I have just learned, via Mean Rachel, that the Fox & Hound is now nothing more than a pile of rubble. I consider this a beautiful thing.
I always hated the Fox & Hound. Which might sound like an odd thing to say, given that I never set foot in the place. But there is some history here.
You see, once upon a time, it was completely illegal for breweries to sell their product on the premises. (And for microbreweries, it still is — yet another example of the utter stupidity and lack of sense in Texas' alcohol laws. Especially considering wineries can sell their product on-site.) But in 1993, it became legal for brewpubs – restaurant that brew their own – to do business in Texas, and the very first one to open after legalization was Waterloo Brewing Company.
Waterloo was, hands down, my favorite bar in town. I liked pretty much everything they did. They had a raspberry beer that was actually quite tasty, despite my reservations about fruit beers. And I loved the O.Henry Porter. (In fact, we regulars liked asking them to mix the former and latter into something we called "Porterberry.") But, in these formative years of my beer snobbery — when America's craft beer movement was just moving into high gear — the biggest revelation to me was the Guytown IPA. I'd never heard of the India pale ale style, but I instantly knew I loved it. To this day, relying solely on memory, I still consider it my favorite beer ever. And their food was tasty, the pool room upstairs was great, and nothing beat drinking on their rooftop.
But eventually, Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden. And Waterloo came to an end. In 2001, the bar lost its lease because the property owners said they wanted to replace it with high-rise condos. Which I didn't like, but I was willing to at least excuse a little bit because I do generally support the idea of vertical mixed use development downtown. But then the condos never happened! Suddenly, there was a new bar in Waterloo's place! I felt betrayed. Like some sort of bait and switch had happened. They got rid of the homegrown brewpub and replaced it with a chain. Grrrr. I vowed to never set foot in the place. I worried that perhaps that was a bit close-minded of me, but Moira Muldoon, who wrote the great "Girl Walks Into a Bar" column for the Statesman, vindicated my stubbornness when she reviewed the Fox and Hound as "awful. Horrible. I'd rather give up this column than be forced to go back there."
I giggled with glee when I read that. But it still didn't ease the pain of losing what may have been my all time favorite bar. It's still gone. All that remains is a website. And memories.