News & Events

Valentine’s Week at MKT BAR

Posted in Downtown Market, Events, MKT BAR

With unbeatable dinners, scrumptious desserts, specialty wines, nightly live music music and plenty of love in the air, MKT BAR will make your heart skip a beat! It’s chic, convenient and Cupid’s favorite hangout. Bring your special someone, friends or family and enjoy three times the YUM with these enchanting specials! Available Thursday through Saturday, 2PM to kitchen close.

MKT Appetizer

MKT Curry Crab Cakes $10
with mixed baby greens and avocado, grapefruit relish
Suggested Wine Pairing $6
Castillo De Jumilla Macabeo, Spain

MKT Entrées

Spaghetti all’Amatriciana $13
Prosciutto, onions and tomato cooked into a rich sauce w/ shaved Pecorino Toscano
Suggested Wine Pairing $7
Curione Primitivo, Italy

Parchment-Roasted Salmon $14
with confit byaldi, gold potatoes and champagne vinegar reduction
Suggested Wine Pairing $7
Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Grilled Medallions of Beef Tenderloin $16
with roasted sun-chokes, fried shoestring asparagus and porcini butter
Suggested Wine Pairing $8
Consentino Cabernet Franc, Lodi

MKT Desserts

The Lover $7
Almond chocolate sponge, milk chocolate caramel ganache, strawberry mousse, decorated with fresh strawberry and white chocolate
Suggested Dessert Beer Pairing for Two $12
Buffalo Bayou Red Velvet Stout 22 oz, Houston

Truffle Trio $6
House-made chocolate truffles: dark hazelnut , milk caramel , white pistachio
Suggested Dessert Beer Pairing for Two $12
Rogue Double Chocolate Stout 22 oz, Oregon

Select Wine Flights $13 (3-oz pours)

Matiz Tinto, Spain
Curione Primitivo, Italy
Consentino Cabernet Franc, Lodi

Castillo De Jumilla Macabeo, Spain
Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
Bila Cote Roussillon Blanc, France

Sparkling Specials
Moletto Prosecco $6 glass, $32 bottle
Sierra La Crusette Cava $7 glass, $36 bottle
Ruelle-Pertois Champagne $13 glass, $70 bottle

Musical Line-up

Thursday, Feb. 13 – DJ Baohaus 5-8PM | Eric Bustamante Trio 8-11PM
Friday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) – Love Tracks by Vinyl Ranch 5-8PM & Shellee Coley 8-11PM
Saturday, Feb. 15 – SOUL SESSIONS w/ DJ Tempty 8-11PM

ALL MONTH: Enjoy in-store sweetheart treats at Phoenicia, too!

Twinkie Wedding Cake
Sweeties Candy-Land
Pomegranate Cocoa

Heart-Shaped Pita
Chocolate-Dipped Baklava
Heart-Shaped Baklava
Homemade Truffle Crunch in Mason Jars
“Be Mine” Heart Sugar Cookies
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Heart-Shaped Raspberry Mousse Glazed in Ganache
Artisan Chocolates by the Piece

Coffee House
Berries and Cream Cappuccino
Raspberry Mocha
Nuts for You Latte

Gift Baskets w/ Chocolates, Seasonal Beers and Select Wines

New Year’s Day All-Day Brunch

Posted in Downtown Market, MKT BAR, News

Wednesday, January 1, Noon – 10PM

Make one of your first meals of the New Year most memorable! Join us on New Year’s Day and enjoy brunch all day long. In addition to serving our full MKT Brunch menu, we’re featuring delicious $14 specials to celebrate the arrival of 2014:

-Rib Plate: Half Rack of Ribs, Black-Eyed Peas & Aleppo Pepper Cabbage Salad
-Hill Country Chicken & Waffles + glass of house Prosecco
-Bottle of house Prosecco
-Sharing is Caring Special: 2 cups of Darn Good Hot Chocolate & Bonbon Beignets

Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve Soul Celebration at MKT BAR

Posted in Events, MKT BAR

New Year’s Eve Soul Celebration

Tuesday, December 31, 9PM-2AM

Tickets: $30 per person in advance or $40 at the door. Ages 18 and up please.

Let the countdown begin! Join us as we twist the night away and on into 2014!

YUMMY! light bites
Champagne toast at midnight
$500 YUMMY! gift card dance contest
Doo-wop and soul music by Mad Maude and The Hatters
60s soul, pop and rock 45s spun by DJ Tempty

Dance Contest Rules:

Dance contestants (couples or individual) must sign up at the bar by 10:59PM
Contestants will be announced and the contest with begin at 11PM
3 finalists will be chosen by MKT BAR judges
Finalists will dance for the audience and MKT BAR judges until no later than 11:45PM
The winner will receive a $500 YUMMY! Phoenicia gift card

Complimentary parking is available in the One Park Place garage on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter garage on McKinney.

Get your tickets now, before they’re gone!

