Ringing up a remodel: After several months of remodeling work, supermarket Randalls in Galveston on Friday officially unveiled the results with a re-grand opening.
Remodeling at the store, 2931 Central City Blvd., resulted in a repaved parking lot, new décor and lighting for a brighter look and:
• Floral department with expanded varieties and new features
• Enlarged and new Rustic Farmer’s Produce department, with expanded organic offerings and wider selection of ready-to-eat cut fruits and vegetables
• Gourmet cheese section with more variety
• Bakery department fresh baked expanded – now featuring single-serve desserts
• Full-service meat and seafood counter
• Expanded wine, spirits and beer selection
• Self-checkout stands
• Sushi, salad and wing bars
• New pharmacy consultation room
The renovations were reassuring to some island shoppers, who have watched nervously as Randalls, a division of national supermarket company Albertsons, recently closed some Houston-area stores.
Front burner: It’s only a matter of weeks before the island gets a taste of its first poke bowl restaurant concept.
Suki Nguyen and her husband, Slevin Tran, are awaiting final inspections of Suki Poké By The Sea, 427 Market St., in the new retail center across from the University of Texas Medical Branch.
For the uninitiated, poke — pronounced poh-kay — means “slice or cut crosswise” in Hawaiian and refers to raw, marinated fish served over rice with vegetables and sauces.
Along with the poke bowls, the eatery will serve cuisine inspired by Japanese street food, such as takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese snack filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion. It also will serve boba or “bubble tea,” a popular Taiwanese drink that contains milk, as well as sugar and toppings, such as chewy tapioca balls.
The couple was inspired to open the restaurant by the popularity of poke bowl venues in Houston and other cities, Nguyen said. The restaurant will accommodate medical students and others who want to linger, study and snack, she said.
Tran is known for his work as a sushi chef at Yamato on the island and Nguyen has worked in the restaurant industry for more than 10 years. Stay tuned.
Mailbag: A reader asked: “What’s happening on Avenue R between 38th and 39th streets (in Galveston)? There’s a sign with a picture of five, maybe six houses on it, saying ‘Coming 2020.’ Let’s hope it’s more middle-income housing.”
Answer: That’s the future site of seven, two-story buildings in an initiative by Galveston College to provide student housing. The development, along with garage apartments behind it, will house 110 students, college officials have said. The project cost is about $4 million — $2.6 million for construction, $75,000 for land development and a fee of about $655,000, 25 percent of actual construction costs, to be paid to contractor Sullivan Brothers Builders, a Galveston company that will manage the project.
The seven units are designed to resemble historical Galveston homes with front-facing porches and balconies and large, shuttered windows. Creole Design, of Houston, created architectural plans.
The city has issued permits for construction of the student housing and some related demolition, city officials said. Plans called for demolishing four houses at the site to accommodate the development. Galveston College officials say the development will be ready for fall of 2020.
Latte lowdown: Another inquiring reader asked: “Any word on when the new Starbucks being built on 517 will open?
Seattle-based Starbucks isn’t responding to Biz Buzz inquiries, but at the rate of inspections are going, Dickinson officials surmise the coffeehouse chain is on target to open in a couple of months.
Starbucks is building a store next to Investar Bank, formerly Mainland Bank on FM 517 in Dickinson. Investar Bank operates at 400 FM 517. The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain, known for coffee drinks and light bites, operates a store in Kroger at 3410 Interstate 45, but this is the first stand-alone shop for Dickinson.
Coming soon: Island-born, self-made billionaire Tilman Fertitta is the sole owner of restaurant giant Landry’s, Fertitta Entertainment, the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels and the NBA’s Houston Rockets. And soon he’ll be known as a book author.
Fertitta, who built is empire from just one Houston restaurant, will, for the first time, reveal the secrets to success in his debut book titled “Shut Up and Listen! Hard Business Truths That Will Help You Succeed.” Fertitta in the book offers “straightfoward, powerful strategies and ideas to help anyone achieve the sort of breakout they want, no matter if they’re just starting out or well into their career,” he said.
HarperCollins Publishing will release the hardbound book on Sept. 17. Read more about it soon in the news pages.
Lagniappe: Area dining options just got a little spicier. As promised, BB’s Tex-Orleans Cooking has opened in the building formerly housing Macaroni Grill, 1039 W. Bay Area Blvd. in Webster.
The Webster location will mark the 10th Houston area BB’s, which operates in Houston’s city limits, Katy, Cypress and Pearland.
BB’s, which serves cajun-fried seafood, crawfish boils and gumbo, has earned a loyal following in the years since its Montrose debut in 2007.
The eatery also is known for NOLA-style po-boys, oyster bars and seafood dishes.