Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


If life is making you lonely, pop into one — or all — of these inviting sipping spots

Photo: Photos by Bryan Rindfuss, License: N/A

Photos by Bryan Rindfuss

Albert & Extasy (Albert Arguelles, Stacey Mazuca, and Albert A. Arguelles) turn the party on every Sunday (6-10 p.m.) at the Mariachi Bar.

Photo: , License: N/A

Bridget Guttierez, Jackie Vasquez, Valerie Martinez, and Samantha Sanchez dressed for the dance floor at Club Rain.

As a college student in New York, my first job was at the Penny Whistle, a high-end toy store in SoHo. Something I’d read while researching Andy Warhol lingered in my head a lot in those days — “Success is a job in New York.” Warhol fans might know this as the title of an article Katherine Sontag wrote for Glamour in 1949, giving Warhol his first assignment as an illustrator (his illustration shows a blonde in a little black dress sitting high above the city on the top rung of a ladder). My boss at the Penny Whistle was a gay man in his 30s who often shared colorful stories about late nights on the town. Once he explained that the 1965 Petula Clark song “Downtown” was his secret weapon, the ultimate cure for apathy. “If I’m not feeling it,” he explained, “all I have to do is blast ‘Downtown’ and I snap out of it. And then I have to go out.”

Assembling our downtown issue, Petula’s voice has been chirping away in the back of my head. “When you’re alone/ And life is making you lonely/ You can always go downtown.” So, with Petula as my spirit guide, I set off to discover something new in good old downtown.

9 p.m. Saturday: I reserved two (of the five) seats at the handsome bar at Bella on the River (106 River Walk), a cozy Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and live-music venue specializing in jazz and pop. Bella’s team has done wonders with the space previously occupied by Dolores del Rio, a cinematic cave of an Italian restaurant so dark that the waiters often handed diners flashlights to read the menu while belly dancers upped the bohemian ante. A redesign brought the restrooms out of the kitchen, excavated a set of mossy-green steps believed to be part of the original River Walk, and opened up the space with lots of warm lighting. My date and I shared a bottle of Côtes du Rhône ($32) while Luvine Elias Jr. played everything from Norah Jones tunes to “Linus and Lucy” (the Peanuts theme) on the piano. Über-romantic and determined to cater to locals, Bella has been open for a mere 46 days and has already made a sizeable splash.

10:45 p.m. Saturday: Having passed discreet-looking McLeod’s (205 E Houston) several hundred times in the last couple of years, I convinced my date it would be an ideal spot for an after-dinner drink. This gem of a pub is tucked away in the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, which dates back to 1909. Polished wood and brass give the place vintage appeal and a decent selection of wines by the glass came as a nice surprise. We shared a glass of Louis M. Martini cabernet ($8), briefly discussed the concept of having a child together, and then chatted up a lively foursome from Austin who’d returned to McLeod’s after finding their favorite Southtown spot closed for the night.

11:30 p.m. Saturday: The way I see it, the Current’s offices on Dallas Street are downtown (or close enough). Only a few blocks away is Club Rain (516 Brooklyn), a nightspot known to reinvent itself on a dime. Lesbian oil wrestling, niche DJ parties, and a rare concert by Argentina’s Chancha Via Circuito are but a few reasons Rain has been on my short list for visitation. Rain’s weekend forecast? Thumping urban grooves, cheap drinks ($3 wells on the weekend are hard to beat), and a deluge of miniskirts.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus