Bated buzz: An inquiring reader emailed to ask: “Do you have any additional information regarding the new Costco around Bay Area Boulevard? There are many of us in the Galveston area waiting with bated breath for information on an opening date.”
Construction is underway on the Webster Costco Wholesale on the west side of Interstate 45 and the south side of Baybrook Commons, where Star Furniture is a tenant. Costco is aiming for a mid-October opening — possibly Oct. 19 — said Adam Cramer, economic development specialist for the city of Webster.
After years of rumors and even social media campaigns, Costco Wholesale in February confirmed plans for the Webster store that’s expected to lure shoppers from all over Galveston County. Costco will represent the biggest retail project in Webster’s history and stands to attract more retail and development, officials have said. The city had courted Costco for at least 12 years. The 158,000-square-foot membership-only facility also will include a 24-pump gas station with an 8,127-square-foot canopy, city officials said.
Costco sells everything from food to furniture at warehouse prices.
Greek peek: When it comes to restaurant buzz, the waiting often is the hardest part. Officials behind Pinnacle Park had initially said the much-anticipated Olympia Grill planned for the 100-acre mixed-use development at Interstate 45 and Big League Dreams Parkway might open June 30. But the wait will be a little longer.
Brothers Larry and Tikie Kriticos are projecting an early September opening of the 10,000-square-foot restaurant.
Construction is going smoothly, but such projects are never easy, even when things are going well, Larry Kriticos said.
“It’s always a challenge to build a new place,” Kriticos said. “There’s a lot of coordinating with contractors and so forth.”
The Kriticos brothers own two Olympia Grills on the island.
Bye-bye buffet: This wasn’t in the fortune cookie. Texas City residents planning to dine at Lee’s Oriental Buffet, 3501 Palmer Highway, were surprised last week to find it closed. By all accounts, the eatery did a brisk business. Attempts by Biz Buzz to reach Lee’s Oriental Buffet owners were unsuccessful. But unconfirmed rumors have it that Baytown Seafood, 3440 Palmer Highway, plans to move into the space where crews already are working.
Baytown Seafood’s status in its longtime Palmer Plaza building has been in question for months as Edifis Group completely makes over the shopping center with a new tenant lineup that includes fast-food eatery Chick-fil-A, grocery store Aldi and retailer Ross Dress for Less. Edifis Group acquired Palmer Plaza shopping center in 2016. The center was built in 1987.
On the menu: The island’s dining scene has gotten a little tastier with the opening downtown of Hearsay on The Strand. The restaurant, 2410 Strand, serves up specialty craft cocktails and renditions of contemporary American dishes. Owners describe the décor at chic antique and are bragging about the brunch.
Atul “Lucky” Chopra of Landmark Houston Hospitality Group is behind the concept, along with Houston restaurants Hearsay on Market Square and Hearsay on the Green.
Chopra is known for transforming historic buildings into popular restaurants. The James McFadden Building was constructed in 1898.
Suite deal: Webster recently welcomed Blue Lion Salon Studio, which has opened a 12,000-square-foot venue at 1011 W. Bay area Blvd. featuring about 60 suites that stylists, massage therapists and more can rent. One of the first tenants is Christie Flores, owner of Trilogy Hair Studios.
Bubbling up: Also in Webster, Kung Fu Tea has opened at 304 Bay Area Blvd. The shop specializes in bubble teas, which typically are made with iced tea, sweetened milk or other flavorings and usually with sweet “pearls” made from tapioca. But not all bubble teas are made from tapioca. The term “bubble tea” is actually a reference to the milk froth that forms when the drink is shaken, not the chewy pearls that resemble bubbles, according to online resources. Look for more Webster business buzz next week.
Biz birthdays: First, Island Vaporium in Hitchcock celebrated its 1-year anniversary under the sole proprietorship of Cindy Milina with a ribbon cutting last week. The shop, 8713 state Highway 6, offers smokeless, odorless, nicotine-delivering, cigarette-like products.
Meanwhile, Daiquiri Time Out, 2701 Market St. in the island’s downtown, today is celebrating its 2-year anniversary with live music, food and ice cream. And the bar will serve its most popular cocktails at the celebration, which is from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.