The long-dormant former El Centro space at 416 Main is flowing with beer and spirits once again. Bovine & Barley kicked off its soft opening last weekend, debuting its 3,400-square-foot two-story bar to the public. A collaborative effort from Michael Collins (The Fish, The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey) and Jason Lowery (Proof Rooftop Lounge), downtown's newest gastropub features a beef-centric menu and large roster of craft brews.
Exposed brick walls provide the backdrop to this airy and modern space, with an U-shaped bar in the center of the room. Perhaps the next destination for Instagram photos is the brightly lit lettered sign spelling out HTX on the wall, greeting patrons upon entering the beer bar.
Cocktails and beers were the only items available last weekend; however, this week, more offerings have been included. The downtown gastropub has quietly extended its selections to include items from the small bites menu. Choose from skewered Thai chili marinated beef and peppers, Asian ginger sauce glazed mini meatloaves and herbed chicken liver mousse served with grilled sourdough bread. Burgers and meat-heavy entrees may make their debut this week but will be readily available next week once the bar fully opens.
While the cocktail menu is being finalized for next week's premiere, there are currently six cocktails on tap plus Campari. Also in the works are two-week barrel aged cocktails. Of course beer is the main focus at Bovine & Barley and there's no shortage of the hoppy brew. Over 40 beers are available on tap, including a mix of local brews. Happy hour will launch later this month.
Bovine & Barley's soft opening hours are from 4 p.m. to midnight through Thursday. Weekend soft opening hours are 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.