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Photo courtesy of Puttery

A high-style, celebrity-backed miniature golf course is rolling out in Sawyer Yards. Puttery, described as a “competitive socializing and entertainment golf experience,” will open at noon Friday, September 16, the company announced.

Puttery aims to elevate the traditional miniature golf experience by offering immersive environments across its new, two-story, 23,000-square-foot venue. Aside from the three nine-hole putting courses, this new Sawyer Yards location — open to adults 21 and older only — will also include multiple bars, rotating DJs, and live music.

Nightlife vibe: check. Now, as for the actual mini-golf, players can expect three tech-enabled, themed courses, as described in press materials:

  • Lodge: A super chill nine-hole course. In between shots, players can take in Rocky Mountain sights, get toasty by the wall-length fireplace, and stop for a ski lift selfie.
  • Library: Fans can browse the shelves, spin a globe, say hi to the dimetrodon, and throw the book at their opponents.
  • Conservatory: Traverse a giant redwood forest, dodge prickly cacti, and snap pics of dazzling cherry blossoms. (All with a drink in hand, natch.)

Developed in partnership with golf star Rory McIlroy, Puttery follows the trend of miniature golf destinations hiring serious pros to lead design — something once relegated to actual golf courses. Houston will be the venue's fifth market, joining Dallas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; and Miami. More venues currently under development include New York City; Chicago; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Minneapolis; and Kansas City, Missouri.

“As a Houston native myself, I couldn’t be more excited for this opening,” said Hana Khouri, CEO of Puttery parent company Drive Shack Inc. “Houston is already internationally renowned for its cutting-edge entertainment and culinary innovations, but I can guarantee that Puttery will offer an experience unlike any other in the city.”

Upscale miniature golf experiences are clearly having a moment. Puttshack, a concept similar to Puttery, is slated to open downtown in the Shops at Houston Center in late 2022. PopStroke, a mini-golf course that has partnered with golf legend Tiger Woods, will also open in Katy later this fall.

Eric Sandler contributed to this article.

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Puttery Houston; Sawyer Yards, 1818 Washington Ave. For reservations and more information, visit the official Houston site.

Puttery swings into Sawyer Yards with cool courses and a nightlife vibe. (Also, how cute is that bear cub?)

Photo courtesy of Puttery
Puttery swings into Sawyer Yards with cool courses and a nightlife vibe. (Also, how cute is that bear cub?)
Photo by Ron Davis

New honky tonk countrypolitan concert cowboys up on Washington Avenue

country cool

Attention local urban cowboys and cowgirls. A new music event mixing country music, fashion, and fun is coming to buzzy Washington Avenue.

The Honky Tonk Soirée promises an evening of countrypolitan music, a silent auction, vintage western wear looks via Pixie and the Moon Vintage, and a small-batch bourbon tasting. The event takes place at 9 pm Saturday, June 11 at Rockefellers (3620 Washington Ave.)

Longtime Texas honky tonk crooner Johnny Falstaff headlines and will share the stage with Jason James and Amber Digby, all who’ll be accompanied by the countrypolitan Sky Ranch Orchestra, per a press release. Fans are encouraged to don their best western cocktail attire.

Tickets run $25 to $50; a VIP package includes box seating, a boutique bourbon presentation and tasting by Avonak Distillery, and lso a private acoustic performance by Falstaff.

Known for his country-cool appeal, Falstaff has won fans across the Lone Star State with deep-voice crooning, lighting-fast guitar chops, and dark, sexy lyrics. He relocated to Dresden, Germany before returning to Houston. Falstaff recently battled cancer; newly recovered, he’s eager to bring the heat to the stage.

“I’m ready to throw some swank on the country and the Honky Tonk Soirée is gonna be some serious country swank,” Falstaff said of the show in a statement. “Jason and Amber both slice deep into the honky tonk soul. If it makes me want to ride the whiskey river, I'm in.”

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The Honky Tonk Soirée; Rockefellers, 3620 Washington Ave.; 9 pm Saturday, June 11. For tickets and more information, visit the event site.

