Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 6 Hidden Bars
Actually, for our purposes, the term "hidden" might be a bit incorrect, at least technically. Perhaps more appropriate would be "undiscovered" or, better still, "underappreciated." Either way, Houston has A TON of great bars that are not immediately known. Here are the best six, ranging from East Downtown neighborhood hangouts surprisingly thorough lounges in the middle of the city.
D&W Lounge, one of Houston's most underappreciated drinkeries
Naturally, only two of them have a Web site, so you'll have to visit them to see what they're like. The nerve.
6. Club Sugarhill: The name Sugarhill is obviously rooted in hip-hop history, and that's because its owner, Tony iLL, is rooted in hip-hop history too. After attempts at a rapping career didn't flourish (he was a renowned battle rapper but could never force himself to create the vaunted "radio single"), and after attempts at starting a record label didn't pan out, iLL eventually figured out his way to contribute to the hip-hop culture he so clearly loves: By opening a bar/nightclub that was meant to do nothing else but champion it.
Located in farfarFAR north Houston, Sugarhill has slowly built up an adamant fan base. And with regular shows featuring some of rap's all-time greats (Kool Moe Dee, for example), it (hopefully) won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
3337-A F.M. 1960, 77068, Web site
5. Nomad Tavern: This'll be the one bar on the list that will fill the "hidden" quota, as it's in Spring Branch and nobody's voluntarily gone to Spring Branch for anything since 1988. There isn't anything obviously special about Nomad Tavern, and that might be what makes it special. It is a wine and beer bar in Spring Branch and that's it.
Don't expect much more than that. Sometimes, that's all that you need, you know. Oh, also, there are no shortage of bikers, and they let you bring your own liquor, so act accordingly.
2133 Bingle, 77055
4. Prohibition: It sounds weird that anything inside of one of the largest shopping centers in North America could ever be considered undiscovered, but that's what's going on here. Prohibition is a decidedly upscale, thoroughly impressive lounge masquerading as a "speakeasy."
Among other things, it features romantic lighting, brushed suede seats, multicolored hardwood floors and vintage artwork. What's more, Prohibition regularly features password-only events, much in the spirit in the original speakeasies, which help the "hidden" factor considerably. It is enjoyable slice of an iconic era of American history, except without the rampant racism and whatnot.
5175 Westheimer, 77056, Web site
5175 Westheimer, Houston, TX