A native Houstonian who loves the city and its cultural diversity, Bria grew up the eldest of two brothers and two sisters. Most of her family lives in Hawaii, but her appreciation for Houston keeps her here, along with an immense love of food that leads her to call Phoenicia home.
Bria was a born foodie, raised by her mom, a chef. Her adventurous eating began when she was very young, tasting and sampling the many treats her mom made. Some of her favorite delicacies are the exotic pastries her mom creates, but her food adventure doesn’t stop there. On her many travels to Hawaii, she has enjoyed some of her most memorable meals from the food trucks that dot the island, always managing to find poi, a Polynesian staple made from the taro root. She’ll soon travel with her family to Laos and Thailand, where she is excited to try new foods and see elephants up close.
With a deep passion for animals, Bria is currently studying zoology. When she graduates from college, she would like to work in conservation, with a focus on elephants. She loves the “gentle giants” and becomes all smiles as she discusses her thoughts on coexisting with all things and maintaining the balance of nature for generations of people to enjoy.
When Bria isn’t studying or helping customers have the very best shopping experience, she likes to relax with a good book. She’s an avid reader of many different genres and her favorite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. A fan of the band A Perfect Circle, Bria listens to all genres of music with a book in one hand and a cup of tea within arm’s reach.
Tea is another passion for Bria, one she researches to learn about its natural holistic powers. While Phoenicia stocks so many healthy and amazing teas, Bria’s favorite tea is Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Mojito Mint, which she thinks is refreshing and flavorful.
Bria’s passions take her around the world, but she’s in her element in downtown Houston. She enjoys working downtown, loves the people, atmosphere and bookstores. She and her boyfriend often lunch at Phoenicia and explore museums, Discovery Green and all that downtown has to offer.
When asked about her favorite food at Phoenicia, there’s no hesitation. “Croissants!” Bria thinks our buttery, flaky pastries are perfect and she enjoys them whenever she can.
Come visit Bria downtown and explore everything that makes our city, our store and our employees unique.
For deep, rich red wines, explore the Priorat region of Spain. Here, Grenache and Carignan top the production charts, resulting in beauties that perfectly pair with fall steaks and stews. White lovers savor the Rias Baixas region’s Albariño varietals, and we especially love the story behind the Santiago Ruiz label. Read more about our Spanish faves and come find them at Phoenicia.
This region is known for its deep, rich red wines. Priorat is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as a Denomination of Origin (DO), the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside the more well-known Rioja. Grenache and Carignan are the top two red grapes in terms of production in the region, and are typically both blended with other grapes to produce Priorat’s powerhouse reds.
Our favorite, Rotllan Torra, is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Carignan and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair it with a beautiful rib-eye steak or hearty beef stew this fall.
Rias Baixas Region
Located near the Atlantic Ocean in the northwestern part of Spain, over 90% of the wines produced in this region are white, predominantly using the Albariño grape varietal. Blends with heavy concentrations of this grape represent Spain’s standard of white wine across the country.
Winemaker Santiago Ruiz is referred to as “the father of Albarino” as he claims to be the first to harvest it decades ago. His 2013 version is a lively white that offers lots of juicy pear and citrus fruit with a soothing mineral finish. We especially love the story of the label as it’s the exact drawing that Ruiz’ daughter had scribbled to direct guests to the winery for her wedding reception. Papa decided to use it as a memorable wine label.
Flash back to The Sixties, the nostalgic decade of pop art, fashion and music. Where would you find Warhol, Twiggy, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and other artsy gurus? At the Factory, of course. This Halloween, join us as we become a party Factory filled with Love Street art, ’60s mod fashion and groovy tunes. Experience the art crawl with over 70 cool works, urban trick-or-treat stations, live art by Katsola and other surprises along the way. It’s FREE and FUN for all ages! Grab your go-go boots and velvet suits and rock your fave ‘60s personality for our costume contest. With Karbach’s Love Street Summer Seasonal on tap, groovy bites and cool drink specials, you can bet it’s gonna be fab!
