Art-felt adieu: The island’s art scene has bid farewell to Buchanan Gallery, which had operated in various downtown spaces since 1989. The gallery, owned by Kathi Buchanan, most recently was at 302 25th St. It closed last month. Buchanan moved to San Antonio for family health reasons, she said.
“It was not an easy decision, I assure you,” Buchanan said. “I spent 25 years there; the wealth of friends — not only the business — is what I hated to leave as well. It was just very special and important to me to have that degree of friendships.”
Some island gallery owners credit Buchanan for greatly influencing the city’s art scene, which has blossomed in recent years.
“It was she who really brought the concept of professionally run commercial galleries to Galveston, as opposed to artists’ eponymous studio galleries and/or co-op galleries,” said Elisabeth Lanier, who with her husband, Stephen, own gallery and interior design studio DesignWorks, 2119A Postoffice St., downtown.
And it was Buchanan Gallery that helped to inspire the Laniers to open DesignWorks in Galveston’s downtown.
“She truly raised the bar for all of us who followed,” Lanier said.
Dollar sign: Another day, another dollar store for the island. That empty lot at 29th Street and Broadway, formerly occupied by the Broadmoor apartment building, is soon to be home to a Family Dollar store. A sign heralding the imminent arrival of the discount store was posted at the lot last week.
Family Dollar operates a chain of more than 7,900 general merchandise stores selling products at deep discount. The chain must see a strong market in Galveston; it already operates three stores on the island, including one at 2207 Broadway.
The island also is home to competitors Dollar Tree and Dollar General.
Until February 2010, the lot was home to the u-shaped Broadmoor apartments, which dated back to 1928. The Galveston Historical Foundation included the building in its 2007 Heritage at Risk List. Preservationists argued that it was among the best examples of 1920s-era classical revival architecture
But owners Al Fichera, of Fichera Builders, and Ed Eubanks, of Eubank Group Architects, cited unsafe conditions at the apartment building before they obtained a permit to demolish it. No word on when construction will begin on Family Dollar. Stay tuned.
Daily grind: League City last week got a double-shot of new coffee shops, while losing an old one.
Starbucks this week opened a new shop at 2454 Marina Bay Drive and another at state Highway 96 and South Shore Harbour.
But the Seattle-based chain closed a Starbucks at 2800 Marina Bay Drive that was more than a decade old.
After it all shook out, League City has six Starbucks, when you count those in Target, Kroger, Randalls and one in the shopping center at Interstate 45 and FM 646, Owen Rock, economic development manager for the city, said.
Look-sea: After weeks in dry dock undergoing renovations, Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Sea will this week resume sailing from the island’s port. To mark its return and the ship’s makeover, officials plan to salute Texas by draping Lone Star State flags on the front and stern of the passenger liner Wednesday, before it leaves for a four-day cruise. The ship on Sunday will resume seven-day sailings from the island.
Navigator of the Seas is the largest and most advanced ship to homeport year-round in Galveston, cruise line officials said. The 3,114-passenger Navigator in November replaced Mariner of the Seas. The Voyager-class ship features the cruise line’s signature FlowRider surf simulator — debuting in Texas for the first time — and a 220-square-foot outdoor movie screen, along with a number of dining options and other amenities.