Fashion / Shopping

Rice Village Gets a Slew of New Stores — New York Ice Cream, Home Decor Power and Some Houston Firsts

An Evolving Shopping Center Adapts

BY // 03.11.21

slew of new stores and restaurants are heading to Rice Village, just in time for spring home and style updates. The fresh updates include a couple of Houston firsts — CB2 and New York cult fave Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. 

The arrival of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is aptly timed, as Houston’s weather will soon be perfect for icy treats. Known for its selection of more than 30 dairy and vegan ice cream flavors, Van Leeuwen will introduce a flavor brimming with Texas pride at its new Rice Village shop. The new ice cream will commemorate the expansion to the Lone Star State.

Perhaps something with pecans? All will be revealed sometime in April, but in the meantime, Van Leeuwen fans can anticipate favorites such as Chocolate Fudge Brownie and (Vegan) Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam. 

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream started as a New York City food truck in 2008 and quickly expanded beyond four wheels to brick-and-mortar shops across on the East and West Coasts. Look for the sunny spot to open at at 2565 Amherst Street. CEO and co-founder Ben Van Leeuwen declares Rice Village the ideal location for this Houston expansion, thanks to its “established ties, walkability, and bustling community.” 

Details are mum on the opening date of CB2Crate & Barrel’s modern furniture brand, but the sign is already up, hailing its arrival in Houston. CB2 already boasts Texas locations in Dallas and Austin. But there is more change coming to Rice Village, too.

Rice Village’s Big One

Mid-century leaning West Elm is set to take over the expansive space previously home to Urban Outfitters. The 11,502 square-foot location will offer furniture, decor and the free Design Crew consultation services to Houstonians looking for quality home decor and furnishings.  

“At Rice Village we’re constantly aiming to usher in brands that will create a differentiated experience for our community and an immensely unique offering to Houston’s inner loop,” Morgan Lera, senior investment associate of Rice Management Company, says in a statement. “By bringing distinctive brands like West Elm, which echoes many of our standards, into Rice Village, we’re pushing ourselves to evolve and grow as Houston does.” 

West Elm Rice Village
West Elm’s new 11,502 square-foot Rice Village store will offer furniture, décor and the free Design Crew consultation service

Lovesac rounds out the new stores moving into Rice Village this spring. The home furnishing brand will be found at 2510 University Boulevard, bringing with it the cloud-like Sacs, a luxe take on the beanbag chair and Sactionals, deemed the “world’s most adapatable couch.” Sactionals are customizable, washable, changeable and reconfigurable.  

Of course, the recent addition of the Rice Village Farmers Market brings in sustainably sourced produce, chef-made plates, coffee and made-to-order margaritas on the first and third Sundays of every month. Want more Rice Village scoops?

Be on the lookout for distinctive murals and greenery in the coming months, too. This Houston shopping destination is changing with the times.

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