall opens for al fresco fun

hall fresco

Downtown diners who yearn for the great outdoors while whiling away the workday in their high-rise offices and cubicles now have a sunny new option. Finn Hall, one of the originators of the current downtown food hall trend, has opened a new patio in time for al fresco weather.

That means the new outdoor space (712 Main St.) is the downtown district’s largest patio. The outdoor space runs along half of the Jones on Main building (on the Main Street side) and comfortably seats 75.

This comes as the City of Houston rolled out its “More Space: Main Street” program. The initiative allows downtown restaurants to expand their outdoor dining experience by closing select blocks on Main Street to vehicles.

The 20,000 square-foot Finn Hall’s dining and bar concepts are now open. They include:

  • Pho Binh from Kevin Pham & Di Nguyen
  • Papalo Taqueria from Stephanie Velazquez and Nicolas Vera
  • Lit Chicken from Ross Coleman and James Haywood
  • Greenway Coffee from Ecky and Niken Prabanto
  • Yong from Daniel Ajtai
  • Pizza Zquare from Francisco Sierra
  • Dish Society from Aaron Lyons
  • Swallow’s Nest Bar

Open for breakfast, lunch and happy hour, the popular destination has recently started hosting All Access Art Markets, Live Music Lunches, Jazz Nights, food pop-ups, and more.

As CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler noted, Finn Hall was the first of four new food halls coming to downtown, joining Bravery Chef Hall, Understory, and the mysterious and upcoming Lyric Market. Finn Hall went through a reboot in 2020, upping its culinary and value game.

“We are proud to officially unveil our patio and fully reopen Finn Hall as the Houston Rodeo launches and employees return to downtown,” said Hunain Dada, of Lionstone Investments, in a statement.

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Finn Hall; 712 Main St. (parking garage on 803 Fannin St.); 713-357-5115 or www.finnhallhou.com

Photo courtesy of Pour Behavior

Houston's hottest bar + eatery hypes up happy hour and daily specials

Cheers, Y'all

Hungry Houstonians are eager to (finally) get out of the house, and what better place to celebrate your return to society than happy hour at Pour Behavior?

The 18,000-square-foot restaurant also sports an entire front wall that opens out onto the giant patio, and a menu that touts specials each day of the week in addition to Monday-Friday happy hour food and drink deals.

Whether you're looking for the new office happy hour spot or the best place for a meal out with family and friends, plan your upcoming hangouts accordingly with this day-by-day calendar:

Weekday happy hour
From 4-7 pm, Monday through Friday, drop in for $2 off beer, wine, and spirits. You can also score BOGO appetizers, meaning you can order everything from four kinds of wings to a cheese board, calamari, and fried Brussels sprouts. Want even more for less? Snag a free appetizer for every six coworkers that attend your office happy hour.

There are also several new cocktails on the menu, from the Sherry Baby (Amontillado sherry, Appleton Estate Reserve rum, Rothman & Winter apricot liqueur, lemon juice, cane syrup, and angostura bitters) to the Strange Brew, a mix of Tanqueray, Velvet Falernum, pineapple and lemon juices, and a splash of St. Arnold's Art Car IPA. Or soak up the light and summer vibes with the Rose Water, which combines Tanqueray, St Germaine, lemon juice, rose water, grenadine, simple syrup, and prosecco, all garnished with flower petals.

Mondays
No more Monday blues — now it's Monday burgers and brews. Ten bucks gets you a frosty pint of beer and one of Pour Behavior's scratch-made burgers. Chuck and brisket are ground in-house daily to make such specialty burgers as the South Texas Fire, which combines tomato-bacon jam, avocado-tomatillo salsa, white cheddar, and sambal aioli; and the Caprese, which features mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, pesto, and fig balsamic. Or go vegan with the Aloha or Veg'N Out burgers. Keep the suds coming with $4 draft pints.

Tuesdays
When you're in Texas, Tuesdays are for tacos. Take your pick from slow-cooked carnitas, carne asada, and grilled shrimp and chorizo, all atop tortillas that are prepared from scratch daily. And the best part? Each taco is only $2. Enjoy specials on Tito's and Cazadores — $5 each — and once you have a little liquid courage, hit the stage for karaoke.

Wednesdays
You've come to expect wine-down Wednesday, and you'll certainly get that with $5 house wines. But what you weren't expecting was steak night, with a filet and lobster dinner for only $30. You'll want to wear your fancy T-shirt for this date night.

