On foot

New patio bar aims to create a walkable Houston neighborhood — and food truck haven

New patio bar aims to create a walkable Houston neighborhood — and food truck haven

Capitol Bar in Midtown
Midtown along Main is getting a new patio bar — and it's food truck ready. Photo by Shawn Outlaw
Capitol Bar in Midtown, patio
A small stage and some casual outdoor games — bean bag toss, anyone? — are planned for the patio. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Capitol Bar in Midtown, beer bottle light fixtures
Interior Photo by Tyler Rudick
Capitol Bar in Midtown
Capitol Bar in Midtown, patio
Capitol Bar in Midtown, beer bottle light fixtures

An up-and-coming stretch of Midtown is getting some new patio entertainment this month with the arrival of Capitol Bar — a METRO-friendly outdoor drinking spot owners see as being part of a small-scale neighborhood revival.

"This part of Midtown is making a comeback," managing partner Shawn Outlaw tells CultureMap.

"Mongoose versus Cobra is one block down, just across the street from Leon's Lounge. We see Capitol Bar as being just one of a handful of nearby places people can reach by foot or METRO. The idea is to create a new walking area."

"We see Capitol Bar as being just one of a handful of nearby places people can reach by foot or METRO. The idea is to create a new walking area."

This patch of Midtown is sprucing up. A new craft beer joint named Worhals is slated to open several blocks north on Main, while former Bachelor contestant Brad Womack is planning a bar named Dogwood further west on Bagby, as detailed in Eater.

In scoping out locations, Outlaw says he and his business partners jumped on the opportunity to be right along the light rail on Main Street. "Being so close to public transportation like this has always been huge for us."

For the past several months, Outlaw and his team have re-envisioned a vintage 1940s auto repair garage into a well-lit space that opens onto a large patio, which has been decked out with picnic tables and soon-to-be completed cabanas. A cozy stage has been placed in the back area in preparation for regular music performances.

Rather than installing a kitchen, Capitol Bar has carved out a dedicated space to host a revolving lineup of food trucks.

"We're hoping to keep things fresh by offering different food pretty much every night of the week," Outlaw says. "Ultimately, our hope is to have this be more than just a bar or lounge. The back patio is designed to be open and flexible so we can experiment and keep things interesting for people."

The Capitol Bar is running a soft opening for the next two weeks with hours from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday through Saturday. The bar will maintain a regular schedule following a planned St. Patty's Day bash on Sunday, March 17.