Sneak Peek at Kirby Ice House Memorial
Sneak peek: Kirby Ice House serves up new Memorial-area location
Get ready to welcome a second location of Kirby Ice House. The ultra-popular patio bar will open its second location on Thursday, June 18.
Located in MetroNational’s expansion of the Memorial City complex on the north side of I-10, the new Kirby Ice House Memorial joins Mia’s Table and Torchy’s Tacos in bringing new drinking and dining options to Memorial and Spring Branch.
“I grew up in this neighborhood. It’s definitely changed since I was little,” Kirby Ice House partner Russ Morgan tells CultureMap. “We thought, why not throw a Kirby Ice House in this area and give Memorial City a big bar to hang out at?”
Even though it has been over a year in the making, Houston’s new Kirby Ice House seems perfectly suited to the current moment. With 12,000 feet of space inside and a 10,000-square-foot backyard, the bar makes an ideal destination for socially distant revelry.
The new location replicates the format that’s made the original, Upper Kirby location one of Houston’s highest-grossing bars and helped fuel a wave of similar concepts that build on its “adult backyard” vibe. Fans will find the same variety of draft beer, cocktails, and spirits with a rustic look that features Texas signage and vintage movie posters. The backyard still features games like corn hole, and customers have access to 300 parking spots.
However, the proportions have flipped. Kirby Ice House Memorial has twice as much interior space as the original — including a 120-foot long bar that Morgan thinks is the longest in Texas — and about half as much outdoor space. Expanded restrooms correct one of the Upper Kirby location’s biggest weaknesses. As a nod to the neighborhood’s tastes, more wines are available.
Since it isn’t located next to houses, the bar isn’t subject to a 10 pm quiet time. Memorial features an upgraded TV and audio package with 75-inch screens and more speakers. “We had it on the other day, and it sounded like a nightclub in Vegas,” Morgan says.
Besides offering plenty of space for social distancing, Kirby Ice House has a number of protocols in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They include maintaining 6 feet between tables, limiting party sizes to 10 or fewer, temperature checks for both staff and patrons, and masks for employees. Although the photos above show barstools, Morgan says they’ll be removed until state guidelines permit bar seating.
In addition to being a partner in both locations, Morgan holds the title of development director for Kirby Ice House. His responsibility is to find additional locations for the bar, and he’s already looking for new options.
“We’ve been looking in Texas, Florida, and Arkansas for future deals,” he says. “We’re looking to grow it in a smart way.”