It's been a quiet week around the city as the summer wears on and few restaurants are opening their doors. At least two braved the heat to do so this past week, though.
After a lengthy construction and renovation process, The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey finally opened this past Monday at 702 West Dallas. The tongue-in-cheek name refers to our city's rich history with oil and gas, and the logo features the word "Refinery" made from a collage of various gas station signs, both old and new.
The Refinery is both an icehouse and a whiskey bar, where you can get a good, old-fashioned burger and a good Old Fashioned at the same time, as well as craft beer on tap and appetizers like wings and cheese fries. It plans to keep late-night hours -- until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on the weekends -- and will soon have a full patio as well, which was being built when I visited on Wednesday.
Way out west, another spot serving good beer and grub has opened in an old car wash at 5320 Westheimer. The West End also opened this past Monday after an extensive renovation that also added a 4,000-square-foot patio to the space. Billing itself as a gastropub, the bar also features an impressive wall of taps that promise to hold plenty of craft beer.
In case you missed the news earlier this week, a third pub is on its way soon: an OKRA-run charity bar in the old Red Cat Jazz space downtown. When it opens this fall, the bar plans to donate 100 percent of its proceeds to a different local charity each month.
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Last but not least, Moon Tower Inn is finally getting closer to its big reopening day. On its Facebook page this week, the team posted an excited message: "CHECK OUT THIS HOLE. SOON IT WILL BE A BAR FOR YOU TO STAND AT AND DRINK DELICIOUS DAMN BEER!!!!!" A drive past Moon Tower on Wednesday night revealed a crew hard at work transforming shipping containers into a new restaurant/bar space for the East End hot dog and beer joint.
Fall needs to hurry up and get here already.