5 Great Ways to Spend a Day at CITYCENTRE — This Trendsetting Houston Development Still Has It All
Discover Another Side of the Mixed-Use Center That Changed What a Shopping Mecca Can BeBY Heather Staible // 02.24.21
Open spaces allow CITYCENTRE visitors to enjoy the great outdoors.
Juicewell pours green goodness with every sip.
Fuse is one of three co-working spaces at CITYCENTRE.
Restaurant patios offer CITYCENTRE diners safe, beautiful places for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Plentiful patios make CITYCENTRE a good place to enjoy outdoor dining.
CITYCENTRE offers restaurants and cafes for every taste and occasion.
CITYCENTRE plans to amp up its programming safely in the spring.
Bateel is a culinary dreamscape offering gourmet dates, chocolates, cookies, teas, coffees, jams, vinegars and oils.
Anthony Vince Nail Spa is a beautifully appointed salon offering up-to-date services and licensed staff plus professional nail care lines.
The Escape Game is a completely immersive live adventure game.
Bowl & Barrel blends all the hallmarks of a modern American tavern with the best in boutique bowling
Before the sun begins to rise, CITYCENTRE is humming.
Life Time Athletic draws the early risers who are eager to start the day with a workout before heading to the office, or to one of this pioneering Midway development’s co-working spaces. Local favorite Fellini Gelato & Caffé is also abuzz, serving lattes, espresso, hot tea and other day starters. And over at Juicewell, a juicery and health bar, baristas are pouring green goodness to take in by the sip.
CITYCENTRE has always been more than a shopping destination or a restaurant hub, but the pedestrian-friendly development in Houston has evolved into a day-to-night, 24/7 lifestyle locale with upscale residential offerings, flexible office space, restaurants and cafes for every taste and budget, shops to outfit your person and your home and opportunities to relax, refresh and have fun.
With so many options, it’s easy to plan a day that spills into night at CITYCENTRE. Lacee Jacobs, Midway Vice President, Strategic Leasing + Advisory, knows this well.
“You can start the day at Life Time Fitness and schedule breakfast meetings at Sweet Paris or Fellini, which has a nice breezeway, so you can meet outdoors,” Jacobs notes. “There are multiple options for lunch too. So whether you are planning a business lunch, meeting with friends or taking something to-go, there’s always a place to go.”
Jacobs counts the build-your-own salad lunch special at Sal y Pimiento as one of her favorites, but confesses to also nipping into Cyclone Anaya’s for fresh ceviche.
The newly opened Yi Ping Thai restaurant— helmed by the award-winning husband and wife culinary team of Jett and Jira Hurrapan — is a popular choice for lunch and dinner, and many are highly anticipating Jeni’s Ice Cream opening.
“It’s right outside of my window. I can’t wait!” Jacobs says.
Jeni’s Ice Cream is just one of the new openings on the CITYCENTRE horizon. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s overwhelming impact, CITYCENTRE is thriving, making adjustments and putting safeguards in place for shoppers, residents and businesses.
Robert Williamson, Midway Senior Vice President, Investment Management, notes that CITYCENTRE hasn’t lost a single tenant and is even seeing the return of the business traveler at The Moran, the mixed-use center’s luxury hotel. CITYCENTRE’S European-style open-air plazas and beautifully designed green spaces draw families and couples eager for an evening stroll in a safe and welcoming location.
“We’ve retooled or dialed back programming, and the restaurants have done a really good job serving customers in innovative ways,” Williamson says. “People are starting to get out of their shells more, and are staying at the hotel. The Moran is doing a great job with cleaning protocols.”
In addition to business travelers, those who are looking to work safely outside of their home, are finding flexible at FUSE Spaces and Life Time Work — in CITYCENTRE’s state-of-the-art office buildings. For example, the Norris Conference Center gives businesses options for everything from small meetings to larger events.
“The benefit for office workers at CITYCENTRE is the many options and all the amenities available to them,” Williamson says. He cites the variety of restaurants, flexible spaces and outdoor areas among the on-site perks for those who work at the bustling center.
Your CITYCENTRE Day
Maintaining a work/life balance is a breeze at CITYCENTRE, thanks to its vibrant entertainment scene. With so many options, it’s hard to narrow down just a few things to do in one day, but true CITYCENTRE experts Jacobs and Williamson both have ideas for planning a day (and night) full of fun.
