Hometown Hangout

Public House: The Heights bar where everybody knows your name — and there's art for sale, too

Public House: The Heights bar where everybody knows your name — and there's art for sale, too

Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012 , Packed house on a weekend night
Packed house on a weekend night Public House Heights/Facebook
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012 , The McReavys at the bar
The McReavys at the bar Public House Heights/Facebook
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012, Everyone's welcome at PHH
Everyone's welcome at PHH. Public House Heights/Facebook
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012 , Packed house on a weekend night
The weather's perfect for a party on the patio. Public House Heights/Facebook
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012, Chris tending bar
Chris tending bar at Public House Heights Public House Heights/Facebook
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012 , Packed house on a weekend night
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012 , The McReavys at the bar
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012, Everyone's welcome at PHH
Public House Heights, bar, sign
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012 , Packed house on a weekend night
Darla, Public House Heights, October 2012, Chris tending bar

The Facebook picture of a sunglasses-clad dog sitting in a booth should be a good indication that everyone is welcome at Public House Heights.  

Co-owners Emily and Chris McReavy met when they both worked at Raven Grill, and after several years in the service industry, the husband and wife team decided to open this laid-back lounge. They’re proud to have created a mellow gathering place on the crowded Heights White Oak strip, one that has become a respite for other service industry workers.

“Sometimes industry people come here after or between shifts and just hang out, which is what we wanted,” Emily says. “Our goal was to have a place where everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. You know, a public house.”

 “Our goal was to have a place where everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. You know, a  public house.”

If ever there were a pub in Houston that could call itself a proper public house, this would be it. Situated near the corner of Studewood and White Oak between BB's Cafe, Jimmie’s Ice House and Christian’s Tailgate, PHH serves as the chill spot that you can walk to from your house when you want to catch up with friends over a scotch neat, mixed drink or cold beer. 

The love of everything local is apparent throughout. Texas craft breweries occupy most of the taps, although Emily admits that they ordered Fat Tire so that New Belgium would gift them with the bike that hangs from the pub’s rafters.

The pair sources its pub snacks, like spicy nuts and trail mix, from popular Houston restaurants Hugo’s and Happy Fatz. PHH has even earned renown for its collection of local art for sale.

“To be honest, when setting up the place, I’d planned for everything but the walls and needed a solution,” Emily says of her decision to showcase local art. 

Every three months PHH art curator Jennifer Vickers collects a selection of canvases to switch out on the walls. The revolving exhibit creates some movement and artistic activity in a place where virtually everything else — drink selection to pub regulars — is constant. They have already helped artists sell several pieces in the eight months that they’ve been open.

While the crowd that flocks to this neighborhood hangout varies in age, the weekday happy hour customers are usually mid-twenties professionals. This sets the tone for an easygoing atmosphere with regular patrons playing darts or chatting in one of the homey, oversized booths.  

A nicely-stocked pub that offers local art, Pac-Man table, digital jukebox and giant Jenga might become your new favorite neighborhood spot, no matter which 'hood you call home.