Houston Texas

Detailed information, by region, of restaurants and their wine/corkage policies
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Bill Johnstone
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Houston Texas

#1 Post by Bill Johnstone » July 14th, 2010, 8:36 pm

Texas law allows BYOB if an establishment only has a beer and wine license. That said we have had great success with restaurants letting us bring our wine, just ask first and be discreet they are going to great financial risk for you by bending the rules.

Legal BYOB’s

2. Lucio's BYOB & Grill ($5 Cork Fee per-bottle) 905 Taft St. Houston, Tx 77019 Tel: 713-523-9958

3. La Vista ($5 Cork Fee per-bottle) 1936 Fountain View Dr , Houston, TX 77057 Tel: 713 -787-9899

4. http://www.raiasitalianmarket.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; last week with Gutting. Pretty good food and the pizza looked great. $5 corkage. Probably need to bring your own stems. posted by :Jason Hagen

5 Luigi's Pizza Midtown I do not believe they have ever charged corkage. Great Pizza nice feel with Gelato for dessert.

Post or PM any reviews or other BYOB's I will attempt to keep an updated list.
Last edited by Bill Johnstone on June 19th, 2011, 9:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
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“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
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Bill Johnstone
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Re: Houston Texas

#2 Post by Bill Johnstone » August 4th, 2010, 10:52 am

Just read about this has anyone been there? $8 corkage decent reviews online, I went to a similar concept in Austin years ago and it was fun.

http://swamplot.com/opening-tonight-mon ... :+swamplot+(Swamplot:+Houston's+Real+Estate+Landscape" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion."
–– Arthur C. Clarke

“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
-- Molly Ivins

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Jason Hagen
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Re: Houston Texas

#3 Post by Jason Hagen » August 6th, 2010, 9:14 pm

At here http://www.raiasitalianmarket.com/ last week with Gutting. Pretty good food and the pizza looked great. $5 corkage. Probably need to bring your own stems.

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Re: Houston Texas

#4 Post by DavidSawyer » December 4th, 2010, 7:13 pm

Telephone Thai

Vieng Thai

Thai Gourmet

Divino
Last edited by DavidSawyer on December 11th, 2010, 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Houston Texas

#5 Post by john holdredge » December 9th, 2010, 8:55 pm

good tips!
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Re: Houston Texas

#6 Post by DavidSawyer » December 10th, 2010, 6:14 pm

john holdredge wrote:good tips!
The question is when are you going to come visit John?

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Re: Houston Texas

#7 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » December 10th, 2010, 6:34 pm

DavidSawyer wrote:
john holdredge wrote:good tips!
The question is when are you going to come visit John?
I need to know so that I can plan on being there.
It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would be doing it if it were easy.

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Re: Houston Texas

#8 Post by Brandon Tai » December 15th, 2010, 5:14 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
DavidSawyer wrote:
john holdredge wrote:good tips!
The question is when are you going to come visit John?
I need to know so that I can plan on being there.
Likewise!
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Re: Houston Texas

#9 Post by Tom Gutting » December 15th, 2010, 10:55 am

Just Dinner is a pretty solid place. La Vista has bumped its corkage fee to $7.

Bistro Des Amis in the Village is a solid place, but they jacked corkage to $12 when they got their beer/wine license.

Others:

Ruggles
Dry Creek Cafe
Thai Cottage
Collina's
District 7 (wine only)
Jonathan's The Rub
Villagio

I know there are more, but I'm having a hard time off the top of my head right now. Great thread, Bill. Can't believe I've missed it. Must have gotten posted when work went insane.

Holdredge is all talk. He's too scared of me to come visit :)
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Re: Houston Texas

#10 Post by Charlie A » June 19th, 2011, 8:49 am

Here's my fairly up-to-date list of Houston BYOBs. Always good to call ahead as policies seem to change rather often.

Places that I've been to recently that had shitty stemware are marked - I'm sure it's not an all0inclusive list.

