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Rendering by Mogas + Gonzalez Associated Architects

Changes are ahead for historic downtown New Braunfels, with a new 2.5-acre mixed-use development set to transform and repurpose the former New Braunfels Producers Co-Op. Announced via press release November 16, and slated to open in 2024, the new Co-Op Marketplace will feature a biergarten, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail, and park space with a stage for live music.

The site transformation is the brainchild of New Braunfels-area entrepreneurs and business owners, so local residents can take heart that the project was made by locals, for locals. The late, notable New Braunfels businessman Ron Snider was one of the entrepreneurs behind the Co-Op Marketplace idea, working in tandem with his business partners, attorney Mike Myers and real estate developer Fred Heimer.

Now, Snider's wife, Carol, and their son, Chris, owners of nearby Krauses Cafe + Biergarten, are leading the project in honor of Snider's original vision."This is a very exciting project to be involved with and it has evolved a lot along the way while still holding true to what my dad and his partners originally envisioned by bringing something unique to downtown New Braunfels that the community can enjoy," Chris Snider shared in the release.

New Braunfels Co-Op Marketplace The Co-Op Marketplace will transform and repurpose the former New Braunfels Producers Co-Op. Courtesy photo

With construction set to begin in 2023, the new co-op space will be roughly 2.5 acres and feature more than 25,000 square feet of indoor space for guests. The release shared plans to adapt the existing agricultural buildings for the development, transforming structures like the 65-foot-tall grain silo, which will become the market's west entrance.

Plans for the space include more than an acre of outdoor space for guests to enjoy good weather days, with a splash pad and 4,000 square feet of artificial turf, seating, and shade trees.

Co-Op Marketplace New Braunfels The new development will feature a biergarten, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail, and park spaces.Rendering by Mogas + Gonzalez Associated Architects

San Antonio-based architectural practice Mogas + Gonzalez have been heavily involved in the plans for the space.

"Mogas + Gonzalez Associated Architects has worked closely with the owners’ vision to repurpose and recycle the existing and historically designated agrarian Co-Op structures to craft a campus of indoor and outdoor spaces that invite the city and its visitors to relax, dine, and celebrate right in the heart of Downtown New Braunfels," said architect Richard Mogas in the release.

The exciting new space will be located at 210 S. Castell Ave. Guests can grab authentic German fare down the street at Krause's and walk down to the Co-Op, which will also have a 13,000 square foot marketplace for restaurants, vendors, and more.

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Be the matching puzzle piece for Shila, a smart foxhound mix at the Houston SPCA

Adoptable Dog

Did you discover a love of puzzles during the pandemic? So did Shila, the three-year-old foxhound mix that's currently at the Houston SPCA.

Thanks to her breed instincts, Shila loves to learn and is happiest solving treat puzzles, playing games, and digging into a challenging bone-type chew. Stuffed toys, however, might not last long.

She also excels at learning new commands, having already mastered "sit" and "back up." Another bonus: She is completely crate-trained.

Shila tends to do best around more mellow dogs, and always wants to be by her humans' side.

Thanks to Houston Texans punter Cameron Johnston and his wife, Tia, who are sponsoring Shila, her adoption fees are completely covered.

That includes Shila's microchip, spay surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, a free sample bag of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and a free post-exam from any VCA Animal Hospital.

You can meet Shila and all the other adoptable pets at the Houston SPCA, which is open every day from 11 am-6 pm.

spca adoptable dog shila

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

She's crate-trained and good at learning commands.

American fashion force and renaissance man Isaac Mizrahi stars in can't-miss Jung Center event

just can't get "enough"

Effortlessly talented and remarkably relatable, renaissance man Isaac Mizrahi has been a walking (or, sashaying) brand since launching his eponymous fashion line in 1987. Once lauded by national media as America's hottest fashion designer, Mizrahi caused collective gasps when he lent his name to both Target and QVC (many collapsed on their fainting sofas for the latter) — a move that actually boosted his profile.

