SUCCESS STORIES LATINO LEADERS MAKE THEIR MARK ON HOUSTON SAINT ARNOLD SPREADS THE GOSPEL OF CRAFT BEER
DESTINATIONDOWNTOWN tracy carlson photography + crush design co. bring you
at main street square in the heart of downtown houston
benefiting hoof prints and heart beats
saturday, november 3 10 am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 pm join us at the intersection of main & mckinney featuring 70+ texas artists free admission | kid zone | music saint arnoldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beer garden | food trucks with our event partner
find us online www.heartmadehouston.com facebook.com/heartmadehouston instagram.com/heartmadehouston
FALL 2018 VOL. 11, NO. 1
MANAGING EDITOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Angie Bertinot, Downtown District
Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions
CORE Design Studio
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amber Ambrose Holly Beretto Lauren McDowell Stefanie Pascacio Ryann Roussel
03 ART SMART
We’ve got the scoop on three not-to-be missed temporary art installations currently calling Downtown home.
Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography
Angie Bertinot 713.650.3022 email@example.com
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010. Published by:
11 CHEERS! Saint Arnold Brewing Company has defied the odds to become an iconic Houston institution. Now, owner Brock Wagner has achieved another longtime dream with the recent addition of a beer garden and restaurant. BY LAUREN MCDOWELL
Theatre Under The Stars joins Houston Ballet to take on a musical theater classic—Oklahoma! Plus, say hello to Da Camera’s “new” executive director, Toni Capra, who was tapped to lead the organization after serving as their interim director of administration.
DESTINATION DOWNTOWN MAP
HOLLY BERETTO AND LAUREN MCDOWELL
With support from:
BY RYANN ROUSSEL
17 A VITAL HERITAGE Houston has always been a city that embraces diversity. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the critical ways our history has been shaped by our Hispanic communities. Business, the arts, education, cuisine and so much more have all been touched in some way by the strong Latino leaders, educators, artists and entrepreneurs who call the Bayou City home. Meet just a few. BY AMBER AMBROSE,
For decades, Last Concert Café has been dishing up classic Tex Mex and great music from its funky Warehouse District home. Just knock on the red door to see what all the fuss is about. Whether you’re making plans for a special dinner, family brunch or quick working lunch, our extensive listing of Downtown’s eateries always comes in super handy.
It’s fall and that means cooler weather, lots of street festivals, art exhibitions, and blockbuster shows in the Theater District. We’ve got plenty of info on every show, concert, tour, festival, special events and more. Your calendar will be filled to the brim!
A melting pot In so many ways, the beauty of this city is its diversity. Houstonians embrace their neighbors, recognizing that our differences make us stronger. In particular, Houston’s Hispanic population has played a critical role in our evolution to a bustling, international city. Latino culture is engrained in our everyday lives, and we’re healthier for it. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month this fall, we wanted you to meet just a few of the movers and shakers who have helped make Downtown (and Houston) what it is today. Read their stories starting on page 17. We are also pleased to introduce you to Brock Wagner, the force behind Texas’ HOUSTONIANS EMBRACE oldest craft brewery—Saint Arnold— THEIR NEIGHBORS, nestled on the outer edge of Downtown RECOGNIZING THAT Houston. Wagner defied the odds when he and his then-business partner decided OUR DIFFERENCES to make a go of their dream and open a MAKE US STRONGER. brewery. Houstonians weren’t all that familiar with craft beer, and state law didn’t allow brewers to sell directly to consumers. Thanks to their commitment to quality and marketing know-how, Saint Arnold grew into a household name nonetheless. Read all about it starting on page 11. And think you know Downtown? Test your knowledge with our quick quiz on page 10! If you’d like to visit some of Downtown’s newest culinary hotspots, now is the time. Plate, our rundown of restaurants, starts on page 31 and includes a must-read feature on Last Concert Café, the quirky little concert hall/eatery that’s been entertaining (and feeding) Houstonians for generations. As always, you’ll find our extensive calendar of events and activities in datebook on page 41. Of course, be sure to visit us online at downtownhouston.org, where we always keep you up to date on the latest when it comes to our city’s center. And let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to take your comments and suggestions.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
ON THE COVER Hugo Ortega celebrates the flavors of Oaxaca at Xochi.
THREE ART INSTALLATIONS to get really excited about
We're lucky to have hundreds of pieces of public art in and around Downtown, from mammoth sculptures to hidden gems, plus local and world-class temporary art installations. Three not-to-miss installations are visiting some of our most familiar spaces in Downtown. Catch them before it’s too late!
moonGARDEN DISCOVERY GREEN photo courtesy of Lucion
A series of 22 illuminated spheres will transform Discovery Green and the Avenida into a magical moonscape this fall. Ranging in size from six to 30 feet in diameter, moonGARDEN will feature 11 shadow theaters that tell the dynamic story of Houston and Discovery Green, as well as interactive works that allow visitors to become part of the experience. The Houston installation of moonGARDEN, the largest ever in the U.S., was created by Lucion Traveling Light of Montreal. Discovery Green, Saturday, Sep 29–Sunday, Oct 7; visible during all park hours; activated nightly from 6 pm to midnight
OPENING NIGHT Sat, Sep 29, 7:30–10 pm Opening night activities include a Cirque la Vie performance of Lyrical, a screening of Moonstruck (PG, 1988, 102 min.) and more. MOON DANCE Sun, Sep 30, 7:30–10 pm Bring your date for Moon Dance, a romantic evening at moonGARDEN. After a stroll among the magical moonscape, complete the evening with dancing lessons, Inprint poetry buskers and surprises.
GOODNIGHT, MOON Fri, Oct 5, 7–9 pm Discovery Green hosts a pajama party for the city of Houston at Goodnight, Moon, a family-friendly event at moonGARDEN. Milk and cookies will be served, celebrity readers will share the beloved children’s book in the languages of Houston and the Astrological Society will be on hand with telescopes for star-gazing.
photo by Morris Malakoff
Open House ART BLOCKS AT SAM HOUSTON PARK
Open House is the Downtown District’s sixth Art Blocks project, a site-specific installation by Houston-based artist collaborative Havel Ruck Projects (Dan Havel and Dean Ruck). Over the course of several months, the duo transformed a 1940s-era house in Sam Houston Park into an interactive, temporary public sculpture. The artists have wallpapered the interior of the house with thousands of vintage images and then have cut circular holes throughout creating a Swiss cheese effect. Visitors are encouraged to stroll through the house; the openings acting as peepholes to the present through the photos of the past.
Open House is open daily from dawn until dusk through February 2019. In addition, the Downtown District encourages visitors to explore the park’s 10 buildings, along with the Museum Gallery, which serve as historic reference points and exhibition spaces for more than 23,000 artifacts that document life in Houston from the early 1800s to the mid-1900s.
Spatial Chromointerference BUFFALO BAYOU PARK CISTERN The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, a 1926 underground city reservoir that was restored in 2016, is temporarily home to a unique sitespecific environment by world- renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez. Considered to be one of the greatest figures of kinetic and optical art, Cruz-Diez conceived an ephemeral and participatory work integrated into the architecture of the underground cavern, the objective being to radically change the visitor’s perception of color and space. Thirty-two projectors have been placed in the cistern to project moving lattices of light on the columns, interior walls and on cubes floating in the shallow pool of water on the cistern photo by Paul Hester
floor. This dazzling projection, reinforced by its reflection on the water, creates a space where everything loses its materiality. Color becomes not merely a visual object to see but a space to be experienced. On view through January 13, 2019. Open Wednesday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. Admission is $10 per person; $8 for seniors (65+ with ID), youth (9-17) and students (18+ with ID) and free on Thursdays. Please note that children under the age of 9 are not permitted in the cistern. Visitors are encouraged to wear white or light-colored clothing. Timed tickets can be purchased at buffalobayou.org.
BY RYANN ROUSSEL
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
OKLAHOMA! One of musical theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most enduring classics fuses the talents of Houston Ballet with Theatre Under The Stars
photo by Melissa Taylor
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: PROFILE
MEET TONI CAPRA
Executive director of Da Camera
Theater District veteran finds her new home In the midst of a national search for a new executive director, Da Camera chamber music and jazz realized the perfect candidate was already right in front of them. Toni Capra—trained singer, Theater District veteran, and governance guru, was tapped to take the role and guide the organization through a time of transition. How did you begin your career and what lead to your involvement in the arts? I actually have a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. My very first job out of college I worked for Austin Lyric Opera. I enjoyed performing but I liked being behind the scenes making sure the performance could happen. I always wanted to live in New York and found an excellent program at The New School and went for an MBA in nonprofit management. I did my graduate project with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, then worked for the US Tennis Foundation, and finally PBS before moving back to Houston and taking a job at Houston Grand Opera. How did you find your way back to the Theater District after a few years away? I had started doing some consulting work while still managing the executive office at HGO and the time was right to pursue consulting work on a full-time basis. I became a certified governance trainer for BoardSource, the national nonprofit governance association, and built a great network. I did that from 2015 to January of this year and then Sarah Rothenberg at Da Camera called me. We have known each other for several years and she told me her general manager just left and she wanted to take a step back from her dual role as artistic and general director in order to focus on the artistic vision of the organization. I met with the executive committee and they brought me in on an interim basis to finish out the fiscal year and make some recommendations on structure going forward.
Could you have imagined when they brought you in that you’d be offered the position of executive director? I came in as interim director of administration. The board leadership already knew they wanted to divide the artistic and executive roles into a bifurcated structure. Plans were to conduct a national search to fill the position, but they were pleased with my work and eventually asked if I would be interested. I said of course, and they offered me the job! What are you most excited to do in your new role? I’m a big fan of structure and procedure. Some people hear that and think it will constrict them in some way, but in reality structure actually provides the freedom to accomplish so much more. As an organization that has grown significantly over the last few years, I believe Da Camera will benefit from what I can implement in this area. I am also part of a team of really lovely people, so it is a lot of fun to spend my days with all of them.
photo by Nathan Russell Photography
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career? I think probably the most exciting accomplishment was when I was at PBS—it is such an absurd story! The Police—the band with Sting—approached us to do a special concert fundraiser at Madison Square Garden to benefit our initiative, Public Television Rocks!. I was in the legal department when one of my colleagues was put in charge of the event. He tapped me and another colleague to manage the project and basically three of us sold out Madison Square Garden! I still have no idea how we did it but it was amazing and we raised over $3 million. The B-52s opened. I can still vividly remember that night and what a thrill ride it was. Best career advice you ever received? It’s not always enough to be right. I keep that in my mind now as I’m leading people and an organization. Maybe I have the right reasons in mind when I make a decision, but I have to always consider how my decisions will impact my staff personally or professionally. What do you do to unwind? I have two rescue dogs, Finley and Phoebe, who are always a great source of fun for me. I’m also a huge sports fan. My dad and I currently have a season ticket package to the Dynamo and go to Astros games together. We are loyal supporters of University of Houston athletics too. Go Coogs! With six nephews, I spend a lot of time at hockey rinks and the Little League field supporting all of them as well! What’s your favorite movie? That’s so hard! I love movies. Waiting for Guffman is hard to top. Flirting with Disaster is also excellent. The Sound of Music and Moulin Rouge are also great. I have a lot of favorites.
B AC K S TAG E
CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS: a celebration of history and vision for the future
Theatre Under The Stars kicks off its 50th anniversary season with Oklahoma! in artistic collaboration with neighbors Houston Ballet
Artists of Houston Ballet rehearsing Theater Under The Stars’ Oklahoma! choreographed by Stanton Welch AM. Photo by Lawrence Knox.
As Theatre Under The Stars celebrates its 50th anniversary, Artistic Director Dan Knechtges is planning one of the most ambitious productions in the company’s history: a full-scale collaboration with Houston Ballet. Rather than hiring one set of performers to sing, dance and act, as with most musicals, this collaboration brings together Broadway singers with professional ballet dancers, actors and a mix of local talent—building up to one of the most exciting performances Houston has ever seen. Oklahoma!, coincidentally celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is a staple in American musical theater history—not only for its captivating music and compelling story but because the enduring messages of love, justice and opportunity continue to resonate with new audiences. The Rogers and Hammerstein classic originally premiered in 1943, during the middle of a war that showed no sign of ending. It introduced characters who put their differences aside in service of a better future, a message that was particularly inspiring to audiences in the 1940s and is just as relevant now in 2018.
The optimistic and collaborative themes within the story are echoed on stage. Knechtges explains the effort to present a very diverse cast, both culturally and ethnically and in terms of artistic backgrounds. He describes the goal “to reflect not only Houston and where we are, but actually the way Oklahoma was in 1904 right before it become a state.” Kevin Moriarty, artistic director at Dallas Theater Center and guest director of Oklahoma! echoes these sentiments, adding that “art belongs to absolutely everybody,” and it is “the obligation of people making and producing art to throw the doors open as widely as possible,” to those from all backgrounds. UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES Dan Knechtges arrived to his new job at TUTS in the days immediately after Hurricane Harvey. Though he faced plenty of unexpected challenges, the circumstances offered him a unique platform to begin talks for a collaborative performance with the renowned Houston Ballet. One of his first assignments at TUTS was planning the Hurricane Harvey Relief Benefit at Miller Outdoor Theatre—a moving tribute to the city’s resilience and also the first time all seven Theater District companies performed on the same stage. During meetings to coordinate the benefit, Knechtges met Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch.
B AC K S TAG E
“I had been a fan of Stanton’s work and seen it many times,” explains Knechtges. “I introduced myself and casually suggested getting lunch. A month later we were already talking about doing a show.” The one that made the most sense to all parties? Oklahoma!, a classic that revolutionized the genre when it premiered in 1943. While most musicals involve dancing, Oklahoma! includes three ballet sequences. It was the perfect opportunity for each organization to showcase the best they have to offer and present something new to their Houston audience. It meant a lot more work, additional costs, and a dose of uncertainty, but TUTS and Houston Ballet were both excited by the possibilities the production presented. While he’s never choreographed for a musical before, Welch says it’s something he has always wanted to do. “I’ve certainly done ballets based on storytelling, but this is my first time with words and songs and dance,” he explains. Not only is this a new experience for Welch as a choreographer, but also for his corps of ballet dancers. The opportunity to work with Broadway singers and actors, he says, is something he would have jumped at when he was a young artist. “The dancers in rehearsals are beside actors and singers all the top of their fields, working together,” he says. “I think that’s inspirational.”
COLLABORATING GIVES EACH ORGANIZATION A CHANCE TO ELEVATE THEIR ART FORMS TO A SCALE FEW AUDIENCE MEMBERS MAY HAVE SEEN BEFORE. Houston Ballet Demi Soloist Alyssa Springer with Corps de Ballet Andrew Vecseri rehearsing Theater Under The Stars’ Oklahoma! choreographed by Stanton Welch AM. Photo by Lawrence Knox.
Collaborating gives each organization a chance to elevate their art forms to a scale few audience members may have seen before. Though it makes sense for these companies to work side by side—it’s a musical that calls for ballet, after all—there’s a reason these collaborations aren’t more common: they’re very difficult to pull off. “It’s a heck of a lot cheaper to hire 20 actors and have them do everything, rather than hiring 20 actors, then 21 ballet dancers, and then a chorus of professionally trained singers,” explains Kevin Moriarty. But to see the very best singing, acting, and dancing, it makes sense to go to the top artists in each of those disciplines. “No one is really expert in all three of those art forms,” explains Moriarty. “So instead of getting a watered-down version of all those art forms,” he says “we’re trying to get the very best of each.” Beyond the added expenses, coordinating schedules between such a large cast can become a headache as well. “It requires a lot of work,” says Knechtges. “You’re trying to constantly work out schedules and see where each institution bends to accommodate the other.” But everyone involved agrees that the extra hurdles are more than worth it. “In that hard work I think you find that art is a thing that meaningfully impacts the community,” Knechtges says. The end result is a performance with multiple artistic elements that fuse together in one creative expression. The audience will hopefully not even notice the moment of change, when a chorus takes over to transition into song, or steps aside so dancers can enact the expression on stage.
B AC K S TAG E
“ No matter how divided people may be, we have to come together for the common good. That’s what the characters did. They made Oklahoma. They built a country.” —Stanton Welch
Stanton Welch with Artists of Houston Ballet rehearsing Theater Under The Stars’ Oklahoma! Photo by Lawrence Knox.
N E W, B U T FA M I L I A R Theater companies across America, and probably every high school in the country, have staged this play, but not quite like this. Most productions feature one cast that does everything. But Houston Ballet and TUTS are working together to show Houston audiences Oklahoma! the way Rogers and Hammerstein originally conceived it. Rogers and Hammerstein are to musical theater what Shakespeare is to literature. They practically defined the contemporary musical theater, creating the classics South Pacific, The King And I, Cinderella and The Sound Of Music. When Oklahoma!, the first of the duo’s collaborations, premiered in the 1940s it revolutionized the genre. Part spoken-word play and part ballet, topped off with show-stopping song numbers—no one had ever seen anything quite like it. It was to audiences then what Hamilton is now. The process of putting together this production has looked different to everyone involved. Moriarty is used to directing dramatic plays, with no music, while Welch primarily creates ballets that don’t involve singing or speaking. Everyone is stepping out of their comfort zones to work on something unfamiliar, but there is one element that binds it all together: storytelling.
