Bobby Heugel's Clumsy Butcher gang has announced the opening of two new bars on Main Street, right next to Goro & Gun and below Bad News Bar. The openings of so many new bars and restaurants in this area is part of a concerted effort to revive the neighborhood that was once the bustling center of the city. The new bars join venerable bars La Carafe, located in the oldest surviving commercial building in Houston, and Warren's Inn across Market Square. (Check out Houstonia's profile of veteran Market Square bar owner Carolyn Wenglar.)
The new bars are located in historic buildings, so when you walk in the front door, it looks like the place has been there forever. The Clumsy Butcher's affordable tequila and mezcal bar at 310 Main will be named “The Pastry War.” The bar promises a huge selection of mezcals and tequilas, classic Mexican cocktails, and Mexican longnecks. I am hoping the bar will also serve croissants, in keeping with the theme suggested by the name.
The Pastry War refers to an invasion of Mexico by France in 1838. The naval action was sparked by the complaints of a French pastry chef named Remontel who demanded reparations for the looting of his Mexico City bakery by Mexican military officers. The French government ordered Mexico to pay Remontel 600,000 pesos—quite a pile of coin at the time. When Mexico refused, the French king sent a fleet to blockade the Mexican coast. The French fleet captured the Mexican Navy in Veracruz in December of 1838. The war threatened to spill over into the independent nation of Texas when Mexican smugglers attempted to avoid the blockade by diverting cargo to Corpus Christi and running it across the border. But an agreement between France and Texas averted any conflict.
The other new saloon, right next door at 308 Main underneath the upstairs Bad News Bar, will be called Trigger Happy—another "affordable bar" from the group that's long been famous for expensive cocktails. This concept will feature a few spirits and some bottled beers. The Clumsy Butcher group anticipates negative reactions to this bar: "we don’t expect everyone to like it. That’s cool with us – it’s called Trigger Happy, after all."