Most Fridays after work, Jacobs heads to Anthony Vince Nail Spa for a mani refresh. The beautifully appointed salon offers up-to-date services and licensed staff plus professional nail care lines for those who like to polish off the week with a touch of glam. For those who want a full body beauty refresh, LifeSpa Salon inside Life Time Fitness is open to the public, offering a full menu of services (nails, hair, skin) and massage and body care.
Between Bowl & Barrel and The Escape Game Houston, there’s fun around every turn. From date nights to corporate team building, Bowl & Barrel and The Escape Game Houston offer options that extend beyond the ordinary.
“The Escape Game can be done just with your household, so it’s a great way to have fun in a COVID friendly environment,” Jacobs says. The completely immersive live adventure game allows you to flex your brain, while working with others to unlock clues to a themed mystery.
Bowl & Barrel blends all the hallmarks of a modern American tavern with the best in boutique bowling. The spacious spot stays busy with families and companies alike.
“It’s great for corporate team building exercises, and even with social distancing practices, Bowl & Barrel allows people to bowl and enjoy time together,” Williamson says.
Ready to break away from the Zoom calls? Life Time Athletic is a fitness fanatic’s dream, with cardio machines, weights, indoor and outdoor water parks, sport courts and rock-climbing caverns, plus a full slate of innovative classes.
If you’re looking to expand your artistic spirit, look for a fresh lineup of programming coming back to CITYCENTRE in late spring and early summer. Art festivals, farmers markets and live music are among the signature events held regularly at this one-of-a-kind Houston destination.
“We’ve adjusted those events to be safe for all and we are looking forward to amping those events up again in a way that is appropriate and safe,” Jacobs says.
When it comes to shopping, CITYCENTRE almost corners the market on offering something for everyone. Updating your winter wardrobe to spring? Madewell, King Ranch, Anthropologie, J. Crew, and lululemon are among the distinctive boutiques and stores stocked with everything from basics to the latest must-haves.
Refreshing your study or living room? West Elm, LoveSac, and Z Gallerie help you live your best life from the comfort of your own home. Spending more time in the kitchen? Sur La Table is a one-stop-shop for every possible foodie desire. Searching for the perfect gifts? Sephora, Kendra Scott, Paper Source and Brahmin are a gifter’s paradise.
Get Dinner (or Breakfast, Lunch or Dessert)
Having a craving? There’s a CITYCENTRE restaurant for that. With 26 different restaurants and cafes to choose from, your palate is certain to find exactly what it’s craving. With an abundance of expansive patios and great views, diners will find Tex-Mex and Thai, steak and sushi, and crepes and chocolates.
“You see the happy hour crowds gathering at Yard House, Brio, and the Tasting Room. The patios allow people to gather, especially when the weather is a bit warmer,” Jacobs says.
Midway insisting on CITYCENTRE restaurants having patios was considered beyond unusual when the center first opened. But these plentiful patios have turned into a real draw — and a business lifeline in COVID-19 times.
“One of our favorite things was when we developed CITYCENTRE, we maintained that every restaurant had to have a patio,” Midway CEO Jonathan Brinsden says. “And you would have thought that was the most insane requirement ever. Like we were asking them to go to the moon or something.”
Now, CITYCENTRE is arguably the patio capital of Houston.
New, Next & Now at CITYCENTRE
In the coming months, CITYCENTRE will grow with new stores and restaurants that fit the atmosphere of the area. Even though he’s keeping many of the details quiet, Williamson looks forward to welcoming a new tenant in the Spring. He can share that it’s a household name, one that is choosing CITYCENTRE to unveil its newest concept to Houston.
Other new notables to the center include Bateel, a culinary outlet built around gourmet dates, chocolates, cookies, teas, coffees, jams, vinegars, and oils. The shop at CITYCENTRE is only Bateel’s second location in the United States. Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center is another new face, offering head-to-toe treatments. These include laser treatments, facial treatments, hormone replacement, weight loss and injectables.
CITYCENTRE continues to raise the bar for mixed-use developments by staying true to thoughtful planning and a community-minded approach.
“We are a community gathering spot,” Jacobs says. “You can show up and know exactly what you want to do, or you can take a moment, consider your options and go from there. You’re always right where you want to be.”
From a foodie day to a fitness day to a workday (you can even rent out a professional podcast studio) to a day of entertainment (bowling, movies at Studio Movie Grill, music on the lawn), you can make a CITYCENTRE day whatever you want it to be.
PaperCity Network Editorial Director Chris Baldwin contributed to this report.
For more on Midway, check out its new, reimagined District website.