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 Perhaps we're a bit more hipster-y than we even realize, because we love ourselves some Clutch City, and this place is full of 'em. It's hard to know what to expect when you step inside the bar -- which is housed in the old Jones Bar building, by the way -- but there's always something strange playing on the TV screen. Plus the bartenders are always down to chat, and the music is just whatever the hell they feel like listening to at the moment. It's a little divey, a little random, and a whole lot of bearded awesome.
410 Main, 713-228-2800, Facebook page
9. PETROL STATION Petrol Station is proof that the whole "hipsters only drink Lone Star" legend is incorrect. Believe it or not, craft brew also attracts hipster clientele, which makes Petrol Station ripe for hipsters' pickin'. This "beer bar" offers a ton of 'em, even divided by category to make it easier if your malt beverages have come out of a can in recent years. The vibe is a little reminiscent of Austin, but with more crunchy-NPR hipsters than the guitar-toting waifs in skinny jeans you'd find there.
985 Wakefield, 713-957-2875, facebook.com/petrolstation
8. ALICE'S TALL TEXAN DRIVE INN The Tall Texan only serves two beers: Lone Star and Shiner. That's it. So it's hardly surprising that this place has become one of Houston's more hipster bars, and their righteous jukebox only adds to the draw. It's full of old honky-tonk tunes you can claim you were listening to before they were mainstream. Got a couple of bucks? Get a beer in a frozen fancy goblet. You'll feel like a hipster version of Lil Jon in no time, Tall Texan crunk cup and all.
4904 N. Main
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7. MOON TOWER INN Going to Moon Tower is a little like attending a hipster cookout. Located in what feels like a giant lot, it's just... there, and you just drink at it. It's also home to a ton of beer -- brewed in-house, of course -- and a ton of picnic tables to sit and drink it. There's a bunch of bearded hipsters enjoying said beer, who are happy to share those picnic tables with you. It's a pretty cool place to be, especially when you factor in all the gourmet hot dogs (venison dogs, for instance) Moon Tower serves up.
3004 Canal, 832-266-0105, facebook.com/bigweeniestyles
6. LOLA'S DEPOT Lola's is a hipster home away from home, in part because of its killer jukebox loaded with a bunch of random hipster music. You'll also find cheap drinks; dudes in cool, dirty tees, and murals all over the place. Lone Star won't cost you more than a couple bucks either, and as an added bonus, the walls are full of homages to guys like Green Lantern or Bob Marley, perhaps because you'll look even hipper leaning up against them.
2327 Grant, 713-528-8342, Facebook page
5. VOODOO QUEEN Voodoo Queen is the younger cousin to another hipster bar on our list, Moon Tower Inn. It has no formal hours and opts to go with a "we'll open when we're a bit less hungover" mentality, meaning opening time is anyone's guess. A massive fish tank serves as the bar's backdrop, seating is thrown together from odds and ends, and bartenders are knowledgeable but the right amount of disinterested as they serve up drinks like the "Penis Colada." Oh, and the bar menu makes sure to state their disdain for food trends like kimchi. Pretty hipster, pretty awesome.
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4. POISON GIRL C'mon. It's Poison Girl. We don't really even need to explain ourselves. Even folks in Austin are jealous of the giant Kool-Aid man and the headless babies lining the walls. All the whiskey doesn't hurt, either.
1641-B Westheimer, 713-527-9929, facebook.com/Poison-Girl-Cocktail-Lounge
3. LOWBROW BAR Lowbrow may be a relatively new addition to Houston's hipster landscape, but it sure has made a big impression. Makes sense, though, when you consider that Lowbrow is under the FPSF/Fitzgerald's indie-hipster umbrella.
This Montrose hideout fits right into that scheme, with some legit food -- tempura-fried green beans, anybody? -- a Yoda portrait, and "come as you are" vibe that (of course) draws a hipster-heavy crowd, with a few well-heeled patrons thrown in for good measure. Even the name "Lowbrow" is full of hipster irony. We dig it.
1601 W. Main, 281-501-8288, lowbrowhouston.com
2. NOTSUOH Notsuoh has always been hipster-friendly, what with the random local bands, artists, and poets shuffling onstage on a nightly basis. If you'd like to see bohemian antics, enter Notsuoh, where even the open-mike nights are full of some of the city's most interesting minds in the city. Now that the newly remodeled Dean's Bar is back up and running right alongside, they're at running full hipster speed. Anything goes at Notsuoh, cause they've seen it all here.
314 Main, 713-409-4750, notsuoh.com
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1. BIG STAR BAR Big Star's crazy decor and cheap libations reek of hipster cred. You'll find plenty of scooters parked outside of this Heights staple, and the lack of proper parking makes the entire thing feel a bit like a big house party.
The outdoor patio feels more like you're drinking in the yard of your crazy neighbor's house than it does a bar, and the checkered floors, red lighting, and sticky surfaces are totally hipster-apropos. The jukebox is perfect, and Lone Star damn near runs from the faucets of this place. It's the perfect hipster haven, if you ask us.
1005 W 19th, 281-501-9560, bigstarbar.com
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