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.
We like bros, with their muscley-muscles and their tight rhinestoned tees; they make for great memes and they keep the hair gel industry in business, so for that, we're thankful. Without them, the Axe-scented breezes that drift across the city on Sunday-brunch days would be sorely missed.
So we say keep on doin' your thing, bros. Fist-pumping is rad.
10. ROYAL OAK BAR & GRILL No, not all of our bro bars are straight off the Washington drag. That would have been way too easy. This bar, although it is more of a Washington-esque type of scene, is situated near Montrose places like Anvil and Catbirds, yet the vibe is way different.
There's an expensive valet, lots of Affliction shirts, and plenty of Jager a-flowin'. This place is a frat party disguised as a bar. It's debauchery at its finest, with an ass-to-elbows crowd fist-pumping to the near-deafening music. Oh, and bro... do they even lift?
1318 Westheimer, 281-974-4752, royaloakhouston.com
9. OTC PATIO BAR There are ping-pong tables lined up by the bathroom, life-size four-square, luxury portapotties to ease those long bathroom lines, and steaks grillin' outside at this open-air establishment, which helps to draw in the bros like moths to the Ed Hardy flame. There's so much spray-tan and muscle in this place that it's like a sea of hair gel.
The beer selection is a bit lacking, but no worries; there are plenty of shots, shots, shots, shot, shots shots, e'rybooooody!
3212 Kirby, 713-489-0860
8. BRIXX This place is Jersey Shore tans and enhanced figures at their finest; Brixx is the place to come when you need to get that college-kid grindin' on. There's plenty of hip-hop to get those fists a-pumpin', and rumor has it that the bathroom attendants stock plenty of body glitter in case you forgot yours.
Seriously, though. Brixx welcomes graphic tees with open arms, so feel free to throw on your blingiest, shiniest finery over that massive chest and roll on up to the velvet ropes. They'll help you get your workout on.
5110 Washington, 713-864-8811, brixxhouston.com
7. WASHINGTON AVENUE DRINKERY This place is utter brotopia; not only is there a massive dance floor and plenty of room to see and be seen, but the back patio ONLY serves beer and shots. It helps to weed out the non-bros so that the back patio can chest-bump in peace.
4115 Washington, 713-426-3617, washavedrinkery.com
6. MIDTOWN DRINKERY BAR & GRILL A long, long time ago in a faraway land, Midtown was bro central. That all changed when there was a mass bro-migration to the Washington Corridor, where they were welcomed with open arms by the establishments lining the street built solely for their debauchery.
However, there's been a bit of a bro exodus from Washington in recent months, and it has to be, in part, due to the beauty that is Midtown Drinkery's jagerbomb. See, this ain't no regular jagerbomb in a pint glass. This little feller is jager straight in a Red Bull can, with a hole drilled in the side for you to shotgun the shit out of it. Yeah, that's right. Bros can shotgun jagerbombs at Midtown Drinkery. It all makes sense now, right?
Also, jagerbomb, jagerbomb, jagerbomb, jagerbomb. Oh, and bitches love my new haircut!
2416 Brazos, 713-805-5988
5. HUGHES HANGAR Saturday nights feature some of Houston's better DJs, so naturally plenty of bros flock to this place to bust a fuckin' move. Get outta the way; these boys will take up the entire dance floor when they get goin'. They're pretty swoll, so it really can't be avoided.
Sundays are even more bro-heavy, when this gastropub morphs into a Sunday brunch spot for the tanned, testosterone-heavy crowd. It's packed, massive shoulder to massive shoulder, but the near-deafening dance music keeps things moving in quite an interesting way. Bros and their chicks will dance on just about anything -- as we all should, really.
2811 Washington, 281-501-2028, hugheshangar.com
4. ROOSEVELT LOUNGE So. Much. Hair. Gel. This place is so bro-heavy that you might legitimately need your sunglasses at night; those Affliction shirts can be bling, bling, blindin' under the strobe lights, and we don't want any accidents, now do we?
There's always a line, the place is always testing the limits of fire code, and it's always a dance party or six up in the Roosevelt. You'll see plenty of Tru Religion jeans and shiny club wear. If you venture in, make sure to pop your collar and order a round of shots. We're not sure if you can mix Muscle Milk with vodka, but you can always ask. It'll help you fit right in.
5219 Washington, 832-439-9353, rooseveltbar.com
3. KUNG FU SALOON This is the place bros flock to when they need to show off their video-game skillz while dancing. That's right, video games and dancing.
This place, in all of its Bruce Lee-silhouette glory, is home to bros not only because of the sweet ass music that blares through this place on the regular, but also because they can kick the shit out of other bros on old-school games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. Loser buys the round of shots, so if you dare to challenge the bros, make sure you bring some extra pocket money for a round of water moccasins.
5317 Washington, 713-864-0642, kungfusaloon.com/houston
2. WONDER BAR HOUSTON There's no defined dance floor, which means any place in Wonder Bar is a dance party, bros! There are multiple bars to get shots from, which must be, in part, why the bros and their Ed Hardy best flock to this place in such large numbers.
The other part must be that sweet-ass tunnel that's built into the wall, since it's perfect for the impromptu selfie or ten. Not only that, but the sound system in this place is ridiculous, which means bros are bumping, grinding, and damn near crawling all over every square inch to show off those well-cultivated moves.
2416 Brazos, 713-256-8250, wonderbarhouston.com
1. ROAK ON KIRBY Built in what was formerly a funeral home, Roak now boasts a freakin' pool in the middle of it, with plenty of see-and-be-seen opportunities for those fancy bro-shirts that the clientele sport on the regular.
We aren't sure exactly why the bros love this place, but they do. They cover every square inch of Roak; from the never-ending line to the hallowed cabanas of the patio, it's a broternity of epic proportions. The place nearly glows in the dark from all the spray tan -- which is just the way we like it.
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3320 Kirby,713-815-8991, facebook.com/roakonkirby