Ice houses of Houston, Texas

The Texan Ice House concept is my new favourite thing. Thank you Houston for the introduction!

So, what is an ice house? An old school Texan institution of little houses that you originally got your blocks of ice from pre-refrigerator days. Now a-days, you can still buy ice from them, but you’re more likely to be going there for a nice cold beer and a great time.

The Kirby Ice House

The first one we hit up was the Kirby Ice House. This one is a new one, and I’m glad we got there first as we enjoyed it, but after seeing the old school ones it wouldn’t have been as good. It’s a nice big building, sports on the Telly, huge beer menu and quick & easy food if you want. They had everything from leather chesterfield-esque couches to benches out the back. Being a new school icehouse they had a few gins on offer for me, and a douche on the door – something you don’t see in the old school ones.

Over our weekend we realized Houston bars are great for entertainment, pretty much every place had some kind of game to entertain you. At the Kirby Ice House we opted for Uno. A classic, internationally known game that you can all fight over what constitutes “the rules”.

West Alabama Ice House

By far, my absolute favourite. This is the one that made be realise how friggin awesome the ice house is. And old school house with a massive outdoor seating area. Fans move the thick, Houston humid air around, and the cold drinks almost make you forget about it 😉 this place has the best vibe. It’s casual & comfortable. Somewhere you could spend the whole day without even realizing it.

Games-wise your options were: darts, basketball, a weird swing a ring on a top onto a hook thing and pool. After walking here in the heat (not recommended) our game was “cooling your core temperature back down” and cuddling with stranger’s dogs.

Just as we left they were setting up a bbq and even before they had started cooking we could smell how good it smelt. I was glad we tried our next place, but I could have been here the whole weekend and had no regrets. A taco truck is also right next door if you prefer that to bbq.

Bobcat’s Teddy’s Ice House

Over in The Heights, this was my second favourite. The usual suspects of great space, cold beers etc. it has a wooden deck patio that wraps around the building. Most people were out the front watching the sport so we headed around the corner to focus on a serious game of Connect Four (no surprises, Al is a cocky winner).

They are playing some banging tunes featuring a heavy hitters of 90s hip hop along with some new stuff. Unsurprisingly, the place started started filling up, but it managed to retain that chilled, comfortable atmosphere even with giant Jenga & arm wrestling competitions happening around you.

Food-wise, you have Bb’s on the corner which looked great, and I’m pretty sure you can bring it over. But here’s the real kicker: some clever pants cane over with a big box thing with hot pizza that he sold to people so you didn’t have to go anywhere. What amazing entrepreneurial skills!

There are way more ice houses that I wanted to check out, but we seriously ran out of time. Even just around Bobcats there were 2 I had my eye on. These are the sorts of places that feel like your local even if you’re from no where near there.

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