While Houston has no shortage of good bars, finding the right establishment to take business clients to is a little trickier. The bar has to be quiet enough to discuss important matters without the atmosphere being dead. The place should be decorated nicely without being cheesy or over the top. And it must be in a convenient location to avoid getting stuck in traffic. While different in many respects, these five bars have the necessary elements to make them a sound choice for business drinks.
305 Travis St.
Houston, TX 77002
Historic and unique are often the adjectives use to describe Char Bar. Those ingredients along with location and atmosphere make it an ideal spot for a business gatherings, especially with an out-of-town client. The Market Square building also houses the Duke of Hollywood Tailors, which has operated since the 1930s. The bar is a more recent addition, but the nostalgic ambiance is evident the moment customers walk in. While it’s a favorite of some long-time downtown workers, Char Bar usually isn’t overcrowded. The setting is quiet with an occasional Frank Sinatra song coming from the jukebox.
State Bar & Lounge
909 Texas Ave., Suite 2A
Houston, TX 77022
Arguably the best setting of any bar in Houston, the State Bar & Lounge is a popular choice for business meetings. The bar is situated on the second floor of Rice Lofts downtown. The design and feel of the State Bar & Lounge is upscale with leather couches, a mahogany bar and terrific city views from the veranda. The charm, laid-back atmosphere and quiet surroundings of the place make it a great option for taking business contacts. There’s a number of scotches and specialty cocktails to try, and the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekday happy hour features beer and wine specials.
The Sam Bar
1117 Prairie St.
Houston, TX 77002
(832 ) 200-8888
While many business decisions get made in the boardroom, sometimes key business ideas are exchanged in the less formal setting of a hotel bar. The best of the bunch, according to H Texas Magazine, can be found downtown at The Sam Houston Hotel. Although the hotel is steeped in history, The Sam has a modern feel and is often frequented by a mix of lawyers and business travelers. Customers approve of the happy hour specials, shrimp tacos and ability to carry on a conversation. The knowledgeable bartenders have also received high marks.
1826 Fountain View Drive
Houston, TX 77057
When the situation calls for it, a friendly bar with a neighborhood feel is an appealing place to meet a business colleague for drinks. In the Galleria area, Ron’s Pub fits the bill nicely. Since 1987, Ron’s Pub has been a spot to gather for a quiet conversation, a game of darts or to watch a soccer match. Pub creator Ronald Town strived to give his bar a remarkably old-world feel. He succeeded as customers remark that Ron’s Pub has character and makes everyone feel comfortable.
5175 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77056
Described as an upscale lounge masquerading as a speakeasy, Prohibition is a throwback to a different era. While the Roaring Twenties may not conjure up images of business meetings, the ambiance and charm of Prohibition is conducive to business drinks. The location across from the JW Marriott makes it a convenient meeting point for business travelers and Galleria-area companies. Prohibition usually draws an older crowd who endorse the laid-back atmosphere and the bartenders’ superb mixology abilities. If drinks turn into a night out, stay for dinner and the burlesque shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
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Jeremy Shapiro is a freelance writer in the Houston area. While his trombone rendition of “Black in Back” isn’t terrible, his 10 years in journalism have left him better equipped to write about music, nightlife and other entertainment outings. His work can be found on Examiner.com.