Houston's Top 10 Rock Bars
As our sister blog Eating...Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeehouse or live-music venue is fair game.
10. OUTLAW DAVE'S WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS Veteran rock jocks like Outlaw Dave should know a thing or two about how to open a killer bar, and luckily the radio god doesn't let us down. Outlaw Dave's WWHQ on Wash Ave is an awesome place to rock out with your...beer out, so you get over your fear of bros and go sometime. Not only is the bar home to Kiki's Sordid Sideshow -- a titillating circus-themed burlesque troupe -- but it's also where you'll find Dave himself and assorted guests broadcasting his KPRC 950 AM radio show 5-8 p.m. weekdays (plus 7-9 p.m. Saturdays), since it's equipped with a studio. Beer, grub, rock, and Outlaw Dave. It's like your '90s wet-dream is coming to fruition, right?
6502 Washington, 713-862-3283, outlawnation.us
9. ACADIA Acadia is basically everything a rock bar should be: It's smoky, loud, and smells like beer. The stage has seen everything from alt-cover bands to scary metal dudes, so there's a good chance they've got your musical tastes covered. Not to mention the drinks are cheap, the crowd is rowdy and the rock chicks are hot, which totally makes up for it being something of a drive. That part is only a technicality weighed against all the good stuff.
3939 F.M. 1960 W., 281-893-2860, acadiabarandgrill.com
8. RUDYARD'S BRITISH PUB Considering how many times Rudz has made a bar list already, everyone knows we love it. But those other lists may not have pointed out just how hard Rudz rocks. And by and large, that is due to the efforts of one man: Mike Sims. Earlier this week we told you that Sims and his lady love Teresa Kolo will be moving to Seattle soon, and this Sunday's no-cover sendoff party is not to be missed: Venomous Maximus, Bowel, Born Liars, Poor Dumb Bastards and Dead Roses. We can only hope Stacy Hartoon, who will be taking over for Sims, keeps up the grand rawk tradition of the cozy upstairs room with the great sound. But we have faith.
2010 Waugh, 713-521-0521, rudyardspub.com
List continues on the next page.
7. NOTSUOH If you can catch Notsuoh on a night they've got a heavier band on the bill -- tonight with Only Beast, for example -- you better plant your ass down and stay. But no matter what night it is, you can guarantee that the downtown saloon is one part random and one part strange. Loud music made by electric guitars just adds to the craziness that happens in this Main Street staple, because it elevates Notsuoh's surreal feeling that much more. Throw in a double-fist of cheap beers and the shit-talking from the salty crowd that this place attracts, and you've got yourself one ridiculous time.
314 Main, 713-409-4750
6. NUMBERS Numbers will always have a place in our hearts, because all sweet '80s dance music at Classic Numbers every Friday and shadowy monthly events like Underworld, it's also one of the city's best rock bars for both roadshows and local acts like Bang Bangz and BLSHS this Saturday night. Those nights can be harder to find considering all the EDM and rap that comes through these days, but once in a while Numbers will sneak up and surprise you. We just cross our fingers that they'll do it more often.
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551
5. DIRT BAR We once saw the sweetest vest in this place -- no lie -- and always regretted not asking to borrow it from the big burly biker who was sporting it. The Dirt is super dark and you can't hear yourself order a beer, so just take whatever's handed to you and get out of the way, son. Everyone in the place, from the bartenders to the patrons, will be sporting more than his or her fair share of body art, so in other words, it's totally rad.
1209 Caroline, 713-426-4222, dirtbar.com
List continues on the next page.
4. 19th Hole The sheer amount of metal and rock that emits from 19th Hole always trips us out a little, considering the name reminds us of golf, but whatever. The confusion probably just adds tothis lil ol' bar in Spring's allure in some weird way. The drive is worth it for the music, so just get over your fear of I-45 and go, child. The stage, the sound system and the bands they line up -- this month they've got No Remorse, Killing Clover, TreynWreck, Lone Star Hippie, Amongst the Living, Black Kennedy and lots more -- are for sure worth the drive out to suburbia. We're sure you won't cry over the cheap draft beer or 19th Hole's motto, "Home of the Ice Cold Jager!!!", either.
202 Sawdust, 281-363-2574, 19th.cc/
3. CONCERT PUB NORTH Concert Pub North has become the area's reigning venue for nostalgia-rock acts, preening over the scene with true '80s hair-band prowess and the odd actual '80s hair band (WInger, June 6). It doesn't hurt that the place is always rockin' with cover bands or tribute acts -- Ozzy, Maiden, Priest, Santana and more this month alone -- or otherwise still-proud denim-clad warriors of yesteryear. We dare you to tell us where else can you catch Pat Travers, L.A. Guns, Trixter or even ex-G N' R soldier Gilby Clarke. You already know the answer.
2470 F.M. 1960, 281-583-8111, theconcertpub.com/TCP-North.html
2. BFE ROCK CLUB Way out on Jones Road, in the middle of freakin' nowhere, you can take in some serious music while downing some serious drinks at BFE Rock Club. The name is fitting, seeing how far you have to drive to get there, but won't mind when you happen across acts like The Flamin' Hellcats, Zach Myers of Shinedown, Kellen Heller and Theory of Thieves onstage, just to name a few. No matter what night it is -- even tonight's "Little Mania" pre-Wrestlemania bash -- BFE will give you all the rock you can handle.
11528 Jones Rd., 281-894-1811, bferockclub.com
List continues on the next page.
1. SCOUT BAR Scout Bar brings plenty of alternative, ska and metal to go with a Space Shuttle full of "active rock," making it Clear Lake's full-service dealership for anyone in the mood to party. To go along with anyone from Sevendust and Skid Row to Days of the New and Peter Murphy (!), the venue also hosts 94.5 FM's longstanding "Texas Buzz" local-artist showcase on Sunday nights, and has its own in-house dance club known as the Green Room. Finally, Scout Bar also books old-school rap acts to die for like Cypress Hill, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and the one and only Sir-Mix-a-Lot next month. Wonder why these last few bars here are all outside the Loop? It's because people in Houston proper just can't handle this much fun.
18307 Egret Bay Blvd., 281-335-0002, scoutbar.com
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.