Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heights Happenings: December 15- December 22, 2010

Friday, December 17, 8:30 PM: Ian Moore performs at The Listening Room
  • Join The Listening Room at Niamoves for their last show of the season. Ian Moore will be performing for the 3rd time in this intimate and unique Heights venue.
  • Doors 8:30. Show starts at 9 PM.
  • Chip Robinson opening
  • Tickets $20 in advance until 4 PM Friday. $25 at the door (if there are any left).
Saturday, December 18, 11 AM- 3 PM: Pet photos with Santa at Natural Pawz
  • Bring your own camera and your special pet to take that portrait with Santa.
  • A suggested donation of $5 per portrait will benefit the Bureau of Animal Regualtion and Control (BARC).
  • Also, Lone Star Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso Rescue will be available for pet adoptions.
  • 514 W 19th, next to Penzey's
Sunday, December 19, 2 PM- 4 PM: "Texas Artists Today" Book signing at Hello, Lucky
  • Head to Hello, Lucky for a book signing with some of the artists in the book, as well as the author, art writer Catherine Anspon.
  • Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event
  • Here is a great Chron article about the book!
  • Hello, Lucky proprietress and artist Teresa OConnor is in the book. She is amazing!


Holiday Happenings Outside the Heights:

Saturday, December 18, 10 AM: Gingerbread House Workshop for Kids at Four Seasons
  • Bring the family to the Four Season for some festive fun in the pastry kitchen! Parents can relax while chefs help children build their own sugary creations to take home with them. After the houses are made, visitors can check out the elevator which has been converted to a gingerbread house, and then walk over to Discovery Green Park for ice skating on St. Joseph Medical Center’s ICE at Discovery Green.
  • Tickets cost $45 and include ice skating.
Sunday, December 19, 12 - 4 PM: Urban Holiday Farmers Market
  • The Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Discovery Green expands to include holiday products from resident artists and craftsmen, using local and sustainable materials. Pick up unique gifts as well as your weekly veggies.
In Other News:

I am very sad to report Heights Books-Libros is closing. Closeout sale begins 12/13/10 and will end 1/15/11.
  • All New & Used Books 50% OFF (English & Spanish books in cooking, home/garden, fiction, non-fiction, pets, poetry, self-help, & spiritual.
  • Childrens books in English, Spanish, and Bilingual).
  • Jewelry - Stationary - Folkart - Gifts 50% OFF
  • Small bookshelves $10
  • Tall bookshelves $20
  • Two fabric chairs $10 ea.
  • One Glass Display Case $175
  • 520 E 20th, Ste A. In the same strip as Prestigious Nails.
  • Monday - Friday 9-6pm, Saturday 9-5pm
  • 713-869-9966

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heights Happenings: December 8- December 15, 2010

We all know that Saturday, December 11 is the Holy Grail of Heights Events. Lights in the Heights will bring thousands of people in to our amazing neighborhood. We'll get to show off our hospitality, creativity, love of fun, sense of community, and, yes, even the dreaded "quirkiness" we're no longer supposed to talk about. But, before you get your Santa suit on and climb on your motorized cooler, or gas up your art car, or put your kids in their red wagon with Christmas lights, or have your friends over for drinks and people watching, there are a couple other things going on in this quirky, quirky, quirky neighborhood this weekend.