Summer vacation time may be over, but the opportunity to travel the world and sample unique wines is a year-round luxury at Phoenicia! Before Phoodies naturally turn to drink more reds in the late fall and winter weather, we decided to highlight a few unique whites to pair with fall soups, salads and snacks made with fresh seasonal ingredients we all love.
The Wolftrap White – South Africa
Plum, apple and fresh green almond flavor come out clearly in this beautiful blend of grapes commonly used by South African vintners (Viognier/Chenin Blanc/Grenache Blanc Blend). Screams “pair me” with a seasonal salad topped with toasted pumpkin seeds or delicious Italian-style fried zucchini slices.
Becker Family Pinot Blanc – Germany
Crisp, clean and refreshing with melon and stone fruit taste, finished nicely with marvelous minerals. Arugula, pomegranate and fresh goat cheese salad sounds like a nice partner for this gem.
Aegerter Chardonnay – France
Rich wine with pear notes rounded out with white peach. Classic-styled white Burgundy that is a joy to drink year round. Try a comforting bowl of butternut squash soup with this French trademark.
A native Houstonian, Michael Bateman traveled the world only to return to his favorite spot: Phoenicia! He’s lived in many different places, and as the son of a military family, Michael became immersed in distinctive cultures and customs early in life. His great appreciation for diversity and unique background make him an important part of the Phoenicia management team.
Graduating from high school at the tender age of 16, Michael attended the University of Mississippi and the University of Houston, where he studied history. With deep roots in the military, he felt a calling to serve his country and joined the Air Force. Michael was stationed in South Korea, the Philippines, Europe and several locations in the U.S.
After completing his duty with the Air Force, he returned to Houston and promptly joined the Army. In both military branches, Michael served in the military police, where his aim and purpose was to protect and serve. The Army sent him back to Europe, then returned him stateside where he married his long-time love and began his family. Michael beams with pride as he talks about his children, who are currently carrying on the family’s military tradition. His son, Robert, currently serves in the Coast Guard in Virginia Beach and his daughter, Christine, is at the Air Force Academy in Officer Candidate School.
When his wife enlisted in the military, Michael supported her and moved to Wiesbaden, Germany, a favorite spot because he loves bratwurst and brötchen! Michael eventually came back to the States and worked for the school district at Fort Riley as a computer proctor. A return to Houston soon followed where Michael worked as a sales manager for a tool company. Houston was experiencing an economic downturn and the tool company was facing impending layoffs. Anxious for a fresh start, Michael took the advice of a coworker who suggested he contact a long-time friend who was a manager at Phoenicia. The simple referral led to his perfect job and Michael has now been with Phoenicia for five years.
Michael becomes very thoughtful when he talks about his love for his job. The employees, office team and Tcholakian family mean a lot to him. He is especially appreciative of the family and their generosity, their loyalty to employees, and the caring environment they provide for their employees. His passion for Phoenicia is evident when he talks about his job. “When I go home, I feel good about the job I do. All of it!”
When asked to reveal his favorite food at Phoenicia, he laughs and says, “Everything!” He’s established himself as a bona fide taster, earning the nickname “Honey Badger” because he will eat anything. Lucky for Michael everything at Phoenicia is YUMMY!
An ode to Houston’s creative community, “Love Street, the Houston Scene, Market and First Ward Editions,” is a one-of-a-kind, collaborative exhibit located in Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown and MKT BAR from September 6-November 2, 2014.
ABOUT THE ART EXHIBITION:
Named for Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine, the classic ’60s psychedelic bar on lower Westheimer where Houston’s creative community flourished at the time, the “Love Street” exhibit will feature more than 20 artists. Through contemporary art, multimedia, photography, installations, sculpture and mixed media, the exhibiting artists will share their profound love of and appreciation for Houston’s support of its local arts community.
Local artists including Patrick Renner, creator of the Funnel Tunnel on Montrose Boulevard, and David Graeve, creator of the balloon installation at Discovery Green, will fill both floors of Phoenicia Specialty Foods and in MKT BAR. A series of artist receptions and events with many of the artists in attendance will take place throughout the course of the exhibition as well. All artwork will be available for purchase.
