Houston Nightlife

Sambuca

Enjoy live music seven nights a week in Houston’s historic Rice Hotel.

Nights are supermurgitroid at Sambuca. That’s jazz slang for extremely cool. Live music plays every night of the week at this stylish supper club. Sambuca may call itself a jazz cafe, but various music styles can be heard here, including Latin sounds on Salsa Thursdays.

Choose from a list of steak, seafood and pasta entrees. Indulge in the blackened ribeye or Zebra Pasta, which is filled with lobster, shrimp and scallops. The lunch menu offers selections not found on the dinner menu.

909 Texas Ave, Houston TX, 77002

Home Plate Bar & Grill

Located across the street from Minute Maid Park, this red-brick sports bar hits home with great food.

The place is packed during every Astros’ home game, and the game day specials include home plate wings and burgers.

1800 Texas Avenue, Ste 100, Houston TX, 77003

ComedySportz, Improvisational Comedy

Houston’s longest running improv comedy show features teams of improv comedians who compete for laughs as they make up scenes and songs on the spot. Not comedy about sports, but rather comedy played as a sport, similar to “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on t.v.

ComedySportz is the place to find consistently funny, interactive and clean comedy appropriate for all ages and groups. ComedySportz pits two teams of improvisers in a battle for laughs and points vis a vis scenes, games and songs based on audience suggestions.

Shows last approximately one hour and 40 minutes.

Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau – Member since 1993

901 Town & Country Blvd., Houston TX, 77024

Belvedere

Belvedere embodies the dynamic energy of Uptown Houston, where a diverse mixture of cultures, architecture, and fashions collide.

It’s a place to take your visiting sales manager for a Stoli Tonic after work. It’s a place to catch Venezuelen millioinares relaxing after a shopping spree at Uptown Park. Or it’s a capper on an evening that included dinner at Uptown Sushi and the requisite stroll around the lushly landscaped Italian-style piazza. Belvedere is Uptown Houston…and all that description implies.

The Scene:
The white-marble floors and bar, gargantuan front entry with chrome accents, and flirty bathrooms divided by a translucent wall are reminiscent of cutting-edge trends seen in New York and Los Angeles.

1131 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston TX, 77056

Two Rows Restaurant and Brewery

Two Rows is a sports oriented Restaurant, Bar and Brewery that offers great food and service with exceptional hand crafted beer. Enjoy everything inside or outside on the pleasant balcony. Sample from the varied menu of Tex-Mex, pasta, chicken, soups and salads, and brick oven pizzas. Burgers, steaks and grilled seafood round out the entree options.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau – Member

2400 University, # 200, Houston TX, 77005

Red Cat Jazz Cafe

One of Houston’s hottest hot jazz clubs, Red is a place to relax and be entertained. With classic Cajun and Creole cuisine, the food befits the French Quarter atmosphere.

Located in a narrow brick building dating back to Houston’s earliest days, the Red Cat Jazz Cafe has been home to many a blues and big band jam through the years. Class-act entertainment is here to stay with headliners on the weekend and weekday jams, from the ‘Bring Your Ax’ night and Latin night to the ‘Flow’ open poetry mic show.

Red Cat brings a bit of the Deep South downtown. Comfort food options dominate the menu, from the shrimp po’ boy and rotisserie chicken to spinach and mozzarella lasagna. For breakfast, try a Red Cat Roller–a breakfast fajita with scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes. Dessert highlights include the amaretto cheesecake and Mom’s apple pie.

924 Congress Street, Houston TX, 77002

Kenneally’s Irish Pub

Kenneally’s Irish Pub and pizza parlor borders the River Oaks area and is popular with students and those seeking an almost-authentic Irish experience.

A true Houston neighborhood bar institution, Kenneally’s offers all the Irish pub food you’d expect as well as fresh homemade pizza–some say the best in Houston. If you want a real, homey Houston neighborhood bar experience, hit Kenneally’s Irish Pub.

You’ll find dart boards, regulars and welcoming owners and a jukebox stocked with a lively mix of current and classic Irish and Celtic favorites. Enjoy nice days on the deck out back.

The Scene:
After Hours, Happy Hour, Live Music, Pub / Tavern, Neighborhood bar

2111 S. Shepherd, Houston TX, 77019

Farrago

This Midtown bistro serves fusion cuisine in modern quarters. The mustard- and brown-tufted interior, paired with de rigueur stained-concrete floors provide the backdrop for hip 20- and 30-something singles and couples.

The global fusion menu boasts chicken curry from the Orient, posole from Latin America, fish and chips from the U.K., pesto-grilled shrimp from Italy, and a hummus and tabbouleh combo from the Middle East. There’s even an all-American rib-eye. Pizzas are also available.

Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and all day Thursday.

318 Gray, Post Midtown Lofts, Houston TX, 77002

Dave & Buster’s Houston, Inc.

Dave and Buster’s is THE place for full service entertainment.

53,000 square feet of fun with over 200 games in our Million Dollar Midway, as well as a restaurant, three bars, casino amenities, private party rooms with complimentary audio visual capabilities, billiards and shuffleboard tables. Let our special events staff plan your next team building activity, company picnic, corporate or private event.

Happy Hour:
Monday – Friday, 4:30-7pm
Sunday – Thursday, 9-11pm

6010 Richmond, Houston TX, 77057

Tasting Room Wine Cafe – Uptown

Come see why The Tasting Room was voted Best Wine Bar by Playboy Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Houston Press, and Citysearch users.

The Tasting Room is a casual but elegant neighborhood non-smoking wine cafe. The young, hospitable owners will greet you by name at this hip wine bar tucked away in a European-style shopping center. Green wine bottle lights dangle overhead, and a magnificent, massive mirror anchors the bar. Industrial-chic touches like concrete floors and a lofty ceiling mix with large, heavy wooden community tables and wine shelves trimmed in edgy stained-glass.

Expect a discriminating 30- to 40-something crowd of well-heeled couples, casual girl groups, and big-spender wine geeks.

Enjoy live jazz every Thursday 7pm – 10pm. Enjoy hand-selected “boutique” wines by the glass, bottle or case. Try the artisinal cheese plate and pates while you relax in comfort to the sultry sounds of jazz; then take a bottle of your favorite red, white ,or sparkling home.

1101-18 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston TX, 77056

Molina’s Cantina – Westheimer

Since 1941, the Molina family has been bringing the true taste of Tex-Mex to hungry Houstonians.

Start with the Buenos Tiempos Platter, a sampling of flautas, quesadillas, nachos, guacamole and chili con queso. It serves four. There’s also the Nancy Ames Special Nachos, named after a local celeb and long-time Molina family friend. Got a really big appetite? Try the Mexico City Dinner. It’s so big they have to bring it out in shifts. You get a taco, an enchilada, a tostada, a tamale topped with chili, guacamole, chili con queso, rice, beans and flour tortillas for less than $10. Or maybe try the Cancun Shrimp Platter. It’s an ample serving of jumbo shrimp stuffed with fresh jalapenos and white cheese, all wrapped in bacon and grilled. For something from north of the border try the old-fashioned hamburger or the grilled chicken breast sandwich. Desserts include sweet flan, delicate sopapillas and lucious homemade tres leches cake.

All three locations have low-priced daily lunch specials and festive happy hours. Be sure to take advantage of both.

7901 Westheimer, Houston TX, 77063

Rookies Sports Bar & Grill

One of the best sports bars in the Woodlands. You’ll find great food, live music, karaoke and some of the friendliest people in town.

No matter where you sit or stand, you always have a great view of their many TVs and big screens. Enjoy live entertainment and all of the best sports action on our 40 TVs and large screens. Open 7 days a week until 2 am. We feature all of the best boxing matches via closed circuit broadcast. Enjoy Happy Hour daily until 7 pm.

305 Sawdust Road, Suite B, The Woodlands TX, 77380

South Beach

Scenesters flock to Montrose’s South Beach club for wild, dance-filled nights and potent drinks. The 10,000-square-foot spot—owned by veteran developer Charles Armstong—is known for its sexy staff, state-of-the-art laser light system, high-energy music and spacious dance floor, featuring a liquid nitrogen cooling system.

810 Pacific, Houston TX, 77006

Tasting Room Lounge at Midtown

Come see why The Tasting Room was voted Best Wine Bar by Playboy Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Houston Press, and Citysearch users.

The Tasting Room is a casual but elegant neighborhood non-smoking wine cafe. The young, hospitable owners will greet you by name at this hip wine bar. Green wine bottle lights dangle overhead, and a magnificent, massive mirror anchors the bar. Industrial-chic touches like concrete floors and a lofty ceiling mix with large, heavy wooden community tables and wine shelves trimmed in edgy stained-glass.

Expect a discriminating 30- to 40-something crowd of well-heeled couples, casual girl groups and big-spender wine geeks.

114 Gray, Houston TX, 77002

Shay McElroy’s Irish Pub

Shay McElroy’s in the Rice Lofts building downtown takes the Irish-pub-in-America concept to a new level. Dublin native and owner John McElroy created the space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland.

Shay McElroy’s sits right dab in the middle of all the downtown action. A Metro Train stop is conveniently located at the corner and provides people watchers with a wealth of eye-catching and entertaining passer-by’s.

The crowd at Shay McElroy’s is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers who enjoy colorful dialogue and witty conversation.

Upon entering the smallish pub, patrons can imagine being thousands of miles away in Dublin. Adding to the atmosphere are lush furnishings McElroy acquired from the historical Rice Hotel’s Old Capitol Club. The furniture is reminiscent of what can be found in the nicer watering holes in Ireland, making for the kind of place where any visitor from the Emerald Isle would feel inclined to stop for a pint.

Happy Hour:
Monday – Sunday, 1-7pm

909 Texas, Houston TX, 77002

McGonigel’s Mucky Duck Pub

The Mucky Duck is Houston’s premier spot for Texas folk, blues, country, and Celtic music and is rated one of the Top 20 Acoustic Venues in the U.S. Big-time artists such as Ezra Charles, Guy Clark and even Lyle Lovett have performed here, while local acts and other famous folkies are regular entertainers at this popular Irish pub.

The Mucky Duck is comfortable and cozy, and the English and Irish interior decorations serve to enhance the ambience. The bar offers international beers on draught or by the bottle, and a large assortment of wines. Most patrons favor the traditional Irish beers such as Guinness and Harp, but domestic brands and other imports are available.

Monday is open mike night. Stand-up comedians, poets, storytellers, and songwriters are all welcome, and there’s never a cover charge.

The Irish jam sessions are on Wednesday nights at 8PM (no cover).

2425 Norfolk, Houston TX, 77098

Continental Club

The Continental Club’s offers an eclectic range of live music. Home to performances by Los Skarnales, Flaco Jimenez, the El Orbits, Shelly King, and Lil’ Joe Washington.

With alternative rock, blues and country-tinged acts rotating through the nightly bill, you get a different sound every time you walk through the door.

The club is housed in a converted general store. The 1920s building still has metal ceilings and original fixtures. A back room offers a pool table and its own bar in case you want to get away from the music.

Happy hours feature a local band with no cover charge and drink specials. The main show most often has a regional or national act as a headliner with a local band or two opening. Sometimes there’s a late show, usually with a different lineup. So it’s possible to hear some bluegrass, Spanish rock, classic rockabilly and blues all in one night.

3700 Main St, Houston TX, 77002

Red Door, The

A trendy two-story lounge in the burgeoning midtown area, Red Door presumably received its name from the main entrance’s red door.

Draperies, art and low lighting create a cool, intimate feel that fans of hip lounges will appreciate. Make sure to visit the spacious rooftop patio, which offers a tremendous view of downtown. The patio offers benches, tables and a rooftop bar to keep you comfortable.

2416 Brazos St., Houston TX, 77006

Champps

This sports restaurant-bar draws fans who love the food as much as the game.

Using their original burgers-and-beer joint in St. Paul, Minn. as a base model, this sports-themed chain is now a popular hangout for all ages nationwide. The memorabilia-loaded space is crowded with families and friends chatting over chili cheeseburgers, bourbon-glazed pork chops and large orders of soups and salads. On major game nights, the shiny wooden bar area is packed with small groups eyeing the monitors above while cheering or grumbling into their pints and fries.

1121 Uptown Park Blvd, Suite A, Houston TX, 77056

La Carafe

The oldest haunt in Houston, La Carafe wine bar is less a ghost than a piece of living history, a timeless challenge to the contemporary nightclub scene.

The cozy candle-lit tavern hasn’t changed much in more than 125 years. The bar is similar to those in New York City from the same era: intimate and low lit, exuding a warmth and character that comes with the passage of time.

La Carafe serves only wine and beer and can only ring you up on its now antique cash-only register. The diverse jukebox complements the atmosphere with immortal tunes from Edith Piaf, Django Reinhart, and Hank Williams.

813 Congress St, Houston TX, 77002

Light, The

A fun, laid-back bar in the heart of Midtown.

The Light is a mix of Coyote Ugly and classy bar/lounge. Guests can sit back and relax on one of the couches and enjoy a drink…but don’t be surprised to see a bartender jump up on the bar and start dancing or a patron jump up on a table and start breaking it down.

Offering a variety of music, there’s not a distinct style to this bar/lounge other than plain, good old FUN. The Light also has a great upstairs area that can be reserved for parties, and the entire venue is available for private parties Sun-Tue.

Happy Hour:
Wednesday – Friday, 5-8pm

The Scene:
A range of late 20 to early 40-something professionals.

2315 Bagby, Houston TX, 77006

Blanco’s

For an authentic Houston experience, head to Blanco’s and see what a real Texas honky-tonk is made of.

The place isn’t large, but it’s packed with character, and you’ll find some of the area’s best bands playing country tunes to appreciative audiences. If your skills are up to par, show off your two-stepping on the dance floor; otherwise, you might just want to knock off a Lone Star on the patio or sample barbecue and chicken-fried chicken. Lots of regulars hang out here –a sure sign there’s something good to be had.

3406 W Alabama St, Houston TX, 77027

Brazos River Bottom

Even city boys need a little two-steppin’ excitement every once in awhile. Sandwiched between the Red Door and Little Woodrow’s in Midtown, Brazos River Bottom (BRB to regulars) has remained a Houston staple since opening more than three decades ago.

The thirty-something, Wrangler-wearing clientele flock to the spot for wallet-friendly drink specials, Thursday-night dance lessons and a laid-back vibe. Inside the décor is classically country, with a wooden-planked dance floor for proper boot scootin’, a main bar, pool tables and video poker.

If you’re in the mood to mingle, head to the less-crowded sidebar, where country music legends emanate from the jukebox and urban cowboys escape for friendly conversation. There’s also a cozy outdoor patio, offering patrons an al fresco escape.

Saturday nights remain popular, as does happy hour. BRB is open from noon to 2AM, daily.

2400 Brazos St, Houston TX, 77006

Sammy’s

Sammy Relford has been a Houston legend, playing at the Gallant Knight for over 10 years. He has now brought his show to Midtown.

Sammy’s features live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening.

Doors open at 8, so come early to get a seat. On Fridays and Saturdays Sammy becomes a host to different soul, jazz, and funk bands.

Sammy is soulful and authentic, a style that is ultimately Houston. Many describe him as a modern day Marvin Gaye, Buddy Holly, or Ray Charles, with a touch of Prince. It’s a mixed crowd and is a perfect fit for Main Street’s becoming a true “melting pot.”

Sammys has launched “Live Band” karyoke on the last Friday of every month! Each round is themed (think “old-school rock” or dicso) and comes with costumes, props and back-up vocals. There’s an audience to see who rocks the hardest, and the winners face off in December.

2016 Main St, Houston TX, 77002

Cézanne

The best local and nationally touring live jazz acts roll through the ultra chic Cézanne to wow the serious music lovers that pack into its classy walls.

Houston’s jazz connoisseurs frequent this intimate, 40-seat venue. An impressive roster of local and nationally recognized acts packs the house on weekends, and a cozy setting means that every seat is a good one. The musical stylings don’t just stop at traditional jazz: live acts along the musical spectrum from Latin jazz to Western swing break out their gear and tickle the ears of the always appreciative hip crowd.

A full bar is available, along with the same appetizers and desserts you’ll find at sister-pub The Black Labrador, located downstairs.

4100 Montrose, Houston TX, 77006-4938

Guava Lamp

After several successful years spent operating out of its Shepherd Plaza location, Montrose’s Guava Lamp lounge has since made the leap to a chic, updated space near Allen Parkway.

570 Waugh Dr, Houston TX, 77019

Ginger Man, The

For a casual, unpretentious setting, locals laud this pub, which has sister locations in Austin, Dallas, and New York.

