Restaurants / Bars

Houston Bar Stars are Opening Up Four New Spots — Elevating the City’s Night Life Scene?

Get Ready for Space Cowboy and Trash Panda Drinking Club First

BY // 03.31.21

America’s unofficially official pastime of football is a sport about teamwork. Greg Perez, the founder and beverage director of the new Night Moves Hospitality group, knows this as much as anyone. Before his move into the hospitality scene, he worked as an assistant football coach at Houston Baptist University

Bringing the team mentality over to the beverage industry, Perez found success with the bar Monkey’s Tail, where he was a partner and also the beverage director. He’s used to having a team of bartenders busy behind the line of scrimmage, servicing thirsty customers.

Now, Perez’s Night Moves Hospitality is opening up two new Houston bars this spring — with two more on the way later.

“It’s a collaborative effort between me, some bartenders that used to work for me and Lyle Bento,” Perez tells PaperCity. “We just want to make some cool stuff in the city with everything opening back up.”

Night Moves Hospitality and its team of young and talented industry professionals plan to open four new bar-forward spots in 2021. The first two are Space Cowboy and Trash Panda Drinking Club.

Partners Greg Perez (far right), Lyle Bento (center) and the Night Moves Hospitality bar team_Photo by Dylan McEwan
Partners Greg Perez (far right), Lyle Bento (center) are pictured with the Night Moves Hospitality bar team (photo by Dylan McEwan).

Space Cowboy in Space City

Creating a great hotel bar experience in Houston is high on the list of what’s important for Perez and his team. No one considers Houston a great hotel bar city along the likes of New York, Chicago or Miami. The new Space Cowboy will try to change that at the newly renovated Heights House Hotel.

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With a moniker as fun and quirky as Space Cowboy, this new island-inspired bar has something to live up to. The new space (pun intended) will boast retro bright colors, a funky mural, tropical-inspired drinks and a food menu influenced by Bento’s Hawaiian and Portuguese background.

Space Cowboy will be the first Night Moves’ bar to open. “It has a quirky vibe to it, and just trying to define what that means has been a fun adventure,” Perez says.

Trash Panda Drinking Club’s Neighborhood Move

Night Moves Hospitality certainly has the unique names part down. The group’s second new bar — Trash Panda Drinking Club — is taking over the former Edison & Patton space in the Lindale Park neighborhood.

“I kinda want to keep that vibe of the oasis,” Perez says. “We want to be a bit irreverent to the cocktail world. There are some great spaces here in Houston that you can grab a drink at, but there’s a lot of mediocre ones. So you kind of want to push the boundaries a little bit and have fun with it.”

In a prime example, one of the drinks will be a Bazooka Bubblegum Martini which Perez’s team has concocted in a way so that it isn’t a pure sugar overload. It even passed the Lyle Bento test and got his seal of approval.

Lyle Bento_Photo by Dylan McEwan
As partner and culinary director, Lyle Bento is bringing Southern heat to the Trash Panda kitchen. (Photo by Dylan McEwan)

The indoor-outdoor bar will be lorded over by the bar’s mascot, a raccoon symbol. There will be craft cocktails and serious comfort food.

Bento is reprising some of the Southern flair (and heat) from his previous restaurant Southern Goods. Expect chicken fried steak with some heat to the batter and hot chicken sandwiches

“We want to keep that really light fun cocktail bar,” Perez says. “Not so stuffy. Not so formal. Somewhere you can go have fun.

Space Cowboy is slated to open in late April with Trash Panda Drinking Club to follow shortly after. Space Cowboy will be open from 4 pm until 2 am seven days a week and Trash Panda Drinking Club will be open from 4 pm until 2 am Wednesdays through Mondays.

Houston’s bar scene is about to get a little more interesting — and creative.

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