By Jef With One F
By Bob Ruggiero
By Corey Deiterman
By Marco Torres
By Angelica Leicht
By Angelica Leicht
By Charne Graham
GrasshopperThis one wins the award for the most misleading outer design in regards to what you'll find inside. A gorgeous mock-Tudor facade runs up some three stories, but inside the feel is more modern, with a long, curving bar and space-age booths for seating. Upstairs you'll find a straight-up booty club, with rather placid house music and dancers on the third floor shaking it in front of the windows for patrons on the sidewalk below. Long lines and expensive drinks, yes -- but it's supposedly a great pickup joint. 506 Main, 713-222-1442.
Griff’sHouston athletic history drips from the walls of this Irish-tinged 40-year-old Montrose sports bar. Regulars here join various sports-themed “armies” that band together to watch the game on one of the bar’s 16 TVs or pile on to the bar’s own open-top party bus and head for Reliant, Minute Maid or Toyota Center. St. Patrick’s Day is huge here — their celebration is among the biggest in the state. 3416 Roseland, 713-528-9912.
G'sThis scaled-down Gilley's-style honky-tonk is the place where the petrochemical workers go to drink longnecks, shoot pool and fight in the parking lot. Enjoy a burger, ride the mechanical bull or shop for western or Rebel flag T-shirts that hang above the bar covered in plastic like dry cleaning. G's is a regular stop for big-name country acts of a certain vintage such as David Allan Coe and Johnny Lee. 6961 Hwy. 225, Deer Park, 281-479-9213.
The Gulley Crosby, 281-462-0469.
Hard Rock CafeThe decor at Houston's outlet of the Hard Rock empire is a slap in the face -- it features numerous relics of Austin rockers and Delta bluesmen while ignoring the city's rich heritage almost completely. (C'mon, folks, there's more to Houston than ZZ Top.) Every Friday, the club hosts multiband modern rock shows and occasionally hosts battles of the bands in conjunction with other Hard Rocks in other towns. 502 Texas, 713-227-1392.
The Harp Eclectic seating arrangements are the order of the day at this Irish pub on lower Richmond. You can take your pick from stools at the bar, couches in the nooks and crannies, or tables both inside and out. Twentysomething singles -- ranging from hipster to button-down -- congregate here to sup up Guinness and whiskey, on Fridays to the strains of local rock and pop singer-songwriters. Beware of errant darts on Wednesdays, when citywide competitions can get fierce. 1625 Richmond, 713-528-7827.
HeliosA bohemian oasis in the heart of Montrose, this stoner-chic, slacker-friendly bar/coffeehouse defines eclectic. On any given night you can hear jazz, hip-hop, bluegrass, poetry or some dude belting out Pink Floyd classics accompanied by only a synthesizer and a drumstick. With three stages -- one upstairs, one downstairs and one in the backyard -- you never know what will happen next. You might even stumble into a fire-eating belly dancer on hip-hop night. 411 Westheimer, 713-526-4648.
Hickory HollowBluegrass and giant chicken-fried steaks are the twin word associations that come to mind when Hickory Hollow comes up, but this Heights-area saloon also dishes out 'cue, catfish and ribs on tin plates, cold drinks in mason jars, and straight-up country on the stage. If it's the music you're after and not the chuckwagon grub, come on the weekends and come early -- they usually sing "Happy Trails" by ten. 101 Heights Blvd., 713-869-6300.
Hideaway3122 Dunvale, 713-977-3515.
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts This gorgeous stunner is the newest and most beautiful jewel in the Theater District’s glittering tiara. Inside, the 2,650-seat Sarofim Hall stuns with both its ornate yet tasteful neo-Victorian splendor and its stellar acoustics, and is home to Theatre Under the Stars and the Broadway in Houston series. Those who fill the 500 seats in the more intimate Zilkha Hall are treated to performances by everything from alt-country singer-songwriters to Tamil dance troupes. 800 Bagby, 713-315-2400.
The HopThis is definitely your father's gig. If you think Nirvana is, like, old, or that the Dave Clark Five were bank robbers from Killeen, you're in the wrong place at this windowless disco in the middle of strip mall, um, nirvana. Most nights the DJ spins everything from Buddy Holly to the Beach Boys to the Bee Gees, so it's the place for boomers who refuse to let go of the past or the younger folk who think modern alt-rock isn't worth a darn. Occasionally, bands are booked along the same lines -- hardy perennials Vince Vance & The Valiants are a fave draw. Hwy. 3 at NASA Rd. 1, 281-332-6702.
H-Town Arena TheatreThe room's design is a study in intimacy, with a revolving stage in the center of a circular theater that sits no more than 50 feet from its farthest spectator. While the capacity is just under 3,000, it certainly doesn't feel that large. The domed roof brings the entire room down to a cozy, comfortable level that focuses on the entertainer but brings the crowd together as well. 7326 Southwest Freeway, 713-988-1020.
The HubSinking into one of the modern-retro leather couches at this downtown cocktail lounge, you may be tempted to search for the price tag. The Hub might as well be called The Bar at IKEA. Lit in rich amber tones with hanging lamps and upholstered in faux-animal skin prints, the environment reflects the mass-manipulation of a furniture store catalog. Its familiarity is what makes it comfortable to the well-dressed crowds it draws Thursdays through Saturdays. If you're still not sure it's your scene, stop in for a drink on an empty Tuesday night and check the picture displays with photos of various patrons. 312 Main, 713-224-8880.
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