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New businesses, ‘smashing’ new attraction open in Corpus Christi

New businesses opening in Corpus Christi include (clockwise from left) Earthwise Pet, a health food and grooming store for pets; GrubTown, a cafe in downtown Corpus Christi; Texas Tantrums, a family entertainment option that allows customers to smash things; and Spirit Halloween, which opens in the abandoned Toys R Us location August 27. Courtesy photos

More restaurants are popping up in Corpus Christi, and new tenants are coming to the abandoned Toys R Us building. While Sunrise Mall recently closed its interior to the public, new businesses opened their doors, including one that allows customers to work out their tensions with a sledgehammer or a bat.

Texas Tantrums at 2033 Airline Road opened two steel smash rooms for customers to take out their frustrations on common household items. Participants wear protective clothing as they smash dinnerware, vases, old TVs, and other cast-off goods to their own music playlists on a bluetooth speaker.

The new attraction, co-owned by Heather Dunn, plans to shop local nonprofits for all the housewares, CDs, glass bottles, and detritus that will be lined up for destruction. Customers can even BYOB: Bring Your Own Breakables.

After everything in the room is destroyed, those who purchased the premium package can climb inside a giant inflatable ball for 30 minutes of bubble soccer on an indoor field.

Two businesses, one seasonal, plan to take over the old Toys R Us building at 1220 Airline Road. First, Spirit Halloween will use the space to sell Halloween costumes, accessories, and decorations. Opening day is August 27.

Once the season is over and all the zombies, vampires, and witches have been packed away, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet moves in on a more permanent basis. Ollie’s sells name-brand sporting goods, flooring, some clothes, and nonperishable foods at bargain prices. The store expects to open in late spring of 2020 and employ 45-55 people.

Speaking of shopping, while Sunrise Mall has closed its interior to the public, current tenants remain open. Sears, Planet Fitness, Wilcox Furniture, and Burlington all have outside entrances. For a taste at what the inside once looked like, check out the mall’s Facebook page.

Discount clothing store Fallas has reopened after closing last year when parent company National Stores shut down 184 locations. Located in Flour Bluff at 10241 South Padre Island Drive, Fallas was first established in 1962 in Los Angeles.

Total Wine & More plans a September 26 opening at 5425 South Padre Island Drive in the old World Market location in Moore Plaza. The wine store is the largest independent fine wine retailer in the United States. This will be its first location in South Texas.

Earthwise Pet Corpus Christi recently opened at 5625 Saratoga Boulevard on the Southside. A health food store for pets, Earthwise sells food and treats with no by-products or fillers. An in-store certified pet nutritionist and dietician is available for consultations on pet food choices. Also in-store are a grooming salon and self-wash stations.

A second pet store, Whole Pets Market, opened at 1420 Airline Road and offers natural and holistic pet foods and supplies.

New restaurants opening include:


711 N. Carancahua St.

Now open in the Backstreet Food and Beverage Court downtown, GrubTown features burgers with a blend of brisket, short rib and steak meat; street and coconut shrimp tacos; salads; wraps; and fried macaroni and cheese balls. The menu includes all-time favorites with a new twist.

• Artesano

Artesano is a ghost restaurant operating out of the YWCA Corpus Christi at 4601 Corona Drive. The entire enterprise, run by the owners of Shoreline Sandwich Company, takes orders by a cellphone app and delivers the goods to residences or businesses. Customers can also eat at an outdoor seating area. The name means “handcrafted” in Spanish, and that is exactly what customers get: handcrafted dishes created by owners Kris Busk and A.J. Brooks.

Island Squeeze

A school bus converted into a juice bar, Island Squeeze sells freshly pressed juices, frozen fruit, smoothies, avocado toast, protein bars, and more at different North Padre Island locations on weekends. Delivery is available on weekdays.

Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe

Coming to La Palmera Mall on South Padre Island Drive next to JCPenney, Razzoo’s serves made-from-scratch Cajun food, including gumbo, jambalaya, and gator. The restaurant is expected to open in the fall of 2020.

New locations for old favorites include:

• Brewster Street Ice House opened its second location at 5550 Holly Road last month.

• HardKnocks Sports Bar & Grill recently opened a second location at 1702 U.S. 181 in Portland.

• Wings ’N More plans a to-go location at 6022 Sarazen in Corpus Christi.

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