Prost: When a German tells you, Das ist nicht dein bier, which translates to “That is not your beer,” what he’s really telling you is, “This is none of your business.”
But this buzz is everyone’s business, and the business here is beer.
After some delay, King’s Bierhaus finally announced this week it planned an April 23 opening of its League City venue, 828 W. FM 646.
The wait has been a long one. King’s Bierhaus generated big buzz when it announced in January 2017 plans to open in League City. Hurricane Harvey, which struck in August that year caused some delays. The owner also decided to expand mid-construction with an outdoor beer garden, which required it to buy some adjacent property for an extra parking lot and secure new permits.
King’s Bierhaus, which will offer 25 German beers on tap, along with German and American cuisine, will feature a 300-seat outdoor beer garden and large indoor dining room with communal tables.
Greek tragedy: In one of the most swift and shocking ends to what just in November appeared to be a successful and growing restaurant chain, brothers Larry and Tikie Kriticos this week closed the original Olympia Grill.
The 4908 Seawall Blvd. restaurant was the third of the chain’s Greek cuisine and seafood operations closed in a two-month span beginning in early March with the closure of Olympia Grill at 2535 Interstate 45 in League City’s Pinnacle Park. But a sign posted on the door Friday at the seawall Olympia Grill leaves a sliver of hope for a return: “Unfortunately, Olympia Grill will be closed until further notice.”
In early March, the Kriticos brothers closed the highly anticipated League City restaurant, in which they had invested heavily and had opened in November. That restaurant was meant to meet a north county demand. Some locals speculated the League City closure could partly be blamed on I-45 construction between FM 518 and FM 517 and demolition of the FM 646 bridge.
Initially, the Kriticos brothers said the League City closure was temporary, but later posted on social media: “Despite our best effort to establish ourselves in this thriving community, we simply weren’t experiencing the amount of business necessary to continue.”
In early April, shortly after the League City closure, the brothers closed Olympia Grill at Pier 21. The Pier 21 restaurant, which opened in June 2009, had been the product of a collaboration with the family of oil magnate, developer and philanthropist George P. Mitchell, a famous Galveston Greek who died in 2013.
The Kriticos brothers did not return phone calls.
Buzz bait: Meanwhile, the recent sudden closure of the longtime Smitty’s Bait House, which is the on-site bait camp for Pelican Rest Marina, 7805 Broadway in Galveston, sent ripples through the fishing world. But there’s good news.
The bait house will come back “bigger and better than ever” and open possibly by Memorial Day, which is May 27, reports Buddy Schultz, who owns Pelican Rest Marina and Number 13, an upscale steakhouse at the island yachting hub on the north side of Offatts Bayou.
Schultz, however, declined to elaborate more this week. Stay tuned.
Diving in: Developers of Lago Mar have opened an information center, 3240 Lago Mar Blvd. in Texas City, for the firm’s 12-acre Crystal Lagoon and the 70-acre mixed-use entertainment destination surrounding it.
“The information center is where visitors can get more details and updates on the Lago Mar lagoon, which will be the first of its kind to combine private residential beaches with retail and daily-fee access,” said Tim Johnson, director of community sales and marketing for Land Tejas, developer of Lago Mar, a residential community where thousands of homes are planned.
The first phase of the lagoon, expected to open in early 2020, is designed for resident access. It will feature white sand beaches and a residents’ clubhouse. More phases are being designed for public access and will include multiple beaches, a floating obstacle course, a swim-up bar, a 10,000-square-foot beach club with cabana pool and the Treasure Island complex with a two-story building designed to accommodate entertainment events, corporate outings, weddings and private functions, Johnson said.
Lago Mar is a 2,033-acre community underway along I-45 in Texas City. More than 4,000 homes are planned for the community, and home prices start in the $200,000s.
Renovations resume: There’s a sad reason for the recent slowdown of renovation work on Mariner Inn, 1602 Seawall Blvd. on the island, said the project’s architect, Michael Gaertner.
The contractor for the project, Calvert James Waller, was killed in a plane crash near Katy on Jan. 31, according to reports. Waller died when the single-engine Mooney M20 he was piloting crashed nose first in a wooded area, according to reports.
Andy Gandhi, a principal in Jalaram Enterprise, which owns the property, has hired a new contractor, Gaertner said. No word on when the remodeled hotel will reopen.
Mariner Inn originally opened in 1965.
Overdue news: It’s nearly a year later, but this column should note that a Dickinson business, which began in 1957, is under new ownership.
“Not a lot of people know about it,” said Eddie Dues, who with his wife, Betsy, sold Dues Camping Center in June last year to Todd and Catharine Walker. Eddie and Betsy Dues have been enjoying retirement, he said.
Dues Camping Center, 2619 I-45, sells RV parts and offers repair services.
Bonnie and Bob Dues began the business in downtown Dickinson. Before that, Bob Dues, since 1946, had run the Sinclair gas station on state Highway 3 where Sonic Drive-In now stands.
In 1981, Bob and Bonnie Dues felt it was time for the next generation to take over and wanted a husband-and-wife team. Eddie, who had worked at the business since he was 12 years old, and Betsy bought the business. They successfully operated until they sold it to the Walkers last year. The Dues made themselves available for consulting and questions as the Walkers learned the business, Eddie Dues said. Now the Dues enjoy traveling, he said.