Indeed, cozy setting awaits you at the Ginger Man, where space is at a premium on the wrap-around porch once the sun sets. Inside, this old brick house offers a good mix of charm of general friendliness, making it the type of place where the barkeeps are ready and willing to give you the low-down on one of Houston’s most extensive draught beer selections. Indeed, tour the globe via the tap with ambers, stouts, and ales hailing everywhere from the Czech Republic and Netherlands to Belgium and Ireland.

For your reading pleasure, The Ginger Man also stocks copies of “The Ginger Man” by J.P. “Mike” Donleavy (our namesake). The Ginger Man was named one of the best 100 novels of the 20th century.

5607 Morningside, Houston TX, 77005

Brian O’Neill’s

A true vintage bar—it was actually built in Ireland and shipped to Houston piece by piece—from the décor to the booze to the pub food menu that has your traditional heart-clogging Irish fare with some distinctly southwest favorites.

A five-time Houston Press Best of Houston winner – “Best Place to Drink Guinness, Best Irish Pub, Best Bar Games, and Best Bar Food”.

Brian O’Neill’s restaurant & nightclub is an entertainment hotspot in Rice Village, so you can spend the night dining on exquisite food, drinking cocktails, listening to fantastic live music, meeting new friends, and dancing the night away. Look no further than Brian O’Neill’s!

Happy Hour:
Sunday & Monday (all day)
Tuesday from 3pm to 9pm

5555 Morningside, Houston TX, 77005

Armadillo Palace, The

Part honky-tonk and part Texas history museum, Goode’s Armadillo Palace gets the mood established right off the bat thanks to the towering armadillo sporting longhorns and breathing smoke right out front.

Enjoy the sounds of live music. Grab one of the (real) pistol door handles, pass under a thicket of antler horns, and find a huge saloon-style bar with tooled leather barstools under a tin ceiling. One whole wall is lined with antique saddles; there’s a stuffed longhorn, deer head, or cow skull on every wall; and an antler chandelier hangs over the pool table. Display cases with Robert Earl Keen on the PA complete the honky-tonk heaven.

The menu is not extensive, but the Texas-style dishes all have the Goode flavorful touch, like the venison chili, rich with guajillo chilis from New Mexico, and the green chili pork empanadas.

5015 Kirby Drive, Houston TX, 77098

Brewery Tap

With 35 draft beers on hand, the Tap offers beer snobs a wide variety of pricey brews to choose from. The space itself is dark, but the huge wood tables give the Tap a charming, Old World feel. Adding to the relaxed atmosphere, dogs are as welcome as their owners–as long as they don’t bite. Jukebox offerings include a variety of choices from Jane’s Addiction to Aretha Franklin to Jimi Hendrix. Darts are a popular pastime.

Monday through Friday, 11am to 7 pm, get your favorite brews for a discounted price.

717 Franklin St. at Louisiana, Houston TX, 77002

Dean’s Credit Clothing

Dean’s Credit Clothing, in a space that housed a 1930s clothing store, keeps many elements of the store to preserve history. Inside you will find the original floors from 1893 along with the first elevator in Texas. The original checkout stand has been transformed into a bar. Restrooms are wallpapered with handwritten ledgers from the Dean’s 1930s–1970s sales records.

The laid-back mood and hip atmosphere along with progressive chill music appeal to urban sophisticates of all ages.

Dean’s clothing racks are filled with an array of men’s and women’s vintage clothing that are available to purchase at the bar and to try on in the dressing room.

316 Main St., Houston TX, 77002

Front Porch Pub

The Front Porch Pub, a Midtown favorite, boasts 44 draught beers and more than 50 bottles. The outdoor deck is a great place for a relaxing drink and chill conversation with friends. Your dog is welcome to hang out on the porch as well. There is also ample indoor seating and entertainment in the form of two pool tables, two dart boards and the number one-voted jukebox in Houston. Bar food and steaks are offered occasionally, and the staff will let you order pizza or other delivery to the porch.

217 Gray, Houston TX, 77002

Meridian, The

The Meridian is downtown’s newest venue for the top rock, pop and alternative bands in the country. Divided into three areas, Meridian’s main warehouse-style room houses the stage, capacity for close to 1,000, and a stellar sound system. A smaller lounge, known as the Red Room, exudes Middle Eastern charm with curtained divans, pillows and dim lighting. The smaller VIP room is cozy for conversation. Pool tables and video games help pass time between bands.

1503 Chartres, Houston TX, 77003

Cotton Exchange Bar and Lounge, The

Travel through Houston’s past at this classy cocktail lounge near Market Square. This downtown hideaway occupies the second floor of the historic Cotton Exchange building with Tiffany lamps highlighting original wood floors and muraled ceilings. A large marble bar dominates the center of the room while area rugs set off intimate couch and table arrangements. In the evenings, stylishly dressed gentlemen and chic 30-somethings mingle over cocktails and cigars. The in-house Seattle’s Best opens at 7am for downtown dwellers looking for a morning jolt served with free Internet.

More than 30 cigars are available, ranging in price from $9 to $70.

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm

202 Travis, Suite 100, Houston TX, 77002

Char Bar

Operating downtown since the ’30s, Duke of Hollywood Tailors (also known as the Char Bar after a recent renovation) is a tailor shop and bar selling custom-made suits and shirts alongside stiff martinis. A large bar shares space with the tailor’s working counter. Framed newspaper clippings and photos behind the bar add to the nostalgic air. The crowd of young professionals, mainly from surrounding law-enforcement buildings, and friendly regulars are drawn by the vibrant atmosphere and personable service.

305 Travis, Houston TX, 77002

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Flying Saucer offers 85 taps from faraway lands and just down the road. Not only are there St. Arnold’s and the usual Texas brews, there are also several from the obscure Real Ale brewery in Blanco. There’s a full-bodied root beer on tap, as well as a modest but thoughtful selection of wines.

Tuesday is singer-songwriter night, an open mike for musicians. Wednesday is Brewery Night (buy the featured beer, keep the glass). On Sundays, Texas brews are only $2.50 per pint.

705 Main St, Houston TX, 77002

State Bar & Lounge, The

The State Bar & Lounge is an upscale, classic lounge on the second floor of the Rice Lofts. Considered by many to be one of the cornerstones of the Houston Downtown renaissance, it is also a tribute to the glory days of the city’s oil boom.

Much of the furniture and memorabilia are from the old Rice Hotel’s Capitol Club, a legendary locale from the turn of the century that witnessed such historic milestones as the first electrical lights and air conditioners of the city, prominent judges and oil men cementing the success of Southern Texas, and the last place where President Kennedy ate before traveling to Dallas in 1963. The State Bar & Lounge has resurrected the Capitol Club’s atmosphere and honed it to the times with the chic artwork of Houston artist Alisson Stewart, a mahogany bar, high-arched windows, a private and distinct lounge, and a grand veranda overlooking much of downtown’s growth and ambiance.

The State Bar offers a limited food menu along with a large variety of vodkas, various tap and bottled beers, sophisticated wines and a selection of over a hundred different types of liquors.

909 Texas Avenue, Houston TX, 77002

Red Lion Pub

This British pub lays claim to authentic English tradition.

It’s nice to visit a place that’s more than a pub in name only. Luscious red leather covers the bar stools and booths, a modest brick fireplace warms the cozy back room, and an impressive collection of Edwardian prints lines the walls.

The low-level music is geared more toward couples and single women looking to relax with a glass of chardonnay. There’s a TV, but it’s tucked away in a wood cabinet above the bar. The owner only takes it out of hiding for local games. A huge list of single-malt scotches and a spot-on traditional English menu completes the London trip.

Red Lion is open for lunch. Bring your laptop and get some work done with the free Wi-Fi access.

Happy hour is Monday – Friday 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday, with $2 longnecks, $4 pints and $5 wine, plus complimentary snacks.

2316 Shepherd, Houston TX, 77019

Empire Café

This Montrose cafe boasts a funky, yet friendly vibe, with good food and great desserts.

The magic words: half-price cake night. Every Monday, you can sample a slice of pineapple-carrot, French chocolate or Toll House Cookie Crunch cake, among others, for half the price. This hot spot is primarily a hip coffeehouse where students assemble to debate how many piercings are too many. The more buttoned-up crowd stays for the four different kinds of omelettes and fluffy frittatas served all day, as well as thin pizzas, paninis, fresh salads and pasta dishes.

Long lines are common along the counter, but they go fast.

Happy Hour is 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday – Friday.

1732 Westheimer Rd., Houston TX, 77098

Wild West

A part of Bayou City for over 20 years, Wild West sits on Houston’s Richmond strip with a motto of Two-Steppin’ & Longneckin’. This country nightclub was built and is operated by Texans and features a solid oak dance floor just for your boots! From dancin’ and glancin’ to flirting with the beer well girl (dressed in chaps), shooting pool, eating fresh fajitas, playing blackjack, or getting your boots shined, a variety of activities makes your visit enjoyable and entertaining in an atmosphere that is energetic.

The DJ stands at your service playing the hottest in country plus a mix of your favorite dance music, creating a flow of energy unequaled in the entertainment industry. You want Texas? You want country? Wild West is your answer.

Dance lessons are also available every Sunday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for anyone brave enough to learn two-step, west coast swing, the polka, waltz, cha-cha or jitterbug! While closed on Mondays, Wild West offers several specials including free admission for ladies on Wednesdays, $1.75 bar drinks on Thursdays and much more!

6101 Richmond Ave., Houston TX, 77057

Wet Spot, The

The only place to go for true sport fans! The Wet Spot offers NFL Sunday Ticket, ESPN College Game Day, NBA League Pass, & ESPN Full Court College Hoops! Come to The Wet Spot to watch all your favorite sporting events!

With more than 30 TV’s, huge bar, great food, and the best staff in Houston, patrons at The West Spot can’t loose when it comes to watching your favorite sporting event at The Wet Spot!!!

The West Spot has also been voted Houston’s Best Sports Bar – Houston Press 2005 and Voted Best Bar Food – H Texas Mag. 2005.

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Wed from 2:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Thu-Fri from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sat-Sun from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

160 W. Gray, Houston TX, 77019

Black Labrador Pub

The Black Lab is an English pub perfect for enjoying a pint of ale, a game of darts and a bite to eat. The kitchen isn’t strictly English–burgers and Tex-Mex dishes turn up among the shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. As the evening winds down, try the Scotch apple pie and a Samuel Smith Taddy porter.

On the patio, a human-size chessboard is designed into the paving and even occasionally used. Or, look like a regular, and buy your own mug to keep at the bar. And don’t forget your parking ticket if you park in the garage, the Black Lab will validate your ticket.

4100 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX, 77006

Sherlock’s Pub

Great Food, Great Bands, Great Fun, And Never a Cover!

Sherlock’s Pub West Gray is conveniently located at 1997 A West Gray in the River Oaks area, corner of West Gray and McDuffie.

Live Music is featured every night and there is never a cover! Happy Hour is from 4 pm to 9 pm, all day on Sundays, with a free buffet from Tuesday through Friday.

1997A West Gray, Houston TX, 77019

Lizard’s Pub

Squeezed between affluent River Oaks and ultra-corporate Greenway Plaza, Lizard’s is an oasis for those weary of wealth, power and pretense. With a homey, lived-in quality second to none, Lizard’s Pub is not quite a dive, but has a decidedly “lived-in” quality. If you’re into fashion statements and trendy drinks, this pub, with its lizard-y green walls, is not for you. And take note: there is nothing on draft here. Catch the game, down some cheaper than usual drinks, and shoot some pool or lounge on one of the back room sofas.

The chief attraction of Lizard’s is its accommodating nature. Patrons can just sit at a bar and watch the game, lounge around outside, play pool or video games. There’s also an array of comfy chairs and sofas in the mood-lit backroom. Expect a refreshingly diverse crowd – a few slackers, some loosened-tie execs and plenty of party animals carousing on the deck. Like the chameleon it’s (almost) named after, Lizard’s can change as necessary.

2715 Sackett St., Houston TX, 77098

Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille

Fox and Hound emphasizes a high energy environment with multiple billiard tables, satellite and cable coverage of a variety of sporting events and music videos. In addition to the food, customers are attracted to the elegant, yet comfortable, atmosphere of polished brass, embroidered chairs and booths, hunter green and burgundy walls and etched glass.

11470 Westheimer, Houston TX, 77077

Davenport

Davenport offers a varied music selection, from Rat Pack-era crooners to in-house DJs, fueling the crowd of casual regulars and trendier Richmond Strip escapees. The space is small, but conducive to mingling, and the ’50s-style decor perfectly accents the lounge atmosphere. Rarely vacant couches and chairs maintain a living-room feel, while the nearby TV broadcasts a faux crackling fireplace for cozy couples.

The bar (filled with bottles practically to the ceiling) boasts more than 42 different single malt scotches and 35 vodka varieties. For a taste of the true Dav experience, sample a cocktail or two from the multipage martini menu featuring some familiar favorites and more than a few surprises. Try the award-winning Costa Rican martini, made with Stoli Vanil vodka, Kahlua, Frangelico, and creme de banana. It’s a bonus that the martinis here are refreshingly inexpensive, especially considering their generous portions.

The club also features live DJs every Wednesday from 9 pm until closing.

2115 Richmond Ave, Houston TX, 77098

Harlow’s Food and Fun

This Greenway Plaza entertainment complex is great for games, happy hour specials, first-run films and classic American fare.

Make an evening on it, and find movie times at the Edwards Grand Palace Theatre next door.

Enjoy a game of shuffleboard or pool at the Billiards Lounge. Plasma TV screens at the bar broadcast the latest games.

Happy hour features appetizer and drink specials at the bar from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

3839 Weslayan St, Houston TX, 77027

Tavern, The

The Tavern on Gray has the longest bar in Texas and more than 100 TVs. It features 24 draft beers, a full liquor bar, more than 100 TVs, mega touch, ping pong, darts, pool tables, NTN trivia, air hockey, foosball, golden tee, 2 patios and plenty of parking. Patrons are also invited to relax on the Covered Outdoor Patio with full bar and pool tables!

A Union Jack above the ivy-covered entrance pays homage to the traditional English pub. Inside, affable patrons dish lively conversation while watching sports (think American football, as opposed to the European variety) on one of many TVs. Cozy booths are an added bonus.

Crowds may be lured here for spirits and sports, but other diversions include an Internet jukebox that plays more than 130,000 songs, a raucous karaoke night (every Tuesday) and good pub grub. Wash down the Texas burger or plate of hot wings with import beers from Germany, Ireland, Japan and the Netherlands, among other countries.

The Tavern on Gray is open from 3 pm to 2 am and opens at 11 am on weekends during football season. And look good, no cut-off shirts or tank tops allowed.

1340 West Gray, Houston TX, 77019

Marfreless

Marfreless is an unmarked bar in a corner of the River Oaks Shopping Center that has been a favorite of Houstonians for years. Inside the blue door, the dingy interior of yore has been replaced with rich earth tones, black and white photographs of local landmarks, and plush leather sofas.

Downstairs, a large bar with ample seating dominates the space while tables filled with well-dressed 30-somethings enjoy martinis (there are close to 20 vodka brands in stock), ambient music, and easy conversation. Upstairs, a narrow corridor filled with couches reveals couples taking advantage of the dim light.

From the dozens of flickering candles to the cozy little alcoves, the stage is set for romance, making it an ideal spot for after-dinner drinks–but don’t count on much privacy, as the couches are densely packed.

Save a few dollars on drinks during happy hour. It’s weeknights from 6 pm to 8 pm.

2006 Peden St., Houston TX, 77019

Escobar

Once past the velvet rope, throbbing beats greet clubbers at this popular dance spot. The interior is a mix of industrial decor and varied shades of disco lights. The mixed crowd of 20- and 30-something singles congregates around the large glass bar, emitting a cosmic feel in all directions, or in blue suede booths in the raised seating area. The dance floor is a focal point as the state of the art sound system blasts music from DJ Biz, who hosts the club’s Dysfunctional Wednesdays.

Table reservations are available and should be made at least 24 hours in advance.

2905 Travis, Suite A, Houston TX, 77006

Roof, The

The Roof Bar exudes a cool 80s glam rock vibe, so it’s fitting that, in true L.A. style, there’s no sign out front. Clubgoers should have no trouble finding it, though: just look for the colored lights emanating from the top of the building like a psychedelic aurora borealis. Of course, the roof is the main attraction here, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Decked out in zebra-print and velvet, the enormous space offers a jaw-dropping view of the downtown skyline. Inside you’ll find bright red walls, photos of hair band heroes, and throngs of pretty young things. Two fully stocked bars – one inside, one out – keep patrons rocking all night long.

2600 Travis St., Houston TX, 77006

Pub Fiction

This Midtown pub offers live music, plenty of drink specials, and an ample outdoor patio.

Catch the latest sports action on more than 28 TVs in the contemporary lounge area or head to the adjacent room for a traditional pub atmosphere complete with a pool table. The kitchen is open daily from 4pm to 10pm for sandwiches, salads, and burgers, plus an assortment of pub-style appetizers. Live music and a 1,000-square-foot patio round out the offerings.

Happy hour is Monday through Friday, with $6 domestic pitchers from 4pm to 8pm.

Wednesday nights are reserved for live music beginning at 9pm. A DJ spins a mix of popular music on Saturday nights.

2303 Smith St., Houston TX, 77006

Under the Volcano

A laid-back vibe and a highly praised jukebox headline a long list of reasons to go with the flow.

Craving a martini with relaxed after-work conversation? Or a lively weekend mix of students, dancing, and hanging on the patio? Volcano has both. A dozen draft beers, wine, and martinis satisfy most tastes, but this spot really packs them in with its frozen screwdriver and specialty drinks. Owner Pete Mitchell personally selects the bar’s jukebox contents, an eclectic mix of everything, including vintage Kinks, A Tribe Called Quest, and blues veteran Little Joe Washington.

For a little Latin flair, try the standout sangria and Cuba libres.

The kitchen serves up delicious tapas appetizers and cold sandwiches (the prosciutto is a favorite).

Happy hour, 2pm-7pm, Monday through Friday, knocks a dollar off all mixed drinks and drafts (including seasonal St Arnold’s special brews).

Two outdoor patios offer sanctuary from noise and smoky patrons. When weather permits, the interior windows remain open.

2349 Bissonnet St, Houston TX, 77005

Downing Street Pub

This premier cigar lounge caters to cigar lovers and hard-nosed drinkers.

Cigars are common, and the joy of smoking a fine one is exceeded only by that of sipping on a 15-year-old Highland scotch. Beautiful, rich mahogany cocktail tables with raised ashtray holders surround the 400-foot walk-in humidor. Photos and a statue of Winston Churchill drive home the British-centric theme.

A knowledge of British politics (10 Downing Street is the residence of the prime minister) will help when attempting to elbow your way into a conversation with the prominent crowd of politicians and businessmen. When most people are settling into work, patrons here are enjoying the generous happy hour, which begins at 10am. Too early for scotch? Try a pint of Chimay. This Belgian trappist contains eight percent alcohol.

Specialty shot: Distilled the year NATO was formed, the Macallan 50-year scotch costs a whopping $300 a shot and $4,000 a bottle.

For $400 a year, management will store your cigars in a locker in the bar’s humidor.

Rat Pack martini Mondays means $4 vodka martinis.

2549 Kirby, Houston TX, 77019

Decades

This retro Montrose gay bar is the default hangout for veterans of Houston’s gay and lesbian scene.

The nondescript sign and barred windows predict the insular scene inside. Locals are careful not to betray any suspicion of newcomers, but it’s clear that the regulars like to keep to themselves. The green Astroturf carpet, pallid wood paneling, and framed watercolors don’t excite the senses much, but the black-and-white photos of past customers do add a nice dose of sentimentality.

Dart and pool fanatics will love the highly competitive weekly tournaments, while shuffleboard fans will be appeased by the championship table. Conversationalists appreciate the pleasantly low volume of the jukebox.

1205 Richmond Ave, Houston TX, 77006

Chances Bar

Description:

1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX, 77006

JR’s

J.R.’s—like its sister bars in Dallas and Denver—is a quintessential stand-and-model bar with attractive Southwestern-inspired decor and fabulous patio.

808 Pacific St, Houston TX, 77006

Montrose Mining Company

Owned by veteran club developer Charles Armstrong, Montrose Mining Company is one of the gayborhoods’ oldest and much-loved leather and levi bars. The mixed crowd—everything from men in flannel shirts to polished young professionals—come for a laid-back party scene seven days a week.

805 Pacific St, Houston TX, 77006

Meteor

Step inside Montrose’s Meteor lounge—a surrealist scene of flashing video monitors, wild music and cute boys shaking it in their skivvies.

2306 Genesee St, Houston TX, 77006

Numbers

The club’s motto says it all: “No Dress Code, No Waitresses, No Valet and No Attitude.”

This lower Westheimer legend built its reputation on being a place where everyone can settle in for a cold drink and hot music. A cranking sound and light system, manned by Houston’s top DJs, makes up for the dank interior. Music varies depending on the night, and the club has established itself as a venue for emerging and established acts. Bands like REM, the Stray Cats, Sheryl Crow, Oasis, and Sevendust have rattled the rafters.

The drinks are cheap: Wednesdays are 50-cent beer nights; Fridays include 50-cent Shiner and $1.25 well drinks.

Concerts are all-ages unless otherwise noted. Five nights a week, the dance club is 18 and up.

300 Westheimer, Houston TX, 77006

Little Woodrow’s

This rustic Village favorite lures Rice undergrads with a big patio and big beer selection.

Reinforcing male-centricity are the 100 beers on tap, Golden Tee machines, and Wednesday’s “Big Beer Night,” when 23-ounce mugs of domestics are just $1.75 and imports and micros, $3.75.

Sunny, pleasant days bring Rice undergrads and anyone taking a sick day from work out to the famed patio along Morningside Drive. The crowd is young, but for the most part, well-behaved. The mood is most serene on Sundays when chit-chatting over drinks lasts all day, and sporting events play all night.

Click here for other locations in Houston.

5611 Morningside, Houston TX, 77005

Griff’s Shenanigans Cafe & Bar

There’s no arguing that the Montrose warhorse has played a long-standing and prominent role in this town’s beer-hoisting history.

Whether this is, in fact, “Houston’s Original Sports Tavern” (as it bills itself) is debatable, but there’s no doubt that the bar is a tradition all its own. Founder Michael Griffin opened his doors the same year the Astros debuted in the Dome–1965–and it quickly became the unofficial gathering spot for supporters of that team and the town’s other athletic franchises (the Oilers and basketball’s pre-ABA Mavericks).

Recruited as loyal soldiers in “Griff’s Army,” staid supporters were packed off in private buses to root, root, root for the home teams and drink, drink, drink for the heck of it. Some of that fervor may have faded, as a plethora of other sports bars have diluted the customer base, but you can’t beat this place for continuity.

Even non-sports fans should keep it in mind for its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which have evolved into bacchanalian revels lasting more than four days.

3416 Roseland St, Houston TX, 77006

Mia Bella

Despite its small size, high ceilings, simple decor (including cheerful black-and-white photos of patrons) and romantic lighting make the main dining room seem cozy. Tables are comfortably spaced and a substantial bar off to one side adds to the seating. Opt for a table on the periphery of the restaurant along the windows. The Preston side offers a view of the water sculpture while the Main Street side affords for some train spotting.

Restaurateur Youssef Nafaa (Mi Luna) infuses the Italian menu with distinct Mediterranean flavors. The eclectic menu features varied appetizers including a grilled calamari dish and a savory mushroom and goat cheese strudel. Thin crust pizzas tempt with a variety of toppings while hearty pasta dishes, including healthy whole wheat pasta with cheese-stuffed meatballs, provide for lunchtime leftovers. Fish, chicken and steak dishes round out the offerings. Expect a varied wine list.

Sunday brunch features bottomless mimosas, bloody mary’s and Bellinis for $8.95.

Happy hour features discounts on food and wine from Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. For 50 percent off selected wines, plan on visiting on a Tuesday night.

320 Main St, Houston TX, 77002

Verizon Wireless Theater

Part of the Bayou Place entertainment complex, this versatile space can accommodate a mosh pit, an intimate cabaret or a traditional theater production. Conveniently located in downtown, Bayou Place is the perfect place for pre- and post-concert entertainment and refreshments.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau Member

520 Texas Avenue, Houston TX, 77002

Warehouse Live

One of Houston’s more modern, mid-sized concert venues is inside a converted 1920’s era warehouse. The 1,500-capacity venue ballroom has two bars, one of which opens up into a more intimate club-like venue named Studio for smaller rock and hip-hop performances.

813 St. Emanuel Street, Houston TX, 77003

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The

Surrounded by a lush forest, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater that provides the Greater Houston region with an array of performing arts and contemporary entertainment in a setting of unparalleled beauty.

The Pavilion accommodates up to 16,550 guests. Beneath its soaring white fabric roof is covered reserved seating for 3,000. There is room for 1,900 guests in the uncovered reserved area and nearly 12,000 on the hillside lawn.

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands TX, 77380

Last Concert Cafe

One of Houston’s oldest live-music venues. Serving great music and delicious Tex-Mex since 1949! LCC is known as the best place to catch jam bands in Houston, but also features funk, bluegrass, rock, blues, world beat, rockabilly and more!

1403 Nance Street, Houston TX, 77002

Rudyard’s

A funky British pub downstairs, featuring live music upstairs. A great place to see local and touring indie-rock bands, with Rudyard’s Comedy Workshop on Tuesdays. Menu offers a variety of dishes to accompany any beverage.

2010 Waugh, Houston TX, 77006

El Tiempo Cantina – Richmond

Bountiful Tex-Mex favorites are the specialty at this upbeat happy-hour favorite.

Dusky lighting, chummy servers and enjoyable salsa tunes make you feel like you just landed in a classy, crowded border-town cantina. El Tiempo attracts a brisk, discriminating happy-hour crowd for good reason: Stout, limey margaritas paired with chips and the legendary tomatillo sauce inherited from Mama Ninfa.

Generously portioned combination plates are heavy on the cheese. The grilled fajita tower (tender beef, shrimp and meaty quail) is paired with extraordinarily moist, green rice and savory charro beans. Chili fans will love the spicy serrano peppers atop the steamed red snapper heaped with crab meat. Wonderfully fresh guacamole comes with minced onions, jalapeños and garlic to add as desired. A jumbo chocobanana empanada crowned with melted chocolate and ice cream is the best last bite.

Try the weekend breakfasts, which are fit for a king.

3130 Richmond Ave, Houston TX, 77098

Venue

Offering 11,000 square feet of upscale clubbing and lounging space while featuring rich colors and a warm, welcoming vibe, Venue is the ultimate dance spot. There are two long L-shaped bars, an elevated VIP area, several plasma TVs, and a high-profile DJ booth. Live music is featured every Friday and Saturday night. DJs, sexy dancers, videos, and other unique performances provide nonstop entertainment.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau – Member

723 Main St, Houston TX, 77002

Little Napoli

This casual downtown Italian spot offers a popularly priced lunch menu, daily happy hour and live music on the weekends.

This downtown Southern Italian bistro bustles at lunchtime with area office workers taking a needed break to enjoy a casual meal with friends and colleagues. Opt for the cozy indoor dining room or enjoy the al fresco patio. Dine on antipasta, New York and Sicilian pizza, homemade pastas and daily chef’s specials. For dessert, try the tiramisu, banana split or chocolate mousse cake. More than 30 wines are offered by the bottle or glass.

Health conscious diners can request low-fat or fat-free cheeses and low calorie oils on all dishes. Whole wheat crust is also available.

Catering is available for any size group, including pizza, pasta, drinks, desserts, salads, starters, subs and more.

Lunch specials are available Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with dozens of pizza, pasta and and pizza rolls specials starting at $4.75, with nothing more than $10.

Happy hour is 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. daily and all day Sunday. Stop by Friday and Saturday evening. Sat features the swinging sounds of Dan King.

1001 Texas Ave, Suite 100, Houston TX, 77002

Marquis II

Offering a diverse crowd and stiff drinks, Marquis II is a classic dive bar where sports are the backdrop and drinking is the main event. The bartender has a deck of cards, set of dominoes and even a current version of Trivial Pursuit. Stay entertained with the exclusive house band the Allen Oldies Band, a bunch of eccentrics who dress in tuxedos and tennis shoes and play 50s and 60s music.

2631 Bissonnet, Houston TX, 77005

Cyclone Anaya’s

Known as one of the more tasteful Tex-Mex restaurants in the city, Cyclone Anaya’s brings its mix of margarita-fueled fun and upscale casual dining to Midtown. Diners settle into ample banquettes for big, bold margaritas; chunky, fresh-made guacamole; and flavorful ceviche. Entrees include surprises like lobster enchiladas, but Tex-Mex standards like carne asada, tamales, fajitas, enchiladas and hearty combo plates are crowd favorites. The ample bar area is a popular spot for the after-work happy hour set.

Happy hour is weeknights from 3pm to 6pm and features discounts on drinks.

If one’s available, a table on the cozy front patio makes for a great spot for a lingering lunch or date-friendly dinner.

Free Wi-Fi is offered in the restaurant.

309 Gray, Houston TX, 77002

Max’s Wine Dive

This upscale dive bar offers a standout wine list, late-night comfort food and a Texas-proud jukebox.

Concrete floors, exposed brick walls and luxe black leather booths don’t scream “dive joint,” but neither does the expertly selected wine list or menu dominated by organic and locally grown goods. Crowds of trendy diners vie for tables at dinnertime, sampling menu standouts like the Texas-style chili, kobe beef burger and king-size “haute dog.” And it’s not malt liquor but champagne that diners sip with Southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits and knockout brownie and bread pudding desserts.

Expect more than 150 wines by the glass or bottle to complement each of the sumptuous menu items. The full bar also turns out some mean martinis and sake shooters.

Wines sold at the restaurant are also available to go. Sample something you like for dinner and buy an extra bottle for home.

4720 Washington Ave. # B, Houston TX, 77007

Kobain

Named after the late Nirvana frontman (whose name appears as “Kobain” rather than “Cobain” on the band’s first album), the music at this ski-lodge-looking nightspot is patently rock ‘n’ roll.

Kobain sits just south of Washington Avenue and just north of Memorial Drive. Its location will likely be one of its greatest assets: It’s midway between Montrose and the Heights.

Like its neighbor, the Social, Kobain is more patio than club. Its huge outdoor space is the only place you can smoke on the premises. That doesn’t seem to affect the energy of the place; young professionals started going there practically before the patio concrete was dry.

3720 Raymond, Houston TX, 77007

Warren’s Inn

This classic downtown bar holds its own amid downtown’s revitalization. It’s even attracted a new breed of patrons.

The popular bar is cramped to begin with; the tables are painfully close to one another, and chairs seem to be in short supply. The decor is quite masculine, all wood and Dickensian sconces protruding from the wall, and a lovely turret-type booth overlooks the lower half of the room. In addition to the same old barflies, young theater kids and hipsters are cramming into this Market Square establishment every weekend.

To fully appreciate the Warren’s experience, go on a Wednesday night, when you won’t have to compete with a few hundred people for a place to park your bum and have a drink.

307 Travis Street, Houston TX, 77002

Firehouse Saloon

The Firehouse is a large music club and bar reminiscent of an adult amusement park, with the Eagles on the jukebox, fancy video games, a full bar, outdoor-style wooden booths and a stage for live music. The place is significantly more relaxed than its high-rent neighbors, and the no-frills booze and music atmosphere is less overwhelming than nearby party-till-you-drop emporiums.

5930 SW Freeway, Houston TX, 77057

Walter’s On Washington

Enjoy cold, cheap Bud and the performances of some of Texas’ best bands at this Washington Avenue staple.

Walter’s is a neighborhood bar that is also the best new live music venue in Houston. Or is it a live music venue that also happens to be a great little neighborhood bar? With the best local, regional, and national acts performing regularly, the upclose and personal feeling you get with the musicans on stage, and with the lively, friendly and knowledgeable bartenders and patrons visiting during happy hour, it’s hard to say which is more true.

Any time after 5pm on a weekday, you’ll find a core of locals sitting at the bar sharing stories about work and life in general, while watching the huge 62-inch big-screen TV.

Walter’s isn’t the type of place you’d expect to see Grammy winners Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers live, but both have played here and probably will again.

4215 Washington Ave, Houston TX, 77007

Grappino Di Nino

Located behind Nino’s, this cheerful Italian-themed bar is a popular stopping off point for couples on their way to a show or in the mood for outdoor dining. Inside, warm Tuscan-style décor and a large stand-up wood bar lead out to a beautiful, vine-shaded patio. The menu (served for lunch or dinner) specializes in small antipasto dishes like toasted ravioli, steamed mussels, and a cheese plate with roasted pears. Four-inch pizzas, pastas, chicken, veal, and seafood entrees are also served.

