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Mike Copeland: New food options at Union Hall, Richland Mall, Baylor; Neighborly purchase; Building permit roundup

Mike Copeland: New food options at Union Hall, Richland Mall, Baylor; Neighborly purchase; Building permit roundup

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Union Hall (copy)

The menu of food vendors has continued to shift and grow at Union Hall, 720 Franklin Ave., seen here in January 2020.

As if Waco did not already have eating and drinking venues galore, the calorie count continues to multiply. Richland Mall, Union Hall, the Baylor University campus and downtown are enjoying or expecting new arrivals.

Rollin’ n Bowlin’, specializing in acai bowls and smoothies, has announced its presence at Baylor’s East Village Dining Commons, 1706 S. Third St. Though nestled among students, Rollin’ n Bowlin’ welcomes the general public to partake in its vegetarian offerings. The small but growing company was started by two Texas Christian University students, and has a presence at TCU, Loyola University of Chicago, Tulane University and at the University of Denver, according to a press release. It also delivers pre-portioned pouches to be blended at home.

Save Point Sandwich Shop has been going steady inside Nexus Esports at 600 Columbus Ave. for a while, selling a range of sandwiches made with bread from Panera Bread and featuring a homemade garlic-pepper ranch spread. It also opened a new location in Union Hall at Eighth Street and Franklin Avenue about a month ago.

True to its gaming roots, Save Point has a Super Nintendo Entertainment System setup for its Union Hall customers. At the Nexus location, it offers free retro gaming at each table, with system availability including Gamecube, Sega Genesis, Sega Dreamcast, N64, NES and SNES. TVs in the dining room are always tuned to speedruns or walkthroughs.

Yours truly would not pretend to know the charms those features hold, not being a retro-gaming aficionado, but certainly diners of a certain age and level of gaming sophistication would find them irresistible.

Other additions to Union Hall’s menu of food vendors in recent months include Curry Up & Wok This Way and Lolli Pop’s Sweet Shop, which join Save Point as the first occupants of a space at the rear of Union Hall. Waco Melt, Salad Stand and Zuke’s Tea Bar also filled new stalls a while ago.

The tongue-twisting Dough Re Mi held its grand opening earlier this month in a space vacated by Around the World desserts, and Be Kind Coffee opened recently in a space vacated by Kurbside Coffee.

A stroll through Richland Mall revealed that Rockin Rolls has opened there, while Vanessa Kasa’s authentic Mexican food is on the way.

Downtown convention hotel

Ground broke last week on AC Hotel by Marriott, Sixth Street and Mary Avenue, a 182-room convention hotel to anchor a block near Magnolia Market at the Silos, the Czech-themed Pivovar restaurant, brewery and hotel, and other attractions. Public and private investment in the hotel, an adjacent parking garage and a commercial center will exceed $60 million.

Building space to build

Meanwhile, S2A Modular will break ground Tuesday on its second Megafactory in the United States, this one at 1619 Exchange Parkway. City of Waco, McLennan County and Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce representatives will join S2A officials for the ceremony. A Waco Chamber press release says the operation will include 10 buildings totaling 240,000 square feet.

The company says it will produce “electrically self-sustaining, custom and smart-connected GreenLux luxury residences and commercial buildings.”

Company officials, in an email to the Tribune-Herald, said the factory will open in May. The email says they hope to have hired 250 people to positions in construction, sales and administration by the plant’s second year.

New Neighborly purchase

Waco-based Neighborly crossed the pond to acquire another company to franchise, Pimlico Plumbers in London, England. A Neighborly press release says Pimlico provides residential and commercial service in central London.

Neighborly now supports 29 brands, including Mr. Rooter, Mr. Electric and Mr. Appliance, and has a presence in nine countries. In Pimlico, it acquires a company founded in 1979 by Charlie Mullins, who started working from home with a second-hand van and a bag of tools, according to the press release. Annual revenues now total about $70 million.

Pimlico completes more than 100,000 service jobs annually.

Goodwill gala

Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries is sponsoring a gala, “A Night Amongst the Stars,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Ridgewood Country Club. Events include a silent auction, raffle, a cocktail reception and gourmet buffet dinner. Waco’s Sloppy Joe Band will provide entertainment, according to a press release.

The community is invited to support Goodwill operations through event and table sponsorships and ticket sales through Wednesday. Goodwill aims to help people with disabilities or other “barriers to employment by providing skills training and work opportunities.”

Building permit roundup

Hesselbein Tire Southwest has secured a permit to build a 259,000-square-foot distribution center on Highway 84 near Texas State Technical College. The work is valued at $14.5 million, according to the permit. The project is up for $900,000 in tax breaks from Waco and McLennan County. Spending on the project will total $17 million, and it will employ 40 people, according to the deal for the tax breaks.

Biolife Plasma will spend $4.2 million to place a facility at 2329 Marketplace Drive, near the Bagby Avenue entrance to Central Texas Marketplace. Biolife Plasma, a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., builds centers in the United States and Europe where plasma is donated and processed into medical therapies.

The Home Depot store at 5605 W. Waco Drive plans a $350,000 expansion, and secured a building permit to make that happen.

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