A Wild ‘Cherry,’ Shepherd’s Newbie and The Nash Draw the In-Crowd Downtown

Retro and wild Cherry bar

THERE'S NO PLACE in town where the return to pre-Covid norms will be more notable than Downtown, where Theater District presentations soon won't be limited to Zoom — and the crack of the bat no longer echoes through an empty Minute Maid Park. And that's not all that's changing.

The In Crowd fave C. Baldwin hotel has reopened for your staycation pleasure, and another of Downtown's most luxurious lodging options — the Four Seasons — has completed a chic renovation. At the latter, the reno culminates a years-long upgrade that has included the lobby, the spa and more. Houston designer Lauren Rottet handled the guestroom makeovers, whose blue palate and crisply mod style is said to have been inspired by the big Texas sky.

7 Vegetable Salad at Georgia James Tavern

Foodies in search of something new to try will seek out Chris Shepherd's Georgia James Tavern, a laidback spinoff of his lauded Georgia James steakhouse, at Market Square Tower. Or The Nash, a modern grill in the Star building on Rusk, where chef Omar Pereney's steaks, chops and tater tots loaded with roasted corn, crema fresca, cheese and chives are said to be "love letter" to American food; the dessert pizza option has apples, bourbon-infused caramel and goat cheese.

The real action Downtown, though, might be after hours, at a slew of new bars and pubs. Main Street's High and Dry Rum Bar touts more than 200 varieties of the cane-do booze, while Angel Share HTX pub picks up where the space's former occupant, OKRA, left off, donating a portion of its proceeds to local charities. And then there's Cherry, the compact little '80s and '90s bar with big personality; think red walls, zebra floors, a disco unicorn overhead, and, in the men's room, campy and crazy urinals you must pee … um, or rather see to believe.

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