Happy Hour Scene: Absolve Wine Lounge

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.

The Place: Absolve Wine Lounge 920 Studemont St. 281-501-1788 www.absolvewinelounge.com

The Hours: Seven days a week 4-7 p.m.; all day Wednesday.

The Deals: Selected wines -- the bar carries about 150 labels -- start at $7 a glass and get cheaper. Domestic beers are $2, sangria is $4, and the bar takes $3 off all food plates.

The Scene: Collin Grimes, a commercial real estate agent, was standing at the bar at Absolve Wine Lounge, talking about why he loves the place. Grimes wore a gray suit with no tie, and his hair was spiked high enough to make the boys from Jersey Shore proud. His date sat at a table behind him.

"It's helluva lot more romantic than Cova," Grimes told us. "It's sexy and it's cheap. A great late-night place."

Then he slapped us on our back and moved on.

Absolve opened about four months ago, and it's built in the type of retail strip center -- just off Studemont and Washington Avenue -- that makes it tough to spot if you're not looking for it. In fact, according to bartender Andy Tippen, some of the early regulars didn't want Absolve to put up a sign outside because they didn't want the place to be discovered by the masses.

"We don't have a target demographic," Tippen said. "I like to tell people it's just a neighborhood bar."

And for whatever reason, the place has become for some people an anti-wine bar wine bar, or at least a preferred alternative to other places nearby along Washington Avenue.

"There's Cova: too loud. There's Max's: too loud, I get distracted. And there was the Corkscrew, but that's gone," said Jennifer Brown, who added that when she first saw Absolve she thought it was a "happy ending place," considering its retail strip location and fluorescent sign.

Absolve isn't huge, but it feels roomy, and whatever kind of seating you're looking for -- couches, chairs, tables, a simple spot at the bar -- you'll find it here.

Brown was at Absolve with a friend for a couple after-work glasses of wine. There were several other couples, like Grimes, who were at Absolve on dates. One guy sat at the end of the bar wearing a North Face T-shirt.

"When people talk about wine, a lot of times there's a pretentiousness about it," said Tippen, who describes himself as "a beer and bourbon guy." "It doesn't have to be that way."

The Conclusion: A cool spot to grab a glass of wine. You won't feel like an ass if you don't know squat about grapes, and, more importantly, the place is never too loud.

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.