2817 W Dallas, Houston TX, 77019

13 celsius

Named after the optimal temperature for storing wine, 13 celsius offers locals a charming, European-inspired retreat in the heart of Midtown. Set in a 1920s Mediterranean-style building, the spot features an open-air courtyard, a windowed wine cellar filled with limited-production, high-quality vino and a 40-foot white marble bar—perfect for savoring a refreshingly-crisp, post-work Riesling.

In addition to the ever-expanding, always-changing wine list, 13 celsius also serves up artisan meats and cheeses, freshly-roasted espresso and light bites.

Stop in on Sundays for half-off a selection of wines by the glass and 25 percent off all beers.

3000 Caroline St., Houston TX, 77004

Vino 100

This Pennsylvania-based chain boasts 100 wines, champagnes and cognacs priced under $25 and grouped according to flavor and body. Sample any of the affordable, exclusive wines available at the shop (they’ll open a bottle for you if you order at least two glasses) or attend one of the nightly free wine tastings from 5pm to 7pm. A handful of small tables and stools allow patrons to linger at the wine bar and enjoy the relaxed, pretense-free atmosphere. The store is user friendly and features “wine barometer” charts listing each wine’s characteristics and helping you match wines to your menu or tastes. Hours: Mon 3pm-9pm Tue-Thu 12pm-9pm Fri-Sat 12pm-10pm Sun 12pm-6pm

11693 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX, 77077

Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Boutique

Sonoma Wine Bar and Retail Boutique is Houston’s first late-night wine bar. Sonoma serves over 100 wines and beers in every price range with taste varietals for every palate. A wall of wines sets the tone for this spare, roomy space. Sample from 100 wines by the glass and pair them with cheese plates, panini sandwiches, or pizza. Private room available for parties and meetings. Hours: Mon-Wed: 3pm – midnight Thurs-Sat: 3pm – 2am Happy Hour: Monday thru Friday from 4 to 7, Buy a Bottle, get the second 1/2 off!! (on-premise only) Live music with MOODAFARUKA on Thursdays!!!

2720 Richmond, Houston TX, 77098

Vine Wine Room

Vine Wine Room offers unique, reasonably priced wines from around the world while focusing on value. They feature over 150 wines less than $39.00 with over 50 of those less than $15.00, but also carry many high-end bottles. They offer several different wines by the glass daily and never charge a corkage fee. Hours:Mon: 5-9pmTues-Thurs: 1-9pm Fri -Sat: 1-11pm

12420 Memorial Dr, Houston TX, 77024

Black Swan, The

For more than two decades, the Black Swan, located in the Omni Houston Hotel in the Uptown/Galleria area, has been one of the city’s most popular bars for locals and visitors alike.

Locals and Omni Hotel guests stop by for a relaxing happy hour lounge scene or the late-night DJ-dancing scene. The bar in the Omni Hotel’s signature black marble swans welcome guests at the entrance, while a fireplace adds cozy comfort. Warm walls, sconces, wood flooring, and a long dark granite and copper bar backlit with subtle green LED lighting lend a decidedly upscale vibe to the modern bar. Popular bites from the bar menu include jumbo shrimp cocktail, chicken quesadillas, and New York strip sandwich. The martini menu includes 16 varieties, including the signature Melonaid, with Bacardi Melon and lemonade.

The bar can be reserved for private parties up to 250 guests.

The bar offers happy hour specials Tuesday to Friday from 5pm to 8:30pm.

Like to dance? Stop by for DJ music on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm to 2am.

The bar calls its cozy, curtained u-shaped seating nooks “snuggeries.”

4 Riverway Dr., Houston TX, 77056

Laurier Cafe & Wine

Sophisticated wine buffs from nearby River Oaks rub shoulders with Gen Xers at this loosely stylish spot. Airy, artsy-industrial interiors are brightened with sunflower yellow, sky blue, and crimson colored walls. Gerbera daisies perk up each table, as does the eager waitstaff. French doors reveal the deck, crawling with fragrant jasmine, perfect for alfresco dining.The Food:Fresh and lean creations by chef-owner Gary Fuller fill the menu. Peppery, just-picked arugula salad comes gingerly drizzled with fine olive oil. Chilled asparagus soup is enriched with a dab of cream. Sushi-grade tuna arrives on a buttery melange of shaved fennel and leeks with vibrant green, toothy sugar snap peas. A big slab of dry-aged New York steak gets a spicy chipotle rub and a mountain of toothpick-thin, crispy fries. Desserts complement a well-crafted wine list.

3139 Richmond Ave., Houston TX, 77098

ROCBAR

A world-class clubbing experience arrives in Houston, Texas, encompassing all the best elements of a nightclub with none of the attitude. Part lounge, part showcase, ROCBAR’s weekly lineup of entertainment includes top DJs and live music. ROCBAR guarantees wild performances on the stage, behind the bar, and most definitely throughout the room.

Classic and comfortable with splashes of decadence, the focus of the room is a 60-foot “rock” bar, while cool seating areas engulf the action. A live music stage backed by a 20-foot video wall completes the venue. ROCBAR was designed by the famed Muse architects N.Y.C. bringing their world altering vision of space and texture to Houston. “ROCBAR completely immerses in its decadence, sound, and palatable energy. You will lose yourself in ROCBAR and be quite glad you did.”- Jay Lee

The sexy soundtrack of all that is rock includes everything from the psychedelia of The Doors to the up-to-the-minute euro stylings of Goldfrapp. Mixed to perfection in an environment which dares the indulgent, ROCBAR allows its guests to enjoy the music they love in a stylish room with all the trappings of a club but none of the pretense.

530 Texas Ave, Houston TX, 77002

Anderson Fair

Originally instituted as a whimsically named coffee house/café where poetry was read over coffee and wine and spaghetti were served to the literati, “AFair”, as it is fondly called by the regulars, became a local icon of the counterculture during the late sixties and early seventies, replete with tie-dyed couture, block party concerts, and liberal hits of whatever “turned you on” at the time….and what turned on many folks of that era was music.

Original music to be precise. An evening of songs likely never before heard…performed by the individual responsible for their nativity in a face-to-face confrontation with a discerning and attentive audience…a situation where the performer either hones his skills and perfects his chops as a songwriter to the satisfaction of all concerned, or regresses to that proverbial “day job” with which the rest of us have to contend. To a very large extent, the crucible of what was to become known and popularized in the 1980s as the “Texas singer/songwriter” is right there on the AFair stage, a mere fourteen inches above the famous red brick floor.

Anderson Fair sits at the confluence of Grant Street, West Drew, and Welch in the historic Montrose area of Houston, just a short half block east of Montrose Boulevard. The building, a still evolving manifestation of varying degrees of carpentry skill by patrons and benefactors through the years, structurally reflects the cultural and artistic diversity of Houston since the turn of the 20th century. Many of its timbers, doors, frames, window glass, and fixtures came from a mid-19th century structure in downtown Houston, and the aptly named “music room”, floored with the red brick ohttp://www.visithoustontexas.com/admin/tools/listings/listing.details.php?f=modify&id=29120&category=12560f song fame, was once a courtyard between the three story structure on the north side of the property and a single story building on the south that dates back to the 1890s. Legend has it that this southernmost structure was once the law and real estate office of a brother of one of Texas’ governors and that it stood at the “end of the line” for the Grant Street streetcars. That part of the building has since housed such diverse enterprises as a grocery, a washateria, a head shop, a photography studio, and a recording studio.

In this age of fast food music, synthesized to a bland sameness and lip synched perfection, the tradition of the troubadour and his modern incarnation, the singer/songwriter, is safely harbored within the walls of Anderson Fair. This sense of tradition may well be one of the reasons why many a seasoned musician who has played larger stages and in front of stadium sized audiences will freely admit to a unique case of nerves just prior to taking the stage at AFair.

2007 Grant, Houston TX, 77006

ICON Bar, The

Located on the mezzanine level overlooking the Hotel ICON’s dramatic colonnade, this seductive lounge, lit almost entirely by red pillar candles, features black lacquered and mirrored walls, a Chinoiserie ceiling and mohair banquette seating. Within the ICON Bar’s sophisticated atmosphere, high-profile business locals rub shoulders with VIP hotel patrons. Don’t miss the signature drink, the Smoking Cosmo (dry ice, Finlandia vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice). The ICON Bar’s awards include: 2004 Best Hotel Bar – City Search 2004 Best Invention of a Cocktail – Culinary Thymes

220 Main, Houston TX, 77002

Little Woodrow’s – Midtown

The smallest of the Little Woodrow’s clan makes up for its size with a giant wooden patio. This relaxed beer garden boasts the same amenities that have made Little Woodrow’s a local institution: more than 100 beers (22 on tap), happy hour specials and a sports-friendly crowd. A wall of garage doors open to bring in the outdoors. Pool tables, Golden Tee and TVs tuned to the game add to the entertainment.

Enjoy $5 pitchers nightly after 9pm. Happy hour is weeknights from 2pm to 7pm. On Sundays it’s offered from noon until close.

Wednesday is Little Woodrow’s famous steak night, featuring 16oz ribeyes with baked potatoes and all the fixin’s.

2306 Brazos St, Houston TX, 77006

Whiskey Creek

Whiskey Creek defies the standards of what country western bars are. With its warm and highly decorative setting, Whiskey Creek catapults country western culture.

From Thursday until Saturday, Whiskey Creek has fun-filled events scheduled. Put on your western gear and come rope in the fun. Whiskey Creek is open Thursday through Saturday from 9pm until 2am.

2905 Travis St., Houston TX, 77006

Monarch

Chef Bradley Manchester presents steaks, seafood and light Mediterranean fare to Hotel ZaZa’s guests and those that would like to be at the ZaZa’s signature restaurant. The restaurant incorporates three distinct spaces, including a Baroque-inspired main dining room with soaring ceilings and plush appointments, a tree-shaded terrace and a casual bar area that offers late-night dining, a private nook with VIP bottle service, DJ music and a weekend brunch.

5701 Main St, Houston TX, 77005

Swivel Café & Lounge

Offering snacks ranging from Mediterranean humus to fried oyster nachos on yucca chips, Swivel is located between two of Midtown’s hot spots, Roof and Bond.

Swivel, whose name was inspired by the futuristic bar featured in the Jetsons cartoon, is designed to cater to company or social happy hours, networking events, fundraisers and parties. Swivel also offers a smoke-free environment, free wireless Internet and a front patio.

Swivel is open on Tuesdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. It is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

2621 Milam St, Houston TX, 77002

3RD BAR

Take a step into 3RD BAR, where you’ll find the interior saturated with sea-inspired color. There a separate menu is served, with items including oysters on the half shell, spring roll shrimp, beef ‘sliders’ with sriracha remoulade, as well as its signature 3rd BAR Plateau—a seafood grouping of all things salty and raw.

Weekday happy hour at 3RD BAR offers the perfect spot for sipping and socializing after work and features the beef sliders served on house baked yeast rolls for $1 each. 3RD BAR is also a terrific destination for hungry Houstonians to grab a late night bite, as it serves until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The views of downtown though REEF’s oversized windows are absolutely breathtaking, but when weather permits, grab a table outside on the welcoming wrap-around patio and take in the cool vibe of booming midtown.

2600 Travis, Houston TX, 77006

Ibiza Lounge Next Door

Ibiza Lounge Next Door is a sophisticated lounge located adjacent to the popular Houston restaurant created by restaurateurs Chef Charles Clark and Grant Cooper. This intimate and refined lounge is designed specifically for Houstonians eager to escape the harried bar scene and relax in stylish, elevated interiors paired with gracious, welcoming service.

Ibiza Next Door offers an extensive selection of wine and champagne, including unusual selections by the glass, half bottle and bottle, each priced provocatively. Ibiza Next Door also boasts a full bar and maintains more than 15 varieties of chilled champagne. All wines, including red, are served at cellar temperature. Ibiza Next Door is Houston’s first non-smoking lounge, although smoking is allowed on the outside patio.

Meticulously designed by architectural firm Collaborative Projects, Ibiza Next Door features a 15-foot European-inspired zinc bar and custom-built furniture and fixtures. The atmosphere is intimate yet unobtrusive, featuring exotic woods from around the world. The Lounge’s lush interior seats 75 among its serpentine banquets and chairs, while the outdoor patio allows an additional 25 to settle in the sleek Janus et Cie chairs and loveseats.

Ibiza Next Door is open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., and Sundays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. until 12 a.m.

2450 Louisiana, Houston TX, 77006

NEXT

NEXT revives nightclubbing to its essentials…the DJ and dancefloor.

Modeled after the exclusive upscale bars in New York’s meatpacking district, it’s a dance club offering private VIP areas.

With a concealed motif, the club is hidden in the warehouse district with no neon sign or clearly marked address.

2020 McKinney, Houston TX, 77003

Cova – West U

West U wine shop and tapas restaurant features accessible, hand-selected wines and an eclectic menu of New American and Latin dishes.

With a decidedly down-to-earth vibe, the folks at Cova make it easy to spend the day browsing through the well-stocked shelves, with more than 500 selections. Buy the whole bottle or sample by the glass or two-ounce taste. In the evenings, customers order from a menu of small and large tapas (raciones). Cold offerings include organic beef carpaccio and artisanal cheese plate. Braised oxtails with chipotle potato puree; seabass; and New Zealand lamb chops with a savory flan and pressed panini comprise the more substantial entrees.

The wine shop is open during the daytime, and offers cheese plates for sampling with wine. If you’re looking for dinner, the kitchen opens at 5pm.

Not in the mood or wine? The menu features a handful of beers, as well.

5600 Kirby Dr., Houston TX, 77005

Clarks/Notsuoh

Originally a clothing store dating back to the first half of last century, this is the only bar-clothing store on the globe. Part-owner Ziggy has plans to branch out into other major markets, including New York, but until then, this is the only happenin’ hot spot where an open tab can include a Ketel One and soda, a gin and tonic (Tanqueray is the well brand here), and a circa-’70s, butterfly-collar, leather waistcoat. Fashions are mostly vintage, yet some are reconstructed vintage, made extra hip for the discerning groovemaster and funkmistress.

On weekdays, the crowd is Gen X, dressed hip but casual. Lots of elbow room and brown corduroy. Weekends, mostly Gen Y, some Gen X, dressed in typical downtown chic. Though there’s barely room to breathe in this sea of black on black with silver accessories, brown corduroy is an effective way to stand out and look alienated.

Stop by during the week to avoid the body-on-body crowds of Friday and Saturday night. The personal attention you’ll receive is well-worth it. It occasionally results in special treatment or VIP status (Ziggy loves his regulars).

314 Main, Houston TX, 77002

Cecil’s Tavern

This wall-to-wall carpeted pub is the type of place where older brothers bring their younger brothers for their first pint. The dimly lit setting blends the atmospheres of a traditional English pub and a large study. The mood matches the bookish nature of most of the crowd. Whether they’re perusing the latest issue of the Press or a compendium of Rimbaud’s poetry, they’re introverted but eager to talk when approached.

A diverse working-class set vies for coveted space at the three pool tables. Dart boards are also available and easier to get a hold of. Off in the corner, couples snuggle on the large sectional couch. The jukebox may not be as good as it once was, but many still consider it the best in town–it spotlights local talent as well as established favorites.

Hours: Open Daily 4pm-2am

600 W Gray St, Houston TX, 77019

Agora

Greek-owned coffee shop and meeting place boasts a mix of European expats and low-key neighborhood regulars. The renovated house (which is sometimes on the smoky side) has ample tables and chairs with couches and conversation-starting tchotchkes scattered throughout. Up the steep staircase, cozy seating areas and a large-screen TV beckon. The selection of coffee drinks is vast and an assortment of wine and beer, and light menu items round out the offerings.

Agora offers gourmet coffees, imported ales & beers, a wide selection of wines, and delicacies including Greek yogurts and cheeses.

1712 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX, 77098

Christian’s Tailgate

This former convenience store draws lunchtime crowds of blue-collar workers and hungry downtowners. Fresh ground-chuck patties (never frozen) are stacked on six-inch buns toasted crispy around the edges and topped with mustard, mayo, onions, pickles, tomatoes and shredded lettuce. The dimly lit dining area has several TVs (all tuned to the game), a jukebox and pool table. Full bar.

Live music after 8pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. No cover. Tuesdays are open mic.

