Quantcast
Photo courtesy of © TK Images

Editor's Note: Houston, the surrounding areas and beyond are loaded with must-have houses for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. In this continuing series, CultureMap snoops through some of the best and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.

Malvern Estate at 7 Winston Woods, one of Houston's grandest John Staub-designed homes, is now up for sale. It carries a $11.5 million asking price and boasts direct ties to old Houston society of the rich, educated and sophisticated — and lots of oil men.

A bit of background
Malvern was completed in 1938 by Staub for late Houston businessman James O. Winston Jr. The acreage was carved from equestrian property owned by the late Stephen Power Farish of Humble Oil and his late brother, William Stamps Farish II, former president of Standard Oil.

William Stamps Farish II brought Staub to Houston in 1921 when he was a young architect in New York. Staub’s inspiration for Malvern came from The Wick, an 18th-century late Georgian house in Richmond, Greater London.

Winston Woods’ private road is bordered and curbed with Belgian block cobblestone from the streets of lower Manhattan.

Staub is reported to have traveled with the Winstons to England to acquire some of the antique elements that now grace Malvern. In addition, Winston commissioned Houston Brick & Tile Co. to reproduce the sand-surfaced bricks at the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Va., for the Houston estate The wall enclosing Winston Woods also was inspired by the wall surrounding that post-colonial building.

The present owners purchased Malvern and its original 12 acres from the Winston family in 1997. Since then, they subdivided the property to create the 12-acre Winston Woods, a gated enclave of eight home sites and private nature preserve. Their comprehensive, research-driven restoration and detailed modernization was a 14-year project.

The house
Original hardwood floors, inlaid with parquet patterns, extend from the rotunda foyer throughout the house. Highlights in the formal living room include a centrally framed ceiling panel with trompe l’oeil sky distract and antique fireplace with an ornate marble frieze carved with mythological figures. The dining room overlooks the terrace and park.

The more informal morning room is bright and lively with Brunschwig & Fils-covered walls, and the library is paneled in rich mahogany. The spacious kitchen is up-to-date and professionally equipped, with a cozy family room just steps away.

On the second floor, the master suite has access to a rear balcony and includes two updated bathrooms and dressing areas with custom walk-in closets. Also on the second floor, four additional bedroom suites offer private bathrooms and walk-in or multiple deep closets. The Winstons left the third floor of the house floored but not finished, and their children (reportedly) used it as an indoor skating rink.

Re-purposing its original, long-leaf pine planks, the present owners converted the large open space into two dormer bedrooms. In total, the house has nine full baths and four half-baths.

The grounds
Lush parterres near the kitchen are stocked with culinary herbs, mature fruit and berry trees and perennial flowering plants. Pennsylvania green stone terraces surround the house and transition to stacked-stone and brick paths that travel to a contiguous 2.134 acre wooded, restricted reserve and to the bayou. There, owners enjoy a flagstone waterfall, flowing pond and a fire pit.

The guest quarters above the three-car garage was constructed almost entirely from reclaimed materials salvaged from the original garage and its second-floor living quarters.

Winston Woods’ private road is bordered and curbed with Belgian block cobblestone from the streets of lower Manhattan. When those streets were renovated in the late-20th century, 60 tons of cobblestone was purchased and shipped to Houston by rail for Winston Woods.

Square footage: 10,153

Asking price: $11.5 million

Listing agent: Steve Baumgardner, John Daugherty Realtors

Welcome to Malvern, located at 7 Winston Woods.

On the Market 7 Winston Woods July 2014 front exterior from driveway
Photo courtesy of © TK Images
Welcome to Malvern, located at 7 Winston Woods.
Photo courtesy of Kirksey Architects

Iconic Houston skyscraper earns coveted Green status after uber modern makeover

Iconic Skyscraper Goes Green

International real estate firm Hines is on a high, literally and figuratively, after the redesign of its Galleria-area office has earned a coveted platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED system for commercial interior ratings.

The 49th and 50th floor offices of the iconic Williams Tower were transformed by Kirksey Architecture from the original design, created more than 30 years ago by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Focus of the new design is a two-story lobby offering grand vistas of the city skyline where 12 of Hines' 17 downtown projects are visible.

