Home Nightlife New Houston Speakeasy Mèo Is an Asian-Impressed Oasis

New Houston Speakeasy Mèo Is an Asian-Impressed Oasis

New Houston Speakeasy Mèo Is an Asian-Impressed Oasis


Loads of speakeasies on the town have novel entrances, disguised as bookcases or kitchen cabinets, however there’s just one you enter by cat door. Effectively, not a standard cat door, per se. The doorway at Mèo, a brand new bar inside Texas-Asian restaurant Wokker within the Heights, is hidden behind a mural of a cash cat sporting a really Texas getup of a cowboy hat and lasso. Though not all cartoon cats in cowboy hats are innocuous, as any fan of Fievel Goes West can inform you, this human-size cat door creaks open to disclose probably the most nice of surprises—however solely after urgent a hidden button (which you’ll have to search out for your self).

Mèo, Vietnamese for “cat,” is supposed to really feel like a dockside bar in Vietnam. Two glass chandeliers hold dramatically within the heart of the massive, deep blue room, their gentle scattered a thousand methods by a wall of gilded mirrors of varied styles and sizes. Under, a row of cubicles is accented by scarlet pink cushions that includes a lotus blossom design. On the opposite facet, a mural of a lily pond is partially obscured by woven Vietnamese baskets held on the wall in a swirling sample. On the far finish, behind the bar, one other lily pond and its koi fish residents are etched on a big piece of glass that’s backlit by a kaleidoscope of soothing colours.

This tranquil area is the brainchild of two {couples}: house owners Man Dao and Ahn Nguyen, and companions Marco Juarez and Charity Brown. The speakeasy, which serves some top-notch dim sum and craft cocktails, is simply the most recent challenge from a partnership between Dao and Juarez that’s virtually a decade outdated. In 2014, the duo opened their now uberpopular meals truck Wokker. A brick-and-mortar on Airline Drive adopted in late 2021, however the group shortly realized the area that they had acquired was too large for only one idea—therefore the delivery of Mèo.

They initially supplied desk service, however determined to reduce to bar service to make the area really feel extra informal and approachable. “Mèo looks like a dive bar, however you continue to really feel such as you’re being handled,” Brown says. “A number of occasions whenever you go to cocktail bars, they’re type of bougie and you’ll really feel misplaced. So we simply wished to create a spot the place everybody felt welcome, however you could possibly nonetheless get a very good drink.”

A longtime bartender, Brown oversees the day-to-day operations of Mèo and is accountable for its cocktail menu, which is closely influenced by Vietnamese flavors. Nguyen grew up with salted plums as a childhood deal with, and launched them to Brown, who shortly fell in love with them. They function within the Salty Kitty, a canary-hued libation made with salted plum vodka, orange bourbon tincture, lemon, turbinado sugar, and egg white—all garnished with a chunk of dried salted plum. “It’s been enjoyable studying about Vietnamese substances,” Brown says.

Mèo’s small, dim sum–centric meals menu, developed by Dao, is about to alter seasonally. The spring menu featured wontons full of a roasted candy corn filling, baptized in a candy and buttery lemongrass coconut broth—all delightfully doused in a spicy sesame oil. Equally compelling have been the rooster dumplings in a kimchi butter sauce, served with napa cabbage.

Brown, who has labored for native music festivals previously, has additionally turned her skills to curating Mèo’s playlist. One night time in April, it was heavy on Metric and Phantogram, making a mellow but upbeat, dive bar-like soundscape that stands in distinction to the normally much less hip musical stylings of most of the metropolis’s different speakeasies. One tune specifically gave the impression to be on repeat that night: “Once I’m Small” by Phantogram. “You’ve bought your hand on the button now,” goes the melancholic refrain. You’ll most positively need your hand on Mèo’s hidden button, however as soon as once more, you’ll have to search out it your self—this can be a speakeasy, in spite of everything.



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