Pray tell: It might be gospel or gossip. But a rumor last week was making the rounds that a church will rise at the site of a long gone Gerland’s grocery store, 2402 45th St. on the island.
Rumor has it the fast-growing Island Church, which offers services at 2411 69th St., is planning to build a new house of worship at the site. But Rusty Martin, pastor of Island Church, did not immediately return calls. And Michael Martini, whose family owns the property, said he had not been notified by his real estate agent about Island Church making an offer.
The Gerland’s site has been a sore subject for years. Area residents have long complained about the condition of the vacant 26,000-square-foot building, and Martini had been at odds with the city over various code violations. Neighbors to the property have hoped for a new grocery store at the site.
Ownership disputes have long plagued Martini family buildings on the island, including the vacant Martini Theater downtown. The family at one time owned eight island movie theaters among many other real estate holdings.
Michael Martini’s brother E. Sonny Martini has said he had secured contracts at least three times on the old Gerland’s building, including once in 2006 with Save-A-Lot, a St. Louis-based grocery chain. Stay tuned.
Good gravy!: Popular neighborhood eatery ShyKatZ Deli & Bakery, 1528 Ave. L, on the island is closed — temporarily. Crews are installing a new dining room floor.
Those hankering for homestyle meals can find comfort in the restaurant’s plans to reopen Wednesday, just in time for the meatloaf special.
ShyKatZ is known for “Blue Plate Specials,” for serving breakfast all day and for featuring Boars Head meats and cheeses. The eatery also serves fresh-baked breads and desserts daily. Co-owners Shy Leger and Kat Kearns use old family recipes. Stay tuned.
Port report: Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines announced Monday it would for the first time offer 10- and 11-day cruises between Galveston and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Such a move would provide more itinerary diversity, with trips farther into the eastern Caribbean, said Port of Galveston Director Michael Mierzwa.
The cruises will feature visits to six different Caribbean destinations on one itinerary. The 11-day cruises on Carnival Triumph sail from Galveston to San Juan on Oct. 24, 2015, and Jan. 16, 2016. Two 10-day cruises depart from San Juan to Galveston Nov. 4, 2015, and Jan. 27, 2016.
Ports featured on the 10- and 11-day voyages are among the most pristine, unique and least visited islands in the Caribbean, Carnival officials said. Also offered for the first time on a Carnival itinerary is Bonaire, an island in the Dutch Antilles known for some of the best diving in the world.
The 11-day voyages on Carnival Triumph originate in Galveston and include stops in Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Martinique and St. Maarten with the voyage ending in San Juan. The 10-day San Juan-to-Galveston itinerary calls at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Antigua, Grand Turk and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.
Carnival, which homeports Triumph and Magic ships in Galveston, offers year-round four-and five-day Mexico cruises and seven-day Caribbean cruises.
Don’s gone: Hungry diners last week arrived at Don Julio’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, 1804 W. FM 646, in League City only to be met with an unsavory note taped to the door.
The note, posted by landlord Inland American Retail Management, was slim on details, stating only that Don Julio’s was closed effective April 3. The eatery, known for fajitas, opened about six years ago to strong reader reviews.
The owner of Don Julio’s, which still operates in Seabrook, did not immediately return calls.
Will you miss the restaurant? What was your favorite dish? Tell us at Buzz Blog, galvnews.com.
The scoop: How cool is this? In what has become a yearly tradition, Ben & Jerry’s, 4408 Seawall Blvd. on the island, will give away ice cream from noon to 8 p.m. today as part of the chain’s national free cone day. Although the cones are free, Hart encourages donations to Ronald McDonald House, a nonprofit organization that provides help to families of sick children.