Ocean in motion: Look soon for signs of life in the long-quiet restaurant space at 1228 Seawall Blvd. on the island. Randall Pettit last week signed a lease on the building with plans to open Ocean Grill & Beach Bar by fall.
Pettit is known for his involvement in such island bar and restaurant concepts as Club 21 and The West End Restaurant & Sand Bar, among others.
Ocean Grill & Beach Bar’s menu, still under design, will be seafood driven and on creative par with Pettit’s other endeavors, he said. Look for a strong wine list and full bar, he said. The eatery will accommodate tourists, but also will concentrate on building a strong local clientele, Pettit said.
Ocean Grill & Beach Bar will move into the space more recently occupied by Capital Q BBQ, which closed in 2011 after two years in business. Nate’s Steakhouse was the occupant before that. Stay tuned.
Designs on downtown: The island’s downtown is home to a new shop. Seamus Kraham has opened Urban Resort, 411 25th St. The studio offers home furnishings, art and accessories and decorating services.
Kraham, who lives in the Seabrook area, said he wanted to meet a growing island demand for furniture with a subtle, less-obvious take on coastal décor, but also include pieces with an urban feel. The island, after all, is more than waterfront houses, he said.
“I think we provide a contemporary style that will be appreciated by people moving into lofts in the downtown area,” Kraham said.
Kraham, who lived in Austin, and New York before that, said he appreciated the architecture and history of downtown.
Urban Resort opened softly July 11. But the shop, now a member of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, is planning an official grand opening and ribbon-cutting soon. Stay tuned.
Dive in: The island has a new public pool. The city of Jamaica Beach on the island’s West End has opened its $600,000 pool, which is about 76 feet by 70 feet. The pool was funded through hotel occupancy taxes, City Administrator John Brick said. Hotel occupancy tax is imposed on the rental of a room or a house.
The city was set to build the pool before Hurricane Ike struck in September 2008 and had been working on the project long before that.
“We’ve been trying to do this for 20 years,” Brick said. The pool is open to the public, not just Jamaica Beach residents, Brick said.
What’s that: Some readers are wondering about all the activity at an industrial site in the 7300 block of Avenue T about a half a mile south of Haak Vineyards & Winery. There’s much land clearing at the site, which for years has housed a single oil well, readers say. While near Santa Fe, the property is in unincorporated territory and falls under the county’s purview.
“We are aware there is some brush and tree clearing at that site, but, other than that, we aren’t aware of any proposed development,” County Engineer Mike Fitzgerald said. Landowners typically don’t need permits to clear land. Biz Buzz is tracking down the owner for more details. Stay tuned.
Noodle news: Remember when ramen noodles were the food of broke college students? The noodle is getting a new image and trendy ramen shops are opening up all across the nation, with the nearest one to the county soon to open. Look for a possible Aug. 11 debut of Jinya Ramen Bar franchise, 18299 Egret Bay Blvd., in Webster.
Jim Wang, owner of popular chain Ichibon Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse, is behind Jinya Ramen. Wang owns the Ichibon at 18206 Egret Bay Blvd. and one at 406 Texas Ave. in Kemah.
Ramen varies by region in Japan and in broth, flavors, toppings and noodle texture. Jinya Ramen Bar will serve “tonkotsu ramen,” made of pork broth infused with dashi (stock made from fish and kelp) and dried fish.
Coming Thursday: Who just bought three acres in League City? And what’s the status of El Tiempo Cantina underway in Webster? Read more in Thursday’s Biz Buzz.