Houston's 10 Best Stress-Reliever Bars

Categories: Night Life

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Photo by David Rozycki
Early-stage mosh pit, Walters Downtown
April is National Stress Awareness Month, and we all need to take some time out of our busy schedules filled with work, school and other responsibilities to relax and unwind. Many of us like to have a few drinks after a stressful day at work, but these places have other features that can help to relieve stress besides just the alcohol.

Going out for some drinks with friends can be a lot of fun; just don't get too carried away. We are not trying to be your nanny or anything, but getting arrested for a DWI or PI will actually add more stress to your life -- just sayin'. It's best to find some other coping mechanisms to deal with the stress in your life besides excessive booze, and these places have got you covered.


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Houston's 10 Best Spots to Go Two-Stepping

Categories: Night Life

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Photo by Lauren Mitchell via Flickr
These places will have you feeling like you're in legendary Gruene Hall in no time.
If you didn't make it out to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and feel like kickin' up your heels to two-step the night away, Houston has plenty of hot spots for a little dosey-do dancing. So if you're daydreaming of twin fiddles and a steel guitar, pull up your boots and grab a dancing partner! There's plenty of country swing in Houston at these local spots where the folks love to boot-scootin' boogie.


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Houston's 10 Best Dive Bars

Categories: Night Life

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Photo by David Rozycki
Some of the friendly patrons you might meet at Lola's Depot
In years past, a dive bar was a term reserved for places that were a threat to civil society: disreputable, dangerous, oftentimes criminal places where fights would break out after angry words were spoken, resulting in spilled liquor and blood on floors.

In modern times, our society has redefined dive bars in more desirable terms. Today they are no-frills, simple, yet welcoming neighborhood bars that are not corporate-owned, offering cheap, strong drinks and authentic atmospheres. In modern dive bars you find people from all backgrounds who just want to hang out in a public place where all pretenses have been thrown out the window, where people can be real for just a little while. We feel the bars on this list meet these requirements and then some.


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The Speed Trap of Speed Dating In Montrose

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Photos courtesy of Robert MacCready
Play SPEDANGO and you might just land on a winner.
Lowbrow (1601 W. Main) is a late-night or brunch destination for many. For me, it's the place you go when everyone wants to drink (there's a full bar), but someone in your party still wants to get a bite to eat and won't settle for picking up something on the way from the Taco Bell drive-thru.

Whether we're hungry or not, the outcome is we always all end up eating there. Now, of course, ever since they added speed dating on their roster of events, it's also become a place to go to meet that special someone. But like the food menu of New American cuisine, this once old game is now made new again. Speed-dating bingo, or SPEDANGO, came into being when Lowbrow approached John Mills-McCoin about doing a game night. Management was thinking something like a trivia night, but he had other ideas.

"I decided I wanted to come up with a brand-new game," Mills-McCoin explains. "Combining the simplicity of bingo with the thrill of dating brought forth SPEDANGO. After that, I went to Omar [Al-Bochi] and Justice [Jamail] to fill in the blanks..."


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Houston's 10 Best Bars During Springtime

Categories: Night Life

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Photo by David Rozycki
D&T Drive Inn
Now that spring has arrived and the weather is nice, it's time to venture outside and enjoy it before the extreme heat of summer arrives and many of us retreat to the comfort of indoor air conditioning. Drinking beer and eating outside on patios is the thing to do this time of year for many, and these bars have got you covered.


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Houston's 10 Best Gaming Bars

Categories: Night Life

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Photo by Jordan Graber
Poison Girl
In addition to venturing out to bars for drinks, food, music on the jukebox and good conversation, sometimes you and your friends need some competition to break up the monotony. Whether it is pool, darts, video games, washers, bocce ball, trivia or other diversions, these bars have got you covered.

We did not list any obvious places where people go especially to play games like pool halls or bowling alleys; rather, for the most part, this is a list of some bars you might hang out at that also happen to have some games for your amusement in times of need.


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Doomsday Keeps Old-Fashioned Rasslin' Alive

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Photos courtesy of Tex Lonestar/Doomsday Wrestling
Charlene Lonestar (left) delivers a "Houston Hammer" to her opponent, Animalia the Untamed, at Doomsday Wrestling's most recent card at Numbers last month.
Tex Lonestar is the Cal Worthington of Houston Wrestling. Standing tall in the middle of the tiny makeshift ring, donning a ten-gallon hat and vintage Western suit a la Nudie Cohn, he is tonight's ring announcer and hype man.

"Tonight, history will be made," he announces as the crowd goes wild. "A lot of history fans out there," he continues as the crowd laughs hysterically.

Long before Houston had fancy craft beers served on every block in town, we consumed a steady diet of Lone Star Beer and barbecue and were into sovereign-state things like watching the rustling of scrambled calves at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo or going to the Sam Houston Coliseum to witness some good old-fashioned rasslin'.


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Houston's 10 Best Bars For March Madness

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Photo by David Rozycki
Bombshells Restaurant & Bar
The NCAA's "March Madness" basketball tournament, leading up to the Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 4 and ultimately the championship game on April 6, began this past Tuesday. Five Texas schools are in the hunt this year, including the University of Texas Longhorns, Baylor Bears, Southern Methodist University Mustangs, Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and the one lone team from a school located here in Houston, the Texas Southern University Tigers.

All of the Texas teams will be playing this Thursday, starting fairly early with Baylor taking on Georgia State at 12:40 p.m.; TSU vs. Arizona at 1:10 p.m.; UT vs. Butler at 1:45 p.m.; SMU vs. UCLA at 2:10 p.m.; and SFA playing the late game vs. Utah at 6:27 p.m. The bars on this list are in some cases hosting fans of these Texas teams this Thursday and for the other bars no definite watching parties are scheduled; however, we feel that these establishments are your best bet for places to enjoy some March Madness basketball action, whether your team made it into the tournament or not.


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Houston's 10 Most Unusual Venues

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Photo by David Rozycki
On display at downtown bar Notsuoh
Toyota Center, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Bayou Music Center and other major venues in Greater Houston that book prominent national touring musicians have their place and play an important role in bringing music and other entertainment to the people in our fair city. The venues on this list, however, play an equally important role in the lives of many Houstonians who frequent them. Some of these places you no doubt have visited, and others you may have never had any knowledge of; go check them out and you are sure to have an interesting night.


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Houston's 10 Best Irish Bars

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Photo by David Rozycki
Pimlico Irish Pub
With Saint Patrick's Day coming up on March 17, we present to you a list of some great Irish pubs in Houston that you might want to visit on that holiday, when many celebrate the patron saint of Ireland and Irish culture. For others, of course, the date is just an excuse to wear green and party while drinking mass quantities of green beer, even if they have no idea who Saint Patrick even was.

These bars are nice to hang out in year-round actually, as they offer a place to leisurely drink and socialize; if you hang out in any of them regularly you will get to know the regulars and eventually be a part of that bar's community if you so choose, similar to the communities that make up the original pubs or "public houses" back in Ireland that these bars model themselves after.


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