Double take: Did the island’s downtown just net a popular seafood restaurant? It’s looking that way.
Officials with Mitchell Historic Properties report that Shrimp ’N Stuff plans to open a full-service restaurant in the building formerly occupied by Speculoos Patisserie & Cafe and, before that, Phoenix Bakery, 2226 Mechanic St., (which fronts 23rd Street). The move will give Shrimp ’N Stuff two full-service island eateries — it operates a bustling restaurant at 3901 Ave. O and a food truck on Jamaica Beach on the island’s West End.
Mitchell Historic Properties owns the downtown building, which Shrimp ’N Stuff will lease.
Shrimp ’N Stuff owner Jeff Antonelli couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday. The 38-year-old casual dining spot is famous among locals and tourists for fried shrimp, fish, oysters and gumbo. Stay tuned.
Sweet speculation: Meanwhile, a decadent rumor is making the rounds that a cupcake shop could soon rise in the island’s downtown. Word has it that the owner was a winner of the Food Network’s popular “Cupcake Wars” TV show. The shop is rumored to be moving into the space at 21st and Church streets in the old Urban Fitness space. (Urban Health & Fitness is alive and well and doing business at 2009 Postoffice St.) Stay tuned.
Soul-food searching? Meanwhile, mainlanders also have more dining options. As promised, Chris and Shirley Crowder have opened Mama Frances Soul Kitchen, 199-D Vauthier in La Marque. The eatery serves up down-home soul food such as oxtails, fresh collard greens, yams and macaroni and cheese — all homemade. The restaurant also offers scratch-made desserts such as chocolate fudge cake and banana pudding.
The Crowders debuted the eatery late last week with a soft opening and are ready to welcome customers. Look soon for details about official grand-opening festivities.
On a roll: News about the county’s bowling scene has finally taken a positive spin. Richard Hindman plans to open GC Rollers Pro Shop in the Bowlmor AMF Star Lanes, 2404 Palmer Highway in Texas City. The pro shop will offer products and services for league, competition and casual bowlers, along with bowling lessons.
There was a time when bowling centers thrived in the county. But in 2008, Hurricane Ike badly damaged and permanently closed Island Bowl in Galveston, leaving Bowlmor AMF Star Lanes the last such center standing in the county. And that center’s future was in question in 2012, when AMF Bowling Worldwide and 15 of its affiliated companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Hindman said.
Strike Holdings, which is now known as Bowlmor Holdings, came to AMF’s rescue.
The last pro shop closed in the Texas City center in 2005. In 2012, Hindman took initial steps to open a pro shop at the center, but the bankruptcy proceedings and subsequent reorganization by Bowlmor AMF delayed the venture, Hindman said. But things are looking up and the time was right to pursue the pro shop, he said. The bowling center has upgraded from the very old wooden lane beds to synthetic lane beds and replaced the very old small monitors with large flat-screens, Hindman said.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. More interior and exterior work is planned, he said.
Hindman, who began bowling as a teenager and was a competitive bowler as a young adult, plans a mid-to-late June soft opening of the GC Rollers Pro Shop and a grand opening in early July. Stay tuned.