Friday, December 12, 8 PM: Heights Live! Presents Robert Ellis
  • Family friendly concerts are held at Heights Presbyterian Church
  • Robert Ellis only $5 cover and babysitting services are also available at the venue.
  • Shows are also BYOB
  • 240 W 18th St. Call ahead if you want sitting services or have any questions.
  • 713-861-1907
Saturday, December 11, 9 AM- 11 AM: Timbergrove Manor Civic Club's Annual Snow Day
  • This free, familt event will take place at Jaycee Park, 1300 Seamist, compliments of Timbergrove's civic club and local business sponsors.
  • There will be piles of snow divided by age as well as a trackless train, a balloon artist, face painting, bouncers, and more. Hot chocolate, coffee and sweets!
  • P.S. I know this is just outside the Heights ;)
Saturday, December 11, 11 AM- 6 PM: Beatniks present Brittany Bly
  • One of the Heights newest shops, Beatniks specializes in Argentine Tango and swing dance shoes, plus vintage clothes and artist made accessories.
  • Before LITH, they'll celebrate their December artist, Brittany Bly, and her works depicting mathematical equations along with hand made jewelry and insect pins.
  • They'll also be stoking the Holiday spirit with holiday spirit with mulled wine and tasty panettone.
  • 709 E 11th, next to Zelko Bistro, in the "sunshine yellow" bungalow

OUTSIDE THE HEIGHTS

Saturday, December 11, 10 AM: ArCH’s Gingerbread House Build-off at Market Square Park
  • Supplied with gingerbread, icing, gumdrops, candy canes and other holiday treats, watch teams of artistically and architecturally talented individuals compete for the ultimate prize—best in show!
  • Sponsored by ArCH and the Downtown District, events begin at 10 a.m. with judging at 4 p.m.
  • Market Square Park, 301 Milam (rainout location will be at Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120).

Monday, December 6, 2010

On Rusty Nails and Shopping

Hoping everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I sure did! Thanksgiving is actually my favorite family holiday. I grew up in Massachusetts and Thanksgiving is quintessential Fall in New England. It has also always been the "gathering holiday" for my family. We tend to scatter to Inlaws and or other families at Christmas time, but Thanksgiving is always when we are all together. Even my Inlaws have started joining my family for the holiday.

As much as I love it, though, something in the last few years something has started to damper Thanksgiving for me. Black Friday. The entire month of November no longer leads up to that great day of breaking bread with those you love and giving Thanks. It leads up to BLACK FRIDAY!! Yes, I am aware the day after Thanksgiving has always been the biggest shopping day of the year. Sure. It makes sense. People are off of work for the 1st and maybe last time before Christmas. It is nice to get out of the house, walk of some of that dinner. A few years back, though, this marketing assault began. Build up. Commercials. The name. It became extreme. Hysterical, even. And I despise it. I try to do the bulk of my shopping locally, yes. However, with 5 nieces, 2 nephews and 2 sons of my own, sometimes the mall comes in to the equation. But not on Black Friday. I would actually chew rusty nails rather than wake up at 4 AM for a "door buster." It honestly drives me insane. It used to be a fun, traditional shopping day. Now it's risking your life in a stampede for a tv. No thanks.

This isn't to criticize people who do Black Friday shopping. I have friends who don't even need to set the alarm to be up-and-at-em for the 4 AM white sale. More power to them! But I also know there are a lot of people like me, who would rather chew rusty nails.

And in this group of people who would rather chew rusty nails are inevitably others like me who have people on their list who are hard to shop for. My hardest is my doesn't-have-any-hobbies, isn't-a-gadget-guy, doesn't-have-time-to-read husband. Last year I hit the nail on the head with a bike and double trailer to tote the kids. Probably the best gift ever, but now I was left with nothing in the arsenal.

Then I met Beth Heitmann. This Heights area mom has a great answer to my question of "How do I support someone local, find something unique for my tough to buy for husband, avoid sales stampedes and not have to drink rusty nails?"

Beth is an independent consultant for menswear maker J. Hillburn. Through Beth, I have the option of getting my husband some custom clothing in the comfort of my own little bungalow. At the same time, I get to help support a local mom who made a big change for her family.

