8 Reasons to visit Montrose on July 4th
While the city’s official July 4th celebration happens just outside the boundaries of the Montrose District, there are plenty of ways to gear up for and spend America’s birthday inside the neighborhood as well. Some of it is traditional, some of it quirky, all of it a great way to spend all — or part — of your Independence Day.
Though it’ll likely be a hot day, all the shade from the old live oak trees in Menil Park (1450 Branard St.) will keep the sunburn at bay. Pack a large blanket, then head to H-E-B Montrose (1701 W. Alabama St.) or Whole Foods (701 Waugh Dr.) for cured meats, cold cuts, cheese, crackers, fruit or a plethora of selections from their prepared foods sections. Bring a few friends and enjoy the day, basking in one of the most serene landscapes inside the city. When you’ve packed up, it’s just a few minute’s drive if you plan on heading to Eleanor Tinsley or Sam Houston Park for the big fireworks display.
Bocce and Burgers
Presumably there will be plenty of grilling and chilling in the scenic backyard of Brooklyn Athletic Club (601 Richmond Ave.) on the 4th at their aptly named Grill & Chill 4th of July BACyard Bash. Soak up some sun in a very civilized, but fun environment and enjoy a glass of bubbly with your hamburger and a game of bocce ball. Bonus points for one of the most delicious mac ’n’ cheese dishes in town that would make our forefathers proud.
The hours at Texas Junk Company (215 Welch St.) are a bit unpredictable, plus the fact they only take cash or check for payments, but the selection of moderately priced, gently used boots are worth the trip. July 4th is one of the lucky summer date openings from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m — though they’ll also be open the same hours on July 5th. Get a pair and be prepared for the Freedom Over Texas concert featuring country music artist Jennifer Nettles.
All American Meal
The most important meal of the day is also one of the most traditionally American. You’ll find favorites like stacks of pancakes with a side of bacon at places like Baby Barnaby’s (602 Fairview St.) and Empire Cafe (1732 Westheimer Rd.) that will give you plenty of fuel for an all-American day. There’s also fun takes on classics at Eatsie Boys Cafe (4100 Montrose Blvd.) like the Disco Biscuit with chorizo gravy, bacon, two sunny-side-up eggs and fresh herbs.
Work It Out
Chances are you’ll be off work on July 4th. Before you pay your patriotic respects, take advantage of this vacation day and consider a massage from Cheeva Som Retreat (1915 S. Shepherd Dr.), one of the only spas in the neighborhood open that day. Mirroring the diversity in Montrose itself, their menu of services includes quite a bit of variety including Thai Yoga, Swedish, Thai-Swedish, hot stone, shiatsu and ashiatsu massages along with foot scrubs and herbal compresses.
Hit The Pavement
Since Montrose is one of the most bike-friendly neighborhoods, it’s a great place to try out B-cycle if you haven’t already. It’s a bike sharing program designed for shorter trips in a small area. Try it out with a short ride around the neighborhood with stations at Freed Library (4100 Montrose Blvd.) and 1111 Westheimer Rd. All you need to do is join the service, pick up a bike and return the bike to an available dock. With all the road closures around Allen Parkway, it might make life just that much easier. If you need a bike for the whole day, you’re better off renting one. Electric bikes are available for a half or full day from Revolution E (1544 Westheimer Rd.), and can be secured easily at the signature Montrose District bike racks, which are now installed at Gratifi Kitchen & Bar (302 Fairview St.), 3407 Montrose Blvd., The Flat (1701 Commonwealth St.) and MV DIY Cafe (3224 Yoakum Blvd.). Here’s the official map of B-cycle stations and bike racks.
All Kinds of Barbecue
No offense to brisket and ribs, but why limit your barbecue options when living in a city as diverse as Houston? Try out something just as meaty at Nelore Steakhouse (4412 Montrose Blvd.) with a Brazilian-style barbecue feast. The never-ending parade of meat includes 15 different cuts, all sliced table-side plus a giant salad bar with plenty of sides and vegetables to balance out all the protein. If you should require a proper smoke ring, The Flat (1701 Commonwealth St.) is hosting pit master — who is a big name in the world of ‘cue — John Avila for traditional Texas barbecue pop-up with a trio of guest DJs spinning all day long.
Have the family in tow and need a place to cool off? Ervan Chew Park (4502 Dunlavy St.) has plenty of room to let the little ones run wild, plus a splash pad to keep away the summer heat. Add to that formula lots of shade trees and an extensive playground and the result is the perfect space for young families to enjoy the 4th, or any summer day for that matter. Don’t forget the towels, or the dogs — there’s an area just for the pups to run around too.