Reversal of Fortune: Any doubt that mainlanders were hungry for the return of Fortune Chinese Restaurant were cleared up Thursday when the eatery reopened after a nine-month hiatus. Readers reported huge crowds flocked to the 3118 Palmer Highway eatery on reopening day.
Fortune Chinese closed abruptly in August after a lease/rent payment dispute. Fortune, known for affordable fare, had been a staple of Texas City’s dining scene for at least two decades.
Meina Lee, who answered the phone last week, said the eatery was offering the same menu it always had.
Rental rules: As other cities rethink rules on allowing homeowners to rent out their houses on a short-term basis to vacationers, the Village of Tiki Island has imposed a ban. The waterfront community’s Board of Aldermen made short-term rental of residences unlawful and strictly prohibited. That means no residential owners, individuals, companies, corporations, real estate management companies or real estate brokers are allowed to solicit or convey for rent any home as a short-term rental, according to the new ordinance.
There are some exceptions, however. Owners who have complied with rules of taxation and have proved their properties have been short-term rentals before March 24, 2011, are exempt from the new rules. Tiki Island officials on Monday didn’t immediately respond to questions about what prompted the ban and how many short-term rentals already exist in the community.
Short-term rentals have long been a part of life for Galveston’s west end. But as investors snap up houses in the middle of the city, officials have, in recent months, been asked to review ordinances.
In Galveston, complaints about short-term rentals have generally revolved around so-called party houses, where young people in large numbers gather, are extremely loud and sometimes annoy neighbors. Although Galveston’s City Council and Planning Commission have taken up the issue, short-term rentals still are allowed in island neighborhoods where homeowners association rules don’t explicitly ban them.
Catch of the day: Friendswood has its share of Italian eateries, but seafood restaurants there are rare. For that reason, Zulfi Bossi plans to open Catfish & Shrimp Restaurant to replace his Italian concept Bossi Ristorante Italiano, 709 W. Parkwood Ave., which he opened two years ago. Bossi hopes to open the seafood concept this month. Stay tuned.
A few lines: Medical spas where consumers can receive injectable dermal fillers, Botox and other treatments designed to diminish lines and ward off the signs of aging are proliferating around the nation. And Galveston County is no exception.
Affinity Laser + Med Spa, 2808 61st St., (next to Starbucks inside Affinity Immediate Care) has opened on the island. The facility offers Botox, Juvéderm dermal fillers, laser hair removal, skin tightening and skin resurfacing. The staff is professionally licensed. Visit www.AffinityLaserMedSpa.com for information.
Postcard: The island, in recent months, has landed on several “best lists.” The most recent round of love comes from USA Today readers, whose votes pushed Galveston to No. 6 in that publication’s online listing of “10 Best Summer Weekend Escapes.”
For those who missed last week’s Buzz Blog, here’s an excerpt of what USA Today had to say, calling Galveston Island:
“ ... a place of wide beaches, pleasure piers, Victorian architecture, seafood and kitschy seashore shopping. Families getting away for the weekend will find kid-friendly offerings, like Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn water park and the Galveston Railroad Museum, while couples can stroll the romantic and historic Strand. With 32 miles of beaches and accommodations for every budget, Galveston’s a great escape for all variety of travelers.”