New Houston Bar Jethro’s Cocktail Lounge Now Open in Montrose

Bar manager Jesse Rodriguez pours a cocktail called Coffee In The Morning at new Houston bar Jethro's Cocktail Lounge

A new cocktail bar from three owners, including a duo once described by the Robb Report as “prolific LA restaurateurs”, opens today in Montrose. It’s called Jethro’s Cocktail Lounge, and is located at 95 Tuam across the street from Elro. It aims to tempt guests with “a carefully curated cocktail menu and an irresistible smash burger”.

The two aforementioned L.A. restaurateurs are actually Texans who met at the University of Texas. Russell Malixi, a native Houstonian, and Wade McElroy sought their fortunes in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s, opening a number of bars and restaurants such as Ma’am Sir LA and Horse Thief BBQ. Their business partner is Andrew Corbett, a California native who they’ve worked with before. Just this past January, the trio retooled the former Café Birdie into cocktail bar Arroyo Club.

“Texas was calling me home, and Montrose seemed like the perfect place to launch Jethro’s,” said Malixi. “The welcoming vibe reminded me a little of LA, but the bustling nightlife scene and neighborhood feel is really what sealed the deal.”

Malixi describes Jethro’s Cocktail Lounge as, “elevated but approachable”. The space is a modest 2,200 square feet, does not take reservations and offers grab-your-drinks-and-seat-yourself service. Despite the casual aspects, the interior is gorgeous thanks to wood finishes, black leather booths and mid-century modern furnishings.

Eschewing a book-like drink list, the bar offers a snappy, curated selection of only 10 cocktails, 4 beers and a few wines by the glass. Examples of the cocktails include Backyard Sour with bourbon, aquafaba, mango purée and lemon; Not Your Dad’s Old Fashioned with hibiscus-infused rye whiskey, fernet, Luxardo, simple syrup and Angostura; and 10 out of Ten with white rum, strawberry purée, thyme, orgeat and lime. There are also six “house classics”: familiar, beloved choices that include the Hemingway Daiquiri, Negroni and Sidecar. The full cocktail list is available online.

An assortment of cocktails at Jethro's Cocktail Lounge
An assortment of cocktails at Jethro’s Cocktail Lounge. Photo by Becca Wright.

As far as food goes, again, there’s that aforementioned smash burger, as well as a plant-based burger option and French fries. That’s about it, but who doesn’t like a good burger? You can also walk across the street to Elro for pizza and crudo.

Parking is available at the lot shared with Elro. Jethro’s hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until midnight, Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from noon to 2 a.m. and Sunday from noon until midnight.

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