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Bloggers and Publicists Share Their First Dive Bar Experience in Houston

We asked local writers and bloggers to put on their thinking cap to remember their first dive bar in town.

Welcome to the Dive Bar Power Hour, a full hour dedicated to dive bars. Unlike their more popular sibling, the cocktail bar, dive bars are slightly rough around the edges - maybe sticky too - but even they need love too.

Renia Butler, blogger at Gristle & Gossip: "First dive bar was The Davenport. At the time the music was amazing, the bartenders were knowledgeable and the drinks were all double shots. I "Flintstone shuffled" out of there numerous times."

Dutch Small, owner of Immersioncy - Experiential Marketing + Public Relations: "Catbirds. I loved that it was populated by the Montrose underworld but was not as creepy as Lola's."

Ellie Sharp, Eater Houston contributor: "Very first experience was probably Marfreless a few months after I moved to Houston back in 2005, but I am more familiar with my second Houston dive bar experience which was the first of many nights at Davenport (The Davenport Lounge) on Richmond. I remember sitting at the bar at Marfreless to write an article for Envy Magazine back when I was an intern there, hanging out with my photographer, and drinking "the house specialty" Green Apple Martinis. I was impressed by the fresh apple slices floating in our glasses."

Hank Lewis, writer at Hank on Food: "Back in 1991 when I was in Grad School at Rice Univeristy.  My cousin West told me about Marfreless when I first moved to Houston. He showed me where the door was--no sign, under the stairs, looked like the back room or loading dock for the store/theatre in front of it. He told me if I took a date there, it would leave quite an impression. First time I went, brought a date, was a little uncertain, but opened the door and BOOM, a big ol' bar that had a nice selection of cocktails, some snacks.  My date and I went upstairs, where the lights were lower, discovered that there was some serious making out going on up there, noticed an even darker room down the way--we did NOT go in there, though we did enjoy a couple of Cocktails (Whiskey Sour, and Bourbon & Cola) and smooched a bit.  ;)"


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