derby talk

17 Houston hot spots for fun and fancy Kentucky Derby events

17 Houston hot spots for fun and fancy Kentucky Derby events

Julep Houston Mint Julep
Juleps-a-plenty at Julep. Photo by Julie Soefer

Thought it's known as the "fastest two minutes in sports," Kentucky Derby parties are all-day affairs. We've rounded up a list of Houston hot spots ready to serve up those juleps, cocktails, and more. Don those hats and dresses (seersucker for the gents) for all this runaway fun.

The Rustic on Post Oak will have its annual watch party. Things with Todd will DJ before the race, while live music will kick off after the race. There will also be drink features and a best-dressed contest. 11 am.

Brasserie 19 will have a hat party where the best hat will win a champagne brunch for six. If you don't have a hat, you can still sip on a mint julep and cheer on this year's prize stallions. Noon.

Eureka Heights Brew Co. will pair up with Hop Topic for this watch party. In between races, grab a derby pie/bourbon barrel-aged stout and shop their pop-up, with various vendors selling handmade goods. Noon.

Over at Julep, guests will enjoy house cocktails, mint juleps, champagne, a Topo Chico station, two main bars, a whiskey bar, tacos from Cochinita & co., a live DJ set, and a Vinyl Ranch pop-up shop while the bar live streams the Derby. Noon.

Fullbrook Ale Works in Richmond will have big hats, bougie drinks and the first annual "Run for the Beers" beer jockey races. Gabriel Gonzales Trio takes the stage at 4 pm, while Scholars & Scoundrels will serve up crawfish. 1:30 pm.

Heights & Co. is throwing a party filled with refreshing mint juleps and a large projector screen broadcasting the race. Bar bites and entrees will also be offered, including bruschetta, steak frites and brisket grilled cheese. 1:30 pm.  

Brenner's on the Bayou will have Wine Fest Derby Style, where guests are invited to sample the wine collection from exclusive winemakers and stroll around the scenic grounds. Chef-crafted bites will be served from five of Houston’s top restaurants. 2 pm.

Shop Heights 19th Street with have its annual Kentucky Derby block party. Don your biggest hats and southern style for the Mint Julep Throw Down, and also take in the local shops, local eats and 19th Street fun. 2 pm. 

Loch Bar is celebrating with a “Big Hat Weekend,” complete with a Kentucky Turtle Derby race, where eight elite turtles will race to be the first to cross the finish line. The festivities continue with a “best hat” contest, raffle prizes, and mouthwatering $12 mint juleps. 3 pm. 

Piggy’s Kitchen & Bar will hold the fifth annual Houston Derby Day. Enjoy classic cocktails crafted by Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, as guests arrive in their finest southern attire, donning festive hats, floral dresses, and dapper suits. 3 pm.

The Patio on Mercer will have a watch party hosted by the University of Alabama Houston alumni chapter (aka Bama Houston), with mint juleps, wine, beer, soft drinks and, of course, food. Children are welcome and the event is free for all to attend. 3 pm.

Wicklow Heights is teaming up with Sweetens Cove, Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick's bourbon, for a festive afternoon of mint juleps, horse racing and fancy hats. Patrons can get juleps made with Sweetens Cove’s newly-launched Kennessee bourbon, as well as prizes for best-dressed man, woman, and couple. 3 pm.

At William Price Distilling, guests can enjoy juleps and the ponies on the big screen in the warehouse. All ages are welcome to attend, and those who will RSVP will be entered to win a Derby Day bar tab. 3 pm.

Yellow Rose Distilling will have a watch party hosted by nonprofit organization CarePartners. Join them for games, prizes, mint juleps, bourbon tastings, a buffet, the chance to bet on your favorite horse and more. 3 pm.

Federal American Grill will be using the Derby to have its biggest party of the year. There will also be live music from 57 State, which plays — according to their Facebook page — "rock and country mixed with a little heart n' soul." 4 pm.

The Tasting Room will delve into the richness of Kentucky culture with their many Derby-inspired dishes, paired with Kentucky bourbons. Chef Beto Gutierrez has created a decedent menu inspired by the widely-known race. 4 pm. 

Bludorn will be celebrating Derby Day festivities with $15 mint juleps all day long. Guests can pull up a chair and sip on this classic Kentucky Derby cocktail while cheering on the races. 5 pm.