Little Birdie told me: La Marque continues to attract restaurants and shops to its downtown Renaissance District.
The latest to tee up is Birdies Eatery, which owners Robert and Tina Steinhaus describe as an American fusion, golf-themed restaurant and hangout. They also bill the restaurant as eco-friendly with a mission to buy from local vendors and to serve farm-to-table food. A birdie in golf is a score one stroke under par.
Look for a winter opening of the 401 Laurel St. eatery, which will serve lunch and dinner and will offer pickup orders and local catering delivery.
Menu items will include wings, gourmet sandwiches and burgers, salads and hot and cold soups, to name a few.
At least once a month, the restaurant will offer “Family Night,” for which Chef Tina Steinhaus will choose a dish from around the world to serve family style.
“I was a military brat and then became an oilman’s wife,” Tina Steinhaus said. “Through all my travels, I always tried new things, experienced new food and set out to learn a new skill or flavor combination.”
Birdies Eatery also will feature five big-screen TVs for viewing such sports as football, basketball, golf and more. It will serve cold beer on tap, as well as a selection of wine. Tina Steinhaus plans to make fresh Arnold Palmers — iced tea and lemonade — every day.
La Marque Economic Development Corp. owns the 401 Laurel St. building and has been working with architects on a renovation. Earlier this year, the city announced Art of Coffee would be the first tenant. Coffee shop owners Jimmy Sims and Bill Minak know a thing or two about coffee revitalizing main streets. Their first coffee shop is at 609 Bradford Ave. in Kemah.
Getting clearer: Elsewhere in La Marque, crews are generating buzz by clearing 81 acres on the southeast intersection of Interstate 45 and FM 1764 on land that’s contiguous with the Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter. Nothing specific is yet planned for the property. Riverway Properties, a real estate brokerage firm, is marketing sites at the property for sale or ground lease. Stay tuned.
What’s that? Meanwhile, inquiring readers want to know about all that land-clearing and a freshly posted sign off FM 2004 in Hitchcock, across from Hitchcock Primary School.
Cory Davis, owner of C. Davis Commercial, bought the land — a little less than 1 acre — about six months ago. Davis is planning to build either a warehouse or retail space, depending on the interest, he said.
The project would mark his first development. As owner of C. Davis Commercial, he has worked on interiors and some building shells, but never developed a commercial property on his own. The property, where he plans three buildings, about 6,000 square feet each, is zoned commercial, Davis said.
“I have some ideas, but I want to see what the interest is,” Davis said. Stay tuned.
Grand plans: Some readers are shopping for opening-day news about Ross Dress for Less in Texas City. Here it is: Corporate officials are planning a grand opening Saturday for the off-price purveyor of clothing, shoes, décor and more in Palmer Plaza, 3400 block of Palmer Highway.
Ross will join a fresh lineup at the 98,816-square-foot shopping center that Edifis Group is redeveloping.
Edifis Group acquired Palmer Plaza shopping center in 2016. The center was built in 1987.
Edifis earlier this year confirmed previously buzzed reports that grocer Aldi, Ross and fast-food eatery Chick-fil-A plan to open in the center. Existing tenant Dollar Tree is moving within the shopping center.
Texas City Goodwill Select Store and Donation Center closed at the shopping center in February, citing issues with lease negotiations. Baytown Seafood is no longer operating in Palmer Plaza.
Ross Dress for Less, with 2017 revenues of $14.1 billion, operates more than 1,400 stores and sells brand-name and designer apparel, footwear and home accessories at a discount.
Palmer Plaza is next to grocer H-E-B, which opened in 2016. The more modern H-E-B, which replaced an older one at 918 20th St. N., was a catalyst for the redevelopment of Palmer Plaza, Edifis officials have said.
Bubbling up: Is the bubble-tea trend making its way to the island? Tea leaves point in that direction. A sign at 4701 Seawall Blvd. heralds the imminent arrival of Teaside Tapioca. There’s a Facebook site, too, but no one answers at the phone number posted on that social media page. Such tea houses serve what’s known as bubble tea, which is as big in Taiwan as coffee is in the United States. Bubble-tea shops have popped up all over the Clear Lake area, but none so far in Galveston.
Bubble teas 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. Stay tuned.