Housed in the oldest building in Houston, La Carafe caters to an eclectic mix of artistic and professional types. Musicians claim the jukebox has the best selection in all of Houston, and you will often see people dancing on the narrow floor beside it. This romantic spot is often the end to the perfect date. It is strictly a wine and beer bar, so you'll have to go elsewhere if you want other types of alcohol.
The Etro Lounge is one of Houston's best places to get your 80's dance fix. Spread out over two floors, the place has a chic and modern decor. Not only will you find your favorite 80's hits playing here, but there's usually video accompaniment to transport you to that era of neon teased hair. Etro attracts a crowd that knows how to have fun on the dance floor.
Like the Austin original, Houston's Continental Club sports the green and pink neon sign out front, the steel sign with the 1950s script lettering behind the stage and the "Mercury Man" hanging over the door frame. The club features home grown talent with roots, jazz and rock artists booked regularly. The main room has a capacity of 200 and is decorated with murals by Jacque de Lamar which depict scenes of Venice, Rome and Paris. Affixed behind the bar are pictures from the club's early years, when the Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller orchestras played there. The back room holds a 22-foot shuffleboard, along with pool tables and a second bar.
Numbers is one of the oldest and most popular venues for alternative music in Houston. You'll find a diverse crowd dancing to 80's music or goth favorites. Don't be surprised if you see people here wearing Halloween-inspired attire. They sometimes have live performances from groundbreaking artists. On nights that don't feature a live act, you still can dance the night away to music and videos from Houston DJs.
Located in the Midtown, Khon's is the perfect after-work hangout. They serve beer, wine, and coffee in a laid-back atmosphere. It's a great spot to go for a quiet night with a few friends. They have plenty of surprising drinks in stock from all over the world. Take a load off and play darts while shooting the breeze with the friendly bartenders, or sit and enjoy an eye-opening coffee while finishing up some work.
This eclectic drink stop is a throwback to very old times, from the antique furniture and delicate drinking vessels to the meticulous mixing of their old-fashioned spirits. This intimate bar is always crowded at night. Standing bar-side is best to view the true mix masters in motion. For those not keen on bitters, vermouth, gin and the possible egg white, Anvil offers a dizzying assortment of bottled and tap beers. They also feature high quality bar fare to stave off any hunger. Patrons can enjoy meat and cheese plates, soft pretzels and small pita sandwiches.
Judges, newspaper reporters, college students and artists all rub elbows here at Warren's Inn on a nightly basis. The dim lighting and over-sized mirrors may inspire an initial chuckle, but everything about the place seems to grow on guests. Grab a table and enjoy the jukebox. You will hear everything played from Tijuana Brass to 10,000 Maniacs. The cocktails are masterful, especially the award-winning martinis, and the draft beer comes flecked with ice.
An eco-friendly restaurant beautifully done up in wood, glass and steel, The Grove offers fabulous views of Discovery Green, in addition to delicious American fare. A meal that starts off with treats like BBQ glazed jalapeño meat balls and wonton-dusted fried shrimp has to be good, and the rest of the menu certainly lives up to your expectations. You can gorge on seafood preparations like gulf shrimp and grits or meat entrées like the signature bacon and provolone cheese burger and pan-roasted quail. There are many wines to be enjoyed by the glass, as also cocktails and beers. Happy Hour is between 4p and 7p, Monday through Friday.
Woodrow's, and it's brothers: Little Woodrow's, are a collective social nightlife institution in Houston. Perhaps the best one of all has recently opened downtown near Minute Maid Park and Dynamo Stadium and near the Warehouse Live music venue. Stop in an hour before your concert starts and relax at the beautiful Texas bar; or grab a table in the beer garden. Watch several games on flat screens while lounging in the insanely comfortable sofas. Unlike other locations, this one makes cocktails to go along with their Woodrow's-standard dozens of beers on tap. This place has everything you need, so stop by after work. -Adam Rosen
For the perfect casual meeting place with friends, Little Woodrow's in Midtown takes the cake. Stocked with over 100 beers, a large open patio, a Golden T, and a jukebox, it's no wonder locals love this unpretentious, relaxed bar. From the quality beverages to the expansive patio, Little Woodrow's is just a darn good bar.