The Rush to White Oak: Is the Corkscrew Next?

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of hate mail that I have received since I closed it,” owner Andrew Adams says about the Corkscrew, the wine bar he and his brother Doyle opened way back in 2006 — the early days of the new Washington Ave — but shut down last year. But Adams has been paying attention. He tells the HBJ‘s Allison Wollam he’s planning to reopen the Corkscrew in the Heights in February, as well as a second location elsewhere, which he plans to call Little Corkscrew. Where in the Heights? Adams won’t say, “because he’s still negotiating leases,” but he says he’s “considering” a building on White Oak.

If the Corkscrew does make the move to White Oak, it’ll be joining several new restaurant neighbors: Christian’s Tailgate, Tacos A Go-Go, and D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe.

The Adams brothers recently gave up on the Corkscrew’s successor, an organic-style cocktail bar they eventually called Sugarcane, after all of 5 months. They’ll be leasing out their space at 1919 Washington to club owners who plan to open a “trendy, upscale bar, complete with bottle service,” he tells Wollam:


In hindsight, Adams says the bars and restaurants along Washington Avenue are being forced to adjust their products to cater to a horde of 20-something clients and Sugarcane didn’t fit that demographic.

“Washington Avenue has become a street where people who are 30 years old or older stay away from at all costs,” Adams says.

Photos of White Oak Blvd. with future Christian’s Tailgate in the foreground (above) and 1919 Washington Ave: Aaron Carpenter

12 Comment

  • I said all that about Washington a year ago. Does this mean in three years we will be complaining about White Oak?

  • White Oak seems to be headed in the right direction. Bars are neighborhood oriented and not oversized douche factories. And the restaurants coming in are also oriented towards the locals. No rush to cram in Maggie Rita’s/Bullritos/Lupe Tortilla. Not enough parking to put in a Washington Ave douche factory. Bring on the Corkscrew.

  • hate mail – for closing? Did I miss something? Good grief, people.

  • “trendy, upscale bar, complete with bottle service,”
    Thank god the area is getting one of those. There are not NEARLY enough!

  • It would be tricky for the same sort of development to take place on White Oak considering it would all have to be squeezed into one double block between oxford and Stude

  • Corkscrew would be great in the Heights. I miss having an unpretentious wine bar. I would think finding property up by Studewood and 11th to be in walking distance from Stella Sola, Glass Wall, & Zelko Bistro would be a better business plan. In addition to the folks that would make Corkscrew a destination, you are more likely to capture before and after dinner folks from those spots than Christian’s Tailgate and Tacos agogo. White Oak seems more beer crowd oriented. Although, there may be some alcohol restrictions around Stude and 11th because of the school on 11th.

  • @holster – exactly right, the school and churches are what is holding back “new” development on that corner, but I am told that the old falling down building behind that corner by the school is grandfathered in with an alcohol license and deals are trying to be made.

    I just hope that the heights continues to cater to the over 30 crowd and more family oriented laid back environments. Nobody wants techno/boom-boom and bottle service around here. As long as we vote with our wallets it will stay this way. Good luck to the corkscrew if they re-open and HURRY UP CHRISTIANS!!!

  • not sure about more family oriented on white oak. a few years ago there were still regular shootings at the beer factory, etc. or whatever those scruffy bars were/are called.

    that said, i do think that the bars added to date won’t be the trendy bars liek washington, but rather will be–in general–more like the village area.

  • “trendy, upscale bar, complete with bottle service,” **Puke**

  • @Happy – the ex tamale factory used to be a convenience store with adult beverages, so dont think the school is slowing them down.

  • If HISD closes Hogg (it’s been identified as one of 66 struggling schools, see below link), that may open up some of the Studewood/ 11th area for liquor sales. How far do you need to be from a church to get an alcohol permit?

  • They should consult with Textile in the Heights. They are right across the street from a school and serve liquor.