Buzzy buzz: It was the case of the disappearing Shell station. As one reader put it: “It was gone in a matter of days.”

Crews earlier this month demolished the Buzzy Bee convenience store and Shell gas station, 2605 FM 519 in La Marque, to make way for a larger one that will include a convenience store/fueling station, a Jack in the Box and a Louisiana Fried Chicken, Buzzy Bee Manager Ali Mohammad said.

The development also will result in bigger, better restrooms, Mohammad said. The 7,416-square-foot project brings $800,000 of capital improvement to La Marque, city spokeswoman Colleen Merritt said.

Crews are scheduled to complete the project in about five months, weather permitting, Mohammad said.

Chips are down: Meanwhile, another mainland mystery is yet to be solved. The beloved Alfie’s Fish & Chips, 2115 Palmer Highway in Texas City, is generating much buzz for a notice on its door stating the eatery is closed for maintenance and repairs during the holiday season.

“We will be back as soon as possible,” the sign states. Owners did not immediately respond to messages left on the eatery’s answering machine.

Alfie’s has been around for decades and is known for English-style fish and chips, fried seafood and hushpuppies. Stay tuned.

Bottoms up: In a sure sign that Fetching Lab Brewery could any day open its doors in Texas City, a fire inspector was spotted Friday at the 221 6th St. N venue.

Owners Brett Bray and Theresa Hutchings on that same day also were awaiting a successful health inspection for the taproom. And when they get the go-ahead from inspectors, they plan to file for an occupancy permit with plans to open very soon this month, Bray said.

Bray and Hutchings opened Fetching Lab, known for a variety of beers, three years ago at 1578 Country Road 423 in Galveston County. The Algoa brewery didn’t have a taproom, but the Texas City site allowed for such an expansion. Look soon for official opening news.

The dirt: Inquiring readers want to know about mounds of dirt at 800 Clear Creek Ave. and Washington Street, just off of state Highway 3 between Walker Street and League City Parkway.

David Hoover, director of planning and development for League City, reports: “The owner received a grading and fill permit back in January of this year. But they have not submitted anything for review as far as building/use.”

The property is zoned “Limited Industrial,” so it’s likely to be more self-storage or some type of light industrial use, Hoover said. Stay tuned.

Flexing muscle: With New Year’s resolutions high on people’s minds, Planet Fitness has officially opened in Texas City, 3407 Palmer Highway, in the building formerly housing Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery business offices. The 20,000-square-foot facility features more than 105 pieces of cardio and strength equipment and such amenities as HydroMassage lounge chairs, the company said. Founded in 1992 in Dover, New Hampshire, Planet Fitness has more than 12.2 million members and 1,646 gyms.

Fit to print: In other fitness news, a popular downtown island shop for runners and triathletes in January will pass the relay baton to a new owner.

Kim Bachmeier and Steve Whitcher, who opened Fit Tri Run just more than nine years ago, will next month finalize the sale of the 518 23rd St. shop to Johnny Zepeda, who owns Powerhouse Racing in Webster.

Fit Tri Run, known for athletic apparel, running shoes and training and coaching services, will remain open under Bachmeier and Whitcher until Jan. 1 — for holiday shopping and to help runners prepare for the Chevron Houston Marathon set for Jan. 20, Bachmeier said.

The couple appreciates the support of islanders as they transition, Bachmeier said. She and Whitcher want to spend more time with their family. Bachmeier will stay on with Fit Tri Run for a year as a consultant, she said. Sale of the shop will allow her to focus more on people and less on all the behind-the-scenes details that come with being a business owner, she said.

Zepeda will keep the Fit Tri Run name, he said.

“It’s a strong brand,” Zepeda said.

Zepeda plans to maintain Fit Tri Run offerings, while adding more merchandise and services, he said.

Powerhouse Racing in Webster is a training studio for endurance athletes. The business also offers athletic merchandise. Under Zepeda’s ownership, Fit Tri Run will expand its offering of running shoes and will put its cycling offerings in higher gear, Zepeda said.

After Jan. 1, the shop will close for about four days to give Zepeda time to add merchandise and rearrange the floor plan. Look for a Jan. 7 soft re-opening and a Jan. 12 grand re-opening, he said.

“You’ll feel the same energy and great customer service,” Bachmeier said.

Making us blush: The great-granddaughter of Mary Kay Ash — founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics — is soon to open a $6.5 million, 22,000-square-foot spa in Friendswood. Read more about it next week in Biz Buzz.

Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com

Managing Editor

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