Over and over they return to the story, dissecting what’s at the core of play, what drives the characters to act and what is unspoken, from the terrifying vulnerability of falling in love to the uncertainty of forming a new nation. “All of us on the creative team spend a lot of time talking through the story and its themes, and then we determine how we can each draw on our own individual area of artistic expertise to collaboratively create the most dynamic, compelling and truthful expression of those experiences. We want to honor the material and present it in a way that is surprising and compelling for an audience, as if they’re seeing a brand new musical for the first time,” says Moriarty. When approached from this lens, the process is familiar for those involved. Though Welch has never choreographed for a musical before, it is similar to how he produces his story ballets. “First we start without steps and we just act it,” he explains, making sure every movement conveys the characters experience and what motivates them to make certain choices. Gradually he adds in the choreography, using movement to propel the story forward and demonstrate the characters innermost hopes and fears.
A M U S I C A L F O R E V E R YO N E Oklahoma! is continually revived across the country. TUTS has staged multiple productions in its 50-year history. “Rogers and Hammerstein portrayed a vision for the nation where people who are different, men and women, old and young, cowboys and farmers, could come together in harmony and with optimism and openness,” Moriarty explains. That timeless message is one explanation for why the play continues to be so successful since its premiere 75 years ago. Welch agrees: “No matter how divided people may be, we have to come together for the common good. That’s what the characters did. They made Oklahoma. They built a country.” He feels confident that Oklahoma! will be just as popular in another 75 years as it is today. Oklahoma! opens September 11 at Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. After all the work, planning, rehearsals, and coordination— will TUTS and Houston Ballet want to plan more collaborations in the future? Knechtges is encouraged by the enthusiasm surrounding the partnership. “The community is very much behind this mission,” he says. “They want us to be collaborating with other arts organizations.” Welch is also optimistic. “I would like to think that this is not a one-off. That this is something that occurs every so many years.”
How well do you know of Houston?
Test your Downtown IQ and find out!
True / False
Houston was founded in 1836 by New Yorkers John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen.
True / False
Downtown never hosts free events.
True / False
From sculptures to tile work, Downtown is a public art lover’s dream with more than 65 pieces of public art—and growing.
True / False
Texas’ oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold, shipped their first keg of beer in 1994 right on the outer edge of Downtown.
True / False
True / False
Downtown Houston’s Theater District is the second largest concentrated performing arts district in the nation, next to NYC.
Downtown Houston is home to the most beautiful building in Texas.
True / False
True / False
True 10/ False
Market Square Park, located in Downtown’s Historic Market Square neighborhood was the original site of Houston’s City Hall for 100 years.
True 11/ False
You cannot survive without a car in Downtown.
Rookie: You need to get Downtown way more often. We promise you’ll love the fusion of culture, history, funky hotspots and urban lifestyle that dwells inside the inner loop.
Urban Explorer: You’re always looking for new things to discover in Downtown. It’s time to step up your game and find Downtown’s best kept secrets.
Downtowner: You can’t get enough of the soaring skyscrapers up close. You may already be ahead of the game and call Downtown home; if not, consider making a permanent move! Key: 1. T, 2. T, 3. F, 4. T, 5. T, 6. F, 7. T, 8. T, 9. T, 10. T, 11. F
Downtown boasts close to 400 restaurants, coffee shops and bars, including concepts by three James Beard Award-winning chefs.
True / False
Downtown is home to three sports stadiums.
Buffalo Bayou hugs the south side of Downtown.
Gospel of Saint Arnold
Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery Is Houston’s Newest Beer Garden & Restaurant By Lauren McDowell
Nearly a quarter century ago, it was hard to imagine that a small company brewing beer out of a warehouse in Northwest Houston would become an indelible part of the city’s landscape. In 1994, a time when Houstonians— and Americans, for that matter—didn’t drink a lot of craft beer, no one could have predicted Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s future. But with hard work and a steadfast dedication to creating quality products, the brewery named for the patron saint of beer has become an icon unto itself, for the Texas craft beer industry and for the city of Houston. With the recent addition of the brewery’s own beer garden and restaurant, founder Brock Wagner has realized a dream decades in the making, and Saint Arnold has a space befitting its representative role in the Houston brewing scene.
A Brewing Passion Becomes Serious Business In 1994, when Wagner and then-business partner Kevin Bartol sold their first keg, Texas law would not allow a brewery to sell beer directly to customers. Under the state’s threetier system for beer sales, manufacturers could
only sell to distributors, who in turn sold to retailers, who then sold to customers. Because Saint Arnold operated under a manufacturer’s license, the brewery could not sell directly to customers onsite. Though Wagner dreamed of a beer garden, he chose to engage customers through free brewery tours. Despite the legal limitations, production and sales were healthy, growing at a steady rate over the years. In addition to Saint Arnold’s focus on crafting quality beer to exacting standards, Wagner understood the value of becoming a strong presence in communities throughout Houston. Over the years, smart guerilla marketing, in addition to sponsorship of local causes and hosting community events like the Saint Arnold Pub Crawl, helped the brewery become a household name in the Bayou City. In this way, the patron saint of beer became the patron saint of Houston. As the brewery grew, it was obvious that a new facility was necessary. In the latter half of the aughts, it was obvious to Wagner—who
In this way, the patron saint of beer became the patron saint of Houston.
bought out business partner Bartol in 2003— that they had outgrown their original facility. Though it would have been easy enough to find low-cost land on the outskirts of the city, the location of the brewery was not something Wagner took lightly. “Since our goal was always to build community through our passion for beer, but also to create an institution Houston was proud of, we wanted to find something close to Downtown,” says Wagner. In 2008, he closed on the building at 2000 Lyons Avenue that remains the center of the brewery’s operations today. The massive redbricked building, which previously housed a Houston Independent School District food service warehouse, offered 104,000 square feet. When the build-out was completed in 2010, the three-story facility included a stainless brew house from a former Bavarian Brewery, a German-inspired beer hall and small kitchen, an English-style investor’s pub space, bottling and kegging operations, and offices for staff.
The facility marked a new chapter for the brewery’s production ability and for the Downtown community, offering guests a comfortable space to eat lunch, wait for one of many daily tours, or rent out the beer hall for special events. Then, in 2013, a legislative victory allowed breweries in Texas to sell their own beer for on-premise consumption. This law soon became a catalyst for the explosion of microbreweries in Houston and around the state. With the new legislation in place, Wagner realized Saint Arnold would have to evolve. “Once we succeeded in getting the laws changed in 2013 to sell beer directly to the public for on-premise consumption,” says Wagner. “We realized we could change how we did business to take advantage of that.” This realization meant big, but exciting changes. It was finally time to create Wagner’s dream of a beer garden.
A New Era As Saint Arnold Grows Up The grand plan for a new beer garden and restaurant became a reality in the summer of 2018, when the doors opened to the public. Located just east of the main building on Lyons Avenue, it’s impossible to miss the large structure and its “dissolving metal building,” created with the help of Natalye Appel + Associates Architects. Wagner was looking for a way to blend in with the neighborhood, and confirms the deliberate nature of the design and its connection to the current community landscape. “We built the metal building next door so it looks like another industrial building. But we wanted to surprise people when they see what it really is,” says Wagner. And surprise it does. High ceilings and an arched roof tower above the ground, creating the same sense of wonder one might feel walking into a grand Old World cathedral—if it were made of modern industrial materials and gradually tapered off into the negative space of a blue Texas sky.
Beneath the floating roof, visitors find themselves in a meticulously designed environment dotted with architectural embellishments inspired by brewery elements. A mesh metal fence with circular windows subtly plays on the notion of rising beer bubbles. Water falls from a fountain made from the top of a brew kettle, bringing a zen-like feel to the large space full of picnic tables, colorful Adirondack chairs, rockers and umbrellas designed to encourage conversation and fellowship. Wagner says they wanted to “create architecture that drives interaction between people.” With the addition of bocce ball courts and a corn-hole area, the outdoor space is an adult version of a playground that’s also family friendly. It feels oddly—yet rightly—like an urban oasis. The magic feeling continues inside the attached restaurant, which is housed in a church-like building complete with high wooden arches, metal chandeliers, and fresco-like works of art. Walking in through large, European-style
wooden doors, the eyes are immediately drawn to the colorful alcoves on the right and left, six in total, adorned with different painted themes. Wagner refers to these spaces as “chapels,” and explains that each artist was given “free reign to create an immersive art experience.” As a result, artists GONZO247, Carlos Hernandez, Nick Papas, Robynn Sanders, Matthew Schott, and Jeff Szymanski put their own spin on each space, which ranges from the classically trained Masters to contemporary street art.
“You’re grown as hell and don’t need the man telling you how to snack.” New Building, New Menu At the Altar of Saint Arnold Of course, great architecture and beer alone aren’t enough to bring visitors to the space. With new digs and a larger kitchen, Executive Chef Ryan Savoie was able to revamp and expand the menu and return to one of his passions: pizza. “As soon as they mentioned they wanted to build this place I wanted to have pizza, because it lends itself well to group activities and beer,” says Savoie. “The first thing I decided on was the pizzas I wanted to make.” With roots in baking, Savoie wanted to make the dough in-house. That means the pizzas, pasta and even the bread for the favorite crawfish rolls are made from scratch. In addition to pizza, the expanded menu reflects what Savoie calls a “happy medium” between his own tastes and the elevated pub food people want to eat at a brewery. That means classics like hamburgers and fries, along
with dishes that nod to a unique Houston’s sensibility, like the shrimp and crab cakes and chicken-fried pickled green tomatoes, served with a side of Savoie’s Million Island Dressing. With the variety of items available and the high standards of the staff, finding something that appeals to everyone is easy to achieve. Menu items come with a suggested beer pairing (of course), and reflect Chef Ryan’s sense of
Hours: Sunday–Wednesday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Thursday—Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Public tours at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. No reservations
Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol found Saint Arnold Brewery, then Houston’s only micro-brewery, shipping their first keg of beer June 9, 1994
The brewery initiates the first Saint Arnold Pub Crawl. Laws at the time did not allow for pre-announced promotions at specific locations, so the brewery stayed legal by giving hints to where the stops would be, creating a hybrid pub crawl and scavenger hunt. In November, Christmas Ale debuts and becomes the brewery’s first seasonal beer
Wagner buys out Bartol and becomes sole owner of the company
2004 humor and former life as a writer, as he writes the menu himself. With a description like, “You’re grown as hell and don’t need the man telling you how to snack. Thusly, we offer three versions: Jerk, Fire Emoji, and BBQ. Also plain if you simply can’t hang,” how could you not order the wings? All told, the menu, the food, and the environment feel like the beginning of a new era for the iconic brewery—a place to appreciate Houston and Downtown; and a place to bring visitors and show off a little, too. To see the sleek modern space, it’s hard to believe the brewery’s humble beginnings. Saint Arnold Brewery is many things to the city it calls home, and its latest addition is an impressive, if not surprising feat for Texas’ oldest independent craft brewery. Next time you’re looking for an escape, head to the beer garden at sunset, as day descends into a cotton candy-hued evening. Parked in a colorful Adirondack chair with a cold beer in hand and a fine view of the Houston skyline to the southwest, take a moment to appreciate this amazing new space and the city that made it all possible. Cheers.
Saint Arnold installs a reverse osmosis system that allows the brewery to recreate the brewing water of any place in the world, which also allows the company to produce its first IPA, Elissa.
The company closes on a former Houston Independent School District food service facility just north of Downtown Houston at 2000 Lyons Avenue, which will serve as its new base of operations after renovations.
With construction completed, Saint Arnold Brewery moves to its current location. The large remodeled building includes a brew house, bottling and kegging operations, offices, and a dining hall with a kitchen.
State lawmakers vote to allow Texas breweries to sell beer on site.
The company debuts its restaurant and beer garden
Grand Visions by Amber Ambrose
Dr. Laura Murillo is a powerhouse. She’s a CEO, mother of two, youngest of nine, a PhD, a champion of Houston and the Hispanic community at large, and someone who appreciates what it means to work hard and create your own destiny. She’s also a fearless leader who took the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to impressive membership levels, making it one of the largest of its kind in the country. She also happens to office Downtown. “The Hispanic Chamber is located in Downtown in the Amegy Bank building, through a partnership we’ve had with them for a really long time,” says Murillo. “We are happy to be Downtown, with all the new attractions and activity, both for business and for social. We are always looking to take advantage of the new things.” Murillo, who grew up a daughter of immigrants and the baby of a large family, has taken advantage of opportunities throughout her career. “I think it certainly teaches you to make sure you get to the kitchen table pretty quickly, right?” laughs Murillo. “I have a lot of fond memories, and I think it served me well. My biggest takeaway was that I spent a lot of time with my father growing up in the restaurant business. I learned to negotiate, to work hard. I also learned from my mother the importance of caring and giving to others. I like to think I had the best of both worlds.” Working with her father at the East End restaurant, El Jardin—which is still in business today—was a contributing factor to her strong ability to communicate and visualize. It’s been a big part of Murillo’s success, as well as the success of the Chamber itself.
“I do believe you do need to visualize something before it becomes a reality. I looked at the Chamber of Commerce [after being named president and CEO in 2007], and I didn’t see it for what it was, I saw it for what it could be,” says Murillo. One of the innovations Murillo implemented to grow the revenue and reach of the organization was to create a media platform, bolstered by partnerships with various radio and television stations. “We think that’s really important, because we get to highlight executives and Houstonians, Hispanic or not,” says Murillo. She believes that Houston’s diversity is one of its biggest strengths, and the numbers are growing, with Hispanics making up around 40 percent of the population. Murillo credits the collaborative spirit of Houston as a factor in the success of the Hispanic business community, as well as the city overall. “It is important for us, as leaders, to make sure that we are inclusive, that we are part of Houston’s fabric and not just a thread in the fabric,” says Murillo. “The fact that we are engaged, inclusive, support one another and realize that we can all benefit. A successful Houston is here for every, single one of us.”
GONZO247 by Amber Ambrose
Houston is inspired. And so is Mario Figueroa. More commonly known as GONZO247, Figueroa is a prolific street artist, curator and muralist armed with an optimistic outlook, a drive to create and the occasional wide-brimmed cowboy hat. He’s a man with a vision—to blanket city walls with color, beauty and spray paint. His vision is unfolding—to everyone’s benefit—all over the world, and more locally, right here in Downtown Houston. “As a kid, I had a vision of what Downtown could be,” says Figueroa, who was inspired by underground subway art in New York as well as hip-hop growing up. “But back in the 1980s, people would just come to Downtown to work and then go right back home. It’s a testament to how it’s transitioned from only business to an explosion of life and culture. I go through Downtown, and it’s now what I always knew it could be.” The Houston-based graffiti artist is the founder of Aerosol Warfare, a platform for the production, facilitation and support of street art and street artists, helping legitimize a form of creative expression that was once considered little more than vandalism. But as GONZO247 has evolved, so have the attitudes of the public toward aerosol. Thankfully for Figueroa, that means job security, and wider acceptance of his talents and vision.
Most noticeably in Downtown is the Houston is Inspired mural at the corner of Travis and Preston, just off Market Square Park—although he calculates that there are at least six pieces that he’s curated, produced or painted currently installed in the Downtown area. Commissioned in 2013 as part of a larger advertising campaign, the Inspired mural has become one of the most popular backdrops for Instagram photos in the city, with reproductions on t-shirts, coasters and even umbrellas. It’s impossible to overlook, with striking contrasts and an unapologetic use of bright, cheerful colors. Figueroa’s vibrant palettes aren’t just a style, “it’s in the blood.” “I feel like whatever it is I’m working on, the color choices and the placement of color, that’s a direct tie in to my lineage,” says Figueroa. “It really represents a lot about my travels and my experiences, but definitely my culture.” Figueroa is a lifelong Houstonian, but his parents both immigrated to the United States from Mexico. His mother is from a ranch south of Matamoros, a town in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, close to the southern border of Texas. His father grew up in the Michoacan region, further south. GONZO247 surmises that his parents’ bold decision to leave their homelands in search of new opportunities directly feeds into his life’s passion of creating highly visible art, as well as the medium itself. “Maybe it’s an inherent thing, but the idea of taking risks and ‘going for it’ parallels with my approach to art,” says Figueroa. “Just like my parents taking a chance in coming to a new country.” “One of the reasons I stayed in Houston, when a lot of other artists were leaving to get to bigger cities, was because I wanted to make and create art in my own city, and to be a part of the process,” says Figueroa. “When people say things like, ‘somebody should do this or that,’ I always tell them: ‘You are somebody.’”
