Liberty Station (2101 Washington Ave., 713-640-5220), the latest bar to sprout up on Washington, was designed to be different from the Ed Hardy/woo-girl places that come to life four days a week on the west side of Studemont. "We don't want any pretentious douche bags," bartender Shadi told us on a recent visit. After agreeing to go on the record with her anti-douche bag stance, she served me a house specialty off the soon-to-be-completed drinks menu called a Pants on the Ground. Silly name, great summer drink. (It comes with Liberty Station's well choice, Sobieski Polish rye vodka, an inexpensive but quality spirit you can sub for much pricier brands and avoid paying for hype.)
Liberty Station does feel more like a neighborhood establishment than other brand-new bars in the area, but I can't figure out exactly why. It's in an old converted gas station in the Sixth Ward, which certainly helps. It's open and airy, but then so is The Lot, and The Lot is, well, The Lot. And Sugarcane, which is a couple blocks down, strikes me as more of a niche place. When I was at Liberty, the music was good, but with an Internet jukebox, that situation could easily turn sour. We'll see how long the peace lasts — they have a couple of bag toss sets out front, and on Washington, bag toss mixes with bros like plastic penises and bachelorette parties. Still, I didn't notice any invading hordes yet.
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2 ounces Sobieski vodka
½ ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
Splash or two of pineapple juice, to taste
Shake over ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.