Houston’s top mixologist maven, Bobby Heugel, is at it again. Heugel, owner of Anvil Bar & Refuge, The Pastry War, Squable, and Better Luck Tomorrow – as well as a co-owner of a handful more eateries and drinkeries, has opened his latest new cocktail lounge: Refuge.
Located up the stairs from the original Anvil building in the former Etro space, Refuge in many way carries the torch of its Heugel’s Tongue Cut Sparrow, which shuddered late last year.
Its space is familiarly intimate: dimly-lit, fit with leather couches, gorgeous wooden accents, a glowing array of enticing libations behind the bar – it’s the kind of lounge you’d bring a first, fifth, or anniversary date.
Bar-wise, Refuge features a worldly triptych menu of 20 Classics & Riffs, Excessives, and Originals cocktails. Notable features include the Eastern Non-Sour, Greenhorn, and Pantone 359.
“The past two years have really made us question what is important to us and why we do what we do. Sure, the safe move coming out of this difficult era would be to open bars that are easier to operate and more profitable, but what I missed the most while being forced to operate in ‘survival mode’ during COVID was the challenge of finding new levels of creativity in our bars and helping our guests forget the world outside with unique experiences,” Heugel told the Houston Chronicle.
“We lost that, and we’re going to celebrate being able to do that again with Refuge. It’s going to be our best bar yet – no doubt about it.”
Patrons may also take notice of Refuge’s impressive French, Italian, and Japanese glassware, which comes from Heugel’s personal collection.
Refuge seats 50 and is presently open at 1424 Westheimer.