7340 Washington Ave, Houston TX, 77007

Eighteen Twenty

Located only a couple blocks from Minute Maid Park at the corner of Franklin and Hamilton, Eighteen Twenty is a nice spot for a pregame drink minus the hoo-ha of most sports bars. Small flat screen TVs dot the bar, allowing patrons to keep tabs on games without making them the center of attention. This isn’t the place for screaming sports nuts–this is more the place for friends to kick back in the black leather chairs and discuss the game in a civil manner. If you’re lucky, they’ll open the doorway to Joystix Classic Games and Pinball next door so you can practice your Ms. Pacman skills.

1820 Franklin A, Houston TX, 77002

Velvet Melvin Pub

Laidback and casual, this dark-paneled tavern draws college students, office workers and other easy-going locals.

Dish your work woes and gossip over the popular pizzas made in house. It’s Big Ass Beer Night each Wednesday. A 24-ounce beer is $1.75.
Live music keeps the place rocking, though the dance floor is small. The place fills on Thursdays when the Trey Clark Band jams.

The patio is the best spot, but inside there are soft sofas and plenty of bar stools. Take in a game of pool, or check out the variety video of games along the back wall. For golf arcade fans, Golden Tee 2004 was recently installed.

3303 Richmond Ave, Houston TX, 77098

HUSH Nightclub

The owners have spared no expense, evidenced by the huge dance floor, VIP skyboxes, 76 plasma-screen TVs, and monitors in every bathroom stall. Fifty feet of video screens above the main bar area and handcrafted Italian minibars contribute to the rich and decadent atmosphere. Stylistically, the main floor’s harsh stone setting gives off very little vibe, but carpets and section couches temper the second- and third-floor VIP and skybox areas with a more relaxed feel.

More down home than downtown, the crowd is an amalgam of Houstonians in their 20s and 30s. Platform dancers, resident DJs, and special big-name guests like Ashanti add to the energetic vibe. The sound system fills the cavernous main room, but it’s still difficult to clearly hear the lyrics over the music.

Three of the Rockets Big Bang Drummers walk around every Friday and Saturday with their djembi drums beating in time to the music.

Get a one-year VIP ($499), VIP Gold ($1,199), or Skybox ($5,000) membership, and you’ll never have to pay a cover or wait in line again.

15625 Katy Fwy, Houston TX, 77094

West Alabama Ice House

Pull up a tattered bar stool at the counter and watch the basketball game, or straddle one of those picnic tables set up on the east side of the bar. It’s all about the basics here; no drink specials, no food (except for hot dogs on Friday nights), and no live entertainment. The beer selection tends to focus on the usual standards (Bud, Coors, Miller), St. Arnold seasonal brews and a small wine selection.

Feel like picking up a game of hoops? There’s a smallish court with a basketball hoop in back, about 50 paces from the two porta-loos against the back fence.

1919 W Alabama St, Houston TX, 77098

Molly’s Pub

This Main Street pub mates Ireland of old with a younger, hipper downtown feel. A beautiful wooden facade and a wrought iron balcony initially greet visitors; inside, exquisite woodwork, hand-carved furniture, old portraits, armoires and a handcrafted bar distinguish the space. A pool table and dartboard keep sports enthusiasts occupied downstairs. Premium draught beers and Irish whiskeys are the main attraction. And, of course, Guinness, Harp, and Killian’s are always on tap.Open for lunch and dinner, the menu features Irish and international dishes such as Irish lamb stew, Ballycotton shepherd’s pie, Celtic egg rolls and fish and chips.

509 Main St, Houston TX, 77002

Howl at the Moon

Howl at the Moon is a highly successful dueling piano concept that has grown to eleven locations since its inception in 1990. By providing its customers with an outstanding entertainment experience reminiscent of the best of New Orleans, Howl at the Moon has attracted a diverse and loyal following in every market that it has entered. The focal point of the nightclub is a stage featuring a pair of baby grand pianos. The piano players are the ringmasters responsible for creating the excitement that characterizes a night at Howl at the Moon. These piano players are hand picked from the finest regional talent and are thoroughly trained to continually thrill and entertain the audience. Howl at the Moon strives to keep their shows fresh with a mainstream and recognizable format that allows their typical customer to sing along with 90% of the songs.

Howl at the Moon’s piano players take the stage two at a time. The entertainers play for one hour and then yield the stage to two new players. At the changeover, all four piano players stay on stage for what is known as a “four-way.” The four-way occurs at the end of each hour and lasts for two to three songs. This hourly encore allows the piano players to incorporate additional instruments (drums, guitar, and saxophone) into the performance. The four-way raises the energy of the room and provides a defined transition between the piano player shifts.

Additionally, during every hour the Howl at the Moon entertainers engage in “Showtime.” During this act, all Howl service employees join in and lead the audience through a choreographed routine to animated versions of popular tunes that include nostalgic TV shows and commercial jingles. The audience participation approaches 100% during Showtime and is enhanced by the high energy level of the live music.

Hours: Wed–Thu 7pm-2am, Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 7pm-2am

612 Hadley St., Houston TX, 77002

Vogue Lounge Houston

Trend-setting without being trendy, Vogue offers dedicated model service, a full-length bar and VIP entry. Dress code is cocktail attire (urban chic). Reservations are required for table seating but well worth it as bottle service arrives accompanied by sexy hostesses bearing blocks of ice and cocktail garnishes. In addition to the full-length bar, the spacious nightclub in a Galleria-area strip mall offers two private VIP areas with an oversized bed well-suited to lounging. DJ-spun house music sets the mood. Hours: Tue-Sun 10pm-2am

2800 Sage, Houston TX, 77056

Kona Grill

Sleek and stylish, Kona serves fine sushi and Pacific island-influenced dishes and cocktails to young professionals and Galleria shoppers.

Enjoy discounted prices on drinks and appetizers from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and again during “reverse happy hour” from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m.

The restaurant is inside The Galleria, but parking is available just below it by the old Lord & Taylor entrance.

5061 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX, 77056

Bond Lounge

Strut your stuff on the catwalk and get noticed or cozy up in a private corner with someone special; either way, you’re sure to have a night to remember. The music and scene evolves throughout the night: come early for a spot on the dance floor or hang late for throngs of sexy singles and amorous couples.

Never a cover charge allows more funds for splurge-worthy cocktails.

2700 Milam St, Houston TX, 77006

Salud! Winery

Brothers Brad and Charles Odom offer this small-batch winery and tasting room in a modern yet quaint style. Light food plates–mainly cheese, charcuterie, and breads–are offered.

3939 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX, 77006

Café Moustache

After nearly three years operating as SoVino Wine Bar & Bistro, co-owners Elizabeth Abraham and Manfred Jachmich have made the move to rebrand their Montrose-set biz as a laid-back French bistro dubbed Café Moustache.

Relaunched in mid-June 2010, Café Moustache turns away from stereotypical French haute cuisine in favor of popular French street fare under the guidance of native-Frenchman and chef Rudolf “Pierre” Merlin. Upon entering, the chic space, guests are greeted by the sounds of French music playing overhead, as well as the delicious smells wafting from the made-to-order creperie station. The new concept will also continue its predecessor’s commitment to wallet-friendly wine.

Patrons on the go can stop in for quick, counter-service-style ordering at lunchtime during the week, while the dinner atmosphere maintains a clear focus on soaking up quality time and conversations with friends, tableside.

507 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX, 77006

AvantGarden

The three-story historic venue still carries the same independent, artistic spirit as the once popular Helios, but the atmosphere is decidedly more laid-back and loungey than before. Upstairs, live music tends toward the acoustic with live jazz on Tuesdays, local acoustic performers on Thursdays, live salsa music with DJ Chris on Sundays, electronic music, and frequent performance arts events. A combo of furnishings and atmospheric touches adds to the intimate feel of the space. There’s another party scene on the patio.

The venue also remains a non-profit cultural arts organization, so expect plenty of local arts performances.

Celebrate mid week with DJ Sun’s Soular Lounge every Wednesday.

Book your next private party, birthday bash or business meeting in the space. Call to make reservations.

411 Westheimer, Houston TX, 77006

PK’s Blue Water Grill

The fact that owner Pat Kiley Jr. spent 16 years as the general manager of Goode Company Seafood should come as no surprise to locals who may recognize familiar favorites like Mexican seafood cocktail, smoky gumbos and mesquite-grilled snapper, redfish, flounder and halibut. Regional menu selections include a variety of salads, po’boys and platters, plus non-seafood entrees like the South Texas quail and sirloin. The family-friendly dining room is casual but well-suited to a special night out.

Enjoy food and drink discounts during happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

6401 Woodway Dr, Ste 105, Houston TX, 77057

Fitzgerald’s

Fitzgerald’s has undergone a lot of changes in its 20-plus years. Previously a blues and roots venue, its current incarnation is as a deliciously feral alternative-rock club for punks of all ages. Hosting the top local and national punk, alternative and metal acts, Fitzgerald’s is also a fantastic place for people-watching. Check out bigger acts upstairs while up-and-comers share the bill downstairs.

Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at the club Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm.

When it’s too hot inside, take a breather on the upstairs patio.

2706 White Oak Dr, Houston TX, 77007

House of Blues

House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. brought its definitive live music brand to downtown Houston as an integral addition to the ambitious Houston Pavilions project.

Designed as an extravagant multi-faceted entertainment destination and encompassing approximately 43,000 square feet, House of Blues Houston houses a multi-level Music Hall featuring national and local live entertainment, state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology, general admission dance floor, a seated balcony and seated boxes for private enjoyment. In addition to emerging artists of all genres, House of Blues clubs across the nation have hosted international touring artists and legends such as Prince, James Brown, John Mayer, Aerosmith, Dolly Parton, Joss Stone, Norah Jones, The Blues Brothers and countless others. Estimated capacity of the new Music Hall is 1,500.

The restaurant’s display kitchen offers artistic adaptations of traditional Southern-inspired cuisine, including House of Blues signature dishes such Creole Seafood Jambalaya, pan-seared Voodoo Shrimp with Rosemary Cornbread and White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. Several full-service bars throughout the venue concoct House of Blues specialty beverages and the famed House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch, a sumptuous buffet paired with inspiring live gospel performances, will be offered weekly beginning in 2009. A dedicated events space provides guests the opportunity to stage special events within the club.

In addition to the hand-painted interiors designed by House of Blues artisans, an estimated 350 pieces of original folk art have been installed throughout the club, hand-picked from House of Blues’ artifact warehouse located in New Orleans. With more than 5,000 pieces, House of Blues venues house one of the largest publicly displayed collections of outsider folk art in the U.S. The Company Store, a unique onsite retail shop stocking original gifts, music, clothing and House of Blues souvenirs, offers original folk art for purchase.

The exclusive Foundation Room has also been introduced to the Houston community. The private membership club offers members and their guests luxurious upscale dining and world-class hospitality amidst a lush décor and antiquities. A portion of the membership proceeds benefits the International House of Blues Foundation (IHOBF).

1204 Caroline Street, Houston TX, 77002

Drake, The

Owned by the people who own The Red Door and Sawyer Park, The Drake is a new bar/club addition to trendy Washington Ave. High ceilings and low lighting give this bar a fresh and modern feel.

The Drake is located across from the Corkscrew, close to Houston Ave. The actual entrance is on Center Street, which runs parallel to Washington.

1902 Washington Ave, Houston TX, 77007

Big Woodrow’s

Within Big Woodrow’s weathered boards and bayou-style exterior is an efficient operation that provides cold, affordable beer and some of the best Cajun bar food around. Big Woodrow’s, as it’s called, draws a business crowd during the week for happy hour and a raucous bunch of students and college alumni on big game days. Along with sports on more than 30 televisions, Woodrow’s adds live entertainment, karaoke on Thursdays, and TV trivia into the mix without compromising its sports-bar status.

Besides the weekly drink specials, Woodrow’s happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

3111 Chimney Rock, Houston TX, 77056

El Patio

When a well-aged waiter mumbles, “hot plate, very hot plate,” you’ve just connected with a half century of the city’s Tex-Mex history. While the decor is strictly old-school, in the tradition of red leather booths and bull fighter posters, the original El Patio location doesn’t feel tattered or dreary. And the off-the-lobby bar, jokingly called Club No Minors (referring to the legal posting on the door) has been one of southwest Houston’s more enduring party spots.

Fortunately, there’s more than nostalgia to enjoy. A first-rate plate of onion-y enchiladas with chili gravy makes you appreciate the classics. Combination plates are a value here, especially the cool plate (salad, tacos, chili con queso) and hot plate (tamales, enchiladas) duos like the deluxe. A chili relleno filled with cheese and shrimp strikes a modern note.

When Club No Minors is rocking, parking in the modest strip-center lot can be tough. Be prepared to walk a block or two or get valet service (available Thursday through Saturday evenings).

Happy hour features beer and margarita discounts from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weeknights and Beer of the Day is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

The pinata-decked party room can accommodate 100 guests for dinner of private events. Call for booking and catering information.

6444 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX, 77057

Status

Status is a location for individuals who meet the status of experiencing an extravagant and unique time in Houston’s night life. If you are privileged to experience Status, you will be indulged in Status’s three principal elements: I. Superb Customer Service II. Modern and High Quality Beverages III. Provide a modern, luxurious, and mesmerizing destination that is on a Status by itself. Status Is A Reflection Of You, Not Everyone Else.

2404 San Jacinto, Houston TX, 77002

Sky Club

Saturdays bring about a Latino flare at full force, with an eclectic mix of salsa, pop, and Spanish rock.

2710 Richmond Ave., Houston TX, 77098

Rich’s

With more than 17,000 square feet of club space, there’s ample dancing room for the crowds of 20-somethings who gravitate here on weekends. The club is broken down into three separate rooms with DJs in each: the Main Terminal (hip-hop, dance and R&B), the Dragonfly Lounge (progressive and tech house), and the Red Room (house and ’80s house).

2401 San Jacinto St, Houston TX, 77002

Firkin & Phoenix Pub

Firkin & Phoenix Pub is the newest British pub in Houston, offering guests a Firkin good time with good food, good pints, and good Firkin fun!

Happy Hour is 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
1915 Westheimer, Houston TX, 77098

Ovations

Ovations is one of the few places in town that has made it as a jazz club, thanks to the leadership of musician Paul English, who has appeared on albums by Tab Benoit and Eric Avinger. Avinger took over the club in 1998. English and booking manager Joe LoCascio, an accomplished musician and head of the Houston Community College jazz department, are dedicated to bringing the finest in local and national talent to their club; with resumes like theirs, there’s no way they could disappoint.

2536 Times Blvd, Ste B, Houston TX, 77005

Kay’s Lounge

More “Houston” than Houston itself, this self-described hole-in-the-wall is a haven for regular Joes and low-maintenance gals. Antique beer ads accumulated since the bar’s opening in 1939 adorn the walls and ceilings. A smattering of tables fills the front room while the rear of the bar allows for bigger crowds to gather. The outdoor beer garden provides even more room to relax. While only beer and wine are served, they allow patrons to bring their own liquor. Leave the shot glasses at home; they have plenty here. On Sundays and Mondays happy hour lasts all day — $2 domestic long-necks and $5 pitchers. Local music hero John Evans strums his acoustic country and honky-tonk ballads every Wednesday night.

2324 1/2 Bissonnet St, Houston TX, 77005

Kelvin Arms

Kelvin Arms opened its doors in December of 2000 and has been a fixture in the Rice Village ever since. It provides a casual and relaxed atmosphere for villagers and travelers from all over the world. With more than 20 beers on tap and over forty malt scotches, Kelvin Arms has libation to fit all concievable thirsts. Kelvin Arms takes its name from the Scottish mathematician and physicist Lord William Thompson Kelvin, who contributed to many branches of the sciences.

Occupying a former bank building near Rice University, Kelvin Arms serves up 20 beers on tap, plus more than 40 types of malt scotches and pub grub. The traditional pub setting features a shrine to famous Scotsman Sean Connery, a copy of the Scottish declaration of independence and a Scottish flag that was flown into space on the space shuttle. The old bank vault is a private party room, available by reservation.

2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston TX, 77005

Baker St. Pub & Grill

Baker St. Pub & Grill features a laidback atmosphere, lunch, dinner and late night menus, live music and a seemingly never-ending flow of imported ales. True to the tradition of English pubs, Baker Street offers a full pub menu with favorites like bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie.

It’s not just steak-and-pint night that attracts crowds at Baker’s Street, a handsome, convivial English pub. Every night seems to draw Rice students on study breaks, hip moms, dudes in surgical scrubs and all ages and professions in between. You want darts? Pool? Noise? You got it.

If heavy food is on your hit list, you’ve come to the right place. In the seafood department, catch fish ‘n chips, a generous portion of beer-battered Icelandic cod that’s sea-fresh but a tad greasy. Chips (fries) are snappy and suitably seasoned, served alongside a hefty, impressively grilled tuna steak sandwich or the pungent Stilton sirloin burger.

