Houston Link to Learning is applying for a grant to completely renovate the former Lee’s Garden restaurant space in the Pleasant Valley Plaza it purchased in the spring of 2022.
“The rest of the Plaza building is mostly renovated but after the owners of Lee’s Garden retired, we found the space was not usable for another restaurant due to the age of the kitchen equipment and the overall decor,” Houston Link to Learning manager Marian Ells wrote the District of Houston council in looking for a support letter for its application.
“It requires a complete renovation.”
Lee’s Garden closed last spring when its owners decided to retire, ending 34 years of food service to the area.
Ells said plans so far call for a new commercial kitchen, new equipment and furniture, a new bar area and new flooring.
A renovated restaurant space would then provide Houston Link to Learning with two options — leasing it to someone who would operate it as a restaurant or using the space itself as a rental venue, for training or for pop-up restaurants.
“This would really give the best economically-diverse option for the community,” Ells wrote in her letter to the District of Houston council.
“Since owning the Plaza we have found that rental requests are by far the most frequent request and that we are not able to accommodate everyone.”
The grant application is being made to a federal program which provides money for rural economic development.
A successful application would provide 80 per cent of the project cost, said Ells.
Pleasant Valley Plaza had been closed for several years prior to its purchase by Houston Link to Learning.
The non-profit agency which focuses on literacy and food security as a way to meet community need and to provide retail training for employees.
Council did agree to supply a support letter.