I need a cold one, stat. Hot, hot Houston has been busy opening hot, hot bars, and I’m proud to frequent any and all of them.
Sundown at The Grove
Before we get to all the new (or new-to-us) bars, our favorite Summer hang is Sundown at the Grove in Discovery Green. Every Wednesday until August 30, The Grove will host a happy hour with Southwest Airlines to feature a brewery paired with food from a different destination. The first installment is Wednesday, July 5th, with 8th Wonder Brewery and Mexico City bites. We are taking over Discovery Green’s instagram account from 5:30 to 8 to show you the event! Tickets are just $20.
For all other days, consult the list below for your drinking needs.
Chapman and Kirby
If you’ve had a crush on a new bar on Instagram, it’s probably Chapman and Kirby. This darling spot is in EaDo (so trendy and cool already). Early on, I had a issue is that it was a liiiitle confusing to plan a visit. I saw plenty of yelp complaints about there being a strict dress code (like a club or bar) from 10:30 pm on. Before, for dinner or happy hour, the mood’s a little more chill. As we were leaving, we were told to definitely come back on a Friday or Saturday night and that it was sooooo different. I get the dual concept, I do, and that’s pretty cool that you want to be both a chill spot to eat and drink AND a nightclub on the weekends, but it’s a bit confusing. As I understand, there are completely different menus and offerings at the different times and days.
I haven’t been on a rage night, but I did go for dinner. We didn’t get a table because we didn’t have a reservation, but it turned out the spacious bar had cocktail tables open (probably not for long, as the place gets more and more popular). We immediately ordered queso, which was good! The chip serving was a joke and ordered more chips TWICE. We also split the fried chicken, which was a HUGE portion, so highly recommend splitting like we did.
Drinks are good, but at $13 a cocktail, they should be. I just loved that some were Houston-named. Here’s what we had:
Inside the Loop. I don’t actually remember what all was in this, but it had grapefruit something and was crisp and refreshing.
Allen Parkway. Mango tequila, lime juice, passion fruit something. It was good, but a little too fruity for me.
Left on Westheimer. Tequila, hibiscus syrup, lime juice and grapefruit soda. It was cute and pink and not at all too sweet. I loved the citrus flavors.
Chapman Sipper. By far the weirdest drink on the menu. Just rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and…. IPA. I didn’t taste the IPA at first, but the manager who recommended it to me told me to think about what it tastes like. She said it tastes like iced tea, which I get, but I said it tastes like cream soda THEN a lime candy (like the ones you get at Chuy’s or a mexican restaurant). Later, I tasted the beer more, so the flavor changed a bit. Still, a weirdly awesome drink!
Better Luck Tomorrow, 544 Yale St.
Was it just me, or did we hear a lot of build up for this bar? With some big Houston names behind this bar, I had high expectations.
The bar is in the former Dry Creek Cafe, and, for the most part, it looks the same. Except for some fun retro design touches — I’m so obsessed with behind the bar.
BLT keeps it simple. Like, SUPER simple. You’ve got ten cocktails and ten or so food options, plus a smattering of beers and wines. I’m usually overwhelmed by big menus, but I’ve been to BLT twice and I already feel like I’m out of new things to try. I mean, I could order the Cold Fashioned every single time, or I could branch out and try the Salty Cat (Warning: it’s, like, really salty). I also REALLY loved the Daiquiri, but, as expected, it’s v sweet.
For food, the plates are small (and kinda pricy). I’ve had the patty melt, which is perfectly greasy af. Definitely a good hangover bite. Also, the Not a Pizza is interesting. It’s 100% not a pizza but it kind of looks like one. The fries are probably the best deal. They are super seasoned and filling.
All in all, you’ve gotta try this place. And for some, it’ll be your new summer hang.
Net Bar, 4504 Nett St.
Having opened early this summer, cozy Nett Bar off Washington is a hot spot for neighborhood locals at the corner of Patterson and Nett Street. Located right on the train tracks, the refurbished house (which has a very Around the Corner vibe) offers $2 bartender shots when the train is actually passing! *Listen for the bells* When I went it was Deep Eddy Orange shooter.
Hang out on the porch or play one of the lawn games in the warmly lit backyard. Nett Bar has bocci ball, ping pong, Jenga, corn hole and Connect Four among others. In addition to all the Texas beer you would ever way, they have happy hour 4-7pm Tuesday to Friday with a delightful cocktail menu with locally inspired names like the West End Refresher (that’s the neighborhood it’s in) and the Nett Street Porch Swing. – Anastasia
Platypus Brewing Co., 1902 Washington Ave.
Rejoice! A brewery down the street from my apartment! How’d I get so lucky.
This Aussie beer maker has a slew of brews to offer. You gotta get a flight to taste yourself, but my favorites were: The Ranga, Troppo and the Freckled Dingo (which is their most popular beer).
Bring a big group and sit out on the patio playing games (or watching one — I see you, football season coming!)
Cavo Coffee, 3773 Richmond Ave.
For the non-alcohol lovers who need a little caffeine kick: This is your new favorite coffee place. Located on the first floor of a new office building in Greenway Plaza, Cavo Coffee is everything you want in a coffee shop: It’s quiet, there’s plenty of seating and there’s food and alcohol for when you need to take your coffee studying to a new level.
And the food is GOOD. All of the toasts are works of art (think: avocado aplenty and the perfect egg). I had the grilled cheese and tomato soup, and it was amazing. I will say though, the soup is perfect dipping, not sipping, soup. I dipped then didn’t finish the rest.
The iced coffee I got was really good. I didn’t even add any cream. My friend’s chai tea latte looked amazing. Also, since this is a sister of Siphon Coffee, you can get the Siphon for one or two too! (which is basically a rite of passage!)