By Corey Deiterman
By William Michael Smith
By Jef With One F
By Craig Hlavaty
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Sonya Harvey
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Nathan Smith
Sullivan's SteakhouseWhile the decor is 1920-something at this Galleria-area entertainment complex, the clientele is definitely thirtysomething and on the prowl. Taking its name from John L. Sullivan, the 19th-century bare-knuckle heavyweight boxer, the dignified dining room and mahogany bar set amid jazz-age murals and the sounds of small jazz combos each have a certain understated tastefulness. Wednesday through Saturday most of the action is Ringside, the third room in the complex. There, a razor-sharp show band plays everything from disco to merengue to the latest pop hits for the jitterbugging enjoyment of a crowd of stogie-chomping, martini-swilling would-be F. Scotts and Zeldas. 4608 Westheimer, 713-961-0333.
Sundowner 28382 Southwest Fwy., Rosenberg, 281-342-6000.
Sundowner Club 1419 Gordon, Alvin, 281-331-1358.
Sunset Club 9953 Longpoint, 713-468-0096.
Super Happy Fun Land Even more cheerfully perverse (or is that perversely cheerful?) than its name might suggest, this performance space in the Heights has the feel of an art-damaged house party that never quite calls it quits. As SHFL specializes in musical acts too edgy, abstract or just plain freaky to make comfortable background music (i.e., lots of experimentation, electronics and improvisation), its chipper quasi-mellowness can become oppressive, but what do you expect? The cafe offers snacks and soft beverages, and there’s a spacious patio, replete with a hammock. Plus they sell their own custom-made sock monkeys! Yeeep! 2610 Ashland, 713-880-2100.
The Surf Shack, 6111 Richmond, 713-782-1800.
Tall Texan Drive InnAn East Texas beer joint slap-bang in the middle of the inner city, the Tall Texan is as country as corn bread. Ray Price, Charlie Pride and Toby Keith vie for space on the bar's jukebox, and the parking lot is always packed with Ford pickups. The main attraction here is the beer -- Shiner and Lone Star served up ice-cold in enormous fish-bowl-shaped goblets. A night in here will convince you it's 1962 again, and so will the low prices and the vintage Patsy Cline blasting out of the box. 4904 N. Main, 713-862-0141.
T-Bone Tom’s 707 Hwy. 146, 281-334-2133.
Texas Horney Toad Headbangers, shit kickers, oldsters, youngsters, everyone but a nerdy liberal journalist is welcome at this Baytown watering hole. A veritable rainbow coalition of Texas types congregate in the smoky air to enjoy such delights as free pool on Tuesday, karaoke on Tuesday and Wednesday, and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And if you’re really lucky, one of the loquacious regulars might just grace you with an unsolicited sermon proving categorically that Michael Moore is the devil. 1917 Garth Rd., Baytown 281-428-1249.
Texas Nights House Concerts 703 Ferndale, Friendswood, 281-992-5817.
Texas Saloon 7337 Spencer Hwy., 281-479-2679.
Tiki Tiki Bar & Grill/Bamboo Lounge Any and all of your Polynesian and Polynesian-inspired tendencies are catered to and then some at this affable retro-chic club out on Highway 6. The carved faces on the front-door handles set the mood right off, and once inside there’s little choice but to get in touch with your inner hula maiden. Serious anachronists will want to head straight for the TV-less Bamboo Lounge, where you’ll swear it’s 1957, Don Ho’s hair is still real, and all is right with the world. The modern era encroaches more in the main room, with pool tables, darts and televisions fanning out from the sweeping, magnificently kitschy bar. Fridays brings the Luau Happy Hour, featuring complimentary snacks and a genuine Hawaiian fortune teller on hand to read your genuine Hawaiian fortune. 626 S. Hwy. 6, 281-497-9200.
Thermal Red walls, TVs, cocktail waitresses, pool tables and one of those eternal-flame-looking things that’s actually just a shimmering piece of lighted cloth being fanned perpetually upward: If you’re into any of that stuff, this newish downtown bar has what you’re looking for. Did we mention the red walls? Waitresses? Okay, that covers it. 1601 Commerce, 713-228-2800.
Tom Bass Park 1 Arts Pavilion (Fellows Rd. at Beltway 8), 713-629-3700.
Toyota Center The home of the Houston Rockets, Comets and Aeros also hosts concerts from the likes of such big names as Prince, Fleetwood Mac and Vicente Fernandez. The acoustics are great in a straight line from the stage to the back of the house, but beware echo when you buy a seat off to the sides. 1510 Polk, 1-866-4HOUTIX.
Traders Village 7979 N. Elridge Rd., 281-890-5500.
The Tree House 901 E. NASA Rd. 1, 281-286-8956.
Tubby’s Ice House 2214 Gulf Fwy., La Marque, 409-935-2000.
Tut’s 711 Madeley, Conroe, 936-539-1500.
Twelve SpotGreat saloon-type atmosphere and beautiful artwork and craftsmanship are on display at this Market Square-area bar, not to mention tasty dirty martinis, which really are something worth shouting about. So is the soaring ceiling, a full three stories (but seemingly a mile) above the upscale patrons below. The Twelve Spot is the product of five years of tireless work by a committee consisting of a master carpenter, an artist and a restaurateur, and the entire building has been rebuilt since a 1989 fire gutted the insides. A second-floor balcony awaits patrons inside, but the remainder of the three stories of brick and glass is still exposed. All of the materials in the building have been reclaimed, giving even more history to one of the oldest commercial addresses in Houston. 218 Travis, 713-222-1962.
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