A … IS FOR AOLIEN MANOR
by Carla Valencia de Martinez
Nestled into the brush along Sims Bayou is something of a wonder. A white dome is home to a pipe organ and its owner/maker Glen Douglas. A doctor by trade, Douglas hobby started small and little by little he started acquiring salvaged pipes all over the country and in essence taught himself how to build a pipe organ. The dome is home to the 4th largest pipe organ in the city. In an article in the Houston Chronicle written by Lisa Gray two years ago, she shared that the organ is “smaller than the organs at Second Baptist, St. John the Divine and First Methodist, but significantly bigger than the one at downtown’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.” Douglas built the dome specifically for its acoustics. Today he hosts various concerts featuring organists. To read Lisa Gray’s amazing piece on Glen Douglas, visit this link: http://www.chron.com/life/gray/article/GrayHis-own-pri-vate-pipe-organ-3738317.php | www.aoelianmanorfoundation.org
B … IS FOR BRUNCH RUN
by Carla Valencia de Martinez
Later this year Memorial Park Conservancy’s fundraising 4 The Park Brunch Run takes place in the park in the heart of the city. The only 4-mile run with a kids’ 1K run through Memorial Park helps support the Conservancy’s efforts to restore, preserve and enhance Memorial Park for today and the future. Local was the media sponsor the first few years of the race and we are excited to be back this year. Join us on April 4, 2015, along with support from the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department and Luke’s Locker for the race plus a lively post-race party with live music, booths featuring local restaurants and children’s activities.
C … IS FOR CHANEL
by Nadia Michel
Chanel. It is a name so rich with history and fashion cred that surrounding it with literary flattery and ensuring its wares are presented in a sexy setting in order to lure the unenlightened hardly seems necessary.
Yet, the newly redesigned Chanel boutique in the Galleria is a politely glamorous reminder that Chanel may be classic, but it’s also cutting-edge. Just in case anyone forgot, or is still unaware of the brand’s magical powers. An ode to founder Gabrielle Chanel’s legendary rue Cambon apartment in Paris, the 5,000sf space was given a makeover by Peter Marino, a New York-based architect known as much for his head-to-toe, biker- inspired looks – replete with cap and skull rings – as his impressive haute couture, architectural collabs. Luxury brands from Dior to Fendi and Louis Vuitton have all entrusted their retail spaces to Marino’s capable hands. A Curtis Jere sculpture mingles effortlessly with a custom-made coffee table encrusted with mother of pearl camellias. An antique marble mantle co- habits with crystal-encrusted stag horns by Marc Swanson. It’s a kind of collected luxury only a sophisticated clientele can relate to, legacy with a nod to the best of now. It’s also an ideal backdrop for the current 2014/15 Cruise collection, Karl Lagerfeld’s contemporary ode to Middle Eastern cul- ture, which he presented last spring in Dubai. A cool-as-ice-cream macramé bag and a 3⁄4-length, multicolored tweed jacket that looks like a vintage treasure beckon, proof that Chanel still knows how to bring it.
D … IS FOR DRINKS
by Adam Bergen
HOUSTON MAY BE WIDELY KNOWN FOR FINE DINING AND EXTRAORDINARY RESTAURANTS, BUT IT’S NO SECRET THAT OUR LOCAL THIRST FOR WELL-MADE BEER AND WINE COMPLEMENTS OUR DESIRE FOR EXCELLENT EATS. SEVERAL ADVENTUROUS AND ENTREPRENEURIAL INDIVIDUALS HAVE TAKEN IT UPON THEMSELVES TO GIVE HOUSTON A NUMBER OF BREWERIES AND WINERIES THAT STAND UP ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.
ST. ARNOLD’S BREWERY
www.saintarnold.com | 2000 Lyons Ave., Houston, TX 77020
Perhaps the most well-known of all local breweries, St. Arnold’s prides itself on being the oldest craft brewery in the state. Since 1994, with an initial broad goal to brew world-class beers, the local brewery has gained a cult- like following, selling out their single batch brews in a matter of hours. Along with seasonal and year-round offerings, beer lovers across Texas, Louisiana and Florida are guaranteed to have some of the best microbrew- ery beer found in the South. Shipping their first batch in June over 20 years ago, Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol chose Houston because of the lack of a single brewery in one of the nation’s largest metropolitan cities. The facility is open to the public during the week and on the weekends, with guided tours and separate lunch service for the hungry work crowd.
