Yelp’s Most Haunted list includes 5 restaurants and bars in Houston

0

Five Houston restaurants and bars feature on Yelp’s Top Haunted Restaurants & Bars in Texas this year.

Each place has a turbulent history, which usually has more to do with the building it’s in than the bar or restaurant itself. And while some of the stories are intriguing, others are quite macabre and at times a little unsettling.

For people who claim to have seen and/or known ghosts and phantasms, it’s no wonder these places have earned their haunted reputation.

The fourth Hubcap Grill location is now open on October 26, 2016 at 2021 Strand in Galveston.

Darla Guillen/Houston Chronicle

Hubcap Grille in Galveston (Rank: 17)

A haunted burger joint sounds oddly specific, but that’s exactly what happens when you settle into Galveston’s Strand’s oldest building. Frank and Teffeny Caruso bought the restaurant from founder Ricky Craig in 2019 and have seen and heard all sorts of shenanigans in the three years since.

“We have a mermaid who likes to move,” Frank said. “There’s a ghost haunting the women’s restroom. There’s a handprint on one of our windows that we can’t remove. There are sightings of Confederate soldiers.”

According to Frank, much of the restaurant’s spooky reputation likely stems from the Battle of Galveston in 1863 and the Great Storm of 1900. The building where Hubcap lives marks the beginning of the beach.

Frank has said that he often looks at his security cameras late at night. In one instance, he saw a ghostly apparition crush a 40 to 50 pound palm tree in the dining room overnight.

Aside from its ghosts, the Hubcap Grill in Galveston is also the only place that offers a fully loaded Bloody Mary.

2021 The strand #3; Hubcapgrillgalveston.com

The front ramp of the Grand Galvez on Saturday September 17, 2021 in Galveston, Texas.

The front ramp of the Grand Galvez on Saturday September 17, 2021 in Galveston, Texas.

Justin Rex / Chronicle

The Monarch – Formerly Galvez Bar & Grill (16)

Known as the Queen of Golf, the Grand Galvez opened on June 10, 1911. It symbolized the region’s survival after the Great Storm of 1900, which has since been recognized as the deadliest disaster in US history.

Melissa Hall, the “ghost of Galveston,” conducts ghost tours of the island and has heard countless stories from visitors about the strange apparitions that have been seen around the property.

“Energy never dissipates. It’s just there, and that’s what a spirit is: it’s energy. It nourishes and helps maintain and hold it, and it is the energy in the gulf. If we have a big storm, that brings out the activity more.”

During the February freeze, Hall said the Galvez let her and a few others stay at the hotel. One of the employees brought his wife and their dog. The next morning his wife woke up to find their dog at the foot of their bed. A little girl stroked it.

2024 Seawall; Grandgalvez.com

Dean's, a bar in downtown Houston.

Dean’s, a bar in downtown Houston.

Dean/Handout

Dean (10)

Bobby Stark has owned Dean’s for about 9 years and even he can’t explain what goes on at the bar in downtown Houston.

“Sounds that shouldn’t be there, physical things seem to move. I’m not sure how,” Stark said.

Built in 1893, the Kiam Building was originally a haberdashery and was formerly the tallest building in Houston. The electric elevator (it’s still there!) is the oldest in Texas and the third oldest in the United States

Dean’s Discount Credit Clothing opened about 30 years later with a twist: It was Houston’s first clothing store where women could shop alone without a man needing them. According to Nightly Spirits’ Katie Harrison, part of the bar’s turbulent history begins here.

“Some of the hauntings are the sounds of walking back and forth. We try to romanticize that it’s people buying shoes or Dean wondering when people are going to pay him,” Harrison said.

It is rumored that during Prohibition there was a pub above Dean’s. Harrison says the mafia operated the electric elevator. If you had the password the guy would take you upstairs. If you got it wrong, the lights were supposed to be out – permanently.

“Photos show a tall man with dark, long hair and a bucket face,” she said. “People say they were in the elevator and were growled at. Some people get out with scratch marks on their backs. We think it’s the ghost of the guy who used to take passwords.”

316 main. Deansdowntown.com

Wunsche Bros. Cafe and Saloon is located at 103 Midway Street in Old Town Spring.

Wunsche Bros. Cafe and Saloon is located at 103 Midway Street in Old Town Spring.

Jim Magill / Contributor

Wish Bros Cafe & Saloon (9)

The Old Town Spring Café is steeped in history. Built in 1902, Dell and Charlie Wunsche opened the original as a saloon and hotel opposite the old railway depot. The idea was that railroad workers would jump off the train and visit the restaurant.

“The railroad folks called it Camp Spring, and it was a favorite because of the weather,” said Mark Holmes, general manager.

The café and saloon has changed hands twice in the century it opened and was rebuilt after a fire. As for the spirits that inhabit the restaurant, Holmes said an encounter was benevolent.

“It was Mary Beth’s first closing night, she was a manager here for 17 years. She went to set the alarm and saw that it was red, but she couldn’t remember setting it. She went back to her office and called the alarm company who said she didn’t show up on their site.

“Ten minutes after she went down the stairs, the alarm went off. Some people tried to break into the restaurant. Mary Beth thought the spirits would protect her by setting the alarm that night. From then on, she felt comfortable working at night because she felt the spirits were protecting her,” Holmes said.

Unlike the other featured restaurants, Wunsche does not have ghost tours. Holmes and his staff take people upstairs and tell them about the history of the building.

103 Halfway. Wunschebros.com

People walk past La Carafe, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Houston.  Since the 1960s, a life-size painting of a woman named Gladys Knox has hung in La Carafe, the city's oldest <a class=commercial property in continuous use.”/>

People walk past La Carafe, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Houston. Since the 1960s, a life-size painting of a woman named Gladys Knox has hung in La Carafe, the city’s oldest commercial property in continuous use.

Michael Paulsen, Contributor / Houston Chronicle

La carafe (1)

The downtown wine bar holds two historically significant titles: it is both the oldest bar in Houston and the oldest commercial building still in use as a commercial building in Houston. Built in the 1840s, it was originally a bakery and later a post office, but has been a bar for a significant part of its history.

“It was a stop on the Pony Express at the time,” Harrison said. “I know Civil War soldiers stayed there when it was Kennedy Bakery.”

La Carafe’s spooky reputation is more modern than the other bars and restaurants on this list. The most common ghost customers see is Carl, a former employee who worked at the bar in the 1980s. Harrison said he didn’t die there, but he must have chosen that spot as his haunted home. Customers have reported glassware being knocked over and the sound of feet stomping on the floor above.

The wine bar has another reputation: cash only.

813 Congress; La Carafe (Rice University)

Check out the full list

The 20 Best Haunted Restaurants and Bars in Texas
1. La Carafe – Houston
2. Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill – Austin
3. The Driskill Bar – Austin
4. Clay Pit – Austin
5. 1886 Cafe & Bakery – Austin
6. Faust Brewing Company – New Braunfels
7. Menger Bar – San Antonio
8. The Tavern – Austin
9. Wish Bros Cafe & Saloon – Spring
10. Downtown Dean – Houston
11. The Esquire Tavern – San Antonio
12. Blackbeards On The Beach – Corpus Christi
13. Casino El Camino – Austin
14. Guillermos – San Antonio
15. Bowen House – Dallas
16. Galvez Bar & Grill – Galveston
17. Hubcap Grille – Galveston
18. Sons of Hermann Hall – Dallas
19. Dumont’s Down Low Bar – Austin
20. Phoenix Limousine – New Braunfels

Share.

Comments are closed.