What's New In Galveston

By Esther Davis McKenna
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Galveston’s got a bustling business community and GM is pleased to be able to keep its readers up to date on what’s new and cool around the island. Whether you are looking for a sassy boutique or a bite to eat, a family-friendly activity or a unique service you can only find here, be sure to check What’s New before planning your day. 

Evia Village at Evia on Galveston Island
Galvestonians will have a new village to shop in on the island’s west end this holiday season. Four new businesses will open on Evia Main including a hair and nail salon; a high-end boutique; a combination general store and wine tasting room/retail supplier, and a brand-new restaurant. 

 In addition, there have been changes to existing businesses as two of the three retailers in the Sugar Cubes at Sugar Bean have become permanent and the remaining one will continue to rotate out, according to Sugar Bean Coffee & Cream owner and operator Jocelyn Sullivan. 

 The Sullivan Brothers Builders developed Evia, a traditional neighborhood district on Galveston’s west end, nearly 17 years ago. This master planned community was built by brothers Todd, Johnny, and Billy with three fresh-water lakes, a nature preserve, a children’s playground, a community pool, and a local coffee shop all adjacent to the Moody Gardens Golf Course. They added a restaurant and three retail spaces a few years ago to great success. 

 Jocelyn is married to Billy Sullivan. She opened the Sugar Bean Coffee & Cream, a neighborhood coffee shop, a year after the community was developed. 

 The Sugar Cubes, intimate and quaint commercial spaces overlooking the courtyard, opened in 2019 and were originally intended to highlight rotating pop-up retailers. As of this fall, two of the three pop-up retailers, Gaby & Grace and Collected by Sarah Sullivan, are now permanent shops. 

 Gaby & Grace launched with the purpose of bringing original, hand-made accessories to shoppers. “We offer our customers original and unique accessories that are handcrafted with care and purpose and celebrate coastal charm,” said owner Gaby Zatarain. 

 After managing 20 pop-ups with her merchandise, Zatarain was ready for permanent status in the ever-growing commercial village and joined the rest of the female-owned businesses. Gaby & Grace offers accessories from beaded earrings to statement necklaces and bracelets, all made by skilled artisans. 

 Placeholder image“Our curated accessory collections cater to all style needs, whether you are a busy mother, professional woman, or simply someone who appreciates timeless beauty. Our pieces deliver style, elegance, and functionality,” Zatarain said.

 For more information on Gaby & Grace, visit their website at www.gabyandgrace.com

 Collected by Sarah Sullivan became a permanent retailer in the Sugar Cubes last Labor Day weekend. Collected focuses on ladies athletic, athleisure and resort wear. Sarah is married to one of the founding partners and is busy taking care of their four children. 

 “My life is busy. I need clothes that are versatile and comfortable while looking ‘put together.’ I knew I wasn’t alone and that there was a community of women who needed this type of clothing. We don’t have elevated active wear on the island and my clothing fits a busy woman’s lifestyle,” she said. “I want my customers to feel like they are walking into a resort store, like they are on vacation.” 

 For more information about Collected, visit their website at www.collectedbysarahsullivan.com. The Sugar Cubes are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Check online for store hours. 

 It Takes a Village
“We are thrilled to be expanding our community,” said Jocelyn. “The exciting part is that the new business owners are dear friends and Evia neighbors. We all have a vested interest in the success of Evia Village,” she said. 

 “Our families and children became very close during the COVID lockdown and we came to the realization that it really does take a village to provide a safe haven. We collectively thought of the name Evia Village during that time.” 

 Eventually, four new businesses will open at 12 Evia Main. 

The Beauty Bar, Kimmy’s Boutique and Empouria will be open in time for the 2023 holiday season. The new 1817 restaurant is tentatively scheduled to open in early spring 2024. 

