New Game Changing Bar

New downtown bar vows to be cocktail pretension free: Great drinks and no attitude?

New downtown bar vows to be pretension free: Great drinks and no 'tude

Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, bartender, chalkboard
The Bad News Bar offers an unpretentious option to the often hype-ridden cocktail scene. Photo by Adrienne Raquel
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, bar
Owner Justin Burrow plans to launch an official drink menu that includes the almighty piña colada. Photo by Adrienne Raquel
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, tables, booths
Don't miss the balcony above Main Street. Photo by Adrienne Raquel
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, sitting area
Sitting area Photo by Adrienne Raquel
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, bottles
Photo by Adrienne Raquel
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, bartender, chalkboard
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, bar
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, tables, booths
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, sitting area
Capt. Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, April 2013, bottles

In spite of its impressively wordy name, Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge is all about the basics.

"We're here to take the pretension out of the whole cocktail thing," explains owner Justin Burrow, the celebrated Houston bartender known to drinking enthusiasts as one of the original Anvil partners . . . or from his stint behind the bar at Gravitas . . . or from his popular Tuesday cocktail nights at Fitzgerald's.

"We're here to take the pretension out of the whole cocktail thing."

"In the past few years, there's become such a sharp focus on the process of making drinks," Burrow tells CultureMap from a booth at the Bad News Bar (I'm just going to shorten the name here).

"As amazing as the cocktails are at many of these places, there's been this huge departure from service. The new hand-crafted cocktail scene spread across the country and got pretty high and mighty, became less welcoming to customers. I've been thinking about starting a bar now for years. And I wanted a return to a more casual and friendly environment."

Burrow's bar fosters a remarkably un-stuffy atmosphere in its narrow second floor space at 308 Main between Goro & Gun and Bobby Heugel's forthcoming tequila bar. There are dudes sipping bottles of Lone Star across from a bartender chatting with small-but-already-loyal after work crowd as he carefully mixes their drinks.

People laugh from the large balcony above Main Street while the first Pixies record spins on a nearby turntable. The mellow, almost pub-like environs are a breath of fresh air for those looking for expertly-made cocktails sans the cocktail attitude.

This week, Burrow hopes to roll out an official drink menu that will include a lineup of classic cocktails . . . including the almighty pina colada.

Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge is opens daily at 4 p.m.