5. LOLA'S DEPOT Is it possible for a place to look run-down -- in a good way? Some who wax nostalgic about Lola's wasteland pre-eminence as the place to score drugs in the '80s now joke of it as a "neighborhood bar," offering such high-class amenities as ATM machines.
Remnants of the old Lola's exist, though. This includes the bathrooms, which should only be used for their original purpose if absolutely necessary. Cheap drinks and chill pool games make up for the lack of sanitation, as does the laid-back crowd. For punk purists, this dirty and dark dive is the perfect pick.
2327 Grant, 713-528-8342, Facebook page
4. POISON GIRL Expect to find the wannabe intelligentsia of Houston -- hipsters with oversized glasses and suspenders attached to high-waisted pants -- vibing to all sorts of indie music (plus assorted guest DJs) in this small Montrose-area bar. Besides that, there's a nice selection of drinks, from $2 Lone Star beers to gluten-free suds, and a patio behind the building for smokers -- which if you end up there, you'll run into scary-as-hell Cabbage Patch doll and Kool-Aid man statues.
Poison Girl also has pinball machines. You might as well start up a game with someone you don't know, since the small size of the place makes it hard for you to move around without bumping into two or three people.
1641 Westheimer, 713-527-9929, Facebook page
3. NOTSUOH The dictionary defines punk as "a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans."
notsuoH -- Houston spelled backwards -- would definitely fit into that description. With hats on the ceiling, art exhibitions on the walls, smoking inside or out (shhh), pinball machines lining the back (similar to Poison Girl), people playing chess and of course music, notsuoH epitomizes the kind of carefree abandon characteristic of punk. The bar also frequently features actual punk music, as well as many other DIY-oriented styles.
Actually, it's not fair for us to describe this venue as anything; you just have to go experience it for yourself. You'll no doubt have an emosewA time.
314 Main, 713-409-4750, notsuoh.com