Houston food writer gives us the low down on celebrity hotspots

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HOUSTON, TX – All-star weekend is finally here. And if you were hanging out with us last week, you know we’re hitting the town with Houston food writer Mai Pham and getting the low-down on Houston hot-spots guaranteed to draw the celebrities. Last week we showed you the restaurants, this week it’s all about the drinks, parties and late-night libations guaranteed to bring out the stars. It’s Chew on This: All-Star weekend.

No reason for feeling blue this weekend. Unless you’re missing out on all the star-studded action. No worries, we’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s where the private parties happen two floors above the house of blues.

‘This is foundation room; foundation room is our members-only VIP area of the club”‘ House of Blues Marketing Manager Brian Distefano says, leading us into the luxurious room above the restaurant.

‘There’s going to be tons of celebrities here,’ Mai Pham says, ‘and while they can’t disclose any names, past history says that after the games celebrities come here.”

“ESPN is going to be broadcasting live from house of blues on the fifteenth and it’s open to the public,’ Distefano adds, ‘so it’s a great place to see some of the athletes, the ESPN reporters and maybe a few surprise guests.”

But Chew on This: while the foundation room comes equipped with a private elevator for those celebrity parties, all the comings-and-goings downstairs guarantee to get you within elbow-space of your favorite star, elevator be damned.

Now if there’s anything you don’t do in Texas, you don’t mess with a classic. All-Star celebrities know that. And if classic is your calling, reserve 101 is the answer.

“It’s really close to all the hotels and a lot of the athletes and stars will come here when they come in the night before or a couple days before,’ Pham explains.

Co-owner Mike Raymond puts it this way: “In our five years, we’ve always been a place for local athletes, visiting athletes, musicians, celebrities on a regular basis.”

“If you’re a celebrity you want to go to a place where you can relax and have a good drink,’ Pham says, “And, like I said, it’s in walking distance of everything.”

The calling here is whisky – one of the largest collections in the country. And with premier brands going for as much a five-hundred-dollars a shot, it’s the kind of place all-stars are sure to find pleasing. Just make sure they’re buying the rounds, not you.

Now, when it’s time to wind down after a long night of All-Star partying there’s sure to be a hotel or two on your itinerary. And while it’s not becoming hotels to let you know who is on their guest list, there are a few places you’d be safe to guess at. And the Line & Lariat bar at Hotel Icon would be a pretty good guess.

“It’s a historic hotel with this beautiful lobby restaurant,’ Pham tells us. “I want to say it’s going to be crawling with celebrities, it can’t be confirmed, but it’s one of the premier hotels downtown, the suites are beautiful, they have Jacuzzi tubs in them; this is one of the places celebrities love to stay.”

And with only one way in and one way out, any seat in the bar or lounge should give you ample viewing opportunities when your favorite player checks in. And with cocktails a plenty and more than a few sweet eats coming out of the kitchen, there’s a chance the stars you want to see may be sitting right beside you.

So know where you’re going to be All-Star weekend? We do.

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