Where Food Meets Memory by Holly Beretto
If there’s one word to sum up Hugo Ortega’s career, it might be opportunity. The James Beard winner (he took home Best Chef Southwest honors in 2017, the fourth Houston chef to do, following Robert Del Grande in 1987, Chris Shepherd in 2014 and Justin Yu in 2016) was born in Mexico City and came to Houston in 1984. After an uncertain start, working as a dishwasher and later a janitor, he landed at Backstreet Café, the cozy River Oaks spot launched by Tracey Vaught, who hired the young man as a dishwasher. Fast forward 30 years and see the strides Ortega’s made. Vaught, recognizing his talent and ambition, paid for him to go to culinary school. Later, they married and together went on to open Hugo’s in Montrose and Caracol in the Galleria area. Last year, Ortega launched Xochi in Downtown. It was right around the time of the Super Bowl. Ortega recalls that he and Vaught were working out on the restaurant’s spacious patio. A group of tourists who were from Saint Louis came walking by, and Ortega called out to them to eat some Oaxacan food. “They looked at us and at each other like, what is he talking about?” Ortega happily pokes fun at how he must’ve sounded to the out-of-towners. “In Houston, we’re used to having so many ethnic choices, but they had no idea. It was an opportunity to help them understand what we— the restaurant and the city—are all about.”
For Ortega, being able to help others understand his cuisine is part of why he does what he does. Each of his restaurants is deeply personal and touches a place in his life. When Hugo’s opened, it was—and still is—haute Mexican cooking, a radical departure from the traditional Tex Mex or casual home-style Mexican restaurants the city was used to. Caracol came along with the flavors of the Mexican coast. And then, there’s Xochi, perhaps Ortega’s most personal spot to date. “I spent part of my growing up with my grandmother in the mountains of Oaxaca,” he says. “I watched her and the people of the area work the land, and I saw how important seasonality is. I watched her cook. When I came to the States, I held those memories, like in a little box, close to my heart.” Ortega wants to provide the kind of welcoming place he feels the United States gave to him. Throughout his three decades here, he’s been able to grow personally and professionally, and he knows it’s a combination of good fortune and hard work. He sees those things all around him in Downtown, and loves the energy of the city core. But mostly, he loves the way Houston has become home, giving him a new start, even as it allows him to acknowledge and celebrate his heritage. “You know, Houston is my home, and it’s a wonderful city to be part of,” he says. “And to get to find your niche and express your feelings in what you do—those opportunities sometimes only come along once in a lifetime. So, for us, to have had so many once-in-a-lifetimes to be part of Houston—it’s overwhelming.”
Gator Grit by Holly Beretto
When he was growing up in Los Angeles, Sánchez Muñoz, president of the University of Houston Downtown, says his father, an immigrant from Mexico, worked six days a week in a factory to help provide for the family. He didn’t complain, Muñoz recalls. He just got it done. “I saw my parents work,” said Muñoz, noting that the life of an immigrant is often a hard one. “But they saw that they had an opportunity here. And they shared their values of character and work ethic and integrity with me—the bar was set very high.” Getting an education was part of that high bar, and Muñoz did so, earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Following a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served in the 1990–91 Gulf War, he earned his master’s degree in Mexican-American studies from California State University Los Angeles, then completed his PhD at UCLA. He later became a faculty member at Cal State Fullerton and would go on to Texas Tech, where he was senior vice president and vice provost for undergraduate education. He took the reins at UHD in February 2017. “Downtown looks like the world,” he says of both his campus and the city core. “There is such a spirit of discovery and possibility here.” Muñoz loves the energy of Houston, its endless optimism and its resilience. He sees those same qualities in UHD’s students, many of whom are older students—the average age of a UHD student is 26— juggling their education with jobs and families. Muñoz sees the immigrant story writ large at UHD, and he’s proud to play a role in it. “I love interacting with the students,” he says. “Knowing who they are, what they want to do. Knowing that we are playing a role in helping them achieve their success. I see this university as an invaluable catalyst.”
When Muñoz speaks about education, he talks about it not only as a vital foundation for a student’s future success, but as a gift he himself received that helped him go from being a factory worker’s son to a college president. He loves the diversity and growth of the student body on campus, and he’s looking to build on it, shooting for an enrollment of 15,500 by 2020. As a 100 percent commuter campus, Muñoz knows, too, that students need support and resources not only to feel connected to campus and to each other, but to reach their goals. For Muñoz, his career in education is personal. Throughout his life, he had teachers and mentors who believed in him, and he wants to be sure his university provides those same experiences for students. He also knows the value of having students who look like he does see someone like him in a leading role. “To be Latinos in our careers is not insignificant,” he says about himself and his wife, who is an associate professor at the University of Houston. “We take our responsibility very seriously.” And Muñoz has little doubt that he’ll achieve the goals he laid for himself at UHD, thereby helping students achieve theirs. “I feel, with typical Houston optimism that there isn’t anything this city and UHD can’t accomplish.”
Public Art for Public Good by Lauren McDowell
“Why is art crucial to developing civic pride?” This was the central question husband-andwife-team Elia and Noah Quiles, proprietors of UP Art Studio, asked in a 2015 presentation for TedXHouston. The answer continues to drive their mission, most recently, from the inside of a new storefront location in Downtown, at 104 South Main Street. As a business, UP Art Studio seeks to facilitate art and design projects for urban and contemporary artists, communities, and corporations from a local to global scale. But as a socially conscious entity, the mission of the Quiles is to create meaningful change in urban environments with public murals, using the work of artists to, as Elia says, educate, move and engage communities.” Their foundational goal, in their own words, is to create “civic pride through civic art.” Though UP Art Studio was officially created by the couple in 2012, the intersection of art and community began decades ago for Noah. What started in the early ‘90s as an effort to express himself through tagging would eventually become the medium that influenced the course of his career. But in those days, living in Chicago’s Southside, it was mostly an escape from the surrounding violence of gang activity. Noah now believes that graffiti saved his life. The journey from amateur street artist to entrepreneur and business owner wasn’t clear cut, but two major life events created new pathways for Noah: a move to Houston in 1998, and meeting future wife and business partner Elia in 2003—fittingly, following the Art Car Parade ball. In those early years, Elia—a native Houstonian—was a successful University of Houston Downtown graduate working as an executive in commercial real estate. Though she was good at what she did and enjoyed her career, Elia felt pulled toward the public work Noah was facilitating in various communities throughout Houston and in places like Miami, Florida.
“The more I contributed to what we were doing, I felt better about myself. A lot of what we do makes an impact on the community,” says Elia. “Not just Downtown and the inner loop, but to give access to public art outside of the inner core was really fulfilling.” Public art brings beauty and creativity to everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, and it’s a tenet that fuels Elia and Noah in their mission. “Diversity is an illusion without inclusion, and that’s the thing that sets us apart,” says Noah. This is evident in the studio’s many projects, which come in various forms. Their mini murals project transforms traffic signal control cabinets into works of art around the city. With funding and support from various sources, including the City of Houston, the Quiles find local artists from the Houston area to bring the metallic, grey boxes to life. Each box reflects the artist’s unique style and incorporates elements from the surrounding community. Today the UP Art Studio entrepreneurs are keeping up with a dizzying array of projects from their new office and gallery space, which encourages visitors on weekdays, and includes plans to stay open late on the weekends. As for Noah, he says he’s living the American dream. “I’m a curator with one of the best operational individuals I’ve ever worked with. Elia’s keen knowledge of business is a leg up over everyone else in this community. Presentation, our mentality, and our mission are making sure that we help to instill civic pride, and we’ll work for years to make sure it happens.” For a full list of past work, find UP Art Studio at 104 South Main Street, or visit their website at www.upartstudio.org.
Building on Ambition by Holly Beretto
There was little doubt Eric Contreras would go into finance. The 32-year-old small business specialist with BB&T basically followed in his mother’s footsteps. She came to the United States from San Luis Potosi in Mexico when she was a teenager, married at 18, had Eric at 19 and worked her way up from a position in the courtesy booth at Fiesta seguing into a career in banking and later real estate. Eric, both a first-generation American and the first in his family to go to college, worked his way through the University of Houston Downtown as a teller, later moving over to sales and services. “I love my career. I love banking,” he said. “And my mother’s ambition—along with the values and morals she and my dad raised me with—is a driving force for me.” Contreras said that he feels the weight of his family’s history and struggles—his father is one of seven children who was raised on a bare-bones budget—keenly. He’s aware that his parents came to the States seeking opportunity, and worked hard to earn their success. As a Latino, Contreras said that he strives to help others of Latino descent achieve the goals his family did. “Three years after I’d started at BB&T, I was working in Greenspoint, where there was a big demand for bilingual bankers,” he said. “Our clients were more comfortable speaking in their native language, especially when talking about the intricacies of finance.” He said that he was able to be not only someone who could literally speak their language, but understand it figuratively as well. American culture runs on credit, he said. But, for many working-class Latinos, their lives are driven by whatever cash is in their pockets. “That’s their budget,” he said. “Or they might have something saved under a mattress, for real. They understand that things like home ownership and college are the right things, but they have no firm idea on how to get there from where they are.”
Contreras now works to help small businesses of all sizes and backgrounds achieve their success, whether it’s adding staff or expanding operations. He loves being able to guide his clients toward their dreams. And he looks forward to the day when he’ll lead a team of his own. When he’s not working, he’s an avid concertgoer (he’s got tickets to Beyonce this fall) and he enjoys traveling. He thrives on working in Downtown, loving the hum of energy and endless things to do in the city core. He’s very much aware that he owes his achievements not only to his own hard work, but also to the example set for him by his immigrant parents, and he doesn’t take it lightly that he can be an example for others. “I love to pass on knowledge, to be able to help people in their careers, even having an impact on their personal lives.” Contreras knows that finance is personal. It’s a key that allows people to fund an education, purchase a house, step onto the path of entrepreneurship. And he’s glad to be someone who can help others get there—the same way he feels his family helped him.
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EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
ï¿½A THE GUIDE TO EATING DOWNTOWN
Downtown Classic Last Concert Cafe has been dishing up tasty Tex Mex and tunes for more than 60 years from its Warehouse District hideaway
These listings are not reviews but are a guide to Downtown dining spots. “Recommended” restaurants are selected by downtown editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value. v RECOMMENDED NEW! JUST OPENED B Breakfast BR Brunch L Lunch D Dinner LN Late Night
Average Price of an Entrée $ $10 or less $$ $11–$19 $$$ $20–$29 $$$$ $30+
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Guide.
1600 Bar + Grille American Located on the lobby-
level of the Hilton Americas–Houston hotel, 1600 Bar + Grille brings farm-fresh ingredients to the menu for a just-picked flavor. Featuring locally-sourced seasonal fresh produce, plus Certified Angus Beef and Gulf seafood dishes prepared from scratch, you can guarantee farm-to-fork freshness. hilton.com. 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon–Fri, D Mon–Sat. $$ v Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best Sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumadowntown.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L & D Mon–Sat. $$
Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine
and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. westin.com/Houston-Downtown. The Westin Houston Downtown, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B, L & D Daily. $ v Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals adorn the walls of the restaurant along with large windows for a perfect view of the park. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. B & L Mon–Sat; D Fri–Sat. $ v Batanga Tapas + Drinks Latin This tapas joint whips up delicious dishes inspired from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile—anywhere that sangria is served. The spacious patio is as good as it gets when it comes to outdoor dining with its festive twinkle lights, great music and stellar views of the Historic District and Market Square Park. batangahouston.com. 908 Congress, 713.224.9500. L & D Daily; BR Sat & Sun. $$
Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$
v Biggio’s American Biggio’s is not your average sports bar. The two-story sports haven named after the Houston baseball legend, Craig Biggio, boasts a large drink selection, upscale bar food, and seats that come with views of flat screen TVs as far as the eye can see. 1777 Walker, 713.654.1777. L & D Daily. $$
BirdDog Saint American The spacious two-story bar is a great place to enjoy live music, sports, and mingle with friends. Opt for any of their savory gourmet pizzas, the BirdDog Burger, or sit at the raw bar and indulge in fresh ceviche. birddogsaint.com. 711 Main. 832.767.5574. L, D & LD Mon–Sat. $$
Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/ Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ The Bistro American The Bistro is a full-service
restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $ v Blue by Massa Seafood This upscale and elegant restaurant offers up a fine selection of American and Seafood cuisine. Among the esteemed list of favorites, the Lobster Bisque is a standout. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable dining experience. Blue also offers occasional live entertainment and dancing is highly encouraged! massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese
restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
v Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the saag paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $ v Boomtown Coffee Main St. Coffee House Part coffee shop, part bar, Boomtown’s drink menu includes everything from specialty coffees and cocktails to healthier options like Kombucha. Satisfy your appetite day or night with their breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch options. boomtowncoffee.com. 300 Main Street. 281.846.6995. B, L, D & BR Daily. $$
Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food Bouray’s offers
made-to-order Mexican and Vietnamese food using ingredients that are prepared fresh daily. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon–Fri. $
Bovine & Barley American Bovine & Barley is a
beautifully designed urban bar and eatery with a heavy focus on beef and beer. The space has an industrial feel which is complimented by warm wood accents and huge HTX letters that hang illuminated on an exposed brick wall. Highlights from the menu include brisket tacos, meatloaf muffins on top of jalapeno mash, 1836 beer can chicken and a variety of burgers. Not to metion over 42 beers and six hand-crafted cocktails on tap! bovineandbarley.com. 416 Main, 832.742.5683. L Sat–Sun; D, LN Daily. $$
v Brasserie du Parc French Located in the luxury high rise, One Park Place, the interior design and the menu at this beautiful French restaurant were inspired by classic Parisian brasseries and offerings include classic dishes like risotto, steak frites and crêpes, along with delicacies such as escargots and chicken liver pâté. brasserieduparc.net. 1440 Lamar, 832.879.2802. L & D Daily. $$$
Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon–Fri. $
Bud’s BBQ Pitmaster Bud’s BBQ Pitmaster brings a
southern-style smoked BBQ to the Avenida District with items like Brisket Sliders and Pulled Pork Tacos on the menu. Featuring an upscale atmosphere, you can get your BBQ fix any day of the week. budsbarbq.com. 1001 Avenida de Las Americas, 832.968.4366. L & D Daily. $$
Burger Theory American Located at street-level of
Downtown’s Holiday Inn, Burger Theory specializes in gourmet burgers, casual American fare and boasts a beer-centric bar. They also serve a mean breakfast! 1616 Main St. B, L, D & LN. $
Buzz Barista Coffee House This full-service espresso bar offers much more than caffeinated beverages for a morning fix. People on the go can grab fresh-baked pastries, Naked juices, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups along with their brewed delights. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. B & L Mon–Fri. $
The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$
Café Cosmopolita Coffee House Inspired by the
cultural and gastronomical diversity in European cafes, this local coffee shop offers a surplus of coffee, pastries made from scratch, breakfast items, and natural smoothies. cafecosmopolita.com. 1625 Main Street, Suite A-1. 708.890.2041. B Daily. $
Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch?
Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. You can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon–Sat. $
Caffé Bene Coffee House The first Houston location from the International chain, Caffé Bene, is housed at GreenStreet with a menu that includes a variety of coffees, Belgian waffles, sandwiches, Italian gelato and other sweet treats! This cozy coffee shop is the perfect place to sit back, relax and escape the bustling downtown streets. caffebeneusa.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.255.2363. B, L & D Daily. $
China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $
Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions,
this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon–Fri. $
plate. Christian’s Tailgate American Christian’s Tailgate has
arguably one of the best burgers in town and now you can enjoy them Downtown! The notable Houston burger joint in Downtown’s Historic District boasts daily food specials, 30 beers on tap, 40+ TVs, a pool table, shuffle board, video games and an awesome outdoor patio! christianstailgate.com. 1012 Congress, 281.556.1010. L, D & LN. $ v Conservatory Beer Garden & Food Hall Conservatory Underground Beer Garden & Food Hall is the first food hall in Houston to showcase a curated list of food vendors, including Moku Bar, Arte Pizzeria, Eazy Does It, Noble Rot Wine Bar, The Pho Spot, and El Burro and The Bull each of which serve elevated yet casual cuisine. The food hall also features pop-up food carts serving specialty items every week and a beer garden with 60 beers on tap serving an eclectic mix of local craft breweries, foreign imports, and wine. conservatoryhtx.com. 1010 Prairie, 713.398.7697. L, D & LN Daily. $$
Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering
fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $
Fabian’s Latin Flavors Latin Looking for dinner with a
House of Blues Restaurant and Bar Southern Classic
Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers,
v Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but packs a punch. One of the best burger joints in town. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon–Sat. $
side of salsa dancing? If so, Fabian’s Latin Flavors is the place for you! From carne asada tacos and empanadas to popular Salvadorian beer and salsa nights, you’ll get a taste of Latin America at this Downtown hotspot. fabianslatinflavors.com. 301 Main. 713.227.0440. L & D Daily. $$ almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $
v Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ v Grotto Ristorante Italian This trendy Italian eatery is conveniently located on Downtown’s restaurant row— Avenida Houston! Enjoy spectacular views of nearby Minute Maid Park and Discovery Green as you experience a revolutionized take on Italian cuisine from small and sharable plates, to fresh salads and traditional dishes like Neapolitan thin crust pizzas and house made pastas. grottorestaurants.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 713.658.0752. L & D Daily. $$$
American cuisine in a modern setting. Perfect for lunch or dinner before a show! The menu includes a variety of options like burgers, salads, pasta and small plates. There’s definitely something for everyone! thedistricthtx.com. 610 Main St. L & D. $$
v The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$
v The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$
v Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This familyowned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of coworkers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a
Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you
The District American The District offers classic
burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and great-tasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon–Fri. $
Edgar’s Hermano Mexi-South Edgar’s Hermano is a
southern American restaurant with a Mexican-inspired twist located inside The Whitehall Hotel. It perfectly blends Houston’s native Tex-Mex cuisine with classic southern fare offering menu items like Texas corn cakes with pork chicharon and cotija cheese, mac and queso with chipotle-grilled Gulf shrimp, and award-winning southern fried stuffed chicken with masa grits and candied bacon jam. thewhitehallhouston.com. 1700 Smith, 713.739.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$
get when you mix a music-themed diner with an allAmerican menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers,nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ v Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrées. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon–Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$
freshly-baked bagels and coffee for breakfast, they also serve up delectable lunch choices that include paninis, melts and pizza bagels. Be an office hero and use the catering service to treat your work pals. einsteinbros.com. 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. B, L & LN Mon–Sun. $
v Hearsay on the Green American Located inside the Embassay Suites in Downtown’s Convention District, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up the finest craft cocktails, New-American dishes and a chic dining experience. The drink menu features an extensive wine list, numerous bottle and draft beers and premium liquors. hearsayhouston.com. 1515 Dallas, 832.377.3362. L & D Daily; LN Fri–Sat; BR Sun. $$
El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran
Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American
Einstein’s Bagels Deli Known as a great place to grab
Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like pomegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com. 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L, D & LN Mon–Fri; D & LN Sat & Sun, BR Sun. $$
House of Blues Restaurant and Bar serves Southerninspired classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, St. Louis ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss the World Famous Gospel Brunch! hob.com. GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$
v Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $$
Irma’s Southwest Grill Mexican Irma’s second
location is a hip spot to satisfy a Mexican food craving. Enjoy tasty foods and great drinks for lunch or dinner. Only a few short blocks from Minute Maid Park. irmassouthwest.com. 1314 Texas, 713.247.9651. B & L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. Open all day on Astros baseball game days M–F. Time varies for Saturday games. $$
The Isles Eatery & Rhum Bar Caribbean
The restaurant offers flavorful Caribbean dishes including Mofongo and Ensalada Calamari de Pulpo, along with an astonishing collection of 56 plus island rums used to create custom cocktails rooted in the regional rhythms of the islands. isleseateryandbar.com. 1515 Pease, 713.739.9039. L, D, LN Tue–Sun. $ v Jackson St. BBQ Barbecue This laid-back spot by renowned Houston chefs Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd and Greg Gaitlin offers smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and classic southern fixins like potato salad, baked beans, collard greens and cole slaw! Conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park, stop by this Downtown favorite before or after Astros games! jacksonstbbqhouston.com. 209 Jackson St, 713.224.2400. L & D Sat–Sun.
Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs
are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced seven-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon–Sat. $ v Kulture Caribbean Dubbed “an urban komfort kitchen,” the restaurant explores food, spirits, art and music through cultural contributions of the African diaspora, including Caribbean and Southern cuisine and daily happy hour specials in a casually elevated, yet comfortable dining atmosphere. 701 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.528.8561. L & D. $$
The Lake House Fast Casual Offering family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. L & Early D Mon–Sun. $
A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy a full menu of all-American favorites. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off–season so call first). $
v La Calle Mexican Located in Downtown’s historic Market Square, this cozy restaurant serves authentic Mexican street tacos, tortas and tostadas. Your visit isn’t complete without an Agua Fresca or pit stop at the funky digs’ lucha libre themed bar, La Cantina! In addition to the savory tacos, you’ll find plenty of Mexican beers, drafts, and frozen margaritas. lacalletacos.com. 909 Franklin, 832.735.8226. L, D & LN Daily. $
Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers
v La Fisheria Coastal Mexican Located in Downtown’s Historic District, La Fisheria serves authentic Mexican Seafood such as sweet shrimp tamales, perfectly prepared fish tacos and a variety of crudos and ceviches. lafisheriahouston.com. 213 Milam, 713.802.1712. L & D Daily. $$
reflect its location on Main Street and the hopes of becoming a staple in Houston’s culinary scene, the restaurant seats 120 and boasts an exhibition kitchen providing guests with an insight into the chefs’ creative process. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/main-kitchen. 806 Main St, 713.400.1245. B, L, D Daily. $$
La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite,
there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Last Concert Cafe Mexican Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this Tex-Mex cafe was born in 1949 and still supplies tasty food and local music today. Spend some time on the leafy back patio and you’ll swear you’re in your neighbor’s backyard throwing back a cold one. lastconcert.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sun; LN Fri–Sat; Bar & live music Tue–Sat. $
Line & Lariat Modern American An award-winning
dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon–Sat. $$$
Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now
enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ v Local Foods American Local Foods is a culinary expression of all things local. The scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcases seasonal salads, fresh soups, farmers market sides, home-made snacks for the taking, and a raw bar with ceviche and oyster shooters. houstonlocalfoods.com. 420 Main, 713.227.0531. L & D Daily. $$
Lone Star Taco Tex-Mex Fast-casual Tex-Mex
restaurant, specializing in great tacos! Lone Star Taco quickly serves artisanal quality, made-fresh tacos at an affordable price. txlonestartaco.com. 1001 Texas St, 713.223.8226. B, L & D Daily. $
Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of
downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, madeto-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Lucienne Mediterranean Not only will the chic brass accents throughout this glamorous gem impress you, but the French-inspired dishes like Gravlax with rye toast, caper berries, dill and mustard sauce will tempt your taste buds into coming back for more. You’ll find this glamorous gem sitting on the second level of Hotel Alessandra. hotelalessandra-houston.com. Hotel Alessandra, 1070 Dallas, Second Floor. 713.242.8555. B, L & D Mon–Fri; BR Sat–Sun. $$
and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$
Main Kitchen American Named Main Kitchen to
Mango Tree Thai Bistro Thai A casual Thai joint that
keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. mangotreethaibistro.com. 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon–Sat. $$ v Massa’s South Coast Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
McAlister’s Deli American This fast casual deli serves fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, and giant stuffed potatoes. mcalistersdeli.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 832.940.0660. L & D Daily. $ v McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon–Fri. $ v Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L & D Daily; BR & LN Fri & Sat. $$
Minuti Coffee Coffee House The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D & LN Daily. $
v MKT BAR International Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, it’s the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L & D Daily. $ v The Moonshiners American The Moonshiners Southern Table + Bar offers up a rebellious respite in the bustling urban backdrop of Downtown Houston. The restaurant celebrates and elevates southern culinary traditions serving up moonshine and whiskey in mason jars alongside generous portions of southern comfort foods such as fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and pulled pork sandwiches. 1000 Prairie, 713.226.7717. L & D Mon–Fri; LN Fri & Sat. $$
v Morton’s Steakhouse This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com. 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1900 Main, 713.650.3354. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. 700 Louisiana, 713.547.0660. 1415 Louisiana, 832.663.6113. 500 Dallas, 713.654.0033. B & L Mon–Fri all locations. $
v Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorites such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L & D Daily. $ v Osso & Kristalla Italian Osso & Kristalla serves up authentic Italian fare in a modern, yet relaxed atmosphere. The casual trattoria features housemade pastries, pastas, wood-fired pizzas and more Italian eats, along with wine, beer, cocktails and local Katz coffee. Enjoy views inside their open concept kitchen or on their breezy outdoor patio. ossoandkristalla.com. 1515 Texas, 713.221.6666. B Mon–Fri; L & D Daily. $$ v The Oyster Bar Seafood Housed inside Prohibition Supper Club, The Oyster Bar is a street-friendly, neighborhood-centric concept serving an extensive seafood menu including fried shrimp, fried oysters, Gulf Coast & East Coast oysters, pan roasted market fish, and roasted cauliflower & mushroom fettuccine. Get your seafood and burlesque fix all in the same place. prohibitionhouston.com. Prohibition, 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. D Daily. $$
Padthai Thai Restaurant Thai A traditional Thai
restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. padthaithairestaurant.com. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ v Pappadeaux This local favorite serves up some of the finest and freshest seafood with a Cajun twist! Start with the crispy fried alligator or a bowl of gumbo, try the Chilean Sea Bass or the pasta mardi gras, and top it all off with the praline bread pudding soufflé. pappadeaux.com. 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 713.654.5077. L Fri–Sun; D Daily. $$$ v Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon–Fri. $ v Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Steakhouse Pappas Bros. Steakhouse puts immeasurable care into everything they do, all to provide their guests with a dining experience like no other. They buy the highest-quality ingredients, use a timeless recipe, and cook it flawlessly each and every time. pappasbros.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.658.1995. D Mon–Sat.
plate. v Pappasito’s Cantina Tex-Mex One of Houston’s most popular casual Tex-Mex restaurants, Pappasito’s specializes in sizzling fajitas, creamy queso and tortillas that almost melt in your mouth! The Downtown location offers six unique ceviches and crudos that can’t be found at any of the other restaurants. pappasitos.com. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St, 713.353.4400. L & D Daily. $$
The Pearl Seafood The Pearl at the Sam Houston
Hotel is a coastal-inspired restaurant with a passion for seafood and steak. The menu satiates guests with savory appetizers and salads, entrees like classic shrimp and grits, scallops carbonara and short ribs, and a la carte selections such as premium cuts of steak alongside simply grilled fish and shrimp dishes. pearlrestauranthouston.com. 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon–Fri; D Thu–Sat. $ v Phoenicia Specialty Foods International If you are in search of yummy food on the go, Phoenicia Specialty Foods is the place for you! This urban gourmet market boasts an incredible salad bar, made-to-order shawarmas and pizzas, grab-n-go sushi, sandwiches and various meat and seafood entrees. This is a one-of-a kind downtown destination where you can appreciate down-to-earth gourmet food prices and a unique variety of flavors. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Potente Italian A sophisticated Italian restaurant, Potente is a dining experience like no other focused on using local products and only the highest quality ingredients. Menu items include daily seafood selections, steaks, homemade pastas and the signature veal osso bucco. potentehouston.com. 1515 Texas, 713.237.1515. D Daily. $$$
Prelude Coffee & Tea Coffee House Get your
coffee fix at this espresso bar located inside Hines’ 609 Main building and pair it with your favorite breakfast and lunch options from local favorite, Morningstar. instagram.com/preludecoffee. 609 Main, 832.382.3466. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Prohibition American Prohibition is the home of the Moonlight Dolls who dazzle audiences with their sexy yet fun burlesque performances. Beaming with glitz and glamour, this upscale supper club has an exquisite menu featuring fresh Gulf seafood and steaks cooked to perfection! prohibitionhouston.com. 1008 Prairie, 281.940.4636. D Thu–Sat; BR Sun. $$$ v Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$
Quizno’s Fast Food
1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon–Sun. $
Rachel’s Café American Rachel’s Cafe is an old fashioned hamburger joint inside the historic Londale Building. This quaint little café has an extensive menu with lots of simple classics like burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads—all made fresh! rachelscafehouston.com. 421 San Jacinto, 713.229.7067. L & D Mon–Sat. $
Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the
Sub Roc Fast Casual Located inside 1021 Main you’ll
Russo’s New York Pizzeria Italian Inspired by the traditional Italian values of family, friends & food, this Houston original doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fresh, delicious, homemade Italian meals. And they serve more than just pizza—try one of their specialty calzones, sandwiches or pastas! nypizzeria.com. 604 Polk, 713.759.9800. L & D Daily. $
Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. Daily. $
Preston Station on the METRORail, Roma’s Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $
Salata American This next-generation salad bar allows
you to create your own, tossed-to-order salad or wrap complete with a variety of fresh greens, a large selection of veggies, fruits, nuts, cheeses and more. Top your order off with one of their signature dressings and your choice of chicken, seafood or tofu! salata.com. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin, 713.275.1088. L & D Daily. $
Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon–Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$
The Shops at Houston Center Food Court
Brooklyn Meatball Company, Bullritos, Chick-fil-A, Doozo’s Dumplings & Noodles, Great American Cookie, Leaf & Grain, Murphy’s Deli, Otto’s Barbecue & Hamburgers, Pho Huy Vietnamese Noodle House, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pretzel Time, Quizno’s Subs, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Snap Kitchen, Starbuck’s Coffee, Subway, Thai Basil, Treebeards, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon–Sat, hours vary. $
Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia
and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$
Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe
offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. B & L Mon–Fri. $ v Spindletop American A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue–Sat. $$$
Stack Burger American This Downtown burger joint is far from ordinary. Serving more than just your everyday burgers, Stack Burger also offers coffee, breakfast, fusion sandwiches and a whole lotta Houston art. stack-burger.com. 703 St. Joseph Pkwy, 713.651.0227. B & L Daily. $
find Sub Roc, a quaint little space offering a diverse menu of breakfast and deli lunch options like soups and salads. Whether you’re taking a coffee break or a grab and go sandwich in hand, Sub Roc strives to make every guest’s experience pleasant with a smiling face and a relaxing environment. sub-roc.com. 1021 Main, Suite 200. 713.337.3530. B & L. $
Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a
combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. Weekday happy hour includes $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and it’s happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $
Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Located
at The Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$
Thai Cafe Asian Make your way to the Historic District
and treat your tastebuds to the authentic flavors of Thai fusion at this local hub. Menu favorites include a variety of Thai dishes including their Crispy Shrimp & Spicy Tamarind Sauce and Kao Soi. thaicafe917.com. 917 Franklin. 713.228.8424. L & D Mon–Sat. $$ v Theodore Rex American Enjoy an intimate dining experience at James Beard Award–winning Chef Justin Yu’s modern American bistro, Theodore Rex. Expect fresh local produce in your dishes coupled with warm hospitality as you walk in. trexhouston.com. 1302 Nance St, 832.830.8592. D Mon–Thu. $$
III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and
impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$ v Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon–Fri. $
Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is
described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ v Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Mon–Fri; D Daily. $$$$
BRINGS LIFE TO THE WAREHOUSE DISTRICT BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
Deep in the heart of the Warehouse District lies Last Concert Cafe, one of Downtown’s earliest underground hotspots. As any Houstonian worth his or her margarita salt can tell you, Last Concert has always had an air of mystery about it. No sign indicates you’re in the correct spot, and hand lettering on the iconic red door instructs patrons to knock twice and wait. Kitchy decorations fill the rambling, wood-framed restaurant’s interior. Nevertheless, the eccentric hole-in-the-wall, which was originally opened as a bordello by Elena “Mama” Lopez in the 1940s, has transformed into the neighborhood’s most sought-out music venue on the northern tip of Downtown. Food wise, guests can choose from a mixture of fajitas, nachos, enchiladas, or any assortment of tasty Tex-Mex items on the menu. Ask for the Dawn Summer Special, and the chef will cook up a crispy beef taco, bean tostada, and chili con
Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. lastconcert.com 713.226.8563
“People’s heads swirl when they come here and see all of this.”
queso tostada plate, paired nicely with freshly made guac. During Sunday brunch, the cornflake crusted pork chops with eggs, Mexican cheese, pico grits and green salsa are a must. If you’re searching for a vegan option, the menu delivers with David’s Vegan Enchiladas, filled with a tangy blend of corn, black beans, red onions and peppers and smothered with an ancho chili sauce. Top off your meal with fudge flan (richer and denser than the traditional dish) or a creamy slab of tres leches cake topped with whipped cream and walnuts. If there’s one thing present owner Dawn Fudge takes pride in, it’s serving high-quality dishes made from scratch and tending to customer needs. Fudge took ownership of the restaurant, which had opened and closed several times over the years, in 1986. “Hospitality to me means
making our customers feel like they’re part of the family, so the service has to be excellent,” she says. “We’ll recommend dishes, and if there’s a special request we try to accommodate.” While the staff’s hospitality goes a long way, the cafe’s spacious, beachy outdoor patio is what lures visitors in and keeps them coming back for more. Locals can sip and dine al fresco in the cafe’s courtyard, catch an impressive range of national and local acts on the elevated stage, dance in free-spirited drum circles and get funky at their annual festivities, including the Watermelon Dance and Summer Social and Praia Urbana. “People’s heads swirl when they come here and see all of this. But to see that whole patio full of people having a great time, that’s a good moment. It’s like a big family here,” shares Fudge. That family extends all the way down to
the thriving art community in the Warehouse District. Art is showcased throughout the restaurant’s colorful walls – quirky Mexican décor and the iconic Frida Kahlo mural hugging the café’s exterior. Frida has long been a hero of Fudge, so she was elated to see the mural come to life. “I love her art, am intrigued with her story, and have always been a big fan,” Fudge says. On the opposite side of the wall, the patio serves as an open gallery every year when the popular Art Crawl takes over the neighborhood. As for the future of the Warehouse District, Fudge hopes that the historical buildings continue to evolve into interesting places. In the meantime, the historical landmark will continue to open its doors to anyone who isn’t afraid to get weird. Just head to 1403 Nance and knock twice on the red door for admittance.
sip. Walker St. Kitchen American Walker Street Kitchen serves the freshest offerings from the Gulf Coast, fusing cultural and geographical influences into a culinary feast. 1777 Walker, 713.654.1777. B, L & D Daily. $$
Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon–Fri. $
Wokker at Craft Beer Cellar Asian Food truck
favorite, Wokker, is now housed inside CraftBeer Cellar. Combining spices and cultures that blend harmoniously, Wokker is known for creating unique dishes that incorporate the wok, proteins and Texas cooking techniques. wokkerhtx.com. 907 Franklin, 713.227.0199. L & D. $ v Xochi Mexican Named after Xochitl, the goddess of the flowers, Xochi specializes in the authentic cuisine of Oaxaca, the culinary capital of Mexico, and incorporates traditional Oaxacan herbs and ingredients throughout its menu. Highlights include the barbacoa de res de zaachila, lechon, and sopa de piedra, an ancient traditional fish and shrimp soup. ¡Buen provecho! xochihouston.com. 1777 Walker, 713.400.3330. L & D Daily. $$$
Your Pie Italian Your Pie is a “down-the-line” pizza
Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites!
