MAKING A SPLASH

Dive into Houston's highly anticipated pool bar, now open near downtown

A look at El Segundo's pool and cabanas. Courtesy of gin design group

The artlicle originally appeared on CultureMap.

When Houston's weather turns from regular "hot" to full on "blast furnace," finding a pool to cool off can be about the only way anyone can maintain their sanity. While they're easy to find in the suburbs, apartment dwellers in the city's urban core start contemplating extreme measures in the quest for relief — for example, booking an expensive spa treatment at the Marriott Marquis just to float the Texas-shaped lazy river.

A newly opened bar wants to change that. The El Segundo Swim Club is the pool bar that's ready to offer Houstonians a place to relax and cool off. Located in the Second Ward near the corner of Navigation and Lockwood, the property features a 1,300-square foot swimming pool as well as cabanas and lounge chairs — everything a person needs for a little fun in the sun. A high fence around the bar ensures that patrons aren't subject to prying eyes from passersby. 

Owner Matthew Healey originally built the pool as a place for him and his friends to hang out, but he saw the potential for others to enjoy it. To realize his vision, he turned to local designer Gin Braverman of gin design group, the acclaimed local design firm behind a number of bars and restaurants including Axelrad, Public Services Wine & Whisky, and Goode Company Kitchen & Cantina. Braverman's design takes its inspiration from the work of Roberto Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape artist known for his innovative public spaces; the project seeks to channel a little of a Rio in the '70s vibe.

“We want to create something fun and unpretentious,” Healey said when he announced the project in February. “We’re creating a little oasis just off the beaten path. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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Eastern Glades Phase I has been completed. Phase II (pictured) is slated for completion by summer 2020. Courtesy photo

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

It’s been a banner year for Memorial Park, with news in the spring of a blockbuster, $70 million grant from the Kinder Foundation. Now, locals can rejoice in more good news: the completion of a crucial phase in the park’s redevelopment.

As part of the Memorial Park Master Plan, the Eastern Glades Phase I project has been completed. For park users, that means East Memorial Loop Drive has been realigned, extending the Seymour Lieberman Exer-Trail to a full three miles.

Additionally, park visitors can now enjoy 150 new parking spots (huge news for anyone who regularly jogs, walks, or bikes there), a new restroom station with water fountain, and new plantings and lighting, which will create a healthier ecology on the 100-acre site that is Eastern Glades, according to a release.

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