a star is born

Longtime Midtown bar shakes up a new identity as coffee shop and music venue

Midtown bar shakes up a new identity as coffee shop and music venue

Mongoose versus Cobra exterior
Mongoose versus Cobra will soon become Red Dwarf. Photo by VJ Arizpe, the photoshop

Big changes are coming to Mongoose versus Cobra. After eight years in business, the Midtown craft beer and cocktail spot has been sold to new owners who plan to convert into an all-day concept Red Dwarf

Named after the "coolest, longest lasting stars in the universe," plans call for Red Dwarf to be open daily from 6:30 am - 2 am. It will operate as a coffee shop in the morning and afternoon before transitioning to a "DIY music venue" and bar at night. While certain aspects of Mongoose will remain intact — specifically, the cocktails and craft beer (fingers crossed for the signature, oversized pretzel) — the overall experience will be very different.

The concept's three owners Shan Pasha (musician and talent booker), Sarina Pasha (coffee) and James Koby Boren (bartender, each have separate areas of expertise but are united in their desire to create a space that they hope local artists will make part of their daily routines.













We are excited to announce that Red Dwarf is hosting our soft open July 1st! We will be offering a chef driven menu, coffee, and craft cocktails/beer. Even with this exciting news, our hearts remain heavy due to the current climate. With that being said we want to make it clear that Red Dwarf will be a safe space that welcomes everyone, and we will not stand for any intolerance. Once concerts are safe and permitted, we will host a monthly charity show that will benefit a local Houston charity. We are so grateful for everyone that believes in us and supports us and we look forward to serving you! • • • • #HoustonBar #houstoncoffeeshop #houstonvenue #localbar #midtownhouston #houstonart #houstonartists #houstonmusic #houstonlivemusic #houstonliveshows #houstonfoodie

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Jun 3, 2020 at 3:23pm PDT


"We will have something for everyone here," Boren said in a statement.  "I firmly believe that bars and venues are about conversations and connections. Our vision is to bring people from all walks of life and age groups together over common interests in music, art, unique cocktails, light bites, and great beer."

Mongoose versus Cobra owner Ian Rosenberg, who remains the general partner for the building's ownership group, added his own thoughts about a space that will be open for almost 20 hours a day. "This was an opportunity to share the space for more hours a day and with many more people," he said.

Shan Pasha tells CultureMap that Red Dwarf will host live music six nights a week in a variety of musical genres. The venue will supply a sound engineer, and bands will get to keep the entire take from a $5 cover charge. "We foster a DIY attitude of allowing bands to book the show, promote it, and keep the financial benefits for their hard work," Pasha writes in an email.

Opened in 2012 as a companion to wine bar 13 Celsius, Mongoose versus Cobra quickly emerged as one of the neighborhood's most reliable destinations for light bites and refreshing drinks. Together with co-founder Mike Sammons (How to Survive on Land and Sea), Rosenberg converted the former auto repair shop at 1011 McGowan into a sleek, modern space with large windows and exposed brick walls. It has been a multiple time finalist for bar of the year in the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.