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Photo by Becca Wright

A growing Houston coffee shop and cafe will soon debut its fourth location. The newest Slowpokes will open Monday, November 28 in West University Place (6725 Stella Link Road).

Slowpokes has developed a devoted following thanks to its combination of coffee, beer, and wine that are paired with a diverse food menu built around sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and breakfast items. Those three beverages are represented by three mascots: a turtle named Mash (beer), a snail named Tasker Alexander (wine), and a sloth named Patches (coffee).

First opened in Garden Oaks in 2016 by owner Mazen Baltagi — a Houstonian hospitality veteran who’s a partner in establishments such as Christian’s Tailgate and the Warwick — Slowpokes has grown to locations in Upper Kirby and Spring Branch.

“It’s been incredible to see how the local community has shaped each of our locations into something unique, and we’re really excited to see what that means for our friends here in West U,” Baltagi said in a statement.

The new location seats 50 people indoors and more on an outdoor patio. Slowpokes posted a sneak peek of the new location’s interior on Instagram.



Slowpokes fans will find the same menu as the other three locations, which means favorites like the chicken pesto panino, salmon bagel, and brie and pear flatbread (known as the Let it Be) are all available. A rotating selection of pastries and baked goods come from a number of local purveyors, including Michael’s Cookie Jar, Sinfull Bakery, and Angela’s Oven.

On the beverage side, looks for a full coffee program that features seasonal specials such as the Punkin’ Pie Latte, the Snickerdoodle Latte, and the Peppermint Mocha Latte. Beers come from local breweries such as 8th Wonder, Eureka Heights, Saint Arnold and more. Slowpokes’ wine selection rotates regularly. Diners may grab-and-go or linger into happy hour that features $4 draft beers, $5 wines by-the-glass, and $10 flatbreads.

“We’re genuinely so grateful for the communities that have embraced us,” Baltagi added. “We hope we’ve been able to better our regulars’ lives as much as they have ours and we’re looking forward to expanding our reach in Houston.”

Photo by Rebekah Flores

Crafty Houston Lebanese restaurant opens second locale in West U with patio dining and expanded menu

it's just my type

An acclaimed Houston Lebanese restaurant will soon open its second location. Craft Pita’s restaurant in West University Place opens this Saturday, November 19 at Plaza in the Park, the Kroger-anchored shopping center at the corner of Buffalo Speedway and Westpark.

First opened in Briargove in 2019 by chef-owner Rafael Nasr and his mother Claudia, Craft Pita has earned a devoted following for its flavorful Lebanese-inspired dishes. The menu includes pita sandwiches, bowls, and salads paired with proteins such as rotisserie chicken, beef kafta patties, and falafel, many of which are made with locally sourced ingredients such as Naked Truth chicken and akaushi beef from HeartBrand Beef. Cafe Pita’s olive oil comes from a family-owned orchard in Lebanon.

“West University is the perfect place to expand on what we have built with the Craft Pita community,” Nasr said in a statement. “We are a family-owned restaurant and look forward to serving the families of West University. The proximity to areas like Greenway Plaza and the Medical Center will also allow us to expand our catering and delivery opportunities.”

Nasr has stepped up the food offerings at the new location with some menu items that aren’t available in Briargrove. They include chicken and beef kebabs, a chicken shawarma pita, and a beef gyro pita. A mezze dinner for two — appetizers, entrees, and desserts for $60 — pairs well with the new location’s expanded selection of Lebanese wines.

"Kebabs are definitely popular now. It's also the average person's first exposure to Mediterranean food," Nasr said on a recent episode of CultureMap’s “What’s Eric Eating” podcast. "I think that and hummus and number one and two on the list. The nice thing about kebabs is when you use lean proteins it's a healthy option. Our akaushi kafta, when it has that kiss of a flame, it will take it up a few notches for sure."

Craft Pita has developed a significant following for both its quality food and friendly service. Yelp named it one of America’s top 100 places to eat in 2020, and the Houston Chronicle recently included it on its list of the city’s top 100 restaurants.

At 2,500 square feet, the new restaurant is considerably larger than the original. It also features a larger patio for outdoor dining. It joins a second location of Adair Kitchen as a new addition to Plaza in the Park.

Photo by Rebekah Flores

Craft Pita's Lebanese cuisine has arrived in West U.

