Nouveau Antique Art Bar: Not Your Nana’s Watering Hole

If you’re getting a little weary of the pointy furniture and slick surfaces of too many “trendy” urban clubs and bars, there’s a solution in Midtown. Everyone needs an elegant, sophisticated, but welcoming default night spot that doesn’t try too hard to be cool. Nouveau Antique Art Bar in Midtown might just be the place.

I recently gave this spot a visit and I was thoroughly impressed. The decor is vintage without being dusty, and elegant without being stuffy. This is hardly a rustic bar with stained glass Budweiser signs. The entire establishment pays homage to a timeless aesthetic: Art Nouveau.

What is Art Nouveau?

Art Nouveau was an international aesthetic movement that lasted almost fifteen years around the turn of the 20th century. The movement emphasized organic shapes, especially floral and botanical themes, that were applied to everything from architecture, to art, to furniture design. The term is French for “new art,” which no doubt seems less-than-new. But the movement left a lasting impression with the timeless appeal and endless reincarnations of the Tiffany lamp.

The Tiffany lamp is the cornerstone of the Art Bar’s decor, which showcases one of largest private collections of reproduced Tiffany lamps. You’ll also see antique furniture pieces perfect for lounging and other pieces and decor in the traditional Art Nouveau style. The ceiling twinkles! But it ain’t a disco ball! It feels warm and inviting, but is still refined and upscale.

Art Bar is a perfect spot for a little hanging out and good conversation. The music adds to the ambiance, but is non-invasive. However, if you want to shake a tail feather, they crank it up on the weekends as the night drags on. Wednesday nights are Lounge Night, when they play Sinatra and Fitzgerald favorites, ladies get a break on Tuesday nights, and you get a $1.50 break on drinks during Happy Hour during the week.  

What impressed me the most was the service. The owner himself emerged from his office and introduced himself to our group. Needless to say, we felt right at home and that’s rare thing in an upscale bar, even in Houston.

So check it out, all you art buffs! Even if you don’t know a thing about Art Nouveau other than your grandma gave you a Tiffany lamp when you left for college, you’re gonna love this cozy spot.

(Photos from Art Bar website.)

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