This month marks 16 years in the hospitality industry for me. After graduating from Texas Culinary Academy in 2005, I returned to Houston and continued learning and studying my passion of gastronomy. From sous chef at Deerwood Country Club and wine consultant for Spec’s to bar manager at Chimichurri’s, I have worked and been a part of the Kingwood community for many years. My passions have given me the opportunity to travel across the world and back, for which I am so thankful. With the culmination of that experience, I get the opportunity to share my experiences and wisdom about the life of the party, The Drinks!
Sounds of a steel guitar ring throughout the air. Light gleams through a grand chandelier, like stars on the water. Ice clinks in tins as bartenders prepare the concoction desired. White Lightning is a monstrous, new, 30,000-square-foot country western bar and saloon. This is a place that has a little bit for everyone. The Daiquiri Bar that offers 24 different flavors is sure to please most anyone’s palate. If the frozen libations are not for you, housed at their main bar are over 300 whiskeys and scotches from all across the world. If you prefer a craft cocktail, there is the Craft Bar, where refreshing potables are poured with a Vegas-style flair. Along with the cocktails, there are 70 craft brews on tap, plus a nice prosecco.
Adjacent to White Lightning, Whiskey Thumper is their sports bar and grill. The same 70 craft beers, cocktails and whiskeys are offered along with a great selection of fine wines, such as Caymus, The Prisoner, Kim Crawford and Mer Soleil. A quite diverse menu offers items varying from wings and nachos to lamb chops and brussel sprouts that are to die for. Everything is scratch made in house, and the kitchen staff knows how to put out a great product. This is a great place to stop in for lunch, dinner or just some great drinks in a fun atmosphere. The venue also offers a huge dance floor to dance the night away. With the capacity being just under 1,200, there is plenty of room to two-step to live music or hang out with Erin Austin from 100.3 The Bull on Friday nights. With VIP sections and bottle service, reserve the best seats in the house. Kevin’s Corner offers a beautiful pool table and great section.
With such a vast selection of refreshments, here are some highlights. For frozen delights, you must try Emergency Room, which has mango, coconut and Flor de Cana four-year silver rum. If you are looking for a rare tap find, I would suggest the 512 Pecan Porter from 512 Brewing Company out of Austin.
Terry Tolley, one of the seasoned bartenders, had this to say, “With 70 rotating taps, our most popular drinks are the beers, of course. But the Crown Royal special we run daily has people coming in day and night. Also, Wednesday Night’s Steak Night is outstanding! With so many craft beers and a full menu, we have become a local favorite for watching sports as well as enjoying dinner or just playing a game of pool.”
So in all, a fun place to dine in for lunch or party the night away. White Lightning and Whiskey Thumper offer a wide spectrum of entertainment and libations. Thumper is family friendly until 9 p.m., so come have a blast. And as always, drink responsibly. Slainte!