Dark-wood floors, Guinness paraphernalia and old prints of British socialites and sportsmen give the pub a decidedly English look and feel. There is a considerable selection of beers on tap including Guinness Stout, Boddington’s Pub Ale and Belhaven Ale.

Happy Hour is Monday – Saturday from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. and all day Sunday.

$1.75 Select Domestic Drafts
$1.75 Wells
$2.00 House Wine
$2.25 Select Calls
$2.75 Super Calls
$6.00 Select Domestic Pitchers

5510 Morningside, Ste 100, Houston TX, 77005

Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub

Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub features a laid-back atmosphere, generous meal portions, live music every night, and a seemingly never-ending flow of imported ales. All that, and there’s never a cover.

Happy Hour is Monday – Saturday 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
$1.75 Select Domestic Drafts
$2.00 Wells
$2.25 Select Calls
$2.75 Super Calls
$6.00 Select Domestic Pitchers
$2.00 House Wines

What more could a pub-goer want or need? Games, of course. Baker St offers pool, bar-top games, Golden Tee, and darts.

It’s not just steak-and-pint night that atracts crowds at Baker’s Street, a handsome, convivial English pub. Every night seems to draw students on study breaks, hip moms, and all ages and professions in between. Expect game diversions plus 20 beers on tap and some 50 boutique bottles. If heavy food is on your hit list, you’ve come to the right place; there’s a solid dinner menu that goes well beyond standard pub grub.

1952 W Gray St, Houston TX, 77019

Porch Swing Pub

With its great outdoor deck and its prime location near the corner of Heights and Washington and the 38 beers it offers on tap, the Porch Swing Pub aims to position itself as the Heights new neighborhood hangout.

Hours: Weekdays 3 p.m.-2 a.m. and weekends 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Hours will soon expand to 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Happy hour is 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

69 Heights Blvd, Houston TX, 77007

Pearl Bar

One of Washington Avenue’s newest tenants is new beer garden/bar Pearl Bar. The Montrose/Heights crowd flocks to Pearl Bar to consume the bar’s namesake — Pearl beer. Located behind what once was Mary Jane’s on Washington Ave, Pearl Bar has laid-back ice house vibe with a few picnic tables scattered about, along with low-tech games like ping-pong and hula-hooping.

4216 Washington Ave, Houston TX, 77007

Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park, The

The Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s newest outdoor entertainment venue featuring performances from national recording artists across all genres of music, as well as high-profile festivals and special events.

7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston TX, 77064

Pandora

A newbie to the Washington Avenue bar scene, Pandora attracts local celebrities, sports icons and even actors like Reese Witherspoon looking for VIP treatment and great dancing. DJ Red spins on Wednesday and Saturday nights, drawing a huge dancing crowd.

1815 Washington Ave, Houston TX, 77007

Etro Lounge

This popular new lounge gives off a free-spirit vibe with its unique music mix of techno, 80’s and Indian sitar sounds, thus attracting an eclectic following of punkers, musicians, gallery owners, socialites and nearby River Oaks residents. The quaint two story bar is the perfect meeting ground of local Montrose residents and midtown club goers. From tattoo artists to fake tans, this place provides a comfortable setting to mingle with those you typically wouldn’t. A dimly lit drinking establishment, it’s decorated with art that one could only assume was inspired by the film Alien. DJs spin records that run the gauntlet from classic 80’s club songs to the latest indie sounds. You might catch some folks dancing on a Friday but this lounge is more geared towards head nodding.

1424 Westheimer, Houston TX, 77006

Mo’s…A Place for Steaks

The restaurant’s overall philosophy is unmatched quality and service, seeking perfection in the minutia and creating a customized dining experience. Mo’s…A Place for Steaks is a classic steakhouse in a league by itself. Offering their famous tableside meat presentation of premium steaks and chops, Mo’s also has chicken and several fresh fish selections. Founder Johnny Vassallo emphasizes the memorable experience that the restaurant provides. “It’s all about the customized guest experience”, says Vassallo, “and it’s that experience that keeps them coming back. We build our business one hand shake at a time.” Mo’s…A Place for Steaks seats 295 patrons and offers extensive bar seating, two private dining areas, a piano bar and a heated/air-conditioned large patio. Ken Arnone, who is one of only 61 master chefs in the world, has developed the menu selections for Mo’s…A Place for Steaks. The restaurant also features a wide selection of over 300 international and domestic wines, as well as award-winning appetizers and deserts. Matt Brice, formerly of Ruth’s Chris Manhattan, serves as the Operation Partner for the Houston location. Restaurant Hours: Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 5 p.m.– 12 a.m. Sunday: Open for special occasions The Lounge: Monday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. Valet parking reservations are suggested.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau Member

1801 Post Oak Blvd, Ste 1E, Houston TX, 77056

Becks Prime Sportatorium

Becks Prime is proud to announce the opening of their newest location: the Becks Prime Sportatorium, a full service sports bar located in the Memorial City Mall (Sears wing/facing Gessner). At the Sportatorium, you’ll find the same high quality mesquite-grilled dishes you’ve come to expect, plus appetizers such as buffalo wings, fried pickles, jalapeño poppers, and onion rings. Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.

514 Memorial City Way, Houston TX, 77024

Houston Pavilions

Description:

1201 Fannin St, Suite 325, Houston TX, 77002

El Patio – Midtown

When a well-aged waiter mumbles, “hot plate, very hot plate,” you’ve just connected with a half century of the city’s Tex-Mex history. While the decor is strictly old-school, in the tradition of red leather booths and bull fighter posters, the original El Patio location doesn’t feel tattered or dreary. And the off-the-lobby bar, jokingly called Club No Minors (referring to the legal posting on the door) has been one of southwest Houston’s more enduring party spots.

Fortunately, there’s more than nostalgia to enjoy. A first-rate plate of onion-y enchiladas with chili gravy makes you appreciate the classics. Combination plates are a value here, especially the cool plate (salad, tacos, chili con queso) and hot plate (tamales, enchiladas) duos like the deluxe. A chili relleno filled with cheese and shrimp strikes a modern note.

Happy hour features beer and margarita discounts from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weeknights and Beer of the Day is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

The pinata-decked party room can accommodate 100 guests for dinner of private events. Call for booking and catering information.

2416 Brazos, Houston TX, 77006

Cedar Creek

The Onion “Creek” family has opened a third coffee house/bar /lounge-type spot in the Heights, called Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek gives off a cozy log cabin feel, complete with a wood burning fireplace. Similar to its sister hangouts, Onion Creek and Dry Creek, its a great place to have a few beers, watch a game or grab a quick bite to eat. They offer coffee & tea like the other Creeks, and an ever larger beer on tap selection

1034 W 20th St, Houston TX, 77008

Cielo Mexican Bistro

Cielo Mexican Bistro offers Main Street an exciting version of modern Mexican food. Owner/Chef Youssef Nafaa has created a concept that tempts with all the traditional flavors and spices of Mexico, but uses them in a daring menu perfectly created for bistro dining. Poblano-glazed sea scallops, open-faced tamales and chili-glazed pork ribs are a few of the culinary adventures on Cielo’s imaginative menu.

A big focus is on Cielo’s margaritas, bar specials and very reasonably priced menu items. This restaurant also offers outside dining. Cielo is open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday and dinner on Saturday.

300 Main St., Houston TX, 77002

Absinthe Restaurant Lounge

The menu is surprisingly gourmet, with snacks like smoked salmon carpaccio and homemade thin crust pizzas. Drinks are more bourgeois, including bottled beer and standard well drinks. Wednesdays are B.Y.O.C.D. (Bring Your Own CD) night, where patrons are welcomed to play selections from their own music collection. Food is served until 2AM nightly.

609 Richmond Avenue, Houston TX, 77006

Tasting Room Wine Cafe – River Oaks

Come see why The Tasting Room was voted Best Wine Bar by Playboy Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Houston Press, and Citysearch users.

The Tasting Room is a casual but elegant neighborhood non-smoking wine cafe. The young, hospitable owners will greet you by name at this hip wine bar tucked away in a European-style shopping center. Green wine bottle lights dangle overhead, and a magnificent, massive mirror anchors the bar. Industrial-chic touches like concrete floors and a lofty ceiling mix with large, heavy wooden community tables and wine shelves trimmed in edgy stained-glass.

Expect a discriminating 30- to 40-something crowd of well-heeled couples, casual girl groups, and big-spender wine geeks.

Enjoy live jazz every Thursday 7pm – 10pm. Enjoy hand-selected “boutique” wines by the glass, bottle or case. Try the artisinal cheese plate and pates while you relax in comfort to the sultry sounds of jazz; then take a bottle of your favorite red, white ,or sparkling home.

2409 West Alabama St., Houston TX, 77098

Lucky’s Pub

Conveniently located just blocks from the George R. Brown Convention Center, Minute Maid and the Toyota Center, Lucky’s Pub is Houston best sports bar!

801 St. Emanuel, Houston TX, 77003

Antidote

Cozy cafe in the heart of the Heights serving coffee, beer, wine and pastries. Free Wi-Fi. Opened 6:30 a.m. – midnight, 7 days a week.

729 Studewood, Houston TX, 77007

Usual Pub, The

After stints operating as a massage parlor, a questionable spa biz and a gambling club, the nondescript, brown building right off of Washington, near TC Jester, has now been transformed into a casual, neighborhood bar dubbed The Usual. Set in the Heights, The Usual provides an eclectic, post-college clientele with a casual, no-frills dive to kick back in, listen to music and enjoy a solid beer selection.

Inside, the interior is small and cozy, with five smaller, sectioned off rooms perfect for lounging and playing a round of darts. There’s also a small stage nearby that plays host to weekly karaoke night performances and a dog-friendly patio space outside with picnic table seating.

While you’re there, try out one of The Usual’s more than 60 types of beer, including hard-to-find varieties and locally-produced craft brews like Southern Star Bombshell Blonde and Saint Arnold’s Elissa IPA.

5519 Allen St, Houston TX, 77007

Anvil Bar & Refuge

It didn’t take long for Anvil Bar & Refuge to make an impression on the Houston nightlife scene. Set on the eclectic Westheimer Curve, the biz is known for it’s top-shelf sips made with hand-pressed juices, house-made bitters, simple syrups, ginger beer and herbal infusions. The bar also gets kudos for presentation, serving up perfectly-prepared concoctions in vintage glassware scored from several local thrift stores.

Have a question about Anvil? Ask your bartender, because the guys mixing up those Manhattans are the same ones managing the Montrose-set biz. They’ll be happy to explain why the egg white that’s dropped into the shaker is the classic preparation of any good “Fizz” cocktail, the history of the bourbon they’re pouring or the story behind a drink’s origin.

Of course, wisdom comes from experience. Managing partners Robert Heugel, Kevin Floyd and Justin Burrow all spent time behind the bars of well-known Houston hotspots like Monica Pope’s Beaver’s Barbecue, Scott Tycer’s Textile and Gravitas, as well as Rice Village’s Benjy’s.

In their newest gig, they run the show inside a converted 1950s-era Firestone tire store, which they revamped using recycled materials, vintage fixtures and found items. The end product is an invit

1424 Westheimer Rd., Houston TX, 77006

Grooves Restaurant & Lounge

Welcome to Grooves Restaurant & Lounge, Houston’s premiere dining, catering, events and entertainment venue. Grooves offers a mood and experience like no other, its sleek design allows our guests to enjoy great food, good music and live entertainment. Our management team has put together a professional staff to create a memorable experience for our patrons while at Grooves.

The red and black decor of the VIP room with its Victorian Walls projects a classy mood of elegance. Enjoy the comfort of the executive contemporary seating, with an exclusive view of the restaurant. The Owner’s Lounge is for the suave and debonair guests of owners. The stage and the acoustic sound engineering is a theatrical Sanctuary to every performer. With a capacity that holds over 500 people, Grooves represents a perfect and unique environment for corporations to entertain guests. Please stop by and let our professional wait staff take care of you and experience the fine cuisine put together by our team of chefs.

Looking for an upscale, sophisticated and comfortable environment, with a warm and friendly ambience? Look no further….Grooves is the place.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau – Member

2300 Pierce Street, Houston TX, 77003

Manor

Just adjacent to a Jack in the Box—on Washington Avenue’s West End—is the single-story, unobtrusive, blink-and-you’ll-miss it building that belongs to Manor. Outside, the 5,000-square-foot lounge looks anything but glam, but just past the velvet ropes it’s a whole different story.

Inside, crystal chandeliers and a bordello-chic mix of red and black décor gives Manor its sexy ambiance. There’s a DJ spinning the Top 100 and some hip-hop mash-ups. Moving past the suede bottle-service-reserved couches in the main area, into the back room, there’s a king-sized VIP suite with an exclusive entrance, candlelit walls, fireplace and flat screen gaming system for Corridor kids hoping to fly under the radar.

Through the back door, on the spacious back patio, Manor introduces guests to its laid-back personality. Inside, the club scene dominates, but outside things are low-key, as tired patrons prepare to send out the night from a much-deserved post.

4819 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Nox

The Miami-style, 6,500-square-foot spot includes a glassed-in, minimalistic VIP area where reservation-making, dressed-to-impress lovlies pose prettily, perched on curvy pink furniture (or, you know, beds) and indulge in bottle service. Rather get down than bunk up? DJs crank out Top-40, rock and hip-hop in the main room’s high-energy dance floor, which is surrounded by back-lit circular booths. Just off the Dali-esque heart-shaped bar, there’s 1,000 square feet of bathroom space.

4701 Nett Street, Houston TX, 77007

Vintage Lounge

The club has plush sofas and Moroccan throw pillows on the front porch and cabana-style seating on the sprawling back patio. The cushy new look now attracts more young professionals than club kids, without sacrificing dance-friendly energy.

2108 Kipling St., Houston TX, 77098

Ei8ht

Join the pretty people—when the evening turns to night—at Michael Paolucci’s Ei8ht bar. The LED-happy dance club, which opened last spring, is filled with polished-wood, red accents and a sexy crowd looking for a wild night on the town.

The multi-level interior offers several spots to enjoy bottle service and people watching, as well as sectioned-off areas that give groups a sense of privacy in an otherwise airy room. Stake claim on one of the red banquettes that surround the dance floor and jam to pop music played by the house DJ. Between songs, head upstairs for a birds-eye-view of Washington Avenue from the second-floor balcony or, just out front, there’s a chill al fresco space where you can find flirty singles sipping on fruit-filled cocktails.

Get there early enough to avoid the crowd and in time to sample some of Ei8ht’s tasty tuna nachos and paninis, which are served until 10PM.

5102 Washington Ave, Houston TX, 77007

Dean’s Credit Clothing – Montrose

After years spent serving Downtown hipsters and indie kids, Dean’s Credit Clothing has expanded the retro-cool biz to a second location in Montrose.

While the new spot doesn’t offer thrift-store finds and vintage clothing like its Main Street sibling, it does have monthly art exhibits, fashion shows, poetry readings and those signature Frozen Cosmos that keep loyal patrons coming back for more.

In Dean’s modern reincarnation, low-slung furniture and funky artwork fill the warehouse-like space, while a curved, wooden bar adds some warmth. There are also 1930s-era sales ledgers taken from the original Dean’s Credit Clothing that adorn bathroom walls and doors.

Outside, on the patio, hipsters relax on rattan chairs, while umbrellas provide a welcome respite from the hot Houston sun.

Stop by for extended happy hour everyday from 5PM-9PM.

315 Fairview St., Houston TX, 77006

Block 7 Wine Company

Part restaurant, part retail wine shop, Block 7 brings Heights’ residents a relaxed spot to enjoy vino and indulge in light bites. Set just off Washington Avenue, in a former appliance warehouse, Block 7 opened in summer 2009 and has been drawing a hipster crowd ever since.

Within the venue’s 8,000-square-foot space is a 35-foot tasting bar, a full-service dining space and a retail wine warehouse. Along the walls, look for an always-changing assortment of paintings and portraits created by local artists. Head inside the climate-controlled store to peruse Block 7’s always-changing selection of more than 500 varieties of vino from around the world. (Even better, the bottles are sold in the restaurant for the same price.)

Stop by for innovative variations on classics like truffle popcorn, venison sloppy joes and flatbread pizzas, as well as weekly wine tastings and live music.

