If anything is certain about 2020, it’s that almost every adult has won a drink or two. In The Heights, a luxurious new bar has opened with nearly 350 whiskeys lining its shelves.
Whiskey authorization (2920 White Oak Dr.) is the neighborhood’s newest drinking (and dining) destination. Owner Peter Nolan tells CultureMap he came honestly out of his love for bourbon – he attended high school near the Woodford Reserve Distillery before going to the University of Kentucky. Once in Houston, he spent six years as General Manager of Federal Grill, where he worked alongside owner Matt Brice to make restaurants one of the city’s top destinations for whiskey drinkers.
All of this passion and knowledge was used to create Permission. Customers will find a huge selection of bourbon, grouped by distillery (natch), which includes all the familiar names as well as the type of recent releases that collectors spend hours researching (or hundreds buying online), including coveted bourbons from Weller, Blanton’s, and EH Taylor. The selection also includes Irish, Scottish and Japanese whiskeys. A careful selection of aged rums, over 20 gins and over 30 agave spirits are also available.
Permission’s cocktail menu features a mix of classics like Bensonhurst and Boulevardier with some house originals, all designed to be prepared and served quickly. A “secret” menu offers more elaborate preparations such as a smoked Old Fashioned.
“All of our cocktails are watered down. We’re not too fond of homemade amaros and syrups and that sort of thing, ”says Nolan. “We draw whiskey and drink champagne. It’s kind of a vintage, roaring 20s-style party.
This vintage vibe extends to the design of the bar, which has completely transformed the old convenience store. Nolan got hold of antique New Orleans chandeliers, green velvet for chairs and sofas, and stained the bar shelves with Angostura bitters. The word “plush” occurs to him, and it is not a term he is opposed to.
“’Plush’ is a word you could say the chairs are, and ” plush ‘is a word you can tell the service is,” says Nolan. “It’s a great way to feel taken care of. You sink into a chair, and you’re, like, I’m here now.
This experience is how Nolan wants to differentiate Permission from some of the other establishments in White Oak. Guests receive full service, with filtered water and an optional hot towel on arrival. Those in the festive mood can open bottles of champagne – paired with raw Prince Edward Island oysters – or splurge on a rare bourbon. Do you feel more discreet? Opt for a charcuterie board and a cocktail or two. Desserts, including a green Chartreuse-chocolate tart, complete the offer.
Not that Nolan wants to be snobby or exclusive. “We are not tense. We offer two types of white claws, ”he notes.
Nonetheless, those who wish to take advantage of the bar’s connections to source rare spirits might consider renting a locker. For $ 1,200 per year plus the cost of the bottle, Permission will keep the spirit close at hand for the private enjoyment of the customer and their friends.
To comply with capacity limits and social distancing requirements, Permission currently offers seating for around 40 people. This will expand in a few weeks when his patio is completed. The authorization opens from Tuesday to Sunday at 4 p.m. Reservations available via DM Instagram.