A Rainy Night In Downtown Houston

Sights and scenes from a rainy February 2019 night in Downtown Houston.

12. A view inside the Okra Charity Saloon on Congress Avenue.

A group of like-minded restaurant and bar owners in Houston recognized a need for a public voice for independent businesses in the industry. In 2011, they founded OKRA, the Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs, to pursue community and charitable initiatives in the city.

At OKRA Charity Saloon, the concept is simple. For each drink purchased, guests receive one vote that they may cast that night for one of four charities selected by OKRA’s members. The charities are all locally based.

Source: https://friedokra.org/

13. Today, the Main Street Market Square historic district is known as a popular night life and dining district.

14. Featuring more than 10,000 products imported from more than 50 countries and an in-house wine and beer bar serving international fare, at 28,000-square-feet, Phoenicia Specialty Foods is the largest food market in Downtown Houston. Phoenicia is a local business that dates back to 1983 when Bob and Arpi Tcholakian, formerly of Lebanon and of Armenian descent, opened the 2,500-square-foot Phoenicia Deli, in the suburbs. Today, the downtown store also includes a gelato bar, gourmet sandwich station, salad bar, olive bar, demonstration kitchen, wine and cigar department, fine housewares section, full-service bakery and fresh baked pizza corner and a 150-foot pita bread conveyor belt that transports freshly baked pita bread and artisan flat breads from the market’s mezzanine bakery to customers below.

15. Discovery Green is an award-winning $125 million, 11.78-acre urban park adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Featuring a lake, bandstands, venues for outdoor performances, dog runs, playgrounds and multiple recreational lawns, Discovery Green is the result of a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and several local philanthropic organizations. Completed in April 2008, the green space replaced a series of surface parking lots on the east side of downtown.


Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center is one of the ten largest convention centers in the country. Completed in 1987 and expanded in 2001 for Super Bowl XXXVIII and 2014 for Super Bowl LI, it features 853,000-square-feet of exhibition space. In addition, the most recent renovation project converted six lanes and the length of five city blocks into a 97,000-square-foot, pedestrian-friendly outdoor courtyard adjacent to Discovery Green.







23. A view of Downtown Houston from Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com