The focus of the new design is a two-story lobby offering grand vistas of the city skyline.

A key element in earning the top LEED certification is the adaptive re-use of existing materials. The figures are convincing: 42 percent of materials and 62 percent of furnishings were salvaged, 750 cubic yards of construction waste material was recycled and the majority of the English Oak paneling that once defined the space was reused, refreshed and slightly modified to allow natural light into the floors.

“We are tremendously proud of this achievement and we recognize the importance of leading by example and demonstrating our commitment to the environment,” Hines senior vice president, corporate operations services Ilene Allen said in a statement. “Achieving LEED-CI Platinum is the result of more than 18 months of preparing, planning, and execution by our architects, contractors and employees."

Hines is setting the example for other tenants in the 64-story, 1.5 million-square-foot office building that the firm developed and opened in 1982.

Kirksey Architecture did design work for the Platinum LEED certified remodeling.

8 Hines offices in The Galleria July 2014
Photo courtesy of Kirksey Architects
Kirksey Architecture did design work for the Platinum LEED certified remodeling.
Photo courtesy of Pogir & Pogir/Briggs Freeman Sotheby's

Condo fever rules Texas: It's only the start of the townhouse and condo craze — many more are coming

Condo Fever Takes Over

It's not just Houston's sultry summer weather that's heating up.

Condominium and townhouse sales are also hot, with an average double-digit growth among Texas' four major cities during the first half of 2014, making these properties the fastest-growing segment of the state's housing market.

"Condos offer greater affordability and inventory than other housing types on the market and, as a result, are playing an increasingly important role in the Texas housing market as a whole."

Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio experienced an average 10.5-percent jump in condos sale between January and May, according to the 2014 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report from the Texas Association of Realtors.

Individually, San Antonio condo sales jumped 18 percent, followed by Austin at 14 percent, Houston at 6 percent and Dallas at 4 percent.

"The thriving economic growth in Texas’s major metro areas has led to a revitalization and redevelopment of our urban centers, providing new needs and opportunities for condo development," Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said in a statement. "Condos offer greater affordability and inventory than other housing types on the market and, as a result, are playing an increasingly important role in the Texas housing market as a whole."

The report shows that in Houston, 2,678 condos were sold during this time period. The median price increased to $145,000 — a 6 percent gain from 2013. At the same time, average days on the market dropped to 55, a 16-percent decrease from the year before.

In Austin, 1,349 condos were sold between January and May, a 14-percent increase from the same period in 2013. The median price increased to $214,480 — an 11-percent gain from the prior year. Average days on the market dropped to 47, a 24-percent decrease from the year prior.

In Dallas, 2,383 condos were sold during this time period, a 4-percent increase from the same period in 2013. The median price increased to $160,000 — a 4-percent gain. Average days on the market dropped to 62, a 15-percent decrease from the year prior.

In San Antonio, 271 condos were sold between January and May. The median price increased to $105,300 — a 9-percent gain. Average days on the market dropped to 95, a 15-percent decrease.

"Developers are now looking upward for opportunities to build and investing in multifamily developments both in (urban) centers and even in some suburban areas," Jim Gaines, economist with The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said a statement.

"Condo sales will likely be a strong driver in the Texas housing market for the rest of the year.”

Condo sales in Dallas are up 4 percent during the first half of 2014 over the same period in 2013.

Tim Headington condo at 2525 N. Pearl St. in Dallas
Photo courtesy of Pogir & Pogir/Briggs Freeman Sotheby's
Condo sales in Dallas are up 4 percent during the first half of 2014 over the same period in 2013.
PatrinelyGroup.com [http://www.patrinelygroup.com/experience_springwoods_village.html]

Mammoth new Exxon Mobil campus lures a fancy new mixed-use development: The next CityCentre is here?

Exxon Mobil Campus Change

With employees already starting to move into the new Exxon Mobil campus in North Houston, it should come as no surprise that a 60-acre mixed-use development located just south of The Woodlands is already in the works.

Formerly known as Springwoods Village Town Center, the upcoming development — situated at the nexus of I-45, the Grand Parkway and the Hardy Toll Road — has been renamed CityPlace and will feature millions of square feet of office, retail and living space, as well as restaurants and at least two hotels.

