Royal news: For those who missed last week’s Buzz Blog (galvnews.com), Houston-based department store chain Palais Royal plans to move its Texas City store.
But Palais Royal won’t move too far from its current site at the Mall of the Mainland, 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, where the department store has operated since 1991. Palais Royal is leasing 23,000 square feet of space in the building that formerly housed Macy’s at the mall. Palais Royal officials last week said the new store, on the first floor of the Macy’s building, would give shoppers an improved experience and in a slightly larger space.
Palais Royal is planning a Nov. 6 grand opening of its new mainland store. It will will join a 42,000-square-foot World Gym franchise — the largest World Gym in the state — at the Macy’s building.
Developer Jerome Karam earlier this year acquired the 150,000-square-foot building from Macy’s, which departed the mall in 2012 but still owned the building.
Earlier this year, Coastline Retail Center Inc., which gained control of Mall of the Mainland as a result of foreclosure action and related litigation, closed the interior common areas of the shopping center, which had struggled for years to attract staple stores and shoppers. Palais Royal, Sears, and movie theater Cinemark were the only tenants standing.
Coming Thursday: Read more about Karam developments — there are a lot these days — in Thursday’s Buzz.
Bar hopping: Inquiring readers want to know what’s going on with the building recently occupied by Bobbie’s House of Spirits, 202 20th St. in the island’s downtown. Details are scarce, but a bar called Drunken Monkeyz will soon take its place. Bobbie’s House of Spirits is moving elsewhere, but owners did not immediately respond to an email inquiry. Look soon for more news about Drunken Monkeyz, which is next to newly opened Cowboy’s Cajun Kitchen, 1919 Strand.
Crowds for cash: In other downtown island news, owners of Bistro LeCroy, 416 21st St., are turning to crowd funding to raise enough money to reopen the downtown island restaurant after an Aug. 8 electrical fire. And they’re trying to spread the word the restaurant, known for New Orleans-inspired cuisine, is closed, but they hope to reopen it in about three weeks.
Like many downtown businesses, Bistro LeCroy sustained major financial losses after Hurricane Ike struck in 2008. It took a lot of money and resources to return after that storm. Recovering from the storm didn’t leave the restaurant much in the way of cash reserves.
And there were more expenses when owners Tommie LeCroy and Barbara Davis moved it from The Strand to the 416 21st St. building it’s in now.
So, LeCroy and Davis are seizing on an increasingly popular way to raise money fast — crowd funding, which used the popularity of social media to spread the word and raise money from a lot of people.
As of late Monday afternoon, LeCroy and Davis had raised $4,025 with an initial goal of $14,000. Visit www.gofundme.com/cz3tzw for information.