Courtesy of Saint Arnold

Houston’s oldest craft brewery has found a new chef to lead its popular restaurant. Chase Reid is now the executive chef at Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s beer garden and restaurant.

Hired a couple of months ago, Reid replaces chef Ryan Savoie, who had been with the brewery since 2013. A French-trained chef, Reid came to Saint Arnold’s attention after well-regarded stints at Hop Scholar Ale House in Spring and the Historic Hill House and Farm in Willis.

“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at Saint Arnold and build on the legacy they’ve created in Texas,” Reid said in a statement. “I love the creativity that comes with cooking and have always been passionate about craft beer. I’m very much looking forward to combining the two.”

Recent visitors to Saint Arnold have gotten a first taste of the chef’s work with pizza specials and new additions such as a house made bratwurst burger. He’s also the culinary mind behind Saint Arnold’s recent Doughnut Sunday offerings that pair freshly fried treats with different beers from the company’s portfolio on the firs Sunday of every month. Overall, he’s focused on maintaining the quality and consistency that has been the restaurant’s hallmark since it opened in 2018.

Reid will more formally introduce himself to the brewery’s fans at the upcoming Great Pumpkin Beer Dinner. Held on Halloween night, the meal will feature a five-course menu paired with seasonal and limited release beers, including 2013 Pumpkinator, 2023 Pumpkinator, and 2020 bourbon barrel-aged Pumpkinator with cocoa nibs. See the full menu and purchase tickets ($125) on the Saint Arnold website.

“Chase’s enthusiasm for both food and beer got all of us excited to have him joining our team,” Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner added. “Our Beer Garden & Restaurant is a welcoming place to enjoy our world class beers. We have the same standards for our food as we do for our beer and are always working to elevate and create an experience that will keep our guests coming back again and again.”

Photo courtesy of Sugar Land Town Square

Sugar Land Town Square presents Oktoberfest

Sugar Land Town Square's annual Oktoberfest, presented by Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land, will feature Bavarian music and dancing, beer, authentic German food, games and prizes, and more.

Flying Saucer Biergarten will feature 50 different brews and The Boho Market will have local makers with vintage and handcrafted goods. There will be main stage entertainment with a mix of traditional and modern tunes, sing-a-longs, and dance-a-longs. Oktoberfest games and contests including the Dachshund Dash, Stein Races, Stein Holding Contests, Stein Stacking Races, Keg Rolling, Kids Polka Lessons, and Bratwurst Eating Contest.

Courtesy of Saint Arnold

Houston's oldest craft brewery wins top spot at Great American Beer Festival

a major award

Houston’s oldest craft brewery received a major award over the weekend. Saint Arnold Brewing Company won the Brewer’s Association 2023 Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Saint Arnold Great American Beer Festival

Courtesy of Saint Arnold

A group of employees represented Saint Arnold at the awards.

It’s the first time Saint Arnold has won the Brewery of the Year award since 2017. The local favorite also earned Gold Medals in two categories — English Ale for its Elissa IPA and Golden or Blonde Ale for Fancy Lawnmower. In total, Saint Arnold has won 29 medals at the event, according to a statement.

Considered the most prestigious awards in the beer world, the Great American Beer Festival features 250 beer experts judging entries in 99 beer categories that cover 175 styles of beer. Overall, the judging panels consider more than 9,000 entries from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“Winning Brewery of the Year is pretty gosh darn gratifying,” Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner said in a statement. “Winning a second one is unexpected because it’s so rare. It’s a reflection on the quality of our entire team as well as the beers we brew.”

The timing couldn’t have been more auspicious. Saint Arnold will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2024.

Two other Houston breweries also took home hardware. EaDo’s True Anomaly Brewing took home a Gold in the Contemporary American-Style Lager for Scout and a Silver in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer for Sea of Waves. Karbach Brewing won a Gold in the Non-Alcohol Beer category for its Free & Easy Belgian-Style White.

