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Lei Low, Houston, TX (bar)

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Name:Lei Low
Street:6412 N. Main

New (February 2014) neighborhood tiki bar located in the Heights section of Houston, Texas.

From eater.com:

Get ready for some rum because Lei Low, which has been hosting soft services, is finally opening to the public on February 28. The upcoming Tiki bar that's been teasing us with peeks inside its tiny new space, including Instagram shots of its vintage-America-meets-Polynesian décor that conjures images of '60s-era island life. A traditional Tiki A-frame at the center of the bar with a thatched roof covers Tiki mugs and coconut-like cups, and dark bamboo lines some of the walls all around the small space. It's decidedly a theme bar, and one that comes courtesy of some familiar names: Down House's Elizabeth and Russell Thoede teamed up with bar owners Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse (Grand Prize, Big Star Bar, Goro & Gun) to bring Houston a taste of the Tiki bar revival that's going on in different parts of the country. Both Russell and Elizabeth are longtime Tikiphiles; Russell was hooked after coming across a book on "Trader" Vic Bergeron—one of the founders of Tiki culture in America, along with Don the Beachcomber. "The history of Tiki bars and Tiki culture is really inspiring to me," Russell told Eater in December. "When you think of these two guys who created this movement and these drinks that evoke such a time and place. We've seen many of the new Tiki bars that have opened in recent years, in California and New York. They're intimate and they're doing great work with drinks. We're ready to bring that to Houston."


Finally! Houston has the real deal for lovers of tiki.

Attended the preview on February 27th in "The Heights" section of Houston, and as we expected...walked in and found Formikahini already at the bar!

Very nice décor and the owners and 'tenders are fun yet serious about their craft and bringing a true tiki bar to Houston. Drinks were great and made from scratch. Great Mai Tai and also enjoyed one of their own creations called the "Bali Heights".

Located in a non-descript strip center by a convenience store. But the inside is done up nicely. Not quite finished as they have to build out the ceiling and complete the outside patio in the back. But it's 85% ready and waiting.

Thank the Tiki Gods the long wait is over!

Much better photos can be found here:


Dagg posted on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 11:45 AM

I like the name :)


Adding more images as Lei Low is alive and well!

Doesn't look like much from the outside, but wait...

Vintage tiki mugs across the top. Personal tiki mugs for the patrons below.

A genyouwine AMATE tiki (one of several here).

Cool places to sit. Memorabilia on all the walls. Mrs. T approves...

If you're in town, Lei Low is a MUST DO.

I recently went here; I showed up early and was watching them make their own concoctions. NO store bought pre-made crap! Other place say they're tiki bars because they have some bamboo and tikis, but they play Jimi Hendrix & Jack Johnson, have too sweet of drinks with no garnish, and wrong decor like Caribbean & African instead of Polynesian.

These people know what they are doing!!! Right music, drinks were not sweet but had a great fruit taste, lots of garnish and plenty of rum, decor was good, lighting was right, nice back patio (but needs some palapa leaves).

Over all I loved Lei Low, would recommend the place and will be back.

This place has it right!!!

WooHoo! Soccertiki and I will be in Houston next Saturday for the night. We are looking forward to checking Lei Low out :)


Going to Lei Low's Mele Kalikimaka Party for some holiday Aloha spirit and spirits, tomorrow 12/21/14!



Planning a trip to Lei Low June 20th- Is there a hotel fairly close to the bar someone could recommend?
Also, are there any TC meet up nights?




On 2015-05-29 19:59, tropicalihoney wrote:*
Planning a trip to Lei Low June 20th- Is there a hotel fairly close to the bar someone could recommend?
Also, are there any TC meet up nights?



I really can't think of a hotel close by I could recommend. Best bet might be downtown but let me check. As far as a TC meet up night there is not one but there are a couple of us that frequent Lei Low so maybe your visit could be the catalyst for the 1st meet up.

On 2015-05-29 19:59, tropicalihoney wrote:*
Planning a trip to Lei Low June 20th- Is there a hotel fairly close to the bar someone could recommend?
Also, are there any TC meet up nights?



I second El Jefe... Last time I was in Houston I was near the Galleria area, and the previous time to that downtown. Didnt take long at all to get there.

For those of you who haven't been, be sure to get there early if on a weekday. Parking is super limited...there's only around 3 actual reserved spots for Lei Low, and the open parking is limited to around 5 spots. If no parking is available, there is a subdivision at the connecting streets that you can park off the curb.

In regards to the drinks....the best you'll find in Texas, IMO. Everything is done by hand. It's pretty hardcore. The owner is super critical about how each drink is made, which shows his passion for Tiki. Us Houstonians are very lucky to have such a place.

I super love this place and travel from Austin frequently just to drink there and enjoy the vibe. Cocktails are mixed right, garnish is outstanding, and bar tenders are knowledgeable and friendly. The menu changes seasonally which is pretty neat. They have a good mix of classic tiki drinks along with their own creations. They make their syrups in house. The decor is tastefully done. The music leans a bit more towards reggae than I'd prefer, but it's not inappropriate like other bars I've been to. Parking on site is limited, but there is plenty of street parking in the neighborhood behind the bar so I've never had trouble getting a spot within a short walk even on real busy nights like New Years or their two year anniversary party.

