McKinney Avenue vintage shop Ahab Bowen shuttered back in 2011, and the historic building — which dates all the way back to 1874 — was recently reincarnated as a cozy cocktail bar. Open since mid-March, Bowen House is the brainchild of Pasha Heidari (who's also behind the Kennedy Room). While the racks of retro clothing may be long gone, the bar maintains a vintagey vibe with its decor: Framed black & white photos adorn the walls along with bookshelves populated by knickknacks and vintage books and a chalkboard announcing the cocktail menu, which changes weekly.
Cocktails are carefully crafted from an extensive selection of liquors and liqueurs, housemade syrups, fresh fruit and herbs; the dedicated bar staff crushes ice by hand even on hopping weekend nights. Expect classics like the whiskey-based Bobby Burns alongside new creations from general manager Trent Nabors (formerly of Park) and his team, such as the recent Foreign Julep with bourbon, Chinese five-spice bitters, mint and honey. A brief food menu leans Texan with smoked items like wild boar meatloaf.
Though Bowen House takes its cocktails very seriously, it's far from snobby — non-cocktail enthusiasts will find a solid selection of bottled and canned beers, from local craft selections to the big three macro-lagers (Coors, Bud and Miller), plus a small selection of wines including Ace of Spades for the big spenders.
· Bowen House [Facebook]