Going public: One of the few remaining private dining clubs on the island soon will serve the general public. The Pelican Club, 3800 Seawall Blvd., opened in 1956 as a private room at the venerable restaurant Gaido’s, which dates back to 1911.

Dining at the Pelican Club required membership or you had to be a member’s guest. But not for much longer. The Gaido family plans an April 16 opening of the private club to the general public to showcase the work of Chef Ross Warhol, who joined the Pelican Club about four months ago.

The Pelican Club had always served Gaido’s staple items and a few of its own features. But the Gaido family wanted Warhol — who has trained in such famous kitchens as Spain’s El Bulli, the French Laundry in California, Alinea in Chicago, and, most recently, Athenaeum Hotel in the Chautauqua Institution in New York — to have his own menu, said Casey Gaido, president of Gaido’s. And the family wanted to share Warhol’s creations with all patrons.

Pelican Club dining will be by reservation only and the eatery will begin taking reservations Monday. Warhol will be providing sneak peeks of new Pelican Club menu items in Gaido’s main dining room this weekend through April 16 (Fridays and Saturdays during dinner only).

Current Pelican Club members can be grandfathered but the eatery won’t accept new members.

Members will still have privileges such as being able to put Pelican Club meals on their tabs, which allows them to pay later, Gaido said.

Reel interesting: Should we rate this “G” for good gossip? Insiders are reporting Plano-based movie theater chain Cinemark plans to close on its acquisition of land somewhere near Tanger Outlets, 5884 Interstate 45 in Texas City.

Rumors that Cinemark was scouting a new Texas City site began surfacing in September. Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle at the time would neither confirm nor deny Cinemark was looking at land in the area, but did say: “That might be a pretty good hunch.”

News of a new Cinemark theater in Texas City raised questions about the fate of Cinemark Movies 12 in the Mall of the Mainland, 10000 E.F. Lowry Expressway. Owners of the long-suffering mall last month terminated leases with interior stores, but Sears, Palais Royal and Cinemark remain open.

Cinemark operates 504 theaters with 5,794 screens in 40 U.S. states, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and 10 other Latin American countries. Stay tuned.

Springing up: Need some bounce in your buzz today? Jumping World has opened its 37,500-square-foot indoor trampoline park in League City. Jumping World is in Pecan Park Plaza on the northeast corner of Interstate 45 and FM 518.

The League City location, in a building formerly occupied by Academy Sports + Outdoors, marks the third for the Houston-based concept. Jumping World locations typically include a main court with long trampoline lanes and appeal to people of all ages seeking exercise or recreation.

Good sign: When tourism is good, so are island real estate sales. In that spirit, an island Realtor is working to promote tourism while bringing attention to his downtown office.

Tom Schwenk has installed an electronic sign at his office, 2417 Strand. The sign, visible from the cruise ship terminal, promotes island events, including Mardi Gras and other happenings. Schwenk, a sales agent with The House Company, also has installed a box to offer brochures.

He also promotes local restaurants, bars, schools, caterers and other businesses and of course his own listings.

“My goal is to encourage people to move here as I know growth is so important to the city,” he said. Schwenk has gotten some business by being downtown, more than enough to pay the rent, he said.  

Buzz blooper: This column last week was remiss in not mentioning that island Realtor David Bowers, with The House Company, was the listing agent in the sale of William Temple Episcopal Center, 427 Market St. on the island.

Developer J.T. Bolger earlier this month finalized the acquisition of the property from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Bolger plans to demolish the center, which was damaged by Hurricane Ike and replace it with a retail center. Stay tuned.  

Coming soon: Will more businesses be forced to make way for Interstate 45 South expansion? And who’s behind the brewery underway on the island’s West End?

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to laura.elder@galvnews.com.

(2) comments

Miceal O'Laochdha

Hate to see one of the last private clubs open up. I always liked the idea of a club I was not invited into.

If the chef trained at the French Laundry, he should be used to feeding a severely restricted clientele. When I lived in San Francisco, you could not get reservations at the French Laundry for 2 years in advance...unless of course, you were someone far more exclusive than the membership of the Pelican Club has ever been.

Steve Fouga

If it ends its members-only policy, how is it different from Gaido's? Is the menu different? Different chef and/or kitchen? Different price for the same stuff, or different price for different stuff?

I'm obviously not a member, or I would know these things...

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