Iconic Cypress Area Burger Joint Transformed Into Icehouse
A new hangout for adults has hit the Cypress scene, but the bones of this establishment are anything but new.
Creekwood Grill recently held a soft opening for an adults-only icehouse that has taken up residence in the building that once housed PO’s, an iconic burger joint that was an integral part of the Cypress community for decades on Telge Road. After sitting mostly vacant since acquiring the property five years ago, Creekwood Grill partners, Brian Sandel and Mark McShaffry, put customer feedback into action with the creation of this unique setting tailored to adults 21 and up.
When they purchased the property, Sandel set out to create a warm and inviting family restaurant in what was previously known as “The Shack”. Flash forward to last weekend, anyone who was there can attest to the success of this vision, as dozens of families with children enjoyed the outdoor play areas and delicious eats, as they do every weekend.
“What we were starting to hear was that it can be a little crazy on weekends, and we realized that we didn’t have a playground for grownups,” said Sandel.
Naturally, the former home of PO’s was the perfect answer, and not just because of convenience.
Opened in the early 1980s, PO’s was well known in the Cypress community for serving up old-fashioned hamburgers and beloved American classics to sport teams, families, golf enthusiasts, and anyone with an empty stomach in a relaxed family atmosphere where locals could gather and make fond memories together. Sandel has carried this legacy forward through Creekwood Grill, writing their chapter in a building that has a rich history in the Cypress area.
Before its many years as a restaurant, the building served as a country grocery store known as Ripper’s, which was located at Huffmeister Road and Telge Road. Established in the 1940s, Ripper’s was likely one of the few grocery stores for miles in the once rural Cypress area. When Phil Dahl purchased the property, he had the building moved to its present location, renovated the space and PO’s was born.
Sandel’s personal connection to the multi-building property goes back many years, paving the path for what seems like fate when he had the opportunity to purchase it in 2018. While the property was operating as “The Shack”, Sandal learned that the owner was looking to find a buyer and he seized his chance to claim this slice of Cypress history that means so much to so many locals, including him.
“When I first started dating my wife, she grew up in Cypress and I’d go play golf with my father-in-law. [PO’s] was where he always wanted to come for a burger after a round of golf,” said Sandel.
Through the course of his 30 years in the restaurant industry, including time with Raising Cane’s, Sandel has forged relationships with other local restaurateurs like Mark McShaffry, owner of The Backyard Grill in the Jersey Village area, becoming partners to combine strengths and bring the vision for Creekwood Grill to life. Their mutual passion for supporting the community has now made way for the new icehouse, which has appropriately – and affectionately – been named PO’s Icehouse.
The renovated interior features an overhead garage door like every good icehouse, along with many historical components used in construction like wallcoverings made from repurposed cedar found on property, 100 year-old ornate vintage tin from a home in Galveston, a bar top made from reclaimed century-old barnwood, and best of all, the original floor from Ripper’s grocery store, which has been lovingly restored. The walls are adorned with friendly faces from yesteryear and memorabilia that pays homage to the building’s roots – an original PO’s uniform t-shirt.
“This has been a multi-generational part of the Cypress community. I want to make sure that the chapter we write in the history of this piece of property means as much to everyone in the neighborhood and in the community as the previous chapter did and what, hopefully, the next chapter will.” said Sandel.
Adults ages 21 and up are welcome to enjoy this relaxed atmosphere over drinks and a simple yet delicious menu featuring mouth-watering finger foods. Watch a sporting event on the wall-mounted TV, play a few rounds of darts or just enjoy good conversation with good friends. Creekwood Grill and PO's Icehouse are both located at 12710 Telge Rd, Cypress, TX 77429. Follow updates, hours and more on Creekwood Grill’s Facebook page and make plans to stop by soon.
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.
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