An address on Northwest Highway that was forever home to a popular Tex-Mex institution has become a sports bar with a twist. Called Longhorn Icehouse, it's a new concept from the owners of Stratos, and it's at 1901 W. Northwest Hwy., in the space that was previously Mercado Juarez, which closed in June 2018 after 26 years.
Spokesperson Thi Chhayakrith says that Longhorn, which is opening on October 10, is "kind of a beer garden meets live music venue," which will host country acts and a DJ every night.
"It's over 21,000 square feet of space," Chhayakrith says. "It's going to be a fun place, with 43 big screen TVs, two stages plus a stage outside in the beer garden. There'll also be LED lights hanging from center and a massive keg wall with multiple kegs."
Those LED lights will be color-themed to mark holidays and events. There are also memorable decorative elements such as the huge iron horse-shoe with a Texas star in the center, perfect for photo ops.
The twist comes via the cuisine. In addition to the usual sports bar basics such as burgers and wings, the menu will include some Greek specialties, including gyros, Greek salads, and the like.
That's due to the heritage of the ownership team which includes Nick Rizos, former owner of Stratos, the Greek Taverna also on Northwest Highway, and his son Max.
The Rizos family sold Stratos, so Longhorn gives them a new place to feature their native cuisine.
"We carry half-pound Angus beef burgers but also some specialty burgers and some Mediterranean and Greek food," Chhayakrith says. "Max’s Greek Burger, for example, comes with lettuce, tomato, sauteed red onions, mayonnaise, and feta cheese, on a brioche bun."
Burgers come with choice of onion rings which they make in-house, or fries, which they hand-cut.
"We care about the quality of the food, too, we make everything, it's not just regular sports bar food," she says. "They had their Greek restaurant and it's incorporating both – bringing Greek food with a sports bar side."