Houston's 10 Coolest Bar Names

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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. CLUTCH CITY SQUIRE How could we leave off a bar whose name so adeptly reps our city? We love how this Market Square bar makes such good use of Houston's nickname, and also how they've fancied it up a bit with "squire."

410 Main, 713-228-2800

9. MONGOOSE VERSUS COBRA Mongoose versus cobra: the ultimate battle to the death. We can sign off on this bar moniker, although the sweet beer selection and giant pretzels make that a tiny bit easier. Also, we sure don't want them to sic either of those creatures on us for leaving them out. Keep it in the bar, Mongoose.

1011 McGowen, 713-650-6872, mongooseversuscobra.com

8. VOODOO QUEEN We love anything that's an homage to our neighbors to the north, and Voodoo Queen is just that. The name signifies the mystery behind the N'awlins voodoo tales, and the mural just makes it a next level type thing. Voodoo Queen, you're our New Orleans home away from home, both in name and in alcohol content.

322 Milby

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7. ANVIL BAR & REFUGE Not one time that the name "Anvil" has popped into our heads has it not conjured up the image of some old Looney Tunes antics. Oh, that sneaky Wile E. Coyote and that poorly-aimed anvil. That was some good, good shit.

1427 Westheimer, 713-523-1622, anvilhouston.com

6. NOTSUOH We love Notsuoh's name because it's like the password to a secret Houston club. Unless you're unusually mentally gifted, it takes a while to figure out that it's just "Houston" spelled backwards. To us, that's awesome -- now we just need a secret handshake, and we're golden.

314 Main, 713-409-4750, notsuoh.com

5. THE PASTRY WAR The Pastry War makes us giggle. We can just imagine how often folks wander in thinking they'll be able to score some wicked pastries, all the while completely unaware how it's named after an actual war, the "Guerra de los pasteles" (or "Guerre des Pâtisseries") between Mexico and France. It was the first French intervention in Mexico, and now this Market Square-area bar specializing in tequila bears its name. There's your history lesson for the day, folks; be sure to tip your writer.

310 Main, 713-555-1111

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4. THE ORIGINAL OKRA CHARITY SALOON Listen, we like this name, but we feel like it should be shortened to just OKRA, because the entire thing is way too much for one bar to handle. We can go with OKRA, or even OKRA Charity Saloon, but some of the name needs to quit. Luckily for OKRA, we like the bar enough to give them a pass.

The folks who did not get a pass, though, run Khon's Wine Darts Coffee Art, another bar with a crazy-long name. Even though I personally like their name, the rest of this office felt that, like OKRA, it was a bit too wordy. [Them's the breaks -- ed.]

924 Congress, http://www.friedokra.org

3. CAPTAIN FOXHEART'S BAD NEWS BAR & SPIRIT LODGE Hey, guys. this is how a long name is done. Spirit Lodge? Can't tell you what that actually is, but it sounds mystical and fantastic. It also sounds like a cool little speakeasy you have to be lucky enough to find, because it's hidden right in plain sight.

308 Main, twitter.com/badnewsbar

2. THE DIRT Now here's a rad bar name we love almost as much as the bar itself. The name tells you exactly what you're in for, and sounds hard as fuck while doing it. This place is all grit and tattoos, so Dirt is an ideal name for such a perfectly divey bar.

1209 Caroline, 713-426-4222, dirtbar.com

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1. ALICE'S TALL TEXAN DRIVE INN I'll just leave this one in the hands of my trusty editor, Chris Gray. Here's how he put it: "Well. I'm a tall Texan, so it always struck a chord. Also, it's hard to mistake it for Oklahoma."

And he's right on all counts. We heart you, Tall Texan, for everything your name conjures up. We're glad you're not "Alice's Tall Oklahoman." That would just be weird.

4904 N. Main


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