Photo by Getty Images

City of Houston takes step to quiet noisiest neighborhood bars and clubs

a little relief?

Houston City Council has fired a salvo in an ongoing battle between area bars and nightclubs and residents. City Council voted to approve changes to the city’s Chapter 30 ordinance that regulates noise and sound level regulation on Wednesday, May 4.

The move was introduced by council member Sallie Alcorn (At-Large Position 5). The changes include increasing the maximum fine for violation from $1,000 to $2,000.

Additionally, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants operating within 300 feet of a residence will now have to acquire a new commercial establishment permit for playing amplified sound, which can be heard outdoors after proposed hours: 10 pm Monday through Thursday, and 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. No commercial establishments will be permitted to play any outdoor amplified sound between 2 am and 8 am.

Long-suffering locals will have to wait a few months for the changes; ordinance revisions take effect in 120 days. Importantly, locals will still have to call the Houston Police Department non-emergency line (713-884-3131) to issue a noise complaint.

Alcorn has taken a primary role in the noise fight since she was appointed chair of the city’s Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee (RNA), fielding complaints by weary residents dealing with excessive, late-night music and noise from neighboring establishments. She told Houston Public Media that some constituents sleep in their bathrooms an change work shifts due to the noise from noisy neighboring establishments.

“There are some bars which repeatedly violate and flaunt the rules we have on the books, and the city has little recourse,” Alcorn noted in a statement. “This is destroying quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. These changes aim to strengthen current rules and bring more businesses into compliance.”

As Community Impact reports, some bars on Washington Avenue have become such repeat offenders that an HPD sergeant identifies the 4.5-mile strip of the major strip known as the Washington Avenue Corridor as the No. 1 problem area in regards to violations of the city’s noise ordinance.

“Our calls for service regarding Washington Avenue for loud noise is just a constant issue out here,” Sgt. Clayton Graham with HPD’s Differential Response Team’s Heights unit told Community Impact. “I know the citizens are beyond fed up with it because I get all their emails.”

Worse for residents, some bars in the area can make between $10,000 to $20,000 an hour. Thus, even the current max noise citation charge of $1000 is hardly a deterrent, Graham noted to Community Impact. “It’s a drop in the bucket to them. They’ve told us it’s the cost of doing business.”

To address bad actors and repeat offenders, these new revisions include a refined administrative hearing process for the suspension or revocation of a permit. This includes a sound impact plan to mitigate loud noise in the neighborhood, with remedies including installation of a sound barrier and ways to better monitor sound amplification equipment.

Written complaints from surrounding property owners may be taken into consideration in the hearing officer's final decision, but will not be the sole basis for suspension or revocation of a permit, a press release notes.

By the numbers, with the new permit, sound cannot exceed 68 decibels if measured from the establishment’s property line and 58 decibels if measured from the property line of a residential home, specifically Sundays through Thursdays from 10 pm to 2 am.

Noise issues have especially affected residents in the Rice Military neighborhood that borders Washington Avenue, with clubs including ​Standard Bar, Clutch Bar, and Heart being called out during a recent Super Neighborhood No. 22 meeting, as reported by Community Impact.

“At its foundation, our city has the responsibility to provide the basic city services that we all come to rely upon,” said Rice Military Civic Club president Mark Fairchild, in a statement, “but I also believe our city has a duty to its residents that businesses operating in our communities be respectful of their neighbors and abide by applicable laws and regulations. This includes affording residents the right to appreciate the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their homes without the unwanted intrusion of the noise generated by these bars and clubs that operate so close to our communities. These proposed changes give us hope.”

Rendering courtesy of Greystar

Luxurious new high-rise elevates living near Memorial Park

introducing the westcott

The resurgence and renewal of Memorial Park means thousands of more visitors and, not surprisingly, more nearby development. Towards that end, a new high-rise community aims to elevate the lock-and-leave just steps away from the Memorial Park trails and golf course.

Dubbed The Westcott — and smartly located at 929 Westcott St. — this new development promises luxurious amenities and white glove service — especially for young professional who flock to the Washington Avenue/Memorial Park area. The Westcott’s 315 residences all feature balconies that showcase vistas of Memorial Park and city skylines.