I posted pics a while back to the Texas tiki bar thread but here are some from our last couple trips:


On 2016-03-09 11:23, mikehooker wrote:...on real busy nights like New Years or their two year anniversary party.

Yes...Happy 2nd Anniversary, Lei Low! Great party! And great anniversary mugs!

I was very disappointed to miss out on the rel are of their 2 Year Anniversary mug. I hear they went super quick.


Apparantly I am in heaven i'm drinking a mai tai at an authentic tiki bar and the misfits hybrid moments comes on tbe stereo
I give lei low an A plus plus

I thought this new Marriott hotel name sounded familiar. It's probably not worth pursuing, but Lei Low might be interested.

The Laylow, Autograph Collection
2299 Kuhio Avenue Honolulu


I'm going to be in Houston the first weekend in March and looking forward to taking in the Lei Low Bar. I think I might try to get there on the evening of March 1. Any Tiki-Central folks in the area that would like to have a drink that night? I saw on FB that they have an anniversary party on the 4th, but I'm a bit more interested in sampling their drinks than I am taking up space at a party.

If you only have one night to go, I would avoid the anniversary party. I've been to a couple of them and they're lots of fun but it'll be packed, drinks will come out slower than normal and they might not be as consistent as they are on a normal night. The only real advantage is you can snatch one of the mugs. But I think you'd get more bang for your buck and a better impression on an off night. Have fun!

Mike - That is what I was thinking too. It is more about the drinks and the atmosphere for me right now as I travel and visit tiki places. I like to sit near the bartender's station to watch the magic happen and consume drinks. I could swing the 4th, but it is a super early flight out on the 5th and I want to catch the drinks when they are at their best. Anything on their menu that is a must try in your opinion? I'm also going to check out Howie's Tiki one of the other nights I'm in town.


let us know which night ya'll are going I'll try to raise up a few h-town tiki files i'll probably try to make the anniversary party as well anyway cheers

[ Edited by: Tiki Roa 2018-02-22 09:59 ]


Aloha tiki believers! It’s the 4th anniversary of Lei Low today.
Looks like tiki mugs will be on sale and the band kicks in around 7 pm. Arouse your spirit of poly pop come out and get lit on a couple of Space City Painkillers! Cheers!

Roa, sorry I didn't reach out to link up. Made it to Houston last week after a few long days. Caught a quick nap at the hotel and then hopped an uber over to the Lei Low. Everyone was right, Thursday night was a great night to come in. I missed Russell by a few minutes, but Caitlin and Bella were working. The bar wasn't terribly busy so I had the chance to talk with both for a while about their history with the bar and tiki.

My view of the Lei Low back bar from my perch. It has a nice thatched outcropping in the center.

I started with the Mai Tai because several folks at the bar seemed to be enjoying them. The Lei Low has them ready to go on tap and they do a very good job with them. Later in the night I saw one of the bartenders switch out 5 gallon keg for that system giving it a healthy shake and roll before hooking the new one up.

Lighting by the entrance bathing a few Lei Low Go-ers in a cool light.

I was interested in having the bartenders try a few things out on me so I tried their Crescent City drink and a Kingston Rum Fizz that had a great passion fruit egg white finish that gave off a wonderful odor and taste as you consumed it.

Caitlin took off for the night and was replaced by Ben who shared a drink with me he had created for negroni week last year. It was a mix of Rum Fire (they are big fans of this at the Lei Low), Carlsbad Becherovka and Banane du Brésil. He calls it the Self Destruct Button. It was great. A simple cocktail inspired by the negroni theme yet with all of the flavor complexity and kick you would hope for with a name like that.

POV - Staring down the Self Destruct Button.

I rounded out the night with a Chai Diver. A play on the pearl diver with a strong Chai spice profile. I enjoyed this one because I'm a chai fan and enjoyed seeing the change up from the allspice you normally get with Don's Gardenia Mix in the traditional recipe.

They have a good rum list and I had a few half-pours from it. I reproduced one page of it below. Feel free to PM me for the whole list if you want it. My apologies for the shadows (photo-shopped away some of them). There isn't much I hate to do more than upset the lighting vibe of a tiki bar by using a flash repeatedly.

7 pages worth of good things

I was blown away by the number of Blue Hawaiians I saw ordered. That seemed to be the drink of the night after Mai Tais. I enjoyed talking to all three of the bartenders that night. All were friendly and happy to share their bartending stories leading up to working at the Lei Low. Good characters rotated in and out of the bar all evening. Up to and including the British guy who sat a few seats away religiously drinking beer while his countrymen and women worked their way through the tiki menu.

The vibe was great and the staff was great. For me it was the best way to kick off my weekend stay in Houston. I had one of my two favorite drinking shirts on, nowhere to be that night and uber at my disposal. Can't think of a better set of conditions to enjoy the Lei Low. Sorry I missed the anniversary party a few days later.


Ben, Bella and I. I just noticed one of my favorite Munktiki mugs (pink elephant shriner) is right behind me.

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