downtownian

Downtown Restaurant and Bar Scene - More Coming

Recommended Posts

downtownian    372
I've only lived in Houston and downtown for two years and I am amazed by the amount of change that has occurred on the restaurant / bar scene. When I moved here, OKRA was not even open / even hinted at. Since then there has been a number of successful openings and it's hard to keep up with the pace of change. I've also been very pleased with the quality of each opening - these establishments are nothing like the typical Midtown / Wash Ave bars where the bartenders do not even know what Campari is.

 

Here are recent openings in no particular order:

  • Honeymoon Cafe (300 Main). Serves upscale sandwiches for lunch. Downtown's only good independent coffee shop. Always packed for lunch and surprisingly packed for Sunday brunch.
  • http://thehoneymoonhtx.com/
  • Public Services Wine and Whiskey (202 Travis). Run by the former Oxheart sommelier with interesting wines and whiskeys. It's in the restored / renovated Cotton Exchange building.
  • http://publicservicesbar.com/
  • New Hearsay Location (1516 Dallas)

 

Also, looks like a formerly empty location on Main Street is taped over with the business named "Beef and Barley" and District 7 Grill is taking over an empty space that spans half a block at Main and Texas. There is some sports bar opening on Main as well.

 

As MAB noted in another thread, a new BBQ restaurant set to open by Brian Caswell (Reef), Bill Floyd and Greg Gatlin (Gatlin's BBQ) is set to open in Q1 2015 on Jackson and Congress near Minute Maid Park.

 

There is now a liquor store downtown called Posh Liquors (http://poshliquors.com/). Based on the name, I'm assuming they are trying for an upscale clientele base.

 

All these join the first wave of restaurants (El Big Bad, Batanga, Fusion Taco) and first wave of bars (Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar and Spirit Lounge, OKRA, Pastry War, Clutch City Squire, Little Dipper, Dean's Credit Clothing re-opening). 

 

Yes it would be nice to get a full service grocery, a Target and some retail downtown but I am so grateful for everything that has happened to downtown recently, that I have no absolutely no complaints. I also have nothing but optimism for further development as more residential opens.

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UtterlyUrban    1,465

Let's not forget that a new papasitos went into the Hilton Americas and there is a new Pappas steakhouse going into the old strip house location. Oh, and of course, the MKT Bar has been around for a number of years and is always crowded with young, hip, urbanites (and a few old farts like me).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UtterlyUrban    1,465

Oh, one more thing......

Downtown freakin' rocks. If you are reading this and if you don't live here now, by this time next year, you will begging to get in to this club. Yep. 20-years ago, you would have been begging too.... Begging to keep your wallet from the mugger...... Now, downtown is hip, vibrant, youthful, and has the lowest rate of crime in the whole city.

Come on, folks! We'll let you in, I promise!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tumbleweed_Tx    1,264

While Dirt Bar and Reserve 101 (and Neil's, Woodrow's, and Luckys on the other side of the freeway) are my usual haunts, I can be found at MKT on occasioal Tuesdays or Thursdays for steak night... lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
scarface    107

That's funny.

 

Reading these posts are a complete surprise to me. The last few times  I've gone downtown on a Friday or Saturday night (a night where I'd expect the most attendance), it's been dead as a doorknob. I smh in disbelief each time over how downtown, although is shaping up with new amenitites and urban structures like Green Street, it's a mere shadow of its former self of the Main Street activity from the mid 00's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Texasota    865

That's funny.

 

Reading these posts are a complete surprise to me. The last few times  I've gone downtown on a Friday or Saturday night (a night where I'd expect the most attendance), it's been dead as a doorknob. I smh in disbelief each time over how downtown, although is shaping up with new amenitites and urban structures like Green Street, it's a mere shadow of its former self of the Main Street activity from the mid 00's.

 

Have you been to the 300 block of Main? Because there's tons of places on the block alone and the area tends to be reasonably busy. 

 

Admittedly, these are bars, not clubs, so the vibe is very different from the scene in the mid '00s. 

 

Not sure that's a bad thing though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
downtownian    372

That's funny.

 

Reading these posts are a complete surprise to me. The last few times  I've gone downtown on a Friday or Saturday night (a night where I'd expect the most attendance), it's been dead as a doorknob. I smh in disbelief each time over how downtown, although is shaping up with new amenitites and urban structures like Green Street, it's a mere shadow of its former self of the Main Street activity from the mid 00's.

