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Culture / Restaurants

Houston Gets a New Old School Honky Tonk Bar Thanks to a Master Sommelier With a Casual Side

There’s No Need to Wine

BY // 03.06.17

A master sommelier opening a wine bar … so passé. For wine guru David Keck‘s second project, a predictable watering hole was never an option, especially after securing his rank as a master som last year.

Keck follows up on his former wine bar Camerata, which he parted ways with last October, with an unexpected venture — a Houston honky tonk coined Goodnight Charlie’s, which he’ll open with partner Peter McCarthy under their newly founded Goodnight Hospitality umbrella.

“So much of my time is spent teaching wine and studying wine. Goodnight Charlie’s gives me the opportunity to explore a style of service that’s very different than what I’ve done in the past, but equally intriguing,” Keck says. “Future Goodnight Hospitality projects will absolutely involve wine, but this is our focus for now.”

While a honky tonk may be surprising, the new endeavor pays homage to Keck’s upbringing in West Newbury, Vermont, where his family frequented the city’s town hall for square dancing.

Keck’s affinity for dance halls only increased after relocating to Texas, where he later learned to two-step via Crider’s Rodeo and Dance Hall in Hunt, Texas.

“Music and dancing were an important element of my community growing up,” Keck says. “You see that in places like Crider’s and Gruene Hall in the Texas Hill Country, but not as much in Houston. I envision Goodnight Charlie’s being a place — like the West Newbury Town Hall or Crider’s — where people dance, have a good time, and see the people they love.”

Houstonians will soon be able to get their groove on at Goodnight Charlie’s to the sounds of live country, bluegrass, Zydeco, and Americana artists. A jukebox will also deliver tunes featuring everyone from Hank Williams to Willie Nelson.

As for the libations, Keck’s beer and spirits expertise will shine through, a skill further honed through his master sommelier training.

Expect various beers (think everything from Texas craft to Lone Star) and simple cocktails accompanied by a modest Mexican-centric food menu crafted by local chef and Master Chef contestant Alvin Schultz. An added bonus: Goodnight Charlie’s will keep the doors open until 3 am on weekends.

“The goal is to create a place where people can eat and drink well, but it won’t be extremely cerebral or require a vast understanding of what we’re offering to have a good time,” Keck says.

Expect the new digs to debut this fall at 2531 Kuester Street, where it will tout a Texas flair cultivated by designer Gin Braverman and Content Architecture.

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