The Place: Hans' Bier Haus 2523 Quenby 713-520-7474 The Hours: 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
The Deals: $1 off all beer (no liquor served) The Scene: On Tuesday, Hans Bier Haus didn't seem like the kind of scene that would inspire condo owners to allegedly destroy property and potentially endanger patrons in defense of their right to move in next to a bar and subsequently get pissed off that a bar exists next to them.
The after-work crowd consisted of an attractive woman in her late thirties (I hope? Guessing makes me nervous) who was sitting at the short bar chatting with the bartender. I ordered a Stone IPA and my friend got a Kronenbourg 1664 from one of the 50-plus taps, and we walked out back of the small Bavarian-looking cottage to spend the last half-hour of daylight on the empty patio. Crowd or no, the patio is cloistered and pleasant, with plenty of picnic tables, an outdoor bar that's open when it's warmer out, and a bocce ball court. (If you've never played, it's like giant, European shuffleboard for when you don't want to have too much fun.)
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When it started getting chilly, we headed back inside, where the barstool crowd had tripled. There was an additional attractive woman of indeterminate age and an older guy drinking a domestic bottle and switching his attention between a BlackBerry and the TV, which was showing the inadvertently funny bullshit parade that is CNN. (The internet jukebox pipes music to the outside.)
I asked the bartender, a former regular who'd been working at Hans' for three months, if things are usually this quiet. "Sometimes during the week we'll get 40 or 50 people coming in," he said. "Sometimes it stays like this all night."
And, based on the neighbors' rage, sometimes it gets really busy. Keep an eye out for a day like that coming up in mid-February - the management and staff have a rally/benefit planned to raise money for repairs, and probably to send a message to the condo owners. Bands will play and area bars (Bronx and Ginger Man, among others) will donate tabs and bottles for a raffle. Call or stop by the bar for details in a couple weeks.