Houston: White Oak Bayou Greater Heights Bar/Restaurant Concept Passes Planning Commission; in Montrose, Hugo’s Expansion Plan Delayed
Feature Illustration (above): Architectural rendering of the Patterson Park restaurant and bar on White Oak Bayou. Courtesy: Schuster Inc.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Houston (Harris County) — A Greater Heights area waterfront bar-restaurant on stilts concept received a thumbs up from the Houston Planning Commission, but Hugo’s expansion plans for the Montrose restaurant were held up.
Patterson Street Real Estate LLC, the owner of record on an irregularly shaped lot that faces White Oak Bayou, received a variance allowing a 5-foot setback fro the road, instead of the required 10 feet. According to Harris County Appraisal District records, the office of Patterson Street RE traces back to Nicpa Interests Inc., a company controlled by Ricardo Weitz.
The Patterson Park site (above) is on the west side of Patterson Street where it dead-ends into the White Oak Bayou. The project site (below) as seen looking east fro=m Shepherd Road. Images: Google Earth/Google Streets.
Weitz, a Mexican expatriate, is a wealthy Houston entrepreneur known for his auto dealerships and banking expertise.
The Patterson Street project is in a neighborhood that has experienced townhouse development. The location takes advantage of the White Oak Bayou Trail and close proximity also to the Katy Freeway.
The setback reduction was requested because most of the property (54%) is in the floodway or within the building line/dedication area; the city is planning to widen Patterson from its current 28-foot width to 60 feet, Development Services staff planner Chad Miller said. This is part of the city’s plan to introduce a bike lane that will connect to the hike and bike trail.
The topography is very uneven, staff noted: “The developer had to get creative with the parking layout as well as having to elevate the entire back deck and a good portion of the building, utilizing pilings.”
The structure elevation facing Patterson Street (above). The landscape/parking plan (below) and schematic of topography. Courtesy: Schuster Inc.
The bar/restaurant is to include a covered two-level patio deck with seating. It will overlook the bayou to the west, toward North Shepherd Drive. The landscape plan has a pedestrian realm with a width ranging from 17 to 19 feet and a 6-foot-wide sidewalk. The distance from curb to the building is 23.5 feet.
“The applicant will provide surface parking as well as have available off-site parking,” the staff report stated. “Due to the unique shape of the property, the proposed use and enhanced pedestrian realm, staff recommends granting the requested variance … with the condition the applicant provides a 6-foot unobstructed sidewalk, 5-foot safety buffer, 3-inch caliper street streets in lieu of the required 1.5-inch, and approve the plat.
The combined on-site and off-site parking is 94 vehicles, but there is a credit for an additional 10 vehicles because of a bike rack installation.
Craig Schuster of Schuster Inc. is the architect. He specializes in restaurant and hospitality projects. According to their floorplan, the enclosed, air-controlled area is 3,545 square feet, and it includes two dining areas, a bar, a gaming area, restrooms, storage/cooler and an office. The deck wraps around two sides of the interior structure and is 3,704 square feet for a total of 7,349 SF.
The Patterson Park roof, ceiling and floor plans. Courtesy: Schuster Inc.
Hugo’s in Montrose:
Site plan for the Hugo’s expansion. Courtesy: Colby Design.
TV & Ho Inc., the owner of record for Hugo’s Restaurant, 1600 Westheimer Road, sought a variance reducing the building line to 7 feet instead of 25 feet from Westheimer. The structure has been there since 1929, but because Hugo’s is planning an expansion, the variance is needed to align the new construction with what was grandfathered in years ago.
There is an 8-foot-tall masonry wall today that screens an open patio area from public view and that is where the owner wants to build.
The case was deferred for two weeks to give the architect, Colby Design, time to address staff concerns about the landscaping and parking plans.
Hugo’s as it appears today from Westheimer, with the wall (left) screening the patio. And below, a rendering of Hugo’s with the enclosed addition. Courtesy: Colby Design.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.