The patio bar trend shows no signs of slowing down. Inspired by the success of bars like Kirby Ice House and Axelrad Beer Garden, even veteran operators are stepping up to put their spin on the format.
Lonnie Schiller, the co-founder of concepts including Cafe Annie, Cafe Express, and The Grove, has partnered with his son-in-law, energy trader Brendan Murphy, to open Patterson Park. The sprawling venue will feature an indoor-outdoor space, a large patio, and a second-story deck with a view of the downtown skyline.
Located just north of I-10 near the White Oak Bayou Trail, the partners purchased the 1.25 acre property at 2205 Patterson St for the bar. Permits in hand, Murphy and Schiller tell CultureMap that construction will begin soon with an eye towards a late spring or early summer opening.
“It’s basically an indoor-outdoor bar,” Murphy says. “It’s elevated in the trees. You’ll really feel like an escape when you’re there. We think it will appeal to people in The Heights and Rice Military.”
Similar to other establishments, the outdoor space will feature games such as cornhole. Inside, Murphy is considering adding arcade games. Plenty of TVs will be available for watching games, and the comfortable interior should have wide appeal.
Beverage options will focus on cocktails, including some draft options, with wine, beer, and nitro coffee available as well. Murphy says he thinks that approach will distinguish Patterson Park from other bars that are all serving similar draft beer selections. Instead of building a kitchen, the bar will have space for food trucks to serve.
While the concept is new, the team brings a lot of experience to their roles. In addition to his time opening well-known Houston restaurants, Schiller also works with hotels through his H3D Hospitality consulting firm (full disclosure: he’s also one of CultureMap’s founders). Murphy worked in the restaurant industry in Charleston prior to his time in the energy business. Other partners in the project include interior designer Candice Schiller and architect Craig Schuster, who spent over 20 years designing restaurants for Pappas before joining H3D.
People who are interested in investing in the project may do via the NextSeed crowdfunding platform. In addition to earning a return, investors are eligible for a range of perks including an invitation to a pre-opening party and discounts at Patterson Park.
“We have 72 investors [as of Wednesday, January 8],” Murphy says. “We like having people who will help spread the word.”