Charming Charlie returns to Houston; Velvet Taco opens Rice Village location; and more local updates from April

Velvet Taco officially opened at Rice Village on April 26. (Courtesy Velvet Taco)
Velvet Taco officially opened at Rice Village on April 26. (Courtesy Velvet Taco)

Velvet Taco officially opened at Rice Village on April 26. (Courtesy Velvet Taco)

Read business and community news from April from the Houston area.

Bay Area

IMPACTS ROUNDUP: H-E-B coming to Clear Lake and more

The grocery store will be an anchor for other development in the area.

Bellaire-Meyerland-West University

Velvet Taco to open Rice Village restaurant April 26

Velvet Taco, the Dallas-based taco concept that incorporates Asian, Indian, and Tex-Mex flavors into its menu, will soon open its fifth Houston location.


Faith-based series filmed in Montgomery County hopes for spot on Netflix, Hulu

"Breaking Strongholds," a faith-based, eight-episode series produced in Montgomery County, is wrapping up filming, with some of the final shots being filmed April 10, the production crew said. The show has been pitched to various platforms, including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.


Charming Charlie returns to Houston with new Willowbrook Mall storefront

The retail clothing store has made a comeback after filing for bankruptcy in 2019.

Heights-River Oaks-Montrose

Domino's, Nuro testing robot pizza delivery in the Heights

Starting April 12, some customers who order pizza from Domino's in the Woodland Heights area could meet its newest employee: R2, a robot delivery vehicle.


Katy-area to be home of Houston area’s first Layne’s Chicken Fingers

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy this summer.

Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood

Island Tingz Caribbean Grill owner to move eatery into larger location, launch new Cajun concept in former space

The new spot will also sell alcohol and host reggae nights and live music.


Family-owned Country Place Cafe is more than it appears

As the name implies, Country Place Cafe serves country food, specializing in breakfast.


Campioni Restaurant celebrates 30 years in Spring-Klein community

The locally owned Italian eatery opened in 1991 on FM 1960.

Sugar Land-Missouri City

Uncorked: Daiquiris & More brings frozen, mixed alcoholic drinks to Missouri City

Uncorked: Daiquiris & More held its soft opening at the end of March.

The Woodlands

Wildcat PPE furloughs employees as federal contracts stall

Wildcat PPE, the third largest nonretail major employer in The Woodlands area, had to furlough a large segment of its workforce due to contract issues at the federal level last week, announced Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, as part of his presentation at an April 14 conference.


Tomball-based mother-daughter duo launches online boutique Hen Scratch & Co.

Mother-daughter duo Ashley and Andie Bearden launched an online women’s boutique Feb. 15 from their Tomball home.

Jake Magee, Hunter Marrow, Eva Vigh, Hannah Zedaker, Matt Dulin, Laura Aebi, Kelly Schafler, Claire Shoop, Vanessa Holt contributed to this report.


Texas Litter Control will also offer dog and cat adoptions at its new Humble clinic. (Courtesy Texas Litter Control)
Nonprofit organization Texas Litter Control opens new Humble clinic

It also provides adoption services, community education, and surgery training for high-volume spaying and neutering.

Cy-Fair ISD recently added 266 propane buses to its total fleet. Funded by the 2019 bond package, the buses account for approximately 30% of the district’s total fleet and provide cleaner emissions. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
Cy-Fair ISD's 2019 bond program funds new propane buses to replace diesel vehicles

Propane buses now account for about 30% of the district's entire fleet.

ExxonMobil moved employees from its Springwoods Village campus to a Hughes Landing to cure a default on a Montgomery County tax abatement. (Courtesy ExxonMobil)
ExxonMobil resolves tax abatement default; Home Depot distribution center taking over superfund site; and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

A water-bottling company had purchased a tract of land in Conroe Park North with the intent to pump groundwater. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
'Nationally-known' water bottling company backs out of Conroe deal

The proposal—which was dubbed Project Hydrate—had drawn concern from residents and some city officials

The salon offers coloring, extensions, blowouts, children’s cuts and men’s cuts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Vera Hair Co. now open in Katy

Vera Hair Co. officially opened in Katy on April 24 after a soft opening earlier that month.

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

(Courtesy city of Houston)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Spaceplane developer coming to Clear Lake and more aerospace news

Here is a roundup of space-related news in the Clear Lake area.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 has begun construction on the first of three phases for its new 43-acre, state-of-the-art campus located in Spring, according to a May 7 news release. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 begins construction on new 43-acre campus

The campus will house ESD No. 11's new ambulance service, which is scheduled to launch Sept. 4 when the district's contract with current service provider, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, expires.

King and his team constructed the Ringing Singing Tree, a 17-foot-tall, 20-ton wind powered sound sculpture, in 2015. The project is on display outside of Austin. (Courtesy JK Welding)
Cypress-based JK Welding takes on unique, challenging projects

Motorists might recognize the FM 529 facility by the large projects that can be seen from the street, which have included an oil derrick, a pirate ship and a massive wind chime.

FM 2978 has been under construction since 2018.
(Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Work on FM 2978 continues with expected completion date this summer

The project, begun in 2018, is expected to wrap in the second quarter of 2021.

Tomball Star Academy will celebrate its senior class May 27 with a graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Event Center, according to district information. Students will graduate virtually from LSC-Tomball on May 13, according to LSCS information. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'They’ve created the legacy:' Inaugural class to graduate May 27 from Tomball ISD's early college high school program

The inaugural class of 95 students has been instrumental in paving the way for the students yet to finish the program, said Kelly Marchiando, the principal of Tomball Star Academy since January.

As of the afternoon of May 6, there are 21 total active cases in Friendswood ISD, 13 of them at the same campus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Friendswood ISD classrooms pivot to virtual learning after COVID-19 outbreak

Two classrooms at Bales Intermediate School will learn remotely for the remainder of the week after more than 10% of the people in those classrooms tested positive for COVID-19. While there is evidence of community spread, the positivity rate for the entire Bales campus is just under 2%.