Bayou City

10 Essential Houston Things For the First Bar On the Moon

Mankind went to the moon in 1969 and famously stopped going just a few years later. Because we haven’t returned, tales of crater monsters and faked moon landings have abounded. But the real reason we have not revisited Earth’s satellite could be its lack of a decent bar. Sure, other amenities might rank higher on the colonization to-do list, but a proper watering hole is essential. And if you’re going to build such a bar, shouldn’t its core elements come from Space City? It may seem premature to start minting blueprints, but Houston made its bones by going boldly where no man has gone before. Here’s a design we hope NASA will one day approve, complete with essentials we’ve found on our own hometown explorations:

We’d take rapper and sci-fi aficionado Guilla, who would probably bring along friends like Mark Drew and iLL FADED. Imagine FLCON FCKER with the entire dark side of the moon as a palette for his audiovisual spectaculars. Race to the Moon is an obvious choice, and would give us some punk-tinged indie rock for dancing. Alone on the Moon's instrumental stoner-metal could crumble some moon mountains, though we'd need at least one on which to project the band's perfectly choreographed videos. Tessa Kole’s vocals sound like they could echo through space, so we’d ask PuraPharm along. And, finally, DDA just to test the whole “in space no one can hear you scream” thing.

We want someone who can mix a drink and mix it up conversation-wise. It’s hard to narrow it down to just a handful with so many greats to choose from, but we’d take Mo and Holly from Continental Club because they’re a great team, always make us smile and can gab with the best of ‘em. We'd leave Nightingale Room in the lurch by whisking away its dream team of professional, friendly bartenders. We'd ask Khloe from Notsuoh to tag along to regale us with tall tales told with artistic panache.

As you may have read recently, Houston loves beer. So, we’re going to need a collaborative effort in this mission akin to the U.S., Russian and Chinese space programs working together. Our beer superpowers would be Nobi Public House, Hay Merchant and The Ginger Man. Nobi’s full bottle and tap menu is enough to quench thirsts for years. The tap wall at Hay Merchant is as pretty as the Orion Nebula. Ginger Man is a Houston institution that has experience branching out into strange worlds, like Austin and New York City.

Brock Wagner’s history with beer suggests the universe had a plan for this enterprising entrepreneur. His family established Wagner’s Beer Hall in 1800s San Francisco. Now known as The Saloon, it remains the oldest existing bar in the Golden Gate city. Wagner himself founded Saint Arnold, Texas’ oldest craft brewery, but this isn’t about history — it’s about the future. Thanks to years of producing quality brews, he’s a natural choice for taking beer into new dimensions. Can’t wait to see what he’d do with lunar water.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out: it’s Anvil Bar and Refuge, Hearsay Gastro Lounge, Lei Low Bar and Moving Sidewalk. Bring those drink menus along and let our hand-picked bartenders do their thing.

The amazing view of the Blue Marble probably won’t grow old, but it’ll stay fresher with interesting stuff to gaze upon inside our bar, too. If we had to choose one interior decorator, we’d select whomever filled D&W Lounge with its kitschy, funky look. We don’t have to remove favorite items like the bar’s tiffany and lava lamps or its plastered-to-the-ceiling carousel horse, we just want a similar, comfortable and fun design. However, we might steal D&W’s Disco Jesus, just for good karma and to bring a piece of home along.

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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.