But the man who co-helmed Unzipped, the documentary centered on the making of his Fall 1994 collection that also netted a Sundance Film Festival award, considers himself an artist/performer first, designer second. He'll share his many talents when he stars in The Jung Center's annual fundraising event, appropriately titled I.M. Enough: An evening with Isaac Mizrahi.

The Jung Center's annual dinner will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 2 at River Oaks Country Club (1600 River Oaks Blvd.). Tickets range from virtual ($150–$300) to in-person ($500–$5,000) and table purchase ($5,000–$50,000). More information on tickets and tables can be found at junghouston.org or by calling 713-524-8253.

Mizrahi will also be joined by diversity and inclusivity champion Nicole Nathan Gibson, who works locally and regionally with the Anti-Defamation League, serves on the Congregation Beth Israel board, and on The Kinkaid School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Notably, Gibson serves as a bridge between woman of faith, working regularly with Muslim and Jewish women via the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom.

As for Mizrahi, expect a night of surprises, given that he also sings and performs in his Marvelous Mr. Mizrahi tour, which finds him belting out jazzy cabaret tunes with a full band. Look for him to dish on his best-selling memoir I.M. that boasts tidbits like “I stuck out like a chubby gay thumb.”

He's also sure to discuss his TV work, be it his own talk show or judging time on Project Runway: All-Stars — to say nothing of his myriad small and big-screen appearances. Mizrahi has even directed two operas and directs and narrates his version of the children’s classic Peter and The Wolf at The Guggenheim Museum in New York each year.

And expect laughs when he reminisces on growing up gay in a Syrian Orthodox Jewish community. (We can't wait for his Q&A sesh after his discussion.)

Fun as this will all be, the event benefits serious causes. “The money we raise in this special evening funds our vital work improving the mental well-being of those who work directly with suffering and trauma: schoolteachers, public health workers, domestic violence case managers, public defenders, medical personnel, and many others,” Dr. Sean Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Jung Center, notes in a statement. “And it allows us to help everyday Houstonians focus on what matters most in their lives.”

Wish Sam Houston a happy birthday at his Huntsville party this March

#TexasForever

Proud to be a Texan? Ready to celebrate it? Then head to Huntsville, only an hour north of Houston, on March 2 for a day-long bash honoring both Texas Independence Day and the birth of Sam Houston.

Put on by the Walker County Historical Commission, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and the City of Huntsville Tourism Department, the event commemorates the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, when we officially severed from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.

The same day 43 years earlier saw the birth of Sam Houston, a leader in the Texas Revolution who later served as president of the Republic of Texas, and who was instrumental in Texas’s becoming a U.S. state

Here's what's on tap for the day:

Raise a cup
It all starts with a coffee reception at the Walker County Museum: Gibbs-Powell House at 9:15 am.

Cemetery procession
General guests, along with members of the student body, faculty, staff, and administration of Sam Houston State University, then follow the university’s ROTC members in the traditional march to Sam Houston’s grave at Oakwood Cemetery from the Old Main Pit, located near Austin Hall on the campus grounds.

The gravesite ceremony will also include the SHSU ROTC Color Guard and Rifle Team, special musical selections and speakers, and the laying of wreaths by descendants of Sam Houston.

A true Texan
Also at the gravesite is the much-anticipated “Baptized a Texan” ceremony. Participants kneel in front of Sam Houston’s memorial and receive pond water across their forehead, plus receive a commemorative gift bag from the City of Huntsville Tourism Department. You're not official until you're official, y'all.

Let's lunch
The day ends with a luncheon hosted by the Walker County Historical Commission, which includes a “Toast to Texas” and birthday cake sponsored by the City of Huntsville Tourism Department.

Photo courtesy of City of Huntsville Tourism Department

It all happens on March 2.

To receive a letter or email from about how to participate in these events, please contact the staff at the Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center at 936-291-9726 or vcenter@huntsvilletx.gov.