See a full list of winners at AmericanCraftBeer.com.

Photo by Shannon O'Hara

Award-winning Houston bar returns after short closure with big upgrades and exciting news

if i had a tail

Changes have come to Monkey’s Tail. The CultureMap Tastemaker Award-winning neighborhood bar in Lindale Park returned to service this weekend after an almost month-long closure for some behind the scenes renovations and upgrades.

Those changes are only the start. As it prepares to open a second location in Conroe next month (hopefully) and Grease Monkey, a new concept in the former Petrol Station space in the spring, Monkey’s Tail owner Jessie Gonzalez has made other changes, too.

First, the bar’s food truck is in the process of being replaced with a permanent kitchen that will take approximately six months to build. Second, beverage director Lainey Collum is stepping into the operations role formerly occupied by Steven Ripley, who will maintain a part-time consulting role on the food offerings at both bars.

“Monkey’s Tail has morphed into something different than what it started. It just keeps growing,” Gonzalez tells CultureMap. “We want things to flow better. If you want to open multiple locations, you have to have structure.”

He adds that he’s amazing that new people still visit the bar four years into its existing, coming from places as far away as Conroe and Katy. All of the changes are designed to deal with the growing crowds and plan for the future.

“It’s growing pains,” Collum adds. “The volume keeps getting bigger. It’s an amazing problem to have. How do we make the bar more functional to deal with that, so people don’t have super long waits?”

Physically, those structures start with improvements to the inner patio. It now features a U-shaped floating roof designed to provide more shade and protection from the rain than the umbrellas it replaces. The roof complements an outdoor bar and helps make the patio more comfortable. Adding new TVs mean Astros fans will be able to root for the team both indoors and outside during this year’s playoff run.

“We’re trying to get ourselves ready for patio season,” Collum explains. “We also do a big Christmas celebration, a Feliz Navidad thing with a big Christmas tree and tons of decorations. We want to blow it out as big as it can be.”

Similarly, the decision to replace the bar’s food food truck with a full kitchen reflects Gonzalez and Collum’s interests in serving more people more quickly. Monkey’s Tail’s weekend brunch service has become increasingly popular, and Monday’s steak night has doubled its revenue over the past couple of years.

“We’ve gone over 200 steaks a night,” Gonzalez says. “For a bar, it’s a lot of steak.”

While the kitchen is under construction, Monkey’s Tail will utilize guest food trucks. Elements, chef Zach McClendon’s traveling steak night pop-up that also operates the kitchen at Cottonwood, will take on steak night until the kitchen is operational.

On the personnel side, Collum is taking the lead on operations and being granted a partnership stake in the company. She brings a wide range of experiences to her role, including working as the assistant general manager at Hay Merchant, a bar manager at The Pass & Provisions, the beverage director for Prohibition, and a management role at Yauatcha, the stylish dim sum restaurant from the international Hakkasan Group. Now, she’s accepted the challenge of being an owner and applying some of those fine dining standards to a casual, come-as-you-are, neighborhood bar.

“I have a very varied background of all different types of places, but I do have a high end pedigree,” she says. “I switched over to a more casual concept, because in my mind, that’s where the bar world is going. Nothing against fine dining, it’s amazing, but as far as longevity goes, it’s tough.”

Collum’s most immediate responsibility is opening Monkey’s Tail’s second location in Conroe (2017 N. Frazier St.). Announced last year, it’s expected to open in October.

Conroe residents can expect the full Monkey's Tail menu — including wings, tacos, and the signature Chango Burger, along with all of its popular stirred, shaken, and frozen cocktails. Events such as steak night will also make the journey north. If Conroe proves to be successful, Gonzalez has his eye on other cities for additional locations, including Katy and Brenham.

