A few weeks back it seemed like 90% of my non-blogger snapchat friends were all at some new spot called Chapman and Kirby. It was packed, the party looked funny and somehow my invite was lost in the mail! I did some investigation and learned that Chapman and Kirby was a new bar in Houston’s EADO (East Downtown). I made a note to come to visit at my next opportunity and report back here for others who were late like me!
Chapman and Kirby is anchoring the revitalization of East Downtown a former industrial area. If you have watched closely, first comes the fancy luxury townhouses. Next always comes bars and restaurants, i.e. Chapman and Kirby. This spot shares a developer with the now defunct Hughes Hanger. If you recall, Hughes played a key role in the revival of Washington Avenue! The similarities do not end there as they are similar in the size, period decor and superb attention to detail.
Chapman and Kirby is an interesting large space that to the average eye, functions as one fluid bar. Look a little closer and you see various segmented areas that can be portioned off for semi-private events. Immediately inside, there is one large bar to the right with beautiful leather couches placed on elevated stages. During my visit, a young lady hosted a 30th birthday party in this space.
Next you encounter large booths centered in the middle of the restaurants. They are blue with beautiful gold accents all around. Just beyond the booth area there are small tables lining the windows. Let me just say these windows bring in SO much natural light. It is a food blogger’s paradise. The finally, the largest bar stands proudly towards the back adorned with televisions for sporting events. This space is HUGE y’all.
The decor screams “great craft cocktails.” I only had one drink, but I think Chapman and Kirby is meeting this challenge so far. My drink, the Charlotte is a Peach features peach flavors, limocello, lemon juice and soda. Lemon Jollyrancher may have been a more accurate name as the lemon flavors overpowered the peach flavor, but it was good!
I expect Chapman and Kirby to expand their menu as their business grows. For the first few months though, they will probably stick to their current menu which features typical bar fare (pretzels and queso) and also heartier dishes like salads, poke bowls and burgers. My visit was just a quick stop before a larger meal so we ordered small items like the large pretzel and the candied bacon. I passed on the bacon because the salt and sweet combo is not my thing, but the rest of my crew loved it! It’s a unique item for a restaurant so I say if like these flavors go for this dish! The pretzel on the other hand is probably the safe choice, but it is still a GOOD safe choice here. The size was perfect and it was buttery goodness.
Oh a final note, I did peek inside the kitchen, because I am nosey! I am happy to report that the kitchen is a full service restaurant kitchen which means it is capable of providing high quality dishes unlike the bars of yesteryear!
I will be honest and say that the biggest draw to Chapman and Kirby will be the fact that it is picturesque. I mean everyone in Houston will be clamoring to take a picture of the “Houston, this city is mine” sign! (FYI: I already claimed the city of Houston, it is totally MINE. I hear Dallas is available for others 🙂 ). I love a good “vibe” or a pretty space like the next guy, but if the drinks and food are not good, you will take your picture and head right on out. From the little bit that I tried, I liked it and cannot wait to go back to try more!