News & Articles

Posts from March 2011

Funeral Home Site Finds Its Afterlife

Posted on March 14, 2011 in

By The River Oaks Examiner


Realty observers are reporting the long vacant former Settegast-Kopf Funeral Home at 3320 Kirby Drive will be transformed into a multi-entertainment venue of several bar concepts.

The project also includes the adjacent former Chase Bank drive-thru at 3312 Kirby.

In all, four separate tenants are part of the project, according to reports by Swamplot, a website tracking Houston’s real estate and related trends.

Among the ventures reportedly listed on plans are Twist, Fountain Bar, Club R Oak, and Hendrick’s Pub.

However, a permit sign posted on the site reads “Olives and Grapes.”

Construction waste bins are currently on site, a sign of the transformation under way.

Meanwhile, reports on the website of New Regional Planning, a brokerage whose sign remains on the site, describes the multi-entertainment project as having a Las Vegas vibe.

Sources at Upper Kirby District said the longer-term redevelopment of the 3.1-acre site is likely vertical.

In 2008, the same area, bordered by Kirby Drive and West Main, Lake and Colquitt streets, was considered for part of another massive commerical development in the Upper Kirby District.

Harris County tax records show River Oaks area real estate investor Blake Tartt III began assembled the land 17 years earlier with a shopping center at 3200 Kirby.

He bought the Settegast-Kopf property — with an appraised land value of $2.2 million — in August 2007. The funeral home quit doing business in January 2008 when its lease expired.

The Pointer Sisters, a champion pole dancer & Pink Flamingos rock Mardi Gras’ San Luis Salute

Posted on March 06, 2011 in


By: Shelby Hodge for Culture Map

No one had any doubts when King Frivolous of the Knights of Momus commanded that this year’s San Luis Salute be the best party ever. After all, Tilman Fertitta was crowned King Frivolous last weekend and we all know that what Tilman wants, Tilman gets.

So it was that Saturday’s “Midnight in Marrakech” San Luis Salute, chaired by Tilman and Paige Fertitta, came off as a blockbuster bash that will reign in Galveston Mardi Gras lore as one of the greatest.

When the sellout, black-tie crowd of 1,100 pulsed into the ballroom of the San Luis convention center, you could all but hear the gasps as revelers took in the magical tableau. Towering faux palm trees; tabletop palms wrapped in lilies, roses and orchids; colorful Moroccan-themed murals around the room and desert-hued draping overhead fit for a sheik’s harem transformed the vast space. Applause, applause to Richard Flowers, Kirksey Gregg and The Events Co. part of Tilman’s empire, team that raised the bar for gala decor.

Beyond schmoozing with a healthy handful of elected officials, dining on remarkably good food and socializing in general, the focus of this night was on the entertainment which began, when the curtains opened to the ballroom with the Pink Flamingos rocking on one of two stages. The popular Philadelphia Mummers in all of their feathery, glittering finery made their annual appearance, sandwiched in between sessions of the non-stop Flamingos.

But Tilman had promised surprise and surprises there were — The Pointer Sisters, singing their all-time hits, were the big hurrah of the night, taking the spotlight at 10:30 and further stimulating the crowd that had been more than sufficiently revved by the raucous Flamingos. Volleyball, anyone? In the middle of the Flamingos endless set, a volleyball net appeared across the dance floor and dozens of lightweight beach balls were launched into the crowd. It was instant party madness of the best kind.

Who was in the milieu? State Sen. John Whitmire with Gigi Lee, Gwen Goffe and Ed Eubanks, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Dianne and Ed McDonough, V.J. Tramonte, Dancie and Jim Ware and plenty of the Knights of Momus duchesses and their escorts.


Later, while the main stage was being surreptitiously changed for The Pointer Sisters, stage two came to life with saucy Golden Nugget Dancers in a “burlesque” routine and let’s not forget the astonishing Jenyne Butterfly, world champion pole dancer who did her best to drive the men in the room crazy, but it was actually more acrobatics than seduction.

Face painting was once again a popular entertainment and this year the added Turban Tyers, natives of India, who tied colorful turbans with a blazing “jewel” on all willing men. Among those playfully donning this fashion disconnect were Todd Fertitta, Vic Fertitta, Lee Wiley, Richard Handler and Gerry Del Prete.

The Mardi Gras madness enveloped Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, State Rep. Carol Alvarado, Joy Fertitta (Tilman’s mother), Laura Ward, Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel, Mary Ann and Bob Wilkins, Lisa and Mike O’Leary, Liz and Dr. Bill Decker, Katie Decker, Amber and Steve Mostyn, Rachel and Darryl Bristow, Jordy Tollett and Kim McClure with Blake Tartt III.

Last, but far from least, in the partying throng was Dr. Donald S. Prough, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB, the evening’s honoree with his department beneficiary of proceeds raised.