Houston Beer Bar Star Returns to Scene With Innovative Spring Branch Concept
After being absent from Houston’s bar scene since leaving The Hay Merchant in October 2018, the expansive Montrose beer bar that he helped establish as part of Underbelly Hospitality, Kevin Floyd is planning his big comeback. Those plans include his new business partners, longtime chef Dax McAnear and Jonas Herd, who has owned and operated Cecil’s Pub in Montrose since 2017 and is also part of architect Jim Herd’s Collaborative Projects. Newly established STM Hospitality has announced its intent to open Shoot The Moon, a bar that allows guests to serve themselves a choice of over 50 beers, as well as wine and spirits. The opening of the 4,000 square-foot space in Spring Branch Village at 8141 Longpoint is planned for the second quarter of 2020.
Via a press release, Floyd says the self-serve concept was inspired by where he and his business partners are at in their lives. “Shoot The Moon is a physical representation of the changes my partners and I have gone through in our personal lives,” he said. “Ten years ago, when I opened my first bar in Houston it was easy for me to stay out late, wait for perfectly hand-crafted cocktails and price was often secondary to experience. Dax and Jonas have similar perspectives: we now have families with young children and it’s hard to go out in the same ways we have done before, but we still like those interesting and innovative food and drink experiences.”
McAnear’s chef résumé includes Beaver’s, Triniti and Benjy’s. In 2013, he took over kitchen duties for The Hay Merchant, so he and Floyd have a long history of working together. For the menu at Shoot The Moon, McAnear is planning a “dynamic tasting tavern experience” that includes small plates, pizzas and, unlike most pub fare, some healthy choices.
Collaborative Projects, which designed among others The Hay Merchant and the original Underbelly space that now houses Georgia James, is building-out Shoot The Moon. While still in the funding stage, STM Hospitality already plans to build additional locations.
The self-serve drink system is made by Pour My Beer — which the group says is the first time it’s appearing in Houston — and includes safeguards to prevent over-serving. While such systems are more common in other states, these are more often seen for wine than beer in Houston. The beauty of such systems is the ability to get just a small pour of something, allowing guests to sample through several selections. For some, the other benefit is not having to wait to be served by a bartender. Wine is being delivered by the more familiar Enomatic system, and spirits and cocktails are also being served on-tap. Previously, Floyd presided over tap offerings both at Anvil Bar & Refuge and The Hay Merchant.
Recently, Spring Branch has become new prime territory for craft-focused bars with food. The Branch from Kyle Pierson, who used to work for Floyd at The Hay Merchant, debuted in 2017. More recently, Lazy Oaks Beer Garden also debuted in the neighborhood.
“Shoot the Moon is designed for those who have come to prefer craft beverages and a chef-driven menu, yet due to schedules and family dynamics, they often can’t invest the time needed for a full-service experience,” said Floyd. “I want to create a fast-casual restaurant that serves the quality of food and drink they love.”
Update, 9/24/19, 12 p.m.: Article updated to correct Kyle Pierson’s last name. We apologize for the error!
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.