KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 3, 2024
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy continues to grow with businesses and 2024 is set to introduce Katy families to a truly unique experience with The Dryer. Formerly known as the Cardiff Rice Dryer, The Dryer will incorporate entertainment and history in its historic space.
Photo taken by Bobby Hermis and shared on The Dryer's Facebook page.
Get excited to shop and drink with friends all while enjoying Katy history. The Dryer has big plans to incorporate entertainment and history to the historic space. The 25,000 square-feet entertainment space will include a museum, beer garden, 16 vendor spaces, gift shop, train ride, with plans for a farmer's market and more.
Katy Beer Garden to Open Soon; The Dryer by Summer
The Dryer plans to open before this summer, but The Katy Beer Garden hopes to open by the end of February.
Hadi (Andrew) Nurcahya had big plans for The Dryer when he bought the historic Katy landmark in 2021. Nurcahya described the endeavor as being a “passion project” that would take time to renovate the landmark, but that he was dedicated to making this a special place for the Katy people.
He continues to push for his dream despite ongoing issues. “I keep hoping the worst is behind us, but then we keep finding new obstacles,” says Nurcahya. The latest obstacle is unexpected underground pipes.
Inspired by the Magnolia Silo
“My inspiration came from the Magnolia Silo in Waco and The Pearl in San Antonio,” says Nurcahya, the developer for The Dryer. “We are incorporating more heritage and history with our venue due to our deep roots here in Katy for Trains and Rice Farming.”
The unique concept that involves 7 different addresses requires a lot of permits. Nurcahya says that there have been challenges and delays, but he is very thankful for the city staff and their support.
At The Dryer, people will find stacked shipping containers have been transformed into restrooms and vendor spaces. There will be an underground museum being operated by the Katy Heritage Society. A Katy gift shop will be inside the rice dryer. The Dryer will be home to The Katy Beer Garden, a bar that offers 10,000 square-feet indoor space and 15,000 square-feet of outdoor patio shaded by 45-foot tall oak trees.
The Katy Beer Garden
The Katy Beer Garden, The Dryer’s largest tenant, plans to open later next month and will include 100 beer taps, a 100 bottle wine list, and a wide range of spirits and cocktails plus a small menu of bar food.
The Katy Beer Garden construction as of November. Photo credit: The Katy Beer Garden
“The Katy Beer Garden inspiration came from Munich, Germany,” says Nurcahya. “However, it will be themed with Katy, TX décor and served with warm southern hospitality.”
A Partnership with The Katy Heritage Society
The Dryer is partnering with the Katy Heritage Society to open a Katy Gift Shop that will sell unique Katy souvenirs. The gift shop will be inside the rice dryer itself. There will also be a Katy Rice Dryer Museum that will educate visitors about Katy Rice Farming, rice drying operations as well as honor the Cardiff family.
Adrienne Davitz is the President of The Katy Heritage Society and says she’s incredibly grateful to be part of this development.
“The innovation and dedication within the Nurchaya family is truly inspiring,” says Davitz. “Working on the Katy rice dryers project is a reminder of the meaningful and collaborative work Katy folks can achieve together, and I’m excited about the positive impact our efforts will have on this entire area.”
Nurchaya credits the partnership with Davitz and The Katy Heritage Society. From the start they have shared the same goals of preserving and restoring the rice dryer and repurposing the historic space in a way that benefits the community.
“It is this unique partnership between The Dryer and Katy Heritage Society that truly makes this project special,” says Nurchaya. “Adrienne has spent hundreds of hours helping The Dryer with research, planning, meeting, connecting with people, spreading news and talking with the city.”
A Train Ride for All Ages
Katy residents can enjoy a 900 foot long track, 22 passenger, 7.5 gauge Katy replica. Photo credit: The Dryer
As Katy was founded because of the railway, Nurcahya says they are building a rideable train and an extensive model train exhibit in order to best incorporate Katy’s roots into the space. 900 feet of railroad tracks will encircle the rice dryer where both kids and adults will be able to enjoy the train.
Recently he shared a video on their Facebook page of the train track being tested.
“It will run continuously Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” says Nurcahya. “I am hoping this will spark a unique concept, an idea for a mini railroad going up and down the Rice Dryer District.”
A Hope for Big Things to Come
Nurcahya hopes that The Dryer will spark a chain of development along Katy’s rice dryer strip along Highway 90. The City of Katy already has plans for the area to become the KT Entertainment District, but Nurcahya hopes that will be renamed to the Katy Rice Dryer District to honor the historic landmark.
“Like Magnolia Silo in Waco, I envision Katy Rice Dryer district to eventually develop into more unique stores, distinctive restaurants, hospitality, etc,” says Nurcahya. “And connecting Katy Rice Dryer district to downtown Katy History Square via pedestrian walkways and a train ride would be awesome.”
The Dryer will also be starting a Farmers Market (every Saturday 6am - 11am) inside their parking lot.
“The focus here is to tie in more traditional (more fresh produce) and less artisan items into the agricultural history of The Dryer,” says Nurcahya. “We have space for 24 vendors. Each vendor will have a 10'x10' tent. We are seeking local farmers around Houston, Katy, Brookshire and Sealy.” This will be yet another way to celebrate history and community in the space.
With space for multiple vendors, the mixed entertainment venue will grow to become a popular Katy spot.
“We are looking for specific local businesses to match our venue and will be taking pre-leases soon,” says Nurcahya. They have space for 16 vendors all uniquely placed inside shipping containers. Each vendor space is 10 feet by 8 feet, air conditioned with full utilities.
Follow The Dryer on Facebook for information as this exciting space continues to be developed for the enjoyment of Katy families.
“I am hoping The Dryer to be a family destination where kids can play at our large outdoor fake turf space and parents can enjoy multiple vendors,” says Nurcahya. “It is a blend of History and progress.