The cluck stops here: Will Texas City residents soon be eating more chicken? It’s looking that way.
City officials confirm that representatives for popular poultry products purveyor Chick-fil-A have submitted site plans that will soon go before the city’s planning board.
Chick-fil-A submitted a site plan for 3440 Palmer Highway, which means it might replace restaurant Baytown Seafood. A manager at Baytown Seafood on Friday referred questions to owners, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
Josh Aruh, founder of Edifis Group, which owns Palmer Plaza where Baytown Seafood and other tenants operate, last week also confirmed Chick-fil-A had submitted the site plan to Texas City officials to obtain a conditional permit.
“However, they are still within the due diligence period,” Aruh said.
Chick-fil-A has five more months of investigation before deciding on whether to open a restaurant at the site and it wasn’t a done deal, Aruh said.
Edifis in 2015 acquired the 98,000-square-foot Palmer Plaza shopping center, which is next to the new H-E-B.
At the time, Edifis, a real estate development and acquisition firm, said it would improve Palmer Plaza’s appearance and work to attract new tenants. Along with Baytown Seafood, which occupies a pad site at the shopping center, Palmer Plaza is home to Goodwill, which sells pre-owned clothes and furnishings, Dollar Tree, T-Mobile and Ace Cash Express, among other tenants. Stay tuned.
Beer buzz: A downtown island building that until September had been occupied by Fuddruckers will soon have a new tenant.
Stuttgarden Tavern plans a May move into the former Fuddruckers building, 111 23rd St.
And while Stuttgarden was inspired by its owners’ love of German beer, its fast growth is an American business story.
In 2014, Derek Groenewold, his wife, Shannon, and business partners John Mortensen, Eric Jones and Danny Nelson, opened their first location on The Strand.
Spurred by success in Galveston, they opened Stuttgarden Tavern in Texas City in April 2016, and shortly thereafter opened another in Kemah. Last year, they opened a Stuttgarden Tavern in The Heights in Houston.
Plans call for a three-story Stuttgarden Tavern at 111 23rd St., which is on the corner of 23rd Street and The Strand. The first floor will feature expedited counter food service, to-go beer and a Sweetgarden (gelato and dessert bar), Groenewold said.
The second floor will feature a full-service German beer hall serving 50 German and American draft beers on tap and a full liquor bar and a stage for live music. The third floor will feature a rooftop beer garden. The second and third floors also will be available for private event rentals, Groenewold said.
Stuttgarden will lease its new space from Mitchell Historic Properties, which owns the 1912 Armour & Co. building adjacent to Saengerfest Park. Fuddruckers closed late last year.
Meanwhile, Stuttgarden has plans for its original island site, which it outgrew.
“Our existing location at 2110 Strand St. will be converted to another concept and will open shortly after the new Stuttgarden Tavern on The Strand opens,” he said. Stay tuned.
Hot dish: In more downtown island news, Alena Pyles, has taken over popular restaurant EATcetera from Ann O’Brien.
EATcetera, 408 25th St., is known for gourmet sandwiches, salads and soups. Alena Pyles, who has long sought to operate a restaurant in Galveston, has worked with her brother, legendary Dallas Chef Stephan Pyles.
Alena Pyles also has been an executive chef in fine dining restaurants in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and at Atlanta restaurants Nickiemoto’s and Soho.
Alena Pyles specializes in Southwestern-Asian cooking. Initially, she’ll keep the EATcetera menu the same, but eventually will add some seafood dishes, spicy noodle dishes and some “funky quesadillas,” she said. She’ll introduce the dishes through daily specials, she said.
EATcetera was a good fit, she said.
“I’ve always liked the place,” Alena Pyles said. “It’s in an ideal spot and I really respect what they’ve built up here.”
In 2016, EATcetera generated much buzz after its founder, Andrea Hunting, who opened the restaurant in 2007, closed it briefly. To islanders’ relief, O’Brien, who had worked for EATcetera for seven years, reopened it. O’Brien stepped away from the helm for personal reasons, Hunting said.
Hunting and Milton Ausherman went on to open retail venture GIANT, which features modern art, painting and sculpture and modern-design furniture. Like EATcetera, GIANT is housed in the M.W. Shaw Building.
Tail wagger: Dog owners have been asking, so here’s the news. As promised, Jay and Stacy Phillips have opened Salty Dog Wash, the first self-serve dog wash on the island. The couple debuted the dog wash with a soft opening on Saturday.
Salty Dog Wash, 1902 Ave. N., is marketed to dog owners who want to avoid the hassle that comes with washing their pets in bathtubs or backyards, Jay Phillips has said.
“If you’ve owned dogs and experienced washing them in your tub or backyard, it’s a pretty messy affair, not to mention uncomfortable for your dog,” Jay Phillips said.
Salty Dog Wash supplies specialty shampoos, conditioners, blow-dryers, hair and nail clippers and elevated commercial tubs meant to be easy on pet owners.
Appe-teaser: Details were scarce, but Bon Appetit Cafe plans an eatery at 3729 E. League City Parkway, according to the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. The concept is simple strip-mall counter service offering breakfast, coffee and pastries, along with sandwiches and salads.