March 23rd, 2011

H-Town Showdown: #2 Anvil Bar & Refuge vs. # 7 Kenneally’s Irish Pub

Welcome to “The Original” H-Town Showdown series. Our brackets are seeded and the contenders for the title are ready to go. Each Wednesday we’ll present another match-up. There will be four weeks of voting for each competition in each round. So rally up your friends, followers and fans. This will be a true test of attrition.

This week we have the long-time classic Kenneally’s Irish Pub trying to fight up from its low seeding against the relative newcomer, Anvil Bar & Refuge. Which are you a fan of, the old school or the new school (which is actually a throwback to the old, old school)?


Seed #2: Anvil Bar & Refuge
A perfectly crafted cocktail is often very difficult to find, especially in Houston. Sure, the bartender can get you a jack and coke (screw that up, I dare you) or a buttery nipple, but try ordering a dark and stormy at Chili’s. Yeah, that’s a blank stare. That all changed when Anvil opened its doors. While Friday and Saturday nights tend toward the ridiculously crowded, sidle up to the bar on a weekday evening and you’ll be amazed at the spirits before you. Whether it’s classic cocktails or a specially concocted elixir from the master bartenders at Anvil, the drinks are all hand crafted with an eye toward fresh, quality ingredients and top notch alcohol. Which makes Anvil top shelf in my book… and yes, I threw that cheesy line out there.


Seed #7: Kenneally’s Irish Pub
Remember when going to a bar meant hanging out with your buds, smashing beer cans on your head and throwing darts into someone’s chest because you were seeing three dartboards? Yeah, so does Kenneally’s. It might not be that wild, but Kenneally’s is what a bar should be: a place to buy a pitcher, stand around with friends and really let loose and have a good time. At Kenneally’s, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve got the look down or if your hair is combed or you need a shower. Granted, you should always smell good, but just in case you played softball and the team decided to stop in for a beer, it wouldn’t be a huge faux pas. Add the fact that they offer a great bar pizza and Kenneally’s kicks some serious ass. Sure, Irish pizza might be a bit of an oxymoron, but have a few brews and you’ll kill enough brain cells that you won’t be pondering such mysteries.

The Final Jabs
- Parking. Neither have it. Well, neither have nearly enough of it.
- Anvil might be able to one-up Kenneally’s Irish coffee, but do you really want Irish coffee from any other place than an Irish pub?
- Some people praise Anvil for its rotating selection of craft beer.
- Others think that the tried and true Guinness always being available is the way to go.
- Darts. Golden Tee. Jukebox. Game over, Kenneally’s wins.
- Prohibition-era cocktails… You can’t beat a good Sazerac.
- In the pizza battle, Kenneally’s wins hands down.

[Voting closes April 13th at noon.]

Voting still open for:
#4 Beavers Icehouse vs. #5 Zelko Bistro
#3 Buffalo Bayou Regatta vs. #6 Greek Festival

— The Loop Scoop


Chuck — Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:50 pm

“In the pizza battle, Kenneally’s wins hands down.”

Umm, have you *tried* a 3×3 pizza at Anvil?

Paul — Wednesday, March 23, 2011 6:22 pm


I’ve been around the Anvil block once or twice (or a thousand times). The pizza is good, but when I think “hey, I really want some pizza and a beer” Kenneally’s is the first place that pops in my head. No, not even Late Nite Pie gets the same reaction.

That being said, this is why we leave it up to vote. We’re not the experts. The people are. Long live the hammer and sickle… Or in this case the “muddler” and “dart.”


Shady Tavern Ice House — Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:08 pm

I like both. But an acre of land is what we have. Parking not a problem. Beer and Wine only. BYOB encouraged. Bring you dog. It’s all good. :)

Richard — Thursday, March 24, 2011 2:52 pm

I do like an evening at Shady. In this case, I’m going with Kenneally’s.

Kevin — Wednesday, March 30, 2011 9:20 pm

Kenneallys hands down- yes anvil does have a good drink selection and some cool history. But nothing beats a perfectley poured Guiness and that delicious shamrock pizza!! Irish pub kenneally’s has been there forever and there’s good reason for it- a wonderful and freindly establishment. When you walk through those green doors you instantly feel like you belong and are welcomed. I for one love that place it really is my fav pub in Houston- so my vote is for Irish Pub Kenneally’s. Don’t get me wrong I still like anvil. Cheers!!

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