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University of Houston
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Volume 68, Issue 99, Wednesday, February 19, 2003 

Arts & Entertainment

Catbirds Cocktails is a perfect hangout for eclectic UH students

Mario Gudmundsson
The Daily Cougar

Youill find Catbirds Cocktails & Trivia tucked into a small strip center on lower Westheimer next to a tattoo parlor, with small neon signs in the window. The bar, glowing with soft bluish light and humming with jazz music, welcomes patrons over the age of 21 with nightly drink specials, NTN Trivia games and an unpretentious lounge atmosphere where everybody can feel at home.

Catbirds looks small from outside, but itis actually a comfortable space. Thereis just one large room in muted shades of pale blue with a mural of great jazz musicians on one side and French doors opening to a small covered patio. Black tables and chairs occupy the space in front of the bar, a huge U-shaped oak structure that divides the room in two. 

Television screens all along the bar show NTN Trivia games and local programming. Red barstools surround the bar and customers elbow up to greet some of the friendliest bartenders in Houston.

Erik Bogle, guitarist for the well-known local band Groceries, has been a bartender at Catbirds for two and-a-half years.

"Itis a real nice, laid-back neighborhood bar. Our clientele has a lot of regulars: a local crowd of artists, musicians, tattoo artists, along with a lot of college students. Theyire all really friendly," Bogle said.

Weekends at Catbirds are perfect for the college crowd because itis always jam-packed with people ready to party. DJ Mike spins all weekend with "30is Hot-Cha… 40is Swing" on Friday night and a "Jazz and Lounge Show" on Saturdays.

"Catbirds is the place for college students who are ready to grow up and mingle with an eclectic crowd," another bartender, Phi Kappa Theta senior finance major John Bock, said.

For seven years, that eclectic crowd has been showing up for the nightly drink specials, such as Wednesdayis $2 pints of Shiner Bock all night long. You canit beat that. 

Every weeknight has its cheap beer special, and weekday happy hours feature $2 domestic beers, $3 well drinks and $2.50 pints of Miller Light. 

There are four beers on tap, many more by the bottle, and every kind of liquor you could wish for.

NTN Trivia games are fun and free to play while you drink, and you can compete with anyone else in the bar whois playing. Questions are shown on the television screens throughout the bar, and everyoneis answers are posted to compare with local and national scores. Itis a great way to meet new people, and meeting new people is one of the best aspects of Catbirds.

"Once people here get to know you, you get to know everyone else. It becomes more like a clubhouse than a bar, and our regulars come here because they know there will always be someone friendly and interesting to talk to," said Bogle.

Go down to Catbirds and pull up a barstool tonight.

<B>Catbirds Cocktails & Trivia<P>

1336 Westheimer Road

<B>The verdict:<P> Catbirds is a great place to hang out and mingle any night of the week.
 Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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