Things are moving quickly at the former site of the Wabash Feed and Garden Store in the Heights.
On January 15, The sale of Wabash Feed and Garden located at 5701 Washington Ave., was concluded. Popular Wabash is moving to a larger location at 4537 North Shepherd Dr., and the old property was purchased by Gary Mosley, owner of the locally grown, and highly successful Creek Group of restaurants.
The old space on Washington Ave. has been occupied by Wabash since 1987, when the area was “still kind of dicey,” said Wabash’s founder/owner, Betty Heacker. Today, the corridor is a thriving artery of businesses, houses and town homes.
The Wabash property occupies 25,513 square feet, hosts a 3,500-square-foot building and 216 feet of frontage on Washington Ave. There is also a big tree growing right in the middle of the main building.
Mosley, who resides in the Heights with his wife and three daughters, has committed to construct another of his casual restaurants on the location. He even intends to keep the tree. “I do not like to cut down trees,” Mosley said, “I’m kind of a tree-hugger.”
Mosley and his Creek Group have nearly elevated comfortable, affordable, neighborhood dining spots to an art form. The group includes the Heights’ Onion Creek, Cedar Creek, Dry Creek, and Canyon Creek, with the recent addition of Lowbrow and The Daily Review Cafe, both in Montrose, and now the Wabash location on Washington Ave. Mosley says he has a name in mind for the new spot, but is letting it settle in a bit before sharing it.
Will Mosley be razing the old Wabash? “I usually try to buy old buildings, and save them instead of tearing them down like we always do in Houston,” said Mosley. “When we do that, we are tearing down our history. Can you imagine if we still had the Shamrock Hotel? The Wabash building has character and I will maintain its integrity. Besides, I really love that front porch.”
Former owner Betty Heacker could not be happier. “I am very pleased that this property is going to Mr. Mosley and that he is going to keep the structure,” she said. “The building is sort of an icon, and he has done this before in other older properties. I am sure he will be very successful here.”
Heacker expects to open at the larger location in May 2016. Keep your eyes on The Leader for more information on the opening of the new “baby creek.”