If you are looking for the bar where everyone knows your name, a neighborhood bar where the locals hang out and drink beer, and has this great vibe., then we have found the perfect place for you. If you have been reading us with any regularity, we love good vibes and especially places that Just Vibe in Houston, and that is what Axelrad is all about. Axelrad is that neighborhood bar where everyone WILL know your name, and you can just hang and listen to fresh music and swing on colorful hammocks and drink fantastic craft beer.
The History of Axelrad Beer Garden
Although the vibe is so much a part of Axelrad, that isn’t what makes it so special. What makes it special is how the building’s redevelopment opens itself up to all the cultures and communities that collide around it. In the city of Houston, there are no zoning laws and there are also no laws that protect buildings that are historical. They can just be torn down without a thought. Thankfully, the owners and developers of Axelrad, Adam Brackman, Monte Large and Jeff Kaplan appreciate the fabric and beauty of this early 1900’sbuilding and decided to maintain the facade of Axelrad and leave it intact.
Back in the day, houses didn’t have addresses, just names, and Axelrad was one of them. The name is engraved above the door of what used to be the apartment where the Axelrad family lived, next to the grocery store that they owned, which was attached. Fast forward almost 100 years, when the owners grand-daughter heard that the building was bought, she contacted the boys and asked to come by. She walked in and recalled the room where her crib was and reminisced about watching the cars go by. The Mezuzah, which is the parchment scroll that Jewish families mount on the doorposts of their house, was still affixed to the door, and the boys removed it and gave it to her.
At the time, the concept was forming for a beer garden based on The High Line of New York, with a large green space in the center and a beer garden that sits under the Standard Hotel, but there wasn’t a name for this concept, and that’s when it hit them. Over the door, the name Axelrad was written in stone and so Axelrad it was, and it fits.
The fence that separated Luigi’s Pizzeria and Axelrad was torn down, so there is a large area that sits between the two buildings that has tables with long benches and brightly colored hammocks to while away the hours in during all the gorgeous sunny Houston days. At night, a tree is infused with LED light sticks that casts a warm glow over the entire area. It truly is magical.
Axelrad The Music
Axelrad is more than just the amazing craft beers that you can get, and some for as little as $3.00, it is also about the music. On Wednesday nights, Kermit Ruffins, plays and the dancing begins. The goal is to bring some authentic New Orleans soul to this part of Houston and to welcome all walks of life to this corner of Alabama and Almeda. The boys have some deep roots in the New Orleans music scene back from the days of Katrina when they walked the floors of the Astrodome and put bands back together again and gave them a place to play at Sammy’s at 2016 Main.
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They realized that this community wasn’t just friends, but they were family, and they invited them into their family. This is what they want to achieve at Axelrad. They want to create a family where everyone is invited.
Axelrad, Where Everyone Will Know Your Name
When you come to Axelrad, you can take your beer outside or over to Luigi’s to grab a pizza, or you can grab a pizza and take it over to the bar. As the boys say,
We want to make it a community place. There isn’t any cover and we want everyone to feel welcome from all the neighborhoods that surround us. We hope we are a bridge from third ward to Midtown to Museum District to Montrose. There is nothing we love more than to walk around and meet the people who walk in because they heard Kermit from the street and recognize the sound, and the return visitors have made us realize that this is exactly what we envisioned. This is our city and we love it and want to enhance it, and we hope that is one way we are doing that.
Axelrad is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from noon – midnight and Friday and Saturday from noon to 2 am. Food trucks come around regularly, or you can order a pizza from Luigi’s. There is a parking lot on the block and street parking. The design and branding, which are totally cool, were done by Gin Braverman and Evan O’Neil of Gin Designs in collaboration with Monte Large and Adam Brackman. You can hear Kermit Ruffins play most Wednesday nights and a for a special Mardis Gras Celebration on Friday February 5, from 7 – 10 pm. To see Kermit’s schedule, go to Axelrad’s website or visit the Facebook page.
We’ll see you there!
Axelrad Beer Garden
Houston, TX 77004