Hoots and holler: Just a little more than a year after announcing plans for an island return, Hooters will officially open at 4 p.m. Monday.
The breastaurant chain announced its return in September 2016. Crews have spent a lot of time since then renovating the 9,822-square-foot building at 6028 Heards Lane on English Bayou. The venue features an 852-square-foot indoor/outdoor patio with bar and an outdoor seating area on the water. The island Hooters also features themed tables and murals highlighting Galveston and its connection to the water.
The bar offers 32 draught beers and an array of cocktails. And there are burgers, seafood dishes and the famous fried pickles. Of course, there’s also the boneless chicken wings for which Hooters is known.
Some locals got a peek at the island Hooters at a VIP party Friday.
Hooters, a chain known for sexy waitresses in booty shorts and a sports-bar vibe, is returning nine years after Hurricane Ike smashed to pieces its popular seawall restaurant on a pier over the Gulf of Mexico. Hooters’ island building was most recently occupied by the short-lived George’s Texas Cuisine and T-Bones Sports Bar.
The Galveston venue marks the chain’s 49th Hooters in Texas and the 199th company-owned U.S. location. The company will mark the opening with free wings for a year to the first 20 guests.
Hot dish: The island’s downtown dining scene just got more interesting. Joe and Belinda Miller have opened Pelican Joe’s in the landmark Trumpet building on the second and third floors of Old Galveston Square, 23rd and Strand streets. Pelican Joe’s, open for lunch and dinner — and late into the night if the sports bar is busy enough — serves smoked barbecue and soon will introduce a menu of Cajun-style steamed seafood, the kind served on butcher paper and you eat with your hands. Shorts and flip-flops are welcome in the restaurant, which has a beachy, airy ambience.
“We’re all about having fun,” Joe Miller said. “It’s kind of what The Strand needed. You have your dive bars, fancy restaurants. We’re something in the middle.”
Musical note: The building housing Pelican Joe’s is known for the landmark “trumpet” that faces 23rd Street. The sculpture, which was created by David Adickes for the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans but ended up in Galveston, is 14 feet tall and 26 feet long, according to various reports. But precise and musically inclined people point out that it’s really a cornet and not a trumpet.
What’s the difference? According to various online sources, the bore on a trumpet is cylindrical, having a consistent diameter throughout the instrument, whereas a cornet has a conical bore that gradually increases along the length of the tubing.
Tail wagger: Look for an early January opening of Salty Dog Wash, the first self-serve dog wash on the island. Jay and Stacy Phillips are behind the concept, which is growing in popularity across the nation. Salty Dog Wash, 1902 Ave. N., is marketed to dog owners who want to avoid the hassle that comes with washing their pets in bathtubs or backyards, Jay Phillips said.
“If you’ve owned dogs and experienced washing them in your tub or backyard, it’s a pretty messy affair, not to mention uncomfortable for your dog,” Jay Phillips said.
Salty Dog Wash supplies specialty shampoos, conditioners, blow-dryers, hair and nail clippers and elevated commercial tubs meant to be easy on pet owners.
The Phillipses about a year ago moved to Galveston from Austin, where self-serve dog washes are all the rage. They had invested in a property on the island, began using it as a getaway and decided to move to Galveston when he got the opportunity to semi-retire, he said.
“We fell in love with Galveston,” Jay Phillips said. “We really love the vibe.”
Salty Dog Wash also will offer professional grooming and other services.
Tom Schwenk of The House Company negotiated the lease.
“It is always exciting to welcome a new business to our island and I’m personally very excited to see Salty Dog Wash come to town,” Schwenk said. “I’ll be taking my dog Spike to try it out for myself.”
Misfortune cookie: Inquiring readers want to know about the post-Harvey status of Szechuan Garden, 525 FM 517 in Dickinson. But the news doesn’t look good, city officials say. Harvey in late August badly flooded the Chinese restaurant’s building, which has since been demolished. And representatives for Szechuan Garden haven’t turned up at city hall to apply for permits to rebuild, said Zach Meadows, director of community development. The city has heard the restaurant would return, then that it wouldn’t, Meadows said.
“We have not received any plans at this point,” Meadows said.
Owners of Szechuan Garden could not be reached for comment. Stay tuned.
Land lines: A land sale in Brazoria County will make it possible for Bay Area Houston Habitat for Humanity to build more homes in Galveston County. James Brockway of League City-based Brockway Commercial, which listed the property, recently closed the sale of 6.33 undeveloped acres in Alvin owned by Bay Area Houston Habitat for Humanity.
An Alvin man bequeathed the land to the nonprofit organization that builds and renovates homes for low-income residents.
But it turned out the city of Alvin required houses be built with a certain amount of brick, which would have driven up prices, Brockway said. Habitat for Humanity is known for affordable housing. Bay Area Houston Habitat for Humanity will use proceeds from the land sale to build houses throughout Galveston County, Brockway said.