Fried and true: Five years after debuting its downtown island restaurant, Shrimp ‘N Stuff is planning a move.
Shrimp ‘N Stuff’s lease at 216 23rd St. expires July 31, owner Jeff Antonelli said. Rather than renewing, Antonelli is renovating his commissary space at Antonelli Plaza, 25th and Ball Street, where he’ll move the downtown restaurant.
The downtown Shrimp ‘N Stuff will continue serving its famous po’boys and other fare up until the lease expires, Antonelli said. Crews are racing to prepare the Antonelli Plaza building to ensure Shrimp ‘N Stuff is only closed a few days in the transition, Antonelli said.
“It’s been a really good place,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed being here.”
But parking was a problem for patrons, he said. Parking spaces are at a premium downtown, especially during events and the tourist season.
Antonelli Plaza, which his family owns, will provide about 40 parking spaces for Shrimp ‘N Stuff’s new location, he said.
Also, Antonelli expects to capture more cruise business there, he said.
Look for an extended bar and a private room for events and parties at the new Shrimp ‘N Stuff.
Shrimp ‘N Stuff’s flagship restaurant at 3901 Ave. O, won’t be affected by the move, except that it will take on some commissary services the kitchen at Antonelli Plaza handled. The commissary kitchen at Antonelli Plaza supplies food trucks, including Shrimp ‘N Stuff’s food truck on the island’s West End.
Shrimp ‘N Stuff first opened its doors in 1976 and has been popular with locals and visitors ever since.
Look soon for opening day details of Shrimp ‘N Stuff at Antonelli Plaza.
Restaurant redo: Fast-casual deli chain Schlotzsky’s is rebranding its restaurants with changes apparent at locations around the county. Part of that rebranding is a name change to Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery to reflect the chain’s roots.
On Saturday, the Schlotzsky’s at 221 S. FM 270 in League City celebrated a grand reopening and showed off a new interior design that reinforces the Austin brand, franchise owner Cynde Whitson said. The celebration featured giveaways and promotions. The new look, meant to evoke an Austin vibe, includes graphics, tableware and uniforms.
Ever wonder where the funny sounding Schlotzsky’s name came from? Apparently, nowhere in particular. Don and Dolores Dissman, who in 1971 opened the first restaurant on South Congress Avenue in Austin, just happened to like the name, according to the company’s history.
The first Schlotzsky’s offered a single type of sandwich — an 8-inch muffuletta stuffed with three meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, olives and dressing served on freshly made bread — known as the Original. It was modeled after the muffulettas the Dissmans discovered in an Italian grocery store in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
The Original is still around, but the Schlotzsky’s menu has greatly expanded since then. The chain has nearly 400 restaurants, including in Texas City and Galveston.
Running on empty: Once upon a time, all across Texas and beyond, drivers could pull up to a gas station and an attendant would fill the tanks, wipe windshields, check the tires and even fix flats as needed. Inevitably, in a pay-at-the-pump world, such stations are vanishing. And the departure of the last remaining such station in Galveston marks and end of an era.
Broadway Exxon Auto Care, 3228 Broadway, is closing Monday, if it hasn’t already, ending a 13-year run.
Owner Sam Kay didn’t want to close the station, he said. But he was leasing the property and the owner has other plans, Kay said.
“What can you do?” said Kay, who hopes to find a new place for a garage to continue auto service. But he won’t be reopening a full-service station, he said.
Information about the property owner’s plans wasn’t immediately available.
Dishing it: Representatives for Mitchell Historic Properties aren’t commenting on rumors that Pappasito’s Cantina, a Houston-based Pappas Restaurants concept, is interested in opening in the site of the former Nonno Tony’s Seafood Kitchen on Pier 21.
But Joseph Rozier, general manager of real estate operations for Mitchell Historic Properties, did confirm there’s been steady interest in the Nonno Tony’s building, which has been vacant since December 2017, and in the nearby space left vacant in April by Olympia Grill.
Mitchell Historic Properties, which manages the two restaurant spaces, among other downtown properties, doesn’t comment on transactions until there’s a lease in hand, Rozier said.
Five or six regional restaurant companies have looked at the Nonno Tony’s space in the past year and a half, and another five already have toured the Olympia Grill site, Rozier said.
Building buy: Less than a week on the market, the historic Trueheart-Adriance Building, 212 22nd St. in the island’s downtown, had nine offers, some for more than the asking price. Now, it’s under contract. But V.J. Tramonte of Joe Tramonte Realty, who is the listing agent, declined to divulge the potential buyer’s name until a sale is finalized.
In late May, and after years of evaluation, the board of directors of the Junior League of Galveston County said it would sell the building.
Prominent Victorian-era island architect Nicholas Clayton designed the building, which was constructed in 1882. The Junior League acquired it in 1969 and rehabilitated it in 1971.
The Junior League, which promotes volunteerism, wasn’t able to convene full meetings of its membership in the building because there isn’t enough room. Also, maintenance costs were high. The organization was seeking someone who would care for the beloved building, representatives said. Stay tuned.