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McGonigel's Mucky Duck

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American Restaurants, Bar & Grills, Bars

2425 Norfolk St, Houston, TX 77098


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93 Reviews
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Donna Otwell


Provided by Citysearch
McGonigel's Mucky Duck - best St. Patrick's Venue ever

I have no problem with the $20 cover to attend the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. A quality venue with outstanding music, entertainment, food, and beer made me feel like I was actually in Ireland rather than Upper Kirby District. The owners sacrifice nothing to make it the best day ever. All the entertainers have to be paid and that’s what the cover is for. I think the music was well worth the price of admission and Bonnie makes the best authentic Irish dishes in town. I think I’ll go again soon just to have dinner.

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Famous Amos


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Not Recommended for St. Patrick's Day!

I have ALWAYS enjoyed Mucky Duck's and have recommended it to my friends, until now. We checked out the website for the St. Patrick's Day festivities at Mucky Ducks and it said $16 cover, which is already a bit high, but because we enjoy Mucky Duck's we figured we would spend the money. However, after getting there, we were told that the price is now $20 and when I asked about the website saying it was $16, the manager said it was a pre-sale price for tickets purchased up until 3/16. I asked him why it didn't say that online, he said he didn't have enough room to put it all on the page, so you had to click on another link to see that the $16 was a pre-sale price. I told him that I had invited all of my friends to MD and told them the cover was $16 and asked if he would honor the price for us. He said ""No, $20 please"". This is false advertising as it did not clearly print the details! I will not be back.

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Stacy Pever Anzick


Provided by Citysearch
My Families Favorite Venue

Been a regular at the Mucky Duck since 1993 and always love the diversity of live music, great food and family friendly environment.

Our 2 year old daughter loves going by for lunch and playing on the stage. My Mom loves special events and live music acts. My husband and I feel very much at home and have had several private parties in the Amazing Wine Room.

No place is perfect but any complaint we have ever had and addressed with the management was taken seriously and responded to.

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Stella K


Provided by Citysearch
Who knew - Saturday Breakfast & College Football!!

While the Duck is a great music venue, don't overlook their Saturday morning breakfast/lunch. We went last weekend and watched the OU vs UT game (who knew they opened at 11am on Sat) . The outside patio has been redone and there is now a covered area with 2 TVs. It is a great spot to sit outside, have breakfast (their pancakes rock!), watch some college football, all the while sipping on mimosas (or wine, or beer, or coffee :)

We will definitely be back!!!

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Provided by Citysearch
A Houston treasure

I don't know where the owner's size or gender have a relevant place in a review about a music/restaurant review. What I do know is the Mucky Duck is the best music listening room in Houston. Musicians love the place because the audience is there to - listen. If standing on concrete floors waiting on the headliner to start after midnight is your thing, there's other places for you. The place is intimate and comfortable with excellent sight lines. If you support live music and/or a specific band then please support the venue that makes it happen. If the owner shows preference to people who are planning to eat dinner at The Mucky Duck understand that that's the way they make their living. The musicians get ticket money. If you eat and drink somewhere else before the show, how do you suppose they keep the doors open? If the Mucky Duck were a music venue only, it rates as a treasure. Where else in Houston are you going to see first rate music and eat excellent food and enjoy a true 20 ounce pint. Again, if The Mucky Duck were only a music venue that serves great food that would be enough. Their wine room is probably the best kept secret in Houston (but for how long). It's one of the most intimate places to spend an evening in Houston. The wine list holds its own with any in Houston and the prices are far more reasonable than the trendy wine bars in town. The wine room is perfect for a birthday, anniversary, engagement or if you're looking for a great place to hold a working lunch meeting out of the office, check it out. Other reviews say the wait staff is lacking. Compared to what? Most music venues in town require you to walk to the bar and order for yourself, so please, enough with that argument. there's a reason The Mucky Duck had been open for nearly two decades. Any venue is capable of an off night but it's by far the exception that this place has an off night. While other music venues come and go, The Mucky Duck obviously is doing it right.

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Decent folk venue, snarky management

Mucky Duck is a double-edged sword as far as local venues go. It's been around a long time, successful and popular, books good acts, especially folk and Celtic, some country, blues and light rock. The acoustics have always been excellent in my experience. Some would call it an intimate environment, others would say it's crowded with poor service, so arrive early if you can. Get your tickets as far in advance as possible. I always get attitude from the big brunette lady doing the booking. One time she wrote my name on a good table, then she asked me if we were eating. I said I didn't know, and she said, ""Well then your seats might move."" When I arrived and asked where our table was, she said, ""Did you forget?"" Whatever. Also I notice they padded these comments pretty well (in June 2002, 28 five-star comments in one day), and the rest of the 5-Star comments seem fawning and hyperbolic. But notice there's a couple people who just gut the Duck in their comments. They sound more honest. The padding tact is smart, but you've been warned. The Duck is okay, but ain't all that.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great for what it is

And that's a listening room. It's not a dancehall or a rowdy bar. It's one of the premier listening rooms in the country. Rusty and his wife have consistantly brought in some of the most talented - even if sometimes not best known - songwriters and musicians in the world. The Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis Christmas shows have been a must for me for years.

I'll admite the waitstaff can be a bit snooty at times and the bartenders could really care less about whether you get a second beer or not...even thought they must make a fortune on booze markups there. And you are packed in pretty tight for the sold out shows.

But if you know all this coming in - and most regulars do - you won't find it a bad place.