Floorplans include 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom options, ranging from 788-square-feet one-bedroom and one-bath apartments to 3,235-square-feet penthouses featuring three bedrooms and three baths with 29 floorplan options in between.

Select penthouses boast layouts that reflect traditional inspiration with gallery entries, primary suites with large sitting rooms, a study, and a wine cellar, per a press release.

Amenities and lifestyle perks include valet service and a rideshare lounge, athletic club, and a pool with private cabanas. Those working from home can get busy at the conference room or the outdoor mezzanine lounge. Speaking of outdoors, the emerald sky deck overlooks downtown and is home to a wine bar and piano lounge, perfect for unwinding after a day at the office.

Busy residents can get an assist from the concierge staff, who help with personal trainers at the athletic club, dinner reservations, tee times at the Memorial Park course, or even a groomer for the onsite coat trim for fur babies. Onsite dry cleaning means no waiting in line at the cleaners.

A new promotion offers the first 40 leases signed access to the Founders’ Club, which delivers branded gifts, experiences, and exclusive services.

“The Westcott offers a charm that is rare when paired with the caliber of the community’s services and amenities,” said Mai Olaussen, director of development at Greystar, in a statement. (Greystar partnered with J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives on the development.) “There’s something special about every square-inch of this property.”

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The Westcott; 929 Westcott St.; 713-929-9292 or The Westcott online.

The Westcott boasts views of Memorial Park.

Rendering courtesy of Greystar
The Westcott boasts views of Memorial Park.
Photo courtesy of Reserve Supply Company

New social media campaign revs up support for Houston restaurants

revving up support

As the myriad news reports illustrate almost daily, Houston restaurants are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. And in many cases, what’s needed is the general public simply frequenting these local establishments, especially to-go.

With that in mind, a local men’s store is fostering a social media campaign aimed at driving traffic to local restaurants. Reserve Supply Company’s new campaign, dubbed Ride Out For Take Out, encourages customers, friends, and family to consider riding their motorcycle to a neighborhood restaurant and ordering take out.

Ride Out For Take Out runs August 4 through August 9. Participants are asked to take a picture and tag @reservesupplycompany, tag the restaurant they visited, and use the hashtag #rideoutfortakeout, according to a press release.

Those who ride can also win. On August 10, Reserve Supply Company will award prizes to the most creative photos. Prizes include a Reserve Supply Company gift card, Rev'It gloves, Red Wing Heritage boots, a Bell Bullitt helmet, and a pair of Vans.

This isn’t the first riding event organized by the company; Reserve Supply hosts a popular and regular Bike Night, where dozens of bike enthusiasts roll along Washington Avenue. This year’s Ride Out for Take Out is an extension of the Bike Night, according to store owner and Ride Out mastermind, Jason Bruen.

“We can’t really gather here and host a bike night but wanted to do something to get people out for a ride,” said Bruen in a statement. “Houston is lucky to have so many great food options and is big on supporting local, so we're hoping they participate in Ride Out For Take Out with the same enthusiasm they come with to Bike Night.”

Photo courtesy of H-E-B

H-E-B rolls out highly anticipated new mixed-use 'hipster' store in Buffalo Heights

hipster H-E-B on Wash Ave

The new Buffalo Heights H-E-B, which opened on October 9, marks a series of firsts for the grocery company that first got its start outside San Antonio more than 100 years ago.

It will be the first of the Texas chain's stores to be in a mixed-use development that includes residential and office space — the new spot is adjacent to an apartment complex and an office suite. It's made a commitment to environmental sustainability, installing technology that allows it to reduce its waste from refrigeration and help save the planet.

When it debuted to media on October 8, the 96,000-square-foot store was an oasis of everything H-E-B loves to embody: Texas products, friendly team members who were happy to show off the new space, and a host of amenities made with the members of the Washington Avenue corridor in mind.

A part of the community
Store general manager Donna Theriot has been with H-E-B for 13 years, and this is her second store opening.

