Houstonians know that Julep, Alba Huerta's stylish bar on Washington Avenue, serves great drinks, but now the rest of the country will discover it, too.
Esquire magazine named the Southern-oriented establishment as one of 24 nationwide additions to its bar Hall of Fame. Julep joins Anvil, which was inducted last year, as two of the only three Texas bars on the list (Austin's Half Step is the other).
"It’s great to be recognized," Huerta tells CultureMap. "To have people visit the bar anonymously and be impressed with the staff, that’s a great blessing."
"Between devil-may-care thoughtlessness and flair-first egoism is the bull's-eye of barmanship," the magazine writes. "Julep has reverence for the past yet manages to serve elegant, unpretentious drinks. It starts with architecture. There are cushy booths and a curvilinear bar that draws you to its bosom. The drinks, too, have impeccable structure: Jefferson cups, chipped ice, fine garni. Look up and a polished copper canopy winks like a lady's lashes, reminding you that Julep's owner, Alba Huerta, has her eye on every detail."
As it prepares to celebrate its third birthday this summer, Huerta has plans to permanently expand Julep into the adjacent space that it sometimes uses for private events. She's also working on a cocktail recipe book in conjunction with Ten Speed Press and photographer Julie Soefer. Here's a sneak peek, courtesy of Soefer's Instagram account:
May 12, 2017 at 10:12am PDT
One last question. Has Julep's success inspired Huerta to open another bar?
"That’s a tough question. I think everybody has plans for another bar, but for me specifically I spend a lot more time thinking about how to add elements to this one or how to implement other parts of the program that I wanted to add," Huerta says. "I really love this bar. I still enjoy being behind the bar and being part of the city."