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Intimate setting to hear good music

Great intimate place to hear music. We appreciated the waitresses knowledge of beers. We tried about 5 different varieties and her knowledge was very helpful. We went to ""hear"" music and appreciated the rest of the crowd that wanted to ""hear"" the band. If you want to go somewhere to talk, go over to Bennigans and yap away! Love the ""no smoking"" rule! Saw Walther and the Cronkites. Great band and appreciated that the sound system didn't blast us out. All the food we ordered was delicious! We'll return again!

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Provided by Citysearch
Not recommended

Below Average I am a Blues club frequent flier all over. This is a Quiet pretty safe parking establishment.
Tables are jammed together where it is hard to move around. If you are a dancer ""SORRY"" No dance floor!
The patrons are loud and (rude). Not worth the $10.00 cover charge at all. I am sorry but this is the one of very fews clubs I was disappointed with.

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A national treasure

Nestled on a quiet street inside the Loop, resides a unique national treasure. Easily Houston's best live music listening room for people who take their music seriously. That would seem to be enough but there's more. They have a terrific made-from-scratch food menu and a beer and wine list you won't find in any other music venue in town. They're newly updated interior makes the place even more intimate and enjoyable. If you want good music, good food, and good people, you can't go wrong with this remarkable venue.

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the best

I cant recall ever having bad service or a bad time there. In fact, the service there is really good and the servers are attentive. It doesn't hurt that the bartenders are fun to look at too.

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wonderful time

The fish and chips were fantastic and the music was a blast! What a charming and romantic little place--we will definitely go back!

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User review by jillikins

My friends and I went to the Mucky Duck for the first time on a Wednesday night, expecting a quiet bar where we could talk. It was definitely quiet, but so quiet that we all felt uncomfortable talking. The service was ok except for when I ordered a double chocolate stout, which I drink often, and the waitress asked me, ""You do know that doesn't take like chocolate, right?"" I said I did and was a little irritated that she assumed I didn't know anything about beer. Over all, it was just ok. I might go back again on the weekend before I right it off completely.

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Provided by Citysearch

And it's not just that I like the music. The place is intimate for reason that the average Joe may not understand. I was amazed that there were some really bad reviews of the Duck. These people are going there for the wrong reasons. Rusty brings excellent music to Houston, the food is better than average and the staff is as freindly to you as you are to them. And I am neither an employee of the Duck or a friend of the owner, just a Houstonian who knows were to go to get what I want, the best mix of singer/songwriters in the world! Thanks to all the Duck's and keep em coming!

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Padded Reviews are RIGHT

I will NEVER go there again. 2nd time worst than the first. Had a table with 8 friends celebrating my 5 year cancer-free mark. Apparently this is like going to church because if you say one word.....WHAM...you get yelled obscenities at you in front of the whole bar. Thanks Mgmt for making ME feel bad and not the person swearing. Hey Duck...thanks a lot for making over $400 off us and for almost ruining a really special night....thank gawd The Gallant Knight saved the day!!!!

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Provided by Citysearch

I can't imagine Houston without this place! It's intimate, friendly, the food is great and the wine and beer lists are killer. I am super-grateful that they've gone smoke-free for all their shows. I took some people there for a business lunch not long ago, and though it was a little noisy, they all raved about the Duck's bleu cheese-ranch salad dressing. Long live the imperial pint!

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Houston's most vital venue

Imagine sitting in an intimate music venue with a maximum of 100 seats - all with excellent sight lines to the stage - and seeing the top international/national/regional/local (mostly) acoustic acts perform. Imagine seeing some of the world's best songwriters strip away their bands and play their music so you can actually hear and absorb the words. The Duck is a club that's beyond trendy, snobbish or cultish - it's about the music, the food, and a sense of community. There's not a better food/beer & wine menu at a music venue anywhere, Houston or otherwise. They have an outstanding and knowledgable wait staff and a great deck for after work or afternoon libations. It's no wonder they have so many ""regulars."" The Duck is not only Houston's most vital venue, it's a treasure.

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A Houston Live Music Landmark

If you want to see some of the greatest music in the country in an intimate venue with fantastic food.... look no further. Tucked away on Norfolk Ave ( Behind Academy Sports ), McGonigel's Mucky Duck is the only place in Houston that offers it's patrons everything awesome. The Duck is legendary for their live music and is very choosy about booking nothing but quality live music 4 or 5 nights a week! Kelly Willis, Rodney Crowell, Hal Ketchum, Radney Foster, Leon Russel and the list goes on..
And oh by the way.... come for lunch, stay for dinner. The food is always fantastic, with the nicest management and staff of any place I've ever been. Great place for happy hour on the patio, lunch with friends and a ringer for date night.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck is most surely built from the stuff legends are made of.

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The Comfort Zone

Keep up the excellent work. We have been going to the Duck for over four years and have heard some TERRIFIC music. Aswell as the music, there's comfort food, a homely atmosphere and the best bar/wait staff (they know who we mean!!), these add to the attraction that keeps us coming back again, and again, and again........

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Provided by Citysearch
It's a pub!

For live music, it is intimate.
For beer, the selection is great!
For food, my mother is British so I have had my fair share of Irish/British/Scotish food. I can say that the food is great and I have never had a bad experience.

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General Info
McGonigel's Mucky Duck is an intimate listening room for nationally known touring acts by evening and a warm, inviting Irish pub by day.
Extra Phones

Phone: 713-528-4763

Regular Hours
Mon - Fri:
American Restaurants, Bar & Grills, Bars, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Brew Pubs, Irish Restaurants, Night Clubs, Restaurants, Taverns
Payment Options
Price Range
Central Houston, Greenway - Upper Kirby
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: Free

Attire: Casual

Cuisines: Brew Pubs, American, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Irish, European, Continental, Bar & Grills

Alcohol: Beer, Wine

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average

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