Updated 4/6/2013
La Vista
Lucio's
Telephone Thai/Kanomwan (Bring stemware)
Just Dinner
Collina's
Gugliani's
Fred's Italian Corner
Bistro des Amis
Huynh
Underbelly
Uchi
Da Marco
Dry Creek Cafe (Bring stemware)
Cafe Pita+
Aladdin (Bring stemware)
Jenni's Noodle House
Mancuso's Italian Kitchen (Bring stemware)
Jonathan's The Rub
Lemon Tree
Ruggles Green
Himalaya
The Counter
Fat Bao (Call ahead - Bring stemware)
La Guadalupana (Bring stemware)
Fadi's (Bring stemware)
Villagio's
Luigi's Pizzeria (Bring stemware)
Eatsie Boys Cafe (Bring stemware)

These places have not been vetted by me (yet):
Bellissimo's
Phil and Derek's
Beck's Prime (Heights location)
Banana Leaf
La Fendee
Lola's
Fajita Pete's
Crawfish Shack
Polovina
Kraftsmen Bakery Cafe (brunch - BYO bubbles)
Rustika (brunch)
Japanero Sushi
Central Texas Style BBQ
Thai Jasmine
Calliope's PoBoy
Broken Spoke
Pampa Grill
Vieng Thai
Pizarro's Pizza
Yum Yum Cha
Last edited by Charlie A on April 6th, 2013, 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Houston Texas

#11 Post by andrewnorth » January 10th, 2012, 7:57 pm

thanks for the updated list.

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Re: Houston Texas

#12 Post by N. Justl » January 10th, 2012, 11:25 pm

Jonathan's The Rub is very good.
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Re: Houston Texas

#13 Post by N. Justl » January 13th, 2012, 12:46 pm

I found this list of BYOB restaurants across Texas on the Haak Vineyards website.

http://www.haakwine.com/docs/haak_byow.pdf
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Re: Houston Texas

#14 Post by Nolan E » January 26th, 2012, 4:32 pm

N. Justl wrote:Jonathan's The Rub is very good.
As a young guy, like myself, don't you feel like a toddler when you dine there? Aside from that, I've been there a few times and my meat was always way overcooked. Ordered rare and was given medium well.
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Re: Houston Texas

#15 Post by Nolan E » February 7th, 2012, 9:58 pm

Uchi is BYOB with a $20 corkage, but worth it.

Best meal I've had in Texas yet.
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Re: Houston Texas

#16 Post by Nolan E » March 9th, 2012, 6:50 pm

Chris Shepherd's new spot Underbelly is BYOB. They will not be serving liquor, so it should welcome corkage for the foreseeable future. $15 corkage on top of a very low wine markup. The sommelier (also GM) seemed very willing to waive corkage if you share wine or buy from their list as well.

An absolutely stunning meal, really gives Uchi a run for its money.
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Re: Houston Texas

#17 Post by Bill Johnstone » March 10th, 2012, 11:49 am

Nolan E wrote:Chris Shepherd's new spot Underbelly is BYOB. They will not be serving liquor, so it should welcome corkage for the foreseeable future. $15 corkage on top of a very low wine markup. The sommelier (also GM) seemed very willing to waive corkage if you share wine or buy from their list as well.

An absolutely stunning meal, really gives Uchi a run for its money.
Great to hear it is up to expectations. I did the 10 course tasting menu with a 98 Mayacamas last Friday the service and food were the best I have had since Aris closed. We will get to underbelly very soon.
"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion."
–– Arthur C. Clarke

“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
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Re: Houston Texas

#18 Post by Nolan E » March 10th, 2012, 5:15 pm

The Cab? You must hate pairing wine with food...
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Re: Houston Texas

#19 Post by Bill Johnstone » March 10th, 2012, 7:55 pm

Nolan E wrote:The Cab? You must hate pairing wine with food...
No, the chardonnay it worked quite well, I still have 1 98 and a couple 99's for my next visit.
"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion."
–– Arthur C. Clarke

“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
-- Molly Ivins

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Re: Houston Texas

#20 Post by Bill Johnstone » March 13th, 2012, 2:40 pm

Oxheart Opens Thursday March 15
http://oxhearthouston.com/
Corkage is $10 once they get the proper TABC permits that could change so call first.
"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion."
–– Arthur C. Clarke

“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
-- Molly Ivins

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Re: Houston Texas

#21 Post by Scott Jameson » March 16th, 2012, 9:05 am

A couple of comments ...

