Houston Neighborhood Profile: Montrose

Nearly 100-years-old, Montrose, covering only a scant four square miles, is one of the most established, culturally diverse sections of Houston. Among others, the LGBT community has a strong presence in Montrose, though it’s hardly an exclusivity. Veterans with artistic tastes find Montrose to be a unique and fun filled environment to both work and play in.

Generally speaking, Montrose is enclosed by Allen Parkway to the north, Highway 59 on the south, Shepherd Drive on the west and Bagby Street on the east.

Montrose has been called the “Heart of Houston,” the “strangest neighborhood east of the Pecos,” and was named one of the “ten great neighborhoods in America” in 2009 by the American Planning Committee.

It is also home to Houston’s Mayor, Annise Parker. Parker, a longtime resident of Montrose and avid Veteran supporter, started her political career by representing Montrose as an at-large city council member. It is also home to At-Large Council Members Sue Lovell and Stephen Costello.

Housing in Montrose is as varied as its populace, as bungalows and cottages are peppered in among upscale renovated houses and townhomes. Older properties typically fall in the $250,000-$400,000 range while new construction prices typically sit between a $200,000 and $600,000 price tag. High-end mid-rise condominiums can be had for $700,000 to $3,000,000. The VA Jumbo loan is an option for Houston Veterans purchasing in that price range.

The nightlife scene in Montrose is just as peppered with opportunity as everything else in the area. Dive bars like Lola’s Depot (2327 Grant), West Alabama Ice House (1919 West Alabama), and Poison Girl (1641 Westheimer) co-sign the area’s artistic and eclectic feel. Dance clubs and lounges like Numbers (300 Westheimer), Boheme (307 Fairview) and Etro (1424 Westheimer) provide a bit of sheen. And alternative bars (read: gay) like Rich’s (2401 San Jacinto), South Beach (808 Pacific), and Pacific Street (710 Pacific) are near guaranteed to be frequently full of patrons.

Montrose also offers up an abundance of eateries for your exploitation. Hungry Veteran homebuyers looking for Mexican food have a variety of options with Hugo’s (1600 Westheimer), Berryhill Baja Grill (3407 Montrose), and La Mexicana (1018 Fairview) among the many available. Looking for breakfast or brunch? Hit up Baby Barnaby’s (604 Fairview) or Empire Café (1732 Westheimer). Or go with Mark’s American Cuisine (1658 Westheimer), Da Marco (1520 Westheimer), or Indika (516 Westheimer) for American, Italian, or Indian respectively.

Shopping in Montrose is a must-see for those with an eclectic taste. There’s a renowned antique store presence, with locales like Rosenkavalier (1715 Westheimer), Antique Pavillion (2311 Westheimer), and Maison Maison (2129 Westheimer) offering up the finest in used relics. Book stores like Domy Books (1709 Westheimer) and Half Price Books (1011 Westheimer) are around for the academics. And Mega Marshalls (1450 West Gray) and the 99 Cent Store (2030 Westheimer) compliment a strong vintage store population.

For the museum going Veteran, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston are located in southern Montrose. The Menil Collection, on Sul Ross Street between Alabama Street and Richmond Avenue, is a free museum founded by Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil to house their art collection. The Menil was designed by architect Renzo Piano.