Beth didn't start out with a career in menswear. A graduate of Texas A&M, Beth started her career working at a law firm doing contract negotiations for construction projects. After the birth of her first son, she found she couldn't maintain her schedule and went to reduced hours, which helped her get the balance she wanted with work and family. However, as time went on the economy wasn't going to support her part time position and another bouncing baby boy was on the way. Beth started to think about other options, but we all know career changes are tough, especially with small kids at home. However, she was ripe for a change at the time an opportunity happened to come along. A Dallas native, Beth had some friends back home who were working, basically for themselves, selling custom mens clothing for a Dallas based company. J Hillburn wanted to get in to the Houston market and it was a perfect opportunity for Beth.

Limited run fall patterns, which can be a whole shirt or just accents in the collars or cuffs. Popular with some of Beth's clients now: calico prints in a Western Cut with pearl snaps.

Now, this husband of mine is set in his ways about what he wears. He likes what he likes and no gimmick or slick sales pitch is going to make him get something that isn't what he wants. This is why I am glad I got a chance to meet with Beth and check out the merchandise first hand. She showed me huge books of fabric samples and so many configurations of collars, cuffs, plackets, pockets. It was overwhelming... but not the same way as trying to find a Black Friday parking space. This was from the comfort of Beth's living room. Beth explained the process to me, adding in facts about the company and how it started, how the founders made a fortune on Wall Street and decided they wanted to start something on their own. They loved custom shirts and set out to offer high quality shirts to even non-Wall Street guys. She was clearly knowledgable about the materials, the styles. After all, she's had to sell them to her own husband.

More traditional patterns and colors, probably more suited to the person I'd be buying for, are always available. There are four labels, offering a hierarchy of quality ranging from $79- 149.

More cuff styles than I was aware existed, plus the option for short sleeves.

One of Beth's husband's shirts. All shirts have the owner's initials in the collar.

I enjoyed the variety of fabrics and the options to build a shirt from the ground up. I also enjoyed Beth's easy demeanor and noticeable absence of "sales pitch." I liked how Beth suggested to only start with one shirt and make sure it works. I found that to be very different from the "I brought you 7 different colors even though you said 'white'" approach of the mall.

J. Hillburn also has a selection of sweaters and dress pants. I did take exception to the fact that they have a "Houston sweater" but use the New York pronunciation: house-ton. Shameful for a Texas based business (but beautiful sweaters, nonetheless).

Will my husband love this idea? I don't know. I just ruined the surprise since he reads this blog (after all, he is my biggest fan), but it's something different, personal and still practical. If it works for him, this is the kind of gift that will be useful for years, unlike that $5 all purpose tool from Target that will break by the third purpose.

Meet (a very pregnant in this picture) Beth.
She may no longer work negotiating construction contracts, but she did explain the finer points of pant construction to me.

And I had a nice time investigating this gift. I learned some things about men's fashion and the myriad ways you can put together a man's shirt. I was reminded that small businesses aren't always brick and mortar; there are a lot of people like Beth supporting their families from their own homes- or from yours since Beth will come to you. Trust me, having Beth stop by for a visit will be a lot more pleasant than the mall in December. Or drinking rusty nails.

Beth Heitmann - 713.503.8456
beth.heitmann@jhilburnpartner.com

I would also like to add some CONGRATULATIONS to Beth on the birth of her baby, another boy. Life with two sons is hectic but so much fun!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heights Happenings: December 1- December 8, 2010

Thursday, December 2- Friday, December 3, Noon - 8 PM and Saturday, December 4, Sunday, December 5 9 AM- 5 PM: HPD's 25th Annual La Comida Food Drive

  • Now, more than ever, your help is needed to reach out and help our less fortunate neighbors enjoy a family meal this holiday season. HPD partners with Fiesta to collect, package and distribute boxes of food to Houston's underprivileged families. Last year, HPD was able to distribute 3,500 boxes of food.
  • Donations of non-perishable food items and cash will be accepted at the Fiesta at 2300 N Shepherd. Please help hungry families eat this holiday season!
Thursday, December 2, 7 PM: Sunset Heights Monthly Meeting/ Holiday Pot Luck Dinner
  • Actually, this month it's not a meeting, it's a party! There will be a slide show with pictures from the 100 Year Anniversary Celebration.
  • The civic club will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toy for Tots.
Friday, December 3, 6-9 PM: Opening of The Artful Corner's 7th Annual Arts Market
  • Great artist made jewelry, ceramics, mosaics, glass, jewelry, scarves, purses and home accessories
  • A portion of proceeds from the event, which goes through Dec 5th, will support AIDS Foundation Houston. Also, your donation of a new, unwrapped toy will help children affected by HIV/AIDS have a joyful Holiday season.

