You don’t have to be a hotel guest to visit one of Westchase District’s hotel bars – after all, why should only out-of-towners have all the fun? And when it comes to the best hotel bar in the District, the clear choice among voters is the Republic Grill Restaurant & Bar at the Houston Marriott Westchase, 2900 Briarpark Drive.
Redesigned about five years ago, the bar area features four flat-screen televisions, seats about 60 guests and has a private dining room that can hold up to 40 people. Surrounded by lots of wood and leather, a variety of barstools, chairs and couches provide gathering spots for parties of any size.
Kim Montgomery, the Marriott’s director of outlets, oversees the grill, which serves up everything from appetizers to steaks. Her bar offers a wide selection of beers as well as an extensive wine list, sold by the bottle or by the glass. And her bartenders won’t give you blank stares should you decide to order a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, so go ahead and dare to get fancy.
There’s nothing too fancy about Ciaran Simon. He has been a presence in Westchase District for 20 years, the last 16 year of them as owner of the Westchase Tavern, located in the Kaleidoscope Center at 10630 Westheimer Road. During that time, Simon and his staff of four have built a reputation for consistency, which helped make them the overwhelming favorite for Best Happy Hour in voters’ minds.
The District’s best happy hour might also be one of its longest: Westchase Tavern’s happy hour prices run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We also offer different daily specials which supersede daytime or nighttime pricing,” Simon said. The tavern’s eight large television screens show most major sporting events. “With Houston being such a melting pot, we get clients from other parts of the country, so we make sure we can put their favorite teams’ games on for them to watch,” he added.
Simon said he attributes his establishment’s popularity to the fact that he and his staff simply have mastered the basics. “We’re a straightforward bar, we don’t do a lot of gimmicks,” he said. “I think professional people just find us to be an appropriate place to come after work. They want a clean environment with clean restrooms and friendly service, and we deliver on that.”