The exhibition coincides with the Texas Contemporary Art Fair at the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Houston Fine Art Fair at NRG Center. The collaborative exhibit will embody Bayou City soul by focusing on works by Houston-based artists and artists that once called Houston home. Exhibition curated by Michael Macedo Meazell.
Featured Artists: David A. Brown, Suzan Budge, Michael De La Cerda, Craig Dunn Clark, Kristen Cliburn, Gallery Homeland, GONZO247, David Graeve, Kimberly Gremillion, Merideth Jack, Kelli Scott Kelley, Laura Lark, Felipe Lopez, Lester Marks, MOD Museum of Drawing, Michael Macedo Meazell, Nate Nash, Mark Ponder, Patrick Renner, Alfredo Scaroina, and Stephanie Villareal
Host Committee: Catherine Anspon, Kirk Baxter & Dave Waller, Adam Brackman, Norman Ewart, Whitney Garibay & Chance O’Dell, Lindsey George & Will Walsh, Terrence Hobdy, Henry Hunt & Donna Tennant, Dave Hess & Lori Laria de Hess, Lester & Penelope Marks, Michael Macedo Meazell, Michel Muylle, Nyala & Brian Nolan, James Phelan, Michelle Sacks, Irfan Shaikh & Amanda Beven Shaikh, Ann-Marie Tcholakian, Haig Tcholakian, Donnie Vendivel and Dr. Jennifer McQuade, Miri Wilkins & Marshal Welch, White Space, and Josh & Tina Zulu
Sponsors (as of 8/22/14): White Space Houston, Gallery Homeland, The MOD, Glazer’s, Pioneer Wine Company, New Pencil Design, Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Saint Arnold Brewing Company and MKT BAR
EXTENDED! On View: Saturday, September 6 – Sunday, November 2, 2014
Market Edition Opening Reception:Saturday, September 6th, 12-6PM at Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown, 1001 Austin Street, Houston 77010
First Ward Edition Opening Reception: Saturday, September 13th, 12-6PM at Michael Macedo Meazell Art, 1517 Shearn Street, Houston 77007
Love Street Beginning Again Reception: Saturday, September 20th, 12-6PM at Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown, 1001 Austin Street, Houston 77010
Laugh, vote, and repeat during The Beta Bracket, Beta Theater’s stand-up comedy competition. Sponsored by MKT BAR, Heights Vinyl and Dinolion, the audience-judged tournament will take place at 9PM every Friday through October 3rd. To make event-goers laugh, ten hometown comics will go toe-to-toe in 5, 10 and eventually 20-minute sets for a chance to advance and ultimately claim $100, $500 or $2000 in winnings.
Enjoy free admission and MKT BAR food and drinks for purchase.
WHAT: Beta Bracket Stand-up Comedy Competition
WHEN: Fridays through October 3rd at 9PM
WHERE: MKT BAR at Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown
1001 Austin Street (across the street from Discovery Green)
Houston, Texas 77010
Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney.
Will our beloved Juan Carlos, the fabulous Montrose Rollerblade Dancer move on to the next round of America’s Got Talent and closer to the million dollar prize? Find out during Judgment Week!
Join friends and fans on Tuesday, July 22nd from 7-10PM at MKT BAR for a Judgment Week America’s Got Talent viewing party honoring Juan Carlos, the Montrose Rollerblade Dancer, whose next audition is scheduled to air during the evening’s episode. The top-rated NBC series, now entering its ninth season, is television’s biggest and brightest variety show, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars, all vying for their chance to win America’s hearts and the $1 million prize.
A local celebrity and YouTube sensation, Juan Carlos has been making people smile with his free-spirited, joyful rollerdancing moves at the intersection of Montrose & Allen Parkway during rush hour every day for the past 15 years. This is a rare opportunity to meet the local celeb who has rolled into the national spotlight, earning AGT judge Howie Mandel’s praise as “The Juan and only!”