720 Shepherd Dr, Houston TX, 77007

Gallant Knight, The

The Gallant Knight laid its foundation on Holcombe in 1973 as a rickety old juke joint, not much larger than a small house, where local soul acts could hone their chops and local soul lovers could whet their whistles. In 2006 the little ol’ soul shack that forged so many fantastic memories was closed and a wrecking ball came to visit not long thereafter. Yet the Gallant Knight has opened again after three long years. The old location on Holcombe is long gone, but the spirit of the place has been uplifted into a new place in Rice Village, on the corner of Bissonnet, near the Kirby.

2511 Bissonnet, Houston TX, 77005

Washington Ave Drinkery

Sandwiched between Walter’s on Washington and the see-and-be-scene at Reign Lounge is The Drinkery. The building that most recently operated as the neighborhood-friendly Daily Grind Coffeehouse has been revamped into a beer joint for fresh-faced professionals.

The space that was once filled with tables and hungry Heights residents is now an open area with random drinking quotes painted atop cheery, yellow-washed walls. There, singles dance and mingle throughout the spacious room, as a DJ spins 90s party favorites like Baby Got Back and Whoomp! There It Is.

In between dancing and drinking, enjoy crispy pizza like the Margherita Romana or the Roasted Garlic Pesto pie topped in fresh tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese. And, on select nights, lucky patrons can nab sirloin sliders on the wraparound patio, where party people take a time out.

Tip: Get there early to get one of the free (and primo!) parking spots available to Drinkery patrons.

4115 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Sawyer Park

Sports buffs recently found a sleek, high-end lounge to catch the game when Sawyer Park opened on Washington Avenue.

Inside the two-story venue, beer-bottle chandeliers hang from the ceiling, plasma TVs line the walls and polished wood accents dress up the space. Between innings, pool tables, arcade games and themed Bada Bingo nights keep the crowd entertained. Winners of the weekly bingo games can take home prizes (shirts, hats, collectables), food and tickets to sporting events.

Upstairs, Sawyer features a 20-person club house room that can be reserved for private events or for specific games. It’s just steps away from the roof top patio, where thirty-something young professionals nosh on quesadillas and tuna nachos underneath a butterfly roof. There, they can take in sweeping views of downtown Houston and order frozen mojitos and sweet tea vodka from the patio’s large, circular bar or kick back on one of the couches.

2412 Washington Avenue, Houston TX, 77007

Tintos Spanish Restaurant and Wine Bar

Dig into a mix of traditional and modern cuisine at Tintos Spanish Restaurant and Wine Bar. The biz, situated behind La Madeleine in the River Oaks Shopping Center, mixes classic paella chock-full of seafood, chicken and chorizo with tempting tapas like the Esparragos Blancos con Jamon—a white asparagus cloaked in Serrano ham and crowned in a melon-honey glaze.

Outside, there’s a patio equipped with cooling fans for hot Houston evenings and fountains that camouflage the bustle of Shepherd Drive. Tintos also has a hearty selection of wines from Spain and other far-reaching spots, as well as weekend brunches with live music.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau – Member since 2009

2015 West Gray, Suite J, Houston TX, 77019

Lucky Strike Lanes

After several delays, antsy party people are finally getting a Lucky Strike Lanes in Houston. The nation’s first truly upscale bowling lounge is slated to open in downtown’s Houston Pavilions development in September 2009, next door to the House of Blues.

The space—just next door to the House of Blues—combines retro elements, modern décor and state-of-the-art technology. Look for artwork from rising-star artists to be projected on floor-to-ceiling video screens and, in the oh-so-private Luxe Lounge, customers can bowl while watching short, 3-D films.

In between games, enjoy a menu loaded with everything from coconut shrimp and tuna lollipops to crispy pizzas and Lucky’s famous sausage burger.

1201 San Jacinto Street, Houston TX, 77002

Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar

Planted on the third floor of downtown’s Houston Pavilions development, next door to the House of Blues, is Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar—one of the area’s newest high-energy, nightlife additions. The laid-back Austin-import set up shop in July 2009, welcoming patrons for hours of interactive, singing, clapping and musical entertainment.

Each Tuesday through Saturday night, Pete’s comes alive onstage as piano players put their talent to the test, facing off on a pair of baby grand pianos. But this isn’t your mom’s piano recital. Here, Beethoven is traded in for Blink-182, Bon Jovi and The Beatles, along with audience-submitted selections from every other era imaginable.

Remember that waiter taking drink orders? Keep an eye out, because they’ll probably join the pianists later for on-stage sing-a-longs and dance parties. Oh, and heads up future Pete’s guest: The staff is known for luring unsuspecting audience members onstage for impromptu performances and blush-inducing games.

1201 Fannin St., Ste. 310, Houston TX, 77002

Maple Leaf Pub

Our neighbor to the north has a special home in H-Town at the Maple Leaf Pub. Owned by a hockey-loving husband-and-wife team, the Midtown-set bar draws sports fanatics and young professionals hoping to catch the Calgary Flames game—NFL, college and NBA games get airtime here, too—on one of Maple Leaf’s six plasma TVs.

Hockey paraphernalia (jerseys, autographed flare and photos) adorn the walls, but the real pièce de résistance has to be the pub’s penalty box, where unruly patrons are invited to take a time out. And to keep patrons entertained between periods, Maple Leaf offers free Wi-Fi, dart boards and a hearty selection of classic board games including Connect Four, Scrabble and Chutes & Ladders.

The pub offers a solid mix of draft beers like Stella, Woodchuck and Labatt, as well as several bottled varieties of Canadian, Texan and American brews. Stop by for daily happy hour, drink specials and a tempting steak night on Thursday nights.

514 Elgin St., Houston TX, 77006

Dubliner, The

Quietly perched across the street from the buzzy nightlife scene filling the dancefloor at the Pearl Bar is Washington Avenue’s newest (and only) Irish bar—The Dubliner. The space—formerly home to Chaise Lounge—is unassuming for the most part. If not for the bright green, orange and white neon sign hanging above the Dubliner’s front door, one might never notice the bar.

Inside the dimly-lit spot, laid-back Heights’ residents mingle with hipsters that have opted to avoid the chaos of the Corridor’s club scene. An eclectic soundtrack—think Violent Femmes, Nirvanna and Brit alt-rockers Arctic Monkeys—fills the venue with the help of patron-made picks on the digital jukebox.

The back patio—perhaps the Dubliner’s most beloved feature—is packed with tile-topped tables and metal beer signs which adorn the fence. Outside, guests savor pints of Guiness beneath a star-lit sky. Be warned: The patio is prime real estate here, so get a table early. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

4219 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Taps House of Beer

Taps House of Beer isn’t the kind of place that a person could overlook. After all, a giant, eye-catching whiskey-barrel shaped door marks the front of the Washington Avenue-set building.

Inside, there’s a bar with 93 beers on tap—a welcome relief to the thirsty, young professionals filling the place. Join them as they sip on pints of Stella or grab a tower to share with your soon-to-be new friends. (FYI, a “tower,” for those not up on their bar speak, is a tall, beer pitcher with spigots that makes DIY service much easier!)

Seating options abound here, so kick-back on one of the deli-style chairs, tables or sofas that fill the interior, or score a picnic table-seat on the patio. Stop by for a quick shuffleboard game and happy hour specials or to cheer on the home team when Taps broadcasts the latest games.

5121 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Lot, The

Don’t be misled by the name. Washington Avenue patrons aren’t going to find a parking space at The Lot. No, but what they will find at this cozy neighborhood watering hole is an unpretentious, come-as-you-are spot perfect for happy hour drinks and game time on the flat screens.

Perched alongside Pearl Bar, The Lot draws a loyal following thanks to stellar drink specials and an anything-goes attitude. They keep things simple here. Concrete floors, cinderblock walls, garage doors that open up to the patio. It’s not a lot of flash, but that’s exactly why Lot customers like it.

On nights that there isn’t live music or a DJ spinning, a digital jukebox pumps an eclectic mix of audience-selected songs throughout the bar. Oh, and if you see the taco truck parked outside, don’t be a stranger. The late-night, beef-filled bites are not to be missed.

4212 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Reign Lounge

Push past the clipboard-wielding bouncer guarding Washington Avenue’s new Reign ultralounge and enter a sexy, softly-lit space where pretty young things go for wild nights on the town. The contemporary, two-story club features a crystal chandelier-clad space downstairs and a well-placed patio upstairs overlooking the buzzy Corridor scene.

House DJs play high-energy dance music for well-heeled patrons that don’t mind paying a premium for bottle service sparklers and a strict dress code. (Read: No tennis shoes, baseball hats, tees, etc.) Find them dancing late into the night to a mix of techno, hip hop, old-school mash-ups and Top 40 beats.

On the upper deck, guests can score an al fresco seat on Miami-white style couches or keep tabs on the line forming out front of the 6,000-square-foot stucco building. Stop by for cocktails Wednesday through Saturday, but get there early to avoid the line.

4105 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Restaurant RDG + Bar Annie

After decades serving socialites and well-heeled clientele at the Galleria-area Café Annie, Chef Robert del Grande has opted for a change up. In late June 2009, the founding father of Southwestern cuisine shuttered the famous Cafe Annie restaurant, only to reopen a new, reinvigorated version weeks later just down the road.

In his new two-story spot, del Grande opts for a more casual, club-like atmosphere where he brings three restaurant venues together in one space. On the first floor, guests can enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at BLVD Lounge, before moving upstairs to Bar Annie, a wildly successful concept imported from the original Cafe Annie. There’s also a more traditional sit-down dining space, Restaurant RDG, on the second floor, offering guests prime steaks and seafood.

Expect a menu loaded with a mix of newly developed dishes, revamped culinary creations, as well as favorites like the tortilla soup and coffee-crusted filet mignon resuced from Café Annie and Bar Annie.

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston TX, 77056

Darkhorse Tavern

Situated in a narrow 1920s-era space, near Washington Avenue’s Catalina Coffee, Darkhorse Tavern is a dimly-lit, no-fuss neighborhood bar that’s popular with come-as-you-are Heights-area residents.

Inside, the building’s historic charm shines through with original pressed-tin ceilings, mica lamps and an old oak bar. There are dartboards in back, a 42-inch plasma hanging on the wall and a digital jukebox playing an eclectic soundtrack for the laid-back crowd. Through the back door, there’s an unobtrusive patio and a small parking lot, hidden away from the Washington Avenue hipster scene.

Head there for specials like Premium Pint Tuesdays and $3 Bloody Mary Sundays. (FYI, Darkhorse is often praised for its spicy rendition of the classic tomato-and-vodka concoction.) The spot also hosts daily happy hours from 4-7PM.

2207 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Tall Texan

The Tall Texan is where you go when you want a beer. Well, not just any beer, but Lone Star or Shiner. That’s all The Tall Texan serves. One dollar and fifty cents gets you about 20 ounces of ice cold Lone Star or Shiner Bock served in a giant glass goblet pulled straight from a fridge.

4904 Main St., Houston TX, 77009

Blur Bar

Shake it all-night-long at Montrose’s LGBT-friendly Blur Bar. The two-story contemporary dance club—which is just around the corner from South Beach and JR’s—is popular for its stellar mix of high-energy hip-hop, Top 40 and Latin music.

Downstairs, revelers party on the packed dance floor as pretty young things take to the poles, ramping up Blur’s overall sex appeal. When you’re ready for a break, snag a seat at one of the booths, which are sprinkled throughout the interior or venture upstairs where partygoers can kick back in the lounge. For some fresh air, head to the second-floor balcony, offering the crowd prime people-watching along busy Pacific Street.

Stop by on Wednesdays for no cover and drink specials, all night long. Ages 18 and up are welcome, too.

710 Pacific St., Houston TX, 77006

611, The

Win your way into the heart of 611 regulars and you’ll be set at this Montrose gay bar. Although the crowd can be a bit territorial, the spot itself—which is actually a renovated house—offers a fun spot for pool games, buffet dinners on the weekends and a busy happy hour.

611 Hyde Park Blvd., Houston TX, 77006

Tony’s Corner Pocket

Just outside the gayborhood, near Downtown, Tony’s Corner Pocket draws a loyal crowd for local charity performances, themed nights and amateur strip shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the raised stage.

817 W. Dallas St., Houston TX, 77019

Club 2020

Located downtown, inside a historic art deco movie theater, Club 2020 has catered to Houston’s gay club scene since first opening in late 2006.

2020 Leeland, Houston TX, 77004

EJ’s

Located near Montrose’s Dunlavy and Westheimer intersection, behind Buffalo Exchange, EJ’s is a GLBT-friendly neighborhood spot known for its big bar, two-level patio space and amateur strip nights.

2517 Ralph St., Houston TX, 77006

Boheme

Charm and old-world accents abound at Houston native Morgan Holleman’s Montrose-set Boheme Café & Wine Bar. The unpretentious, laid-back spot is popular with nearby residents and the post-college crowd that come for happy hour specials, free WiFi and live jazz music.

The cozy space—a refurbished, historical building—features exposed brick walls, restored steel-frame windows and light fixtures Holleman imported from Europe. There’s also a sleek wraparound bar, couches, a funky wine bottle chandelier and artwork by local rising-star artists. Outside, ample patio spaces give guests a welcoming place to relax and take in the owner’s collection of African sculptures.

Stop by for wallet-friendly frozen mojitos, house-made sangria and light bites, as well as weekly events and art openings.

307 Fairview, Houston TX, 77006

Capone’s Bar & Oven

Finally, it appears the 4304 Westheimer curse has been broken. After a string of failed business concepts at the address, the Highland Village-set Capone’s Bar & Oven shows no signs of slowing down.

4304 Westheimer Rd., Houston TX, 77027

Saint Dane’s

Set in Midtown’s former Late Nite Pie location, Saint Dane’s has traded in the pizza for Plasma TVs and a well-stocked menu full of deliciously sinful fried fare.

The biz opened in 2008 and young professionals have happily flocked to the open-air neighborhood haunt ever since. Stop by for well-priced beverages, watch parties, easy-on-the-eyes wait staff and live acoustic music on Friday evenings. If Saint Dane’s name wasn’t enough indication, the laid-back spot is also dog-friendly, so don’t be scared to bring the pup along.

Check out the website for details on daily specials like the always-popular $10 Monday Steak Night where guests can score a ribeye and home-style sides like green beans, cream corn and mashed potatoes and $1 Taco Tuesdays. Be sure to save room for dessert, because the real winner around here is the oh-so-decadent, batter-kissed fried oreos paired with vanilla ice cream.

502 Elgin St., Houston TX, 77006

Hearsay Gastro Lounge

Situated in downtown’s historic W.L. Foley Building, Hearsay Gastro Lounge opened in October 2009, bringing a fresh focus to a site that once served as a Confederate armory during the Civil War. The recently-renovated spot features a massive ceiling three-stories-high, original brick walls and crystal chandeliers.

Owned by former Ibiza and Catalan investor Rhea Wheeler and his two business partners, Hearsay serves upscale pub grub in grown-up style. Think: Warm-baked Goat Cheese Salad and Mahi-Mahi Tacos with fresh pico de gallo, spicy habanera sauce and southwestern mango slaw.

Hearsay also boasts a hearty beverage menu with a solid whiskey, wine and bubbly selection, as well as St. Arnold’s and Ziegenbock beer on draft. Try one of the lounge’s signature cocktails like The Twelve Spot—a nod to the bar’s previous tenant—which blends bourbon, fresh-squeeze orange juice and a dash of Rose’s Lime.

218 Travis St., Houston TX, 77002

Red Room

Restaurateur-turned-developer Beau Theriot—the brain behind Tex-Mex mainstay Cafe Adobe and Austin’s Oasis restaurant—has revamped his H-Town portfolio with the addition of the Red Room lounge.

Set above Theriot’s former Brownstone restaurant, Red Room brings River Oaks residents a relaxing place for specialty sips and occasional live music performances. The conversation-friendly spot—which is washed in a rich red and onyx palette—has a 1920s burlesque vibe aided in part, by soft lighting and plush seating.

Indulge in a white chocolate martini, bottle of bubbly or make a selection from Red Room’s signature drink list, which pays homage to nearby neighbors. There’s the John Staub Side Car, Boulevard Bellini, Willowick White Chocolate and Kirby Key Lime with vanilla vodka, fresh lime and cream. The spot is open Tuesday through Saturday until 2AM and midnight on Sundays.

2736 Virginia St., Houston TX, 77098

Zimm’s Martini & Wine Bar

Situated in Houston’s hip Museum District, Zimms Martini & Wine Bar has been drawing a loyal crowd since opening in 1994. The much-loved lounge attracts the professional set that return for a well-made martini and to escape the long work week.