Friday, December 3, 6-10 PM: Holiday on 19th

  • For the first time in the 20+ year history of this event 19th St merchants have partnered with the Star of Hope to do a blanket and toy drive to coincide with the event. Merchants are collecting new and gently used blankets and new toys from now through Friday.
  • Many merchants are offering discounts, grab bags and free gifts in return for donations. In addition, many merchants will be donating a portion of their sales from the evening back to the Star of Hope!
  • Heights Life friend and favorite Sew Crafty is hosting the Etsy Houston "Sew Craftiest Time of the Year" and is also sponsoring a free t-shirt screening as part of the festivities. Patrons can bring their own item of clothing the night of December 3rd and, for a minimum donation of $2, have a cool design professionally screened* on a t-shirt. Proceeds benefit Star of Hope. *This is a slight change. Originally the screen printer was going to allow ppl to bring their own design but found that, logistically, it wasn't going to work. Apologies if you were all ready to have your band's logo on a shirt to find out now it won't be so
Saturday, December 4, 11 AM- 5 PM: 4th Annual Underground Arts Market


Saturday, December 4, 11 AM- 6PM: Mistletoe Madness and MORE
In addition to the Arts Market and other Madness on 19th St, check out great events in other parts of the Heights:

Noon- 6 PM: Craftidote at Antidote
  • 2nd Annual Craft and Makers Market, curated by photographer and clay mistress Carole Smith.
  • Vendors will have glass, wool and yarn, handmade clothes, jewelery, yummy chocolate covered pretzels, art, wooly hats, christmas ornaments, ceramics, T shirts, paintings, cards, bags, worry dolls and much more
Noon- 6 PM: Feliz Navidad por Perros y Gatos at A Peaceful Pet
  • This is a charity fundraiser to benefit Rescue Bank - the food bank for animal shelters. A Peaceful Pet is hosting this celebration of the season with food, music and pinatas!
  • "All people and polite pets are invited to attend."
  • A free traditional Mexican lunch will be served from Noon-1:00, generously donated by La Mexicana, a local family owned restaurant.
  • Free samples of Wysong and Solid Gold pet foods and treats will also be offered throughout the day. Sponsor a pinata. The proceeds go directly to Rescue Bank. Their volunteers will be here helping people help animals.
  • 4:00 - 5:00 Happy Hour! Mexican coffee w/ Cuervo or Kahlua. Hot chocolate and caramels for kids and those that are kids @ heart. 10% off all pet products - 1 hour, only!
  • For more info call 832-549-1730
1PM- 4 PM: Join Heights Garden Club at 1646 Harvard where Laurin Lindsey & Shawn Michael of Ravenscourt Landscaping will talk about English garden design. Visitors will be able to tour their formal gardens, and afterwards, all are invited to a holiday open house with handcrafted jewelry and snacks.

Wednesday, December 8, 7- 8:30 PM: Contents Heights presents Style 101: Fabulous at Any Age
  • Contents will be offering tips and tricks on how to dress fabulous for any age group from 7-7:30pm
  • The rest of the evening will be for questions and shopping!
  • If you would like to attend please RSVP by calling Contents at 713-880-1515 and feel free to bring your friends.

