Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Char Bar

For those of you who know me and know who I am, you're probably surprised that I haven't done a post on my favorite drinking establishment in Downtown Houston before today. Come to think of it, I'm kind of surprised, too, given how much I love the place.

The Char Bar (aka Duke of Hollywood Tailors) was originally a tailor shop that first opened in 1936. Owner Mike Shapiro, and his son, Jeremy converted and added the "Char Bar" element to the tailor shop in 2001. You can still get your tailoring needs met there, but the primary reason most criminal lawyers gather there is to enjoy a beverage. While the drinks and conversation are flowing, Big Weldon Renfro will be happy to give your shoes the best shine in town.

On any given weekday afternoon, you will likely find an interesting mix of prosecutors and defense attorneys swapping war stories and talking with each other. There are good discussions and debates over the law, and maybe even the occasional mutual griping about some judges. Many trial attorneys who have been battling it out all week in a trial will come to "Char" after a verdict and have a beer together to re-hash the trial.

You'll find defense attorneys being candid with their issues with certain prosecutors, cases, and judges. Prosecutors will be equally candid with them, and everyone knows that what the conversation is all off the record.

It's a fantastic place to unwind. Unlike many bars that pop in and out of Downtown, this one actually has character (not to mention a cast of characters who regularly hang out there). If you haven't dropped by there, you should.

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