White Linen Night in the Heights is happening this Saturday from 6-10 p.m. on West 19th Street.
Are you ready? Do you know where to go? I have some ideas for you!
The event is a street festival that was founded by Heights-area retailers and business owners, including yours truly, in 2006. The primary purpose of the event then as it is now is to show off Houston’s first planned community to today’s shoppers and art lovers.
The official event takes place on the 200 and 300 blocks of West 19th Street. First check with your favorite store, business or friends that live in the area to see if they have something going on early. That’s a great way to park nearby, too.
Since I’m always busy taking care of my artists that line both sides 19th Street from Yale Street to Ashland Street, I can only be envious of all the fun I’ll miss. So here is my list of do-not-miss hot spots on the street this year.
Start your walking tour in the Heights Hospital parking lot on Ashland and 20th Street, because that is where Uber will drop you off. Seriously, who drives to events anymore? Uber graciously gave the event a new rider code, too. Use NEWRIDER15 to receive $5 off your first three Uber trips.
Carter & Cooley Company Delicatessen is your first stop at the corner of Ashland and 19th (375 W. 19th St.). Inside this historic space are fun, friendly staff, photos of what the neighborhood used to look like and the best deli sandwiches. Fortify here!
A couple of doors down, sample or purchase a glass of wine from Houston Winery inside The Lift at 365 W. 19th St. The Lift is a book store and gift shop. Houston Winery has been a part of my events for several years now. It is currently working on its new winery right here in the Heights, so ask about it.
Venus Hair Houston is next door. You’ll probably see a colorfully painted hearse out front, possibly an Elvis statue and all kinds of stories told in person and in memorabilia throughout this funky spot. If I had to bet on it, I’d say proprietor Susan Venus and/or her car have been in the news more often than anyone I know.
Walk across the street without looking both ways here because you can, and check out the band in front of Harold’s Tap Room and Circa Real Estate. That’s Rio Yeti, one of my fave rock and roll bands led by Barefoot Bob on lead vocals. His wife, Holli May Thomas, is one of the first art booths on this side of the street.
Right there in between the tap room (which also leads to Harold’s Restaurant upstairs for the best view!) is Club Rosé, hosted by Emerson Rose. Club Rosé is the name Emerson Rose takes on for this one-night-a-year event. This women’s boutique and clothing store are so cool that even I get lost in there (looking for gifts, of course). I’m not going to tell you much, except to say that you will regret no visiting this one. So go.
At the 2016 White Linen Night, the Heights Theater (339 W. 19th St.) was still under reconstruction but allowed folks to preview the space as it was being turned into a state-of-the-art listening room. Since then it’s been DISCO party with two bands, John Egan in the lobby at 6:30 p.m. and the Wrestlers from 8-10 p.m., on the main stage. The event is free on this night, you may want to go early.
Jubilee (325 W. 19th St.) is a party every day with its hip contemporary women’s clothing and accessories and gifts. It’s just the style. I think the phrase bling was coined here. But on this night, the place really takes off and lets its hair down. The Hard Luck Revival Band will be helping with that hair-shaking out front.
Just a few steps away, Retropolis Vintage (321 W. 19th St.) has brought back a festival favorite band, Picture Book. Its renditions of classic rock songs will get any crowd worked up. My favorites are when they perform some David Bowie.
Continue your tour on the website, TheHeightsWhiteLinenNight.com, for a complete list of shop activities, the artist roster and more. I’ve covered just enough to get in trouble for leaving so many folks out, so tell us who you plan to visit in the comments on the web version of this column at theleadernews.com.
Did you know that all of the exhibitors under the white tents on 19th Street, with the exception of event underwriters, are artists from First Saturday Arts Market and The Market at Sawyer Yards? The artists have set up on the street with the blessing of the 19th Street merchants since 2012. I think it’s a great combo!
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.