Memorial Park’s New Patio Bar Is Perfect for a Socially Distant New Year’s Eve

HOUSTON IS UNIQUELY equipped to weather a Covid-besieged winter in one way: This season is the perfect one for socially distant patio bars. And the owners of new Memorial Trail Ice House are counting on Houstonians craving outdoor options, especially for New Year's Eve.


Located catty-corner from the Westcott Street entrance to Memorial Park, the concept boasts a full bar, rotating food trucks, and a 20,000-square-foot outdoor area with lawn games, a brick patio and an expansive dog-friendly "backyard." The building was erected in 1932, and operated as a general store with living quarters for the owners on the second floor.

"This area needed a spacious, outdoor icehouse that brings a different experience than the bars and clubs along Washington Avenue," says co-founder John Shaeffer, who's lived in the Rice Military area for five years, and would drive by the historic building daily before deciding to purchase and convert it. "We want to leverage our proximity to the park as a landing spot for people after they've played a round of golf, run around the exercise trail, or played intermural games."

Schaefer and his team tapped the Ladies of Libation, Kris Sowell and Laurie Harvey, as bar consultants — and the end result is a unique list of handcrafted cocktails, plus 18 beers on tap and a curated wine list. The Bee Someone cocktail, with Tito's vodka, honey lemonade and hopped mint, is a fizzy refreshing treat — and $1 from the sale of each drink is donated to Memorial park Conservancy.

Beverly Shaeffer helmed the interior design, which seeks to retain the character of the nearly century-old building — exposed brick, original concrete flooring — while infusing the space with fashionable updates, a la furnishings chosen by Erin Hicks.

For New Year's Eve, Memorial Trail Ice House is serving $100 bottles of Veuve — and plenty of fresh air.

Food

AFTER A PARTICULARLY hot summer with plenty of time spent in the sun, our skin could use a refresh, and Solaya Spa & Salon knows the way to prep you for a cool fall glow.

Keep Reading Show less
Opinions

Coat and shirt, both by Gucci.

JUST IN TIME for CityBook's fifth anniversary and a fabulously full fall calendar, fashion's most glamorous houses are shaking off the austerity of darker days and serving up sensational seasonal style.

Keep Reading Show less
Style

Event Chairs Cheryl Arolfo Byington and Patti Imbrogno Murphy with Guest of Honor Victor Costa

ALL THINGS ITALY — from food to fashion to fab performances — were on display at the River Oaks Country Club earlier this week. Dubbed La Dolce Vita, the fashion show and luncheon benefited the Italian Cultural & Community Center.

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places