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A Look at Ladybirds, The Bar Replacing The Usual

Cottage Grove has a new bar and it's bringing a much-needed patio.

Construction of Ladybird, the upcoming bar in Cottage Grove.
Construction of Ladybird, the upcoming bar in Cottage Grove.
Jakeisha Wilmore

It's been eight months since The Usual's colorful statement regarding their landlord woes - which eventually led to their closure. The owners have found greener pastures in the Heights, going from lesbian bar to planning a new bar and coffee shop on 305 West 20th Street. As for their old haunt, an eagle-eyed reader of local real estate blog, Swamplot, noticed the 5519 Allen property had been purchased in May.

What will take the place of The Usual? A new bar named Ladybirds.

Brothers Taylor and Darin Lee are the proud owners of Ladybirds. By day, the brothers work at their business, Roosevelt Construction, but during the evenings and on their days off, they're busy getting their bar ready to open. The bar was in dire need of repairs, previously mentioned by the owners in their expletive-laced Facebook message in February. From carpentry work to painting, Taylor and Darin are doing most of the work themselves. This is their first foray into the restaurant and bar industry, but both are very excited. "We love to go out to bars and drink, and my brother and I thought why not open our own bar," said Darin.

Having a fascination for presidential history; hence, the name of their construction company, the Lees named their bar after Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. King of the Hill, the syndicated cartoon based in Texas, also provided inspiration in deciding on the name. The show's main character, Hank Hill, had a dog he adored, Ladybird.

The brothers will honor Lady Bird Johnson's legacy and dedication to the beautification of Texas by planting wildflowers in front of the bar. That won't be the only change in store. A deck has been built and added on the patio to accommodate bar goers on days when the weather is nice. The patios will also be dog-friendly. The farm tables are restored and inside, vented ceilings. A pool table will be added to the back bar area, along with a jukebox and other amenities to come.

The eponymous bar is expected to open in late November. On the menu, burgers, American fare and beers on tap. In keeping with his desire to pay homage to Texas, Darin wants to promote Houston breweries like Karbach Brewing Co. and nearby Buffalo Bayou Brewery. The only beers on tap will be brews from Houston breweries - dubbed "Houston on Tap." Non-local beers will be available by the bottle or canned and kept in ice trofts. Why ice trofts over refrigerators? "We want the beer to be so cold it hurts your hand," explained Darin. That's pretty darn cold.

Updated: 11/5/2014 at 2:03 p.m.


5519 Allen St, Houston, TX 77007 (713) 393-7647