Alice’s Tall Texan Drive Inn
Year started: 1984
Bar tradition: “We always have regulars celebrating birthdays in here. We decorate their tables and the place real nice for them.”
Specialty drink: Lone Star, in an 18-ounce goblet
Cherished memory: “My kids threw my 75th birthday here. I had family and friends come in from out of town. They filled the place with pictures of me. I thought we’d have my birthday at a hall, but it wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t here at the Tall Texan.”
Year started: 2010
Bar tradition: The decidedly un-P.C. “Ray Charles.” Customers throw three pieces of ice at the bar with their eyes closed. Whichever liquor bottles are hit determines the shot’s ingredients.
Specialty drink: $1 Jell-O shots; Sunny says she sells more than a 1,000 a week.
Favorite story: Last year’s pre-Pride party: “A friend basically announced we were having one on Facebook. I was like, ‘Um, okay.’ We were full of partiers and drag queens. We made as much in one day as we do in a week.”
PJ’s Sports Bar
Year started: 1994
Bar tradition: “We do stockings for Christmas every year for the regulars. We get some interesting trinkets: candy, lottery tickets, condoms, Viagra pills.”
Specialty drink: Cinnamon Toast Crunch (made with Rumchata and Fireball) for the ladies; Bulleit Bourbon for the guys
Memory lane: “I had to shave my head during the ’95 Rockets NBA Finals. I bet a friend that they wouldn’t sweep. Then [Orlando Magic guard] Nick Anderson missed those two free throws—cost me my hair. Everyone at the bar took a turn shaving my head.”
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Year started: 2007
Bar tradition: The storewide Plate Toast, a celebration for a customer who officially drinks 200 different beers at a Flying Saucer location. One Sugar Land patron has hoisted 20 plates in just five years.
Specialty drink: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. “It hasn’t lost its cool in 20-plus years.”
Pet peeve: Local-only trendsters. “The Belgians have been brewing beer for hundreds of years. It’s funny to me when someone turns their nose up at a good Belgian ale for something that was brewed in someone’s garage, just because it’s local.”
The Rose Garden
Year started: 1991
Bar tradition: “Our chili cook-off, which we hold every year in February. We get a ton of people for that, and we give out awards. And my jukebox: every song on it is still 25 cents.” Snacks are set out nightly (see left).
Specialty drink: Miller Lite
Bar trivia: “They filmed a movie in here, and they were shooting up everybody: the bartender, the boy, the girl, everybody! There was fake blood on the ceiling forever. They ended up calling it The Rose Garden.”