Free COVID-19 testing at Texas Renaissance Festival and more Houston-area news

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)

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


Texas Renaissance Festival to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing throughout season

The Texas Renaissance Festival is offering free COVID-19 testing via oral swab for festival staff, participants and patrons throughout the nine weekends of the festival Oct. 3-Nov. 29, according to a Sept. 16 announcement from the festival. The tests are provided by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, according to the announcement.


Love for Houston, Mexico inspire menu at Tex-Mex Grill and Bar

Jorge Rodriguez started his career in restaurants at the age of 16 working as a dishwasher. Since then, he said his journey has taken him from line cook to sous chef to executive chef to director of operations in charge of thousands of employees.

Today, Rodriguez owns and runs Tex Mex Grill & Bar on FM 529 in Cy-Fair, fulfilling his dream of owning a restaurant.

Shaka Power Yoga in Cypress gets creative during COVID-19

During a year when many are more stressed and uncertain than ever, practicing yoga can help people find balance, clarity and well-being, according to Jenny Normand, who owns Shaka Power Yoga in Cypress.

The Woodlands

Student-run bakery, Bear Branch sports court open, plus 4 more business updates in The Woodlands

Read more about business news in the Woodlands.

Learn about K9 PW Training and Boarding, a facility in The Woodlands area that offers coaching, lodging for local dogs

For dog owners around The Woodlands area hoping to improve their dog’s discipline and communication skills, K9 PW Training and Boarding offers hands-on instruction and care based around improving animals’ relationships with their families.

Lovebeans Coffeehouse in Creekside Park focuses on giving back to The Woodlands community

When she opened Lovebeans Coffeehouse in October 2019, owner Beth Ferester said she wanted to find a way to give back to the community that has hosted her real estate business for the past 39 years.


She Shack, a party and event venue, now open in Conroe

She Shack, a party and event venue, opened Sept. 11 at 905 W. Lewis St., Conroe. The self-described "chic-space" caters to women and is designed for luncheons, graduation parties, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, small gatherings and other events.

Bay Area

IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Pizza Lounge new location coming soon and more

Here is a roundup of local business news in Clear Lake and League City.


After 80 years in Tomball, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 hits hard times

Established in October 1940, Tomball’s local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 has hit hard times after closing its doors following state-level regulations on bars across the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bellaire-Meyerland-West University

Houston Zoo to open South America’s Pantanal on Oct. 10

Houston Zoo has announced the opening of its latest expansion project, looking to pair South American animals with their natural environment, according to a Sept. 16 news release from the zoo.

Endocrine and Diabetes Plus Clinic to celebrate one-year anniversary in October

Endocrine and Diabetes Plus Clinic, at 5420 Dashwood Drive, Ste. 301, Houston, will be celebrating its one-year anniversary in October.

Bankruptcy a possibility as Francesca’s boutique chain explores ‘strategic initiatives’

Francesca’s boutique clothing store is exploring “strategic initiatives” after the company announced 2020 second quarter net sales losses of 29%, down to $75.7 million, according to a Sept. 15 investor report.

Urban Outfitters at Rice Village permanently closes its doors

The Rice Village location of Urban Outfitters has permanently shut its doors, according to a Sept. 8 news release from the company.


New owners take over Tune Up: The Manly Salon locations in Champions, Northpointe

Rachael and Michael Worthen and Jackie and Scott Qaulley took ownership of two Tune Up: The Manly Salon franchise locations in the North Houston area effective Aug. 10. According to Rachael Worthen, the two couples now own the salons located at 24441 Hwy. 249, Tomball, and 6920 FM 1960 W., Houston.

Northwest Assistance Ministries relocates semimonthly food distribution site near IAH

Northwest Assistance Ministries will continue its semimonthly neighborhood super site food giveaways at a new location near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport beginning Sept. 22.

Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood

SafeSplash Swim School, SwimLabs sets opening date for new Humble-area facility

SafeSplash Swim School and SwimLabs are set to open a new partnered location Nov. 11 at 10423 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Humble. SafeSplash Swim School offers indoor swim lessons for children and adults of all ages.

Andrew Christman, Hunter Marrow, Ben Thompson, Kelly Schafler, Shawn Arrajj, Eva Vigh, Adriana Rezal, Hannah Zedaker, Danica Lloyd and Anna Lotz contributed to this report.