The master plan for CityPlace includes a lakefront public plaza that will be surrounded by office buildings as well as lakefront restaurants.

The property for the CityPlace project, initially purchased in 1961, was held for development until 2008 when Exxon Mobil purchased nearby land for its new Houston campus. The project has three investors, CDC Houston Inc., the Houston-based Patrinely Group and USAA Real Estate Co. from San Antonio.

According to the Houston Business Journal, Gensler's Houston office and the office of James Burnett assisted CDC Houston and the Patrinely Group with the master plan for CityPlace, which includes a lakefront public plaza that will be surrounded by office buildings as well as lakefront restaurants.

“We see CityPlace as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Robert Fields, president of the Patrinely Group, told HBJ. "A blank development canvas adjacent to a remarkable new transportation hub, which will allow us to holistically create from scratch an 18-hour urban center like no other in Southeast Texas.”

Transwestern's Houston office is to oversee leasing of the 400,000 square feet of retail space in the development. While no leases have been signed yet, managing director of retail for Transwestern Nick Hernandez said interested parties include movie theaters and a health club. He anticipates that a variety of restaurants and clothing stores will sign on to the project as well.

JPI.com [http://jpi.com/developments/current-projects/memorial/]

New apartment complex is all about downtown views and bike trails: A modern young professionals playpen?

Changing Houston

Yet another midrise complex is coming to Houston, this one called Jefferson Heights, a seven-story, 198 residential-unit community to be built at 2018 N. Memorial Drive near downtown with completion by fall 2015.

Bounded by North Memorial Drive and Trinity, State and Houston avenues, the multifamily Jefferson Heights will feature five levels of residential units over two levels of parking on the 1.47-acre lot.

"The project will have unmatched views of downtown and direct access to the Buffalo Bayou hike/bike trails and entertainment park," Irving-based developer JPI/TDI promises on its website.

"This is a high profile location and the ideal setting for this project."

Apartments will be available in one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 607 to 1,253 square feet. Units will feature granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, nine-foot ceilings, large closets, garden tubs and separate showers, as well as washers and dryers.

There will also be a resort-style pool overlooking downtown, three courtyards, fire pits, an outdoor kitchen and grill area, Wi-Fi in common areas, coffee bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

"This is a high profile location and the ideal setting for this project," Blake Ingram, vice president and investment manager for JPI/TDI, said in a statement. "We will offer the market a superior product with unprecedented views of the city and unparalleled connectivity to several major Houston employment centers.

"Jefferson Heights will be an ideal home for both young and seasoned professionals."

Just recently, CondoSmart Realty LLC revealed plans for Topaz Villas, an Italian Renaissance-inspired midrise complex set to break ground within the next month in the Montrose/Museum District area, with construction complete within the next year.

Other new projects inside the 610 loop include the Masterson Oaks at Westmoreland, a seven-house, eight-townhome residential development with lots starting in the $800,000s, and Azalea Court, a midrise featuring 645 apartments in the River Oaks area is slated to open in June 2015.

Photo by Eric Sandler

New Houston grocery store to bring high-end goods into a food desert: No 40 ounces of trouble allowed

New Houston Grocery Store

One of Houston's most notorious food deserts is about to get some irrigation thanks to a public-private partnership.

Local grocery chain Pyburn's Farm Fresh Foods will open its 12th store at the intersection of Scott Street and Corder to bring fresh food and vegetables to an underserved area. Houston Mayor Annise Parker joined council members Stephen Costello and Dwight Boykins, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Pyburn's owner John Vuong at the site Monday morning to kick off the construction.

Vuong bought the property more than eight years ago with the intention to open a store on it eventually. Now, thanks to a $1.7 million dollar loan that makes use of Federal Community Development Block Grant funds, "my vision has become a reality," he says.

Boykins believes the new store will help the neighborhood he represents. He promises it "won't be selling no 40-ounces of Old English."

For Parker, combating food deserts represents one part of what she called a "holistic" approach to neighborhood development. Helping people get access to fresh food from a grocery store instead of processed food from a convenience store helps improve public health issues like diabetes and childhood obesity.

