We parked the car where we could find a spot, learned how to work the parking meter, and headed down the street to the first local bar in Downtown Houston. We visited 3 local bars without any knowledge of what their walls had seen and heard. All we knew was that our end destination would be the Spindletop as it was rated one of the best views in Houston and on our list of must-sees. We were in for a serious treat as the places we discovered came with quite a history. With both of us being in real estate, we were quite intrigued to find out all about these mysterious buildings and establishments.
” The Deans building was originally built in 1893; it was Kiam building and it was built as a department store. When it opened it was the most electrified building in the country and back then that meant DC power. Over the last 120 years it was two different department stores, clothing and shoe stores – It still houses the third oldest electric elevator in the country. In 1999 it was turned into bar called Dean’s credit clothing and lasted four or five years until it became Deans on Main.” http://deansdowntown.com/about/
The bar was very quaint with velvet couches and reclaimed wood and furniture. The bartender was friendly and the drinks were nice and cold. Lights were dimmed down low giving the atmosphere a romantic and cozy feel. The only negative was the smell of “old” which was quite over powering causing us not to stay too long. For the history in itself and the remodel, I would definitely recommend everyone giving it a try.
The second stop was at Shay McElroys which little did we know had the most history of any of the places we visited. Originally built in 1881, the Rice hotel replaced what was once the former Capitol building of the Republic of Texas. It was then a hotel until 1977 when it closed its doors due to fire code. Mr. Randall Davis then developed what we now know as the Rice Lofts 21 years later. (Funny side note – I grew up with Randall’s daughter Natalie Davis and never knew he was such a successful real estate man.)
This is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the Houston area. Of course I was intrigued so let me share. According to the bartender there were 3 girls gruesomely decapitated and found in one of the rooms back in the 70’s, but I was not able to find such tales on line. I did however find out that there had been many strange things that have been reported since it re-opened its doors as lofts in 1998.
“Hosting six Presidents while in office, The Rice Hotel is where John F. Kennedy spent his last night before being assassinated in November 1963. It’s said that cold spots, rattling doors and beds, orbs of light and a presence are felt in JFK’s room. Ghost dancers appeared in the ballroom before it was renovated in to the Rice Lofts. Now the lofts are haunted by spirits who dance on the rooftop. 909 Texas Ave., Houston” https://www.visithoustontexas.com/things-to-do/his…
Last bar stop of the evening was the flying saucer which was opened in 2000. Mostly known for their selection of 85 taps and 125 bottled beers and the saucers that cover every inch of wall and ceiling. The service was mediocre and although the restaurant felt commercial, we did enjoy sitting on the second level watching the crowd below.
The Spindletop was a pleasant surprise. Located on the 34th floor of the Hyatt Hotel, it overlooks all of downtown Houston slowly turning 360 degrees every 45 minutes.
The surprise was not the view as we were expecting that to be magnificent. It was how spectacular the food was. I enjoyed a nice soup followed by their pork chop. Both were cooked to perfection and presented so elegantly.
The only, and I mean only downfall to the Spindletop was the dizziness that accompanies the altitude and revolving when we first arrived. It took quite sometime for our heads to get accustomed. Other then that, this restaurant gets a 5 star from the Mann’s. We encourage you to experience it yourself in all its wonder. https://houston.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/…
Houston Heights 2016 Real Estate
Single Family Properties 3,887
Single Family Condos 16
Average Bedrooms 3.10
Average Baths 2.56
Median Square Feet 1,908
Median Lot Square Feet 6,600
Median Year Built 1935
Median Appraised Value $488,398
Neighborhood Value Range $284 – $900 K
Median Sold Price / SqFt. $259.55
Median Appraised Value / SqFt. $267.16