Bars / Openings

Beloved Houston Dive Bar Finally Reopens Two Years After Devastating Fire

Even More Potent Drinks and Crazy Hours Await

BY // 03.29.18

Someone in the city does daiquiris like no one else does. Who do? Voodoo Queen Daiquiri Dive do. It’s comeback city for the Space City tiki bar with its reopening this month.

It was shut for years after a fire ravaged the building at 322 Milby back in September 2016. It’s doubled in size, and now has double the bars.

Voodoo Queen’s come back at with a vengeance, boasting bigger digs, expanded drink and food menus and a new name. “Daiquiri Dive” was tacked on to the original “Voodoo Queen” name, and with good reason.

“We have a shitload of daiquiri machines now,” owner Brandon Young tells PaperCity. Their frozen machine count shot up from just one to eight. You can add an additional five blended daiquiri options to that head-turning count. The cocktails are of the over-the-top boozy, neon variety you’d find on the streets of New Orleans. Each of the eight machines swirls a different daiquiri.

There’s also an impressive new sched: Voodoo Queen is open 365 days a year, 12 pm to 2 am every day, barring anything crazy. They’ve been out of the game for two years, after all.

“We don’t close unless we have to,” Young says.

 You read that right — the potent potions are served up starting at noon. Voodoo Queen is not only a judgment-free zone, it’s encouraging.

“It’s always five o’clock,” Young says. “If you want to drink, it’s five o’clock.”

Their strongest daiquiri ever is back, churning through one of the neon machines. “The Bends” is named for, you guessed it, that feeling you get when you rush up to the surface too quickly after a dive into super-deep waters. “Decompression sickness” must not have had the same ring to it.

“There’s a lot of rum, there’s banana cream. And some Everclear,” Young says. “A little bit of Everclear.” The bartender will cut you off after three.

Cocktails include rum-heavy mixed drinks with short, punchy names, no pun intended. There are newbies like “Category 13 Hurricane” a throwback to the recipes “before they started making a pre-mix that you dump alcohol in and mix up like Koolaid.” The “Skeleton Crew” tastes like Christmas with ginger pineapple rum, Chartreuse and Falernum.

“Tropical Depresion” is an over-strength frozen hurricane. There’s more fruit-filled concoctions where that came from: “Basic Betty,” “Pineapple Express,” and “Suntan Lotion.” There’s an entire menu dedicated to daiquiri blends, sort of a mix-and-match jumping off point. You can even add an extra shot of the liquor of your choosing to your daiquiri or blend.

Goofy shots like “Surfer on Acid” with pineapple and Jaeger and “Maximum Barney” with plantation pineapple rum and Ancho chili liqueur are available for those who can only taste the tropics in small doses.

Voodoo Food

The food menu at Voodoo Queen will have old favorites like hush puppies and Big Easy Fries, which are crinkle cut fries or tater tots — or both, for the brave — with roast beef debris, green onions and creamy One Drop Louisiana Sauce.

Po boys with ingredients like roast beef, fried shrimp, fried chicken and Andouille sausage will be featured once the kitchen is staffed up a little bit more. Chicken and waffles are also on the way.

The extra space has allowed for a new look and vibe at Voodoo Queen.

“Everybody loves us so far, except for those few salty hipsters that are mad that things change,” Young says. He built out space for Voodoo Queen from the laundromat next door.

“It went from dark and divey, like Halloween at the beach, to more neons and TVs for sports. We watch the Rockets, fishing, movies, The Simpsons,” Young says.

The revamp is a fitting update to Young’s repertoire, which includes the nearby Moon Tower Inn, and pizza haunt Mr. Nice Pie, which is headed to Finn Hall.

The revamped Voodoo Queen is the bar Young always wanted, and he’s quick to name the best part of it all.

“It’s drinks going across the bar,” Young says. “It’s having people back in the bar, having the neighborhood back in the bar.”

When others see a home,
We see a Work of Art
View Properties

Featured Properties


Like PaperCity Dallas on Facebook

Beyond the magazine. Get more of Dallas’ top restaurant, real estate, society, fashion and art in your news feed.