8th WONDER BREWERY
www.8thwonderbrew.com | 2202 Dallas St., Houston, TX 77003
8th Wonder Brewery strives to be yet another regional wonder, roughly 48 years after the Astrodome was built and dubbed the “8th Wonder of the World” by local media. Dedicated to brewing the freshest and tastiest ales around, founders Matt Marcus, Aaron Corsi, Alex Vassilakidis and Ryan Soroka (the same group behind the popular food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Eatsie Boys) set up shop in EaDo in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. Open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 9pm (extended hours Thursday to Sunday are coming early next year), the public is welcome to get a taste of what this newest brewery has to offer the Houston area.
www.karbachbrewing.com | 2032 Karbach St., Houston, TX 77092
While you could call Karbach just another brewery that’s crept its way onto the Houston scene, you’d be doing it a disservice. Head brewmaster Eric Warner came from the well-known Flying Dog Brewery in Colorado, where he served as head brewmaster before transitioning to chief executive and helping the brewery increase output by more than five times their original production. In addition, Karbach received the backing of Belekus Marketing, bringing over two decades of liquor experience with them to the table. Named after the original warehouse in which the two founders (Chuck Robertson and Ken Goodman) started their distribution business, Karbach has continually impressed local and national beer enthusiasts with their various brews.
BUFFALO BAYOU BREWERY
www.buffbrew.com | 5301 Nolda Street, Houston, TX 77007
Billing themselves as a “new twist on an old craft,” Buffalo Bayou Brewery represents a true craft microbrewery. More than dishing out barrel after barrel, creativity is the crux of their existence, helping define what beer critics would consider innovative offerings. Take, for example, the Smoke on the Bayou: a smokehouse-infused malt that literally gives you a taste of Houston’s BBQ scene. And with 27 different offerings over 27 months, they’re serious about giving the beers a special touch, with no more than 20–30 kegs of each made at a time. And that’s exactly how Rassul Zarinfar and his large group of co-founders want it to be, allowing them to take bigger risks with their offerings. Tours are available from 12 to 3pm on Saturdays.
LA CRUZ DE COMAL
www.lacruzdecomalwines.com | 7405 FM 2722, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
Starting with their mutual respect, wine enthusiast Lewis Dickson and California winemaker Tony Coturri joined forces in 2001 to create a wine prized for its “natural” characteristics, with absolutely zero additives or chemicals. Creating individual personality in each wine because of this method, the offerings from the winery never fit a specific mold. Using only hand-picked Texas Hill Country grapes, the wines are bottled by hand and go one step further with no filtration or fining. What’s all this mean? One of Texas’s most prized possessions. A tasting room was added in 2012, enabling wine enthusiasts to come sample their offerings Saturdays and Sundays, from 12 to 6pm.
www.solaroestate.com | 330 T.C. Jester Blvd., Houston, TX 77007
Co-owned by Barbara Haderlein and business partner/winemaker Robert Fritz, Solaro enjoyed the title of Texas Winery of the Year from the New York International Wine Competition, in addition to several International Blind Wine Tastings Top Five awards. Solaro’s main production occurs in Dripping Springs, located right outside of Austin, but a newly opened tasting room inside the loop in Houston has enabled wine enthusiasts citywide to enjoy all the best this vineyard has to offer. From 11am to 7pm Wednesday through Saturday, come enjoy this Texas Hill Country vine- yard’s wines in an urban environment via their modern tasting room.
www.bramanbrands.com | 3333 FM 359, Richmond, TX 77406
Recently named “2014 Best Texas White Wine” by Texas Monthly Magazine for their Muscat Blanc, Braman Winery is the brainchild of CEO Joe Braman, a chef by passion who was looking for the proper comple- mentary wines to pair with his impressive dishes. With two tasting room locations in Richmond and the recently opened Hallettsville, the winery is enjoying big success as an early adopter in the Texas wine scene, having begun production only four years ago. 2015 is slated to be a big year for Braman Brands as well, with a combined winery and brewery on deck to help introduce their first beer, the Running Walker. With the tasting rooms open Thursday to Saturday from 2 to 8pm, there’s plenty of opportunity to check what all the hype is about for this recently crowned Texas jewel.
www.haakwine.com | 6310 Avenue T, Santa Fe, TX 77510
As the first and only commercial winery in Galveston County, Haak Vineyards grew from a passion for good wine after Raymond Haak’s wife got him two Concord grapevines for their 10th wedding anniversary. Today, many years later, Haak sits on over 12 acres and has a full-service kitchen and reception area capable of hosting weddings and other events. The winery produces several varieties of wine, winning 17 different medals at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition last year. The Haaks have traveled the world looking for inspiration, and it shows in their world-class inventory and offerings. Open every day of the week, Haak offers tours in several timeslots, in addition to tasting room hours.