OUTSIDE THE HEIGHTS:

Sunday, December 5, 5 PM til Bar Time: Poison Girl hosts Benefit for the employees of Agora
  • On Halloween night, the beloved local wine bar and coffee house Agora was heavily damaged by a fire. The owners are already rebuilding and Agora will reopen soon. But, the staff of Agora have been without work -- and, therefore, without income -- for over a month.
  • So, the folks at Poison Girl are stepping up and are going to donate all of their profits for the night to the employees of Agora.
  • If that's not enough motivation to get you out drinking, the beautiful Belly Dancers who perform at Agora every Wednesday will dance at 10:30 pm.
  • Alcohol, belly dancers, and a good cause. See you there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Heights Happenings: November 24- Dec 1, 2010


Thursday, November 25, all day: Happy Thanksgiving!
  • I hope you all have many things to be thankful for this year.
  • I am thankful for my beautiful children, my patient and loving husband, the time available to write this blog, the people I have gotten to know in the Heights thru this blog, the strong sense of community here, and that you are all here, reading what I write and finding it sometimes interesting and sometimes useful. Thank you!
Monday, November 29, all day: A shameless plug for my own birthday
  • Happy Birthday to me. Thanks to my grandmother, who celebrated every year of her life, I have no qualms about getting older. Age is just a number!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heights Happenings: November 17- November 24, 2010


Friday, November 19- Sunday, November 21: Spacetaker presents WHAM!
  • This probably looks familiar since I posted about it last week, but the Shops at Houston Center Event is just a sideshow to the official event this weekend at very-close-to-the-Heights Winter Street Studios.
  • The Market is "one part curated festival, one part holiday party, and all kinds of fun. Houston artists come together at this alternative winter wonderland of paintings, jewelry, clothing and more."
  • Free admission. 2101 Winter Street
Saturday, November 20, 5:30 PM: 2nd Annual Jaycee Park Movie Night
  • Friends of Jaycee Park invites you to kick off the Christmas season with a trio of Christmas movie favorites at the park!
  • Concessions open at 5:30, movies start at 6 pm.
  • There is no admission but All concession proceeds will benefit the Friends of Jaycee Park renovation efforts. Concessions will include pizza, popcorn and more
  • 1300 Seamist, 77008


PLAN AHEAD:


Friday, December 3, 6 PM- 10 PM: Etsy Houston presents The Sew Craftiest Time of the Year!
  • Sew Crafty hosts the Etsy Houston handmade holiday shop-o-rama!
  • There will be refreshments, a photobooth and more. Watch The Etsy Houston blog for additional info.

Saturday, December 4, 7 PM & Sunday, December 5, 11 AM: The 20th Annual St Mark's Christmas Pagent
  • Free family holiday fun on the church lawn (indoors if incliment weather). A Heights Tradition with a living Nativity, the procession of the Magi, the St Mark's vocal & bell choirs. Cookies & wassail, fellowship and celebration. All are welcome.
  • St Mark's United Methodist Church, 600 Pecore St.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Coven in the Heights: 2nd Annual Witches Luncheon at Stella Sola

The Friday before Halloween, I attended the 2nd Annual Witches Luncheon. This great event is put on by the Houston Heights Women's Club and is a great New Orleans tradition brought to the Heights by member Trudy Nelson. I was so happy to be able to attend again this year. The Heights Women's Club is a great organization (of which I need to join but just keep forgetting to send my money. Sigh) with a great mix of women from the Heights, as well as women who no longer live in the Heights but have personal or family history here.

Like last year, the luncheon was held upstairs at Stella Sola. If you've never seen the event rooms upstairs, they are a nice blank canvas- clean, spacious, lots of windows. Last year, Stella Sola was a new restaurant at the time of the luncheon. In fact, if I remember correctly they weren't even open for business. What a difference a year makes. Not only has the restaurant received national recognition and it's Chef du Cuisine, Justin Bayse, nominated for a James Beard Award, but Chef/Owner Brian Caswell was a contestant on The Next Iron Chef, narrowly missing the Final 4 (and making H-town very proud).

