You can see it now: A night under twinkling stars, maybe after an early season Astros game. A country rocker plays on stage as orange- and blue-clad folks filter to the patio. Above them, closer to the U-shaped bar, tables are filled with revelers drinking enormous margaritas and munching on wild boar meatballs. 

That's what The Rustic is hoping to see after it opens at 1836 Polk St. in Downtown. The 25,000-square-foot bar, music venue, and restaurant opens Thursday with four consecutive evenings of performances, including a first-night VIP-only concert by Texas country artist Pat Green, a partner in this Free Range Concepts offering based in Dallas. (The Rustic will open to the general public starting at 10 p.m. Thursday.)

To be sure, The Rustic should be a destination. The enormous stage and patio area (which has a retractable roof) can fit a couple hundred of your best friends, the main bar is Instagram friendly and a surefire hangout for happy hour drinks, and the menu—upon a first taste—presents itself as solid, elevated Texas-focused bar food. Could you spend a couple weekend hours at The Rustic? Highly likely.

Yes the space is tightly focused on opening weekend. (Dallas singer-songwriter Ryan Berg performs Friday and during a brunch Saturday, the Powell Brothers and A.J. LeGrand will continue the party Saturday, and Nathan Quick plays during Sunday brunch, with all proceeds from that service benefiting the Houston Food Bank.) But there is quite a long view already in place. For one, The Rustic already has a New Year's Eve show planned with Texas country artist Charley Crockett (VIP tickets are $75, then first-come, first-served).

Beyond that, though, The Rustic will open a second Houston location at The Galleria, according to Free Range Concepts. The opening of that location is preliminary slated for summer 2019.

Is there enough party to stretch across two locations? It's quite possible.

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