Skip to main content

6 Bars Transforming Houston's Nightlife

Published Jun 17, 2021 by David Ruiz

nightlife, La Grange

As a city that’s home to a diverse array of nightlife, Houston offers residents and visitors a wide variety of options to explore. Those who prefer handcrafted cocktails, wine or beer have a lot of exciting options to choose from.

Some of these bars offer a little more than a crafty drink. From a bar featuring whimsical designs in the modish Midtown neighborhood to a brewery with expansive outdoor space in vibrant EaDo, Houston venues are providing truly unique experiences. 

We highlighted six bars that are transforming Houston’s nightlife. 

Photo courtesy of 8th Wonder Brewery's Facebook page

8th Wonder Brewery & Distillery
Located just a few blocks away from BBVA Stadium., 8th Wonder is an H-Town gem. Co-founded by Ryan Soroka and Aaron Corsi in 2013, the brewery has since developed a reputation of Houston-love, drinks, diversity and fun. With an elaborate calendar of events and special dates, the brewery hosts people of all backgrounds, offering a variety of drinks at their expansive venue. The brewery was named in honor of the once-dubbed “8th Wonder of the World,” the Astrodome.

“We love to pay tribute to the city," said Soroka. "Houston is home."

Photo courtesy of Cidercade Houston's Facebook page

Cidercade Houston
Since the cashless bar’s arrival to Houston’s Second Ward in January of 2021, it’s become a hotspot for young adults and families seeking a fun daytime experience. The Dallas-based bar offers over 275 arcade games and 48 taps to pick from. Whether you wish to try their popular ciders, revisit a childhood game or explore a new hobby, Cidercade Houston is an ideal choice for a summer night out.

“We break the monotony of the bar and club scene,” Hunter Eichberger, director of marketing, told the Partnership. “We’re the perfect spot to gather and have a fun, safe, memorable night out with friends or family.”

Photo courtesy of Wonder Bar's Facebook page

Wonder Bar
Visitors of this Midtown bar can find a statue of David, a patriotic ball pit, an astronaut and a ‘secret’ door behind a painting of the Mona Lisa holding the so-called "Baby Yoda" at Wonder Bar, an aesthetically whimsical experience. The venue combines a classic drinks-and-music setting with unusual exhibits that incite curiosity and wonderment. One of the bar’s latest offerings is serving drinks in ice-sculptured cups, making this an ideal place to stop by in hot Houston summers.

Photo courtesy of La Grange Houston's Facebook page

La Grange Houston
Located where Houston’s famous gay bar, EJ’s, once stood in Montrose, La Grange boasts an appealing atmosphere for any crowd. While respecting the history of the 100-year-old building, the bar has added a patio that offers a two-story space for events, live music, DJ, as well as a secondary outdoor bar. The cantina offers tequila and mezcal specialties that keeps visitors coming back.

“This is what hospitality is about,” La Grange Manager Chris Cusack told the Partnership. "It is an easy place to be…not just for one crowd.” 

Photo courtesy of White Rhino's Facebook page

White Rhino
“Our building is like a forest."

That's how co-owner Bobby de la Rosa describes the atmosphere of White Rhino, alluding to the building’s hi-tech European paint that purifies the air. Named in recognition of the animal by the same name that’s classified as "near threatened," this environmentally-friendly bar recycles its glass bottles with pulverizing in-house machinery to turn into sand to spread over their patio. The East End green bar offers plenty of drink options as a neighborhood bar for young professionals. 

Photo courtesy of Lei Low's Facebook page

Lei Low
The rum and tiki bar located in the Houston Heights neighborhood introduced its ‘tiki-activities’ in February 2014. The cocktails and Hawaiian tunes ensure customers are immersed in a truly unique atmosphere.

“There's a specific palate in Houston when it comes to cocktails and we wanted to adapt our offerings to a Southeast Texas taste,” co-owner Russell Theode told Eater Houston

While the local nightlife options continue increasing, some locations establish a steppingstone to what places can achieve and convey as a spot to drink and socialize. 

