Owner Lung Ly opened 93′ Til after visiting similar concepts in Tokyo. (Sofia Gonzalez/Community Impact Journal)
As someone who has worked in a restaurant since he was 16, Lung Ly said he fell in love with the industry and always had the goal of opening his own restaurant.
After traveling to Tokyo in 2018, Ly said he visited some of the city’s many record bars, places where people gather to drink while relaxing to music played on vinyl. The experience, he says, inspired him to open his own.
Ly will eventually open 93 ’til in December 2020, naming it after the Souls of Mischief song, “93 ’til Infinity”. Today he said the Montrose location was exactly what he wanted.
“I think people in the neighborhood appreciate what we’re doing,” said Ly, who returned to Houston to start the business after spending 11 years living in other cities.
The record bar and lounge plays a bit of everything, welcoming fans of all musical genres, from hip-hop to rock to soul. On “takeover night”, Ly said he allowed patrons to bring their own records to play. He said he also hopes to find a DJ soon who plays vinyl exclusively.
As for the food menu, Ly said it changes quite often, which makes it difficult to put the restaurant under one label. Menu items in February included a version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with foie gras. The restaurant sources its groceries at local farmers markets and the menu changes to suit the season. Chef Jeff Potts also likes to evolve the menu, Ly said.
“Sometimes we get bored cooking the same things,” Ly said. “So we’re all thinking behind the back like, ‘This is it, this is fresh. What do we want to do with this? Then we’ll find something and run away with this.
Ly initially planned to only serve beer and wine, but then decided to add cocktails. Like Potts, bar manager Tim Vaughan also likes to experiment, changing the menu about once a month.
Going forward, Ly said he hopes he can pursue other projects, but for now, he said his focus is on making 93 ‘Til a hit.
“I want [Houstonians] to know that they are always welcome here,” Ly said. “Come have a good time. Relax, listen to music.
93′ up to
1601 Main Street West, Houston
Opening hours: Tue.-Thurs. 4pm-10pm, Fri.-Sun. 4pm-11pm, closed Mon.