It didn’t take long for Anvil Bar & Refuge to make an impression on the Houston nightlife scene. Set on the eclectic Westheimer Curve, the biz is known for its top-shelf sips made with hand-pressed juices, house-made bitters, simple syrups, ginger beer and herbal infusions. The bar also gets kudos for presentation, serving up perfectly-prepared concoctions in vintage glassware scored from several local thrift stores, and its hand-selected craft brews. Opened in 2009 by managing partners Bobby Heugel [the cocktail guy] and Kevin Floyd [the beer guru], Anvil was named one of the “Top Ten Best New Cocktail Bars in America” by Bon Appétit magazine and was included in GQ magazines 2010 list “25 Best Cocktail Bars in America.”
Have a question about the adventuresome menu of classic and modern cocktails? Just ask your bartender. They’ll be happy to explain why the egg white that’s dropped into the shaker is the classic preparation of any good “Fizz” cocktail, as well as the history of the bourbon they’re pouring or the story behind a drink’s origin.
The décor and atmosphere? Modern industrial, with a laid back Texan vibe. The bar is a converted 1950s-era Firestone tire store, which they revamped using recycled materials, vintage fixtures and found items. The end product is an inviting space and atmosphere that appeals to clients of all ages.
Craving something obscure to drink? Fear not, if your favorite libation isn’t on the menu. The guys are well-versed in the art of mixology and can turn out just about anything. They also do well when left to their own devices, as proven with signature original cocktails like the Brave—a mash-up of mezcal, sotol, amaro, curacao and bitters – or the Secret of Monkey Island, a tiki-style cocktail.
For the beer aficionados, Anvil offers a baker’s dozen of hand-selected craft beers in keg and cask, including hard-to-score brews from local and regional micro-breweries, each drawn through custom-regulated pressure valves to ensure it’s served exactly as the brewer intended. The beer list is rounded out with an interesting selection of domestic and imported bottles.
For more on one of Anvil's founders, click here.
- Named James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program (2013).
- Included on Southern Living's list of the South's Best Bars (2013).
- Included on Esquire's list of the Best Bars in America 2012.
- James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Service (2012).
- Named one of the 50 Best Southern Bars by Garden and Gun magazine (2012).
- Listed on Travel + Leisure's list of America's Best Cocktail Bars (2011).
- Named one of the 100 Best Places to Drink in the South by Imbibe magazine (2011).
- Co-owner Bobby Heugel named Rising Star Mixologist by StarChefs.com (2011).
- Co-owner Bobby Heugel named James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional (2011).
- Named one of the top 10 best new cocktail bars in Bon Appetit magazine (2010)
- Included on GQ's list of the 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America (2010).
- Named one of Food & Wine's Top 100 bars worldwide in the 2010 Cocktail Guide.
Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau - Member
Listed among Top 100 Best Bars in the South by Southern Living.