Hugh O’Connors, a reimagination of the classic Irish bar for a new generation, is opening a second location in Houston’s Energy Corridor.
Named after one of the first Irishmen to set foot in Texas, Hugh O’Connors was created by two Irishmen who now call Texas home. A haven for those seeking Ireland’s famous hospitality, Hugh O’Connors Eldridge will feature a menu of whiskey-based cocktails, craft beer, pizza, and the freshest Guinness in the city. The concept reimagines the traditional Irish bar and brings the experience into the 21st century.
Inside the current Hugh O'Connors in Marq*E Entertainment Center.
When owners David Roche and Peter Kingston first arrived in America in 2012 to scout locations for their first stateside business, they found that most were rarely run by anybody Irish. They saw this as an opportunity to bring a modern reinterpretation of the classic and beloved Irish bar to the states rooted in their experiences from Ireland. They saw potential in Houston’s growing demand for new dining and drinking experiences, and the increasing number of tourists visiting the city.
In 2014, the duo took over operations of Brian O’Neil’s, a popular Irish pub in Houston’s Rice Village. They remodeled the interior and revamped the menu to serve brighter, edgier takes on classic dishes. Renaming the bar Gorgeous Gael, they introduced an updated version of the classic Irish bar while maintaining the traditional warmth and welcoming atmosphere people instantly associate with the genre. They were strongly backed by some of Ireland’s most prominent brands, Jameson and Guinness, who saw value in what they were bringing to the market and wanted to help reinvigorate people’s perception of Irish culture.
After closing Gorgeous Gael and opening Hugh O’Connors in Northwest Houston, David and Peter believe the concept is ready to expand to a second location, this time in Houston’s Energy Corridor.
In addition to a bar stocked with outstanding bourbons, scotches and whiskeys, as well as Jameson-infused cocktails, fresh Guinness pours and craft beers, the new Hugh O’Connors location will offer a food menu of fresh pizzas cooked onsite in their pizza oven and barbecue from neighboring restaurant, Houston Barbecue Company.
A robust TV package will be on display for sports-loving Houstonians. In addition to American sports, they’ll also show soccer matches from around the world — most notably the English Premier League, which has an enormous Irish following — as well as rugby and more. Hugh O’Connors's original Marq*E center location is the meeting point for the official Liverpool Supporters Club of Houston as well as Notre Dame’s official Houston bar. Similar partnership opportunities are being explored for Hugh O’Connors Eldridge. Live music and DJs will provide additional entertainment and help keep the ambiance balanced between cozy and lively.
Paving the way for a new class of modern Irish bars, Hugh O’Connors retains the warm and welcoming atmosphere Irish bars are known for while breathing new life into the experience to create something exciting for a new generation of drinkers.