Down House’s Chris Cusack and Downtown Bar King Brad Moore Team Up with Renowned Bartender Leslie Ross on Yale St.


Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse have joined forces with the newly-enhanced Treadsack restaurant group to take over the former Boom Boom Room space at 2518 Yale from building owner Jackie Harris. Johnny’s Gold Brick will be the name of the new bar.

Treadsack principal Chris Cusack, (pictured second from left) whose group includes Down House in the Heights and Brooke Smith ice house D&T Drive Inn, says that he hopes Johnny’s Gold Brick will be the sort of place where you can get “decently-made cocktails, but also a shot and a beer, and be totally accessible and easy to be in.”

Leslie Ross (pictured second from right), who earlier this year competed for title of America’s Most Imaginative Bartender in Las Vegas, left Triniti Restaurant’s Sanctuari Bar to join forces with Treadsack earlier this month and will be heading up bar operations.


The Boom Boom Room, 2518 Yale St., Sunset Heights, Houston

The JGB crew believes that America’s fancypants cocktail bubble has popped to a certain extent, and avow that JGB customers will not be cocktail-shamed: “If you want a rum and Coke or a vodka-cranberry that’s fine,” Ross says.  “Nobody should feel that they are ordering isn’t good enough.”

Moore, at right above, says that the bar will have an “organized involvement with the community.” Cusack elaborates: “We thought it would be a great idea if we could price drinks that we were proud of serving in the single digits, then we could tack on a dollar for Heights organizations, like schools and Opera in the Heights.”

Moore has an ownership stake in downtown bars Moving Sidewalk, The Honeymoon, Bad News Bar, and OKRA Charity Saloon, as well as Grand Prize Bar in the Museum District, Big Star Bar in Shady Acres, and North Main tiki lounge Lei Low.

In addition to Down House and D&W, Cusack’s  Treadsack  group has three restaurants — Hunky Dory, Foreign Correspondents, and the recently-announced Bernadine’s — in the pipeline, but this is the first time that Ross, Cusack and Moore have all worked together. D&T chef Benjy Mason (at left above) rounds out JGB’s ownership group.

Photos: Swamplot Inbox

Gold Bricking It

14 Comment

  • Oh god, more fake dive bars. Hipster delight! This whole blog post made me cringe a little. The two guys on the right definitely got the memo: skinny jeans, grey hoodie and cool sneakers. Perfect. Adding a dollar on a drink for some completely unneeded fund raising (schools?, opera???? what the !?!?) is supposed to give people the warm and fuzzies? Is this equivalent to believing that your are helping fund some poor coffee farmer’s kids’ education in Ethiopia when you buy a macchiato at Starbucks? Enough already.

  • I enjoy all of the bars associated with this crew. Nice additions to the Houston community.

    But my first thought was, “damn, it must be really difficult to find a quality infill location for a new bar in Houston?”. We have nice small, clusters of bars/restaurants/retail all over the inner city – east midtown, east end, fairview/montrose, museum district, rice village, washington ave. near downtown, etc. – that would surely benefit from another quality bar operator in the neighborhood. All areas have existing space for lease sitting empty in the near vicinity. But I guess the economics are impossible for all but the very well financed operators. And that does not even factor in the potential permitting and parking hurdles. This location just seems like a challenge, but I guess they are taking the long view and getting in while its still cheap.

  • I disagree, Brad’s the only hipster I see in that picture and his age disqualifies him from such shenanigans. but then again what I would know, out of this long article of name-dropping Grand Prize and Big Star are the only two things I’ve even heard of or know exist in this town. guess i’m old now.
    sounds like a solid team though so best of luck. one things for sure, if being able to price a mixed house drink in single digits makes you proud then it’s certainly not an establishment for myself. i’d rather stick to a joint with everything in single digits, though perhaps those no longer exist???

  • “then we could tack on a dollar for Heights organizations, like schools and Opera in the Heights…”

    Could you just make me a damn gin and tonic for under 10 bucks? This isn’t the girl scouts, if I wanted to pay for opera, I’d donate like “literally” nobody else. You wanna know what’s a bubble it’s EVERY SINGLE BAR LISTED ON THIER RESUMES!

  • Brad has a good track record. I’m a Big Star patron and it is one the best things to happen in Shady Acres. He also has a stake in Sassafras for those Swamplotters out in GOOF. It’s like a cozier more upscale Big Star.

  • I agree with Progg — to an extent. While I don’t agree with his/her sentiments about “unneeded fundraising,” I already have my charities and organizations that I donate to: I don’t need some restauranteur or bar owner telling me how I should be donating, nor do I need to feel guilt tripped into doing so (which I don’t, but so many people have resorted to this tactic in order to solicit funds).
    I find the concept of tacking on a dollar for charity completely disingenuous and downright tacky. By supporting local businesses, one supports the local community. If they want to do more, they can donate a portion of their profits as a business, fundraise by selling bbq platters or whatever, or do so personally instead of scraping obligatory “donations” through their customers under the guise of charity.

  • Glad to see someone local with prior success took over, and yes there is some snobbiness going around with ordering cocktails and the sneer when one orders the house wine. I was in a Heights restaurant and forgot ask for the price of the glass of wine that was suggested, and it was $14 for about 3 oz. Its nice to think of donating to schools and the Opera. However what in the heck does HISD do with all the money they collect for taxpayers, in view of consider the ever elevating real estate prices and property taxes in Height and inner loop. All neighborhood schools are on perpetual fund raising mode to buy basic books and equipment.

  • Bars like this is the reason why The Shiloh Club stays open for business. You can get a strooong drink there for about 5-6 bucks w/ tip.

  • How does one become a “Renowned Bartender”? How low did one had to set the bar in life? (Pun intended)

  • As a Sunset Heights resident.. this is great news.

  • Makes me miss Emo’s.

  • Hipsters don’t look like these three ass clowns, generally don’t drink in dark, enclosed venues painted lime green, and aren’t concerned with, or are hip to, paying an extra $1 for a drink so the ‘bar can pass it along to our charity du jour’.

    Bad location, and at least from the press release, destined to be overpriced.

  • I hate hipsters and when people ask me why, I picture the press photo this blog chose with their sneakers and hoodies. Who in their adult life, wishing to be taken seriously, would dress like a thirteen year old for a press release? Please go back to obscurity.

  • Leslie’s wedges are hot. Leslie is hot.