Thursdays
Ladies, this is your chance to broaden your cocktail horizons, as each craft cocktail is half off all throughout Thursday. Get tropical with a mojito, margarita, or daiquiri, or channel James Bond with a Vesper martini that's shaken, not stirred. Pretend you're traveling across Europe with a French 75 or Aperol spritz, or tap into your Lone Star roots with a Southern Collins made from vodka, citrus, honey, soda, and mint. Or, if you and your squad want to savor some tried-and-true classics, a bottle of wine plus the charcuterie board is only $20.

Fridays
Finally, it's the weekend! Pour Behavior is ready to celebrate with you, offering half off wine and Champagne bottles and half off all pizzas. These aren't your typical American pizzas, mind you — each 12-inch pie is made from artisanal flour that's imported from Naples, Italy, and fermented for three days to ensure an authentic Neopolitan taste.

Saturdays and Sundays
Brunching is a lifestyle, so post up at Pour Behavior from 11 am-4 pm for $60 mimosa towers. Also be sure to order the Nashville hot chicken biscuits, jumbo cinnamon roll, avocado toast, and breakfast tacos to help balance out the booze. A DJ is in the house playing chill techno music, setting just the right atmosphere.

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Pour Behavior is located in Midtown at 2211 Travis St., and its toll-free phone number is 833-O-BEHAVE.

Brunch wouldn't be brunch without a good drink.

Photo courtesy of Pour Behavior
Brunch wouldn't be brunch without a good drink.
Photo by Daniel Ortiz

The fashionable Houstonian's guide to the 10 hottest Kentucky Derby parties in town

may the best horse (and hat) win!

When it comes to Kentucky Derby style, the ultra-stylish Tootsies creative director, Fady Armanious, says it best: “The bigger the hat, the better.”

Once again, it’s time for little bit of sass, a lot of style, and, of course, two minutes of thrilling horse racing. Houstonians will be donning their best Southern genteel garb and elaborate, decorative hats — or fascinators — for the annual horse race and event held Saturday in May 1 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Houstonians are ready to dress up and celebrate, especially after a tough year,” Armanious tells CultureMap.

When selecting an outfit for one of the hottest social events of spring, opt for a lighter color palette. Rarely are pant suits worn, sometimes jumpsuits, but mostly knee-length or longer dresses, Armanious shares. “You’ll see long-sleeve sheer, off the shoulder, and a lot of floral.”

Personal stylist and owner of Trending Style Houston, Elisabeth Webb, tells CultureMap that women can't go wrong with a crisp, voluminous, mid-length dress in Pantone's trendiest color. “The chicest Derby looks are the simplest," she notes. "Monochromatic is always a stand out look.”

Webb’s go-to brands for dressing the part, ranging from low to high, are STAUD, Alexis, Zimmermann, Johanna Ortiz, Texas-native Brandon Maxwell, and KHAITE.

For men, Armanious suggests lighter, more comfortable fabrics and colors. With the event being outdoors, keeping cool is a must in the Houston heat. “Linen is a go-to because it’s breathable,” he says.

“Stay away from darker hues like black and go for white or pastel tones,” Armanious advises. “Seersucker, pinstripes, and checkered suits are popular with men. If pastels aren’t for you, go for navy or khaki.”

Houston’s top restaurants and bars are hosting Kentucky Derby-themed parties with contests, live music, great food, and Derby-inspired style contests. May the best hat win!

Look to these 10 spots to celebrate the Kentucky Derby in style.

Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes
Where: Benefitting Bo’s Place, the annual event, previously hosted at the home of Paige and Tilman Fertitta, is at the Houston Polo Club this year. To purchase a table, visit this site. 4-6 pm, 8552 Memorial Dr.

Talk Derby To Me
Where: The Rustic is hosting an all-day affair, beginning with its Jam & Toast Brunch from 10 am-3 pm. Listen to live music by Remy Reilly and come dressed to impress for a chance to win in three best dressed contests.

The best-dressed couple, best-dressed male, and best-dressed female will each win a $100 gift card to The Rustic. Sip on Mint Juleps, made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, and snack on Derby-inspired culinary features like Triple Crown Sliders, made with fried green tomatoes, hot chicken, and pulled pork. 1121 Uptown Park Blvd. and 1836 Polk St.

Keep your friends close and your mint juleps closer
Where:
Alba Huerta’s Washington Avenue cocktail bar, Julep, reopens this Saturday, May 1 with a COVID-conscious version of their annual Derby Day Party. From noon-6 pm, guests can enjoy four satellite bars, two main bars, mint julep carts, a spirit-free cocktail bar, and the JulepToGo truck.