Craft Pita will celebrate its grand opening at 11 am Saturday, November 19. The first 25 customers will receive a free pita, and the first 50 will receive a golden ticket that enters them into a raffle.

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'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams heads to Houston with Jett-setting rock icon for 2023 tour stop

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to the Houston area — and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping at Sugar Land's Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical draw huge crowds when it recently stopped in Houston for a limited run.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.

Beyoncé adds second Houston date to highly anticipated world tour due to massive surge in ticket demand

back-to-back bey

Houston Beyoncé fans, rejoice: Queen Bey has added another show to her just-announced Renaissance World Tour.

As CultureMap previously reported, Beyoncé is returning to her hometown in a show originally planned for September 23 at NRG Stadium. Now, due to surge in ticket demand, a second show at NRG has been added for the following day on September 24.

This comes as tour organizers have added seven new dates to the North American leg of the tour, based on Beyhive buzz.

According to LiveNation, fan demand for Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour now exceeds the number of available tickets by more than 800 percent, based on current registration numbers in the Group A cities.

Even with these added dates, LiveNation expects a majority of interested fans "will not be able to get tickets because demand drastically exceeds supply," per a press announcement.

Beyhive fans who miss the second Houston show can try to catch Bey in Dallas two days prior to the Houston show, where she'll play AT&T Stadium on September 21.

Ticketing for the world tour dates go on sale Monday, February 6. BeyHive members will enjoy an exclusive presale, while other fans can register now with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan technology here. Those interested can score tickets, schedules, and more information at beyonce.livenation.com and tour.beyonce.com.

Note to jet-setting Houstonians: The queen kicks off her world tour on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Friends Arena. She'll dot Europe with big stadium shows through June 27, where she'll play Warsaw, Poland.

Her North American tour starts July 8 in Canada, where she'll play Toronto's Rogers Centre. Beyoncé will trek the U.S. through the summer and into September; her Dallas and Houston shows are the sole Texas performances.

In a bit of a head scratcher, the Houston native will end her tour in New Orleans (Caesars Superdome) on September 27.

The world tour comes as Beyoncé is awash in Grammy glow: in November, she was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, tying her with her husband (neé Shawn Corey Carter) for the most nominations in Grammy history. Critics and fans have lauded Renaissance, her first solo work since the wildly popular and deeply personal 2016 effort, Lemonade — even through its minor controversy.

Here is the entire world tour schedule:

Europe

May 10, 2023 – Stockholm, SE – Friends Arena

May 14, 2023 – Brussels, BE – King Baudouin Stadium

May 17, 2023 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff Principality Stadium

May 20, 2023 – Edinburgh, UK – BT Murray Field Stadium

May 23, 2023 – Sunderland, UK – Stadium of Light

May 26, 2023 – Paris, FR – Stade de France

May 29, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

May 30, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

June 08, 2023 – Barcelona, ES – Olympic Stadium

June 11, 2023 – Marseille, FR – Orange Velodrome

June 15, 2023 – Cologne, DE – Rhein Energie Stadion

June 17, 2023 – Amsterdam, NL – Johan Crujff Arena

June 21, 2023 – Hamburg, DE – Volksparkstadion

June 24, 2023 – Frankfurt, DE – Deutsche Bank Park

June 27, 2023 – Warsaw, PL – PGE Narodowy

North America

July 8, 2023 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre

July 12, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field

July 15, 2023 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium

July 17, 2023 – Louisville, KY – L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium

July 20, 2023 – Minneapolis, MN – Huntington Bank Stadium

July 22, 2023 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field Stadium

July 26, 2023 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field

July 29, 2023 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium

Aug. 01, 2023 – Boston, MA – Gillette Stadium

Aug. 03, 2023 – Pittsburgh, PA – Acrisure Stadium

Aug. 05, 2023 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field

Aug. 09, 2023 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium

Aug. 11, 2023 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Aug. 16, 2023 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium

Aug. 18, 2023 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium

Aug. 21, 2023 – St. Louis, MO – Dome at America's Center

Aug. 24, 2023 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium

Aug. 26, 2023 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium

Aug. 30, 2023 – San Francisco, CA – Levi’s Stadium

Sept. 02, 2023 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium

Sept. 11, 2023 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place

Sept. 13, 2023 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

Sept. 18, 2023 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium

Sept. 21, 2023 – Dallas – AT&T Stadium

Sept. 23, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

Sept. 24, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

Sept. 27, 2023 – New Orleans – Caesars Superdome

As always, Beyoncé will create activations, programs, and giveaways via BeyGOOD, the foundation she created in 2013.