Learn more about our restaurant and nightlife here
 

Related News

Living In Houston

Ricky Martin, Bun B, Tim McGraw Among 2022 RodeoHouston Headliners

1/5/22
It's going to be an exciting return to NRG Park for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this spring. The COVID-19 pandemic cut the 2020 season short and forced the outright cancellation of the 2021 show, but organizers say they are planning a major comeback.  The full 2022 RodeoHouston entertainment lineup was released on Wednesday evening, featuring stars from across the musical spectrum, from Ricky Martin to Keith Urban and Maren Morris to Gwen Stefani.  Here's the day-by-day breakdown for the show which kicks off February 28:  Feb 28: Cody Johnson March 1: Keith Urban March 2: Time McGraw March 3: for King and Country March 4: Ricky Martin March 5: Jon Pardi March 6: Los Tucanes de Tijuana March 7: Luke Bryan March 8: Maren Morris March 9: Kane Brown March 10: Journey March 11: Bun B's H-Town Takeover (featuring Lil Flip, Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Lil Keke and more) March 12: Parker McCollum March 13: Dierks Bentley March 14: Sam Hunt March 15: Gwen Stefani March 16: Khalid March 17: Chris Stapleton March 18: Marshmello March 19: Brad Paisley March 20: George Strait with special guest Ashley McBryde The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is Houston's largest annual event, often drawing close to 2 million visitors over the course of its three-week run. The event has an estimated total economic impact of $227 million and supports more than 3,600 direct jobs, according to organizers.  Learn more about the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and get tickets to this signature Houston event. Also learn more about the places and experiences that make Houston a great place to live. 
Read More
Quality of Life