Fun, festive table settings.
Heights Women's Club member Joanne Starbuck made these gorgeous programs for the tables. Is there any shortage of creative people in the Heights? You can find out more about Joanne's hand stamped cards and gift ideas on her webpage.


Area women mixed and mingled. I ran in to a couple of people I met last year and also saw some folks I know from around the neighborhood. It was a great mix of people!

One of the things I love about the crowd at this event is that everyone really went all out. There were all manner of witches. Last year, I wasn't sure, so I wore a black dress and brought a little hat. This year, I spent a couple hours hand stitching tulle and black feathers on to a hat but it still paled in comparison to some of the great outfits people put together.

A couple of my favorite details:
I searched and searched for striped tights. On Thursday. Next year I'll know to order them on line ahead of time!

There were several Halloween themed door prizes, plus awards for Best Costume and Best Hat. Also, next year's Good Witch and Bad Witch (also known as Co-Chairs of the event) were named.

This year's Co-Chairs: Good Witch Shea Hill and Bad Witch Amydell Beardshall.

Again, I had such a great time at this event. It's open to non-members, but once you go, you'll want to join. The organization has so much history in the Heights. Founded in 1900, it is one of the oldest social clubs in Houston. The history of the Club is very much entwined with the history of Houston and the Heights. If you're interested in finding out more, you can check out the Club's webpage or their Facebook page. If you would like to attend an event, there is no need to wait until the next meeting of the Coven. There is a wonderful Holiday Tea coming up, as well as a hayride and more throughout the year. Calendar and contact information are listed on the website.

Now off to pay my own membership dues...


Friday, November 12, 2010

Grow Community. Shop Co-op. From guest blogger Tiffany Tyler

Tiffany is a Houston native, Heights resident, involved community member, active parent and Chair of the Board of Directors of Central City Co-Op. November is National Co-operative Month and Central City needs community support this month and every month to continue offering healthy, natural and local foods to area families. Read on:

Did you know that November is National Co-operative Month? Co-ops bring goods and services to the community at reduced costs through the pooling of resources and collaborative working by co-op members. Did you know that the Montrose/ Heights area has its own local co-operative for organic and sustainably raised produce? It is the Central City Co-op (www.centralcityco-op.com). This member-based organization works to support local farmers and community gardens, to educate the public about farming practices and to encourage the consumption of whole, natural foods instead of commercial processed products.

Currently a tenant in Grace Lutheran Church at 2515 Waugh (at Missouri), the Co-op is open each Wednesday 9 am to 6 pm. Farmers and suppliers deliver fresh vegetables each week for the Wednesday market day and the market manager selects the produce each week with an eye to what is the best value for the money, seasonally appropriate local farm offerings and things that taste good.

Shoppers can pre-order a mixed fruit share or mixed produce share (fruit & vegetables) in sizes to suit most needs. Central City also offers a fresh selection of open market items that can be bought directly off the shelf. This includes basic seasonal fruit and vegetables, dry goods including beans, rice and grains, local honey, locally roasted coffee and other items. Additionally the Co-op has an exciting rotation of local vendors who provide prepared foods, eggs, and artisanal gift items each week.

The shopping atmosphere is casual and friendly, with volunteers to help with any questions you have about the produce or how to prepare it, or to distract a child. Shoppers can linger and chat, or do a quick shop and go. There’s no supermarket parking lot to battle, and a cup of locally roasted coffee is available for a few coins tossed in a jar.

Though co-operatives are member-based organizations, Central City welcomes guest shoppers. A day pass is $1, which is waived for the first visit. Annual membership begins at $48, and membership credit may be earned for volunteering at the co-op. Volunteers are always needed in a variety of areas. Through the end of 2010, you may purchase your 2011 membership and get the rest of this year for free!

