Coltivare owners plan vintage-vibe ‘liquor parlor’ for The Heights

Agricole Hospitality is finally ready to unveil the details of its new bar opening next to the Coltivare. The time has come to share news about EZ Liquor Lounge.

Located next to Coltivare in the former Blue Line Bike Lounge space on White Oak Dr., EZ’s will be a partnership between Agricultural — the company behind Coltivare, Eight Row Flint and three locations at EaDo — and Matt Tanner, an Anvil veteran who spent several years working as a concept beverage manager for Pappas restaurants.

“The bike shop has always been a dope building in a dope place,” Agricole partner Morgan Weber told CultureMap. “Even before EZ came along, we thought if we could ever get the bike shop there would be a lot of good synergies with Coltivare.”

The company originally leased the space in early 2019, but the pandemic pushed back the original opening schedule. With plans having received the necessary approvals from the City of Houston, EZs are expected to open in August or September.

While Tanner enjoyed his time at Pappas — and his restaurant patrons should quietly thank him for all those refreshing frozen cocktails — he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to open his own bar.

“I’ve always wanted this,” says Tanner. “It’s the only thing I’ve really wanted for 15 years. Now I have it.

As the name suggests, EZ’s will have a vintage vibe with simple cocktails and an accessible menu. Weber recalls conversations he and Tanner had with farming partners Ryan Pera and Vincent Huynh about the concept that would become EZ. They realized they all enjoyed drinking at the neighborhood’s laid-back hangouts more than, in his words, at the “super tough cocktail bars.”

“How about we explore our interpretation of some of our favorite dive bars we’ve been to across the country over the past 10 years,” he explains. “Really cozy neighborhood bars that don’t take themselves too seriously on the surface but are really fun to hang out and drink. The EZs came out of that.”

The group understands that dive bars are not created from scratch. They evolve over time. Yet their goal is to create a bar that feels like it’s been there forever.

The result is a bar filled with vintage furniture – think vinyl chairs with chrome bases, pool tables and neon signs from the days when people could still smoke in bars – as well as winks look at Tanner and Weber’s shared interest in hunting. Taking so long to open the bar allowed Tanner to scour antique stores in Texas and elsewhere for choice finds. He estimates that 90% of the furniture and decor are vintage.

“The goal with the aesthetic was to fill it with so much interesting stuff that your eyeballs don’t get a chance to rest,” Weber explains.

Where EZ’s will stand out from the bars that inspired it is in the quality of its execution. The cocktails will be served with the same standards for which the group is renowned: fresh fruit juices, quality spirits, precise measurements, etc. Plus, they’ve invested in extra freezer capacity so drinks can be served in ice cold mugs or with a pile of crushed ice. Sounds pretty good during the heat of a Houston summer.

“When you come in from outside, you get an ice cold drink,” says Tanner. “You are instantly refreshed.”

Similarly, the dishes on offer will be well-executed and pick up on the kind of retro-inspired dishes that bars used to serve in slow cookers: queso, hot dogs, chili, etc. Customers can also order pizzas from Coltivare.

“The food menu, we’re still exploring a lot of what that’s going to be,” Weber says. “It’s not going to deviate from what would be appropriate for a bar like this. It’s just well executed.

“It’s going to be a really fun place,” Tanner concludes. “We will have pool tables, darts. It’s gonna be a good time. There is no other way to say it.

About James Almanza

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