4321 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX, 77006

CityCentre

West Houston’s Memorial-area continues to grow with the arrival of the long-awaited CityCentre development. Located at the Interstate 10 & Beltway 8 interchange—adjacent to Town & Country Village—the pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development opened in fall 2009, to the delight of nearby residents.

Set in the former Town & Country Mall location, the 37-acre, contemporary community blends retail, restaurant, office space, luxury living and nightlife in an open-air environment. Among the growing list of style-savvy tenants are a 244-room Hotel Sorella, three-story Life Time Athletic, state-of-the-art Norris Conference Center and nine-screen cinema.

Hip restaurants like RA Sushi, Yard House, Eddie V’s, The Straits and Alex Brennan-Martin’s Café Rose and Bistro Alex were some of the first on the stellar culinary scene, while Anthropologie and Eye Couture added to the retail side.

Look for other notable names including Brio, Ruggles Green and Cyclone Anayas to join the tenant line-up in 2010.

800 W. Sam Houston Pkwy., Houston TX, 77024

Flat, The

Blink and you’ll miss it. Seriously. Hidden away in Montrose, near the intersection of Waugh and West Gray, The Flat is a much-loved neighborhood lounge that’s popular with the inner-loop’s laid-back, alternative crowd.

Set in a converted, retro-cool house, The Flat draws a diverse mix that come to hear the DJ spin house music, sip on the lounge’s famous frozen Mojitos and catch up with friends after a long workday. Inside, swank décor reigns supreme, with low slung furniture and dim lighting filling the space. Outside, there’s a conversation-friendly patio for those looking to escape the sometimes-overpowering soundtrack.

Know before you go: Parking is limited, grab the first spot you find on the adjacent streets. Feeling hungry? The drinkery serves up tasty light bites like Jamaican Empanadas, crispy pizzas and Vietnamese egg rolls.

1701 Commonwealth St., Houston TX, 77006

Bronx Bar

The third Bronx Bar location in Houston joined Washington’s energetic party scene in late summer 2009. There, smartly-dressed, fresh-faced college kids flock for wild nights filled with DJ-spun hip-hop, rock and pop music, moderately-priced drinks and views of Washington Avenue.

Unlike the other Bronx Bar incarnations, the Heights-set spot is the first to have a full kitchen—much to the delight of its hungry patrons. The menu remains small, but packs a tasty punch offering Fire House fries and lightly-battered chicken fingers they’ve playfully dubbed ‘Strippers.’ There are also unexpected additions like the hearty Brazilian Sandwich packed with grilled flank steak, sautéed peppers, onions and a tangy chimchurri sauce.

Watch the game on one of Bronx’s TVs or relax at one of the tables al fresco and take advantage of Monday-through-Friday happy hour specials.

4520 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Valentino

The Galleria-area’s Hotel Derek has revamped its restaurant lineup with the West Coast-born Valentino restaurant. Set in the spot that most recently served as the home to Bistro Moderne, has traded in upscale French fare for modern Italian cuisine in a stylishly-revamped space.

The dual-concept restaurant, conceived by Piero Selvaggio and award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini, is divided into two distinctively different dining environments. There’s Valentino, an intimate, fine dining concept offering white-table-cloth service and inventive, yet authentic Italian fare. Next door, in the more casual Vin Bar, guests enjoy small plates and assorted cold crudo at the Italian raw bar.

Expect a simple, but well-edited menu of innovative dishes, as well as a solid wine collection highlighting vino from Italy and hard-to-find boutique producers.

2525-A West Loop South, Houston TX, 77027

Rebels Honky Tonk

Urban cowboys have a home on Washington Avenue at Rebels Honky Tonk. The spot, which opened in mid-2009, adds a new flavor to the area’s already eclectic party scene.

Inside, pretty young things donning daisy dukes and cowboy boots serve up cocktails and beer to a mixed crowd of post-college kids and baby boomers. The Western-themed décor is reminiscent of a saloon with barrels and beer tubs and wood accents galore. For those in the mood to two-step, Rebels’ large dance floor leaves plenty of room to keep guests from standing on top of one another. Between songs, kick back at one of the nearby tables or head outside for fresh air on the spacious patio.

Washington Avenue regulars will appreciate Rebels’ convenient, Texas-size parking lot out front. Guests do have to pay to park, but it definitely beats finding a spot blocks away.

5002 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Serving up award-winning seafood and prime, dry-aged steaks, Austin-born Eddie V’s Prime Seafood restaurant recently opened its first Houston location in Memorial’s burgeoning CityCentre development.

Inspired by the classic seafood restaurants of New Orleans, San Francisco and Boston, Eddie V’s offers fresh, right-off-the-docks fare and USDA prime, center-cut steaks. Popular menu highlights include Maryland-style all lump crab cakes sautéed with spicy remoulade sauce, rich and creamy lobster bisque and tender, bacon-wrapped scallops.

Well-dressed guests will enjoy Eddie V’s warm, contemporary interior, which is marked by floor-to-ceiling windows, a glass-encased wine cellar and indoor and outdoor dining spaces. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant also features a private dining room—with AV accessibility—that can be divided into smaller, more intimate gathering spaces.

Stop by on weeknights for happy hour specials and live music at the restaurant’s chic V Lounge.

Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau – Member since 2009

12848 Queensbury Lane, Houston TX, 77024

Pravada

Pretty young things (and the boys who love them) flock to Montrose’s high-energy Pravada lounge for DJ-spun music and late nights dancing. The venue, which was most recently home to biker-inspired Crome lounge, has been revamped to include a larger dance floor and a more open layout.

Inside, scantily clad servers deliver potent drinks to attractive, young professionals, while colorful lights pulsate across the dance floor. On the wall, hypnotic animations swirl across the 27-foot video wall in sync with bass-pumping music. Between songs, head outside to the patio lounge, where white upholstered beds give well-dressed guests a place to relax and people watch.

Head there for a popular service industry night on Mondays, with all-night drink specials, and lesbian night every Wednesday. Pravada is closed on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

2815 S. Shepherd Dr., Houston TX, 70098

Hans Bier Haus

Situated on the outskirts of the popular Rice Village area, Hans Bier Haus has provided area residents and university students a fun-loving, laid-back place to enjoy cold ale and good conversation since it opened in spring 2005.

Set in a renovated house off of Kirby, the cozy spot stocks more than 125 imported and domestic varieties of beer—at least 60 of which are on tap—and features a much-loved (and spacious) biergarten. Hans’ pet-friendly patio makes room for a full-size bocce ball court, picnic-style seating and occasional live music performances and outdoor movie nights.

Go for post-work sips and take advantage of daily drink specials posted on the chalkboard out front. Bring your own snacks, if you’re hungry for something more than chips and small bar bites.

 

Name: Roosevelt

Join well-dressed young professionals for drinks and dancing at Washington Avenue’s well-designed Roosevelt Lounge. Situated caddy corner from Taps House of Beers, Roosevelt’s urban-chic building is marked by a weathered steel exterior and a large patio space.

Inside the dimly-lit interior is sultry and dark—chandeliers and candle light cast a soft glow over shimmery mosaic tiles, dark wood accents and plush sofas. Behind the bar, a DJ reigns over the pretty crowd, playing a mix of Top 40, new-wave 80s and house music, as PYTs sway to the beat on the dance floor.

If the music’s too loud and you’re looking for fresh air, head to the spacious patio, where a retractable roof ensures that the scene will remain a year-round staple. In the winter, space heaters keep things comfortable and the crowd happy. Valet parking is available, but it’s usually possible to find a spot on neighboring streets, too.

5219 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Monnalisa Bar

Just beyond the grand and winding staircase, on the second floor of CityCentre’s new Hotel Sorella, is west Houston’s chic, new Euro-style Monnalisa bar. There, well-dressed young professionals flirt and mingle over potent, post-dinner cocktails.

The spot’s modern and upscale décor—which is marked by dark wood tones and sleek furniture—revolves around a dramatic, center-set fire pit and an assortment of glowing globes suspended from the ceiling.

At night, Monnalisa’s patio doors are opened providing guests access to the rooftop deck and glowing pool. From there, revelers can enjoy a birds-eye view of CityCentre’s central plaza and access to daybeds with draped cabanas and custom lanterns.

While you’re there, try the signature drink made with blackberry-infused vodka, along with the spots many other inventive libations.

800 West Sam Houston Parkway North, Bldg. 9, Houston TX, 77024

Plonk!

Settling in to Houston’s Oak Forest neighborhood—in the city’s north Heights area—Plonk! offers locals a light-filled, cheery space where wallet-friendly wine reigns supreme. After all, the word Plonk is Brit-speak for cheap vino.

Created by Scott Miller, the former wine director of Pappa’s Steak House, Plonk is a laid-back bar serving up house and exotic wines, as well as a quality selection of beer.

Outside, a small patio—which is expected to expand—welcomes guests prior to entering the building. Inside, there are tables surrounded by red leather chairs up front, where customers can take stock of the come-as-you-are crowd, and a large, airy room where refreshingly-crisp glasses of sparkling white wine and beer are served atop a long granite bar. Décor created by local artists and craftsmen is expected to change seasonally, as is the well-edited wine list and menu.

While you’re there, check out Plonk!’s crispy oven-fired pizzas, bacon-wrapped steaks and other upscale pub grub.

1217 W. 43rd St., Houston TX, 77018

CITYCENTRE

CITYCENTRE is a vibrant, self-contained, pedestrian community of sophisticated retail, elegant dining, Class A office space and luxurious living options. Located in West Houston at I-10W and Beltway 8 in the Memorial Village area, CITYCENTRE is destined to become one Houston’s iconic centers.

800 W. Sam Houston Parkway, N, Suite 200, Houston TX, 77024

Salt

Pearl Bar’s newest neighbor—Salt Bar—is spicing things up with Washington Avenue’s first margarita bar concept. Located between Shepherd and the Heights, across from the Dubliner, Salt draws a young professional clientele for potent libations, high-end tequilas and a daily happy hour until 8PM.

Order one of the four frozen margarita options or create your own concoction from the list of customizable variations. Frozen, up or on the rocks; topped with peach, pomegranate or a premium Chambord—whichever way you want it, Salt is ready to serve it up. Watching your waistline? There’s even a 140-calorie ‘Skinny’ version that pairs Partida Tequila, lime and organic agave nectar.

Snag a seat on the patio or belly up to the bar and enjoy local live music acts most nights of the week.

4218 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

Nouveau Antique Art Bar

An eclectic mix of antique Tiffany lamps greet guests entering Nouveau Antique Art Bar, creating a lasting impression that lingers long after the night ends.

Hundreds of the multi-colored glass lights adorn the space—hanging from the ceilings, shelves and atop tables. One thing is certain; no one can say that Nouveau Antique Art Bar is a run-of-the-mill establishment. Yet—even with the multitude of lamps—the 4,500-square-foot lounge remains dim, offering young professionals and artsy hipsters an undeniably romantic respite in the middle of midtown.

Stop in and snag one of the leather lounge chairs, couches or wooden benches and enjoy well-priced drinks and classic cocktails Monday through Saturday nights. Know before you go: Bring in a ticket stub from a visit to the museum, symphony, theater, opera or ballet and redeem it for a drink on the house.

2913 Main St., Houston TX, 77002

Polk Street Pub

Downtown’s Houston Pavilions has expanded its food and beverage line-up with with the early-2010 addition of Polk Street Pub.

Set on the corner of Polk and San Jacinto, the ground-level spot offers area professionals a place to relax after work and sports aficionados an upscale venue to watch the game. Inside, the dimly-lit spot, pretty young things sip potent libations in plush banquettes, while well-dressed bachelors catch the action on HDTVs hanging above the bar.

Stop in for lunch and dinner where upscale pub grub—Akaushi beef burgers, poached pear salads and crab cakes—keeps patrons coming back for more.

1201 St. Jacinto Street, Suite 140, Houston TX, 77002

Sugarcane

Washington Avenue continues to expand with the neighborhood’s newest night-life-minded resident, Sugarcane. Set in the former Corkscrew location—on the East End of the strip—the eco-inspired spot opened in May 2010, offering patrons cocktails made with organic spirits and locally-grown produce.

Inside, the urban-meets-rustic interior is airy and welcoming—on one wall a floor-to-ceiling Treeline mural is contrasted by an exposed brick wall and rubbed concrete floors. In the center of the room, a wooden, horseshoe-shaped bar wraps around the space, giving guests several vantage points for scoring one of the well-made libations.

Here, expect modern takes on classic cocktails like the blood orange margaritas and Manhattans, as well as a creative list of original concoctions like the deliciously sweet Scarlet Letter and coconut-tinged Fountain of Acai.

1919 Washington Avenue, Houston TX, 77007

Cha Champagne & Wine Bar

Patrons mourning the loss of River Oaks’ Raindrop Chocolate have a new place to indulge—Cha Champagne & Wine Bar. Set in the former Raindrop space, off of Waugh, Cha brings in-the-Loopers an elegant respite for sipping post-work bubbly or vino, while snacking on one of the lounge’s well-edited menu items.

Inside, the remodeled interior leans toward the 60’s era with low-slung couches throughout and funky art adorning the walls. Upstairs, a small outdoor patio proves to be a popular perch, providing a well-heeled clientele with killer view of the downtown skyline.

Head there and select from an extensive champagne and vino list and dig into small locally-minded cheese plates, flatbread pizzas and assortments of smoked prosciutto and salami, for example. It’s also worth noting that the bar has its retail license, which means patrons can snag bottles of bubbly and wine at retail pricing and even enjoy it at Cha without a corkage fee.

Cha is open Tuesday through Sunday nights.

810 Waugh Street, No. 100, Houston TX, 77019

Liberty Station

Gas stations have never had it so good. Fresh off a top-to-bottom reno, Washington Avenue’s new Liberty Station is mixing the Corridor’s east end with its no airs, come-as-you-are attitude.

The spot looks unsuspecting from the street—young professionals can be spotted playing bags on Liberty’s front porch or sipping a cerveza beneath the bar’s covered patio. On nice days, garage doors remain open, lending to the venue’s al fresco appeal. Once inside, the ambiance shifts as exposed brick walls and concrete floors are contrasted by grand chandeliers suspended overhead and flat-screen TVs dotting the walls.

Stop by during Liberty’s generous happy hour—Monday through Friday from 2PM to 7PM—and sample brew highlighted on the bar’s rotating tap wall. Also keep an eye out for the venue to team up with local street vendors, who will soon be on hand, serving up late-night grub to hungry party people.

2101 Washington Ave., Houston TX, 77007

The Railyard

After River Oaks beloved Roll’n Saloon shut its doors in early 2010, loyal locals were left wondering what would become of their neighborhood haunt. Four and a half months later, they had their answer when the former dive bar reopened under new management and a new name—The Railyard.

In its brief hiatus, the bar was updated, upgraded and resurrected as a polished, industrial chic space that more accurately reflects the well-heeled River Oaks clientele that often frequent the spot. Located in the back corner of a San Felipe-set strip center, just across from the train tracks, The Railyard has traded in its canned-beer-and-pool-table-atmosphere for a wine list, flat screen TVs and an assortment of draft beer. Management promises a stellar cocktail menu in the near future, too.

The Railyard is open Tuesday through Saturday nights until 2AM.

4200 San Felipe, Houston TX, 77027

The Warsaw

Downtown’s live-music outpost, the Engine Room, may’ve shuttered in 2008, but Mike Kelly—the brains behind local booking company Onstage Events—has resurrected the former spot as the Warsaw. The venue will host regular rock and heavy metal concerts by well-known and rising-star acts from around the world.

1515 Pease St., Houston TX, 77002

Zimm’s Martini & Wine Bar

Turn up the volume for “Amped” Tuesdays from 6-10 p.m. at this classic Montrose locale. Enjoy half-price selected martinis and other great happy hour specials while taking in the sunset on the famous patio.

4321 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX, 77006

Canyon Creek

Restaurateur Gary Mosley has a fourth Austin-inspired cafe concept to add to his laid-back business line-up, this time on the west end of Washington Avenue. Set just steps from Memorial Park, Canyon Creek came on to the party scene in mid-summer 2010, offering order-at-the-counter-service and dressed-up pub grub.

Driving by, it’s hard to miss the colorful mural—Bevo, a keep Austin weird sign and party-ready tubers all make appearances—painted across the building’s façade. Along the front, retractable garage doors are opened on nice days and a number of TVs sit, ready to broadcast the big game.

Head there for a relaxed evening or a post-workout recharge and enjoy a well-edited menu of savory burgers, soups, sandwiches and salads. Canyon Creek is open daily for lunch and dinner.

6603 Westcott St., Houston TX, 77007,

Leave a Comment