Memorial has a nice place for cocktails, comfort food, and live music. Cowboy Surfer recently opened near Memorial City Mall at 827 Frostwood Dr.
The project unites three friends: local attorney Jim Jard; designer Carl Eaves, who is also a partner in local restaurant group F.E.E.D. TX; and Jack Massing, one half of Houston's celebrated duo The Art Guys. Together, they're paying homage to an era in the ’60s when cowboys in California, Texas, and Florida took to the waves.
Eaves' design for the intimate, 1,850-square-foot space mixes ocean-inspired hues with a yellow tone meant to evoke the desert. Massing has curated a selection of memorabilia, posters, and records on the walls from artists such as Kenny Braun, Geoff Winningham, Jack Thompson, Mark Seliger, and Carlos Hernandez.
“This bar has been a long time coming. There’s certainly a lot of thought and passion behind it," Eaves said in a statement. "Meanwhile, it’s meant to be an uber casual, laid-back respite from the hectic Houstonian life. Our hope is that people walk in, let out a sigh of relief and bask in the intimate environment."
If the name sounds familiar, F.E.E.D. once planned to open a bar, restaurant, and live music venue called Surfing Cowboys in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest. Ultimately, the project never came to fruition, and this new bar is a more intimate, focused version of the idea.
Although Cowboy Surfer isn't currently hosting live music, it eventually plans to invite bands for weekly performances. The bar features what's described as state-of-the-art sound and lighting system.
“No matter how small or large the name of the act, we want people to know that the musicians at Cowboy Surfer are hand-picked for their talent," Jard said. "The public can always expect a good show. Musicians, on the other hand, can expect an environment designed for them to be appreciated.”
To drink, choose from a short list of wines by-the-glass, a range of craft and macro beers, or an extensive selection of cocktails that are divided into "Cowboy," "Surfer," and "Classic" sections. Highlights include a frozen margarita made with Big Red soda, a variation on a classic Dark and Stormy, and the Baja Beach Beer, a vodka cocktail topped with beer.
Chef Lance Fegen, one of Eaves' partners in F.E.E.D. TX, created a tidy menu that includes a cheeseburger, Texas chili, and slices of pepperoni pizza. A kale and Brussels sprouts salad is the slightly healthier selection.
For now, Cowboy Surfer will operate at 50-percent capacity by limiting admittance to 50 people. The bar opens at 4 pm daily, including on Thanksgiving.