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Ruthie'sDon't let the bling-bling transformation of the exterior fool you -- Ruthie's is still a dive beer joint on the inside, a good indoor-style companion to the nearby West Alabama Ice House. There's a pool table and a great jukebox of soul, alt-country and rock. Don't miss the men's room walls -- a veritable cornucopia of scantily clad Maxim pinup girls awaits you there. Or at least pictures of same. 1829 Richmond, 713-522-7240.
Saddle Creek Sports Bar & Grill 16140 Kuykendahl.
Saint Arnold Brewery 2522 Fairway Park Dr., 713-686-9494.
St. Pete's Dancing Marlin Catering mostly to a white-collar rock and country crowd, St. Pete's is a breath of fresh air amid the overpriced dance clubs that populate Main Street. A fairly low-key bar/seafood restaurant that somewhat resembles a very fancy Red Lobster on the inside, this venue offers a wide selection of beers, strong drinks and a relaxed atmosphere. 300 Main, 713-227-1511.
Sam & Dave’s 1612 Underwood, 281-470-9000, La Porte.
Sam Houston Raceway Park 7575 N. Parkway W., 281-807-8760.
Sam’s Boat 5720 Richmond, 713-781-2628.
Sam’s Boat 7637 FM 1960 W., 832-912-7700.
Sam’s Irish-American Pub & Grill A spacious, friendly atmosphere replete with two giant free-standing bars, multiple pool tables and (gasp!) even air hockey, Sam’s is intent on providing a wide variety of amusement options for the discerning partyhound. Live bands, DJs and “Darkside Karaoke” all have their turn providing the musical excitement during any given week. And if that’s somehow not enough, the 25-cent wings offered in perpetuity should win over any fence-sitters. 5636 Richmond, 713-785-7267.
Sandbar 716 Clear Lake Rd., 281-334-5169, Clear Lake Shores.
Sansone’s 14144 Westheimer, 281-558-4545.
Scooter’s Ice House 1134 N. Main, Pearland, 281-485-6124.
Scott Gertner's SkybarValet parking and the nattily attired elevator operator are your first clues of what to expect at this bar atop a Montrose high-rise. A few nights a week, the dressed-to-impress hordes cavort to the crowd-pleasing middle-of-the-road fare offered by the club's namesake and owner, while other local jazz luminaries and occasional national acts round out the bill. The music, however, is strictly background at this smooth jazz venue, where the view of the skyline is the most impressive decor. 3400 Montrose, 713-520-9688.
Scout Bar A much-needed rock and roll oasis deep in the marshy wilds of Clear Lake, this is the place to go for a healthy serving of both local and national proponents of the rocking arts. The walls are covered with autographed guitars and framed posters of demigods like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay and Finger Eleven (none of whom have actually played the Scout Bar, but what the heck). The stage, lighting and sound system here are all pretty imposing without taking away from the club’s general vibe, which is bright, clean and laid-back. Marina Gate Center, ground floor, 18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Webster, 281-335-0002.
Seabrook Beach ClubShades of ancient Roman decadence are in the vibe if not the decor at this sprawling indoor/outdoor club on Clear Lake. A positively bacchanalian barrage of activities whirls seven days a week until the wee hours. There are classic rock bands, a pool with swim-up bar, mud wrestling, bikini contests and a full menu on offer. All of this excess is also accessible by powerboat or sailing ship as well as more traditional means, and there's nothing in the dress code that says togas aren't allowed. 3345 NASA Rd. 1, Seabrook, 281-326-5819.
Shakespeare PubWhen he founded the club back in 1990, former college English professor Eddie Black named it after the beloved bard. But from the start, this casual strip-center lounge has been a haven for Houston blues, zydeco and blues-rock. The family-run enterprise has succeeded by bringing a taste of the inner-city wards to the far-west burbs, featuring live music at least four nights per week. 14129 Memorial Dr., 281-497-4625.
Shame After Hours 1502 St. Emanuel, 713-222-0500.
Shay McElroy'sThe downtown branch of the classic Shepherd Square Irish pub, Shay's offers much of the same authenticity. The Guinness is always spot-on, the jukebox is heavy on all things Emerald Isle, and the Irish ownership and staff see to it that a trip here's the next best thing to a night out in Dublin. 909 Texas, 713-222-2444.
Sherlock's Baker Street PubFormer frat lads and sorority lasses congregate in packs at each of these four vaguely British-themed pubs, and it doesn't take the genius who cracked the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles to know what draws them in: lots of dartboards, pool tables and big-screen TVs. Each of the pubs also has a stage, where (usually) the strains of a local cover band can be heard. Four locations: 1997 W. Gray, 713-521-1881; 288 W. First, Humble, 281-446-0407; 10001 Westheimer, 713-977-1857; 2416 Bay Area Blvd., 281-461-4702.
Shiloh Club 1321 Studewood, 713-869-8354.
Shoeshine Charlie's Big Top LoungeAs the name implies, a circus atmosphere prevails here. Housed in what was once, long ago, a toy store, 60-year-old murals of Dumbo-like elephants and other critters look down on the red-lit carnival scene below. Behind the bar, vintage beer signs for old-fashioned American brews beckon, and you can get Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can. Since the place is owned by the same people who own the adjacent Continental Club, you're safe to assume that music -- both live and recorded -- is emphasized. El Orbit Pete Gordon tickles the ivories on the bar's piano whenever he takes a notion, while others play scheduled acoustic or small-combo gigs. 3700 Main, no phone.
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