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Honky Tonk Hideouts
CATEGORY: City Life
Blanco's Map It
3406 West Alabama Street
713-439-0072

If you're looking for a boot-scootin' sure-thang Texas dance spot, you need go no further than Blanco's, a low-key, hole in the wall (with holes in the barstools) kind of beer joint and the site of the annual Triple B Party — Birds, Booze and Ball. It's open mic night on Wednesdays. And it's not a bad place to learn to two-step. There's a hitch. The place is closed for private parties every Saturday and Sunday night.

Firehouse Saloon Map It
5930 Southwest Freeway
713-977-1962
News_Firehouse Saloon

The Firehouse Saloon is where Billy Joe Shaver chose to play his first show less than five hours after he beat the rap on an aggravated assault charge. In other words, it's a throwback spot for legitimate country music. Just don't try to order any fancy drinks (anything with more than two ingredients is probably a no-no) and beware if you open a tab — no swiping your card and returning it to you here. If you forget it, you can find it clothespinned to a line hanging above the bar.

Goode's Armadillo Palace Map It
5015 Kirby Dr.
713-526-9700
Events_Armadillo Palace_Nov 2010

One in the Goode family's emporium of Upper-Kirby restaurants, Armadillo Palace is aptly named. It's impossible to miss, due to the giant, silver-plated Armadillo out front complete with glowing red eyes. A decidedly preppier crowd resides here, playing shuffleboard or pool, listening to live music most nights or kicking back on the shoe-shine seat or saddle-covered barstools. Get your Texas comfort food here for sustenance for kicking up those heels.

Wild West Map It
6101 Richmond Ave.
713-266-3455
Places_drinks_Wild West_country bar

It's been two-steppin' and long neckin' for two decades at Wild West, out on the Richmond Strip. In this enormous Western dance club, you're just as likely to see assless chaps as a Stetson on folks working the solid oak dance floor. We like to think of it as the Hush of honky tonks. Nightclub and Bar Magazine has bestowed its Best Bar Concept award on Wild West every year since 2006.

Located on the Washington corridor, Rebels Honky Tonk is a spot for urban cowboys, who are just as at home here as at  Ei8ht. DJs spin country tunes for dancing on a good-sized dance floor Wednesday through Saturday. Drink specials are daily. Look for the cheeky blondes dispensing cocktails at the two bars. Polish up those designer boots for the opening hour of 9 p.m.

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