West Alabama Ice House

Houston, Texas

The term ‘ice house’ is sometimes slapped onto the name of bar as some kind of colloquial, folksy addition meant to conjure up images of a simpler past. Such is not the case for Houston’s West Alabama Ice House, the city’s iconic dive bar that opened in 1928 as, you guessed it, an actual ice house. The love affair between ice cold temperatures and beer proved irresistible and West Alabama Ice House transitioned into the bar business after the repeal of Prohibition.

Today, the building’s footprint sits in the middle of an expanding collection of picnic tables making for robust outdoor seating that includes a corrugated metal shelter, basketball hoop and outdoor stage. Winter prompts plastic sheeting and portable heaters, extending the use of the expanding outdoor area in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. Owned by the Markantonis family since shortly after World War II, pop up food offerings pair with popular nearby taco truck Tacos Tierra Caliente to create a one-stop Houston dive bar oasis.

SFG Note: This is a dive bar directory listing. We haven’t had the good fortune of visiting firsthand yet. When we do, you’ll get a great review. In the meantime, we’ve compiled information to help you make a choice on visiting.

The Basics

1919 W Alabama St
Houston, TX 77098

Neighborhood Bar



Further Reading

  • Punch
  • Culture Map Houston
  • Parts Unknown
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