Two scoops: Owners of a fast-growing island ice cream enterprise are planning a shop on Texas City’s emerging Sixth Street.
Crews this week broke ground on Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream, 613 Sixth St.
Mike and Kathy Bouvier, who own Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream, 2120 Postoffice St. in the island’s downtown, are aiming for a midsummer opening of the Texas City shop and also a kitchen in which to make their popular product.
Hey Mikey’s on Postoffice Street will remain open. The 2,500-square-foot Texas City space will include a retail shop and kitchen, outdoor patio and a park setting in the back of the shop, Mike Bouvier said.
Residential and business growth in Texas City inspired the Bouviers to open in Texas City, where thousands of homes are expected to rise in the Lago Mar subdivision along Interstate 45 and other developments. But aggressive incentives and favorable leases offered by city officials for Sixth Street space didn’t hurt either, he said.
Texas City has spent millions of dollars to spruce up historic Sixth Street, while offering incentives to merchants seeking to open businesses downtown. The city’s intense marketing has attracted everything from shops selling cigars to those selling home accessories on Sixth Street, which 60 years ago was the heart of commerce for Texas City.
During Brenham-based Blue Bell’s listeria crisis of 2015, area restaurants and businesses turned to Hey Mikey’s for ice cream, exposing new patrons to the island brand and bolstering sales. To meet production demand, Hey Mikey’s last year opened a 1,200-square-foot commissary kitchen at 2627 Broadway.
Although Hey Mikey’s will maintain its popular Postoffice Street shop, it will move its commissary to the larger space in Texas City in the summer.
Bank notes: In another island withdrawal, Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America plans to close its drive-through facility at 6311 Central City Blvd. on May 23. But Bank of America does plan to keep open its 6109 Central City Blvd. walk-in location, according to a notice it sent Feb. 17 to its island patrons.
In January 2014, Bank of America closed its banking centers in the island’s downtown, consolidating them at the 6109 City Central Blvd. center.
Like others in the industry, Bank of America has been pruning brick-and-mortar buildings to cut expenses and better accommodate changing consumer habits, which includes increasing use of mobile and online offerings.
Bank of America has said branch closures are evaluated each year based on such criteria as the volume of transactions and whether it has overlapping centers in markets.
Steak out: For weeks, speculation has sizzled that 21, the popular downtown island bar known for specialty martinis, happy hours during the week and live music on the weekends, would soon be transformed into an upscale steakhouse. Not true, said Denise Vargas, who, along with her brother Juan, owns the bar. There are several reasons the rumor might have gained traction. First, Denise and Juan Vargas plan to renovate the 2102 Postoffice St. bar. When discussing renovations, there was talk of other concepts that might fit in the space. Word got out and the rumor mill began spinning. But an upscale restaurant concept didn’t seem far-fetched when you consider that Paco Vargas is Denise and Juan’s father. Paco Vargas owns the highly successful restaurant Rudy & Paco, 2028 Postoffice St. That restaurant is known for grilled seafood and steaks prepared with South and Central American flair.
But 21 is alive and well and soon will have an interior makeover, Denise Vargas said.
What’s that? Inquiring readers want to know what’s soon to surface at the building best known for housing restaurant Clifton by The Sea and most recently occupied by crawfish purveyor Pod-Zu’s, 10 Grand Ave. in Bacliff.
Details were scarce, but rumor has it that the building will soon be home to an events venue. Representatives for the building’s owner did not respond to Biz Buzz inquiries. Stay tuned.
New brew: There’s a new coffee shop and juicery in Galveston, and this one is strategically near University of Texas Medical Branch. Owners weren’t immediately available for comment, but social media is abuzz about Fika Java & Juicery, 613 University Blvd. on the island’s East End. According to Facebook postings, the establishment serves coffee and espresso drinks, fresh-pressed juices, made-to-order smoothies and pastries, among other menu items. Stay tuned.