Taking stock: Ringing the opening bell to signal the beginning of trading on the New York Stock Exchange is, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But Texas City banker and former Mayor Charles T. “Chuck” Doyle will have the honor a second time Thursday. That’s when Q2 Holdings Inc. launches an initial public offering as it seeks to raise $100 million.

Doyle, chairman of Texas First Bank, is on the board of Austin-based Q2 Holdings, whose founder and chairman is Hank Seale, a Doyle family friend.

Q2 Holdings provides cloud-based banking services for regional and community financial institutions, enabling them to stay competitive with larger banks. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive.

The company is positioning itself in an era of increasing use by consumers of online, mobile and other self-service banking methods. Keeping community and regional banks competitive is especially meaningful to Doyle, who in 1973 organized a group of investors to buy First State Bank of Hitchcock, which would become Texas First Bank. Today, Texas First Bank has 24 centers and 50 ATMs. Doyle’s son, Chris, is CEO of Texas First Bank.

Q2 Holdings is expected to launch its initial public offering with 7.76 million shares in the price range of $11 to $13 a share. Q2’s shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “QTWO.”

In March 2008, Doyle rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange when San Francisco-based Visa Inc. launched the largest initial public offering in U.S. history, ultimately raising $19.7 billion. When Doyle rang in that record-breaking initial public offering, he was a board member of Visa International.

Taking Visa public was a huge and complex undertaking and required much traveling and many meetings, Doyle said. Ringing the 2008 opening bell was a symbol of great achievement, he said. But he’s more excited about Thursday’s ceremony.

Q2’s initial public offering is much smaller — an anthill compared to Visa’s mountain, he said. But it’s rewarding to see younger entrepreneurs at Q2 experience the launch of an initial public offering, he said. And he likes what Q2 represents — a company that serves community bankers.

“It’s fun to watch their excitement and see hard work become a reality,” Doyle said. “It’s an experience not everyone gets to have.”

Checking in: After a $1.7 million makeover, the 42-room Harbor House Hotel and Marina at Pier 21 on the island has reopened, boasting a new look and modern amenities.

Harbor House, the island’s only harbor view hotel, has all new furniture, lighting, bedding, flooring and bathrooms. The hotel, which opened in 1993, now offers three visually different room types with their own paint motifs.

And as guests enter the lobby, they’ll notice a check-in desk made of mahogany and backlit honeycomb onyx, as well as new lighting above the desk featuring a socket and cord system with vintage Thomas Edison bulbs, to name a few changes.

Harbor House Hotel and Marina is managed by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and owned by the Cynthia and George Mitchell family as part of Mitchell Historic Properties.

Noodle news: Look soon for news about island Vietnamese noodle house Pho 18, 704 Holiday Drive, in Galveston expanding. Owner Hao Ngo hopes to grow the restaurant by taking over the space next door currently occupied by Dawn Donuts, owned by Yiev Chhan.

Dawn Donuts would continue operations, moving to a space in the center vacated by a dry cleaners. But first, the city must approve permits for the expansion.

Noodle houses on Broadway on the island get a lot of attention, but helpful readers say Pho 18 is deserving of some, too.

“I don’t think many western islanders or mainlanders knows his restaurant is there,” a reader emailed to say.

The shop is known for its pork vermicelli bowl (ask for hot noodles) and hot white-meat chicken soup, along with French bread sandwiches.

Biz birthday: Here’s some straight shooting. Texas City-based Shooters Corner is celebrating 35 years in business in the same location, 2835 Palmer Highway.

The gun store sells most major brands of rifles, shotguns and pistols. And it carries major brands of ammunition, along with scopes and reloading supplies.

Shooters Corner, owned by Jerry Tkac, also builds custom guns.

B-I-N-G-O B-U-Z-Z: Some buzz readers like their bingo news. Doors open for the Kiwanis Bingo Night at The Elks Lodge, 1518 23rd St. on the island, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, with the first game beginning at 6 p.m.

There’s a cash prize minimum of $1,500. Dinner is available only with the advance purchase of tickets. All proceeds benefit Galveston charities. For information, call 409-621-5225.

What’s that? Want to know what’s going on at the former site of the Shell filling station at FM 518 and Interstate 45 in League City? Read all about it in Thursday’s Biz Buzz.

(1) comment

Steve Fouga

I'll second the comments on Pho 18. IMO it offers the Island's best Vietnamese food, at a reasonable price. I'm surprised to hear of the French bread sandwiches, though, which I hope are banh mi. Last time I visited they had dropped banh mi, saying they didn't get enough call for the delectable sandwiches to keep the ingredients available.

I've always like the Harbor House location. Before I moved to Galveston, I visited the Island several times a year. I stayed at the Harbor House just once. It wasn't the decor that kept me from returning, but the knowledge that everything I said and did was immediately known by the guests in adjacent rooms and by patrons walking the hallway...


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