Drinking Houston: The Flat on Commonwealth Bar Review

I went to visit a friend the other night, and we hung out at his place on Haddon. After finishing the six pack of Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefewiezen I brought over, he suggested we walk to his neighborhood bar. I replied, "Oh, isn't Rudyard's near here?"

"Yeah, but this place is even closer. It's called The Lounge, I think."

It was closer. It was two blocks, in fact, a nice walk on a beautiful February evening in Houston. I didn't even see it at first. There is an apartment complex on Commonwealth, but directly in front of it is a small, one-story, flat-roof brick building. It looks like nothing. But there's a low sign in front that says, "The Flat."

"Is this it?"

He laughed.

Two guys were walking their shih tzu / poodle mix, and they said, "Hey, you guys ever been in here?" He tripped on the sidewalk, and muttered, "Excuse me: I'm a little drunk."

"My friend comes here. Never even seen the place myself."

"Oh, because we live in that apartment complex, and we've never been in there. We see the porch from our apartment, though."

"And you've still never been in there? Why?"

"Oh, well, I don't know. It's not really our crowd."

I didn't know what they meant. They were two young guys who both play baseball in the minor leagues who live with their girlfriends. It seemed like it could totally be their crowd.

"I've heard the frozen mojito is good, though."

And with that, I went in and met the bartender Mariah. My friend had already ordered a frozen mojito, and he told me that was what they were known for. I told him that I had heard that, so I ordered one. Mariah asked me if I wanted a floater on top, and I told her, sure. When she asked me what liquor I wanted, I was stumped. I asked about their rum selection, and all they had was their well rum, Malibu rum, and something else that I couldn't really see, but I think was Meyer's. So it's not a spirits place. Don't go in there looking for some interesting spirit or anything like that. Do like I did: order the frozen mojito and get the well rum floater. It's 6 bucks with the floater or $4 without it. The floater is worth it.

It's damn good, actually. It's like an adult slushie. It tastes nothing like a mojito, really just a mix of rum and sweet and sour. But the mint and lime garnish is a nice touch, and the thing goes down really easy. I was ready for a second one in about 15 minutes.

I didn't even ask about their beer selection, but I assume it's pretty standard. This is your typical neighborhood bar, the place where you go to get a highball or a Bud Light or a frozen mojito. They do what they do well, but they don't branch out in the beer or cocktail realm. But damn, the frozen mojito is good.

But let's talk about the space of the place, which is awesome! The inside is small, but it's tasteful, if a bit dark. The hip hop music was rather loud, and I heard that the DJ goes crazy on Monday nights, and the place gets packed. There are couches set up in little seating areas, and everything is classy, from the light fixtures to the glass panel separating the bathroom area. Really a nice touch.

The patio is great, too. It's pretty big, and had plenty of seating with a covered area, some beautiful wood, and a nice mid-century modern touch.

I am not sure, however, why the place segregated itself. All of the black people were inside while the white people were outside. That was definitely odd.

But this is a place I will go back to. I almost wish I lived in that apartment complex just so I could go drink frozen mojitos every night. Worth it.