"If we don't do a better job of providing education on nutrition for kids, we'll have bigger problems down the road," Parker says.

As part of the agreement, the city ensured that neither liquor stores nor pay day loan providers could lease space in an adjacent center that's planned for the land, Parker adds.

Both Parker and Vuong emphasize the new Pyburn's will have the same overall quality and appearance as high-end grocery stores in wealthy neighbors. For his part, Vuoong promises to bring a "wow factor" to the development, which will be the first Pyburn's to be built new from the ground-up.

Council member Stephen Costello notes that the project will bring at least 25 jobs to the neighborhood. He shared that he met his wife when they both worked in a grocery store 40 years ago. While a H-E-B is only a 1.2 miles from the site at Scott and Old Spanish Trail, Costello says that distance is a challenge for people who rely on public transportation. Between walking to the bus stop and waiting for it to arrive, a trip that might only take 30 minutes total in a car could take an entire afternoon.

"This property means a lot to me," Council Member Dwight Boykins tells the crowd. "I grew up here. I lived in those apartments . . . I played football in this field." Boykins believes the new store will help the neighborhood he represents. He promises it "won't be selling no 40 ounces of Old English."

Citing a 4-year-old she met in the crowd as a symbol of who stands to benefit most from the new store, Jackson Lee says Pyburn's will bring "hope, determination and optimism" to the neighborhood.

Mayor Annise Parker stands with Pyburn's owner John Vuong, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and o ther officials.

5 Mayor Annise Parker press release grocery stores for food deserts Pyburn's Farm Fresh Foods June 2014 Sheila Jackson Lee presentation
Photo by Eric Sandler
Mayor Annise Parker stands with Pyburn's owner John Vuong, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and o ther officials.
Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Top things to do in Houston this  weekend: Big Beyoncé takeover, a cool pool party, and more

WEEKEND EVENT PLANNER

This weekend, the biggest female pop icon in the world comes home for her wildly popular Renaissance World Tour stops at NRG Stadium. To honor local girl — and now queen — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, locals have been shopping for that perfect fit to slay like Bey (check out our guide here) and hitting special Beyoncé-themed events (see more here).

While this weekend is rightfully dominated with all things Queen Bey, plenty of other fun activities await. Cooler temps mean more outdoor fun at the Houston Arboretum, East River, and the Dew Berry Farm Festival. Some hilarious comedians hit town, and the insider-y El Segundo Swim Club makes a splash as we say farewell to summer.

El Segundo Swim ClubDive into a chill weekend at El Segundo Swim Club.Photo courtesy of El Segundo Swim Club

Enjoy; here are your best bets for this Beyoncé homecoming weekend.

Thursday, September 21

Houston Arboretum presents Sip & Stroll

The start of fall will be celebrated with the Houston Arboretum’s Sip & Stroll outdoor event. Participants will enjoy a quiet evening out on the arboretum trails. The sunset walk will include two glasses of wine or Saint Arnold beer, cheese and charcuterie offerings from GRAZE HTX, and a specialty wine glass to take home. New to this year’s event, participants will enjoy an additional wine tasting featuring a variety of wines from The Cause Urban Winery, founded by Jennifer Rossi. 5:30 pm.

Nerdy Night Market at Neil’s Bahr

Nerdy Night Market will be back outdoors in the Neil's Bahr Cantina lot, giving you more space, more vendors, and the perfect opportunity to hang out, enjoy drinks al fresco, and connect with your favorite nerdy enthusiasts. Join them for an evening of geeky treasures, great company, and the coolest finds you won't want to miss. From collectibles to unique creations, there’s something for every geek and pop-culture enthusiast to explore. Must be 21 or older to attend. 6 pm.

6 Degrees presents POP DEMO

6 Degrees premieres Toni Leago Valle’s dance/theatre experience, a blend of political commentary, offbeat theatre, aerial, contemporary dance, and visual projections, set in a stylistic Pop Art décor. The performance provides a historical perspective through cartoons of how the ideas of popular democracy, extremism, and propaganda have shaped and warped American political and cultural beliefs, ultimately attempting to overthrow democracy. 7:30 pm (2 and 7 pm Saturday).

