Bar Beat

Stirred and Shaken: Downing Street Pub's Downing Street Draft

If you're on a scavenger hunt and anti-Obama bathroom graffiti pops up on your list, try Downing Street Pub (2549 Kirby, 713-523-2291). The place is how you might imagine The Wall Street Journal as a bar — lousy with white collars, cigars and masculine wood (the stained kind). There's even a walk-in humidor in the center, which reminds me of the old indoor basketball court at Oshman's, except designed for people who like appellate law and the foreign exchange market instead of fun.

But my bullshit attitude aside, Downing Street isn't so bad, especially as a place to meet a couple of cigar-smoking friends for a cocktail. The drinks are strong, you can smoke inside and, despite appearances, the clientele is fairly laid-back. Case in point: I was making my way to the bathroom after spilling most of a Downing Street Draft on my lap. ("I've never seen someone spill that much beer," one of my jackass friends said.) On the way I bumped into a professional-looking woman who was about to head into the men's room. I pointed out her near-mistake; she put her arm around me and said, "I guess I'm feeling adventurous."

Now I'm not 14 or an online gamer, so I don't consider this level of female attention significant. But you try getting an attractive woman in a power suit to even make eye contact with you next time you're at a classy bar, testing the limits of the dress code and smelling like a homeless Belgian. So like I said, not so uptight. Also, the Black and Tan thing I spilled was probably pretty good.

Chimay White (a.k.a. Chimay Triple, a.k.a. Chimay Blanche)


Pour the Chimay into a pint glass at a medium pace; fill the glass a little more than halfway. Hold a soup spoon upside down over the glass and slowly pour the Guinness on top, creating two layers. Stir vigorously. Just kidding, don't stir it.

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Glenn Livet