For those who don’t know, the honky-tonk experience consists of large measures of cold beer, live country music and couples dancing together on a large dance floor. When the legendary Blanco’s closed its doors in November 2013 after more than 30 years, residents of Houston’s Inner Loop were deprived of that authentic piece of Texas tradition.
Four years later, business partners David Keck and Peter McCarthy would bring that tradition back to one of Houston’s most untraditional neighborhoods.
Fans of the honky-tonk atmosphere received a welcome Christmas present last December when the partners opened Goodnight Charlie’s near Westheimer and Dunlavy, less than a mile from the bohemian Montrose neighborhood.
Ahead of their opening, it was reported that the drink menu will maintain the old-school feel, and “will focus on beer, featuring everything from Texas craft brews to Lone Star, and whiskey. Cocktails will be simple—highballs and stirred drinks, mostly. There won’t be anything on the menu that needs shaking.”
A Master Sommelier, Keck is working with some of the top bartenders in Houston to create a drink menu with lots of Texas spirit, as well as lots of Texas (distilled) spirits.
Keck also knows the neighborhood. He was once the sommelier at Camerata, just down the street from Goodnight Charlie’s.
“I think we have an opportunity to take one of the most interesting and sincere parts of Texas culture and help it come to life in an area of tremendous diversity,” Keck told the Houston Chronicle.
Unfortunately, there is one legendary country song that will remain off-limits. During the club’s opening night, singer Aaron McDonald performed George Strait’s “The Fireman,” with some unfortunate results.
“By complete fluke,” Keck said, “our beautiful, new custom speakers caught fire. We’ve decided that as good as that song is, it can’t be played in this space ever again.”