Once Conroe is up and running, Collum will turn her attention to Grease Monkey. The project has been delayed for a variety of reasons, but is expected to open by mid-2024. As in the Petrol Station days, draft beer will remain a core part of the bar’s offerings, along with cocktails and a slimmed-down version of the Monkey’s Tail food menu to allow for its smaller kitchen.

“We don’t want to take it lightly. We can take Monkey’s Tail and replicate it in Conroe. That’s not what Grease Monkey is,” Collum says.

“With Steven leaving the group, I don’t want to say what it’s going to be. It might change a little bit.”

Ultimately, Gonzalez and Collum share the same goal of making the original Monkey’s Tail and any related locations durable Houston institutions. With the right systems in place, they plan to serve customers for years to come.

“We want to be here for the long term,” Gonzalez says. “I know it’s hard for bars to do that, but Little Woodrow’s has. If they can do it, why can’t we?”

A look inside Monkey's Tail.

Monkey's Tail interior
Photo by Shannon O'Hara

Monkey's Tail has reopened after a month away.

Photo courtesy of CITYCENTRE


The second annual CITYCENTRE Biergarten will be a blend of beer, camaraderie, and football. Guests can enjoy savory bites, cold brewskis, or non-alcoholic drinks in the Plaza by placing to-go orders from CITYCENTRE establishments, including Daily Gather, Bella Green, Yi Peng, Yard House, and more. Guests can also stop by The Moran CITYCENTRE tent in the plaza where they can indulge in a curated assortment of Oktoberfest beer and curated wine selections.

The outdoor pop-up experience will feature six 65-inch TVs broadcasting all the football action.

Photo courtesy of Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium presents 23rd Year Celebration

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium celebrates 23 years in downtown Houston with a blowout. Marking the milestone for the craft beer pioneer, Flying Saucer will tap several brews from area breweries, including Firestone Walker, Other-Half, Evil Twin and Jester King and offer exclusive pours from Celestial and Pinthouse.

The new summer cocktail list will be featured and showcases both draft and crafted libations. Favorites include the Saucer Margarita (Sauza Reposada, lime and pineapple), Aperol Spritz and Hot Girl Summer (bourbon, Campari, lemon, cherry and simple syrup).

The free karaoke is open to the public and will include a Houston Brewery Karaoke Contest at noon with brewmasters from Brash, Eureka Heights, and others. Dine-in and patio dining is available.

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Breakfast, big shrimp, and benefitting a great cause at BB's Tex-Orleans

Dig In, Y'all

If you’re looking to jazz up your next meal, Cajun eatery BB’s Tex-Orleans is kicking up its current Southern Louisiana-meets-Texas menu with new all-day breakfast dishes that are both sweet and savory.

Also coming in hot this month is the Big Shrimpin’ Platter, which now raises money for a good cause with every order.

Breakfast of champions — and saints
If you don’t qualify breakfast as the most important meal of the day, BB’s Tex-Orleans might just change your mind. There’s a newly expanded Breakfast of Saints menu at the Montrose outpost, and it’s everything you could ever want.

While you’ll still find all the old faves — the Morning Glory Po’boy, the Wake and Bake Burger with chipotle remoulade, and Chicken and Waffles — there’s a whole lot of newness to try, too.

Two musts? Look for the Cajun Eggs Benedict with blackened shrimp and andouille cream sauce and The Southern Man, which dishes up fried catfish with eggs, a buttermilk biscuit, and cheese grits.

Also, BB’s breakfast aficionados will fondly remember the Elvis Waffle, a decadent meal that’s stuffed and loaded with bacon, peanut butter, and banana with a Nutella chocolate sauce. Well, it’s back and more indulgent than ever.

Don’t sleep on these breakfast items, now served all day every day at the Montrose location.

Big Shrimpin’ for a good cause
This month, you also won’t want to miss ordering the Big Shrimpin' Platter. Beginning October 1 and available at each of BB’s Tex-Orleans' 12 Houston locations, this special dish benefits Susan G. Komen.

