Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Agora Now

ag·o·ra  noun (ˈa-gə-rə)
: a gathering place
: marketplace in ancient Greece
: (Portuguese) now

Headed to Agora with Emily last week for a late-night caffeine kick and was relieved to see that the charming Montrose coffee establishment is back in top form after a Halloween weekend fire that burned down parts of the café as well as the antiques shop next door. Same superb selection of coffee, tea, wine, beer and soda; Greek yogurt; awesome jukebox; generous tree-shaded patio. Still resisting the urge to use complete sentences.

(Succumbing) As CultureMap notes, there are some new upgrades:
Agora devotees worried that the coffeehouse's Greco character would be forever altered by the blaze, but owner Michael Sotiropoulos implemented smart innovations that leave the original alternative flavor intact. Along with a new roof, Sotiropoulos installed new wood floors, railings and air conditioning. Diehard Agora goers will notice sly updates, like tinted windows on east and west-facing walls and corner resting spots. The steep staircase and balcony setup is the same, and although the majority of the furniture has been replaced, Sotiropoulos culled pieces from Montrose antique ateliers to maintain the established style. Other bonuses: A top-notch Italian espresso machine and expanded surface parking in the lot formerly occupied by Antiques Warehaus, which completely burned down in the fire. Expect a food stand to pop up at any moment in the empty lot.
Unfortunately we were too late to catch the belly dancers or the new food truck in the parking lot, but what's the rest of this week for, right?

Here's a tour of the new Agora with CultureMap and Sotiropoulos:

My only objection is that, in the process of rebuilding the second story, they decided to eliminate the outdoor balcony seating overlooking Westheimer—where will future generations of H-Town teenagers be able to create their own embarrassing stories?