Downtown Bars Grow Up

New downtown restaurant and bar looks to offer real grown-up fun: This is no clubby party scene

New downtown restaurant and bar looks to offer real grown-up fun

Moonshiners building
The future home of Moonshiners at 1000 Prairie. Photo by Eric Sandler
Moonshiners Rendering
Renderings show a mix of bar and table seating for Moonshiners. Courtesy image
Moonshiners Rendering
Another look at the plans for Moonshiners. Courtesy image
Moonshiners building
Moonshiners Rendering
Moonshiners Rendering

The Salt N Pepper Group has quite a bit on its plate for 2015. In addition to bringing a second location of pizza restaurant Crisp to The Woodlands and building a flagship for Beer Market Co. in Midtown, the company will be opening a bar and restaurant called Moonshiners next to Prohibition at 1000 Prairie in downtown Houston.

Billed as a "Southern Table and Bar" by partner Fidan Baca, Moonshiners will offer lunch, happy hour and dinner options. Baca describes the concept as chef-oriented, but says they're still looking for the right person to develop the menu.

"We just signed the lease," Baca tells CultureMap. "We’re working on the details. We might switch things up."

 "We believe we can contribute to the growth down there with creative bars and restaurants. We’re not looking to do clubs. We’re growing up."  

Although Baca and his partners are primarily known for the Midtown hotspots like Pub Fiction and Celtic Gardens that they developed as part of KCH Entertainment, he thinks they have something to offer downtown's booming bar and restaurant scene. They recognize that concepts like Bad News Bar, Moving Sidewalk and The Pastry War have given downtown a different vibe than Midtown that appeals to office workers, visitors and the expanding population of downtown residents

"We’re not coming to downtown to make it a fist-pumping party scene. We want to contribute to this initiative," Baca says. "We will do our very best to develop concepts that are right for the area. I know we’re going to be judged for (being from) Midtown and the party scene and the youngsters. That’s fine."

Baca says that Crisp and Beer Market show his group's ability to develop multiple concepts in different neighborhoods across the city. With Moonshiners, their goal is to build on the series of downtown openings that have taken place over the last two years and draw even more people in.

"We believe we can contribute to the growth down there with creative bars and restaurants. We’re not looking to do clubs. We’re growing up. We’re trying to provide people with a good atmosphere, good food and good cocktails," Baca says.

"This city of ours deserves a great downtown. The guys who are already there have done a phenomenal job. You have to give it to them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help just because we manage (properties in) Midtown."