Downtown Bar Will Take Over Where the Franklin Street Coffee House Left Off, Long Ago

913 Franklin St., Downtown Houston

The space at 913 Franklin St. downtown (pictured to the left of the red awning in the photo above), which has been vacant since the Franklin Street Coffee House shut down there in the late aughts, is due to open again later this year as a bar named the Drawing Room. The 2-story “saloon-style” space between Travis and Main St. will have seating areas on the second floor that overlook the bar and the first floor. The lobby of the Bayou Lofts is next door; before its incarnation as a coffee shop, the space was used as a jewelry store.

Photo: The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room

7 Comment

  • That’s a great space.

  • I used to work for SP RR, 25+ years and the address was 913 Franklin. The door to the lobby was the one that is now shown as 915 Franklin. I never understood why they changed the address.

    Yes, the door to the left of the awning pictured above was The Houston Watch Company and was where all the Conductors, Engineers and Brakemen used to get their railroad watches. It’s address was 911 Franklin. You could get to the watch company through the SP lobby. They were the official watch supplier for the railroads.

    Then, there was a third door to the left of the watch company, towards Travis and that was J.N. Taub Tobacco Company. It was a huge warehouse, they sold cigars and cigarettes and gums etc. Many of my coworkers would buy their smokes there and get a little discount. J.N. Taub was somehow connected to the Ben Taub Hospital.

  • Hi Sally, that’s a great story! Thanks for sharing. My great-grandfather worked for Southern Pacific from a young man to retirement and he had one of those watches. He also smoked unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes until he was 90 and probably got them there, too. I’m now doing a project in the basement boiler room of the building and another next door :)

  • J. N. Taub was a tobacco wholesaler. He was Ben Taub’s father.

  • Wow! Meaty comments here. One actually finishes reading them, and knows more than when he or she started! Good work, commenters!

  • @Spencer Howard:

    I actually worked in that basement at different times over the years. The “Data Processing” department was there, with the old keypunch machines and sorters, the collator and the old 360 computer. The room was under the Franklin St. sidewalk and we could always tell when it was storming outside because of the noise. The pebble sidewalk wasn’t there at that time and maybe it’s not even still there, I don’t know.

    The basement had an outside entrance on the Travis side. Not an employee entrance but one with heavy double doors for loading or unloading large bulky items.

    Various departments were located in the basement at various times.

  • Im glad to hear this!