"I'm so excited to be here and looking forward to being part of the neighborhood," she tells CultureMap. "This community is such a huge part of Houston, and the way it's grown has been amazing. The arts district is over here, we're looking forward to working with parks and recreation on projects. This is really one of the best places in Houston and it's incredible to be here."

Artsy atmosphere
Incorporating community into the store was vital to the planning process. Like its Bellaire and Heights counterparts, Buffalo Heights has the work of local artists throughout the space, anchored by "Sluice." and installation by Flying Carpet Creative.

The wall sculpture is inspired by the fresh produce found in abundance at H-E-B and takes its name from an interesting hybrid citrus variety. A flock of juicy disks flies through the foyer, gushing from the origin on the wall. The artwork is made with upcycled and repurposed materials.

And the foyer's hanging color drops are disks of once-molten plastic, discarded from a Houston industrial casting facility, and now have a second life in this art application. The sculpture’s bright skin and pulp is constructed from wood that was saved from going to the landfill and painted by H-E-B Partners (the term the company uses for its employees) earlier this year.

A "hipster store" for the new Houston
As H-E-B continues its march inside the Loop, the company's president, Scott McClelland, tells CultureMap the move has forced it to think differently about its spaces.

"You're seeing us go vertical," he says, moving away from the idea of a large store with a large parking lot. "This is the first store we've had with both retail and residential space attached to it. We wondered, when we began building inner loop stores how people would respond to our ingress and egress issues, and we worked to make our parking garage lighting inviting, and give thought to the sizes of parking spaces. The result has been tremendous."

McClelland is excited to see how Buffalo Heights' personality reflects that of its neighborhood.

"This is the hipster store," he quips. "We have a lot of younger people living in the neighborhood, younger families who haven't started to have children yet. What are their needs? And how can we meet those? I think they'll see immediately that we've worked to cater to their lifestyle."

Salad bar sensation, simple meals, and more
Among those amenities designed with busy young professionals in mind is a massive salad bar, boasting something in the area of 60 items. It will be open for breakfast from 6 am to 8 am, and become a hub for lunch and DIY dinners after that.

Adjacent to the space is a huge section of H-E-B's popular Meal Simple offerings, allowing shoppers to pick up a kit to cook themselves or a series of proteins and pastas and veggies to design their own easy-to-make lunch or dinner. And McClelland promised something else that should resonate with the urban professionals who should make the new store their shopping destination.

"We've got a serious coffee bar," he says. "And craft beer and wine were incredibly important to us as we put this concept together. I really think the community will see its needs and wants reflected here."

He also said he loves the idea of having his office on the third floor of the development's office space.

Going green
As if all that weren't enough, H-E-B made a commitment to sustainability in the new store. The Buffalo Heights location received a gold-level award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership for green refrigeration technology. As part of the GreenChill Partnership, H-E-B continues its path to adopt more environmentally friendly refrigeration technologies, strategies and practices that will reduce refrigerant emissions and their impact on the environment.

And earlier this year, store partners joined forces with local residents to help clean up debris along Buffalo Bayou. And at the store's media opening event, H-E-B presented a check for $10,000 to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, in praise of their efforts to continue turning the lazy brown waterway that gives Houston life into a showplace for walking, biking, paddling, and other recreation.

A neighborhood gathering spot
The new H-E-B should bring to Washington Avenue the kind of experience-based shopping so popular among Millennials and young professionals. Between the healthy offerings in the salad bar, the curated selections of Texas-made products, the focus on well-selected beers and wines, and the ease of Meals Simple, the store is likely to hit a lot of sweet spots.

Beyond that, there's an inviting patio that's the perfect place for lunching or sipping wine, and the store is an easy walk to area apartments. But for all that, it's still a large H-E-B, with virtually everything shoppers could ask for. In a city that's getting ever more living density, having a store like this in a place like Buffalo Heights is sure to be another win for the community.

The Washington Avenue Corridor is abuzz with the new Buffalo Heights H-E-B.

Photo courtesy of H-E-B
The Washington Avenue Corridor is abuzz with the new Buffalo Heights H-E-B.
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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.