Waco restaurateur Sammy Citrano found himself at odds with city trademark monitors when a mural on his George’s Bar & Restaurant included the distinctive “flying W” logo created by City Hall.
Rub it out, he was told, or face the consequences.
Being an agreeable sort, Citrano polled the public on how best to replace the big W without sullying his artistic salute to all things George, and mostly Texas — George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, George Foreman, George Lopez, George Strait and George Washington, who was not born in Texas but nevertheless made a name for himself, according to the history books.
Citrano settled for the Interstate 35 access road bridges over Lake Brazos, near McLane Stadium. The bridges’ lights change color and represent the gateway to Waco, in Citrano’s opinion, though admittedly that gate is not at its most pristine as a $341 million I-35 widening project continues to rumble along.
“That’s what we came up with, and I think it ties in pretty well with what else we have up there,” Citrano said of the new image. “There is a Baylor connection, a Waco connection, and the city of Waco is mentioned, though not as it was. Take a picture of it and you know you’re in Waco, Texas. Waco and George’s side-by-side. It’s unbelievable. I was overwhelmed by community support, but I’m not much for arguing with anybody, and I wanted to do the right thing. It was finished a couple of days ago and fits just right.”
It’s tea time at HTeaO, a new shop at South Seventh Street and Cleveland Avenue that opened Friday and was quickly swarmed by thirsty customers.
HTeaO features a custom tea bar with two-dozen flavors of sweet and unsweet tea available for sampling. Little cups are available. Once a favorite is chosen, large-cup purchases can be made at the front counter.
A drive-thru window also is available for those not needing a test swig.
HTeaO has proven a popular concept, growing to 93 locations at last count, company officials said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Waco store also features a selection of healthy snacks, a line of Yeti products and a “Tea Brewing Station,” which will put the tea brewing process in plain view all day, according to a press release.
Amarillo-based HTeaO last year appeared on Inc. magazine’s list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country, coming in at 2,324. It has enjoyed three-year revenue growth of 188%, according to the magazine.
It operates in Waco near fast-food row along South Sixth, South Seventh and South Eighth streets at Interstate 35.
The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will devote time to the farm-to-table ideal and other drivers of change among local food ventures during its quarterly Hour Economy program from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the chamber headquarters, 101 S. Third St.
Guest speakers will include Gidon Rosing, director of operations at Waco Food Hub under development in East Waco; Chris McGowan, president of Waco Downtown Farmers Market; and Jonathan Garza, an agent with Turner-Behringer Real Estate, who lists space in the soon-to-open Union Hall food hall at Eighth Street and Franklin Avenue, according to a news release.
Limited seating is $15 per person and includes lunch. For more information, call chamber economic development coordinator Debbie McCutchen at 757-5736 or visit wacochamber.com.
White Bluff golf
White Bluff Resort in Whitney has completed work on its two golf courses and is hosting events Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 as it opens to the public.
“The renovation included total turf replacement to Tifeagle Bermuda on all 36 greens, while the bunkers were reworked for improved drainage and filled with all new bunker sand,” according to a press release from the White Bluff Property Owners Association. “Each course also has its own full length driving range, chipping green, and practice bunker and putting green.”
“We welcome our neighbors from the surrounding communities and believe that they are going to be very impressed by this all-new White Bluff experience, including access to Lake Whitney, pools, marina, racquet sports and dining,” the press release states.
Aug. 31 through Labor Day, non-property owners will pay $55 green fees. Starting in September, the new course will open Tuesday through Sunday. Non-property owners will pay $45 weekday and $55 weekend green fees.
The old course, now in a grow-in phase, will open in late September
Bolt storefront closes
Ashley Futris, an ardent supporter of downtown, has closed her shop on South Second Street. Bolt Boutique sold fashions, furniture, Waco-centric T-shirts and homemade accessories about a year. But in a Facebook post, thanking her friends and customers, Futris said “a storefront is just not feasible.” She graciously went on to say the closing is “bittersweet” but vowed to keep her chin up and urged locals to patronize the shops popping up downtown.
She said such shops and small business “are the heartbeat of the city.”