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Bar Owner Bobby Heugel Criticizes Houston’s Rising Cocktail Prices

Have the city’s drinks gotten too expensive?

Jenn Duncan Photography
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

In a lengthy post on social media, Houston bar mogul Bobby Heugel is taking some of his fellow owners to task for what he sees as exorbitantly priced cocktails.

The owner of six much-lauded Houston watering holes, Heugel has seen prices creep up over $13 per drink in recent months. “There are very few places in this city that can justify a house cocktail costing more than $12,” Heugel wrote on Facebook. “All of our standard cocktails at Anvil, Better Luck Tomorrow, The Pastry War and Nightingale (with the exception of a Ramos...which is more a methodological tradition at this point) are still $12 or less.”

Heugel notes that his Downtown bar Tongue-Cut Sparrow does charge $13 for drinks, but is quick to point out that price tag comes with hot towel service and free bar snacks. “Unless you’re doing something really exceptional for your patrons, you’re ripping them off and hurting the overall experience of what drinking a cocktail in Houston should be like and cost,” the post continues.

Perhaps this price increase can be attributed to Houston’s rising profile in the national culinary conversation, or maybe local bars are just looking to recoup lingering, post-Hurricane Harvey losses. Either way, it’s unlikely that rising prices will spoil Houston’s appetite for fancy, top-quality cocktails.