At the risk of making my Austin readers giggle, this article about Houston businesses that remind people of Austin is a good read. Mostly, I like it because it gives some love to our neighborhood hangout the Onion Creek bar and coffee house.
[L]ocal entrepreneurs like Onion Creek owner Gary Mosley have shown that Austin-style businesses can originate in Houston.
Many of his patrons describe the Heights cafe as pure Austin. Onion Creek has a fireplace and cozy clubhouse ambiance. Outside is a lot of deck space.
Onion Creek is among the first places in town to host a Saturday organic farmers' market.
Houston native Mosley fell in love with Austin and surrounding Hill Country when he attended the San Marcos Baptist Academy. He'd go river rafting and notice that people around Austin "had smiles on their faces."
In contrast, Houston is a more rigid, money-driven town, said Mosley, who wore a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, sneakers and a boyish grin.
"For a town to be so close to Austin," he said, "I didn't understand why there weren't more businesses with an atmosphere and mind-set like Austin's."
He decided to create a haven from the Houston rat race: "I wanted people coming in flip-flops. All different races. People enjoying the music, just being themselves.
"A business is a reflection of the employees and ownership," he said: "Are they uptight or are they laid-back?"
The Heights is an ideal Houston spot to cultivate the Austin feel, said Mosley, who opened Onion Creek more than three years ago.