We were charged $25 a bottle for corkage at Uchi Houston a few weeks ago.

We were charged the $15 corkage fee at Underbelly earlier this week, even though we also bought a bottle off the list and shared tastes of the bottle we brought with both the wine guy and our server.

To be clear, I'm not complaining as I welcome the opportunity to drink wines from my cellar with great food - a rarity in TX. Just a heads up that experiences may differ.

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Re: Houston Texas

#22 Post by Charlie A » March 16th, 2012, 2:30 pm

Went to Underbelly last night. Was not charged corkage (oversight?). Interesting list and most of the markups were so low, however, that next time I probably won't bother. The food was mostly good. The service was amateurish - a stark contrast to the great service at Uchi (once you get a table). I don't think my server had tried a single thing on the menu. She gave virtually no guidance and when she did, she was mostly wrong. Dishes were brought out in no particular order and many times I had to yell at the food runner who had quickly made it halfway across the dining room just to find out what each dish was. Hopefully that gets better.
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Re: Houston Texas

#23 Post by Nolan E » March 20th, 2012, 3:26 pm

Scott Jameson wrote:A couple of comments ...

We were charged $25 a bottle for corkage at Uchi Houston a few weeks ago.

We were charged the $15 corkage fee at Underbelly earlier this week, even though we also bought a bottle off the list and shared tastes of the bottle we brought with both the wine guy and our server.

To be clear, I'm not complaining as I welcome the opportunity to drink wines from my cellar with great food - a rarity in TX. Just a heads up that experiences may differ.
I could have been wrong about Uchi's corkage, I feel like I've been telling people it was $25 when I posted $20...but we went the first week they were open so things could have changed.

As far as Underbelly, we were very regular customers at Catalan and the GM/sommelier recognized us, there might be some preferential treatment there. We're going with a large-ish group tomorrow with several bottles from home, we'll see how we get treated.
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Re: Houston Texas

#24 Post by Jason Hagen » March 21st, 2012, 5:06 pm

Ate at Underbelly for lunch the other day. I thought it was crazy good and we had great service. I could not believe the wine prices. High end and boutique wines at basically retail price. Briefly looked at the half bottles that looked good too.

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Re: Houston Texas

#25 Post by Nolan E » March 22nd, 2012, 8:16 am

Last night at Underbelly we were charged full corkage on 6 bottles ($90) even when the GM told me if we shared our wine with him he'd waive the fees. The food was good, but it came out way too fast, before we had even finished our pre-dinner whites. Service was a little iffy, the server kept trying to get us to order more and then suddenly decided we had ordered too much and cut our order when she got to the kitchen. This may not be the best restaurant for parties larger than 4, it was absolutely perfect when it was just 2 of us.
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Re: Houston Texas

#26 Post by Nolan E » June 13th, 2012, 7:57 am

Does anyone know of any bottle specials in Houston right now? Like 1/2 off on Monday nights or anything?
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Re: Houston Texas

#27 Post by Nolan E » November 8th, 2012, 6:45 am

I should have posted it when the deal was active, but we're using our Groupon at Lucio's tonight. Haven't been in quite a while, I hope their standards are still high.
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Houston Texas

#28 Post by Charlie A » April 6th, 2013, 9:35 am

Updated my list.
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Houston Texas

#29 Post by Nolan E » September 23rd, 2013, 7:34 am

We're relative frequent visitors of 13 Celsius, but yesterday was the first time we've gone on a Sunday. For those who don't know, they used to advertise that all of their by-the-glass wines that were open on Sunday were half off. This was still true yesterday.