Expect BBQ and smoked oysters by Blood Brothers BBQ and Feges BBQ, boozy popsicles, a Topo Chico station, lawn games, a live DJ set, a T-shirt pop up by Vinyl Ranch, and of course, a live stream of the race. Tickets are available here. 1919 Washington Ave.

Run with the Romas
Where:
Valobra Master Jewelers and Ferrari of Houston are hosting a pre-party from noon - 5 pm. Test drive the 2021 Ferrari Roma and watch the race in your Derby looks.

The latest ride share service, Alto, is transporting party-goers using Valobra’s promo code, which is good for $25 off. 2150 Westheimer Rd.

Patio Party
Where:
BB Lemon’s Kentucky Derby patio party will feature DJ Mohawk Steve, a hat contest with prizes, Derby-inspired cocktails by Four Roses Bourbon, and more. Reservations are recommended. Call 713-554-1809 to book. 1809 Washington Ave., 2-6 pm.

Derby Day Party
Where:
Swing by Chapman & Kirby’s celebration from noon-8 pm for live music, hookah, gift bags, and more. 2118 Lamar St., Suite 100

Off to the Races
Where:
Backstreet Cafe is celebrating the crown jewel of horseracing with all-day drink specials featuring Maker’s Mark, an optional tasting menu with decadent food and cocktails, take-home julep kits, and prizes for the best hats.

The julep and snack kits are available Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 for $60 and include six servings of Backstreet Cafe’s batched Maker’s Mark Mint Julep with fresh mint and crushed ice; two keepsake Julep cups and a Maker’s Mark insulated cooler bag; and bacon deviled eggs, grilled peach salad, and shrimp and pimento cheese grits.

For those dining in, enjoy the Maker’s Mark three-course brunch cocktail-paired menu for $45, available Saturday, May 1 from 10 am - 4 pm. Call 713-521-2239 for reservations. Maker’s Mark cocktail/flight specials are also available for $10, dine-in or to-go. 1103 S. Shepherd Dr.

Big Hat Weekend
Where:
The all-day affair is taking place at Loch Bar in River Oaks District. The seafood tavern will come to life with a best hat contest and several bourbon-inspired cocktail specials, benefitting local nonprofit, Bo’s Place.

Spirits include a Maker’s Mark Flight with Maker’s Mark, Maker’s 46, Maker’s Loch Bar Private Select, and Maker’s Cask Strength ($22); Loch Bar’s rendition of a Mint Julep and a Maker’s Gold Rush cocktail with an edible gold leaf. The eatery will also offer Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders served open face ($16). 4444 Westheimer Rd., Unit G110

Let the Race Begin
Where:
From noon-7 pm, William Price Distilling Co. is hosting its inaugural Derby Party featuring DJ Matthew Dunn. Enjoy the cocktail lounge and bites from Zach Cooks BBQ. Tickets are available here. 970 Wakefield Dr.

Gettin’ Down and Derby
Where:
Houston’s whiskey destination, Permission Whiskey, is joining forces with Maker’s Mark this Derby Day. Expect a mobile bar, Maker’s Mark glass dipping station, and style prizes with local judge Danielle Dubois, also known as Hangry Houstonian. For reservations, direct message Permission Whiskey on Instagram.

Megan Cushing and Caroline Walter donned their Southern best.

Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Megan Cushing and Caroline Walter donned their Southern best.
iStock

Massive Midtown sports bar adds ladies' night to its rowdy roster

Oh What a Night

First came brunch, now comes ladies' night. Pour Behavior is kicking spring up a notch with the addition of yet another amazing themed night that means delicious treats — plus savings — for you.

Grab your girlfriends and head to Pour Behavior on Thursday nights to score half off all cocktails and half off appetizers for the gals only, with DJ Icon playing all the hits while you party.

Start with a cheese board (if you're feeling classy) or some Texas chili cheese fries (if you're not), and keep the carbs coming throughout the night for 50 percent off.

This is the perfect excuse to upgrade from a boring vodka soda. Be a little more adventurous with a Peach Paloma (Patron reposado, grapefruit juice, citrus, white peach syrup, and Squirt) or the signature Poire Behavior (Grey Goose La Poire, Bombay Sapphire gin, cucumber prosecco syrup, ancho chile reyes, and mint).

There are five scratch-made cocktails on tap, plus an array of handcrafted classics that are all calling your name. Come with a crowd and order a Colossal Cocktail, which satisfies four or more and comes in your choice of mimosa, mojito, or mule flavors (this is excluded from the ladies' night promotion).