Admission is free. Light bites and drinks will be available for purchase, with a signature cocktail, the Montrose Rollerblade Dancer Mojito (raspberry and mint, shaken with apple cider and sparkling wine), also making an appearance for $5/glass. Phoenicia is also sponsoring a Juan Carlos Look Alike Contest and will award a $50 gift card to one winner. During the viewing party, Juan Carlos will be available for autographs and photo opportunities with fans.
WHAT: Judgment Week: America’s Got Talent Viewing Party for Juan Carlos, the Montrose Rollerblade Dancer WHEN: Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7-10PM
Meet Juan Carlos in person, who will be available for autographs and photo opportunities with fans. WHERE: MKT BAR at Phoenicia Specialty Foods Downtown
1001 Austin Street (across the street from Discovery Green)
Houston, Texas 77010 ADMISSION: Free. Drinks and light bites will be available for purchase.
It was a lucky day for Phoenicia when Lateefah came to a job fair, with her mom, just before the opening of the downtown store. Her sunny smile and bright eyes stood out as a beacon and she was hired to be a waitress by the MKT BAR manager. Her mom was also hired, but at orientation the first day, Lateefah felt more connected to the grocery store and asked if she could be reassigned there as a cashier. That was Lateefah’s first jump into the sea of success she has earned at Phoenicia.
Working at Phoenicia was a culture shock. Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, Lateefah never thought she would be exposed to so many cultures, languages or foods from other countries. She’s a Southern belle at heart, who has lived all her life in the South. While living in Memphis, Tennessee, she saw Elvis’ house and decided it was time to go home. She moved to Houston to be closer to her family. Lateefah embraced Houston and its cultural diversity, and once she was here, she knew she found the place for her sons to grow up. Mentioning her two young sons, Lateefah’s face lights up. They are the light of her life and the driving force behind her success.
Lateefah keeps the store on steady course by making sure that all of our great products make it to the shelves and into our customer’s happy hands. She oversees the process from the delivery of the items to stocking of the shelves, monitors the cashiers as they sell and even maintains the stock. Lateefah’s work ethic is unrivaled and she is indispensible.
The most interesting thing she has learned while working here–and that she will always carry forward in her life–is how a family business works. She loves how the Tcholakian family cares about their employees and how they work hard to help everyone be successful. Here at Phoenicia, she feels everyone counts.
This fall, Lateefah will go to school for nursing. She is excited about her science classes, especially her favorite course of biology. We are excited to support her and know that with her careful determination and caring nature, she will make an amazing nurse.
When asked about her favorite foods at Phoenicia, Lateefah flashes a gigantic smile and without a moment’s hesitation says, “Chicken Shawarma and Haig’s Nut Mix!”
Be among the first to experience Infinite Light, a multimedia exhibit that showcases the work of Jehnifer Henderson, Darcy Rosenberger and Sam Sartorius. The three Houston-based artists come together and present their ability to create beauty from intangible and often unnoticed moments by focusing on intimate depictions of color and light.
ABOUT THE ART
Employing a technique called Photomicrograph, Henderson snaps photographs of tiny subjects using a camera and a microscope to explore unseen natural beauty. Rosenberger uses drawing and photography to create works that are both intricate and playful, and Sartorius’ imaginative paintings depict other-worldly abstractions of landscapes.
OPENING RECEPTION w/ VINYL NIGHT: Meet the artists on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 7-10PM
Fresh Arts’ Jenni Stephens is our featured Vinyl Night DJ on this same evening! Mention “Fresh Arts” and enjoy $5 cocktails and $2 off MKT BAR artisan pizzas. Vinyl Night is sponsored by Cactus Music. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Fresh Arts.
EXHIBITION: Through August 29, 2014
COST: Free admission. All artwork will be available for purchase.
Exhibition organized by Fresh Arts’ Sarah Schellenberg and Jenni Stephenson, and MKT BAR Art Coordinator Megan Badger.
Free customer parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney.