Grocer gossip: Rumor has it that fast-growing grocery store chain Aldi is shopping around for an island location. Aldi officials didn’t return calls, but those in the know say the Germany-based supermarket chain, known for its no-frills approach, is interested in a Broadway Boulevard site.
While the industry trend has been to super-size supermarkets, Aldi takes a different approach. Typical grocery stores carry about 30,000 items. Aldi, which has stores in Kemah and Webster, sells only about 1,400 of the fastest-moving products, mostly under its private label and for prices 50 percent less than traditional supermarkets. The chain had been eyeing a Texas City site, but reportedly shelved the plans after San Antonio-based H-E-B decided to build its new, 57,000-square-foot store just east of Highway 146 and north of Palmer Highway, at the site of the old Kmart building. Stay tuned.
This just in: Some readers have been carrying a torch for Torchy’s Tacos, a popular Austin-based concept long rumored to be headed this way. There’s news. Torchy’s plans to open at Baybrook Passage Shopping Center, 19431 Gatebrook Drive in Webster, in the site formerly occupied by Berryhill Baja Grill. In 2006, Michael Rypka left his executive chef job to chase his dreams, acquired a food trailer, mortgaged his house, maxed out his credit cards and opened the first Torchy’s on Bouldin Creek in Austin, according to company lore. Today Torchy’s Tacos operates more than 30 stores and the orginial trailer. Look soon for opening date news.
Going once … : Is anyone in the market for a 133-unit apartment complex on the island’s West End? Bids start at $2 million for Residences at West Beach, 3222 69th St. Owners are hoping to sell the property in an online auction. The complex was built in 1976, renovated in 2008 and again in 2014. Visit auction.com for information.
Coastal comeback: No one can accuse Ginger Grutzius of giving up easily. Grutzius is planning a grand opening of Ginger’s Coastal Eatery & Sports Bar, 2007 E. Bayshore Drive in San Leon. The eatery opened in 2007 serving steaks and seafood and was well received. But Hurricane Ike came along in 2008, wiping out the business.
Grutzius made a comeback, reopening the establishment a few weeks ago. She had planned a grand opening celebration last weekend. But bad weather nixed that. The restaurant sustained some flooding Sunday, but Grutzius was prepared with rented pumps to mitigate the flooding and there was minimal damage, she said.
The fireplace, tongue-and-groove wood paneling and stonework survived Ike. But the menu is different. The establishment will serve burgers, corn beef and cabbage and other hearty meals. Also look for an oyster bar. The emphasis is more on the sports bar concept this time around. There also will be Buzztime trivia and more. Grutzius is working on a reopening date and opening the kitchen. Stay tuned.
Hot dish: Also making a comeback is restaurateur Kim Oravetz. As promised, Oravetz has opened Red Oak Café in Westover Park Plaza, 6011 W. Main in League City.
Oravetz had operated the now closed Texas Tea Cafe in Friendswood. Red Oak Cafe will offer all the Texas Tea Cafe favorites, but with an expanded menu, and also will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Texas Tea Cafe was known for soups and sandwiches, but Red Oak Cafe serves up more hot dishes, such as chicken pot pies, beef stews, jambalaya, hot panini sandwiches, baked potatoes and more. Banana pudding, Bundt cakes and other sweets also are on the menu. League City and Friendswood are home to chains that serve breakfast. But Red Oak Cafe will be a rare independent serving a sit-down morning meal.
Fast lane: Texas City-based Saba Motors has driven into its new location, 3225 Magnolia Ave. The company, owned by James Chalji, moved from its Palmer Highway location to make way for the development of the newly opened H-E-B. Saba Motors sells used cars and offers automotive repair.
It’s a date: Look for a 10 a.m. Nov. 7 grand opening and ribbon cutting of Gallery by the Gulf, 1980 state Highway 87 on Bolivar Peninsula. As previously buzzed, Gallery by the Gulf is an artist cooperative and art gallery. About seven artists are on the cooperative side, which offers display and work space; the gallery will feature an artist of the month. Gallery by the Gulf is in a building formerly occupied by Lighthouse Liquor and is the only gallery on the peninsula.
Coming soon: League City is soon to be home to a Bahama Bucks and a new senior living concept. Read more about it next week.
I hope the rumor that Aldi's will be coming to Galveston is true. I used to shop at their store all the time in Grand Prairie.
It would be great having another grocery store option on the Island. Next thing that Galveston County would need is a Costco!
The old HEB in Texas CIty is the best place.... bring it on
An aldi would be great! Used to shop there in Chicago. Not a huge selection but noone could beat the prices on what they carried.
The article says Broadway but I think they would do great at the old Gerlands site at 45th and S too. They would have to demolish and rebuild I think though.[smile]
Yes, the old Gerland's site would be perfect! I do so hope we get an Aldi's!
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