Don't forget you can also order the mimosa and mojito towers during brunch, which happens every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am-4 pm both indoors and on the massive covered patio

There's something new to experience every night at Pour Behavior, including regular happy hour from 4-7 pm, Monday through Friday. You can see a list of all specials and promotions here.

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Pour Behavior is allowing its customers the freedom of choice to wear a mask. It is located in Midtown at 2211 Travis St., and its toll-free phone number is 833-O-BEHAVE.

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Luxe plastic surgery center injects River Oaks with cutting-edge techniques, posh recovery suites, secret access, and more

A-list treatment

With the holiday season in full swing and many prepping for a new look for the new year, image-conscious Houstonians have a new option for cutting-edge cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery in one of Houston’s most elite neighborhoods.

Nuveau Plastic Surgery + Medical Aesthetics, a local leader in cosmetic medical procedures, has quietly opened a sleek new facility in River Oaks (3720 Westheimer Rd.). Owned and operated by renowned (and board-certified) plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Lee, the facility offers myriad reconstructive surgeries for men, women, and children, as well as beauty treatments, touch-ups, and more.

Aside from top-of-the-line technology, instrumentation, and treatments, the boutique center has personalized service and features to the tony RO crowd. A secret entrance ensures privacy for discreet clients, much like similar operations in Los Angeles and New York.

Another top-drawer feature: Tastefully appointed pre-op and post-op suites keep patients in-house, rather than having to leave posh treatment centers and head to crowded hospital rooms for recovery.

In keeping with Lee’s insistence on a medicine-first approach, anesthesia for patients is provided by Medical Anesthesia Associates, an MD-only group.

A cut above

Notably, the center places a primary focus on plastic surgery, which, for the uninitiated, has a clear distinction from cosmetic surgery. Randy Rakes, managing partner, tells CultureMap that it’s important for clients to understand the difference.

“You have to understand, you have to go through hundreds of hours of training and cases — face and the entire body — to get that board certification, and go through rigorous testing in order to meet that specification,” he says.

Why is that important? The industry, Rakes notes, is rife with practitioners such as “OBGYNs or dermatologists or people who have not really been trained in the art of plastic surgery, who take a class somewhere and learn how to do liposuction or a fat transfer — and then they're ‘experts’ in aesthetic surgery.”

That’s especially key when selecting a provider for highly invasive — and potentially serious — procedures such as facelifts, eyelid surgeries, tummy tucks, liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast lifts and augmentations, breast reconstruction, and more, Rakes adds.

In an era of Instagram beauty demands, more choosy clients are opting for streamlining facial features. To that end, Lee is one of a select few surgeons in the U.S. who regularly performs “V-Line '' surgery. The set of procedures, popularized in South Korea where Lee honed many of his skills, aim to narrow the width of the jawline and the face.

Aesthetics with an expert eye

Lee’s elegant, 5,500-square-foot center is adorned with CASA Houston designs, Italian-influenced finishes, and soothing elements evocative of a modern art museum or luxury spa. The facility houses a Visia Skin Analysis Studio and seven treatment suites aesthetic work such as Botox, microneedling, VI peels, Halo Laser Resurfacing, Moxi Non-Ablative Laser, Broad Band Light Photofacials, Coolsculpting, Emsculpt, and more.

Rakes says that his registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and estheticians are elite, by design, as he and Lee insist on credentials. “All of our injectors are licensed in the State of Texas,” he says. “Most places don't have that, the reason being is that they are much more highly skilled than a traditional, regular nurse injector. So they have a much higher skill set. The people who do our lasers and things of that nature have 10 to 15 years of experience, so clients know that they're getting the best possible treatment with the best possible devices — we own every medical device that's considered cutting edge in the industry.”

Facing forward

Rakes, a longtime medical industry processional with a keen eye for trends and technology, says that his clients aren’t just looking for traditional services, but new technologies and treatment, such as PRP and other regenerative therapies. “I think patients are kind of moving a little bit away from the traditional Hyaluronic fillers like Restylane and really looking for something with a more natural approach.”

His treatment teams stimulate collagen with fillers such as Radiesse, “and then we combine that with energy-based devices to even further lift the tissue and work as a synergy between using the injectable and the device, because the combination of both of those things give the patient the best possible results,” Rakes notes. Lee and Rakes also focus facial care on medical-grade skincare brands Alastin, Revision, and Elta MD.

A global scope

Aside from his board certification in plastic surgery, Lee has also trained in craniofacial and pediatric surgery. His medical mission work has taken him to Thailand, Haiti, and Cambodia, where he has performed surgeries for nonprofits such as Operation Smile and Smile Train for those in need.

