Bartender Chat: Holly of Catbirds

Categories: Bartender Chat

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It was so warm and beautiful this week that I decided to dust off the Schwinn and ride over to Catbirds...because what's a bike ride if there's no "beereward"? There was a raven-haired lady named Holly behind the bar whipping up strawberry basil mojitos so I grabbed a stool, ordered one, and got to know a little bit about her, and the good-ol' Montrose stand-by that is Catbirds.

Where are you from?
I'm originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit, but I've been in Houston most of my life.

How long have you been tending bar at Catbirds?
It'll be two years in April.

What other jobs have you held besides bartending?
I was a bike mechanic, a dance teacher....waitress...lots of random stuff.

Could you tell us a little about the building's history?
It was a sex shop before. See the little sperm window up there? Yeah, for the longest time no one noticed.

How would you describe the bar's aesthetic?
Of all the places I've worked, Catbirds has the strongest sense of family and... "open-armedness," which isn't a word, but everyone is welcome. The regulars are inviting, and there's a sense of belonging. We get people who come in expecting it to be a jazz lounge with live bands, but we're just your neighborhood dive bar. I mean we do play a lot of old jazz. The owner compiles playlists from his own collection of music and he's been collecting for a very long time, but we mix it up, too. Like on the first Tuesday of every month, we do Whiskey River, where we play a bunch of old country.

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Yup. That's definitely a sperm window.
How would you describe the crowd?
I've never seen such a diverse crowd. We get all ages and all backgrounds. I like it because it's not a typical Montrose bar with a shtick. It's not a trendy hipster bar but I mean, trendy hipsters come and drink here. I'd say about 80 per cent of our clientele are regulars, and the Mayor of Montrose is here just about every day.

Do you have a specialty or a drink you pride yourself on?
I like to get a little creative. All the bartenders here have freedom. Today I'm making strawberry basil mojitos; they're so good, right? And I've been told my Bloody Marys are pretty fabulous.

Fill in the blank: At the end of my shift, I pour a _____.
Powers Irish whiskey.

Wildcard: What do you think will be the next popular catch phrase?
Can we bring something back? Can we please bring back "crunk" or "bunk"? It's just such a good word when you mean business....something about the "u-n-k".

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Swing by Catbirds, located at 1336 Westheimer, say hi to Holly, and stay for happy hour from 3 to 8 p.m. daily with $3 Jager shots, $3 Rumple shots, $3 wells and $2 domestics. Check the calendar for more specials and upcoming events.



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Location Info

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Catbirds

1336 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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7 comments
Mayor Hutto
Mayor Hutto

Excellent review and of course EVERYBODY loves and adores Holly!  

LoWest
LoWest

I *think* -- if I remember correctly that before it was Dizzy's Coffeehouse (which is what it was right before it was Catbirds) it was a condom shop... anyone got the 411 on what it was?

Yacketycat
Yacketycat

Hey, it's the actual Mayor of Montrose! ;-D

Tangyjoe
Tangyjoe

Waaaaaaaaay back (uh, like pre 1990) it was a bar called New Mood.  Or maybe it was Nu Mood.  Details from the 1980's are a little fuzzy.

Rachel
Rachel

When Holly said the Mayor of Montrose, I'm pretty sure she meant Chris Hutto. Also, Holly is as amazing a person as she is a bartender and a wonderful person to know.

Ginny Braud
Ginny Braud

I did post the wrong link. Apologies! 

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