Restaurants / Bars

With Houston Bars Shut Down Again, Lucille’s Provides a Museum District Patio Pop-Up Reprieve

How Chef Chris Williams is Helping Bartenders Still Work in His Latest Coronavirus Do-Good Move

BY // 07.02.20

With Houston bars once again ordered to shut down due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, Lucille’s executive chef/owner Chris Williams, in an amazing gesture of magnanimity, is opening his tree-shaded patio to bar teams across the city. The Patio Pop-Up series will feature one bar each night bringing in its own special cocktails with 100 percent of sales and tips going to the visiting bar’s team.

When restaurants and bars were initially forced to shut down during the pandemic, we made sure to support an independently owned restaurant every single day that we were open for to-go service. I would feed my entire staff … every single day, with food from Houston restaurants,” Williams says.

“Now we want to do the same thing for bars. The truth is that everyone is suffering right now, and we all need each other.”

The first partnership with Lucille’s begins at 6 pm tonight (Thursday, July 2) with The Alley Kat, the midtown bar and lounge established by Marcus Davis of The Breakfast Klub fame. Not only will the mixologists be presenting their original cocktails, but DJ Big Reeks + The Waxaholics will provide the soundtrack.

The pop-up evenings are reservation-only (reserve here) so that recommended numbers and social distancing can be observed. And, it will be observed. Guests will be given maximum time caps for their happy-hour visits, and Williams advises, “No mask, no service.” So, wear your mask! It’s to be removed only when drinking, unless you have one of those clever masks with a hole for the straw.

Williams and his team are currently lining up other bars to join the nightly pop-up, with updates to be posted on Lucille’s social media channels (Instagram and Facebook)

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And, yes, this is the Lucille’s where former Vice President Joe Biden met with George Floyd’s family prior to the June 8 public viewing memorial service.

The Patio Pop-Up series is just the latest in a continuing philanthropic path that Williams has been leading since the start of the pandemic. He and his team just finished a month-long stint with José Andres’ World Central Kitchen, which allowed them to prepare and distribute almost 10,000 meals to some of Houston’s most vulnerable communities. Prior to that partnership, the Lucille’s team also delivered hundreds of meals to front-line hospital workers at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

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