 

That is surprising. I can't even go to some of my favorite spots on a Friday / Saturday night because there are lines to get in (Bad News Bar) or it is too packed and takes forever to get a drink (OKRA).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UtterlyUrban    1,465

That is surprising. I can't even go to some of my favorite spots on a Friday / Saturday night because there are lines to get in (Bad News Bar) or it is too packed and takes forever to get a drink (OKRA).

Or you can't:

Get a table at Hearsay without a reservation and they are all booked anyway.

Sit outside at Botanga on a pleasant night

Find a spot mid-week at The Grove

Get a table with out a reservation at Vic and Anthony's mid week and often on Saturday nights.

Find space for 6 at Honeymoon for Sunday brunch.

Get into Hardrock without a wait on a Friday or Saturday night

Go anywhere near HOB or bayou place if you don't want to be around crowds.

Downtown is about to explode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mollusk    1,508

Over by the library it's still pretty quiet at night...  :ph34r:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brian0123    364

I like the activity, but wish there were more dive bars and live music places. My band used to have some fun shows at Dean's and now Dean's is a swanky bar. I think Downtown bars would have more staying power if they made Main like a 6th Street instead of clubs and restaurants opening only to close a couple years later. We need more live music in these places!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UtterlyUrban    1,465

I like the activity, but wish there were more dive bars and live music places. My band used to have some fun shows at Dean's and now Dean's is a swanky bar. I think Downtown bars would have more staying power if they made Main like a 6th Street instead of clubs and restaurants opening only to close a couple years later. We need more live music in these places!

That is a really interesting point.

Now that I have considered it, having a nice soft jazz bar, a bar that had acoustic bands, some (perhaps like Pete's) piano bars, maybe a classical bar, and even a rock bar or two would be nice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mab    1,664

I feel like it be a good idea to make a discussion forum about news/development on downtown Houston restaurants 

 

I will start with this news

 

 

Q: Do you have anything new planned for Houston restaurant-wise?

A: We're looking for a Saltgrass location downtown. And I'll be moving Willie G's and opening a Mastro's in 2016.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Houston-billionaire-plans-expansion-even-as-5917677.php

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
swtsig    2,212

There's a downtown restaurant thread literally two threads below this one.

Edited by swtsig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adr    1,671

From today's walk to lunch. 

 

809 Congress has been painted.  Interior looks largely complete except for the floors.

15751929278_9b2ddc0830_z.jpg809 Congress by differentryana, on Flickr

 

 

The retail space below the Hermann Lofts, formerly Macondo, is getting torn out.  Reliable sources indicate this will be a Subway.  Two in a two block radius.  Downtown Houston has finally arrived.

15752081300_ff374229b1_z.jpgHermann Lofts retail. by differentryana, on Flickr

 

Shameless plug - my own bar, the Houston Watch Co, will open in the old Franklin St. Coffee House space adjacent to the Bayou Lofts lobby in early 2015.

15753620507_65c04e7bc7_z.jpgHouston Watch Co. by differentryana, on Flickr

 

 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
monarch    2,890

congratulations upon obtaining this wonderful spot as per your forthcoming bar HOUSTON WATCH CO our pal adr!  however, what's with the very odd title?  wouldn't you prefer something chic that actually pertains to a bar per se... just asking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
monarch    2,890

since i actually live downtown houston, i am quite acquainted with the quirky bar / establishment names etc.  however, HOUSTON WATCH COMPANY just does not make one think of lively libations.. other than wonderful timepieces.  i want you and yours to be truly successful.. and i love that you chose downtown, just make certain that your overall product is remarkable... and that you ensure that the word BAR is prominently added to your moniker...

cheers_intro_logo.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kbates2    750

since i actually live downtown houston, i am quite acquainted with the quirky bar / establishment names etc.  however, HOUSTON WATCH COMPANY just does not make one think of lively libations.. other than wonderful timepieces.  i want you and yours to be truly successful.. and i love that you chose downtown, just make certain that your overall product is remarkable... and that you ensure that the word BAR is prominently added to your moniker...

 

 

Public Services doesn't either.  Moving Sidewalk.  Pastry War.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moore713    297

So they went from a large open bay style window to a brick up entrance only design....Houston assualt on it own beauty seems to have no end sometimes.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now