By Chris Gray
By Corey Deiterman
By Jef With One F
By Chris Gray
By Rocks Off
By Rocks Off
HUSHWho knew Houston could generate a nightclub like this? For starters, its 25,000-plus feet of boogie real estate make HUSH a Texas-sized forum for thunderous beats and a truly beguiling clubbing experience. Even the restrooms are a dazzling production unto themselves. A paucity of conventional light sources throughout the club makes for an interesting scene; add in the requisite fog machine and bewildering arsenal of dance-inducing lasers, and this one-of-a-kind dance club should provoke some well-deserved buzz. 15625 Katy Fwy., 713-330-4874.
Indigo Lounge Artificial waterfalls set the tone at the entrance to this monument to all things party-down. It’s like Holly Golightly’s dream of the techno-future, with campy modern-kitsch paintings, couches set atop raised lightboxes, and an overall visual feel set somewhere between campy nostalgia and up-to-the-minute hipsterism. On the aural end, Latin and dance music pound relentlessly through the sound system. 2151 Richmond, 713-524-5551.
International Ballroom 14035 S. Main, 713-631-1040.
Jack’s for Cocktails11720 Wilcrest, 281-498-3410.
Java Jazz Coffee HouseOnly the "java" half of this club's name is entirely accurate -- no alcohol is served here, and smoking is banned. But don't let the "jazz" part fool you. This Old Town Spring coffee bar is best known as the premier spot for live music lovers of the under-18 set. Everyone from local high school bands to national names such as the Voodoo Glow Skulls and Finch have rocked at the little converted bungalow. Parents are welcome to pogo among the hundreds of shiny-faced teens who descend here every weekend, though their kids themselves will likely encourage them to, like, go away. 419 Gentry, Spring, 281-528-8129.
Jax Bar & Grill 1613 Shepherd, 713-861-5529.
Jones HallWith wall-to-wall red carpet, Houston's old faithful anchors the Theater District. This general-purpose music hall might seem a bit tame by today's standards, but its stage has seen everyone from Minnie Riperton to Mariachi Vargas and Yo-Yo Ma. 615 Louisiana, 800-889-8457.
J.P. Hops HouseAt first a trip here feels a lot like walking into someone's living room uninvited, but the spaciousness of the place allows for more privacy once you settle in. Set up a lot like a barbecue joint, J.P. has a stage in the front corner where folkies and singer-songwriters hold sway and a large area for dart tournaments in the back. Dozens of beer taps and hundreds of bottled varieties remind us that, as the name implies, this is most assuredly a tribute to good ol' brewski. 2317 S. Hwy. 6, 281-496-0623.
Kaveh Kanes Coffee Jack Kerouac, the High-Tech Texan and Ol' Dirty Bastard would all feel equally at home at this downtown coffeehouse/gallery/performance space. By day, tech geeks can connect to the Internet over the wireless house system while tweaking out on some of the best espresso in town. Then there's the music on offer at night. Hip-hop and alternative rock rule the roost -- this ain't your daddy's Kumbaya coffeehouse. 912 Prairie, 713-236-0411.
Kay's Lounge Kay's Lounge was immortalized in the late-1970s publishing sensation The Preppy Handbook as one of the top bars in America for the oxford-cloth set, and that remains true today. Then and now, though, it's decidedly a spot for a regional subspecies of the critter (Preppius Texicus) similar to their brethren and sestren from elsewhere except for their distinct footwear (Justin Ropers are common markings) and taste in music (country is their call). The club features live acoustic shows on Wednesdays, but it's mainly a place for pool, darts and big-screen TV viewing. 2324 Bissonnet,713-528-9858.
KC’s Here is a sports bar’s sports bar, boasting television screens numbering in the double digits, visible from every possible vantage point in the spacious, rec room-type layout. There’s a huge array of diversions available for the competitively minded consumer, with multiple dartboards, a prominent foosball table and everyone’s favorite rifle-powered video game, Big Buck Hunter. Basically a Chuck E. Cheese’s for grown-ups, KC’s raison d’être is its unpretentious selection of beers, served with gusto to an even less pretentious crowd. 1975 West T.C. Jester, 713-864-3944.
Kenneally’sThat rare thing, a local bar that’s old enough to drink. A neighborhood institution that just turned 21, Kenneally’s is a neighborhood Irish pub nonpareil, boasting homey atmosphere along with Guinness, Harp, Foster’s and other heady beers on tap, not to mention authentic Chicago-style pizza. When a place has been around this long, it acquires a degree of character you just don’t find elsewhere. The Kenneally’s staff has recently moved into a privileged position, as the regulars’ kids have begun to reach drinking age and make their way through the same friendly doors to belly up to the same bar where their parents caroused, making this a truly multigenerational institution. 2111 S. Shepherd, 713-630-0486.
Knuckleheads Anyone reading this who self-identifies as a big, scary biker type, be advised: Knuckleheads is your kinda place. The cluttered, open-air bar goes straight to the mainline of the hog-rider at heart. Tuesday night is auspiciously set aside for “steak and lingerie,” Thursday is the big pool tournament, and Friday the proverbial mike is rendered open. On weekends there’s live music and good eats, with crawfish on Saturday, catfish on Sunday. Motorcycle mamas (and papas) unite! 701 N. Main, Baytown.