Bartender Chat: Curtis Cunningham of Onion Creek
This week we went over to the Heights to visit neighborhood coffee joint, eatery and bar Onion Creek, one of our favorite spots to perch on a picnic table in the sun and enjoy a good, dark brew, whether it's coffee or beer. Since they're open from 7 a.m. till late, it's good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's a good place to just grab a snack and study or get some work done.
On this occasion, we got to know a little about newish bartender, and fellow Texas State grad, Curtis and learned a bit about Houston's OC.
Where are you from? I'm from Austin, but I've been living here for five years. I actually moved to Houston for a girl. That didn't work out, but I'm still here. I dig Houston and it's nice to have Austin as a get-away spot now.
How long have you been bartending? I bartended on Sixth Street all throughout college, and I used to work out at Lake Travis. I've only been at Onion Creek for a couple of months, so not very long, but I love it.
Did you hang out at Onion Creek before you started working here? I actually had never had a beer here until a few nights ago. I usually hang out at Canyon Creek over by Memorial Park because it's so close to my house and I can go for a run and then grab a beer. I wish I had known about this place sooner, though. There's always something cheap to drink here.
How would you describe the bar's aesthetic? It's really laid-back, I mean, it's got an Austin vibe, obviously. Gary, the owner, is a really smart guy. He was floating the river and came up with the idea for this place over nine years ago. It's a good place to just chill. This is a great neighborhood, and it's only going to get better.
How would you describe the crowd? We get everybody; people from the neighborhood will come in for dinner with their families or they'll come in for breakfast or happy hour. Some people will sit here and work for 10 hours. They'll come in and get coffee and when noon rolls around, they'll get lunch, switch to beer and keep working. We don't have servers, so no one bothers you. You can come up to the bar and get whatever you need when you need it.
Do you have a favorite item on the menu right now? On man, the new Double Trouble burger. It has a fried egg on it, and it's so good.
*Wildcard: What was the last movie you saw that made you tear up? Band of Brothers. There was a marathon over Christmas break, and I couldn't stop watching.
Photo by Jeff Balke
Onion Creek is located at 3106 White Oak in the Heights. Stop in, say hi to Curtis and enjoy a pint on the patio, provided it's not, you know, raining cats and dogs outside. Then we suggest sitting inside where it's nice, cozy and dry. Happy hour is extra-long on Mondays, from 4 to 11 p.m., and Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. They have a full bar, more than 20 beers on tap and more than 80 bottles. As far as specials go, there is always something going on. Tuesday is Dutch night with $2 Amstel Light and Heineken, and you can get $2 Red Stripe on Thursdays. Swing by or visit Onioncreekcafe.com for more info.
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