There’s something of a business chain reaction happening on T.C. Jester Boulevard, thanks to the booming business of King’s BierHaus and I Cycle Bike Shop.
Michael Sperandio with Ancorian, which leases to BierHaus, said that there were three spaces available for lease and all have been taken. Two of the new tenants are Tea & Victory and AshleyCakes.
Vanessa Briceño and husband Jason Bush are the proprietors of Tea & Victory, a board game café and bar, which has been doing pop ups around the area for a while.
“That name is a play on ‘Tea & Sympathy,’ and we just like the way it sounds, festive and relaxed,” said Briceño.
The 3,300 square foot space at T.C. Jester will be the first storefront. Briceño says that the emphasis is more on café than bar as they won’t serve hard alcohol, but instead coffee, tea, beer, and wine. There will be counter service for food. The other draw will be their 500 board game library.
“I have a master’s in game design, both for computer and board games,” said Briceño. “Jason and I met here, moved to New York and then came back. Board game cafes are common in New York and we thought it was crazy Houston didn’t have one so we decided to give it a shot.”
People can come in and check out games to play, similar to a library. Staff will be on hand to recommend games and to teach them.
Briceño, who lives in the Heights, wants to appeal to families.
“This is our hood,” she said.
They are still working on a menu which will be a fusion between American nostalgia and British comfort food.
“We want something easy to eat,” said Briceño.
When seeking a good location, Briceño said they were a bit skeptical of the T.C. Jester location at first but were persuaded by the presence of the BierHouse and by the ample parking.
“Philipp [Sitter] with BierHouse has been really friendly and we are talking with AshleyCakes about partnering as well,” said Briceño.
Briceño hopes to be open by February.
Oak Forest’s Ashley Griffith is the owner of AshleyCakes who recently announced her first store.
“After two years of working out of a commercial kitchen, I have leased a retail storefront space at 2032 E. T.C. Jester, adjacent to the Heights,” wrote Griffith on her website. “It will be the first brick and mortar location of AshleyCakes, opening in early 2018.”
Griffith says she “dabbled in the actuarial world” until deciding to move to Chicago and attend the Le Cordon Bleu. After receiving a degree in Patisserie and Baking, Griffith came back to Texas.
Griffith’s father Bill Griffith will serve as the general manager of the store while Ashley will handle the cakes. She prepares specialty cakes out of her home currently but is excited about the chance to offer counter service at the 1,267 square foot store.
“We’ll have cupcakes and cakes for pick up,” she said.
Of the location, Griffith said she saw it in a new light once BierHouse moved in.
“Everything inside the Heights is so expensive,” said Griffith. “This is more afforable.”