Where to find the coolest shops in the Heights!

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- 19th Street in the Houston Heights is home to a variety of locally-owned shops, restaurants, and businesses. They've been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic with the rest of us, but the business owners we spoke with are keeping a positive attitude about the situation.

"It is a challenge," said Chrissie Dickerson Ramirez of Casa Ramirez. "We feel like we're doing ok. We have a lot of longtime customers that have followed us."

Casa Ramirez, which was founded by Macario Ramirez in the 1980s, promotes Hispanic culture by selling folk art, books, and more. Macario died in June, but his legacy lives on at Casa Ramirez.

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Casa Ramirez has been a mainstay in the Heights since the 1980s.


"Macario always loved to teach about the culture," said Chrissie, Macario's widow. "We plan to continue that tradition."

Manready Mercantile, which sells everything from menswear to candles, has been on 19th Street for six years. They've been relying on web sales for much of the pandemic, but they're also using social media to offer virtual services to those stuck at home.

"We're promoting our virtual candle making kits," said Manready Mercantile's Travis Weaver. "The staff will work with you directly via Instagram and Facebook Live."

The store used to offer those classes in person, but those interested in candle making can buy a kit from Manready Mercantile, and then go online to receive the instruction.

Vinal Edge Records, located down the street from Manready Mercantile, is also seeing different areas of its business increase during the pandemic.

"We're limiting the amount of people in our shop," said Vinyl Edge owner Chuck Roast. "Our mail-order business has been taking off, so it's been pretty good."

Multiple business owners cited the Heights communal mindset as the reason they've been able to stay in business.

"There's a strong 'shop small' contingent," said Dickerson Ramirez. "I know that's helped us."

Debbie Greenbaum, who co-owns AG Antiques with her cousin, says the business owners along 19th Street are also really good at coming together and promoting the shops in the area.

"We're all really connected and care about each other," said Greenbaum, whose store consists of 50 dealers who curate different items. "It's the best community."

Visit 19thStreetHeights.com for more information on these businesses, as well as the other shops along 19th Street.
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