monkey business

Monkey's Tail masterminds fuel up new bar in former Petrol Station

Monkey's Tail masterminds fuel up new bar in former Petrol Station

Greg Perez Sharif Al-Amin Monkey's Tail
Greg Perez and Sharif Al-Amin are coming to Garden Oaks. Photo by Shannon O'Hara

The minds behind Monkey’s Tail are coming to Garden Oaks. Under the umbrella of their newly formed B.O.M. (Barrel of Monkeys) Hospitality, partners Sharif Al-Amin, Jessie Gonzales, and Greg Perez have leased the former home of Petrol Station for a new bar that will debut this fall.

When the celebrated craft beer bar closed in June after a 15 years of operations, the partners realized it presented them with an opportunity to build on the success they’ve had at Monkey’s Tail, which opened last summer in the north Houston neighborhood of Lindale Park.

“Petrol Station had a really good run over there,” Al-Amin tells CultureMap. “Taking the next step is what we want to do [as a company].”

The still unnamed concept — let’s just call it Monkey Station for fun — will incorporate many of the elements that have made Monkey’s Tail’s a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards bar of the year nominee: creative cocktails, affordable food, and a welcoming, come-as-you-are atmosphere.

Al-Amin adds that part of what appealed to him and his partners is that the two spaces are only about four miles from each other. Like Monkey’s Tail, Al-Amin envisions the new acquisition as a neighborhood bar that starts out family-friendly in the afternoon and early evening before shifting to a more adult atmosphere as the night goes on.

“I know Garden Oaks is very family-oriented,” he says. ‘We’re not going to lose that.”

As he does for Monkey’s Tail, Perez will create the bar’s cocktail program and curate its spirit selection. Steven Ripley (Helen, Jonathan’s the Rub), who created Monkey’s Tail’s menu as a consultant, has joined B.O.M. as its director of operations and will develop a food menu for the new bar. Like everything else about Monkey Station — again, we’re kind of hoping the name sticks — Al-Amin isn’t ready to divulge specifics but acknowledges it will follow Monkey’s Tail’s lead.

“Food is really important to us,” he says. “We like the concept of not just awesome drinks and beer. We like food that’s not breaking the bank. It works for us.”

Predicting a timeline for the opening of a new bar or restaurant never goes well, and the coronavirus pandemic makes the situation even more uncertain. Still, the partners aspire to be open this fall, just in time for the return of patio weather.