New rum-lovin', nautical-themed bar sails into Spring Branch with frozen daiquiris and Caribbean vibe
Landlubbers rejoice. A new, nautical-themed bar has sailed into Spring Branch.
Lei Low owners Liz and Russell Thoede have partnered with Houston bar empresario Brad Moore (Grand Prize, Big Star Bar) and his partner Camella Clements to open Loose Cannon in the former Might As Well space at 8518 Long Point Rd. The new bar intends to blend the come-as-you-are atmosphere that’s made the location a neighborhood favorite for decades with a focus on well-executed, mostly rum-based cocktails.
“It has similarities to the Heights when we opened Lei Low,” Russell Thoede tells CultureMap. “It’s an older, established neighborhood that needed some updated businesses.”
To be clear, Loose Cannon isn’t a tiki bar. It doesn’t have signature design elements like thatch walls or tikis, and the drinks will be a little simpler than what Lei Low offers.
“When a chef opens a second restaurant, it’s usually a burger joint or something easy,” Thoede says. “That’s what we were looking for — something a little less complicated.”
Inside, the renovations center around a nautical theme. Customers will find walls adorned with items such as ship’s wheels. Maritime-looking art chrome accented lights help illuminate the space.
“That dark wood kind of reminded me of the inside of a boat, an old pub,” Thoede says. Later, he adds that his goal design-wise is to “Give you the feel of a bar that would be in the Caribbean. A lot of resorts have a fisherman’s pub or rum shacks that have a fisherman’s vibe.”
Cocktails start with rum-based classics such as a frozen daiquiri — inspired by the one served at Havana’s famous La Floridita bar — a frozen hurricane, and a classic Painkiller. The signature Loose Cannon is a French 75 variation made with Jamaican rum, cognac, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cava. Inspired by a drink he encountered in Martinique, Thoede’s rum punch blends rhum agricole with guava juice, lime juice, orange juice and a splash of angostura bitters.
Of course, the bar is stocked with other spirits necessary for standard classics, and it will continue to serve beer to cater to regulars who’ve been going there since it was Robbie’s. That’s a tradition Thoede wants to respect.
“That location has been a bar since the '60s. It’s a part of the community,” he says. “We’re not coming there to change or gentrify their bar. We just want to prolong the tradition of a good, neighborhood bar.