The big shindig Jason and Amber Moore are planning this weekend isn't your parents' block party—unless your folks lived in the ‘70s and loved to drink, in which case it could be very accurate. The couple—Jason is the beverage director for the Heights-based Treadsack Group (which owns Down House and Hunky Dory, among other bar and restaurant concepts) and wife Amber, the general manager of D&T Drive-Inn—have enlisted eight Heights watering holes for a nostalgia-filled bar crawl that's taking place this Saturday, May 7 from 3 to 11 p.m.
“The unifying vibe behind this one is 'block parties,'” says Amber, differentiating this weekend's Heights Block Party Pub Crawl from last fall’s Halloween bar crawl, which they also organized. “When I was a kid, block parties were a big thing in the suburbs. We grew up in Texas [and sometimes] the street would pop up with a big party. Everybody would come out of their houses and everybody would have a big potluck, walk around and meet your neighbors."
In addition to D&T Drive-Inn, seven other bars will be participating in this weekend's big block party: Lei Low Rum & Tiki Bar, re:HAB Bar on the Bayou, Town in City Brewing Co., Southern Goods, Big Star Bar, Johnny’s Gold Brick and Down House. While all are within a roughly two-and-a-half mile radius, those who don’t want—or are too tipsy—to walk in the early May heat, will want to snag a seat on the shuttles the Moores have rented for the occasion.
Each shuttle will continuously cycle between all eight bars, with Down House as a central station, though Amber clarifies that it's not a bar crawl in the strictest sense of the term. “It’s not like you have to get on one bus, go to the next place, drink, get back on the bus, go,” she laughs. “It’s kind of at your leisure.” The shuttles will also come in handy for exploring another Heights "block party" of sorts this weekend: the monthly First Saturday Arts Market, which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The bars, meanwhile, are building their own themes around the Moores' loose concept of ‘70s and ‘80s nostalgia. Lei Low is hosting a ‘70s Jamaica reggae party, while D&T is hosting what Amber calls a Smokey and the Bandit-style party with a truck driver theme, with Clint Broussard from KPFT DJing classic Southern music throughout the night. Each bar is also hosting its own party games—mostly trivia contests and yard games—with prizes TBD.
Besides being pure, throwback fun, the Moores say this weekend's event is all about creating—and maintaining—strong relationships with their neighbors, as with any good block party. "We’ve watched [the Heights] grow and be a part of the new places coming in. Through out all of that, we’ve formed some really great friendships with everybody,” Amber says
“As the neighborhood grew," she elaborates, "I got this idea down in Midtown, watching everyone walk around. I was like, Man, this would be so cool to do in our neighborhood, but everybody’s kind of far apart. So what can we do to make that cooler?” Before long, and after a brainstorming session between husband and wife, the Heights Block Party Pub Crawl was born.
“It’s a great way to share the sense of community in the bar/restaurant world that exists in the Heights now,” says Jason, who's spent years watching the area transform, “but also the community of the entire neighborhood itself. This is a different Heights.”
Heights Block Party Pub Crawl, Saturday, May 7, 3 to 11 p.m.
First Saturday Arts Market, Saturday, May 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.