Friday, September 22

Houston Art Gallery Association Fall Celebration

As visitors wander through the Houston Art Gallery Association member galleries on Friday and Saturday, they will embark on an enlightening journey where each gallery offers a unique experience. From contemporary masterpieces that challenge traditional notions of beauty to thought-provoking installations pushing boundaries, HAGA encapsulates the vibrant diversity of artistry in Houston. Galleries include Anya Tish Gallery, Foltz Fine Art, Foto Relevance, Heidi Vaughan Fine Art, Koelsch Gallery, Thornwood Gallery and many others. Noon.

East River presents Live Music Weekends

East River 9 will be kicking off Live Music Weekends, which will happen every Friday and Saturday night through December. All ages are invited to experience free, live musical performances while taking in unmatched views of Buffalo Bayou and the city skyline on the expansive, open-air terrace. The fall artist lineup is sure to make a splash with a wide variety of local and regional musicians. Kicking things off will be Lucas Jagneaux on Friday and the Sheila Marshall Duo on Saturday. 7 pm.

Alley Theatre presents American Mariachi

Family, love, and tradition are at the core of this heartwarming play about the freedom to dream big. It’s the 1970s and girls can’t be mariachis … or can they? Will Lucha and her spunky cousin hunt for bandmates, dodge disapproving relatives, and bring Mom along for the ride? This play is infused with vibrant, infectious, live mariachi music and reminds us how music and love can make the impossible come true. Through Sunday, October 22. 8 pm (2:30 and 8 pm Saturday; 2:30 and 7:30 pm Sunday).

Ilana Glazer Live!

Ilana Glazer is mostly known as the co-star/co-creator of the Comedy Central show Broad City. But along with movies and TV, she’s also out here doing her stand-up thing. Her debut stand-up comedy special, The Planet Is Burning, is on Amazon Prime. She is also the co-founder of the non-profit Generator Collective, which defines minimal civic engagement and aims to humanize policy through people-powered stories on social media. 8 pm.

Saturday, September 23

Dewberry Farm Fall Festival

Every Saturday and Sunday, Dewberry Farm's Fall Festival will feature fun, pumpkins, food, and over 40 rides and attractions. Visitors can explore the pumpkin patch, paint pumpkins, follow a trail of glowing jack-o-lanterns inside "Pumpkin Hollar!," take photos by the life-sized pumpkin house, spin out on the new Jumping' Jacks ride, meet barnyard animals, and get lost in the 8-acre, Houston Astros-themed corn maze. Through Sunday, November 12. 10 am.

End of Summer Weekend at El Segundo Swim Club

El Segundo Swim Club is a total IYKYK, where locals and hip Houstonians gather for pool parties that are less about raging and IG stories and more about low-key vibes. For the last weekend of the season, the club is offering day passes for $20. Sip on $4 beers, at-cost champagne, and a bunch of great cocktail specials. DJ/podcaster Jason Stewart (who also goes by @themjeans on Instagram – we just thought that was funny) will be keeping everything cool and groovy with his DJ set on Sunday. 11 am (Noon Sunday).

Still Here at East End Backyard

Swishahouse, The Waxx Club, and others are coming together to throw a bash that celebrates 50 years of hip-hop and family. There will be a hip-hop stage where MCs and DJs (along with graffiti artists, who’ll get together for a graff session) will do their thing. But there will also be a synthesized area, where such DJs as DJ Comp 1, Steve Swift, and Joe B will be spinning everything from hip-hop to funk to reggae to soul all through the night. 6 pm.

Houston Museum of African American Culture presents The Art of Making It

This 2022 documentary explores the art-world ecosystem through the prism of young artists at pivotal moments in their careers, revealing the secret sauce that thrusts some into the stratosphere and leaves others struggling to survive. Why does it matter who we anoint to tell the stories of our time? Including the voices of luminaries and disruptors, the film leaves one to question whether the new world order will make art more accessible for all. The screening will be followed by a conversation with producer Debi Wisch. 7:30 pm.