The platter lives up to its name, with a half-pound of boiled shrimp, six fried shrimp, six grilled Creole lemon shrimp, shrimp and grits, shrimp cocktail, and corn and potatoes.

It’s the most delicious way you can do your part to raise money for breast cancer research.

Hungry yet? To learn more about BB’s Tex-Orleans Montrose happenings, click here. Discover your nearest restaurant location here.

Where to shop in Houston right now: 14 must-hit spots for October


October is finally here, and we are about to be blessed with slightly cooler temps for what we know will be the best "hotumn" yet. It's time to embrace those rich fall colors – warm burgundies, deep emeralds, and silver or red. Houston's boutiques are filled with the latest autumn fashion trends, making updating your wardrobe with the season's most stylish pieces easy.

Houston's sports teams are on a winning streak, making it the perfect time to grab those gameday essentials. From jerseys to hats and everything in between, Houston's shops are stocked with fan gear to help fans show off their team spirit. And don't forget to pair those sporty looks with some fabulous fall boots and dresses, the ultimate combination of style and comfort.

We've curated a list of can't-miss boutiques, popups, and events to make your October shopping experience effortless.

Ames Layne

Local boutique Ames Layne has everything for a perfect and sparkly game day look. They have everything from clear stadium bags, beaded belts, "Fancie" gameday fans, and sequin jackets in all the right colors.

Blue Hills Round Top

From October 14 to 28, Blue Hills at Round Top is the place to be. There will be more than 100 vendors showcasing their beautiful clothing, decor, antiques, jewelry and more. Parking is free, bathrooms are staffed, and there are over 100,000 square feet of treasures to explore.


BeDesign celebrates its 10th anniversary with a massive expansion that quadrupled its Montrose showroom footprint to 20,000 square feet. The BeDesign showroom is now the largest of its kind in Texas and among the largest in the country.

BeDesign showcases over 40 of the world's most celebrated European designer lines and renowned brands, including B&B Italia, Maxalto, Fendi Casa, Flexform, Ligne Roset, Molenti&C, and Paola Lenti.

Elizabeth Anthony

Uptown boutique Elizabeth Anthony has 11 in-store events featuring Spring trunk shows and designer appearances. Jewelry designers Katherine Jetter and Chris Davies will make personal appearances with their gemstone collections. This year, Catherine Regehr will host a Designer Evening Trunk Show with a personal appearance along with her daughter and co-designer, Eva. The trunk show aligns with their runway show benefiting the American Heart Association on October 25. Find details about individual events here.


Francesca's recently opened a new boutique in the Galleria. It is twice the size of a typical boutique and features a mini shop-in-shop where shoppers can find the brand's tween line, Franki.

Freya + Mirth

Popular Houston brands Freya and Mirth are joining forces and making it easy for one-stop shopping in their new space at 1610 Bissonnet St. Their shop, Sixteen Ten, will be open to the public beginning October 11.

Jane Win

Planning fall getaways? Take a piece of Texas wherever you go with the Texas JW Original Pendant Coin. Double-sided, the pendant features the popular Texas Lonestar and the bluebonnet surrounded by the massive sunny state. The best-selling coin pendant is made of sterling silver and dipped in 14-karat gold.

MCM x Puma

The wait is over for fashion-forward basketball enthusiasts as MCM and PUMA Hoops are launching the third and final drop for Autumn/Winter 2023. This collection features vibrant ready-to-wear pieces and a show-stopping edition of PUMA's TRC Blaze Court Shoe, set to turn heads on and off the court. The new collection is available at MCM in the Galleria.


The premium lifestyle brand for men redefining the workplace wardrobe with performance-grade fabric and makers of "the best damn dress shirt" are having their biggest sale of the year. Beginning October 6 and lasting through October 9, Mizzen+Main shoppers can get 20 percent off sitewide with the code FRIENDLY20.