We got
NV Domaine Sorin Vin Mousseaux Rose - $6
2009 Nicolas Joly Savennières Roche aux Moines Clos de la Bergerie - $8
20?? Lucques (Wind Gap) Grenache Blanc - $7.50
20?? Azienda Agricola Cos Ramí Sicilia IGT - $7.50

Lots of things I wanted to try, but we had an appointment at the Museum for the James Turrell exhibit.
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Re: Houston Texas

#30 Post by CoryA » October 15th, 2013, 12:10 pm

Jason Hagen wrote:Ate at Underbelly for lunch the other day. I thought it was crazy good and we had great service. I could not believe the wine prices. High end and boutique wines at basically retail price. Briefly looked at the half bottles that looked good too.

J
It's been a while since I've been to Underbelly. Are the wine prices still as good as they once were?
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Re: Houston Texas

#31 Post by S. Reynolds » November 4th, 2013, 1:24 pm

Nolan E wrote:Last night at Underbelly we were charged full corkage on 6 bottles ($90) even when the GM told me if we shared our wine with him he'd waive the fees. The food was good, but it came out way too fast, before we had even finished our pre-dinner whites. Service was a little iffy, the server kept trying to get us to order more and then suddenly decided we had ordered too much and cut our order when she got to the kitchen. This may not be the best restaurant for parties larger than 4, it was absolutely perfect when it was just 2 of us.
What is this thing about getting free corkage if you share your wine with the GM or sommelier...? That doesn't make any sense to me as a rule (why would the ownership accept this policy that benefits one employee rather than the business) so I'm assuming I must be missing something. I recognize that post was made a while ago--is this still the policy?
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Houston Texas

#32 Post by Nolan E » November 6th, 2013, 7:50 am

I've not been to Underbelly in a while, it's too difficult to get a reservation.

Lots of places I go waive corkage fees if you share or offer tastes. I don't offer tastes with the intention of getting free corkage, but it's nice when it happens. I think they assume that the better you get treated, the more likely you'll return, the more you'll tip, the happier the server, etc... It's just a cycle of mutually beneficial behavior.
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#33 Post by K Krahenbuhl » January 28th, 2015, 6:03 pm

Pizaro's Pizza is a favorite of mine. The best pizza in town and BYOB free of charge.
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#34 Post by K Krahenbuhl » March 22nd, 2015, 12:48 pm

Went to Pizaro's on Friday night. Corkage is now $3/bottle. Packing a couple of bottles for Uchi tonight.
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#35 Post by Mike Lindauer » May 12th, 2015, 5:09 am

Thanks for keeping this post active. Does anyone have info about BYOB in The Woodlands?
I am interested in attending a Houston off-line if anyone is planning one.

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#36 Post by K Krahenbuhl » August 12th, 2015, 4:08 pm

Mike - I've not found anything in The Woodlands. Most places up there seem to have the full bar and thus no byob.
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#37 Post by CoryA » November 15th, 2015, 8:17 pm

BYO places we've been frequenting lately:

Pizaro's Pizza (I think Memorial location still has free corkage; $3 at Montrose location)
Just Dinner
Cafe Lili
Paulie's
George's Pastaria (Free corkage Monday, Tues, Wed)
Lucio's
Mala Sichuan
La Vista
Cafe Adel
Underbelly
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#38 Post by CoryA » December 19th, 2015, 10:03 am

A couple more options:

Devine Affair
Mein
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#39 Post by Paulo S » January 14th, 2016, 6:45 am

K Krahenbuhl wrote:Pizaro's Pizza is a favorite of mine. The best pizza in town and BYOB free of charge.
[good.gif]
Wife and I and regulars at Pizaro's (Memorial). We've been at the Montrose location for the soft opening but with 290 the way it is it's not worth the drive now for us (we live close to Jersey Village).
Would be a good option for Sundays when the memorial location is closed.

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#40 Post by AlbertH » February 10th, 2016, 8:29 am

Adding to this one of my favorite Korean places: Myung Dong on the west side... $0 corkage, but bring your own stemware and opener. Large portions of food as well and cash only. Always have a great meal there even though the food can take a while to come out since it is a mom & pop restaurant. Well made, very authentic.

