Northwest Houston is blessed with a vast selection of places to shop, eat and procure services of almost any kind. The list is growing and The Leader is profiling three new businesses which you may have not even known you need.
The Heights is welcoming an Irish dance school and a unique flotation spa to its varied storefront selections. Over in Oak Forest, those having a dilemma with their Dobro can visit the brand-pluckin’-new Texas Guitar Hospital.
These are not your typical go-to outlets that you would expect to see on billboards, TV commercials or (preferably) full-page color ads in your local paper. But they fill a void nonetheless. Their establishment also speaks to the variety of services becoming readily available for northwest side residents – and to an overall climate of economic success across the city and beyond.
Texas Guitar Hospital
Texas Guitar Hospital has a list of services on their website that includes 39 guitar-specific services. Some of them sound hospital-ish, like “repair loose bridges” and “neck adjustments.”
Others are more technical, for those guitar aficionados out there: Refretting, or the “Floyd Rose Setup,” or cutting new nuts.
TGH also helps with cleaning, wiring, saddles and pickups, even painting and mandolin repair. With all the live music in this part of town, a guitar hospital may be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’ve got a classic electric guitar or one of these smaller guitars that you see nowadays, the Texas Guitar Hospital is the place to go if your guitar ever needs repairs or improvements.
“We are the largest repair facility in Houston, with 5,000 square feet of workshop space and more equipment than should be allowed by law,” states a press release from the hospital. “Even though we have a big shop, we give personal service and everyone is treated like our only customer.”
The experts at TGH boats more than 40 years of experience in guitar design, manufacturing and repair. They’re also publicity-savvy: In their press release to this newspaper, they boldly pointed out that they are located just behind us at 3526 TC Jester Blvd. and have been for years. But the strategy is to repackage the business as a guitar repair facility rather than a “pickup shop.”
Tew Academy of Irish Dance
This Clear Lake-based dance academy now offers classes at Dance Heights, 1937 West TC Jester Blvd. Owner Richard Tew suggests starting them young, with classes for three to five year olds being held on Sundays at 1 p.m. and for those six and up at 1:30 p.m.
There are other Irish dance schools in the area, but Tew says he has a leg up on the competition by offering a “supportive and family-friendly” experience which differs from the dance competition focus of other schools.
“Our passion for our tradition, respect for others and veneration of our Lord makes us different,” states their website. “Our classes are designed to both challenge dancers to learn and become more advanced in their skill and also to give them a bit of Irish culture as well.”
On Feb. 1, Urban Float entered the vibrant Heights scene. Located on the corner of historic 19th and Rutland, Urban Float is the first float spa in the area. Owners Ben and Beth Lancaster felt the Heights, an active and diverse neighborhood, was the perfect location for their first spa.
“Floating is an increasingly-popular wellness and recovery technique. Also known as salt-water therapy, floating allows you to rest in a private, sensory-managed float pod for a 60-minute session,” Ben Lancaster told us in an email. “In purified water and 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt, you will encounter many clinically-proven physical, mental and emotional benefits. The body is relieved of the effects of gravity, the senses are restored and physical and mental stress are alleviated.
“Urban Float is excited to be on the forefront of this important wellness method. We are committed to providing a clean, calm, and welcoming environment so visitors can get the most out of flotation therapy. Whether guests seek pain management, sports recovery, stress relief, improved focus, or simply disconnect from a hyper-connected world, Urban Float is proud to create a sanctuary to help improve quality of life.”