Bardot | 1070 Dallas
Perched on the second floor of Hotel Alessandra above the atrium, Bardot offers luxurious ambiance and menu options poised to please. Unwind with a hand-crafted cocktail at the end of the day, or start your evening with a glass of wine and a light bite sure to delight your taste buds. Sun–Thu 3 pm–midnight; Fri–Sat 3 pm–2 am. hotelalessandra-houston.com/bar-bardot
Bayou & Bottle | 1300 Lamar
Bayou & Bottle is a chic bourbon concept located in the lobby of Four Seasons Houston. The bar serves over 150 varieties of bourbons and whiskeys along with flavorful cuisine inspired by Houston’s melting pot of cultures. Unique features include the first-ever Topgolf® simulation golf experience, Angels’ Share private dining room, and personalized bourbon lockers. Mon–Wed 11 am–midnight; Thu–Sat 11 am–1 am; Sun noon–midnight. fourseasons.com
Boots ’n Shoots | 506 Main
This Texas-themed bar conveniently located right off the METRORail, features a wide variety of whiskey. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the super fun larger-than-life PLINKO board which decides your fate when the time comes to take a shot! Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. bootsnshootshouston.com
The Boulevardier | 410 Main, Downstairs
concept offering customers the opportunity to build their own 10″ hand-tossed pizza which cooks in a gas-fired oven in less than five minutes! Their bar menu includes 25 taps of craft beer and a selection of boutique red and white wines. yourpie.com. 1625 Main (inside SkyHouse Houston), 832.767.2544. L & D. $
This beautiful lounge provides an upscale yet comfortable respite to Main Street every Thursday through Saturday serving the finest craft cocktails. Thu–Sat 6 pm–2 am. thecommonerbar.com/#upstairs
Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a
A fun and quirky bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously (hence the name), but the cocktails are seriously good. Patrons enjoy the speakeasy vibe and the patio terrace for prime people watching. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/badnewsbar
freshly made deli sandwich. zerossandwichshop.com. 809 Dallas, 713.650.3333. 1110 Lamar, 713.655.7722. 507 Dallas, 713.739.9955. B & L Mon–Fri. $ NEW!
Zutro Restaurant & Bar American
Nestled inside Le Meridien Hotel, Zutro Restaurant & Bar offers reliable quality in a relaxed upscale environment. Tasty dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients and include favorites like Duck and Andouille Gumbo, Crab Gratin and Chicken Fried Pork Tomahawk. 1121 Walker, 346.330.3446. B, L, & D Daily. $$
Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This cafeteria-style
Cajun joint brings Louisiana dishes to the Hospital District of downtown Houston. Traditional Cajun items such as po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo make Zydeco a great lunch stop. A casual atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 1119 Pease, 713.759.2001. L Mon–Sat; D Tue–Sat. $
Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main
Casablanca Lounge | 312 Main
This Guatemalan-inspired bar offers drink specials every day of the week, plenty of flat screen TVs to keep up with the latest sporting events and features live DJ’s on the weekends. Tue–Sat 4pm–2 am, Sun 4 pm–midnight. casablancahouston.com
Cellar 7 Wine & Bar Bites | 610 Main
From wine 101 classes and event tastings to enjoying cocktails with friends before a theater show, Cellar 7 is a go-to destination in the skyline district. Wind down after work with a glass of wine or a Texas brew and pair it with a side of grilled oysters or any of the delectable bar bits on their menu. Daily 4–11 pm. district7grill.com
Char Bar | 305 Travis
Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon–Wed 10 am–midnight; Thu–Sat 10 am–2 am. twitter.com/TheCharBar
The Commoner | 410 Main, Downstairs
Simple, straightforward. Cocktails, beer and wine. Mon–Sun 4 pm–2 am; Sun noon–midnight. thecommonerbar.com
Cottonmouth Club | 108 Main
For guests of The Cottonmouth Club, the cocktail experience will start before the first drop of liquor is poured. A brainchild of Reserve 101’s Mike Raymond, the bar combines its come-one-come-all atmosphere with world-class cocktails and private barrel-blended whiskey. Daily 4 pm–2 am. cottonmouthhouston.com
Craft Beer Cellar | 907 Franklin
Located in the Historic Market Square neighborhood, Craft Beer Cellar is a bottle shop and bar with a full wall of local, national and international beer options. Stop by and have a drink at the bar or fill up a growler and take one to go! Mon–Sat 10 am–10 pm; Sun 11 am–7 pm. houston.craftbeercellar.com
Dean’s | 316 Main
Under new ownership and with a new look and feel, Dean’s adds to the cool vibe found on the 300 block of Main. Great attention from the bartenders and the trendy crowd make it a unique place to socialize. Mon–Thu 8 pm–2 am; Fri–Sat 5 pm–2 am. deansdowntown.com
The Dirt Bar | 1209 Caroline
The non-venue rock ‘n’ roll lounge is a popular preand post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed The Dirt to host hundreds of memorable after-show events, including Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Daily 6 pm–2 am. dirtbar.com
The Dive | 809 Pierce
A dive bar built for good vibes, you get the best of both worlds at this lounge with a mixture of free play arcade games, drinks and music by some of the best local DJs and international artists. Fri–Sat 9 pm–2 am. divehtx.com
806 Lounge | 806 Main
A favorite of the locals, 806 Lounge located inside the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, ignites the senses with sophisticated creations. Their mixologists are experts in creating cocktails, lively in conversation, and can recommend a favorite dish to accompany your handcrafted drink. Daily 11 am–11 pm. jwmarriotthotelhouston.com/806-lounge
1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin
This cozy little bar is located just one block north of Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect place for a pre-game drink or a strong night cap during the week. Eighteen Twenty Lounge shares a door with Joystix Classic Games which is open on the first and last Friday of every month where $15 gets you all night access to practice your Pac-Man skills. Daily 4 pm–2 am. 1820lounge.com
El Big Bad | 419 Travis
El Big Bad is a Gastro-Cantina that specializes in infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and cocktails, Mexican and Texan Craft Beer and scrumptious fare. Sun–Thu 11 am–midnight; Fri & Sat 11 am–2 am. elbigbad.com
sip. Flying Saucer | 705 Main
Last Concert Café | 403 Nance
Frank’s Backyard | 413 Travis
Lawless Spirits & Kitchen | 909 Texas
Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon–Wed 11 am–1 am; Thu & Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 am; Sun noon–midnight. beerknurd.com Forget about ordering pizza to-go and enjoy a slice or two at Frank’s Backyard. Whether you take a seat at the beer garden’s nifty airstream trailer housing 40 beers on tap or enjoy a glass of bourbon on their upper level deck, this local hotspot will take your traditional “pizza night” to the next level. Daily 3 pm–2 am. franksbackyard.net.
Henke & Pillot | 809 Congress
Where past meets present, and drinks and dining blend in flawless harmony. Henke & Pillot is more than a dynamic Downtown cocktail lounge. Named after the Houston grocery store chain that occupied the space in the 800 block of Congress over 150 years ago, the simple yet sophisticated setting offers patrons inspired cocktails that are paired with mouthwatering dishes. Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. henkehouston.com
High & Dry Rum Bar | 306 Main, Suite 200
Offering more than 50 different types of rum behind the tiki-themed bar, High & Dry is your go-to destination for all your rum-based cocktail needs. Order a classic or try out the bar’s upgraded infusions of the Mai Tai and Hurricane, or maybe both! Thu–St 4 pm–2 am. highanddryhtx.com
Houston Watch Company | 913 Franklin
Houston Watch Company is located in the lobby of the Bayou Lofts at 913 Franklin and gets its name from the former timepiece company that occupied the space over 100 years ago. From its name to its drinks, Houston Watch Company is the essence of old-school. We suggest trying one of their four different versions of an old fashioned or the strawberry shrub cocktail made with fresh fruit! Sun–Tue 4 pm–midnight; Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am. houstonwatchcompany.com
HTX Fan Tavern | 1800 Texas
HTX Fan Tavern is a sports-centric bar conveniently located across from Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect place to pre-game before cheering on the home team or to celebrate after a big victory! htxfantavern.com
The Isles Eatery & Rhum Bar | 1515 Pease
Immerse yourself in this Caribbean hotspot and choose from an astonishing collection of 56 plus island rums used to create delightful cocktails rooted in the regional rhythms of the islands. Tue 4 pm–2 am; Wed & Thu 4–11 pm; Fri 3 pm–2 am; Sat & Sun Noon–2 am. isleseateryandbar.com
La Cantina by La Calle | 909 Franklin
This authentic Mexican sports bar is draped in vintage lucha libre threads, and is the perfect hangout to throw back a few Micheladas, enjoy your fix of tacos and catch your facorite soccer, boxing or UFC match on one of their large 82″ screen TVs. If you get too carried away, drop by La Cantina’s sister concept, La Calle the next morning or the perfect hangover cure—a big bowl of menudo or caldo! Mon–Wed 3 pm–midnight; Thu–Fri 3 pm–2 am; Sat 11 am–2 am; Sun 11 am–midndight. lacalletacos.com
La Carafe | 813 Congress
The oldest building in Houston, this dark and cozy hideaway boasts a great jukebox, moody atmosphere and an extensive beer and wine selection. Sit on the outside patio or balcony and look up in awe at the amazing downtown skyline. Cash only. Mon–Fri noon–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am.
You have to knock three times on the red door to gain entry to the unmarked house in the Warehouse District (well, not anymore). With a backyard stage and sandpit, hoola-hooping and tiki bar, Last Concert has live music most nights. Tue–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat 5 pm–2 am; Sun 3–9 pm. lastconcert.com Lawless Spirits & Kitchen is an establishment with flair. A place that gives rise to the iconic visions of Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Frank Sinatra or Steve McQueen leaning on the bar with a stiff, well-crafted Rye Manhattan. Lawless is detailed with glitzy style, featuring revolutionary cocktails accompanied by comfortable finger foods and satisfying bites. Daily 4–11 pm. lawlesspirits.com
Lilly & Bloom | 110 Main St.
Located in the historically chic Raphael Building, this beautiful two-story lounge is known for its specialty cocktails and guest bartenders every Tuesday night. Prepare to be amazed! Daily 4 pm–2 am. lillyandbloom.com
Little Dipper | 304 Main
This spot is a cool, blue neighborhood bar with pinball machines, cheap bourbon and a bad-ass jukebox. Daily 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/LittleDipperBar
LIVE Sports Bar & Grill | 407 Main
Located in Historic Market Square, Live Sports Bar & Grill makes you feel like you’re sitting at the game amongst all the action! Watch your favorite team on a number of TVs while you enjoy good eats and a drink from their ever-evolving selection of beer on tap. Daily 11 am–2 am. livesportsbarhouston.com
Lobby Bar | 1600 Lamar
Lobby Bar inside Hilton Americas-Houston is ideal for relaxing conversations or a casual meeting. You can treat yourself to the finest in tequilas, your favorite martini or sip a glass of wine while enjoying a light bite. Mon–Fri 2 pm–2 am; Sat 11 am–2 am; Sun Noon–2 am. hilton.com
Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis
The Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share have-been-to-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon–2 am.
MKT BAR | 1001 Austin
Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, MKT BAR is a hip wine and beer bar offering light bites and an urban, yet relaxed setting to hang out with friends on the weekend or unwind with coworkers after a long day. The bar is a local favorite with DJs, bands and fun theme nights. Mon–Wed 7 am–9 pm; Thu 7 am–2 am; Fri & Sat 9 am–2 am; Sun 9 am–8 pm. mktbar.com
Molly’s Pub | 509 Main
This classic Irish pub offers a variety of Irish whiskeys and international beers. Tables and coves lead you to the back, where pool and darts can be found and a second-floor balcony provides excellent views of Main Street and Downtown. Daily 11 am–2 am. mollyspubs.com
Moving Sidewalk | 306 Main
This upscale bar has an intimate setting complete with antique chandeliers, dark lighting and candles. The cocktails at Moving Sidewalk are sure to please as they have hand-crafted ingredients such as rosehip infusion and a fig and marigold shrub. Perfect for a romantic night out or to catch up with friends over drinks! Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. twitter.com/movingsidewalk
The Nightingale Room | 308 Main
The Nightingale Room—named for the famous songbird—also references Houston music legend Sippie Wallace, known as the Texas Nightingale during her prime in the 1920s. This entertainmentfocused bar is a casual, comfortable spot to listen to vinyl during the week and will turn up the energy on weekends with live music—dancing is encouraged! Expect a variety of music from all genres. The drink menu features a small selection of house drinks, shots, as well as beer, wine and champagne. Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. nightingaleroom.com
Noble Rot Wine Bar | 1010 Prairie
Noble Rot is a laid back wine bar inside the Conservatory with a list of fantastic & easy drinking wines. The bar staffs a superstar team of stewards who are there to guide anyone that may not drink much wine to a glass that’s their perfect fit. Sun–Wed 11 am–midnight; Thu 11–1 am; Fri–Sat 11–3 am. conservatoryhtx.com
Notsuoh | 314 Main
The name is Houston spelled backwards. A bar full of random weirdness: Think grunge lounge and artsy. You’ll find people playing chess, and drinking beer, live music, lots of crazy, weird artwork and maybe walk in on a night of punk-rock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm–2 am. notsuoh.com
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon | 924 Congress
Houston’s first charity bar is a true collaboration from Houston’s finest, including owners from Anvil, Paulie’s, Grand Prize and more. Expect classic cocktails and brews in a gorgeous historic building. Every drink purchase earns you a vote that can go toward select charities to win the bar’s monthly earnings. Daily 3 pm–2 am. friedokra.org
Part & Parcel | 1700 Smith
Part & Parcel is a trendy patio bar located at The Whitehall Hotel—it’s the perfect place to mingle, sip and relax under the Texas stars. Their menu includes classic cocktails, original libations, and small plates with big taste! Mon–Thu 4 pm–midnight; Fri–Sat 4 pm–2 am. thewhitehallhouston.com
The Pastry War | 310 Main
A Mezcaleria from Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta that serves up agave spirits along with classic Mexican cocktails and beers in a festive and intimate environment. This specialty tequila joint not only accepts pesos, but is on a brave mission to serve the best margaritas in town. Salud! Tue–Sat 4 pm–2 am. thepastrywar.com
The Pearl | 1117 Prairie
The Pearl offers a large variety of innovative cocktails, unique craft beers, wines and spirits. Mon–Thu 6:30 am–11 pm; Fri 6:30 am–12 pm; Sat 7 am–12 pm; Sun 7 am–11 pm. pearlrestauranthouston.com
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin at GreenStreet
Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed–Sat 7 pm–2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com
Public Services Wine & Whiskey | 202 Travis
Nestled in the historic Cotton Exchange Building, lies Public Services Wine & Whiskey. Public Services isn’t just any cocktail bar, in fact, they’re the complete opposite. Here, patrons can find classic wines and a vast yet distinctive whiskey selection served straight, on the rocks, or with a small selection of mixers. Craft beer and cider help round out the carefully crafted drink menu. Mon–Sat 4 pm–2 am. publicservicesbar.com
Reserve 101 | 1201 Caroline
A whiskey and martini bar touting more than 220 specialty liquors that will make any cocktail aficionados mouth water. Stop by on Tuesday for complimentary tastings of special selections. Order up delicious bites from the new, chef-driven menu featuring tasty flatbreads, appetizers and sandwiches. Sun 5 pm–2 am; Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am. reserve101.com
Saint Arnold Beer Garden & Restaurant | 2000 Lyons NEW!
