Midtown’s booming bar scene gets another exciting addition on Friday, January 19, when The Kirby Group (Wooster’s Garden, Heights Bier Garten) debuts its eagerly anticipated new concept, Holman Draft Hall.
As the name implies, Holman offers beer and wine from its 100 taps. The selections include local and national craft beers — all of which are served at their ideal temperatures thanks to the bar’s three-zone walk-in cooler that has different areas set to 55, 45, and 32 degrees. Yes, the bar takes its wine selection of 31 vintages just as seriously as the beer.
“Most of those draft wines are exclusive to us,” Kirby Group food and beverage director Steven Salazar tells CultureMap. “It took months to source them. A lot of them are coming in from New York, and we’re the first people to use them. They are absolutely the best wines in the world you can get in a keg.”
While Holman won’t have a cocktail menu and won’t serve shaken drinks — walk half a block to Wooster’s for those — it does have a full spirit selection to accommodate customers who want drinks like whiskey and Coke or a vodka soda. In addition, the bartenders at Wooster’s Garden will supply recipes for a rotating selection of frozen drinks.
“When people see the frozen machines [they say], ‘oh, you’re doing frozen margaritas?’ No, we’re not,” Salazar says. “We’re going to do some really nice, special recipes done by Wooster’s Garden. They’re going to be what we do. We take things up a notch.”
Chef Brandon Silva (Uchi, Holley’s) has developed a menu based around three kinds of nachos, and 12 different wing sauces: everything from creamy, tangy barbecue and cilantro honey mustard to more unusual options like curry golden raisin, tamarind fish sauce, and sumac labneh. Other dishes include chicken soup with a coconut curry broth, shareable items like fried green tomatoes and shishito peppers, and the company’s signature burger. In addition, the three concepts now employ a baker who makes all of their buns, breads, and pretzels. The food reflects a level of care that puts it on a level with Houston’s other bar-forward concepts like Better Luck Tomorrow and the recently opened Goodnight Charlie's.
Holman’s look has the same industrial influences of brick, steel, and glass that are present at both Wooster’s and Heights Bier Garten, but the bar’s massive covered patio gives it an all-weather utility that its sibling lack. The only remaining design element of the bar’s former incarnation as a nightclub is its elaborate ceiling.
“This is the evolution of the neighborhood bar. We’re here for everybody,” Salazar says. “We can make everybody happy on the menu. Everything’s done with the highest integrity, and we want to deliver excellent service.
Holman Draft Hall, 820 Holman St.; open Monday-Friday, 3 pm-2 am; Saturday-Sunday, 11 am-2 am.