About a year and a half ago, we presented this article about the 10 best bars in Houston where your dog will be welcome too. Since that time, Boneyard Drinkery, which was essentially a dog park and bar all in one, has unfortunately closed down. The good news is that a handful of new dog-friendly bars have opened up. Also, a few cool bars were left off of the last list so it seems like a revisiting of this topic is in order.
Note: This list is in alphabetical order.
BEER MARKET CO.
Beer Market Co. is the place for beer lovers, as the name signals; with more than 365 different brews served, customers can drop in and have a different beer here every day of the year. Besides being known for beer, the place is a sports bar with 30 TVs spread out across the place, including several outside on the spacious wraparound patio where most dog owners hang out with their furry friends. Beer Market also serves specialty cocktails like the Strawberry Basil Margarita and L'Orange Sangria; food choices include pork sliders, pizza, and shrimp and grits during Saturday and Sunday brunch. This is a nice spot to hang out with your dog on a lazy, sunny afternoon. (920 Studemont, beermarketco.com)
BIG STAR BAR
This friendly Heights neighborhood dive has a gigantic backyard patio where your dog will have plenty of room to roam about with you; step inside and you’ll find a checkerboard floor, beat-up but comfortable furniture, red lights, a pool table and a jukebox with a great music selection. Big Star often has some live music performed by talented local and visiting bands, and intelligent conversation is easy to find among the interesting patrons who frequent the place; say hello to the cat who calls the bar home as well. (1005 W. 19th, bigstarbar.com)
This seminal Montrose-area neighborhood dive bar always welcomes your four-legged furry friends; most of the time guests hang out with their dogs on the large patio deck that wraps around the building, creating a fun summer time backyard party vibe. You can even bring your dog inside the bar with you; the bar’s resident cat does not seem to mind too much. Some dog owners we have seen even like to spoil their pets with some sausages that are sold out on the patio when the sun goes down, or even a pizza from Pink’s right down the street; just don’t feed someone else’s dog without asking permission first. Don’t be that guy. (600 W. Gray, facebook.com//Cecils-Pub)
This Garden Oaks neighborhood bar has a large outdoor seating area with picnic tables where you can sit with friends, both human and dog, and gulp down a few craft beers while trying some of the popular food like the Squirrel Master Burger, a Poblano stuffed burger topped with a jalapeno fried egg, pepper jack cheese and bacon. Cottonwood's beer list is always being updated, and the craft cocktails and wine selection is equally impressive. For your further amusement, there is foosball, cornhole/bean bag toss, giant Jenga and a bocce court; Cottonwood also has an impressive lineup of live music coming up this summer and there is never a cover. (3422 N. Shepherd, cottonwoodhouston.com)
At Darwin's Theory, people are invited to bring in their dogs and their children; the dogs are free to stay all night but the kids have to leave by 10 p.m. There is a large outdoor patio out front, and the interior walls are covered with what looks like some of the best graffiti you have ever seen, including a giant chimp decked out like Che Guevara with the words “Viva La Evolucion” scrawled above him. Darwin’s serves craft beers as well as dirt-cheap Natural Lights on Fridays, which is nice if you are on a budget; diversions include air hockey, pool tables, an Internet jukebox, foosball, board games and more. Fun weekly events include Bad Movie Mondays and Geeks Who Drink Trivia on Saturdays. (33 Waugh, darwinstheoryhouston.com)
DOWN THE STREET
Down the Street looks like a friendly, rustic Texas icehouse, with seating out front and a dirt-covered parking lot, but they also serve liquor and have a full bar to go along with their impressive collection of wines and beers, many of which come from Texas breweries. On the patio near the entrance there is a watering station along with bowls so you can refresh your pup during these hot summer days. Down the Street is on a quiet road, easily accessible from I-10, and is somewhat of a hidden gem; it is definitely a neighborhood bar, and has been attracting young adults who have bought new condos that are springing up in the area as well as longtime residents. The owners are foodies at heart, so you can choose a dish from their impressive menu while enjoying spending some quality time with your pet. (5746 Larkin, downthestreethouston.com)
JIMMY'S ICE HOUSE
The classic Heights-area dive bar Jimmy’s Ice House is a nice spot to visit before going to see a live show at Fitzgerald's across and down the street; you can’t bring your dog to see a show at Fitzgerald’s unfortunately, however your pet can hang out with you at Jimmy’s all day while you knock back ridiculously cheap Lone Stars or Natural Lights while chatting up friendly regulars and checking out the scene going on out front on White Oak Drive. This is an open-air bar so dress accordingly for the summer heat; an Internet jukebox is available for your entertainment, and luckily the regulars usually have good taste. (2803 White Oak, facebook.com/Jimmys-Ice-House)
REVELRY ON RICHMOND
Revelry on Richmond is an upscale craft-beer and sports bar, as well as a full restaurant; there are two patios here where you can hang out with your dog while enjoying a beer from a selection of 40 rotating local and craft brews on tap, plus more in bottles and cans. The food is upscale bar food; the menu was designed by Artisans Restaurant chef Michael Sanguinetti, who trained the staff and continues to drop in to consult. Besides beer, Revelry offers wines, a full bar and specialty drinks like the Frozen Red Bull and Vodka, which tastes a little like a Slurpee from 7-Eleven but leaves you feeling happier when you're done. If you need another reason to bring your dog along, per Revelry’s Web site during “Yappy Hour” you get 10 percent off your bill when accompanied with your furry friend. (1613 Richmond, revelryonrichmond.com)
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SAINT DANE'S BAR & GRILLE
Reportedly named by combining the Saint Bernard and Great Dane breed names since one of the owners of the bar owned one of each of these dogs, Saint Dane’s is a dog-welcoming neighborhood bar and restaurant that serves reasonably priced items like nachos, burgers and entrees that taste much better than the average bar food you might find. Located in a prime spot in Montrose, the place is usually buzzing with activity and the open garage doors and picnic tables out front entices people who are driving by to drop in for a beer or two. Sports viewing is big here on the flatscreen TVs, including UFC pay-per-view fights. (502 Elgin, saintdanes.com)
WEST ALABAMA ICE HOUSE
Many people consider West Alabama to be the ultimate Houston ice house; it is a friendly place where people sit outside on shaded picnic tables and drink mostly beers with the occasional wines thrown in for good measure. The setup of this place practically begs you to bring your dog along, as it is basically a giant backyard-party playground for adults. Occasionally the staff cooks barbecue or hot dogs out on the grill; if not, be sure and try the excellent food from Tacos Tierra Caliente food truck across the street. Maybe buy a taco or two for your dog as well? They will like it. (1919 W. Alabama, facebook.com/WALABAMA)