Sunday, September 24

Brews & Browse End of Summer Market

This weekend, Urban South HTX will say goodbye to this hot-as-heck season with an end-of-summer market. Bring the entire family out for a fun filled day of surprises including a bounce house, face painting, raffle prizes, market vendors, food, treats, and more. GastroCraft will be there at noon, serving some delicious gastro pub fare. This family, dog-friendly event is free to the public. 1 pm.

Avant-Art Gallery Soft Opening

Aspen-based painter and gallerist Christopher Martin’s eponymous Upper Kirby gallery is changing names and ownership. The high-profile Houston Gallery Row business is being reborn under former Christopher Martin Gallery directors Ally Ondarza and Abigail Henningsen. The gallery will host its soft opening to debut “Emerging Perspectives.” The exhibit will feature artwork from their entire portfolio of artists to share their community vision. Through Saturday, October 14. 2 pm.

Bert Kreischer: Tops Off World Tour

After starring in his very own movie The Machine (where Mark Hamill played his dad!), comedian, actor, podcaster, and author Bert Kreischer is back to take off his shirt and do some good ol’ stand-up. He also has his fifth stand-up special, Razzle Dazzle, on Netflix. Shameless and shirtless as ever, Kreischer spills on bodily emissions, being bullied by his kids, and the explosive end to his family's escape room outing. We’re sure he’ll hit you with more tales of family hell when he hits the Toyota Center stage. 7 pm.

Countdown to Beyoncé: Party, dance, shine – and stretch — at these Houston events honoring Queen Bey

bey there, do that

Houston is just days away from Beyoncé’s big Renaissance tour homecoming this weekend. The lights don’t go down at NRG Stadium until Saturday, September 23, but as Bey’s song says, we like to party. That means plenty of events and food and drink specials to toast the Queen.

Locals in the Beyhive who are still searching for those perfect Bey-inspired looks can show them off at these fun happenings, which include silent disco jams, a huge downtown party, Bey-themed yoga, and a special exhibit of Beyoncé’s most legendary photo.

Break out those flawless silver threads and get ready to slay at these Beyoncé events in Houston.

Thursday, September 21

Color Factory will immerse fans with a Beyoncé playlist running inside its silent disco all weekend long. The immersive art experience has teamed up with Houston legend DJ Rob G to elevate the fan-favorite disco to a party fit for the Queen and her BeyHive. 10 am.

Post Oak Hotelis “Calling All the Single Ladies” to exclusive helipad yoga classes. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed slaying in silver. Tickets are $200 per person and includes access to the pool after class. 5 and 6:45 pm.

02 Loungewill host a video and live music tribute to Beyoncé, presented by The Vibe Curator Keto Gentry The Consultant. It’s also known as a Touch of Silver Ladies Freakum Dress Theme Party. 8 pm.

Friday, September 22

The Warwickserves up two exclusive, Beyoncé-themed cocktails. Sip on a blackberry tequila lemondrop known as Alien Superstar. Later, order up a smooth sidecar riff they call the Pure/Honey Lemonade. 11 am.

Blossom Hotel raises a glass to Beyoncé's H-Town stop with a specially crafted, themed cocktail menu, including the Crazy in Love and the Break My Soul. Bonus points: The Blossom Hotel is less than 10 minutes away from where Blue Ivy’s mom will take center stage. 4 pm.

Nosie Yogiis making a strong pull by bringing back Bey-Asana, the original Beyoncé inspired yoga class. For one night only, participants can stretch in an all-level, non-heated flow session set to Queen Bey’s music. Registration is $20. 6:30 pm.

Saturday, September 23

Tootsies and Nicole Longnecker Gallery will celebrate both Beyoncé and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko. The artist will be in attendance, along with many of his larger-than-life photographs of A-list celebs like David Bowie, Lady GaGa, and Beyoncé, including the iconic cover photo of her debut album Dangerously in Love. Fans can also look forward to a close-up view of Klinko’s Diamond Dust images of Queen Bey in her unforgettable, diamond-studded spiderweb top and jeans — which she says are her favorite. 1 pm.

Radio Milano at The Moran CITYCENTRE presents a Queen Bey Kick Off, offering specialty cocktails inspired by Beyoncé’s greatest hits. Dance and sing along while sipping on such Beyoncé-inspired libations as the Cuff It and the Heated. 4 pm.

