Beer buzz: Owners of popular Fetching Lab Brewery in Algoa say they’re preparing all the bank paperwork for a move to 901 Ninth Ave. in Texas City.
In April, Brett Bray and Theresa Hutchings confirmed they were considering moving their venture to Texas City and, last week, they said they were definitely making the move.
Bray and Hutchings opened Fetching Lab two years ago at 1578 Country Road 423 in Galveston County. The Algoa brewery doesn’t have a taproom, but the Texas City site would allow for expansion and the addition of such amenities. Bray expects build out of the site to begin very early next year. Stay tuned.
Luxury lines: League City’s latest luxury multifamily complex, Marina Bend at Clear Creek, received its occupancy permit in the summer and, as of last week, was more than 50 percent occupied, said Jason Lentz, senior vice president of development for Atticus Real Estate, which developed the 203-unit complex. And there’s more to come, Lentz said. Marina Bend at Clear Creek — formerly called Newport on Marina Bend — is on the northeast corner of Interstate 45 and FM 518.
Atticus Real Estate also bought 59 acres surrounding the complex with plans to develop a mixed-use project including retail, offices, a marina, townhouses with water views, restaurants and a boutique hotel. Recently, Atticus obtained its permit for the marina and still is deciding how many slips it will develop. Atticus is in discussions with prospective restaurants and a boutique hotel operator, but there’s nothing official to report, Lentz said.
Developers for years have had aspirations for the League City tract, with plans for a project called River Bend and, before that, River Market.
Checking in: Details are scarce, but Texas City officials confirm they’ve met a few times with representatives of a hotelier who plans to build a SpringHill Suites on Outlets Boulevard next to the recently built apartment complex Catalon at Lago Mar, 6130 Lago Mar Blvd., on land between Tanger Outlets and mega gas station and convenience store Buc-ee’s.
The developer’s identity wasn’t immediately available. But what is clear is the development would have to meet Texas City’s recently adopted hotel rules.
In an attempt to institute quality control on local hotels, the city commission last year passed a stricter zoning ordinance requiring operators offer more amenities.
The ordinance requires new hotels to have restaurant accommodations, a guest lounge or cocktail area, a swimming pool with a hot tub, a fitness center, a lobby and at least 80 rooms. Stay tuned.
Star gazing: A nearly century-old island furniture store has undergone an extreme makeover and managers report the changes have made a difference in store traffic.
StarFine Furniture, 3727 Broadway, underwent a face-lift that includes new coastal colors on the exterior and interior of the store. Outside, bright white paint has replaced tan colors at the main entryway and now outlines arch-style stone-colored bricks at the corners of the building. An aqua color is featured on the main exterior walls, replacing a neutral beige. The StarFine Furniture lettering facing Broadway and at the entrance is now sapphire blue, replacing red lettering, and what was a yellow-colored star design is now in coral.
“It’s surprising the number of local people and frequent Galveston visitors coming into our store saying they never shopped here before,” said Jody Stein, vice president and fourth-generation management of the family owned store. “We chose the colors to be more eye-catching and more in keeping with our vacation-style community. The new colors are definitely helping to increase the number of people who walk in.”
StarFine Furniture has been an island fixture for 97 years. Jody Stein took over the store a year ago, when his father, Ben Jay, announced his retirement. StarFine carries such brands as La-Z-Boy, Flexsteel, Bernhardt, Hooker and Palliser. The store also offers a variety of luxury mattress brands.
Ruffling feathers: Readers last week were clucking about the surprising closure of Frenchy’s Chicken, which opened on the island in late March and was much awaited by fans.
But corporate officials last week said they expect the eatery, 6105 Stewart Road, to reopen sometime this week. Officials did not elaborate about the closure. Franchisee Andrew Pollman confirmed the closure and said the restaurant was changing owners.
When it opened, the restaurant was marking a return to the island for the Houston-based chain. In the 1980s, a different franchisee operated Frenchy’s Chicken at 2823 Broadway, where fast-food eatery Henry’s operates today, but the economy faltered and it closed.
In 1969, Percy “Frenchy” Creuzot Jr. established the Houston-based chain now famous for serving up Louisiana Creole cuisine. Besides chicken, Frenchy’s serves such sides as dirty rice, red beans and gumbo and has a loyal following.
Building buy: A downtown building long occupied by an architectural firm has a new owner. Chris Arneson, owner of Building Solutions Inc., has acquired the building at 2328 Ball St. formerly occupied by Eubanks Group Architects and owned by Ed Eubanks.
Building Solutions, which specializes in residential and commercial construction, will move into the midcentury building in a month or two, Arneson said.
Joe Tramonte Realty listed and sold the building. V.J. Tramonte of the agency represented Arneson. Dave Bridgwater and Karen Flowers of Joe Tramonte Realty represented Eubanks.