Montrose Mexican Restaurant Brings Sexy Party Back To Houston On August 31
Warning: there’s some NSFW content and imagery ahead.
Houston’s eclectic Montrose neighborhood is virtually synonymous with colorful displays of adult entertainment and provocative parties. Throughout this month, Mexican restaurant and bar Cuchara at 214 Fairview hosted a month-long celebration called “verano de ficheras” (verano means “summer” in Spanish). The grand finale party is this Friday, August 31 from 7 to 11 p.m. and even for those who haven’t been participating all month, there’s a lot of fun in store.
Ficheras are a genre of risqué soap opera-style films that were particularly popular in the ’70s and ’80s in Mexico. The actresses reached icon status and their appeal remains today. Off-screen, ficheras are scantily clad women hired by bars to serve as companions to patrons by sharing in dancing and conversation. In theory, the happier the patron the more drinks he buys and the ficheras are then paid in response to the revenue they help create for the bar. Though less pronounced than in years past, it is said that ficheras are still present in Mexican bars today.
Throughout August, women were encouraged to dress sexily and entice men to buy them a drink. For each drink purchased during brunch, lunch, happy hour or dinner Cuchara rewarded the women with a ficha, or token, for redeeming at the party in exchange for drinks, small gifts like bracelets and earrings and other prizes. Women also receive tokens for drinks they purchase for themselves and while there are no male ficheros, men who dress the part can receive tokens, too. The good news is that even those who haven’t visited this month can attend Friday’s party and get in on the fun. Cuchara owners Ana Beaven and Charlie McDaniel say that women who arrive to the party who haven’t already been racking up fichas can get one or two tokens at the door so they can enjoy the full experience.
For the party, Cuchara is being transformed into an exotic cabaret with covered windows, dim lighting and lots of candles. Inside, it is strictly 21-and-up due to heavy sexual references, both figurative and literal — but the patio is still going to accommodate diners with kids who don’t know about the party. Note that even bathrooms will be off-limits to those under age but affected guests are to be notified before they are seated.
From 9 to 10 p.m.burlesque dancer Nikki Knockout will show of her skill with fire from inside a giant Champagne glass (and, yes, some nudity might be involved). Guests can also look forward to visits from drag queens throughout the night.
Like last year, a slide show of sexy fichera movie clips and images will run continuously on a big screen and this time will include nude scenes. There will also be photos of women from last year receiving tokens as a nod to the “modern fichera.” Adult-themed pieces from Ana’s sister and artist Cecilia Beaven will also be displayed. Fichera-style dolls made by Retacitos in Mexico City will serve as table toppers and décor. Cuchara’s Quartet, temporarily increased to a six-piece band, replaces last year’s DJ and are playing Mambo and Cha-Cha-Chá tunes that were popular during the time of the fichera movies.
“It is really unique,” says Beaven of the event. “This is a specific thing no one else does and I don’t think anyone else will ever do. This is very risqué and fun but we have the clientele to do that.”
There is no need to RSVP, but last year’s event was so successful that Beaven expects a significant turnout. Beaven ordered 5,000 tokens to hand out this year but is already running low. Some regulars have racked up stashes as high as 30, she says, thanks to specials like double-token days. In exchange for those tokens, passed appetizers will be available for one to two tokens along with cocktails, jewelry, pins and other items from Mexico, including surprises from sex shops. Women can even trade tokens to “take a guy home with you” says Beaven. Not a literal guy, of course, but a life-sized piñata made locally in Houston. They will resemble a range of masculine tastes outfitted in suits, sport themes and even beards. Beaven anticipates these will be a particularly fun addition.
“Last year it was pretty cool,” says Beaven. “We had several guys who dressed as women which was hilarious. All my staff dressed up and had fun. It is totally a group effort. We have meetings every week and we go two or three months ahead with ideas and everyone was talking about the ficheras in January. We love it.”
For more information about the party, visit the event page on Facebook.