Greek peek: For everyone who called or emailed over the past several years inquiring about when and where Olympia Grill would open in the north county, there’s appetizing news.
After five years of searching for the right spot, brothers Larry and Tikie Kriticos confirm they have signed a lease for 10,000 square feet at Pinnacle Park, a 100-acre mixed-use development at Interstate 45 and Big League Dreams Parkway. The exact address for what will be the third Olympia Grill in the county is 2535 Interstate 45 S. The restaurant will rise very near where Memorial Hermann‘s 47,000-square-foot Convenient Care Center Center is underway.
The Kriticos brothers, who own and operate Olympia Grill at 4908 Seawall Blvd. and Olympia Grill at Pier 21, both on the island, have a large fan base in the north county. League City’s demographics are appealing, Larry Kriticos said. Larry Kriticos expects many of the doctors, nurses and support staff at Memorial Hermann, along with the University of Texas Medical Branch‘s League City campus, to frequent the restaurant.
Olympia Grill League City will be very much like the concept at Pier 21, specializing in local, fresh seafood dishes and some Greek cuisine. Like the Pier 21 location, the League City restaurant will feature a patio, but will boast a larger kitchen. The Olympia Grill League City will seat about 440 people, Larry Kriticos said. Olympia Grill will continue to source seafood from local markets. In developing the third restaurant, the Kriticos brothers are working with HomeTown Bank.
Pinnacle Park has been on a hot streak when it comes to attracting retailers and restaurants and major anchor tenants. Principals with Pinnacle Alliance Fund, developer of the commercial center, have lured a lineup of restaurants and retailers, including PizzaFire, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Firehouse Subs, Beef Jerky Outlet and Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurants.
Non-food related concepts include Cabela’s, which anchors the park; Memorial Hermann and Fairfield Inn and Suites, also are underway.
Can we expect more Olympia Grill expansion beyond the League City concept?
“When the lion retires, he gets devoured,” Larry Kriticos said.
Billion-dollar buzz: Island-born Tilman Fertitta ranked number 212 on the most recent Forbes’ 400 list of wealthiest Americans, which was released last week. Forbes reporters pegged Fertitta’s wealth at $3.5 billion, just below famed motion picture director Steven Spielberg and ahead of President Donald Trump, who Forbes listed at 248.
On the hunt: Meanwhile, Fertitta, new owner of the Houston Rockets, will be back for an all-new season of “Billion Dollar Buyer” premiering Jan. 3. In the CNBC reality TV show, the hospitality mogul helps small businesses score big deals. The next season of “Billion Dollar Buyer” finds Fertitta back on the hunt for products he can use at his restaurants, hotels and casinos. With just one order, Fertitta can change the fate of a small business.
Fertitta oversees more than 600 properties and more than 60 restaurant, hotel and entertainment brands, ranging from high-end properties such as Mastro’s and Morton’s The Steakhouse, to such mainstream destinations as Rainforest Café, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Saltgrass Steak House and five Golden Nugget casinos.
Bank notes: Island-based Moody National Bank is in the national spotlight for how it responded to Hurricane Harvey.
Moody National is featured in an inspiring national video about how banks responded to rebuild their communities after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
In the video, Moody National Bank President Victor Pierson said: “That’s exactly what community banking is all about — being there for the community when they need you.”
The video also features Brent Cockerham, a Moody National banker and Friendswood volunteer firefighter, who helped for a week in the Friendswood emergency operations center during and after Harvey, which struck in late August and badly flooded the north county city and other mainland communities.
The American Bankers Association produced the six-minute video, which debuted at its annual convention Oct. 15-17 in Chicago.
“This video emphasizes the critical role that community banks play in helping communities and businesses recover after a disaster,” Pierson said. “We’re very proud to be included.”
You can watch “America’s Banks Rebuild Communities After Hurricanes” on YouTube.
Urban planning: Has it really been a year? Georgia Meyer and Ami Barzilay this month celebrated the first anniversary of their gift and home accessories shop Urban Gypsy on 6th, 811 Sixth St. N., suite 100, in Texas City. Meyer and Barzilay also celebrated an addition to the shop — Urban Man — which carries men’s gifts and collectibles.
Meyer, early on, saw Sixth Street’s potential. She and Bonnie Baty in 2014 moved their popular Karat Creations Jewelry to the more than 100-year-old building, which Meyer renovated to make way for 11,000 square feet of retail space on the bottom floor and lofts on the top floor.
Along with Karat Creations Jewelry, other tenants in the same building include Campeche Coffee Etc. and salon and spa Carol & Co.
Texas City officials have invested millions of dollars in infrastructure to lure and retain shops to the street that in its heyday was the city’s retail center.
Contain yourself: Details were scarce, but in an August pre-development meeting with Galveston planning officials, a structural engineer wanted to discuss plans to build a beach house made from shipping containers on Las Palmas Street on the island’s West End.
Room service: In another recent pre-development meeting with island planning officials, an island businessman talked about developing ECO Hotel on the eastern end of Seawall Boulevard near Boddeker Drive. No other information was available. Stay tuned.