Those in need of non-traditional treatments can also trust Lee, says Rakes, who points to Lee’s work in the cosmetic and plastic surgery-obsessed Korea. “Some of the Korean techniques are much more advanced than the techniques that are available here in the United States,” says Rakes. “Dr. Lee does a lot of things that other physicians here just don't do.”

Those interested should book early, Rakes advises, as the holiday and new year rush is in full swing. The center offers “pre-buying” slots where clients can reserve space and time. “We’ve been very busy,” says Rakes, noting the local celebs who’ve shared the work they’ve received there on social media. “I think people come here because they know they’re getting the very best treatment and results available.”

Photo courtesy of Nuveau PlasticSurgery + Medical Aesthetics

Nuveau's sleek River Oaks center boasts designs from CASA.

Beloved Houston urban farm toasts local culinary legend with new cooking courses and classroom

peg-approved

For longtime Houston food insiders, Peg Lee needs no introduction. A lifelong local culinary instructor, she has been a fixture in the food scene since the 1970s, where she (often humorously) led cooking classes at Houston Community College.

She was a no-brainer to found and direct Rice Epicurean's cooking school. And the newly launched Central Market made waves in 2001 by enticing her to launch its now wildly successful cooking school, which, thanks to Lee, has lured top national and international chefs and food names.

Along the way, Lee mentored now well-known chefs such as Robert Del Grande, Greg Martin, and Mark Cox.

Quite apropos, the Houston legend is now the namesake for a new cooking school in one of the city's most beloved urban green sanctuaries, Hope Farms. The Peg Lee Culinary Classroom in Hope Farms' Gathering Barn now hosts field trips, classes, tastings, and free cooking demonstrations for children and adults.

Locals can also book the charming space, spearheaded by Recipe for Success/Hope Farms founder Gracie Cavnar, for cooking parties and cooking classes for anywhere from four to 24 students. Those interested can find more information on classes, which center on Cavnar's passion for healthy eating, and more here.

As for the classroom, visitors can expect a white, farmhouse-style kitchen with custom cabinets and high-end appliances, all reflective of a home kitchen. Butcherblock countertops, matte black accents, and farm-made tables and more adorn the space, while a Wolf Induction cooktop, A GE Café Smart Five-in-One Wall Oven, and other state-of-the-art appliances get folks cooking.

Fittingly, classroom water is tied into the farm's new rainwater capture system for the ultimate in sustainability.

“Peg was one of my earliest mentors in the imagining and crafting of what Recipe for Success Foundation would become,” Cavnar noted in a statement. “Then, when we began programing, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work, helping us teach children to cook and bringing her many resources to help us raise money and awareness for our efforts. It is my deepest honor to pay her tribute with the naming of our classroom.”

New craft brewery bringing 'bold American beer,' Texas comfort food, live music, and more to Sugar Land

Sugar land's new craft brewery

Houston’s growing craft brewery scene will add a new outpost in Sugar Land. Talyard Brewing Co. recently began construction on a 15,000-square-foot production and tap room that will open in early 2024.

Located in Imperial, a massive mixed-use development on the site of the former Imperial Sugar refinery, Talyard will occupy a three-and-a-half acre site that will include a beer garden with shaded seating areas, pickle ball courts, a playground, and a stage for live entertainment.

Principals Keith Teague and Chuck Laughter are Sugar Land natives and neighbors who bring experience from the business world to Talyard. In a release, Teague says that intend to serve “bold American beer” paired with a food menu of Texas comfort food made from locally sourced ingredients.

“We want to push the boundaries of style and tradition by combining old practices and new,” Teague added.

Ultimately, the brewery’s 20-barrel brewhouse will be capable of producing 10,000 barrels per year. For now, brew master Sean Maloney is dialing in recipes on a test system. Formerly of 8th Wonder Brewing, Maloney has been working on the West Coast and recently finished the World Brewing Academy’s Master Brewer Program, administered by the Siebel Institute in Chicago and the Doemens Academy in Munich.

“As I’m sure is the case for many ventures like ours, the idea of starting a craft brewery was hatched over beers in the backyard,” Teague said. “Sean attended high school with Chuck’s son, and over the years, we’d see him at family gatherings during the holidays when he was visiting from the West Coast. Those backyard beer sessions turned into area brewery tours together, and eventually the idea of sharing our passion here locally was born.”

Talyard will add to Imperial’s extensive entertainment options. The area also includes Constellation Field, home to the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, a weekly farmers market, and the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.