Nails of America River Oaks & Nails of America Memorial

Nails of America River Oaks and Nails of America Memorial invite Houstonians to get "Pretty in Pink" in October to support the local nonprofit Beauty Beyond Breast Cancer, whose mission is to provide free wigs and salon services to women who have lost their hair due to various cancer-fighting treatments. Ten percent of each manicure or pedicure service will be donated to the nonprofit Beauty Beyond Breast Cancer. Related nail art services, including pink ribbons, are also included in the donation. Pretty in Pink will occur every Thursday in October from 9 am to 7 pm.

Patch Collection

It is October, so it is time to upgrade your Houston bling. Patch Collection has one of the largest selections of patches in Houston, featuring patches for all Houston sports teams, anime, music, travel, and more. Find them at 11718 N. Garden St., Building C.

Shaftel Diamonds x Reagan Bregman

Shaftel Diamonds collaborated with CultureMap lifestyle columnist Reagan Bregman on a collection of affordable and easy-to-style jewelry. With Love by Reagan Bregman is composed of 14 custom 18-karat gold vermeil with natural white sapphire pieces, all designed with a minimal aesthetic for everyday wear. The collection will be available in-store and online on October 11.


The popular boot brand just dropped its newest collaboration with designer Kristopher Brock. Inspired by the American frontier and designed with a modern touch, the collection includes limited edition boots, floral print dresses, and more.


River Oaks favorite Tootsies will host several trunk shows, including Angela Mia Jewelry, Pedro Garcia, Maria Kastel Jewelry, and Catherine Regehr Resort 2024. Find details on dates and times here.

Freya and Mirth

Photo by Freya

Freya and Mirth have joined forces in a new boutique on Bissonette. 

Posh Persian palace set to open on Post Oak with kabobs galore

kabob's galore

An Atlanta-based restaurant known for its posh Persian fare arrives in Houston this month. Rumi’s Kitchen will open Monday, October 16.

Located in the Post Oak Place next to Uchiko and Zadok Jewelers, Rumi’s Kitchen offers a luxurious environment and a menu of elevated dishes inspired by classic Persian fare. Its roots go back almost 20 years, when chef and co-owner Ali Mesghali combined the techniques he learned working in Persian restaurant in Los Angeles with a stylish design and elevated service. In partnership with co-owner Stephen Kaplan, Rumi’s has expanded to three locations in Atlanta and a restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Rumi's Kitchen food spread

Courtesy of Rumi's Kitchen

Rumi's Kitchen opens this month.

“Houston has long been on our radar for growth given its celebrated diversity and incredible food scene,” Mesghali said in a statement. “We feel so fortunate to have met the Zadok family, who introduced us to stunning Post Oak Place and the Uptown district, which is not only home to a sizable international community, but also draws visitors from around the world for business and pleasure.”

The 5,500-square-foot, 170 seat restaurant features an open kitchen, photographs by Iranian artist Shadi Ghadirian, and custom light fixtures inspired by a whirling dervish, according to a release. A private dining room seats 40.

Meals at Rumi’s begin with dishes such as lamb ribs, lahmacun (a flatbread), kibbeh nayyeh (lamb tartare), and falafel. Diners will find four kinds of hummus, including versions topped with smoked salmon and another with roasted mushrooms.

Entree choices include a wide array of kabobs — including one made with American wagyu zabuton, as well as filet mignon, lamb, chicken, or shrimp — along with Duck Fesenjoon (brained duck with pomegranate stew), braised lamb shank, rack of lamb. Three-bone short rib with pomegranate glaze is designed to feed three or four people.

They’re paired with Persian-inspired cocktails such as the Sabzi Tonica. The wine list include a deep selection of legendary Lebanese winery Chateau Musar. Expect happy hour specials with classic cocktails and a dedicated food menu.

The restaurant opens for lunch and dinner beginning at 11:30 am on weekdays and noon on weekends. It’s located at 1801 Post Oak Blvd.