 The Beauty Bar by Michelle Byrd is a one-stop beauty shop. Blow outs, braids, beachy curls and updos will be the mainstay of this hair and nail salon. Manicures and pedicures with polish or gel will be offered. The Beauty Bar will provide hair styling and nail services for group events like weddings and other special celebrations. Reservations are preferred; walk ins will be accepted on a first-come, first served basis. 

 “I believe that beauty should be a joyful, easy and convenient experience,” said Byrd, a busy mom of three. “There is a need for these services, especially on the west end of the island.” 

 “I have a passion for helping people look and feel their best. I love being part of a community that celebrates beauty, self-expression, and empowerment,” said the founder of Byrds-i Sunglasses and wife of restauranteur Dennis Byrd. 

Jean Lafitte 


 Kimmy’s Boutique is the third commercial location for entrepreneur Kimmy Almon. The original Kimmy’s is located on Postoffice Street in downtown Galveston and an additional shop is in Waxahachie, Texas near Dallas. 

 Born and raised on island, Almon enjoys outfitting women in her contemporary clothing brand and specializing in bold, yet classic, pieces. She opened her first downtown store almost 10 years ago. 

 Her objective for Evia is to bring well-styled fashion to the west end of the island. Customers can expect bright colors and upscale merchandise at her newest location. 

 “My number one goal is to provide clothes that make women feel beautiful. We are so proud to open our third location in Evia Village and to bring well-styled fashion to the west end,” Almon said. 

 For more information, visit @shopkimmys on Facebook and Instagram. 

 Hayley Hardcastle is hoping to open Empouria by Black Friday later in November. Empouria will combine the small-town feel of a general store and the social aspect that makes island life so unique, Hardcastle said. Empouria will offer a wide variety of household essentials, sundries, foods, and beverages. 

 Hayley received her WSET Level 1 Sommelier Certification and looks forward to hosting instructional tasting events at Empouria. She will carry over 100 labels of wines from coastal regions around the world and WineStation, state-of-the-art, interactive wine taps.

 “While you can run in and out quickly for some ice and paper towels, you can also stay all evening in our Pour Room, at our Tasting Table, or on the expansive patios all around Evia Village,” said the wife of local politician Jason Hardcastle. 

 “As the island grows as a tourism hot spot, the need to access things conveniently grows as well. We hope to serve our surrounding area year ‘round as the only convenience store accessible by golf cart, and then also draw a wide audience from around the island,” she said. 

 Empouria will offer premium goods from local vendors and imported finds that are not widely available in other places. For more information visit www.empouria.com

 1817 will be a fine-dining, waterfront restaurant in the Evia community. This endeavor will be the owners fourth restaurant and the second in Evia on Galveston Island. 

 John and Jessica McAleer are part of a seventh generation Texas family with two Buffalo Grille restaurants in Houston; the original dating back to 1984. They opened Lil’ Buffalo Grille in February 2022 and are excited about the upscale menu they will be offering at 1817. 

 The name of the new restaurant is a nod to infamous pirate Jean Lafitte and is attributed to the year he settled the Campeche Colony, where Evia now sits. 

 1817 will offer sea fare and prime steaks, charcuterie, seafood towers, salads, po’ boys, high-end specials like Wagyu meatballs, craft cocktails, and a sophisticated wine list. Unlike the Lil’ Buffalo Grille which is counter service, 1817 will have a full wait staff and all tables will have a waterfront view.

 Diners can sit inside or at shaded tables outside under fans. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner on weekdays and have an additional seating for brunch on weekends. 

 The 2,000-square-foot restaurant will include a room that may be used for private parties or left open to enjoy the stunning water and sunset views. 

 Salvador Castro will be the head chef for both restaurants. “1817 will allow Salvador to spread his wings and be the culinary artist that he is. Jason Jackson, the Grille manager, will become our Director of Operations for both Evia entities,” said John. 

 Jessica is overseeing the design of the new restaurant and a refresh of the other eateries. The McAleers are shooting for a spring opening of 1817. Check future What’s New features for updates.