“Music in Motion” and “Big Bend” by Richard Griesser

Posted in Events, MKT BAR

Explore two photo series in one exhibit.

Music in Motion

Digging the Houston music scene of the ’60s at teen clubs on Friday and Saturday nights, Houston-based photographer Richard Griesser saw and photographed some of the era’s hottest bands–both local acts and those just breaking onto the national stage.

Music in Motion tries to catch the passion of music in a photograph. While you can see that music comes from motion, capturing it on film is like trying to catch fireflies in a jar. Only by setting them free do you see the magic.

Big Bend

With each trip to Big Bend, the rugged scenery got into Griesser’s blood–and his work. Witness the breathtaking three parks in one that encompass the river, desert and mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.

OPENING RECEPTION: Meet the artist on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 7-9PM
EXHIBITION: Through January 31, 2014
COST: Free admission. Food, drinks and all artwork will be available for purchase.

Read more about Richard Griesser in a recent Houston Press interview.

YUMMY! Crew Spotlight: Robert Garcia

Posted in News

Our Chef Robert Garcia is one of those rare, native Houstonians who was born here, grew up in the area, explored different cities, and then found his way back home to Texas.

A self-taught chef, Robert was always fascinated with food and flavors. He developed an early interest in cooking and as a young man, often cooked meals for his family when his parents were at work. After a short stint in the construction field, he began working in a restaurant in 1996 and enjoyed it so much he hung up his tool belt and started a career that took him to Colorado, California and Florida. He has worked at many fine restaurants where he often found himself sharing his knowledge and passion with his employees.

Robert’s passion for food is palpable as he talks about what inspires him. One of his favorite things about food is that it is always changing. He keeps up to date on food trends and loves the evolution of food. Robert is currently interested in the cultural fusion of food and loves some of the new Pacific Rim creations he has seen. He enjoys playing with flavors and says it is a balancing act. With a passion to “nourish people’s souls,” Robert tries to infuse all his Phoenicia inspirations with the fresh ingredients readily available in the store.

The art of creating amazing dishes is not lost on Robert and seeing people happy after a good meal is his favorite reward. He views food as a backdrop for a wonderful evening and believes great conversation, good food and lovely wine can make for a memorable evening. Enjoying being part of the memories that happen when good food abounds, Robert says modestly, “It is hard to be upset when you are eating delicious food.”

An outdoor person at heart, Robert loves to challenge his body with endurance running, golfing, cycling and fishing, and challenge his mind with chess and puzzles. His wife is trying to get him to make pottery and, as with all things, he is excited to try something new.

Robert and his wife come from large, extended families and often find themselves in impromptu cookouts or family evenings centered around food. A culinary hero to his nieces and nephews who are picky eaters, Uncle Robert has made broccoli and even Brussels sprouts something that the kids love! With the holidays upon us, you are sure to find Robert and his wife surrounded by family, grilling, barbecuing and enjoying all of his wonderful creations.

When asked what he loves about Phoenicia there was no hesitation. “The wide variety of food and the exposure to so many cultures,” he professed. Robert loves the palate Phoenicia provides for his masterpieces and you will never find him far from his all-time fave, the Fava Bean Salad.

Come to Phoenicia and let Chef Robert create an amazing backdrop for your next event!

Celebrate Our 30th Anniversary with a Week-Long Bash!

Posted in Downtown Market, Events, MKT BAR, News

We’re celebrating 30 years of business this year by hosting a week-long bash at both our West Houston and Downtown locations. November 4-10th, we’ll host an anniversary fete or two, have customer giveaways, feature Armenian-inspired dishes and baked goods at Phoenicia and MKT BAR, and serve YUMMY! in-store samples. We’ll take you back to the 80s with morning-to-night jams from the era and also celebrate artfully at our Downtown location with a little help from GONZO247 in the commemorative mural department.

We’ve got a whole list of fun things to do. See for yourself below.

Wednesday, November 6th, 7-9PM – We’ll honor Mama and Papa Tcholakian during Friends & Fam Night at MKT BAR. Enjoy a traditional Armenian-Lebanese buffet and music by Guest DJ Craig T. Brown of Heights Vinyl, playing eclectic beats with international flair.

Friday-Sunday, November 8-10 – Treat yourself to free cupcakes at our Downtown and West Houston locations. Valid while the YUMMY!-NESS lasts!

Saturday, November 9 10AM-3PM – Special Anniversary MKT Brunch at MKT BAR. We’re serving a new menu, whipping up new cocktails and will feature live music by Nick Gaitan from noon to 3PM.

Saturday, November 91983 Grocery Get Down at MKT BAR

Sunday, November 10, 10AM-3PM – If you miss Saturday’s Special Anniversary MKT Brunch, stop by on Sunday to enjoy the new brunch menu, cocktails and live music by the Thomas Helton Trio from noon to 3PM.

