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Bartender to Watch // Justin Burrow

Justin Burrow, Shannon O'Hara

Photo by Shannon O'Hara

The Namesake cocktail at Bad News Bar.        

Six years ago, veteran bartender Justin Burrow found himself at a crossroads. Why was he spending his nights pouring syrupy-sweet drinks he didn’t believe tasted good?

“I began researching the history of cocktails,” he says. “I was fortunate to have a good group of regulars who were always up for trying something new—or something really old, as the case was.”

His newfound love for well-made cocktails catapulted Burrow from just another bartender to the man behind Capt. Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, Houston’s hottest speakeasy.

Open since March, Bad News Bar is part of a growing group of buzzy establishments repopulating Houston’s historic city center. With its 50-foot bar, cozy booths and dimly lit chandeliers, it appeals to scenesters, cocktail geeks and anyone who appreciates a well-balanced drink. Order the bourbon-based Soanso collins, made with lemon, Angostura bitters and ginger beer.

Burrow recommends The Namesake, made with Old Tom gin, Amaro Montenegro and tonic. While the bar offers lighting that makes everyone feel like the sexiest version of themselves, nab a spot on the balcony for killer downtown views.

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