Jump to content

Downtown Restaurant And Bar Market


Recommended Posts

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
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

It appears Pepper Jack's closed. It was dark tonight with a now leasing sign on the building. I didn't get to read the sign on the window.

I, for one, am shocked. Hopefully something worthwhile actually opens there... It has a lot of potential and deserves better than mediocre tex mex.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonder who it is?

Merg Meraia, said he’s already in negotiations with a new tenant to take the space at 419 Travis. He said it would be another restaurant and bar run by folks who have been in the industry for a while. “They have a few successful locations,” Meraia said.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

went to goro and gun saturday night - was a little surprised that it was only half full when we got there at 8:00. that said we all liked the food and drinks and by the time we left the place was almost completely packed. walked around the corner to OKRA where there was a nice crowd and had a quick drink. walking back to our car we strolled by Batanga and they were very crowded as well - must've been about 10 or 1030 by that time. very healthy crowd on the patio. they was also an alamo drafthouse roadshow at market square park (three amigos!) and it was SLAMMED... people everywhere. on our way out we ran into a critical mass type deal with bicyclists, skaters and pedicabs cruising around that part of downtown.

all in all it was very refreshing to see a buzz on a saturday night... i think gran malo is a very welcome addition there. an apartment development or two right there would really cement that part of downtown as a sustainable district so hopefully something is in the works.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

It's from the owners of El Gran Malo which is a Heights restaurant / bar specializing in infused tequilas. The food scene is eagerly anticipating it and I'm curious to see how the downtown superblock handles two tequila / mezcal bars (it is near the recently opened Pastry War from the Anvil crowd)


Here's coverage on Houston Eater:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I went there last night. No heat inside. But they did place a little portable space heater next to our table. They looked over staffed for the amount of people there. Food was quick to arrive. Too quick. Starters and main arrived at the same time. The food itself is okay. It continues the theme of the previous two tenants and is mostly seafood Mexican fusion. I had chicken tamales. For the life of me I couldn't find any chicken in there. The main's are mains only. no sides of rice and beans. This is not tex-mex. But I wouldn't call it Mexican either because they don't even have rice on the menu.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pepper Jacks is closed. I never went because everybody I talked to said the service was horrible and the food was overpriced and not very good.

Yeah, I went with a large group. We had reserved an area weeks in advance abs yet they were not prepared. The service took hours to get out. They were severely understaffed, but the food was good though. And yes very expensive. I had an excellent burger with guacamole for about $11

I am not surprised they closed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months 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.


  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...