Washington Avenue Bar With Spooky Vibe & Great Pizza is Opening a Montrose Location — Updated
Betelgeuse Betelgeuse, Chris Cusack’s eclectic bar at 2101 Washington Avenue, is about to replicate. A second location of the casual hangout with an “everyday is Halloween” vibe is opening in Montrose at 4500 Montrose in the former Bamboo (and before that, Kam’s Wok & Dine) space.
Betelgeuse, named for a red supergiant star in the Orion constellation, is known not only for its fun atmosphere and karaoke nights, but also for casual cocktails and outstanding 14″ pizzas cooked in cast iron pans. The pizzas were developed by Anthony Calleo (formerly owner of Pi Pizza who’s chef of Rudyard’s and also now helping open Velvet Oak Tavern at 2221 West Alabama) and executed by Maryssa “Mars” Maize of Mars Bakery.
According to a press release, Cusack plans to bring the same menu to the new Montrose space. The pizza selections include Hercules Hercules with natural-cased pepperoni, house-made pork sausage, pancetta and Genoa salami; Draco with pancetta, Calabrian chilis and goat cheese; and Highway To Hell with ground beef, goat cheese and fresh habanero and jalapeño.
There are also snacks, such as Garlic-Parm Fries, Space Balls (baked dough with garlic butter, Parmesan and marinara dipping sauce) and wings, as well as A Burger In A Pizza Oven with ketchup, mustard, pickles, sautéed onions and American cheese.
The cocktails match the atmosphere. They are eclectic and include the visually striking Black Lemon Drop and
“Mommy, What’s a Funkadelic?” with tepache, Ilegal Mezcal, lime, pineapple and vanilla. (Of course, bartenders are happy to make classic cocktails, too.)
Update: an industry reader contacted us with concerns about the Black Lemon Drop cocktail in the photo above. The color is from charcoal, and readers — especially those on any medications — should get familiar with the potential risks of ingesting charcoal. This article goes into detail on that issue.
“We can’t believe how lucky we are to have found this space in one of our favorite neighborhoods in Houston—and we’re gonna get real weird with it!” said Cusack. “We’re super excited to share even more pizza and cocktails with Montrose!”
Betelgeuse Betelgeuse in Montrose is expected to open this summer.
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.