Central City grows its community through work with local organizations and schools, including the Health and Wellness Committee at Travis Elementary. In the past 3 years, they have donated over $15,000 in local and organic produce to soup kitchens and food pantries in the inner loop area. Members donate time to the Houston Food Policy Workgroup and the Urban Farm Belt Coalition, as well as Urban Harvest.

The Co-op’s work in the community depends on the financial health of the Wednesday market. Like many small businesses, Central City has felt the squeeze of recent economic pressures. Sales have declined in recent months, and the impact has been deep. The co-op needs to sell at least 150 shares each week to meet its financial obligations, and recent weeks have seen the numbers drop below 110. Without the support of the community, Central City will not be able to continue its work. Orders can be placed online each week up until Sunday at 6 pm for pickup on Wednesday, and open market shopping is available on a walk-in basis. Shopping with the Co-op can enrich your diet with whole, sustainably raised food at reasonable prices. Spending time in the Co-op can open your mind and put a smile on your face. Supporting the Co-op with your time and shopping dollars can help grow a healthier community, one avocado at a time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So, this is what a Down House is...

Well, I was wrong in my speculation about the new "club" going in on Yale- explaining why I never heard back from the pizza guy. Luckily, I did hear back from someone. Chris Cusack is a Houston native who is hoping to parlay his successes with 2 Austin coffee shops in to a new venture in the Heights. Here are some excerpts from Chris's email, giving more insight in to what, exactly, Down House will be:

About Down House

The idea is something like this: One-third of our product focus will be on great coffee, one-third on outstanding casual faire (sandwiches, salads, appetizers, gourmet bar snacks), and one-third on a great wine list, craft beers, and vintage, hand-crafted cocktails. We're planning on a dazzling Sunday brunch. It'll be a warm and casual environment with a sincere focus on hospitality and being a real cornerstone in the Heights community. Down House will be the kind of place where you can have a meeting with clients, catch up with friends, go on a date, or just get some work done. Down House will always be a family-friendly spot.

About Us

Joey (Chris's partner in the club) and I are both from Houston, and I actually attended Heights Montessori School (which used to be on Harvard) as a kiddo. I had a hamburger at Yale Pharmacy the other day, and I mentioned that I used to eat ice cream at the same counter when I was about four years old. She laughed and said that she'd been working there so long that she probably made one for me!

I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and have since owned and operated two successful neighborhood coffee shops in Austin called Thunderbird Coffee. My deeply held beliefs on quality ingredients and great service have been strengthened since we opened several years ago. Our baristas can make a cappuccino that will blow your mind!

Joey and I have always wanted to create a place like Down House, but we never thought we would be so lucky to have a great space in such an amazing neighborhood. We plan on making our greatest effort to make Down House of the Heights and for the Heights.

About Club Down House

We are applying for a private club liquor license, but I really want to make it clear that Down House is not a bar. Again, the focus on that part of the program will be a strong wine list, delicious craft and local beers, and unique cocktails made with the best ingredients. The "club" part of the name on the sign refers to the non-profit status of the member-owned club (because that part of the Heights is dry) that will technically own the license and the alcohol. Down House, LLC will only manage the club.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Chris and I chatted a bit about the family friendly aspect and he is very open to suggestions on how it can be a place for some of you non-breeders to relax, while I can come along with my kids and enjoy food and drink as well. If you have (real, not snarky) opinions on how that can work, please post them! I do remember (sometimes fondly) the days before I was a mom and know that not everyone enjoys their company, but those people can also go drink in bars. And being a mom often means needing a drink.

One interesting point about being a private club in the dry area that I wasn't aware of: The law stipulates that the initial stock of alcohol MUST be bought by the members of the club. Because of this, Chris needs help and has something to offer in return.

Incidentally, we are looking for new members of the club to sign up and donate a $20 stocking fee to Club Down House. With every $20 donation (limit one per person!), we are offering a $25 gift certificate to Down House. I would love to have some of your readers on board.

So, if you're interested you can email me about it and I'll be sure Chris gets your name and contact information.