Echoing Mala (now with the Westheimer spot open too!) as a good meal and great BYOB location. Justin Vann does a good job with the list and the Bellaire location has wines that are not on their list as well (Chandon de Brialles and others).
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#41 Post by Chris Roberson » March 7th, 2018, 7:51 am

Any new ones to add to the list in Houston?

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#42 Post by Mike Lindauer » March 7th, 2018, 5:27 pm

Ate at Underbelly and Lucio's last week with guests.

Underbelly no longer allows BYOB. They now have a full bar. Food was excellent. Wine list is decent, but as usual overpriced.

Lucio's still allows BYOB. I think it was $8/bottle, and they decanted our CdP. The food was decent, and they tried really hard; but it's a limited menu and they were out of the filet at 6 pm on a Tuesday.

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#43 Post by Scott Jameson » March 11th, 2018, 6:32 am

Mike Lindauer wrote:Ate at Underbelly and Lucio's last week with guests.

Underbelly no longer allows BYOB. They now have a full bar. Food was excellent. Wine list is decent, but as usual overpriced.

Lucio's still allows BYOB. I think it was $8/bottle, and they decanted our CdP. The food was decent, and they tried really hard; but it's a limited menu and they were out of the filet at 6 pm on a Tuesday.
A bit off-topic here, but Underbelly's wine list used to be fairly priced. Sorry to hear they've moved away from that. They are closing the end of this month and the space will become a steak house, similar to One Fifth Steak, as I understand it. Given One Fifth's wine (and spirits) pricing, I expect the list to be incredibly overpriced. A concept similar to Underbelly, located a few blocks from One Fifth, will be opened in April. I'd guess no BYO at any of them ...

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#44 Post by RyanC » March 11th, 2018, 7:30 am

Scott Jameson wrote:
Mike Lindauer wrote:Ate at Underbelly and Lucio's last week with guests.

Underbelly no longer allows BYOB. They now have a full bar. Food was excellent. Wine list is decent, but as usual overpriced.

Lucio's still allows BYOB. I think it was $8/bottle, and they decanted our CdP. The food was decent, and they tried really hard; but it's a limited menu and they were out of the filet at 6 pm on a Tuesday.
A bit off-topic here, but Underbelly's wine list used to be fairly priced. Sorry to hear they've moved away from that. They are closing the end of this month and the space will become a steak house, similar to One Fifth Steak, as I understand it. Given One Fifth's wine (and spirits) pricing, I expect the list to be incredibly overpriced. A concept similar to Underbelly, located a few blocks from One Fifth, will be opened in April. I'd guess no BYO at any of them ...
Yeah I’m really going to miss the original Underbelly, which at its peak was my favorite restaurant in Houston and had a very thoughtful and well-priced wine list. I do understand why the concept was not terribly economical in their large space once the original hype died down. But the last thing we need is another steakhouse.
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#45 Post by Chris Roberson » March 13th, 2018, 5:07 pm

I keep rotating between Lucios and Just Dinner on Dunlavy. Just dinner seemsmto have a little better food and the service is substan better there as well.

Also new on Kirby is pepper twins and they allow byob. I didn’t love the food but if you’re into spicy Asian food it will be good for you.

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#46 Post by mlunt » June 7th, 2018, 3:21 pm

Just checked with UB Preserv and they told me they do not allow outside bottles.
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#47 Post by Scott Jameson » June 7th, 2018, 7:38 pm

mlunt wrote:Just checked with UB Preserv and they told me they do not allow outside bottles.
Not surprising, but thanks for confirming.

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#48 Post by Chris Roberson » June 12th, 2018, 10:36 pm

Just dinner is closing in December so that will be one more off the list

Pizza Motus is a new byob place set to open this summer off Edloe in West U.

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Re: Houston Texas

#49 Post by Jim Macias » May 31st, 2019, 4:24 pm

I haven't lived in Houston for a couple of years, though will be returning next Spring and looking forward to trying some BYOB establishments. Not sure if they are still open but used to frequent Black Sheep Bistro in Old Town Spring, where we typically brought our own bottles. Hope there will be plenty to choose from, though I understand this is limited by licensing regulations that have been discussed previously on this forum.

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