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Downtown Restaurant And Bar Scene - More Coming


HeightsGuy

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Off-topic, but maybe on too.....

I have something to confess, I work Downtown, spend a lot at the Park Shops (best place for low-hastle-day-before-Christmas shopping IMO), go the Angelika on a regular basis, etc. But, I have not spent much time on Main. I always favor Market Square if I do wander into the area at night.

This weekend though, I have out of towners coming in and want to show them around the hip new nightlife area we have. If they are over 30, in jeans and casual wear, what places do we walk into as we stroll down Main Street?

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My favorite is the Flying Saucer. Casual...good crowd...and tons of beer selections from around the world.

http://www.beerknurd.com - check out that selection!

i've also enjoyed the new irish pub (maybe not so new anymore) on Main in the Rice Lofts bldg...don't remember the name of it off hand. Across the street from it is another irish pub, Slainte.

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Places that allow jeans include:

Market Square/Franklin area:

La Carafe

Warrens

Twelve Spot

Cabo

Old Cotton Exchange Bar

Brewery Tap

Over by Commerce and main:

Speak Easy

Main:

Live (sports bar)

Deans

St. Petes Dancing Marlin

F2

Saba

Slainte

Shay McElroy

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  • 7 years later...

Interesting idea. Seems that many bars downtown can't manage enough proceeds to keep the doors open, hope they beat the odds.

Clubs fail, but bars seem to be doing okay. Butterfly High was kind of half club half bar. It was replaced by a bar called Sunny's that seems to be doing okay.

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Seems like it would be a good publicity stunt to declare that you are a non-profit, pay high enough wages to yourself and employees to make almost no profit and donate what's left to charity. I'm not saying that's what they're doing here but non-profit doesn't mean that no one is profiting.

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Seems like it would be a good publicity stunt to declare that you are a non-profit, pay high enough wages to yourself and employees to make almost no profit and donate what's left to charity. I'm not saying that's what they're doing here but non-profit doesn't mean that no one is profiting.

Maybe, but I'm quite sure they'll be transparent about just how much money is donated to each charity at the end of each month. If the prices seem in line with other bars, I'm not really that bothered by this possibility.

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  • 5 months later...

Checked this place out last weekend. Decent crowd on Friday night, good drinks. Kept the historic building in tact, straightforward simple tables and a bar. 4 different charities you can vote for when you buy a drink. We'll see if they are public about how much, if any, they donate at the end of the month (I would think there is a high chance they wouldn't be profitable the first month).

Edited by skwatra
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Market Square is open now, and from what I've heard we need more bars in the area again. Isn't Hearsay doing pretty well?

Yes, Hearsay finally got some good cocktails and seem to stay pretty busy now. Food menu hasn't changed much, but the quality seems more consistent now.

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  • 1 month later...

No, and there are very few in this area.

 

LOL  Tell that to the business owners who have to run them out of their establishments regularly after trying to sneak in to use the restrooms.

 

As for OKRA Bar, I was surprised at some of the organizations that are vying for the month's proceeds.  The Women's Shelter is a great option but David Crossley's Houston Tomorrow????  No thanks.  That was a turnoff for me.

 

As for the drinks, for happy hour prices they are barely acceptable, for regular prices they certainly are not. 

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As for HH prices it's hard for me to say. Is it still possible to get a $2 bottle of beer anymore? Even a 6-pack of Shiner at Spec's rings up at more than a buck per and that's with me toting them home and opening the bottle myself. :wacko:

 

Obvioulsly, a downtown or mid-town bar owner is going to have more overhead than a dive out on the Hempstead Highway. I paid $6 per glass for Stella the other day at a well-known establishment in the southwest part of town.

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LOL  Tell that to the business owners who have to run them out of their establishments regularly after trying to sneak in to use the restrooms.

 

As for OKRA Bar, I was surprised at some of the organizations that are vying for the month's proceeds.  The Women's Shelter is a great option but David Crossley's Houston Tomorrow????  No thanks.  That was a turnoff for me.

 

As for the drinks, for happy hour prices they are barely acceptable, for regular prices they certainly are not. 

 

Yeah, all my votes are going to HAWC this month.

Edited by kylejack
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  • 1 year later...
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.

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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

 

 

 

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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?

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  • The title was changed to Downtown Restaurant And Bar Scene - More Coming

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