Saint Arnold’s Beer Garden & Restaurant is a must-go-to destination combining beer, food, architecture, and art. Guests can enjoy a pint of any Saint Arnold beer along with an expanded lunch and dinner menu that includes a variety of shareable dishes, pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and world-class entrées. Sun–Wed 11 am–10 pm; Thu–Sat 11 am–11 pm. saintarnold.com
Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas at Rice Lofts
Dublin native and owner John McElroy created this space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland. The crowd is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat & Sun 1 pm–2 am. mcelroyspub.com
Tongue Cut Sparrow | 310 Main (upstairs)
Named after a Japanese fable, this 25-seat formal cocktail bar provides an extremely elevated experience from the tidy menu made up of 16 classic cocktails and a few select beer and wine options, to the bartenders clad in black bowties. Wed–Sat 4 pm–2 am.
Warren’s Inn | 307 Travis
This tavern is long known for its top-notch jukebox full of American classics, strong mixed drinks and its diverse crowd of customers. Mon–Fri 11 am–2 am; Sat noon–2 pm, Sun 2 pm–2 am.
The Wine Cellar | 540 Texas
Unwind and relax with more than 400 varieties of wine and imported beers. Wine tastings Mon–Thu, 2–7 pm. Daily 11 am–midnight. thewinecellarhouston.com NEW!
Z on 23 | 1121 Walker
Sitting on Le Meridien’s 23rd floor, this gem offers a light menu, craft cocktails, specialty beers, a unique wine selection and 360-degree views of Downtown Houston. Sun–Thu 4–10 pm; Fri–Sat 4–11 pm. lemeridienhoustondowntown.com
Sunny’s Bar | 901 Capitol @ Main
Laid-back place with a friendly atmosphere and great prices that keep the regulars coming back. Sunny will likely be behind the bar serving up the beer and cocktails and great conversation. Foosball, darts and shuffleboard are in the back of the house to keep you entertained. Mon–Sat 2 pm–2 am.
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Performing Arts 42 Festivals + Special Events 47 Discovery Green 48 Market Square Park 52 and more
EDITED BY STEFANIE PASCACIO
A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE photo by Morris Malakoff
PERFORMING ARTS AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE MOUSETRAP
Sep 1–2 The ExxonMobil Summer Chills returns with the longest-running show in theater history, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. James Black, interim artistic director, will direct this classic whodunit that recently celebrated its 66th anniversary. A group of strangers find themselves trapped in a British boarding house during a snowstorm with a murderer afoot. It’s an Agatha Christie plot twist finish you won’t want to miss. Tickets start at $26. Times vary. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
VIVA LAS VEGAS
Sep 1–2 Roll the dice, shuffle the deck and throw on your most glamorous attire—we’re heading to Vegas, baby! No airfare required and everyone’s a winner as crooner Frankie Moreno, one of the most popular headliners in Vegas today, brings the hottest show on the Strip straight to you—hits of Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and, of course, “the King” himself, Elvis Presley. Get ready to hit the musical jackpot in this evening of glitz, glamour and great entertainment. And remember—what happens in Jones Hall stays in Jones Hall. Tickets vary. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
Sep 7–Oct 7 It’s 2008 and the start of the Great Recession. In the break room of one of Detroit’s last auto stamping plants, a makeshift family of co-workers swaps stories, shares dreams, and takes pride in their work. When confronted with the life-altering choices they must face if the factory closes, dynamics shift and each is pushed to the limits of survival. Loyalties are tested and boundaries are crossed in this deeply American play. Tickets start at $45. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
OPENING NIGHT WITH YUJA WANG
Sep 8 Be part of the glamour of opening night as the one-and-only Yuja Wang brings her extraordinary artistry and trademark panache to Ravel’s virtuosic concerto and sparkling showstoppers for solo piano. A night of musical magic ends in Prokofiev’s vibrant, impassioned rendering of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Tickets start at $35. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Sep 21 Leading composers of the Baroque era often
was the Broadway choreographic debut of Agnes DeMille who created rousing, funny, and beautiful dances including a show-stopping dream ballet that lifted the show into new territory. Theatre Under The Stars’ production of Oklahoma! will be choreographed by Stanton Welch, Houston Ballet’s artistic director. Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.8887. tuts.com
repurposed their own works, especially when a royal patron needed a special gift. Bach and Couperin were expert re-gifters: Bach’s Six Concertos for Diverse Instruments were assembled, not composed afresh, for the Margrave of Brandenburg, while Couperin collected his chamber music at regular intervals for the royal seal of approval from Louis XIV. Tickets start at $39. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.
MAHLER’S RESURRECTION SYMPHONY
music can match its drama, power and sheer impact. Dive into an awe-inspiring new season as Andrés leads Mahler’s epic saga of life, death and transcendence, a monumental journey that starts in the depths of despair, then channels the combined power of more than 250 musicians for an electrifying finale that shakes the rafters and soars to the heavens above. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
MOMIX, OPUS CACTUS
Sep 14 The internationally-acclaimed dance company, MOMIX, and Artistic Director Moses Pendleton, bring the landscape of the American Southwest to life with Opus Cactus, which uses MOMIX’s signature illusionistic style to create images of cactuses, slithering lizards and fire dancers. Tickets start at $35. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA.
Sep 14–16 Africa Umoja! The Spirit of Unity is a tale of South Africa, its people and their song. Witness a joyous and explosive celebration of South African culture and music with sensational voices and energetic dancing. This art and cultural showcase features beautifully designed South African costumes, award-winning and internationally acclaimed choreography and exceptional music. Tickets $86.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.
Sep 13–16 There is no other symphony like it. No
photo by Norbert Kniat
RE-GIFTING WITH ROYALTY
Sep 11–23 When Oklahoma! premiered in 1943, it
datebook. BRONFMAN PLAYS PROKOFIEV
Sep 21–23 Indisputably one of the greatest classical musicians in the world today, Grammy Award-winner Yefim Bronfman returns for Prokofiev’s scintillating concerto, a virtuosic whirlwind absolutely guaranteed to bring down the house. A program of Russian masterworks also spotlights Shostakovich’s spirited, slapstick Ninth and Prokofiev’s effervescent Classical throwback, a showpiece for the Houston Symphony’s virtuosity. Tickets start at $30. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
K.D. LANG INGÉNUE REDUX TOUR
Sep 24 Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the critically acclaimed Ingénue, K.D. Lang will perform songs from the album—including the Grammy-award winning hit Constant Craving—along with hits from her 2004 album Hymns of the 49th Parallel. Tickets start at $39. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
Sep 25–30 Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-halfyear return to Broadway. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring a thrilling score and beloved songs like I Dreamed A Dream, and One Day More, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Tickets start at $85. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.
Sep 26 Thirty years ago, Houston Grand Opera celebrated the opening of the Wortham Theater Center with Verdi’s masterpiece Aida, starring Plácido Domingo as Radames. This September, Domingo returns to HGO once again. This time, he joins Patrick Summers and the HGO Orchestra, along with special guest soprano Ana María Martínez, for a one-night-only concert event marking the re-opening of the Wortham after Hurricane Harvey. Join us for a magical night celebrating the much-awaited return to their creative home. Tickets start at $55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.OPERA.
REC ROOM ARTS PRESENTS: EXIT STRATEGY
Sep 26–Oct 13 Award-winning playwright, Ike Holter
brings us this no-holds-barred comedy of a crumbling Chicago public high school slated for closure at the end of the school year. The looming shutdown causes tensions in the school’s already volcanic neighborhood to rise to the breaking point, but a small group of teachers launch a last-minute battle to save their school. This regional premiere play is a blistering reflection of America’s public education system and a timely story for Houston in the midst of HISD’s dwindling budget and contentious board. Tickets $15–$40. 7:30 pm. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. 713.344.1291. recroomarts.org
DVORAK’S STABAT MATER
Sep 27–30 A stunning creative outpouring that arose from the tragic death of his young children, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater stands as one of the towering monuments of choral music, a soul-stirring meditation on grief and hope. An all-star cast joins the Houston
RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE
Symphony and Chorus for this sublime and moving masterpiece, full of tender, luminous beauty that shines forth like a light in darkness. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
RICHARD GOODE PIANO
Sep 29 In a rare Houston appearance, legendary pianist Richard Goode brings his unparalleled interpretive powers to a fascinating selection of classical and romantic works. This revered pianist makes music of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness, and has been hailed worldwide as one of today’s greatest musicians. To begin the celebration of visionary Artistic Director Sarah Rothenberg’s 25 years with Da Camera, she joins Richard Goode for Schubert’s masterful Fantasy in F Minor. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
THE MUSIC OF ABBA
Oct 5–7 From euphoric disco and chart-topping pop
PETER AND THE WOLF
Oct 6 Experience one
of the most beloved children’s tales of all time in Prokofiev’s enchanting Peter and the Wolf, in which the courageous Peter and his animal friends outwit the fearsome Wolf. Plus, Be prepared with your mightiest lion’s roar as the Houston Symphony plays popular songs from Disney’s The Lion King—Hakuna Matata, The Circle of Life and more! Tickets start at $22. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
BRAHMS’ THIRD SYMPHONY
perfection to a movie and a hit Broadway musical, ABBA was—and is—a sensation. Dance, jive and have the time of your life as international vocal phenomenon Rajaton and the Houston Symphony bring you infectious hit after infectious hit. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Oct 6 Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A
Oct 13 Your favorite drag stars return with a fierce new
Oct 5–28 Shakespeare’s hilarious tale of unrequited love, Twelfth Night crackles with quick wit and genderbending hijinks. Stranded on the coast of Illyria, Viola assumes the disguise of a pageboy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the center of an explosive love triangle in which identity, passion, and gender all threaten to come undone. Tickets start at $39. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
minor, Op. 56, “Scottish”; Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90; Antoine Plante, conductor. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080.
RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE
show for 2018 in The Official RuPaul’s Drag Race World Tour! Hosted by Bob The Drag Queen, with sickening performances by the queens from Season 10 along with fan favorites Kim Chi, Valentina, Shangela and Violet Chachki! Tickets start at $60. 9 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
photo by Cory Weaver
PERLMAN PLAYS & CONDUCTS
Oct 18–21 Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman is your conductor and soloist in a program of musical delights, including Bach’s crowd-pleasing concerto and Schumann’s rhythmic and rustic Fourth Symphony. Don’t miss one of the most beloved symphonies ever composed in Mozart’s ingenious Symphony No. 40. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
Oct 19–Nov 2 Every seven years, the Dutchman comes ashore for a chance to break the curse that binds him to the desolate seas. His quest for true love leads him to Senta, a captain’s daughter who has been obsessing over a mystifying portrait of him. When the two meet, the Dutchman is hopeful, but Senta must decide between her arranged marriage and her overpowering love for the Dutchman. HGO’s first Wagner opera since the four-part Ring cycle, this new production of The Flying Dutchman heightens the dramatic elements of the famous legend of a cursed ghost ship and features Andrzej Dobber in the title role. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.OPERA.
HANSON STRING THEORY, LIVE WITH HOUSTON SYMPHONY
Oct 23 After a sold-out world tour celebrating 25 years together, Hanson marks their 26th birthday with a musical experience unlike any other. Hanson String Theory—a musical manifesto with new and career-spanning works from Hanson arranged by David Campbell, performed live with the Houston Symphony. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
TCHAIKOVSKY’S VIOLIN CONCERTO
Oct 26–29 Its hair-raising technical demands were deemed “unplayable” when first composed—but Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto has gone on to become one of the best known and best loved in the repertoire. You’re in good hands with Karen Gomyo, “an artist of rare musical command” (Chicago Tribune). Plus, enjoy the lush, cinematic sweep of music from Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Oct 23–Nov 4 The Wiz tells the story of 13-year-old
Oct 26–Nov 11 Join the bohemian revolution in the
Dorothy, who lives with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and her dog, Toto. After a cyclone hits her house, Dorothy is transported to the magical land of Oz where she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion who help her on her journey to defeat the wicked Evillene and find her way home. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.8887. tuts.com
heart of Paris as groups of artists live life to the fullest, make art, and fall in love. A chance encounter on a winter night changes everything for Mimi and Rodolfo, sending them into a deep, romantic whirlwind that brings audiences opera’s most beloved love story— Puccini’s La bohème. Featuring some of opera’s most famous music, La bohème brings to life the hope, thrill, and heartbreak of true love. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.OPERA. houstongrandopera.org
SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR
Oct 24 Under the direction of Beverly Bryer, Soweto Gospel Choir celebrates the unique and inspirational power of African gospel music and is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world. Tickets $35–$80. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
All events free and open to the public. Central Library 500 McKinney
Fall Calendar EXHIBIT: TIMELESS ELEGANCE: HOMAGE TO OSCAR DE LA RENTA
SHOW & TELL POP-UP EXHIBIT: STORIES OF HOUSTON’S MUJERES
Sep 1–Oct 28 This exhibition features garments from
Sep 20 In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, see
Fashion Fusion, an annual competition presented by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the award-winning Fashion Design Program at Houston Community College. Fashion Fusion challenged students and alumni to design original outfits inspired by the museum’s recent exhibition, The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta. The students and alumni entered their designs into one of four categories inspired by major influences on de la Renta’s life: Eastern, Garden, Icons, and Spain. Central Library.
unique items that reflect the vibrant history of Hispanic women in Houston. This pop-up exhibit is a special opportunity to see, touch, and learn about the Hispanic Archival Collections. 6–7:45 pm.
JULIA IDESON BUILDING TOUR
Sep 1, Oct 6, Nov 3 Take a historic tour of Julia Ideson Building, learn about the building’s history, its renovations and additions, and the significance of its art and architecture. Tours begin at the reception desk in the lobby and are available on a first-come basis, with a limit to 20 people. 11 am–noon. Julia Ideson Building.
Julia Ideson Library 550 McKinney
Julia Ideson Building.
Sep 29 A celebration of books, art and culture with a focus on highlighting Hispanic history and heritage through library presentations, activities, performances and more. Audiences of all ages can take in the sights and sounds of bilingual storytelling, craft-making, poetry readings and live music featured throughout the Central Library, the outdoor plaza and Hermann Square at City Hall. Noon–4 pm.
FAMILY FUN MONDAYS
Baby Story Time, 10:30 am Toddler Story Time, 11:30 am Stress Relief and Relaxation Yoga, Noon Preschool Story Time, 1 pm
Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am
LEGO Mania, 3 pm
Oct 27 An evening of chills, thrills, and fun … if you dare! Youth ages 10–15 are invited to a screamingly good time at our annual after-hours event. The evening includes dinner, games, crafts, contests, and more. Registration is required. 7–10 pm. Central Library.
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Nov 2–4 From the storied composer-lyricist team
Nov 7–18 Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new
of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, The Seven Deadly Sins follows two personas (one sensible, one sultry) on a seven-city pursuit of the American dream, with a different sin at every stop. The incredible Storm Large has earned rave reviews playing Anna everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center, and now brings her signature role to Houston. Part parody. Part poetry. All riveting. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera will come to Houston as part of a brand new North American Tour. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before” and features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.
DR. LONNIE SMITH TRIO
Nov 3 Dr. Lonnie Smith stands tall as the foremost master of the Hammond B-3 organ. At the age of 75, he is a paragon of innovation and experimentation. The 2017 NEA Jazz Master may consider himself old school, but Smith paints new hues on the canvas of tradition, as evidenced on his spirited recent live album All in My Mind. The album is his second for Blue Note since his 2016 return to the legendary label where he made a name for himself in the late 1960s, as a sideman and as a leader with his own soul-jazz classics. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
DR. LONNIE SMITH TRIO photo by Mark Sheldon
photo by Amitava Sarkar
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS—FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
A CHRISTMAS CAROL—A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS
Nov 9–11 Fall in love with the beauty of Paris and
Nov 16–30 Houston’s seasonal favorite returns! A
the magic of Gershwin’s music as this 1951 classic film and Academy Award Best Picture winner comes to the big screen at Jones Hall, complete with live soundtrack by the Houston Symphony. Starring Gene Kelly as an American ex-GI who falls for Parisian Leslie Caron, the film weaves its romantic story with George and Ira Gershwin’s most unforgettable, enduring songs—Embraceable You, I Got Rhythm and many more—alongside jump-off-the-screen dance numbers and plenty of joie de vivre. Who could ask for anything more! Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas is a family-friendly re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season. Tickets $37–$85. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700.
AN EVENING OF LAUGHTER AND REFLECTION
Nov 13 During An Evening of Laughter and Reflection, Burnett will take questions from the audience and show video clips from her shows in a format that harkens back to the legendary openings of The Carol Burnett Show where her studio audience had an unfiltered opportunity to engage Carol with questions and receive spontaneous answers. “I love the spontaneity of these evenings,” said Carol. “I never know what anyone is going to ask, or say, or do, so it keeps me on my toes!” Tickets start at $53.50. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. joneshall.org
Nov 17 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s turbulent journey from being the good little boy attending Catholic school to becoming a world-class athlete, world-shaking activist and worldwide best-selling author was guided by a series of well-meaning mentors. In some cases, the lessons learned were not the ones intended by the mentor, but were a reaction to what Kareem saw as a flaw in their teachings. Tickets are $35-$105. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4772. spahouston.org
Nov 16–18 An instant sensation at its premiere in Venice in 1709, Agrippina established the young Handel’s reputation as a theatrical genius. Its tuneful score, abundant humor, and classic Roman intrigue make for a delightful evening at the opera. Tickets $39–$140. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525.
