Lyle Lovett sings about his Houston haunts to USA Today

Insider’s Guide For Those Attending SCAA

The singer/songwriter shares some favorite haunts of the city in which he grew up and lives to this day with USA Today.

The singer/songwriter shares some favorite haunts of the city in which he grew up and lives to this day.

The singer/songwriter shares some favorite haunts

Going Cowboy

Hamilton Shirts & The Hat Store
If you want to get the Lovett look, hit Hamilton Shirts for custom western shirts and The Hat Store for a genuine cowboy topper. 713-780-2480; thehatstore.com / 713-264-8800; hamiltonshirts.com

Food and Fun

Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant
Some of the top Texas-based performers of the last 40 years cut their teeth at this legendary folk and acoustic music club in the city’s Montrose District. There are strong ties here for Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams, Townes Van Zandt and Lovett, and the small club still hosts national acts. The Fair is the first place Lovett ever played a set of his songs. The restaurant was, and still is, a great place for original music. Downtown folks would come by for a spaghetti lunch during the day, then in the evenings and weekends there is always live, original music.

“It’s a very important place for my musical history,’ Lovett says.

The club is the topic of a new documentary, For the Sake of the Song, produced by one of Lovett’s friends. 832-212-4057; andersonfair.com.

Ninfa’s on Navigation
The original restaurant that helped launch a Tex-Mex chain is still owned by the founding family. The former tortilla factory near the Houston Ship Channel claims to have popularized the fajita. “It’s a classic,” Lovett says. “Not only do you get wonderful Mexican food, but you feel that bit of old Houston.” 713-228-1175; mamaninfas.com

Museum District

Rothko Chapel
Houston has a flourishing arts community and world-class museums, Lovett says. He enjoys many of them, but he’s particularly drawn to the interfaith Rothko Chapel, which features the work of abstract artist Mark Rothko. “The space is just so wonderful. It really does transport you out of the real world into the world of art. It makes everything go quiet.” 713-524-9839; rothkochapel.org or houstonmuseumdistrict.org

Animal Life

Houston Zoo

Although Lovett doesn’t have children, he has plenty of cousins and often gets to hang out with their kids. One of their favorite destinations is the same zoo he visited as a child. “I’ve never been crazy about snakes, but they have a really great sea lion exhibit,” he says. “The little ones really light up when they go.” 713-533-6500; houstonzoo.org

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