Hot dish: Remember all the buzz back in May about popular Texas City eatery Gus’ Restaurant contemplating a move? The rumors were true, Mike Tucker confirmed last week.
Gus’ has been successful at 3402 Palmer Highway, where the restaurant has operated for 10 years. But Tucker couldn’t come to terms with a landlord that wanted about $48,000 a year more in rent, he said.
“We’re not closing,” Tucker said. “We’ll be here through end the year, maybe February next year, all depends.”
Then, Gus’ will move to 3501 Palmer Highway — the same building Baytown Seafood moved into last year. Baytown and Gus’ will operate in a subdivided space formerly occupied by Lee’s Oriental Buffet.
Fans travel from all over for Gus’ Restaurant’s chicken piccata and hand-cut New York strips, rib-eyes and filet mignon — all fare that Tucker added when he began working at Gus’ in 1972. The restaurant also serves a variety of seafood dishes.
Tucker bought the restaurant, popular among plant and refinery workers, in 1980. Tucker has invested much time and work at the 3402 Palmer Highway building, where he employs 31 people, but just wasn’t willing to abide by such a steep rent increase, he said.
Bear tracks: Representatives of Redding, California-based Black Bear Diner came out of hibernation Friday to confirm an Aug. 26 opening date for their eatery at Pinnacle Park, Interstate 45 and Big League Dreams Parkway in League City.
The company has secured permits from the city and crews are working to transform the space formerly occupied by Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery.
Black Bear Diner serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is known for offering sizable portions of such fare as chicken fried steak, meatloaf, pot roast, pies and more.
Tower tattle: Work on a 12,000-square-foot events center at 3881 state Highway 96 E. in League City is generating buzz.
Michele Patterson is behind the development called Villagio Tower Event Venue.
Although Michele Patterson is the principal owner of the venue, it’s a family affair. She and her husband, Dr. Brent Patterson, are developing the venue on property where they also own League City Family Dentistry. The venue is rising where there was available lease space at the center, Brent Patterson said.
The venue will include two ballrooms, one of which will feature a chapel for weddings, and a partially covered outdoor courtyard, he said.
Because most people booking event venues prefer to bring in their own caterers, Villagio Tower Event Venue won’t include a kitchen.
“There’s a need for this in this area,” he said.
Mock talk: A new art venture has opened in the island’s downtown.
Artists Karla Mock and Shawne Moore are collaborating on Mock & Moore Gallery, 2215 B Postoffice St.
The gallery showcases handcrafted sterling silver jewelry by Mock and oil paintings by Moore, but also features studio space where people can observe the artists creating their works.
Mock’s sterling silver jewelry features a variety of stones and materials. Moore’s Old World-style oil paintings depict Galveston landscapes and island imagery, as well as scenes from her travels.
Cluck stops here: Love that chicken from Popeyes? Apparently, a lot of people do. Because several readers called Biz Buzz worried the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fast-food eatery at 2904 61st St. in Galveston had closed.
It hadn’t closed and an employee answering the phones had fielded several questions about it that day. The only thing she could figure was the eatery had lowered the blinds to keep the sun and heat out and that caused the confusion. The restaurant is open.
Clearing things up: A reader emailed: “In regards to La Marque, there has been a massive land clearing along the service/feeder road of I-45 South starting right after Seacrest in Texas City, behind Sam’s, Walmart, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and all the way up to Junemann Bayou, which is right before the entrance of my community, Painted Meadows on Autry Drive. The proportions of the cleared land are simply massive, albeit irregular in shape due to property lines, etc. Some were speculating that there will be apartment complexes in there, which would make perfect sense due to proximity to all of the shops in that Walmart-anchored shopping mall.”
Answer: “To our knowledge, the land owner is cleaning the property to make it more marketable,” said Colleen Merritt, public relations specialist for La Marque Economic Development Corp. The city has no knowledge of plans for an apartment complex, Merritt said.
Biz Buzz in October last year reported the 81 acres on the southeast intersection of Interstate 45 and FM 1764, on land that’s contiguous with the Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter, was being marketed by real estate brokerage Riverway Properties for sale or ground lease. Nothing specific is yet planned for the property. Riverway Properties, a real estate brokerage firm, is marketing sites at the property for sale or ground lease.