A MOZART & BRAHMS THANKSGIVING
Nov 23–25 How glorious it is to behold pure genius at its prime in Mozart’s late, great Piano Concerto No. 22, written during an astoundingly prolific stretch in which the music poured forth as if fully formed. Celebrated pianist Inon Barnatan—“a true poet of the keyboard” (London Evening Standard)—is your soloist. Then, peer through a dazzling kaleidoscope of color with Brahms’ final symphony, whose radiant melodies ebb and flow like a sun-lit river. It’s a program of musical delights this Thanksgiving with the Houston Symphony. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575.
Nov 23–30 The Houston Ballet officially returns to their home at the Wortham Theater with a joyous production of The Nutcracker by Stanton Welch. Join them for this holiday celebration as they open the 2018–19 season with beloved characters from this timeless classic set to Tchaikovsky’s splendid score. Gather your family and friends and join Clara in holiday revelry as she journeys from her home on Christmas Eve, through a magical Christmas tree, and into the whimsical Kingdom of Sweets, accompanied by her Nutcracker Prince. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS SPECIAL OFFER: SUPER SATURDAYS
Sep 1, 8, 15 Buy-one, get-one-free Aquarium
Adventure Passes on Saturdays. Adventure e Pass includes unlimited access to Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, Stingray Reef, and all rides with the purchase of another. Visit website to download coupon. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474.
CITY HALL FARMER’S MARKET
Wednesdays, Sep 12–Dec 19 The public can enjoy a variety of locally prepared ready-to-eat or packaged to-go foods, pick up farm-fresh weekly groceries and at the same time support sustainable food, all amidst Houston’s dramatic Downtown urban setting. Free. 11 am–1:30 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby.
SAINT ARNOLD & HOUSTON DAIRYMAIDS BEER & CHEESE PAIRING
Sep 9 October is American Cheese Month, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company is getting all cheesy with the Houston Dairymaids. Guests can enjoy a five-course guided beer and cheese pairing with two of Houston’s finest! $30. 3 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
VIVA VENEZUELA FEST
Sep 15 The Viva Venezuela Festival gives attendees a glimpse into Venezuelan culture, while giving Venezuelans living in Texas a glimpse of home. Enjoy a wide variety of traditional Venezuelan singers, dancers and culinary delights as you discover the ins and outs of the culture. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. Noon–10 pm. $15. vivavenezuelafest.com
Sep 15, Oct 20, Nov 17 Get your gloves out and sign up for a Volunteer Workday at Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Help maintain and revitalize Buffalo Bayou this summer while having fun. No tools necessary. Just sign up and complete the online volunteer waiver required. 8:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
OHLSSON PLAYS BEETHOVEN
Nov 29–Dec 2 Beethoven’s soulful and sparkling Piano Concerto No. 3 gets the superstar treatment from legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson, whose virtuosic artistry yields “a sound so lush it almost glistens” (Seattle Times). Then, immerse yourself in the soaring musical world of Sir Edward Elgar as renowned conductor Edo de Waart—a master of grand-scale symphonies—leads the composer’s lavish, heartfelt First. Tickets start at $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
A CHRISTMAS CAROL—A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS photo by John Everett
BANK OF AMERICA SCREEN ON THE GREEN PRESENTED BY TAQUERIA ARANDAS
Catch a free movie under the beautiful Downtown skyline. Arrive early for contests and activities.
Sep 22 WALL-E (G, 2008, 98 min., CC Spanish) 8 pm Oct 20 Goosebumps (PG, 2015, 103 min. CC English) 7:30 pm
Oct 26 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (PG, 1982, 115 min., CC Spanish) 7:30 pm
Nov 3 Black Panther (PG-13, 2018, 135 min., MOONGARDEN
CC English) 7:30 pm
Sep 29–Oct 7 A series of 22 illuminated spheres will
photo courtesy of Lucion
SPECIAL EVENTS FLEA BY NIGHT PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
Sep 15, Oct 20, Nov 18 Discovery Green’s eco-
conscious Flea is irresistible to the avid shopper. Enjoy live local music, food trucks and shopping under the stars and twinkling lights. 6–10 pm.
SCREAM ON THE GREEN
Oct 26 Have a spook-tacular time at Houston’s annual citywide Halloween celebration featuring a costume contest for all ages! 10 pm.
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS PRESENTED BY TAQUERIA ARANDAS
Nov 2 Discovery Green’s inaugural Dia De Los Muertos
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT UNPLUGGED AT DISCOVERY GREEN
Formerly Canned Acoustica, Unplugged at Discovery Green showcases the best musical acts in town performing in an unplugged concert series that challenges them to rethink, rearrange and deliver a unique performance of their songs using only acoustic instruments. 5–9 pm.
Sep 16 Nick Gaitan, Jealous Creatures, Christian Kidd of The Hates, SG & The Soul and Pecos Hank
Oct 21 Ancient Cat Society, Howard and the Nosebleeds, Kay Weathers, John Egan and Kimi Kent
festival will feature an altar, procession, hands-on art activities and artist demos, local artist and retail booths, live music by Jarabe Mexicano, and special performances throughout the evening. 6–10 pm.
Nov 25 Soul Creatures, Metanoia, Now We Fly, Sara
Family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of the Gulf Coast. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages. Food, beer and wine are available for purchase. 7 pm. Sep 20 David Lee Garza Oct 4 The Tontons Oct 18 Monte Montgomery Nov 1 Secret Sisters
Nov 16 Kick off the winter season and celebrate the opening of The ICE and GUST!, the dazzling new art installation by CocoLab, with a park-wide celebration featuring live music, ice sculptures and more. 6–10 pm.
Van Buskirk and Los Dientes
THURSDAY NIGHT CONCERTS PRESENTED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN ENERGY
transform Discovery Green and Avenida Houston into a magical moonscape. Ranging in size from six to 30 feet in diameter, moonGARDEN features 11 shadow theaters that tell the diverse, dynamic story of Houston and Discovery Green, as well as interactive works that allow visitors to become part of the experience. Visible during all park hours and activated nightly from 6 pm to midnight.
Sep 29 Opening night activities include Cirque la Vie, a screening of Moonstruck (1988) and other performances throughout the park.
Sep 30 Bring your date for Moondance, a romantic evening at moonGARDEN. After a stroll among the magical moonscape, complete the evening with ballroom dancing lessons, poetry buskers and surprises. 7:30 pm.
Oct 5 Put on your jammies and head to Goodnight, Moon, a family-friendly pajama party at moonGARDEN. Guests will enjoy stories by celebrity readers, milk and cookies and stargaze through telescopes with the Astrological Society. 7–9 pm.
METDANCE SEASON KICK-OFF
Oct 6 METdance dives into its 23rd season under the stars with a special performance under the moonGARDEN. 8–10 pm.
ART @ DISCOVERY GREEN
Nov 2–4 From jewelry to paintings and sculptures, shop from over 75 fine art and contemporary craft artists. 10 am–6 pm on Nov 3 and 10 am–5 pm on Nov 4.
FAMILY & CHILDREN EVENTS FITNESS IN THE PARK STEM SATURDAYS
Saturdays, Sep 1–Nov 10 Girls, Inc. hosts a hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education program for kids. Hosted by Mad Science on Sep 22. Space is limited to 40 kids on a firstcome, first-serve basis. 12:30–1:30 pm.
PRESENTED BY SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET
No pre-registration required, but participants must sign a waiver upon arrival. Bring a towel and water, as well as a mat for yoga classes. Yoga mats can be purchased in the office at Discovery Green between 9 am–6 pm.
OTHER EVENTS KIDNEY ACTION DAY
Sep 9 The American Kidney Fund is hosting Kidney Action Day, offering free kidney health screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations, fitness activities and entertainment. 9 am–4 pm.
ENCOUNTER HOUSTON 2018
Saturdays, Sep 1–Nov 17 Bring your sorted glass,
Taught by Andria Miguez Saturdays, Sep 1–Nov 10, 9:30–10:30 am
Sep 14–15 Enjoy three days of relaxation, worship
paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. 11 am–2 pm.
and a life-giving Encounter with Jesus. Ticket fees apply. encounterhouston.com
Sep 15 The Texas Taco Music Fest is a Latin
YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP
Saturdays, Sep 1–Nov 24 Kids learn to express their thoughts and develop language skills, thanks to Writers in the Schools (WITS), HPL Express and Discovery Green in Houston’s only free and open writing workshop for kids. Limited to 25 students, first come, first serve. 10:30–11:30 am.
SUNDAYS IN THE PARK
Sundays Enjoy live music, lawn games and more. 2–5 pm.
Sep 2 Adrian Michael Sep 23 Snit’s Dog and Pony Show Sep 30 The Mighty Orq Oct 7 Grupo Batacha Oct 28 Sparky Parker
Sundays, Sep 2–Nov 11, 9:30–10:30 am
In partnership with the Military Veterans Peer Network Mondays, Sep 3–Nov 12, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
In partnership with the Military Veterans Peer Network Mondays, Sep 3–Nov 12, 12:30–1:30 pm
Taught by Cirque la Vie Tuesdays, Sep 4–Nov 13, 6–8 pm
Taught by John Tran Tuesdays, Sep 4–Nov 13, 6:30–7:30 pm
Tuesdays, Sep 4–Oct 30 Houston Public Library (HPL)
Taught by Oscar Sajche Wednesdays, Sep 5–Nov 14, 6:30–7:30 pm
teams up with Discovery Green for a morning of fun with story time, activities and crafts. 10:30 am–12:30 pm.
YOUTH PERFORMANCE POETRY SESSIONS
TEXAS TACO MUSIC FESTIVAL
foodie and cultural celebration complete with live music, artists and tasty treats. Ticket fees apply. Noon–9 pm. texastacomusicfest.com
BLUEGRASS ON THE GREEN
Sep 23 The Houston Jewish community invites all comers for Jewish bluegrass in the park—a fantastic, family-friendly Sunday afternoon featuring music by Nefesh Mountain. 4–6 pm.
2018 KOREAN FESTIVAL HOUSTON
Oct 13 The Annual Houston Korean Festival celebrates the Korean culture through food, performances and activities for all ages. 10 am–7 pm. koreanfestivalhouston.com
10TH ANNUAL HOUSTON VISIONWALK Oct 20 Family- and pet-friendly un-timed 5K walk. 9 am–1 pm.
Taught by Urban Movement Thursdays, Sep 6–Nov 15, 6:30–8 pm
Fridays, Sep 7, Oct 5, Nov 2 Writers in the Schools (WITS) offers free writing and performance poetry workshops for poets ages 13 to 19. 6:30–8 pm.
MY FIRST MUSIC LESSON
Sundays, Sep 9, Oct 14, Nov 11 Children grades 1 through 8 enjoy a hands-on musical experience during this class taught by Divisi Strings. 3–4 pm.
TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON
Sep 22 Sample great outdoor activities with Texas Parks and Wildlife. 10 am–3 pm.
The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green’s summer events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted. Most events are free, unless noted otherwise. 1500 McKinney.
photo by Katya Horner
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL
CITY HALL FARMER'S MARKET photo by Patrick Bertolino
HAPPY HOUR WITH PINOT’S PALETTE
NIGERIA CULTURE PARADE
BAYOU CITY ART FESTIVAL
Sep 19 Make plans for an unforgettable evening of
Sep 29 Celebrate Nigeria’s 58th year of independence
Oct 13–14 A sophisticated outdoor gallery under
fun and fine art where the wine and the canvases are provided! All you need to do is bring your friends and get ready to be inspired by local artists from Pinot’s Palette, who will guide you step-by-step through a featured painting. At the end of the evening, leave with your own masterpiece. Please note that this is an outdoor event. Main Street Square, 1000 block of Main. Space is limited, $20. 5:30–8 pm. artblockshouston.org
in the heart of Downtown. Attendees will witness a rich cultural experience through the street-wide celebration. Free. 9 am–1 pm. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk.
the iconic Houston skyline, transforming the streets of Downtown into artistic avenues bursting with color and culture. The two-day festival showcases the works of over 300 of the finest artists and craftsmen in the world. Adding to the festive outdoor gallery are a variety of food options, a creative zone for children, and a stage with ongoing entertainment. Tickets $15 adult, $5 child, children under 5 free. 10 am–6 pm. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. artcolonyassociation.org
HOUSTON BBQ THROWDOWN
Sep 24 Barbecue joints from around the area will be serving dishes that represent their interpretation of Houston-style barbecue. Along with a panel of judges, guests will sample all of the dishes and decide on their favorite. $65. 1 pm. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
OKTOBERFEST AT SAINT ARNOLD
Oct 6–7 Put on your best dirndl, lederhosen or other Tyrolean duds and come out to Saint Arnold’s Annual Oktoberfest party in their beer hall. Feast off their specialty menu and dress up for a chance to be crowned king or queen of Oktoberfest. Visit website for ticket prices. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
KBR KIDS DAY
Oct 13 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership and KBR for the 13th annual KBR Kids Day at Guadalupe Plaza Park. Children and adults will be delighted by hands-on nature and learning activities, live music and entertainment, food trucks, birds of prey shows, pontoon boat tours on the bayou, and a Halloween costume parade! Free. Guadalupe Plaza Park, 2311 Runnels. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
Oct 20 A comedian, actor, and writer, Patton Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment. From his Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows (including Parks and Recreation, Oswalt continues to choose work that inspires him and entertain audiences. Tickets start at $39. 8 pm. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com
69TH ANNUAL H-E-B THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
HOUSTON HISPANICS AND THE VIETNAM WAR BY JESSE ESPARZA
Sep 20 Learn the untold stories of Mexican Americans involved in the Vietnam War. $5. Noon–1 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
LOST RESTAURANTS OF HOUSTON BY PAUL GALVANI
Oct 18 Paul Galvani will be taking a trip down memory lane telling stories of memorable Houston restaurants. $5. Noon–1 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
HEARTMADE HARVEST ART MARKET
HEARTMADE HARVEST ART MARKET
VIA COLORI STREET PAINTING FESTIVAL
Nov 3 Explore the works of over 70 local artists,
Nov 17–18 Amazing chalk artists transform the
crafters and creatives with work ranging from jewelry and apparel to home goods and art along Main Street Square. The fun-filled event has a little something for everyone, including live music, Saint Arnold beer garden, an interactive kids zone, special appearances by your favorite Thanksgiving Day characters and more! Free. 10 am–5 pm. Main Street Square. heartmadehouston.com.
streets of Downtown into colorful optical illusions and masterpieces in a festival benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech. Enjoy live music on multiple stages, food, a beer and wine garden, as well as activities for all ages. Presale $7; Door $10. Children under 18 and college students with valid ID free. 10 am. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. houstonviacolori.com
HOUSTON VS. AUSTIN BBQ THROWDOWN
Nov 11 The Houston Barbecue Festival and Saint
Arnold Brewing Company will host the second annual Houston-Austin Barbecue Throwdown featuring top barbecue restaurants from both cities competing to determine who reigns supreme when it comes to Texas barbecue. $80. Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons. 713.686.9494. saintarnold.com
HOUSTON SALUTES AMERICAN HEROES
69TH ANNUAL H-E-B THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
Nov 22 The Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the oldest parades in the country. A stunning showcase of sensational floats, high-flying balloons, marching bands, artistic entries and live entertainment will take over Downtown for this special day of celebration. The parade route begins at Lamar and Smith. Viewing areas include: Smith to Walker, Walker to Milam, Milam to Pease, Pease to Louisiana, Louisiana to Clay. Parade ends at Smith and Dallas. Free. 9 am.
Nov 11 The City of Houston will show support for our
Armed Forces at the annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veteran Day Celebration with an AT&T Job & Resource Fair and Veterans Day Parade. Free. 10 am–2 pm. Ceremony starts at 10 am, parade starts at 11:30 am. 901 Bagby. houstonspecialevents.org
Nov 22 Downtown Aquarium is celebrating
2018 HOUSTON TURKISH FEST
Nov 17–18 The Houston Turkish Festival will celebrate
Thanksgiving with all of your traditional favorites, plus a special kid’s buffet and exhibit ride discounts. Reservations required. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com photo by Morris Malakoff
all things Turkish, including authentic Turkish food, coffee, live music, traditional folk dancing, a kids’ corner filled with fun activities, arts & crafts, more. $7. 11 am–9 pm. Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana. 832.422.8936.
MARKET SQUARE PARK
Fall Calendar Market Square Park is open daily from 6 am–11 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. marketsquarepark.com #marketsquarepark
BODY BY BROADWAY
photo by Morris Malakoff
BACKYARD JAMS: MARKET SQUARE PARK CONCERT SERIES
Rock out this fall in the Historic District’s own backyard with a recurring concert series sure to get you on your feet. Enjoy a special performance by local artists, kick back on the lawn, play a round of corn hole, and sip on your favorite local brewskis. 7 pm. Free.
