4

La Carafe's Planned Beer Garden Stymied By City Hall Snags

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

About three months ago, we reported exciting news for downtown drinkers who also liked to light up. La Carafe was planning to expand into the vacant lot next door. The addition was to be in the form of a beer (and wine) garden.

Back in 2008's Best of Houston issue, we awarded the handful of already existing tables on the sidewalk outside the venerable bar's front door "the Best Place to Smoke and Drink."

In defense of that pick, we cited the "prime view of the skyline" and the chance to bathe in the sweet sounds of the bar's killer juke, and even trotted out a quote from late columnist Sig Byrd, who once called Congress Street that "old, crowded, tired avenue once so proud, so bright with gaslight and hearty laughter."

And we rejoiced that more people would soon be adding their hearty laughter to that tired avenue, people smoking and drinking in the beer garden outside of La Carafe.

Apparently the City of Houston has other plans.

Although La Carafe owner Carolyn Wenglar owns both La Carafe and the vacant lot in question, she has been told that patrons would not be allowed to carry drinks from the bar to the tables on the lot. Wenglar told Hair Balls that the narrow space between the two properties is a city-owned alley, and to cross that alley with booze in hand would bring on the Mayan Apocalypse two years early be in violation of Texas liquor laws, and thus have held up her permit.

"I just don't understand," Wenglar says. "I own both properties. And you'd think they would want the chance to make money off my expanded business."

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.