Restaurants / Bars

New Sand Volleyball Bar Brings Something Different to the Greater Houston Scene — Inside The Decoy

Plenty of Food Theme Nights Beckon in Spring Branch Too

BY // 11.29.23
photography Alex Montoya

You’ve tried throwing axes, tossing bocce balls and bowled so often that you could start a league of your own. If you’re looking to get together with friends to do something active but crave something new, The Decoy in Spring Branch could be the answer.

This new bar is more than a drinking hole built in a former warehouse space along Witte Road. It is a 10,500 square-foot space with a trio of sand volleyball courts, cornhole and myriad yard games. It is created and run by co-owner and managing partner Omid Rafiei, co-owner and managing partner Aly Valiani and area general manager Miguel Cruz. You might recognize this trio their other entertaining enterprise — the bar called Wakefield Crowbar in The Heights.

You can meet friends and colleagues court side, or watch the action on Decoy’s expansive patio replete with a semi-shaded pergola and trellis overhead while listening to a cast of rotating local DJs spin. The bar features a selection of house cocktails from the watermelon burro stirred up with vodka, ginger beer, lime and fresh watermelon puree to the spicy pineapple margarita created with reposado tequila, pineapple juice, a squeeze of lime, agave and for a kick, muddled jalapenos. Beer and wine options also beckon.

If you’re hungry, Decoy neighbors Underbelly Burger and Wild Oats offer place-and-pickup order options so you can make a night of it. In the coming months, The Decoy team also plans to collaborate on special food-centered events like steak nights, crawfish boils and other fun eating-centered pop-ups.

“When my partners and I decided to venture out and develop this wholly new concept, we immediately identified Spring Branch as an area that was lacking in high-energy entertainment options that extended beyond the typical happy hour hours of 5 pm to 7 pm,” notes Rafiei, who also owns the prominent area recreational sports organization Houston Sports & Social Club. “We wanted to offer something that could enhance the neighborhood for adults looking to stay out later.

“The Decoy is specifically designed to be un-specific in its approach. That is to say we cater to all different types of bar goers. From the rec league enthusiasts looking to play or watch sand volleyball to the fantasy football team looking for a place to draft, to the college or NFL fan base organizing somewhere to watch an upcoming game, to the group of women celebrating a bachelorette party, to the corporate outfit seeking a place for team bonding, The Decoy has it covered.”

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The Decoy Volleyball Courts (Photo by Alex Montoya)
The new bar The Decoy features a trio of sand volleyball courts, cornhole and yard games. (Photo by Alex Montoya)

Every day of the week there seems to be a theme night from mix and mingle Monday – also known as Industry Night (with $3 Jameson and fireballs) to Western Wednesday ($2 off all whiskey drinks and a selection of specialty cocktails, plus specials on steak from Wild Oats) to Fridays’ Ladies’ Night (half off Veuve Cliquot and other select bottles plus $5 house wine).

Did we mention that The Decoy has a partnership with Houston Sports & Social Club and will host recurring sand volleyball league play and tournaments throughout the week and on weekends? Outside of the Houston SSC-sanctioned volleyball matches, The Decoy’s courts are available to be rented for $25 an hour Mondays through Wednesday. It’s $45 an hour on Thursdays through Sundays. Additionally, The Decoy has partnered with Rare Breed Cornhole to facilitate cornhole league play and tournaments.

The Decoy is located at 1222 Witte Road, Building B, suite 200. It is open from 2 pm to 2 am Mondays through Thursdays and 11 am to 2 am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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