There’s more to a location than square footage. This week I want to preview the surrounding area. I’ll touch on landmarks, travel routes, and amenities.
If you plan to spend any amount of time, you’ll eventually want more than our snacks. You’ll have a broad range of options even within walking distance, and plenty more within a short drive.
Right in our shopping center there’s Marble Slab and That’s A Wrap (coming in August), along with sit-down options in Chili’s and Houston’s for continental, Sake Cafe for Japanese, and Phonecia’s for Mediterranean (do yourself a favor and try the Lebanese tea sometime).
Within a block there’s also a Smoothie King, Brooklyn Pizzeria, and double BBQ choices with Corky’s Bar-B-Q and Texas Bar-B-Q (next to the Smoothie King). Get across Veterans and you’ve got a Starbucks, Pho Orchid for Vietnamese, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito and a sit-down Mexican restaurant called Churros.
That doesn’t even touch on the Clearview Mall food court, nearby Pizza Florence, and fast food like Cane’s, Popeyes and Taco Bell. Plus, we’re right on Veterans, so with a car you can get darn near anything.
There’s three major East-West roads you can use to get to us. First, there’s I-10. Get off at Clearview take a right on Veterans, a left on Houma, and your next right puts you on Manhattan. We’re at the end of the block against the canal.
You can also take Veterans or West Esplanade, using Houma as your major cross street. There’s a bus stop right in front of the shopping center for the public transport enthusiast. It’s even an easy walk from the college mall shuttle drop-off at Clearview Mall.
The only weirdness is we are behind the shopping center, facing Manhattan instead of into the main parking lot. It’s mixed up one or two people already, so tightening our directions is a high priority. We’ll have a big sign over the door, and hopefully an extra one pointing the way from the parking lot’s rear entrance. I think I’ll add a map to the back of our business cards, too.
Parking is surprisingly great. We’ve got a smaller lot usually only used by Sake’s staff, and we have a dead-end street with nothing on the other side. Plus, after about 6pm the medical place across the shopping center from us is closed and their nearby lot is empty. We’re also looking at putting in a bike rack.
The biggest bonus is of course Clearview Mall. It has a movie theater, Target, Sears, and plenty of other stuff. We can plan the occasional movie night at the Palace, and you’ll have ready access to odd hobby stuff and hardware we might not carry with Target and Sears.
There’s a strip of grass between us and the canal, on which we want to make a smoking area. We’ll put out an outdoor table and some chairs, and one of those cigarette poles. This will give smokers a comfortable spot of their own, and keep the front door from getting polluted. It’ll be our responsibility to keep it clean, so smokers please make it easy on us!
There’s also a large open field right across the street from us. I don’t know who owns it or whether we can work something out, but if we can I can think up plenty of uses for a grass field. If it’s possible we could have cookouts, LARP events, an outdoor fair… I have no idea what will be realistic, but the possibilities are awesome.
We’ll also be on a parade route without getting totally cut off (you can come and go via West Esplanade and Houma). If you guys like parades, we might could do a parade party and work out registration or something for customers-only bathroom use.