By Chris Gray
By Corey Deiterman
By Jef With One F
By Chris Gray
By Rocks Off
By Rocks Off
Nick’s Sports Bar 1448 Wilcrest, 713-785-9900.
The 19th Hole 202 Sawdust Rd., The Woodlands, 281-363-2574.
NumbersOne of the oldest dance clubs/live venues in Houston, Numbers caters to the anti-sunlight crowd without alienating those who just want a cheap beer and a good time. Bands as eclectic as the Roots, Quiet Riot and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult have all played there in the past year, but on a regular night, expect industrial beats and everything from goths to mods to rockabilly types enjoying the low-key atmosphere and tripped-out video screens. 300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551.
The Old Quarter Acoustic CafeOwner Wrecks Bell, immortalized in the Townes Van Zandt song "Rex's Blues," says his folkish honky-tonk is one place "where the lyrics still count." From behind the ornate, sheet-music-encrusted bar, Bell serves up draft beer, bass guitar licks and one-liners with equal aplomb to a mixed crowd of shrimpers, ne'er-do-wells and hippies, and the club -- with it's Van Zandt shrine on one wall, trippy '60s style canvases on all the others and Texas flag behind the stage -- is the antidote to the cheesy tourist gunk that plagues G-town. 413 20th St., Galveston, 409-762-9199.
Onion Creek Finally, a place in the Heights where you can bring the kids and enjoy a beer or two. Somewhat reminiscent of a ski lodge, Onion Creek functions much like a coffeehouse during the daylight hours but seamlessly transforms into an equally mellow bar at night. Dozens of beers in bottles and on tap along with an adequate selection of wine have helped make this the place to meet up, whether your poison's caffeine (they brew great coffee and maybe the best chai latte in town) or alcohol. 3106 White Oak Dr., 713-880-0706.
Opus Night Club 412 Main, 713-222-OPUS.
The Orange ShowOnce an unprepossessing bungalow, this only-in-Houston labor of love/shrine to citrus fruit was cobbled together over several decades by postal worker Jeff McKissack, an eccentric fellow who believed that oranges were the key to longevity. McKissack transformed the house utterly — there’s a small amphitheater outside, folk-art maxims testifying to orange power on the walls, mannequins scattered about in pro-orange propaganda tableaux. It’s really hard to explain — you’ll just have to see it for yourself. The foundation that runs the place books some really cool indie rock, neo-folk, avant-garde hip-hop and roots rock shows, which should give you even more incentive to see this totally unique art space. 2401 Munger, 713-926-6368.
Outback Pub 3100 Fountain View, 713-780-2323.
Outpost Tavern 18113 Kings Lynn, 281-333-1235.
Ovations 2536 Times Blvd., 713-522-9801.
Oz Bar 9558 FM 1960 W., 832-237-6969.
Paesanos LoungeThere's a certain old saw about the weather that is apt when you're talking about Paesanos. If you don't like what it's doing now, just wait 15 minutes and it'll be doing something else. The entertainment on offer here doesn't change thatfast, but you get the picture. Wanna catch an evening of poetry? Paesanos has that. Wanna see a battle of the bands? Paesanos can hook you up with that, too. You wanna just get your drink on and meet beautiful, WB-looking women in the process? You know what the answer is. Paesanos makes sure it always has something for all its, well, paesanos. 213 Milam, 713-221-5483.
Papa’s Ice House 24703 I-45 N., Spring, 281-364-8140.
Papa’s on the Lake 9400 Hwy. 105, Conroe, 936-447-2500.
The Pecan Club 3333 FM 359, Richmond, 281-633-2005.
Peck’s 2395-B S. Hwy. 6, 281-497-4202.
The Peg-Leg Pelican 4106 NASA Rd. 1, 281-326-3545.
Pelican Junction 1307 S. Hwy. 146, Baytown, 281-837-7122.
Pelican’s 2810 E. Bayshore Dr., San Leon, 281-559-3500.
Pennison’s Sports Bar No. 1 2446 Settlers Way Blvd., Sugar Land, 281-265-4840.
Pennison’s Sports Bar No. 2 7610 Cherry Park, 281-859-8100.
Pennison’s Sports Bar No. 3 2395 S. Hwy. 6, 281-497-4202.
Pe-Te's Cajun BBQ HouseWeekdays find this authentic Cajun roadhouse packed with astronauts and air force personnel lunching on gumbo, jambalaya and the specialty of the house -- beef brisket, Louisiana-style -- amid the owner's 10,000 license plates and huge collection of golf memorabilia. It's on Saturday afternoons, though, that the place really comes to life. To the strains of the area's top zydeco and chank-a-chank bands, dancers of every race and age fill the large darkened dance floor and waltz, two-step and boogaloo to their hearts' content. There are three things to do at Pe-Te's on Saturday afternoon: Grab a Dixie, a cup of gumbo and a mound of 'cue, and as they say in Opelousas, don't drop the potato! 11902 Galveston Rd., 281-481-8736.
Piggy Bank Pub 16602 El Camino, 281-286-1191.
P.J.'s Sports BarThis Montrose version of a sports bar has a decidedly urban cast. How many of the suburban strip mall variety are housed in old converted mini-mansions? Sure, there are a few TVs around, but watching them is optional -- not practically mandatory, and no one will get too miffed if you slide a dollar into the juke for a little Supertramp. Up the rickety staircase is a tiny band area where rookies in the music game can get their first action. Thursday is the ever-popular steak night, where 20 bucks gets you two steaks, two potatoes and a pitcher of cold beer. 614 W. Gray, 713-520-1748.