West U updates: Business activity to know in and around West University Place

Here is a roundup of recent business activity in and around West University Place and Rice Village. (Courtesy Rice Village Management Co.)
Here is a roundup of recent business activity in and around West University Place and Rice Village. (Courtesy Rice Village Management Co.)

Here is a roundup of recent business activity in and around West University Place and Rice Village. (Courtesy Rice Village Management Co.)

There has been a surge of business activity in and around West University Place, including Rice Village and closer to Texas Medical Center. Here is a look at businesses that are now open and soon looking to open.

Now open

Float Baby, the first-ever baby spa in the United States that offers essential water exercise and infant massage instruction, made March 8 its tentative opening date for its location in the West University area at 3642 University Blvd., Ste. 103, though that date is a moving target. 832-819-8380. www.floatbaby.com

A new concept by Benji Levit, Local Foods Market opened Feb. 26, taking over the former benjy’s restaurant space at 2424 Dunstan Road, Houston, in Rice Village. The new concept offers counter service and grab-and-go meals along with a boutique grocery marketplace selling goods from local suppliers and a selection of organic, hard-to-find wines. The newly redesigned 4,500-square-foot, two-story space includes an expanded covered patio for up to 50 guests, new built-in booths, 1940s-inspired light fixtures and heritage pieces from Levit’s grandfather’s grocery store in Florida. The market also features a coffee bar and wines on tap. The existing Local Foods restaurant space next door, meanwhile, closed to dine-in service for about a month starting Feb. 15 while it undergoes a refresh. 713-522-7602. www.localfoodsmkt.com

Bao Shi Yi, the modern Chinese restaurant chain offering healthy breakfast and homemade fresh drinks, opened its Texas Medical Center location at 2328 W. Holcombe Blvd., Houston, in early February. Buns, dumplings, potstickers, wraps, bowls and noodles complement a signature drink collection. The chain now has four locations in the Greater Houston area. 346-867-3941 www.baoshiyibunhouse.com


Diesel Barbershop, a modern-day version of the vintage corner barbershop where customers can watch sports, play video games, listen to music and enjoy a cold beverage while getting a haircut, reopened to the public Jan. 16 at its West University-area location at 3351 Westpark Drive, Houston. The barbershop will host an event from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16, offering free haircuts for children with disabilities. 832-834-4344. www.dieselbarbershop.com

Citadel BBQ, which pays homage to the small-town barbecue joints scattered in the South with Texas-style offerings, opened at Texas Medical Center at 6601 Main St., Houston, on Jan. 13, bringing smoked meats, sandwiches, breakfast loaded baked potatoes, and Southern sides and desserts alongside a cold beer or cocktail. 346-444-3227. www.citadelbbq.com

Coming soon

The owners of the acclaimed Israeli Steakhouse, Doris Metropolitan, are bringing an elevated bakery to Rice Village this spring. Badolina Bakery & Cafe, an expansion of Doris Metropolitan’s bread and pastry program, will open this spring at 5555 Morningside Drive, Houston, bringing a made-to-order bake lab with creations from executive pastry chef and partner Michal Michaeli. The 1,500-square-foot bakery is currently under construction and will neighbor the previously announced modern Israeli restaurant, Hamsa, when it opens later this year, which is also owned by the heads of the Doris Metropolitan. The bakery and cafe will feature flavor profiles from around the world, including Middle Eastern and Israeli baked goods and sweet and savory pastries, along with specialty sourdoughs, croissants, babkas and custom roasted beans for its blended coffee. www.badolinabakery.com

The Lovesac Co. is bringing its newest store and showroom inside Houston’s Inner Loop for the first time. With a slated spring opening for the furniture retailer, Lovesac will open its 801-square-foot store in Rice Village at 2510 University Blvd., Houston. The Rice Village location will offer high-quality furniture through Lovesac’s “Designed for Life” approach, with furniture designed to last a lifetime. Customers will also be able to experience the retailer’s Sacs and demo Sactionals. Lovesac will join other new retailers in Rice Village, including Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, which is also set to open in the spring, and West Elm, which will open in the summer. www.lovesac.com

Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy is coming to the West University area with a new location set to open by the end of the month at 2715 Bissonnet St., Houston. Restore will offer a broad range of services at its West University Place location, including whole-body cryotherapy, IV drip therapy, red light therapy, cryo skin slimming, toning and facials, Stretch+, mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, compression therapy and HydraFacial. www.restore.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.