Haute Houston boutiques gear up for Galentine's Day with great gifts for the besties

IT'S ABOUT BESTIES, Y'ALL

Valentine's day is around the corner, but this year, forget the fancy restaurants, red roses, and heels. Instead, gather a gang of fun and powerful women, and throw on a comfy set to celebrate Galentine's Day on February 13.

What is Galentine's Day? It is a fictional holiday created by Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation in 2010. In the Galentine's Day episode, Leslie gathered a group of her besties for a waffle brunch. "Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style," she explains. "Ladies celebrating ladies."

Since then, Galentine's Day has become a great excuse to throw a party and shower the girl gang with gifts and affection. We've crafted a list of unique items available locally that are worthy of any Galentine's Day celebration.

Kendra Scott

Spread the love this Galentines with these Lips Gold Stud Earrings from Kendra Scott. Made from Bright Pink Kyocera Opal, add these studs as a bold statement to a plain outfit, or pair them with other hoops for a stylish ear stack.

Add a pop to any outfit with these Lip Stud earrings. Photo by Kendra Scott

St. Bernard

Snuggle up with your best friend in these Ugg's Women's Terri Pants from S. Bernard. This cozy knit is distinguishably soft and made with 70% recycled polyester fibers. In addition, the relaxed fit makes these pants perfect for wearing out and about or lounging at home. These pants are sure to be your new go-to.


These UGG lounge pants are perfect for lounging.Photo courtesy of saintbernard.com

Elizabeth Anthony

Made from 14k gold and pavé diamond, pair this adjustable heart charm necklace with anything. Stack it with your favorite everyday jewelry or wear it on its own; this necklace is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


The girl gang will love this stunning heart necklace from Elizabeth Anthony. Photo courtesy of elizabethanthonyhouston.com

Switch2Pure

Unwind and treat your friends to a Self Care Bundle. Found at Switch 2 Pure in River Oaks, this kit is the perfect gift to indulge and enjoy with the girls. The kit includes 7 of the latest and greatest self-care products at a value of $202 for only $142.


Self care takes on a whole new meaning with a set from Switch2Pure. Photo by Switch2Pure

Ann Mashburn

Cozy meets chic with this Pajama Short Set from Ann Mashburn. These pajamas are made from fine Italian poplin, making them a worthwhile investment. The top features a sophisticated look with a rounded collar and buttoned-up front. There will be no need to get out of your PJs to look stylish for the Galentine photo ops with the girls. This PJ set has you covered.

Cozy meets chic with this Pajama Short Set from Ann MashburnPhoto courtesy of shopmashburn.com

The Monogram Shop

Great for an everyday look, this Heart Charm Stretch Set will withstand whatever your busy life throws at you. Durable yet chic, these bracelets are guaranteed to stay their shiny gold color. The bracelet features 14k gold fill beads on an extra-strength stretch cord. Wear this lovely set for a night on the town with the girls or just another day in the office.


This bracelet features 14k gold fill beads on an extra-strength stretch cord. Photo courtesy of The Monogram Shop

Tootsies

Elevate your friend's wardrobe with this Loeffler Randal clutch. The Rayne Pleated Bow Clutch is found at Tootsie and features the signature Loeffler Randal knotted bow and a gold chain strap. Wear it as a clutch or crossbody -- either way, this item will surely add a special touch to any outfit.

Loeffler Randal does it again with a beautiful clutch that pairs well with everything. Photo courtesy of tootsies.com

Outdoor Voices

Get active this Galentines with these eye-catching Outdoor Voices Leggings. Available locally and online, these leggings are a must-have item for those wishing to fulfill New Year's resolutions of getting fit in 2023.

Leggings for keeping those 2023 New Year's resolutions. Photo courtesy of Outdoor Voices

Jentry Kelley

Spoil your girlfriends with this stunning, rosy pink blush from Jentry Kelley. This blush is available online and at local stores and will add a cheerful pop of color to everyday makeup. This blush will pair beautifully with a bright pink, violet, or plum lip.

Add a cheerful pop of color to everyday makeup.Photo courtesy of jentrykelley.com