Bartender Chat: Rachael Graves of The Usual

Bartender Chat: Rachael Graves of The Usual

Rachel Graves is exactly the kind of bartender you want to see after a long day, when all you want to do is sip on an unpretentious drink while relaxing in a casual, laidback bar, like The Usual. Born in Hawaii, Graves later moved with her family to California before finally settling in Houston in 1989. When I asked her how she liked Houston compared to the other places she has lived, she responded: "It's humid." I couldn't have summed up this city better myself.

Unfailingly friendly and on top of things, Graves was quite calm until I inquired about her dog. She suddenly livened up like a proud parent and even brought out pics from her phone for me to see. A tiny Corgi mix with short legs and a big smile, Ralphie is truly as cute as she had claimed. "I bring my dog here a lot," she told me. "He runs around the patio and patrols. He's the manager and the greeter. We're even thinking about getting him a T-shirt that says 'Management,' and when anyone starts trouble at the bar, we'll tell them to take it up with management. We're a very dog-friendly bar." I think drunk people would probably get a real kick out of trying to explain their inane actions to a dog. Can you put a security camera on that action? Because I think we might have some YouTube gold right there.

I asked Graves to mix me up something special, and she produced a shot that was very reminiscent of a hurricane. The as-yet-untitled libation is a mix of vodka, triple sec, peach and a splash of cranberry. Though Graves loves a good hurricane, her taste generally runs more toward beer. "I love a good stout," she said, reaching for a can of Buried Hatchet to show me. Come have a shot and a stout with Graves this Sunday when The Usual hosts a luau benefiting the Texas Surfrider Association. With live music, food and door prizes, this promises to be a good way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >