The longtime "dry area" of the Heights is on the cusp of voting to end the ban on stores within its boundaries selling alcohol, and H-E-B has finally announced where it'll be erecting its long-rumored new Heights locale if the ballot tips in their favor.
Hoping to sweeten the deal for voters on the fence, H-E-B's Houston head Scott McLelland confirmed to The Leader that the brand will be taking over the old Fiesta location at 23rd and Shepherd if the measure passes. That Fiesta location, which was in business for 40 years, shuttered in March, its friendly "Un cachito de lo nuestro" ("A store of our own") sign gone for good.
The measure to abolish the Heights dry zone, which was established in 1912, will hit the ballot in November after garnering nearly 1,800 signatures from area residents in favor of the proposition. The Houston Heights Beverage Coalition, a group backed by H-E-B, has begun campaigning for the measure in earnest. A recent press release explained that a "yes" vote would allow grocery stores to sell beer and wine, but wouldn't affect the "private club" measures enacted by area restaurants that require a patron's signature and a copy of their driver's license to be able to drink.
“H-E-B looks forward to the possibility of expanding our offerings to The Houston Heights and are hopeful voters will support us in November,” said company rep Cyndy Garza Roberts in the statement.
If the measure passes, H-E-B will join a nearby Whole Foods 365, a new lower-priced concept that's expected to open on Yale Street just across Loop 610 in Garden Oaks by the end of 2017. At the time of Whole Foods' announcement, local retail experts said that the company was ahead of the curve in moving into the area and that others in the increasingly competitive grocery market would soon follow suit. That seems to be playing out now.