Club ListingsWhat's This?
Although many heterosexual females (and occasional heterosexual males) sometimes frequent Rich's to avoid sleazy come-ons and just have the opportunity to dance, the target crowd of this two-story club is Houston's young gay and lesbian population. Rich's is the home of Texas's largest dance floor on its main level. Many people use the upper level lounge area to take a break, watch the action happening on the dance floor below, enjoy a drink, or check out the decorations (artwork done by local artists). This is an intense club with a lively crowd. Dress to impress; 18 and older. While many club-goers (gay and straight) would call this one of their favorite spots, a word of caution is to use the restroom before you go. The restrooms in the club are commonly used for "recreational activities" that make actually using the facilities an unpleasant experience!
Wild West is considered the best two-stepping country club and bar in Houston. With a motto like "Two-Steppin and Longneckin'," you know you are in for a good time! In addition to the good times on the dance floor, you can shoot pool, play blackjack, or get your boots shined (no kidding!). The atmosphere is to die for-solid oak floor, lady bartenders in scandalous cowgirl outfits, and a large number of people of all ages wearing cowboy hats, boots, belt buckles! Don't worry if it is your first time; country/Texan attire is not required, and the DJs will break up the line dances and two-stepping with an occasional "booty break" of regular club music-at which time the dance floor usually clears of cowboys and is taken over by college students.
Located near the galleria, The Roxy is one of the more popular clubs in the area, and is open to anyone 18 or older, with lots of special deals for ladies or people 21-and-up. Most nights have themes (hip hop, Latin, retro, etc.), and the attire is dressier for some nights than others (check out the dress code online). The Roxy also hosts occasional concerts and contests, as well as special events such as foam parties.
One of the most well-known clubs in Houston, Numbers opened in 1978 and has hosted concerts with big-name stars such as The Village People, Nine Inch Nails, Elliot Smith, Snoop Dogg, and Paul Oakenfold, as well as a variety of great local bands. Numbers caters to all ages and musical interests. Check out its website to learn about theme nights and events. If you get tired of dancing, you can take a break to play pool, a video game, watch either of the two giant video screens playing flash remix videos, or chill out and enjoy a drink at the second floor bar, which overlooks the dance floor below.
Bar ListingsWhat's This?
Perhaps the most laid-back pub that you can possibly imagine, Valhalla is the graduate student pub, although it is also used by faculty, alumni, and upperclassmen that are over 21. The inside space is cozy, and it looks snazzier recently thanks to an awesome mural of Norse mythology in the entranceway. Valhalla is a non-profit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers, and the beer is cheap, my friends. The cool thing to do is go down into Valhalla (it is located beneath the old Chemistry Lecture Hall), buy your drinks, and bring them outside where you can drink leisurely on the steps of the Chem Lec building or the neighboring benches.
West Alabama Ice House
West Alabama features exclusively outdoor seating, a very casual atmosphere, and a basketball court in the back!
The undergraduate campus pub, Willy's Pub, is a great place to hang out, grab a drink or a bite to eat (smoothies, pizza, subs, popcorn, chips), or play pool or darts. Every Thursday night is "Pub Night," and the place gets crowded. The individual residential colleges will usually sponsor one pub night per semester for their college specifically, and on those nights college members can usually get free or discounted food and drinks, and karaoke is available. There are specials Monday through Thursday nights.
Under the Volcano
Another very popular place to ring in your 21st, this bar is located within walking distance from campus and has a great atmosphere with original decorations, outdoor seating, a tasty food menu, and delicious (but slightly pricey) mixed drinks. The beer selection isn't bad, but it's highly recommended to try the mojitos, frozen screwdrivers, or strawberry basil margaritas.
Bored on a Sunday night? Want something to do that is off the beaten track? Etta's Lounge is a gold mine hidden away on Scott Street, and it is frequented by very few college students. This jazz and blues lounge also features greasy-but-tasty grill food and buckets of cold beer, but the highlight is definitely the live music. Every Sunday night, there is an incredible lineup of soulful singers and bands. A small percentage of the crowd will sometimes take to the dance floor, but many choose to just listen.
5120 Scott St.
If you are looking for a laid-back atmosphere and a pub that specializes in making beers, wines, and ciders, check out the Ginger Man. Usually not too crowded on weekdays, and within walking distance of Rice campus, this bar has a covered outdoor seating area with long wooden benches that make it a great place to go with a group of any size. It's never too noisy to have a good conversation at the Ginger Man, which makes it a popular spot with Rice students.
Perfect for a romantic or potentially scandalous night out, this cozy lounge bar is hidden away behind an unmarked and inconspicuous blue door in the River Oaks district. This two-floor bar has a good selection of wines and champagne (the bubbly is brought out in fireman buckets, which is a very cool touch. However, if you try to swipe one, the management will get fairly upset). The downstairs is dimly lit, offers bar or table seating, and is used by the groups of platonic patrons. Upstairs, the lighting gets dimmer still, and faded couches are filled with couples getting comfortable. Venture further down the upstairs hallway and you will come to a room that is pitch black. What goes on in this room shall be left up to the imagination. Enter at your own risk.
What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?
Galveston Beach/Galveston Island
Galveston Island and Galveston Beach are a lot of fun for students of all ages.