Houston is five months away from Hurricane Harvey’s landfall but its catastrophic destruction is still being felt. The bar and restaurant scene is slowly recovering, including the restaurants in the Energy Corridor, which were not only affected by the hurricane but also the releasing of the Addicks Reservoir. As of this writing, some businesses are in the midst of a soft opening, but it has been a long, difficult road.
Located at the Plazas at the Parkway strip at 1127 Eldridge Pkwy, these locally owned businesses had to pick themselves up and put the pieces back together.
Beloved coffeehouse Bean’s Café has been around since 2010 and has a stellar reputation that keeps customers coming back for more. Bean’s keeps that reputation alive by going the extra mile to know peoples names, delivering drinks in porcelain cups and having that warm and friendly feeling every time you walk in.
“The water wasn’t very high but it sat in here for about 10 days and it went up the walls," said owner Celia Moore. "There were floating bagel bombs that smelled something awful... but the equipment was what I was worried about.
"Luckily the espresso machine didn’t get wet and the important stuff survived. The people here are so nice; every day they would come and ask me if they could donate furniture or donate to the staff. It goes to show that we have a caring community around us.”
The renovations have been a slow process and Bean’s has a slightly different look than before. Rather than having that well-worn look of a library, the bright colors make it all sorts of poppy while maintaining the spirit of the study. Fret not, as they still have the globes and maps that they’re known for.
Along with the renovations they’re adding something new to entice the night owls. They’ve always had canned beer and wine on the premise, but Celia has also acquired a Kegerator, so soon Bean’s should have draft beer on tap.
Houston Barbecue Company has been around for more than 15 years, and under the ownership of Lucinda and Joseph Flores for the past three years. They’re looking to get back to some sense of normalcy and start serving up some of their well-known Central Texas style barbecue.
“We didn’t flood until they opened up the reservoirs," Joseph Flores said. "We got anywhere from two to three feet, but it sat at two feet for about two weeks and it destroyed everything. We’re talking about the walls, equipment, food, and our inventory.
"Luckily the pits were not damaged—[water] got into the firebox but not into the pit. But the light at the end of the tunnel was that we knew we were going to rebuild and reopen.”
Reopen they did, although business is a bit slow right now.
Moore said that the sense of community and camaraderie is what helped these local business owners through the dark days after Harvey.
“We are family so we tend to look after one another," she said.