The Plaza at Avenida Houston invites the city to Hou Run the World: Beyoncé’s Homecoming Party on the Plaza. This welcome-home bash will feature live music, fireworks, and outdoor fun. Be sure to stick around for the special drone show: More than 400 drones will light up the evening sky, creating Beyoncé-related themes to dazzle viewers. Event runs at The Plaza at Avenida Houston (between the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green Park). 6:30 pm-8:45 pm

Sunday, September 24

Bar Boheme treats Bey-loving — and brunch-loving — fans to a special, Renaissance-edition drag brunch. Enjoy delicious brunch fare, live music from DJ Athenz, and a Beyoncé-themed drag show where performers pull out all the stops to Beyoncé hits. Registration is required. 11 am.

Da Hookah Plug Lounge makes a splash with a Beyoncé & Brunch Paint & Sip Special. They’ve got the music to karaoke to, food, hookahs, and more. Guests who wish to paint must RSVP under one of the painting tickets. 12:30 pm.

Bar Louieshakes things up with a perfectly pink diva martini for Beyoncé weekend. Enjoy an array of happy hour specials, including $6 premium liquors, $7 signature martinis, $7 select house cocktails, $6 wine by the glass, 50 percent off select bar bites and more. 4 pm.

Next week: Thursday, September 28

Rooftop Cinema Club goes open air with A Queen Bey Rooftop Party. The night starts at 7 pm, where a DJ will spin tunes as tunes during a pre-game cocktail hour. Then comes a special screening of the 2001 cult classic Carmen: A Hip Hopera — starring a young Beyoncé, natch — and directed by Robert Townsend.

After the film, head to the lounge area for a silent disco/dueling DJ battle featuring electrifying Beyoncé-inspired sets. Choose the channel through the wireless headphones and move to the left, to the left all night. Live DJ set and games run 7 pm-8 pm; movie runs 8 pm-9:30 pm; dueling DJ sets and silent disco run 9:30 pm-11:30 pm.




Houston pizza maestro retools his wildly successful new Heights restaurant after overwhelming response

that's a lot of pizza

Pizza-loving Houstonians have accomplished something that once seemed impossible. They’ve left chef Anthony Calleo speechless — sort of.

The first week of service at Gold Tooth Tony’s, Calleo’s new Detroit-style pizzeria in the Heights, has so vastly exceeded his expectations that he’s had to rethink his plans for operating the restaurant. Even with limited hours of 4-10 pm, it’s been selling out of pizza. As a reminder, Calleo has sold Houstonians a lot of pizza between the Pi Pizza food truck, the Pi Pizza restaurant, and in his current role as executive chef and co-owner of Montrose favorite Rudyard’s.

“I’ve done this before. I’ve sold a bunch of pizza. We know how to do that. The fact that we’re running out of food, we didn't really expect,” Calleo tells CultureMap. “What we thought we’d do in a 14-hour day after a couple months of practice is what we’re doing in a three-and-a-half hour day.”

He adds that on Sunday Gold Tooth Tony’s sold more pizza in a single hour than in any hour he can remember from the Pi days. That’s a lot of pizza for a restaurant that occupies a 1,000-square-foot former doughnut shop.

Having survived a hectic weekend, Calleo closed on Monday and Tuesday to give its cooks a well-deserved break. The restaurant reopened for dinner today (Wednesday, September 20) with dough that he and chef Adam Bitner made for the restaurant.

In the meantime, he’s ordered more pizza pans and is looking into adding a larger walk-in cooler to deal with the unexpected demand. Whatever he decides, it will be done with his staff in mind.

“I’m not going to grind those dudes into dust. They deserve a break. They busted their ass for us at a brand new job,” he says. “They did great, period.”

Part of meeting the demand for pizza means temporarily slimming down the menu by cutting dishes such as queso and mac and cheese. Although Calleo had planned to roll out lunch as soon as this week, the restaurant will remain dinner only for now.

“I didn’t get into this business to tell people no, but it’s mathematics and physics. If I could argue with those, I wouldn’t be a chef — I’d be a super villain,” he says.

Meanwhile, the search has already begun for a second location. Calleo aims to strike while the iron is hot — and Houstonians are eating him out of pizza.