908 Congress Avenue
Houston, TX 77002
In the summer of 2023, the owners of popular tapas restaurant Batanga, converted the space to The Big Casino Kitchen + Bar, an upscale restaurant, bar and lounge. Known for the expansive 3,600 square-foot patio, the restaurant, bar and lounge is a must-visit destination. The name was inspired by the history of the building, which was once home to the Big Casino Saloon founded in 1866, a bar and gambling hall that thrived until Prohibition.
Inside guests will find a 30-foot-long lit-up onyx bar and multiple seating options and lounge areas with a state-of-the-art sound system. The patio, which boasts its own outdoor bar, lounge, seating areas and lush greenery, is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy time with friends and business associates. Guests can catch the latest game on the 16' x 10' video wall or sip their favorite cocktail, glass of wine or Champagne.
“We loved having Batanga available to Houstonians for a decade but looked forward to revamping the space to appeal to a wide range of guests,” says Brian Fasthoff, owner. “The Big Casino has something for everyone, great food, killer drinks and a fun atmosphere.”
After a decade, the owners have reunited their original team that opened Batanga with consulting chef Ben McPherson, owner of wholesale brand BOH Pasta. The food menu includes a large selection of shared plates, such as Pollo Asado Skewers, Summer Corn & Crab BOH Ravioli, Truffle Fries, Campechana, Sizzling Tenderloin Tips, Crawfish Beignets, a few different salads and more.
The extensive beverage program is headed up by Megan Hill, formerly of 1751 Sea and Bar. They offer a wide range of themed craft cocktails such as Casino Royal (vodka, gin, Lillet Blanc), High Roller (gin, herbal liqueur, raspberry shrub, lemon and egg white) and Upping the Ante (mezcal, Campari, Italian aperitif wine, chile liqueur and orange), among others. The drink menu also features a variety of wines and craft beers.
The Big Casino Kitchen + Bar is open Wednesday - Thursday: 5 pm - 10 pm, Friday: 5 pm - 2 am, Saturday: 5 pm - 2 am and Sunday: 5 pm - 9 pm. They are closed Monday-Tuesday.