The Devil and all three Sanderson sisters walk into a bar…and call it Present Company.
Look, we know Halloween is “over,” but our joint desire to wear a costume for any occasion, drink over-the-top themed cocktails, and watch the “it’s freakin’ bats” Vine? Never. Letting. It. Go.
Luckily for us, Present Company, a 21+ only bar in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, fully leans into Halloween. Lucky for all of you, they do this with each and every major holiday, so you haven’t missed out. These people are clearly our people.
When you walk into Present Company, the first thing you’re going to notice is the explosion of colors. Next, you’ll probably notice the vertical garden…or perhaps the wall of multi-colored potted plants. Maybe the neon signs that light up almost every wall? Now that we think about it, there’s a lot visually to take in at Present Company. Beyond the visuals though, the ambience is added to with an absolutely incredible selection of music. 80s music? Today? Great remixes? Yes, always. Also, if you remember our clawmosas from last week, Present Company was way ahead of the seltzer game. They’ve been offering a La Croix-based cocktail since they opened in 2018. They are the epitome of cool.
We didn’t order any food this go-around, BUT don’t feel like just because Present Company is labelled a bar that you have to go hungry. This “bar” also has a full menu with a variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts. Some of the dishes we’re most excited to try are the green chili mac and cheese and the asparagus and goat cheese pizza. Plus, on the weekends they have brunch! You all know by now how much joy that brings us.
Present Company also has some really great specials involving their savory menu. Every Wednesday is “Pinot and Pies” night and every Tuesday is Steak Night, so if you want to have a full meal those would be the best days to go!
Okay, it’s time to get boo-zy (I know, it’s bad. I know. I couldn’t help myself.). We started off our spooky cocktail set with the Resting Witch Face, made of reposado tequila, strega, wolfberry syrup, lime, and a turmeric/lava salt rim. We came for the Sanderson sister print on top, we stayed for the tequila. There’s a nice contrast between the spice of the rim and the berry fruits of the drink. Fair warning though, the Sanderson photo was printed on a thin sheet with the consistency, which was a bit strange, so we pulled those out before drinking!
Up next was the REDRUM: spiced rum, cachaca, aperol, lime, hellfire bitters, peach-habanero jam, and a spiced red sugar rim. This cocktail was a journey from start to finish. The beginning is tart and fruity, then the habanero spicy kicks in the middle, and at the end there are sweet hints of baking spices like clove and cinnamon. This one was our collective favorite. Drinking it makes you feel like a badass—plus, how cute are those little habanero devil horns!
The winner of best stemware of the night goes to the Necrophili-Cat, which was made of Kikori Japanese whiskey, campari, lemon, and hibiscus. We had mixed reviews on this one. At the very least, the first sip may be off-putting. This cocktail tasted a lot like plums and dark fruits as well as licorice. Half the group was pro, half anti.
To top the night off, we ordered the Pumpkin King Shot, composed of Irish whiskey, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and almond extracts. This shot tasted like alcoholic tres leches cake and came in an adorable tiny cauldron. Both of us thought it was delicious, but full disclosure our other company was less of a fan. The takeaway here is that if you’re a fan of pumpkin and fall-flavored things, you would love it.
Although these exact cocktails aren’t available any longer, the folks at Present Company are constantly coming up with unique creations that are worth trying. If you’re going on a regular night, we suggest trying the “Are those Space Pants?” or the “Principal Kisses Alligator” cocktails.
Things to Know Before You Go:
- Parking: Like many restaurants/bars in Montrose, Present Company offers valet services. There is a gravel lot across the street that is free parking, but be aware that if it fills up, your options are the valet or to find street parking.
- Parties & Events: Present Company offers private events for whatever number of people you need to accommodate. On the upstairs patio, they have cabanas to be rented out, or you can reserve a table. If you want to host a larger event, you fill out a request form on their website.
- Covid-19 Guidelines: In pre-Covid times, Present Company was fully open for roaming its two stories, musing over its many neon signs, and ordering at whatever bar was closest to you. However, they’ve done a great job of adapting to make patrons feel safe. Now, a limited number of people are allowed in and groups are directed to a specific table, where a waiter serves them.
When Should You Make Your Own Trip to Present Company?
The holidays, duh! The bar has great vibes all the time, but the way they go all out for the holidays makes a visit truly an event in and of itself.
What holiday would you like to visit Present Company? We personally can’t wait to see what they do for Christmas this year! Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you back here next week for a Present Company-inspired recipe!