Shoes, Thai and more: Bellaire, Meyerland and West University businesses, restaurants, nonprofits and people profiled in 2020

Co-run by husband-wife duo Adelaida and Homero Capetillo, Mr. C Watch & Clock Repair has been operating since 1995. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Co-run by husband-wife duo Adelaida and Homero Capetillo, Mr. C Watch & Clock Repair has been operating since 1995. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

Co-run by husband-wife duo Adelaida and Homero Capetillo, Mr. C Watch & Clock Repair has been operating since 1995. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Precinct 472 election chairwoman Joanne Brodsky has been serving in her position since 1982. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
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In its 20th year, Papa Ben's Train Place sells a variety of model train paraphernalia, including scenic displays as well as locomotives, cabooses and passenger cars. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
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For over 70 years, Village Shoe Shop has offered shoe and boot repair, orthotics and prosthetics services, luggage and custom shoes. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Archway Academy is designed specifically for students recovering from substance use, one of 42 in the nation. (Courtesy Archway Academy)
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Combining Thai food with western culinary techniques, Lemongrass Cafe offers an eclectic menu. (Nathan Colbert/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Now a fourth-generation business, Dromgoole’s Fine Writing Instruments offers a variety of writing utensils and accessories. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
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D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe offers southern Italian dishes—handmade sandwiches, fire-roasted pizzas, housemade pasta and a slew of seafood options. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Cleburne Cafeteria offers one of the few remaining cafeteria-style dining experiences in Texas, serving fried chicken, turkey and dressing, blackened catfish and fresh salads. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Despite COVID-19, A Shelter for Cancer Families is still going strong, offering housing, helping families navigate the health care system and offering celebrations for clients. (Courtesy A Shelter for Cancer Families)
Every month, the Bellaire-Meyerland-West University edition of Community Impact Newspaper featured the stories of local businesses, restaurants, nonprofits and people. Here are the stories uncovered in 2020.

Village Shoe Shop

For over 70 years, this shoe shop has offered shoe and boot repair, orthotics and prosthetics services, luggage and custom shoes. “We’re professional shoe fitters,” owner Edie Almogabar said. “Feet are your foundation.” 2507 Rice Blvd., Houston. 713-528-8424. www.villageshoeshop.com

Lemongrass Cafe

Combining Thai food with western culinary techniques, this cafe offers an eclectic menu: kataifi-wrapped shrimp, beef satay wraps, and pad thai wrapped in a crepe, along with a Kobe beef burger. “I want this place to be a nice family neighborhood restaurant, where people can come in, relax and have something to eat,” owner Srifah Vorarittinapa said. 5107 Bellaire Blvd., Ste. 120, Bellaire. 713-664-6696. www.lemongrass-cafe.com


Mr. C Watch & Clock Repair

Co-run by husband-wife duo Adelaida and Homero Capetillo, Mr. C Watch & Clock Repair has been operating since 1995, offering antique watches, grandfather clocks, clock repairs, and restoration services. “We get people to come here through word of mouth because we provide good service,” said the owners’ daughter Kira Carroll. 5210 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire. 713-664-9700. www.mrcwatchrepair.com

D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe

First opening in 1975 in Huntsville, then later moving to Rice Village after opening several other restaurants in and around Greater Houston, D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe is a Houston destination offering southern Italian dishes—handmade sandwiches, fire-roasted pizzas, house-made pasta and a slew of seafood options. It also provides a fully stocked Italian deli and market. “It is a lot of work but is rewarding,” said owner Nash D’Amico. “How could you not have fun with entertaining people?” 5510 Morningside Drive, Ste. 140, Houston. 713-526-3400. www.damico-cafe.com

A Shelter for Cancer Families

Despite COVID-19, A Shelter for Cancer Families is still going strong, offering housing, helping families navigate the health care system, and offering celebrations for clients. “Due to the amazing vision and thoughtfulness of our services and property by our founder as well as our board, we’re able to do things exactly as we’ve always done,” said CEO and Executive Director Monica Agostinelli. “We’re very proud that we’ve thought these things through.” 4115 Drake St., Ste. 4, Houston. www.cancerfamilies.org

Cleburne Cafeteria

Family owned and operated since 1952, Cleburne Cafeteria offers one of the few remaining cafeteria-style dining experiences in Texas. George Mickelis took over the business from his parents, Nick and Patricia Mickeli, and continues to serve offerings including fried chicken, turkey and dressing, blackened catfish and fresh salads, as well as homemade dessert offerings such as pies and bread pudding. “You serve people every day, and they become a part of the family,” George said. “We’re very honored and privileged to serve this community.” 3606 Bissonnet St., Houston. 713-667-2386. https://cleburnecafeteria.com

Archway Academy

When this nonprofit opened in 2004, it was the first of its kind in Houston. Known as a recovery high school, Archway Academy is designed specifically for students recovering from substance use, one of 42 in the nation. The school uses a three-part model to keep students sober and in class and offers two programs for students depending on the number of days they have been sober. With a class size of eight to 12 per teacher, the school aims to foster a sense of community. “We knew when we opened Archway that the intimacy of the size had more of a small-town feel so that kids would be able to find their place,” said Executive Director Sasha Coles. 6221 Main St., Houston. 713-328-0780. www.archwayacademy.org

Papa Ben’s Train Place

In its 20th year, this store sells a variety of model train paraphernalia, including scenic displays as well as locomotives, cabooses and passenger cars at six scales, from its smallest offering Z scale—1/220 of real size—up to a G scale — 1/22.5 of real size. The store also showcases its own layouts—the land and cityscapes around a track—including ones showing parts of Houston. “We have a very loyal following,” said owner Allyn Pearlman. “A lot of people want to see and feel the product instead of ordering online.” 4007 Bellaire Blvd., Ste. E, Houston. 713-523-5600. www.papabens.com

Joanne Brodsky

Precinct 472 election chairwoman Joanne Brodsky has been serving in her position since back in 1982. In her role, Brodsky identifies members of her party living in the precinct and encourages them to vote. But she went a step further. She opened up her own two-car garage as a polling place. And so, on election day, voters can cast their ballot at Brodsky’s home. “I really believe in our election process,” Brodsky said. “I think everybody should vote.”

Dromgoole’s Fine Writing Instruments

Now a fourth-generation business, Dromgoole’s Fine Writing Instruments started as one of the largest typewriter and calculator dealers in Texas before evolving into the pen- and paper-focused shop today in Rice Village. In the last five years, the business has seen an increased interest in entry-level users. “There’s just not a whole lot of creative outlets from mind to hand,” co-owner Christine Dromgoole said. “It’s that physical interaction that you just don’t get with a computer or tablet.” 2515 Rice Blvd., Houston. 713-526-4651. www.dromgooles.com
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


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