YUMMY! Crew Spotlight: Meet Mama and Papa Tcholakian

Posted in News

Phoenicia started as a dream of our founders, Arpi and Zohrab Tcholakian, who are both very involved in the business today. The dream began in 1978 when they immigrated to Houston from Lebanon. Both of Armenian descent, the couple uprooted their family in hopes of providing a more promising life for their children. Zohrab was able to secure a position as an architectural engineer soon after arriving in the U.S. With the 1982 oil-industry collapse, three children to feed and expenses to pay, he decided to embrace his roots. Having worked in his father’s small shop in Lebanon, the grocery business was in his blood. He chose to invest in a small sandwich shop and deli. What all started with a shawarma, didn’t stay small for long.

Zohrab and Arpi combined their love of food, family and friends into a humble 2500-square-foot space named Phoenicia Deli. Growth was slow initially, but demand for a greater selection of imported foods was undeniable. As the overall diversity and concentration of different ethnicities in Houston grew, so did the demand for Phoenicia’s products. In 1993, Zohrab opened a 5,000-square-foot version of Phoenicia Specialty Foods in the center next door to the existing business. Expanding from the staple Mediterranean goods, it soon transitioned to carry Western European, then Eastern European products and eventually African, Asian and South American products. This was the start of what Zohrab envisioned: “The International Food Market of Your Dreams!” The business was able to grow in large part to wholesale distribution of the products Phoenicia imported directly to restaurants and other grocers. Soon, the retail customer base ballooned and the opening of a larger 55,000-square-foot facility across Westheimer Road was warranted.

The Tcholakian’s owe much of their success to their ability to adapt to customers’ desires over the years and appeal to a wide variety of people. The emergence of “foodies” across the U.S. and Americans’ openness to non-traditional cuisines helped solidify Phoenicia’s identity. This amazing husband-and-wife team has poured the past 30 years of their lives into the business.  Even in their golden years, they show no signs of slowing down. Yet, this modest couple never forgets what is important: family, friends and wonderful employees that are like family. Zohrab and Arpi beam with pride as they talk about their three children, Raffi, Ann-Marie and Haig, and how integral they have been and continue to be to Phoenicia’s success. Also doting and loving grandparents, Zohrab and Arpi always have a moment to share with their adorable granddaughters.

1983 Grocery Get Down

Posted in MKT BAR, News

We’re going to party like it’s 1983!

Join us at MKT BAR on November 9th from 8PM-2AM as we celebrate turning 30 during our 1983 Grocery Get Down. DJ Portal Walker and The Spicolis will play radical 80s jams, while you, dressed in 80s garb and with 80s attitude, nosh on complimentary 80s-inspired light bites and enjoy boutique wine, craft beer and MKT BAR cocktail specials. Local entertainer and YouTube sensation Montrose Rollerblade Dancer will jump-start the ’80s-inspired festivities with surprise guest appearances during the week at Phoenicia Downtown, before his grand finale performance at the Grocery Get Down.

A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit the Houston Food Bank.

Admission is FREE and tickets are limited.

Register at

Complimentary 80s-Inspired Gourmet Light Bites

-Swedish Meatballs

-Crab Salad on Endive

-Cheese Straws

-Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

-Pizza Casserole

-Buffalo Wings


-Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler punch

-Boutique Wine/ Craft Beer Specials + MKT BAR Cocktails

Win Dinner for Two at MKT BAR and a Pair of Tickets to a SPA Show

Posted in News

As a proud sponsor of Society for the Performing Arts, we’re treating two lucky winners to dinner at MKT BAR, then sending them on to a breathtaking show that evening. We’ll select two winners each night for the following shows:

-Friday, October 11, 8PM – Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
-Saturday, October 12, 8PM – Paul Taylor Dance Company

Each winner will receive a $50 YUMMY! Gift Card, good toward dinner for two at MKT BAR, plus a pair of tickets to one of the shows above. Winners will pick up show tickets at the SPA will-call window the night of the performance.

Enter to win by: 1) “Liking” and sharing the SPA Houston and MKT BAR pages on Facebook and 2) Commenting on this post on our Facebook page to let us you know you shared/entered the giveaway.

The contest ends Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 at 5PM CST.

Good luck!

Get Your Ghoul On!

Posted in Events, MKT BAR, News

Saturday, October 26

Thursday, October 31

Bring your bone appetit for TWO celebrations with ghostly goodies and festive fun, courtesy of your YUMMY! Crew.

Complimentary Scary Snacks
* BBQ Babies’ Back Ribs
* Buffalo Bat Wings
* Graveyard Gorgonzola Spread on Creepy Crostini
* Roaches on a Log
* 7- Layer Spider Web Dip
* Devil Eggs
* Guacamoldy w/ Tombstone Chips

Potions for Purchase
* Smokin’ Sangria ($4 glass, $20 carafe)
* Vampire Wine Specials
* Pumpkin Gelato

Live Music
Costume Contest & Prizes
Free Admission