Lei Low [Gary Wise/flickr]
Get ready for some rum because Lei Low, which has been hosting soft services, is finally opening to the public on February 28. The upcoming Tiki bar that's been teasing us with peeks inside its tiny new space, including Instagram shots of its vintage-America-meets-Polynesian décor that conjures images of '60s-era island life. A traditional Tiki A-frame at the center of the bar with a thatched roof covers Tiki mugs and coconut-like cups, and dark bamboo lines some of the walls all around the small space. It's decidedly a theme bar, and one that comes courtesy of some familiar names: Down House's Elizabeth and Russell Thoede teamed up with bar owners Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse (Grand Prize, Big Star Bar, Goro & Gun) to bring Houston a taste of the Tiki bar revival that's going on in different parts of the country. Both Russell and Elizabeth are longtime Tikiphiles; Russell was hooked after coming across a book on "Trader" Vic Bergeron—one of the founders of Tiki culture in America, along with Don the Beachcomber. "The history of Tiki bars and Tiki culture is really inspiring to me," Russell told Eater in December. "When you think of these two guys who created this movement and these drinks that evoke such a time and place. We've seen many of the new Tiki bars that have opened in recent years, in California and New York. They're intimate and they're doing great work with drinks. We're ready to bring that to Houston."
The pair will put rum-laced cocktails at the forefront of their drinks offerings, with a slight twist to appeal to local preferences. Russell told Eater that there's "a specific palate in Houston when it comes to cocktails, and we wanted to adapt our offerings to a Southeast Texas taste. We'll use local fruits and flavors to create our drinks, and put less emphasis on those big, syrupy creations. We want to be a cocktail bar first, but we're definitely a Tiki bar." Here now, take a look inside the new bar before heading there for Mai Tais this Friday.
· Lei Low [Facebook]
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