Bar Beat

Happy Hour Scene: Ruby Tequila's

The large group of drunk people on the patio at Ruby Tequila's somehow managed to open the garage door that separates the bar from the outdoor area, and when they threw it open, letting in a cold blast of air, another large group of drunk people inside yelled in unison, "Yeaaaaaah baby!" One young woman, whose purse was caught on the door and hanging about five feet above her, laughed as she jumped and swatted at it like a pinata. The bartenders just smiled.

And that was pretty much the scene at Ruby Tequila's on Wednesday night. It was a crowd that seemed to be, for the most part, getting loaded on cheap booze before heading off to Pub Fiction or some other midtown bar.

We had noticed Ruby Tequila's a couple times since it opened -- at 2616 Louisiana St. -- a few months back but had avoided it. On Wednesday night, however, we were stuck in the office late, needing alcohol but unable to get to a regular happy hour. Ruby Tequila's happy hour goes until the place closes on Wednesdays, at 11 p.m.

We got to the restaurant a little before 10 p.m., and the place was so crowded that it was difficult to find a spot to sit. Ruby Tequila's definitely isn't a place to go alone. The thing that immediately caught our attention was a couple sitting at the bar, each drinking a large margarita with a Dos Equis bottle, upside down, inside the margarita glass.

We thought, "Wow, you drunk bastards."

But then we noticed several other people at the bar drinking this thing, and the waiters and waitresses were taking the drinks out to the restaurant. Turns out, it's a Dos Rita, a Ruby Tequila signature drink. In our opinion, it is awful, and while we were suffering through the Dos Rita, a woman came and sat down at the bar stool.

"How much is thaaaat?" she asked us, then ordered a margarita and a beer. "I just realized that another girl in the bar is wearing my coat. But it's a cheap coat, and I'm pretty sure she was doing coke. She had it on her nose."

"Well, it's just a black coat," we responded, "Lot's of people wear...."

She interrupted, "I know!  Who wears a black coat when they're doing coke? I tell people I've been eating donuts, you know, those donuts with powdered sugar?"

We were dumbfounded.

"Trust me, it works. Don't feel pressured or anything, I'm not trying to hit on you, but my ex-lover is here and I'm just trying to save face. I had no idea he'd be here. I work at [small Houston company] and it's great. I love it. We get a lot of people that come in there who are down, but that's okay, I get down a lot, too. Wow, I can't believe I'm telling you all this..."

"I'm not sure what you're telling me," we said, but she never quit talking. We realized that this woman was probably the woman in the black coat doing coke, and we were trapped in the vortex of what appeared to be a cocaine ramble. We sipped our Dos Rita, listening to her speak, until the former lover walked over, allowing us to leave.

A fitting end, we thought, to a late-night happy hour in midtown. Despite the disaster with the Dos Rita, we liked Ruby Tequila's. The happy hour prices are great. Beers are $.99, and margaritas are $1.99. The Dos Rita is $3.99, and you can add a well shot for a buck more.

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Paul Knight
Contact: Paul Knight