Mike Criss Gives More Details on The Nightingale Room

December 17, 2013
by Amber Ambrose

The Clumsy Butcher group - behind places like Anvil Bar & Refuge, Underbelly and The Pastry War - decided to scrap plans for a bar in Downtown (in the up-and-coming area on Main Street) named Trigger Happy. Before you panic, they also announced that a new project, The Nightingale Room, would take its place. Instead of a specialty beer and wine bar, as originally planned, the focus will shift to entertainment. Live music will be a mix of local and traveling artists - musicians and DJs - and a dance floor will be open Fridays and Saturdays. Blues and jazz will be the weekday sound with a larger variety on weekends.

It was also announced that Anvil alum and current OKRA Charity Saloon general manager, Mike Criss, will be a partner in The Nightingale Room. To get to know Criss a little better, as well as his vision behind the new bar, we asked him five questions about the upcoming Downtowner as well as himself.

Zagat: Why did y'all decide to change direction on Trigger Happy (eventually changing it to The Nightingale Room)?
Mike Criss: It was a great chance for the Clumsy Butcher group to give the me the opportunity to open up a venue that could add diversity to an already amazing block.

Zagat: Three words that describe your vision for The Nightingale Room.
Music. Energy. Memories.

Zagat: Three words that will not describe The Nightingale Room.
MC: Superficial. Club. Not-Diverse.

Zagat: What past jobs most prepared you to take on this new project?
MC: A bar in Los Angeles, where I tended bar and promoted artists; Anvil, which showed me how to work hard and stay focused; Okra Charity Saloon, which taught me how to lead and teach others. Finally, my love for music and being a songwriter the earlier part of my life.

Zagat: If you had three wishes for this new bar and live music venue, what would they be?
MC: The first wish: People in Houston will love the bar and make a lot of memories. Second: The artists love playing at the venue because it sounds great. Third: That the bar is here long after I am gone.

mike criss