The historic Howell Building is currently the first-floor home to Papa Perez Mexican Cuisine. The second floor continues to operate as beautiful turn of the century office space, while the third floor houses the Brazos Cotton Exchange Banquet Facility.
The building was originally built in 1904 by JW Howell to house his wholesale grocery business, along with top-quality office space for professionals of that day and the Brazos Cotton Exchange. It was there that cotton from the Brazos Bottom was shown and traded with cotton brokers from around the South who traveled here by train and often stayed at the LaSalle Hotel next door.
The building was purchased by prominent Bryan businessman and farmer Brazos Varisco in the 1950's. In the 1960's the upper floors were mothballed in their original state as the office space became dated and air conditioning came into fashion. A furniture store occupied the first floor until the end of the 1970's at which point the building sat vacant until Anderson Schaefer renovated it in 2005. Modern conveniences of air conditioning and an elevator were added, but the offices otherwise were restored to their original grandeur including original doors, windows, and millwork, and the third-floor Cotton Exchange was preserved as a modern day banquet facility still bearing its original name.