Seventy-five years ago, Jimmy’s started off chipping ice and selling small groceries. As it evolved, they started selling beer, and soon after, it became a mainstay and institution. Fast-forward to 2017: The famed and beloved Jimmy’s Ice House, a Houston staple, served its last drink June 30. As the Heights was undergoing a reinvention of sorts, the shell of Jimmy’s sat not knowing of what was to become of it, or that it had been sold to Braun Enterprises. Enter Ted Baker and Bobcat Teddy's.
“When people say we’re unpretentious, I like that. My favorite bar in the world is Molly’s Pub, just a good old Irish pub that serves beer and everyone knows everyone, and I had always wished that it had a good cocktail or whiskey program. I said if ever I were to take over a bar, that’s what I would do,”Baker says.
Baker, who also owns Revelry on Richmond, took over the former Jimmy’s and was so enamored with what it had been that he didn’t want to change a thing, other than add some shiny bells and whistles to the icehouse. Those additions include a bike rack, a new deck, a few more TVs inside and out, expanded restrooms, and fire pits.
Bobcat Teddy’ prides itself on respecting what came before, and they still shell out Pabst, Guinness, Lone Star cans and the like just as Jimmy’s used to sell them; on Thursdays, all tallboys go for just $2.75. Fret not craft beer drinkers: They have 15 taps of Houston’s finest, including brews from Saint Arnold, 8th Wonder, and Brash. They have a fine selection of whiskeys, including Houston’s own Yellow Rose, as well as Jameson, Hell-Cat Maggie, Redbreast, and Tullamore Dew. If that’s still not up to snuff, Baker brought over Allie Genoway from Revelry to create a cocktail menu.
As far as food, they have rotating food trucks and also don’t mind if you bring in food; it’s right next to BB’s so it’s not hard to get a few pounds of crawfish, set up at a picnic table and go to town on some mudbugs and Lone Stars.
“We put up all of the old beer signs and original things, and everybody is pleased with it. The worse we could have done would have been to make it too new or fancy,” Baker emphasized. Essentially Bobcat Teddy’s is an old soul with a shiny new coat of paint. It’s a place you can unwind with a shot and a Lone Star or an Aperol Spritz, depending on your mood. They're celebrating their grand opening this Saturday to coincide with Saint Arnold’s world-famous pub crawl, and it is sure to be a party. Even with a chance of rain in the forecast, you owe it to yourself to experience Bobcat.