West Alabama Ice House

West Alabama Ice House

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1919 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX 77098, United States

There's nothing to do in this converted icehouse but enjoy a cold one, strike up conversations with the friendly bartenders and fellow customers, and watch the world zoom by. And that's just the point. Icehouses were once common along southern U.S. highways, in the days when blocks of ice arrived packed in sawdust, shipped from northern states. The structure could not have been simpler: a glorified shed open to the street that, along with ice, had a bar, picnic tables set on a covered patio, strings of lights, and a pool table or two. Against all odds, the tradition lingers on here and there, and in Texas especially you sometimes come across a genuine icehouse like this one. But none is in a more unlikely setting than the West Alabama Ice House, a 1928 landmark that practically spills out onto a busy thoroughfare.

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