There are completely legitimate and justifiable reasons for drinking in the morning hours: You’re unemployed, have a bad day at the dog track, your girlfriend leaves, your wife leaves, your husband leaves, your wife leaves with your girlfriend’s husband’s boyfriend’s wife while you’re busy being unemployed at the dog
track (and losing) . . . the list goes on.
Of course, there are also people who work the graveyard shift (or keep graveyard hours), and those people are entitled to an after-work libation just as much as everyone who keeps “normal” hours. Whatever your reasons, here are some surefire spots to find good drinks and interesting times before the p.m. strikes:
This bar has spent decades ensconced in its shopping center and seems like the sort of place that has had five previous lives. The walls and tattered decor ooze history, and it’s almost more fun to fill in the blanks than to ask for the real story. A few swing-shift workers stop by before noon, but the crowd is mostly neighborhood retirees. It should be noted that The Spot can be a little less-than-welcoming, so walking in with an attitude is highly inadvisable.
One of the most notorious boozer’s bars in all of Houston, all you really need to know about Mary’s can be gleaned from the following: kolaches are on hand Sunday mornings to make sure the bar stays in compliance with the TABC laws regarding serving hours (you can drink earlier in the day as long as you have food with your beverage). A morning at Mary’s is less like hair of the dog and more like mainlining the entire mutt.
Residing in the morning-time shadow of the Harrisburg coffee plant, D&W is the local watering hole for graveyard workers and anyone else who can stomach beer at seven a.m. Since no one knows where the place is, it would be a great spot for Inner Loopers who are afraid of being caught drinking during the day, or more likely those who are in one or another form of exile.
A no-brainer if you’re looking for a.m. booze in or around Market Square, and don’t for a second think that the pours get any shorter just because it’s not yet lunchtime. Order a grilled cheese sandwich and pace yourself.
One of a handful of Heights establishments to offer a fine a.m. drinking experience, Shiloh is on par with Alice’s Tall Texan insofar as vibe, but the Studewood spot wins out for having a full bar. While the outlaw aspect of drinking setups is undeniably sexy (or inherently depressing, depending on the person you ask), not everyone keeps a pint on hand for hitting the bar before noon.
Drinking in the morning? Marginally imprudent. Drinking at a restaurant bar? Completely lame. These are the rules, and King Biscuit breaks them on a consistent basis. It’s enough of a restaurant to keep the crazy, haggard drunks at bay (not everyone likes hearing about a stranger’s problems at this time of day) and enough of a bar to allow a properly motivated individual a solid venue for a quiet, noontime whiskey.
West Alabama Ice House
Once upon a time, when icehouses and beer joints ruled on the Montrose-to-Upper Kirby stretches of Alabama and Richmond, the West Alabama Ice House was a lynchpin of a hardcore daytime drinking scene – retirees, senior drinkers and folks collecting on disability or settlements riding around and drinking bourbon setups out of well-cleaned Quaker State cans. Those days may be gone (and almost certainly for the best), but this icehouse is still a fine place to sit in the Houston heat, chug a beer and try to cope with the world. Or the weather. Whichever happens to be inflicting more damage on your psyche at the time.