Houstonians and ice house aficionados, meet Jason Moore. You may recognize him from Down House, where he mixed cocktails behind the bar for just under two years.
More recently, he has transitioned into the bar manager at D&T Drive Inn, a revamped Heights-area beer joint from Chris Cusack and Joey Treadway, the guys behind the successful Yale Street restaurant.
Moore is the one who actually first came across the original D&T Drive Inn on Enid Street after finding it on a commercial properties for lease website. He and Cusack soon became regulars, and it wasn't long before they agreed to take over the building's lease from the owners of Bocados.
"I realized later that I had fallen in love with the soul of the building itself," Moore tells CultureMap. "I worked one full manager shift at the old D&T the day after we signed the lease, and then we decided to close it down."
Moore's strategy for the beer? A focus on Houston first, then Texas, then filling in stylistically across the board.
The initial plan was to give the bar a little facelift, add some craft brews and reopen soon after, but the business partners decided to go full-out instead. "We thought, 'If we're going to do it, let's just do it,' " Moore recalls.
What emerged one year and three months later was a bar that fits in the neighborhood just as well as its predecessor, with a tap wall of more than 50 beers (some micro-brewed, some standard fare) and a well-stocked jukebox.
"Having my own jukebox has been a goal all of my life," says Moore, who credits his background in the music scene — he managed Amoeba Music in San Francisco and Los Angeles for 12 years before moving to Houston just over two years ago — for his proficiency in selecting the tunes and the taps.
Moore's strategy for the beer? A focus on Houston first, then Texas, then filling in stylistically across the board. The result? A little bit of everything, and something for everyone. The same goes for the jukebox, which is still only two-thirds full. As one might imagine, it's a painstaking process for a music junkie; Moore's tackling it more slowly.
"We got to the point we could sell beers and then we opened the doors," he explains. The D&T team installed lights over the bar a few weeks into service, paved and painted the gravel parking lot last week and built a set of washer boxes for the backyard on Tuesday.
Along with Amber White, his girlfriend and co-manager of D&T, Moore is setting out to create a comprehensive drink flights menu next. He also hopes to soon add a bike rack out front and install outdoor fans on the patio.
A full food menu is on the way, too, and while the details haven't been hammered out, Moore promises that it will be "real quality and as fast as we can do it."
That seems to be a sort of mantra for the Heights' newest old dive bar.