Houston >Bars & Clubs > La Carafe
813 Congress St, Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.763087 -95.361903
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
Awesome atmosphere and history. Great downtown location close to plenty of other places. Small but good beer and wine list. Cash only!
what a disappointment! – i am a native Houstonian and have been living in another state for several years. i recently visited Houston and wanted to recall good times spent in La Carafe. boy was I surprised! the service SUCKED! not sure if it was just that particular bartender, but Southern hospitatliy is lost on this place which is a shame because it was, hands down, my favorite pub in Houston when I lived there 10 years ago.
I really hope they can get it together and make this place the gem it once was!
worst service ever – I must've gotten the same bartender as the previous post. What a piece of work. I love the decor and history of the place but not worth wading through the snotty, disrespectful wait person. THERE ARE TOO MANY OTHER OPTIONS DOWNTOWN
Too bad – Used to be a fun place to hang out. Angry bar tender needs to get an attitude adjustment. Not my idea of a good time to be verbally assaulted by the help. If his life sucks that bad, he shouldn't be in the hospitality industry. The owner should be made aware. I'll never go back
Best bar in town – This might be my favorite bar anywhere, and I've only been there twice. Once in 1988 and once in 2005. It's old, dark, cramped, and the bathrooms are tiny. But the atmosphere is such that you could have been in Houston in 1870 and it'd look about the same. The clientele is friendly, service is fast and friendly, and the location is good. Except that I don't live in Houston any more. It's exactly what a bar should be.
Best Place to Smoke & Drink – Said by many to be haunted, La Carafe also got the distinction last year from Houston Press as "The Best Place to Smoke and Drink." But things changed. Blue nosed busy bodies brought draconian measures to bear, and there would be no more smoking.
So the Press was excited a few months ago when owner Carolyn Wenglar decided to expand and open a beer garden on the lot next door, which La Carafe also owns. But the bureau-rats dropped their you-know-what in the punch bowl once again. They said that because the city owns the narrow alleyway between the two properties, patrons would not be allowed to carry their beers across that line. It would bring on the Mayan Apocalypse two years early, or at least be a violation of liquor laws in Skip's favorite state, among the silliest renditions of prohibition era nonsense still on the books in this country.
"I just don't understand," Wenglar says. "I own both properties. And you'd think they would want the chance to make money off my expanded business."
Maybe La Carafe could build an elevated bridge across the moat.
Source: Houston Press, v. 21 no. 51, December 17 - 23, 2009
The most wonderful experince of my life!!!! – this place simply rocks anyone says otherwise is a goon who should of stayed home we don't need ya this is my bar!!!
Service goin downhill fast – I have been going to la carafe for years, as I was born and riased in Houston. I went last night with my data and a few friends. My buddy arrived there before us and immediately gave us a heads up that the bartender was giving him the cold shoulder. We ordered drinks and my date's friend offered to pay. There was some confusion as to how to pay and keep a tab- i.e. leave cash on the bar etc ... so my date's friend went to the ATM and mentioned that bartender didn't have to be a j*rk about it (which he was speapking in a hostile manner). The bartender must have heard him say he was a j*rk and immediately kicked him out.
Two of us have worked in the cullinary industry (the one that got kicked out still does) and the reality is, when you work in the service industry- you should at least try to be nice, good communicator, positive friendly smooth tones. Thats just my opinion. This bartender was far from it. If I go there again and he is there and in the same rude mood, I will not return again. sorry la carafe- based on this and other reviews- you should rethink who you employ.
Probably one of the worst experiences at a local bar – Myself and 20+ friends decided to attend a gathering last night at La Carafe. I arrived early along with 4 other friends. When we asked the bartender if we were allowed upstairs, he rudely told us to "get back behind the line!" when we asked him again, he spouted sentences profusely using the F word. We were very polite and had just arrived and in no way were we by any means drunk or belligerent.
We stood there with our mouths open wondering what brought on such non-professional behavior. He then said he was "... just F***ing kidding." But, right after that, he told us to "F***ing lighten up and to order an F***ing drink!" We replied that we were bringing 20 patrons to his establishment tonight, at which point he started to sarcastically tell us how fortunate he must be to have such luck. His closing remark was "Get the F*** out of my F***ing bar!!! Just kidding, guys!"
Needless to say, we all left and went across the street to THE RED CAT JAZZ LOUNGE. They were nice.
I Love La Carafe! – This is my absolute favorite bar in North America. I am so happy I "came across it" during lunch in 1980. I cannot even fathom how many people I have told about it and/or brought them/met them there. It reminds me of being in New Orleans, but it's all Texas, darlin'. From the eclectic choices on the juke box, excellent: wine, owner, manager, bartenders and patrons. I'm loving it so much, I'm headed there right after work today. Love the Carafe.
Never seen a ghost, but I have seen some great beers – They say this place is haunted. I'm not sure if I believe it, but I do know that they have ice-cold beer and cool bartenders. I'd recommend going by yourself if you want to meet some interesting characters. Good for dates and friends -- I'm just saying that it can be more fun that way.
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