Kevin Cook" />
side bar
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Life + Arts

Karaoke, good times at Molly’s Pub

Friday night bar visits are a risky proposition. A venue picked at random can be crowded, boring or possess an uncomfortable or undesirable ambience. After all, drinks can be purchased virtually anywhere, but it’s the je ne sais quoi of each individual establishment that determines whether it is a worthwhile place to spend a few hours.

Molly’s Pub, at 509 Main St., is nestled snugly between two raucous and cheaply decorated clubs. The pub’s sign is obscured by the neon-red glowing atrocity that serves as the neighbor’s sign. This is probably why the spacious, welcoming interior is comfortably occupied, but not teeming with patrons. Walking through the front door, the bar immediately opens up in a surprising and pleasing fashion, with a staircase to the left leading to a large upstairs secondary bar and balcony.

The bar downstairs is replete with the obligatory high definition screens, silently broadcasting an assortment of sports and news over a surprisingly classy and high-ceilinged foyer. It gives way in the back to a set of cozy and intimate booths, and an open area with darts, a pool table and the latest edition of Golden Tee, a popular golf arcade game.

At about 9 p.m., the bar is thinly populated with regulars and off-duty employees who seem to enjoy their work so much they spend their free time chatting and helping out. Friday night is karaoke night, which takes place upstairs to prevent the earnest efforts of the singers from distracting serious drinkers.

This past Friday, a lanky white guy belts out Run-DMC as the rest of the crowd in the bar primes themselves with the pub’s strong and reasonably priced drinks.

As the night wears on, the crowd slowly swells to a convivial size, never growing past the point of being too loud for conversation.

The food at Molly’s Pub is good, most notably the mini-bagel with roast beef and mozzarella, a specialty item recommended by the bartender.

When the bar closes, it seems to happen gradually. Patrons are helped into cabs without being rushed and one gets the impression that most of them will be back, if not tomorrow, then soon.

Molly’s is a break from the sex-crazed, grinding milieu or boring, quiet solemnity that seems to be common to many other establishments. One patron said that this bar was their ‘Cheers,’ and it is easy to understand how that might be.

Ultimately, everyone’s troubles may be the same, but a bar doesn’t have to be. When taking a break from all your worries serves as a solution, do yourself a favor and spend next Friday at Molly’s Pub.

Molly’s Pub
509 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
713 222-1033

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