A Fire, Karaoke Or Ex-Brothel: Where Were We In Drag?
Pull up a chair, start a tab and order a round of shots, because this is Rocks Off's weekly roundup of the goings-on in the Houston bar scene. Ups and downs, openings and closings, we will cover it all. Hit us up with any hot tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Craig Hlavaty
Open Tab visited our first bar geared exclusively to karaoke on Friday night while he was in the first of the four costumes we would wear over the Halloween weekend. Yes, the Beebs was in full chubby, sweaty effect. It was a lazy outfit and we had the wig, so there.
Glitter Karaoke off Milam in Midtown is seemingly built for making embarrassing, regretful evenings a reality, and it is fun as hell to watch someone stumble through a Britney Spears song. We went for a birthday, so our friends got a free pass to be stupid, but the rest of you need to practice in your cars more.
And to the guy who sang two Creed songs? You're going to Hollywood.
Saturday night we were on the way to Montrose to party, in our third costume, which was a bastardized version of Mad Men's Christina Hendricks. Really, we looked like a mad man in bad drag.
Pulling up to the area around Poison Girl a tad after midnight, we noticed flames shooting in the sky near Agora, so we parked the Open Tab Mobile and ran towards the fire and starting taking pics just as the fire at Antique Warehaus was moving to the popular wine and study spot.
The fire was easily one of the most documented events in recent Houston fire history, almost close to the clamor around the Mai's fire in February. Everyone was in costume around the fire, and we all had cameras or cellphones out taking it all in.
We had some fun at Agora in the past, with girls and whatnot. They had a cool jukebox full of Tom Waits and the Clash and an excellent, not too pricey wine selection. It was a shame watching the neighborhood haunt go up in flames, but we know they will bounce back. There is even a Facebook page wishing them well on their way.
After Open Tab recovered from the acute smoke inhalatation and our wig nearly being singed by the fire, we woke up on Sunday and made it to Moon Tower Inn for their first Halloween party, where they were serving dollar Lone Stars and their usual gourmet hot dogs. All we really want is an after-dinner hot dog now. And new pants.
TK Bitterman's is a little secret bar off West Alabama, actually almost across the street from the West Alabama Ice House. If you are averse to Chicago Cubs paraphernalia, you won't like this place. But if you just like a quiet joint to drink and watch television on a sleepy Tuesday night, then we recommend TK's.
We spoke with the bartender, a warm and straight-shooting woman named Morey, about the history of TK's. In April they will celebrate 25 years in the same place, and she said most people in the area don't even know it's there. It really does blend in with the strips of offices on the street, so TK's is a bit camouflaged.
In its life, the building housing TK's has been a dry cleaner, a Chinese restaurant, two other bars and, reportedly, a brothel at one time upstairs. It was also the old Rudyard's before it moved to it's present location off Waugh. Funny enough, Rudz's Waugh address is also 2010, just as TK's is on West Alabama.
Next week, we are making our way to Royal Oak Bar & Grill, which is Shawn Bermudez's new enterprise. The Boondocks owner has been ramping up RO for sometime and we can't wait to try her our when we come home from Austin next week.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.