What's Coming to Houston in 2022

1/4/22
The last year brought significant victories and a couple of setbacks to Houston. The region gained two new Fortune 500 companies for a total of 24, the third largest concentration in the nation. Several major innovation developments such as The Ion and East End Maker Hub opened, further solidifying Houston’s place as a tech and startup hub. Meanwhile, a number of the projects we were excited about at the start of 2021 debuted, including Texas Tower, Post Houston and Montrose Collective, while other significant developments such as TMC3 and the new Axiom Space headquarters broke ground. The vaccine rollout helped the region’s economy begin to recover, but multiple new waves of COVID-19 variants played havoc with our community and dampened economic gains.  As Houston and the world adjust to a new normal where the coronavirus is an ongoing menace, we can look forward to job growth and major projects in 2022 that will enhance the local economy and the quality of life for Houstonians. Here are just a few of the things we’ve got our eye on for the year ahead.  Job Growth  Houston had recovered roughly 70% of the jobs lost in the pandemic by fall 2021. In its annual economic forecast released in December, the Partnership estimated the region will create another 75,500 net new jobs in 2022, putting metro Houston extremely close to a full economic recovery. Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski said five factors will support job growth in the region next year: the ongoing U.S. expansion, robust global trade, energy consumption returning to pre-crisis levels, pent-up consumer demand and local population growth. All sectors are expected to see gains in the year ahead, with the greatest increases anticipated in administrative support and waste management; government; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services. Houston’s unemployment rate sat at 5.1% in December, down from 7.9% a year earlier. Continued job creation and lower unemployment should lead to more opportunities for Houston workers in 2022.  Hewlett Packard Enterprise New HQ  Construction is nearing completion on Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) new global headquarters in Spring. Work started nearly two years ago on the 440,000-square-foot project that encompasses two, five-story buildings within the Springwoods Village development. HPE announced in December 2020 that it would relocate its corporate headquarters to Houston, adding another Fortune 500 company to the metro region. “As we look to the future, our business needs, opportunities for cost savings and team members’ preferences about the future of work, we are excited to relocate HPE’s headquarters to the Houston region,” HPE CEO Antonio Neri said at the time. “Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent and where we are currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus.  We look forward to continuing to expand our strong presence in the market.” Click to expand Levit Green, courtesy: Hines Levit Green  Hines broke ground in October on Levit Green, a new 53-acre life sciences development rising near the intersection of Highway 288 and Holcombe Boulevard. The first phase of the project is a five-story, 270,000-square-foot building dubbed Levit Green 1 and it’s slated for completion by the end of the year. Levit Green 1 is the first of nine buildings that Hines will eventually develop around a series of manmade lakes on the 53-acre site. The company said Levit Green will help further establish Houston as a life sciences research and development hub.  University of Houston College of Medicine  The University of Houston College of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in fall 2020, but soon the future physicians will be training inside a new, state-of-the-art building. Construction began in mid-2020 on the $80 million medical school building that’s rising above Brays Bayou on the edge of the UH campus. The three-story, 180,000-square-foot building will eventually anchor a broader, 43-acre health sciences complex. The facility slated for completion this summer will include classroom and meeting spaces as well as modern anatomy and simulation suites. A primary focus of the new UH College of Medicine is to address the shortage in primary care for low-income and minority communities in greater Houston.  Houston Zoo Centennial  This year, the Houston Zoo celebrates its centennial year with the debut of an immersive exhibit highlighting the Galapagos Islands. Lauded as the first major zoo exhibit to highlight the wildlife of the Pacific archipelago, the project will transport guests to an environment reminiscent of the islands with unique landscapes and oceanic habitats. When it opens near the zoo’s entrance in fall 2022, Galapagos Islands will feature sea lions, giant tortoises, sharks and a first for the Houston Zoo, Humboldt penguins. The zoo says nearly half of its total 55 acres has now been redeveloped as “immersive habitats” designed to give animals more space and allow visitors to experience them in more realistic environments.  Click to expand Vehicle tunnels under Memorial Park Land Bridge Memorial Park Land Bridge  The tunnels are in place and soon cars will begin running through them. The much-anticipated Memorial Park Land Bridge is taking shape along Memorial Drive, which bisects the 1,500-acre park. Within a few months, the giant concrete tunnels that have been installed on the roadway will open to traffic, freeing up the land around them. Before the end of 2022, a 25-acre native prairie will cover the tunnels, creating a connection between the north and south sides of the park for visitors and wildlife to use. “It occurs to us, what if the landscape could become triumphant over the gray infrastructure of an urban city? What if we could lift people, plants, prairie and wildlife up and over this tear through the public park?” Thomas Woltz, owner and principal at Nelson Byrd Woltz landscape architecture firm told the Houston Chronicle in September. “We basically are generating new acreage of parkland above the highway. It’s the park triumphing over the highway.” The land bridge is part of the multi-phased master plan for Memorial Park that saw the opening of the Eastern Glades in July 2020 with more transformational projects still on the horizon.  New Home for Houston Endowment  The Houston Endowment will soon move into its new $20 million headquarters on the north side of Buffalo Bayou overlooking Spotts Park. The nonprofit, one of the largest private foundations in Texas, focuses on improving education, the arts and quality of life initiatives in the region. The new 40,000-square-foot headquarters will give the foundation a more accessible and welcoming home base where it can continue to bring together individuals and organizations from the public and private sector to help its mission. The light, open design is intended to meld with the natural landscape of the surrounding park and nearby bayou.  Lynn Wyatt Square The block at the center of Houston’s Theater District long known as Jones Plaza is being redeveloped as the Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts. When the square reopens this summer, it will feature dramatic landscaping, an open lawn, an outdoor theater and a two-story restaurant space. Houston First Corp. is leading the project to turn the underutilized space into a true amenity for the theater district and the west end of downtown. Lynn Wyatt Square will be the latest in a series of new and revamped green spaces around downtown, including Discovery Green, Market Square Park, Buffalo Bayou Park and the soon-to-open Trebly Park on the southern edge of the central business district.  Click to expand Katy Boardwalk District, courtesy: development partners Katy Boardwalk District  With annual population growth of roughly 10% on average, few suburbs in the region have experienced the kind of explosive expansion Katy has in recent years. That’s one of the reasons the new Katy Boardwalk District is so exciting for residents in the area. The mixed-use district will include abundant restaurant and retail space, a four-star hotel and conference center as well as multifamily residential and entertainment concepts. It’s all centered around a 90-acre lake designed to showcase the natural landscape of the Texas coastal region. The 169-acre project going up Kingsland Boulevard just south of I-10 is a public and private partnership between developers and the City of Katy.  Reimagined Allen Parkway  A 590-unit apartment project dubbed The Sterling opened in December. Not far away, Alta River Oaks began inviting new residents to its 360+ units last July. These are a few of the first new projects to come online amid a mixed-use building boom happening along Allen Parkway between downtown and Shepherd Drive. With names like Regent Square, Autry Park and The Allen, these developments are rising fast over Buffalo Bayou, bringing thousands of residential units, hotels, tons of high-end retail and restaurant space and some office space along with a surplus of amenities such as mini parks and entertainment concepts. By the end of 2022, many of the projects will be open and welcoming guests to a brand-new urban playground.  Empire West Business Park  Developers at Stream Realty Partners have begun construction on the next phase of the 300-acre Empire West Business Park in Brookshire. Stream is calling the 2.3 million-square-foot, six-building development the area’s “largest single-phase industrial project.” It follows on the heels of the 1 million-square-foot first phase which was completed in spring 2021 and is now fully occupied. The developer says industrial demand in the region is up considerably thanks to the trend toward supply chain optimization and speed to market. Stream is counting on retailers’ need to reach metro Houston’s seven million residents and the rest of Southeast and Central Texas. The latest phase, set just off of I-10, is slated for completion in July.  Learn more about why businesses are choosing Houston and what it means to live, work and play in the Bayou City. 
Read More

Related Events

Living In Houston

Partnership Week: Quality of Life Council

Houston is a vibrant city of lush green spaces, award-winning dining, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. Outsiders are consistently surprised to learn about everything Houston has to offer. This Council…

Learn More
Learn More