Peak patio weather may not return until October, but a little shade is all it takes for Houstonians to grab a drink outside. A new Montrose establishment offers lots of shade — and frozen drinks.
Lotti Dotti quietly opened last weekend. Located in the former Brooklyn Athletic Club space at 601 Richmond Ave., the new bar unites chef Adam Dorris (Pax Americana, Presidio) with general manager Michael Riojas (Beaver's, Goode Co, Ladybird's).
In place of BAC's bocci courts, Lotti Dotti features a large, covered seating area that offers sufficient shelter from the elements, and a stage will eventually be home to musical performers. The front half of the space features a second covered area, along with tables shaded by umbrellas. Inside, a long bar provides a little air-conditioned comfort, but the focus is definitely on the outside space.
Overall, the vibe is relaxed and unpretentious. This bar doesn't need Instagram-able wallpaper or gimmicks like a Ferris wheel to help people have a good time. "We just want to be a neighborhood bar with a lot of space and opportunities to host events for the community," Riojas tells CultureMap.
Lotti Dotti's cocktail menu offers plenty of options for refreshment. The list starts with eight frozen drinks, including the Slime in the Ice Machine (tequila, cachaca, matcha, etc), Pain Don't Hurt (two kinds of rum, passionfruit, orgeat, etc), and Rick the Ruler, a tribute to the rapper whose song gave the bar its name (Pimms, gin, watermelon, etc). Six Draft cocktails come in three sizes: individual, carafe (for four to six people), or as elaborate punch bowls designed to serve eight or more. House cocktails, beer (both craft and macro), and a selection of wines by-the-glass curated by Dorris round out the options.
In addition to serving as sommelier, Dorris has created a menu that mixes the comfort food he served at Presidio with the talent for charcuterie he showed at Revival Market and Stella Sola. That means items like chicken wings and a classic cheeseburger reside on the same menu as pork rillettes, n'duja, and guinea hen liver mousse. Those cured meats can be paired with a selection of cheeses. Best of all, the food menu is available until 2 am.
Ambitious patio bars with creative drinks and elevated food have found success — consider Better Luck Tomorrow and Holman Draft Hall as two examples. Dorris and Riojas make a formidable team. The only question is whether Montrose likes to party as much as they do.