BODY BY BROADWAY
Sep 11 & 25; Oct 9 & 23; Nov 13 & 27 In partnership with Theatre Under the Stars and Define Mind & Body, the popular Body by Broadway is back at Market Square Park! Sing, squat and plank along to some of your favorite Broadway tunes. Enjoy an hour-long sweat sesh while unleashing your inner Broadway star at the park. 6:30 pm. Free.
Fri, Sep 14 Small Chair featuring Acid Carousel
Be sure to follow Historic Market Square on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for special event announcements, weather-related updates and other happenings in the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
Thu, Oct 4 Mantra Love featuring Marmalakes
Small Chair’s interesting mix of shoegaze and chill wave has made them a new local favorite. Our headliner, Acid Carousel, guarantees to make you dance with their 1960s throwback sound. Enjoy the perfect pairing of live music and craft brews from the exclusive beer partner for this event, Saint Arnold Brewing. Quench your thirst with any of their tasty flagship beers.
Mantra Love has successfully reinvented psych rock into their own unique style. Headlining the evening is Austin indie duo, Marmalakes, whose energetic pop sound earned them a dedicated following. Enjoy the perfect pairing of live music and craft brews from the exclusive beer partner for this event, 11 Below Brewery. Quench your thirst with any of their five tasty flagship beers.
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS MEXICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE IN 20TH CENTURY HOUSTON MURAL
Through Nov 30 Celebrate the many contributions
A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE: CIRCO DE LUNA photo by Sky Wild Photography
of our city’s Mexican-American community. In the spirit of the great Mexican muralists, this vibrant collective artwork, Mexican Culture in 20th Century Houston, highlights the places, personalities, concepts and events that shaped the MexicanAmerican community and laid the foundation for the multicultural city we live in today. Most weekdays will feature artists Jesse Sifuentes and Laura Lopez Cano. Days and hours vary according to weather and artist availability. Free. 10 am–4 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912.
Sep 16 This popular park favorite is back! Bring your blanket, lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (approx nine games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. Benefits Market Square Park and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. 6–9 pm. Bingo begins at 7 pm.
A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE: CIRCO DE LUNA
Oct 13 Join us for an epic night exploring the Historic District! Market Square Park will transform into the big top featuring performances by Cirque Mythos. Prepare to be mesmerized as aerialists, contortionists, jugglers and fire breathers defy physics. Plus find unique wares at the curiosities night market brought to you by Eliments and The DoBo. Be sure to visit area bars, restaurants and venues for specials and pop up performances. 6–10 pm.
MOVIES MARKET SQUARE PARK PRESENTS THE QUIRKY & THE CLASSICS
Forget about trekking to the theater for your movie fix and come Downtown instead! Join us at Market Square Park for these fantastic films under the stars:
Sep 6 School of Rock (PG-13) 2003, 109 min. 8 pm Oct 17 Addams Family (PG-13) 1991, 110 min. 7 pm Nov 9 Meet the Parents (PG-13) 2000, 108 min. 7 pm
CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ AT THE CISTERN: SPATIAL CHROMOINTERFERENCE
Through Jan 2019 A unique site-specific environment by world-renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez in the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. The unique art installation creates a situation in space involving the dematerialization, transfiguration, and ambiguity of color through movement. By projecting moving chromatic interference modules on objects and people, these become transparent and virtually change condition and form. The spectator becomes both actor and author of a complete chromatic event, which evolves through space. Open Wed–Fri, 3:30–6 pm and Sat–Sun, 11 am–6 pm. $10 per person; $8 for seniors 65+ with ID, youth ages 9–17 and students 18+ with ID. Admission is free on Thursdays. Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, The Water Works, 105 Sabine.
SOUTH AND NORTH OF THE BORDER: HOUSTON PAINTS HOUSTON
Sep 1–Nov 24 The Houston Paints Houston exhibit brings together more than 60 works created 130+ years ago that can help present-day Houstonians better understand how the vision of the city evolved and helped create the modern city in which we live. Admission $2–$5. 10 am–4 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912.
DRACULA! INSPIRATIONS BY EDWARD GOREY
Sep 13–Nov 9 Arts Brookfield in partnership with the Alley Theatre presents DRACULA! Inspirations by Edward Gorey, a selection of costumes and sets designed with great wit and elegance by Edward Gorey. Free. Weekdays, 8 am–6 pm. Total Plaza, 1201 Louisiana. artsbrookfield.com
CONCERTS REVENTION MUSIC CENTER
Sep 7 Alice in Chains Sep 8 Sisters United Sep 10 Miguel with Dvsn Sep 12 Rise Against with AFI Sep 15 Hannibal Buress Sep 19 $uicideboy$ Sep 22 Rob Lowe Sep 27 Lord Huron Oct 1 Dashboard Confessional & All Time Low
Oct 11 Odesza Oct 12 Arctic Monkeys Oct 13 Lecrae & Andy Mineo Oct 20 Patton Oswalt Oct 27 Lil Dicky Nov 3 Iliza Nov 4 Simple Minds Nov 8 Mac Miller Nov 15 Ben Rector Nov 21 Rezz Nov 24 Blue October Nov 28 Daughtry Nov 30 Gary Clark Jr. Revention Music Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. reventionmusiccenter.com
HOUSE OF BLUES HOUSTON
Sep 1 Yelawolf Sep 7 Dur Hill & Sisqo Sep 11 Queen Extravaganza Sep 14 Independencia featuring
ALICE IN CHAINS
Oct 24 MAX Oct 24 Behemoth Oct 25 Cherub Oct 27 Rufus Du Sol Oct 28 Allen Stone Oct 30 Lil Xan Nov 1 Thievery Corporation Nov 2 Hair Nation Nov 3 Amanda Miguel & Diego Verdaguer Nov 4 Jonny Lang Nov 9 Max Frost Nov 10 Blues Traveler Nov 12 Good Charlotte Nov 14 Andy Grammer Nov 15 Greensky Bluegrass Nov 15 The Night Game Nov 16 Walk Off The Earth
Sep 15 St. Paul & The Broken Bones Sep 16 The Score Sep 19 Parkway Drive Sep 19 DREAMERS Sep 21 Clutch with Sevendust Sep 21 Meg Myers Sep 24 Bullet For My Valentine Sep 25 Thrice Sep 26 Slash Sep 28 Kali Uchis Sep 29 Owl City Sep 29 4th Ave Oct 2 Goo Goo Dolls Oct 2 In Real Life Oct 3 Indigo Girls Oct 6 Bishop Briggs Oct 8 Verite Oct 9 Jungle & Rhye Oct 10 Mt. Joy Oct 10 Highly Suspect Oct 11 Noah Cyrus Oct 11 SG Lewis Oct 13 Natalie Prass Oct 14 Welshly Arms Oct 16 Iration Oct 17 Tamia Oct 19 Neal Brennan Oct 20 Beartooth Oct 21 Cam
HOB’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com/houston
Sep 1 & 3 Journey & Def Leppard Sep 13–14 Gabriel Iglesias Sep 16 Chayanne Sep 17 Game of Thrones Sep 22 Childish Gambino Sep 29–30 & Oct 2 Drake Oct 7 Alejandro Fernandez Oct 20 Kevin Hart Oct 23 Josh Groban Nov 2 Nicki Minaj & Future Nov 6 21 Pilots Nov 16 Pepe Aguilar Toyota Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX. houstontoyotacenter.com
EXPOS Sep 4 American Idol Open Auditions Sep 8–9 High Caliber Gun & Knife Show Sep 15–16 Game and Uplyft Oct 4–7 Texas Contemporary Art Fair Oct 13–14 High Caliber Gun & Knife Show Nov 3–11 International Quilts Market & Festival The George R. Brown Convention Center’s online calendar is updated regularly. Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. 713.853.8000. grbhouston.com.
TOURS WELLNESS WALK
Sep 1, Oct 6, Nov 1, Dec 1 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership on a Wellness Walk led by Laura Conely, founder of Urban Paths Wellness Coaching. Walk through the paths of Buffalo Bayou Park while discussing topics including mental and physical health as well as the benefits of being exposed to nature. Free. 9–10:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
SECOND SATURDAY BOAT RIDES
Sep 8, Oct 13 These 30-minute boat rides are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family. Escape from the city and enjoy the cool breeze as you glide along Buffalo Bayou’s waters. Look for graceful herons, jumping fish, and even an occasional alligator sunning on the banks. Adults $7, children (ages 4–12) $5. Cash only. 10 am–2 pm. Sabine Promenade Boat Launch, 150 Sabine. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
ECOLOGY WALKING TOURS
Sep 15, Oct 20, Nov 17 Enjoy a free walking tour in Buffalo Bayou Park highlighting the landscape and ecology of 19th century Texas that created Houston, as well as the importance of prairies in rebuilding this astonishing and all but vanished ecosystem. Free. 10:30–11:30 am. The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
PORT-TO-PORT BOAT TOURS
Sep 22, Oct 20, Nov 24 Cruise around from the old port of Houston to the new port with bayou guide Andrew Groocock as he takes a historical tour of the upper channel of Buffalo Bayou. The seven-milelong trip will focus on the historical significance of this industrial stretch and Houston. Tickets $45 per person. 10 am–noon. Allen’s Landing, 1005 Commerce. 713.752.0314 ext. 103. buffalobayou.org
LOOKING BACK HISTORY TOURS
Sep 29, Oct 6, Nov 3 Take a look back with local historian and author Louis Aulbach to the late 1800s when Houston was founded. He will share stories about the Allen brothers and provide historical information about the people, places and events that helped shape our city. $40. 10–11:30 am. Allen’s Landing, 1005 Commerce. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
ECOLOGY WALKING TOURS
SPORTS HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR
Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of Downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 children 6–8 and kids under 5 are free. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Thu–Sat. Times vary. 713.655.1912.
MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR
Sep 2 Bring your Astros Rally Pup to enjoy the game at our annual Dog Day, presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Your pup will love watching the Houston Astros take on the Los Angeles Angels for a Sunday Night Baseball matchup and can participate in many of the fun, unique Dog Day activities such as a costume contest, pregame parade around the field, and more! 1:10 pm. A specific Dog Day ticket is required for entry. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. astros.com
HISPANIC HERITAGE WEEKEND
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth and press boxes, Astros’ and visitors’ dugouts, luxury suites and much more. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors and $10 for kids 3–12. Mon–Sat, 10 am and noon. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8687. astros.com
Sep 14 The Astros are celebrating Hispanic Heritage
SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOUR
Sep 1–2 Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels Sep 3–5 Astros vs. Minnesota Twins Sep 14–16 Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Sep 17–19 Astros vs. Seattle Mariners Sep 21–23 Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels
Visit Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s Brewery and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. Their knowledgeable staff will explain the history, ingredients, and equipment used to produce the freshest beer. Tours are available daily at 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm. After the tour, guests are welcome to stay for a free tasting. Admission is free Mon–Fri and is $10 on Sat. No reservations required. All minors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons.
SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON
Like the rest of Texas, Downtown Houston is a pretty big place to walk around. There are a lot of things to see up close and from a distance. Experience the Bayou City, once the capital city of a sovereign country, from a walking perspective within a few hours while you have effortless fun on a Segway. $80. Daily: 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. Meet at Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com
DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS
One of Houston’s oldest tour companies offering Historic Pub Crawl tours, Ghost tours of Downtown, Historic walking/driving tours of Downtown and more. Only certified professional tour guides are used on Discover Houston Tours. Ticket prices vary.
with a colorful street festival complete with music and cultural celebrations. A valid game ticket is required for entry into the street festival. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. astros.com
For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767.
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
Sep 1 TSU vs. UT-Permian Basin Oct 6 TSU vs. Alabama A&M Oct 13 TSU vs. Grambling State Oct 27 TSU vs. Mississippi Valley State (Homecoming) Nov 17 TSU vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Visit website for schedule info and tickets. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. tsusports.com
Sep 15 Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers Hispanic Heritage Night
Sep 29 Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes Soccer Kicks Cancer Night
Oct 21 Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders Fan Appreciation Night For schedule info and tickets, call or visit website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.276.GOAL.
With a fusion of culture, lifestyles and commerce, life around here is anything but typical. Look up and discover soaring skyscrapers designed by icons like Philip Johnson and I.M. Pei. Turn a corner and bump into Houston’s historic past or uncover a piece of contemporary public art. Enjoy major league sports, world-class theater, innovative chefs, funky hotspots, movies in the park, sidwalk cafés, outdoor festivals, pontoon boat tours and more.
Welcome to Downtown Houston! Tours
Attractions & Sights
1. Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours 713.752.0314 2. Heritage Society Historic Homes Tour 713.655.1912 3. Minute Maid Park Tour 713.259.8687 4. Saint Arnold Brewing Company Tour 713.686.9494 5. Toyota Center Backstage Tour 713.758.7715
12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.
6. Minute Maid Park 7. Toyota Center 8. BBVA Compass Stadium
Recreation Buffalo Bayou (hiking & jogging trail) 10. Root Memorial Square (basketball court) 11. Discovery Green (exercise class, bocce ball & putting green)
Avenida Houston Buffalo Bayou Discovery Green Downtown Aquarium George H.W. Bush & James A. Baker, III Monuments George R. Brown Convention Center Historic District Bayou Place Main Street Square Saint Arnold Brewing Company Southern Pacific Steam Engine 982 Union Station at Minute Maid Park
Eat & Drink 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.
Ballpark District Bayou Place/Theater District Avenida Houston Downtown Aquarium Historic District GreenStreet The Shops at Houston Center Warehouse District
Museums & Libraries
A great way to get form point A to point B or just explore downtown! You can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships. For more info, visit houston.bcycle.com
32. 33. 34. 35. 36.
Houston Central Library Julia Ideson Library Heritage Society Museum Houston Police Museum Museum District (via METRORail)
Education 37. Incarnate Word Academy 38. South Texas College of Law Houston 39. University of Houston– Downtown Medical 40. St. Joseph Medical Center Religious 41. Antioch Baptist Church 42. Annunciation Catholic Church 43. Christ Church Cathedral 44. First United Methodist Church 45. Holy Cross Church 46. Islamic Dawah Center 47. Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral 48. Houston First Baptist Church Spiritual 49. Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer
68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75.
City, County & Federal
50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.
The Acre Allen’s Landing Discovery Green Halliburton Plaza Hermann Square Market Square Park Root Memorial Square Sabine Promenade & Buffalo Bayou Park Sam Houston Park Sesquicentennial Park Sisters of Charity Park Tranquillity Park
Groceries & Conveniences 62. CVS/Pharmacy 63. CVS/Pharmacy Market Square 64. Phoenicia Specialty Foods Grocery Store 65. Wolfe’s Cleaners
Shopping 66. GreenStreet 67. The Shops at Houston Center
Green Route Orange Route
Mon–Fri, 6:30 am–6:30 pm Mon–Fri, 6:30 pm–midnight Sat 9 am–midnight, Sun 9 am–6 pm
North/Main Southeast East End
Film 76. AMC Dine-In Houston (formerly Sundance Cinemas)
Music Venues 77. House of Blues 78. Revention Music Center
79. 80. 81. 82.
City Hall City Hall Annex Bob Casey Federal Courthouse Harris County Court Campus
Where to Stay 83. The Sam Houston Hotel 84. Club Quarters 85. Courtyard by Marriott/Marriott Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites 86. The Whitehall 87. DoubleTree 88. Four Seasons 89. Embassy Suites 90. Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites 91. Hilton Americas 92. Holiday Inn 93. Holiday Inn Express 94. Hotel Icon 95. Hyatt Regency Downtown 96. JW Marriott 97. Westin Houston Downtown 98. Lancaster Hotel 99. Magnolia Hotel 100. Athens Hotel Suites 101. Aloft Hotel 102. Marriott Marquis 103. Le Meridien
FREE DOWNTOWN CIRCULATOR
Alley Theatre Hobby Center Jones Hall Jones Plaza The Landing Theatre Company Prohibition Supper Club Rec Room Wortham Center
104. Heritage Texas Properties
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF PEDESTRIANS, DRIVERS, BICYCLISTS AND TRAINS WHEN NEAR TRACKS!
Visitor Information 105. Explore Houston: GRBCC
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DOWNTOWN INTERACTIVE PARKING MAP d Gran
UH DOWNTOWN STATION
Bayou Trail Access
24-Hour Accessible ATM
9 ← Commerce
28 → Preston
← to Allen Parkway
GREENSTREET 66 29
56 ← Bell
92 ← Pease
← St. Joseph Parkway
← La Branch
→ San Jacinto
→ Jefferson ← Milam
86 ← Fannin
s ew dr
5 TOYOTA CENTER
GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER
alla W. D
→ from Allen Parkway Bagby
THE SHOPS AT HOUSTON CENTER 30 67
Avenida de las Americas
MAIN STREET SQUARE STATION
23 6 → San Jacinto
→ Texas → Travis
MINUTE MAID PARK
← La Branch
BUFFA LO BA YOU
Our new Google Map will help you find where you’re going, where to park and what’s nearby
Public Parking Garages
DOWNTOWN TRANSIT CENTER
60 → Pierce I-45
Public garages, surface lots and metered on-street parking are abundant in Downtown. Reminder: on-street parking is free after 6 pm Monday–Saturday and all day Sunday.