Vintage clothes shoppers were dealt a major blow in 2011 when Ahab Bowen, the venerable Uptown resale shop at 2614 Boll St. closed. Well, their need for flapper dresses and velvet cloches may never be met again. But if they're craving a trip back to another time, they'll be happy about Bowen House, the new bar-restaurant that's opening in the space in October.
"We'll have the vintage glasses, pickled vegetables and alcoholic shaved ice," says founder Pasha Heidari.
"It's going to be an 1800's-style saloon," he says. "We're trying to make it as period as possible. It'll have a pharmacy theme. Our cocktails will range from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. We'll have the vintage glasses, pickled vegetables, alcoholic shaved ice."
Pasha came up with the theme not just because "throwback" has become the dominant bar trend, but also the house was built in 1874.
"It's a Texas landmark," he says. "We're dedicated to this, right down to the paint. We found a company that matches historical paint. It's all going to reflect the era, everything except for the commodes."
He plans to offer a small menu of bar snacks that are better than the usual wings. "I don't want to call it barbecue, but we're going to be smoking a lot of our food," he says. "In a sense, it is barbecue, but not barbecue sandwiches with sauce. We might do a smoked pate, but it'll be fun food. Finger food for a bar, but of good quality."
Scoring the Ahab Bowen location was a major coup, which he owes to his father, restaurateur Mohsen Heidari, owner of Arthur's and St Martin's Bistro. "He got the property a while ago, and was going to lease it out," Pasha says. "But I'm paying rent."
So Kennedy Room had a historical theme, and now this. "I admit that I'm fascinated by history," Heidari says. "This is the era we want to go with right now. But I really just want a normal bar. I like a good old-fashioned bar. I'm not trying to make it a trend."